Political Science



Summary Assignment

Summary –

A condensed version of an original text.

As your first formal essay, the Summary Assignment will highlight your ability to

connect to a text by identifying and summarizing claims made by Dr. Martin Luther

King, Jr. in his “I Have a Dream” speech. Although you will model the organization

and structure of the speech, you will use your own terms and employ your own

voice to articulate the speech’s claims and supporting evidence.

Your charge is to write a brief one-page, single-spaced summary, restating the main

ideas of

the speech.  A copy of the speech can be accessed in

Call and Response: Key Debates in

African American Studies


The aim of this assignment is to thoroughly comprehend a text and to translate the

essential meaning of the text into terms accessible to others.

In your introduction, identify the author, subject, audience, and purpose.


Identify the main claims in the text and restate them near the start of your


Paraphrase the supporting points, examples, and details; use a thesaurus to

find synonyms for key words.

Condense the original text, keeping your writing within one single-spaced


Be “objective” rather than “critical” – try to narrow down the original, without

adding editorial comments.

Use verbs that capture the author’s argument and analysis.