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How to Write A Reading Abstract (Position Essay)

Before you start writing a reading abstract (position essay) of the text specified by the customer, please review these guidelines. BestEssayTips.com Team hope that you will find them helpful in your aim to satisfy the customers expectations.

HOW TO WRITE A READING ABSTRACT

A Reading Abstract is a critical summary of the assigned text(s). It is a mini-essay (500-550 words) that combines three elements: summary, analysis and critique. The goal of a Reading Abstract is to effectively summarize the central argument of a given text while at the same time express your own critical response to it (i. e. , your position). The customer will expect that you, as experienced and trust-worthy essay writers, will not simply state your opinion, but rather present a well-reasoned and thoughtful response to the authors main argument through a careful analysis of his/ her ideas. In other words, your position must be well-informed; it should demonstrate that you have read and understood the text thoroughly. While you may find this assignment to be difficult at first, it is important to keep in mind the old maxim practice makes perfect. You will feel more at ease after you have written a few Reading Abstracts.

1. CRITICAL READING

In order to write a good Reading Abstract, you first need to learn how to write an effective summary. Above all, this requires that you grasp the authors main idea or central argument. This can be done only after a close and careful reading of the text.

Assistance for Interpretation

You will find that some of the readings, requested by customers, are hard to understand and the language is really outdated, esp. when the original text is a philosophical essay or history treatise. Do not let this be an obstacle for you. Try to approach such texts with a spirit of curiosity. The best thing to do when you are faced with one of these texts (e. g. Hegels The Philosophy of History) is, above all, not to let your eyes glide over words that you do not understand. Consult one of the encyclopedias or dictionaries.

2. CRAFTING YOUR POSITION

Your Reading Abstract must integrate three elements: a) summary; b) analysis; and, c) critique. Try to use the funnel approach in your writing; that is, move from the general to the specific. In addition, aim to write a coherent paper that is well organized around a central focus (e. g. your position). Follow these general guidelines when writing your paper:

A) SUMMARY

- Clearly and succinctly summarize the authors central argument or main idea in your own words.

- Consider the circumstances of writing (e. g. Is the author responding to another writers ideas? If so, does he or she agree or disagree with these, or perhaps build upon them?). Context is important in understanding an authors argument.

- Discuss the authors approach to the subject (e. g. What topics are covered?)

- Briefly summarize the most significant points raised in the text

B) ANALYSIS

- Analyze the structure of the main argument by identifying any secondary ideas which support it.

- Prove that you understand these ideas by clearly explaining them in your own words (Avoid what we call the shot-gun approach, where you rapidly fire out several of the authors ideas without detailing any of them!)

- DO NOT use direct quotes unless they are short and express a concept or idea that you cannot possibly put in your own words. Rule of thumb: do your best to demonstrate your close reading of the text. Direct quotes are not encouraged, as you may start using quoted instead of writing them in your own words. Please keep in mind that direct quotes must support your argument and not compensate for it.

- Evaluate the logical connection or relationship between the main argument and secondary ideas (e. g. Ask yourself how, and if, these secondary ideas support the main argument).

C) CRITIQUE

- Respond critically to the text under analysis by discussing the value(s) and/or limitation(s) of the authors position, proofs, overall topical judgment.

- Directly relate your critique back to authors main argument or central idea.

- Always use relevant examples to support and defend your position.

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