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Sample Summary Essays

Former Student

Professor Pedrick

English 101.8

24 July 2007

Email: the Wave of the Future

In today’s advancing world, the gaps between people are closing in.Technology allows us to communicate with people all around the world with the click of a button.The ease of use and the time efficiency of email are suddenly replacing the slower obsolete snail mail.The gamut of users has a hard time adjusting to the impersonal and new technology email.This difficult transition between what people are used to and what is new, plagues millions of people a day.However, Mark Hansen has the solution with his essay:“Email: what you Should and Shouldn’t Write.”Most email users often run quick spell and grammar checks but fail to see how their message comes across to the readers.Sure an email can be grammatically correct and have the best punctuation, but it could leave the reader offended and hurt by its straight bluntness.Hansen solves these internet social mishaps with a simple set of eleven rules that almost always prevents these offensive moments.Among these rules is: avoid beginning an email with a criticism.For example, if someone wanted to address someone he or she hasn’t seen in a while, he or she wouldn’t start the email with “hey how come you never call me, are you stupid or something?”This would put the reader in a bad mood right away.Another great rule Hansen mentions is: make sure the message is concise and straight to the point.For example, don’t have the email be eight pages long and only have the message say: “take out the garbage.”In addition to those great rules, Hansen states that one can offend a reader with too much bluntness; it sounds rude.All of these rules provide much needed insight to the basic regulations to help prevent email mistakes and misunderstandings, while at the same time, Hansen’s point is clear and is easy to follow, and his writing style, support, and purpose are well written out.

Hansen has good points about emails in his essay.His thesis is clearly stated in the first paragraph and says, “Even well-meaning individuals write messages they would never say aloud.These eleven rules will help in the use of email” (Hansen 562).Each rule helps strengthen his main point and was clearly highlighted to show the significance.The main thesis is supported by valid and valuable points.For example, when he exclaims, “picture the recipient’s reaction to your message,” he supports his point of writing to cater to the audience’s viewpoint (Hansen 563).Hansen uses a situation example to put the reader into a problem of talking to a person and how the person would react.Hansen also explains in this point that when a person talks to someone face to face, he or she has physical body language to lessen a joke; however, when someone writes an email, this luxury doesn’t exist.Another valuable point Hansen utilizes is to avoid beginning an email with a criticism to make sure the mood of the person is good when reading (563).This point is very valid because no one wants to start a conversation with something that sounds like an insult.Hansen further proves this point because in an email, the blunt use of words is pointed out more and is highlighted versus when a person starts a conversation on a phone or face to face.Hansen asserts it’s always better to start a conversation with a positive note rather than a negative note.

These points Hansen proclaims in his essay are indeed valid and are the case for most people, but are they sufficient enough to support the thesis?Of course they are.Hansen breaks down the many mistakes when writing emails, and then with each problem, he provides a short, concise solution that anyone could do.For example, “Remember the human elements in communication,” which Hansen suggests when writing an email because people have to keep it very personal and be well-mannered (564).Although people have to use cold heartless technology as a means to communicate, it doesn’t mean the person they are communicating with is cold and heartless as well.These common courtesies Hansen reports are what help solve the problem of the impersonal feeling of the email.Hansen clearly points out one of the main problems with email and attacks the problem with a viable, easy to understand solution.Another problem and solution Hansen reveals is to “make sure your message is not too cryptic” (563).Hansen want the writer to always keep in mind the audience and make sure the audience doesn’t have to “read between the lines” so that the writer’s message is clear (563).Hansen again reasserts that communication is the key to maintain an email correspondence.People shouldn’t have to make the other person decipher what is being said.Hansen solves this problem by suggesting that one must write similar to the way one talks.All of the problems and solutions Hansen offers as support are indeed enough to help the thesis keep its validity.

Hansen writes about all these problems and solutions on email, but how does he deliver the meaning to the reader?Simple, it’s all in his “style,” the way he writes to the audience and how he uniquely caters to them.Hansen’s style is of a journalist or short-column writer.He establishes a topic, in this case problems dealing with email, and then further elaborates the problems with situations and personal experiences that anyone who reads the article can relate to.Next, he presents his own opinion on how to solve the problems in a clear, concise manner or tone.This method not only is straight forward but makes it easier for the reader to get into the work.However, this is not the only method Hansen employs; he also uses a bullet or numbering system to further break down each issue and solution.His paper is very organized and allows maximum clarity for the reader to follow.

Hansen seems to have everything in order to address the audience and help solve their problems.Hansen uses many tactics to help organize and present his thesis and support.He uses a numbering system and organizes problems and solutions to highlight significance.This in turn helps any reader quickly absorb the information and solutions for use.Hansen has an almost comical, commonsense style to his writing.He also points out the solution but after people read it, they say to themselves “well that’s obvious.”His main points of the problems of email use are well supported by his use of examples and personal relations.Hansen really shines through in the solution parts of his essay where he explains how anyone might solve the problems easily.Hansen really achieves grabbing the audience and presenting his purpose.He has given an adequate assessment of email and its problems.The solutions are easily relatable for users and are very viable.Everyone needs to use these solutions to ride the wave of the future instead of getting caught in the undertow.

Sample Essay for Summarizing, Paraphrasing, and Quoting


This handout is intended to help you become more comfortable with the uses of and distinctions among quotations, paraphrases, and summaries. This handout compares and contrasts the three terms, gives some pointers, and includes a short excerpt that you can use to practice these skills.

Contributors:Dana Lynn Driscoll, Allen Brizee
Last Edited: 2016-08-10 02:07:20

The following is a sample essay you can practice quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing. Examples of each task are provided at the end of the essay for further reference.

Here is the citation for Sipher's essay:

Sipher, Roger. “So That Nobody Has to Go to School If They Don't Want To.” The New York Times, 19 Dec. 1977, p. 31.

So That Nobody Has To Go To School If They Don't Want To

by Roger Sipher

A decline in standardized test scores is but the most recent indicator that American education is in trouble.

One reason for the crisis is that present mandatory-attendance laws force many to attend school who have no wish to be there. Such children have little desire to learn and are so antagonistic to school that neither they nor more highly motivated students receive the quality education that is the birthright of every American.

The solution to this problem is simple: Abolish compulsory-attendance laws and allow only those who are committed to getting an education to attend.

This will not end public education. Contrary to conventional belief, legislators enacted compulsory-attendance laws to legalize what already existed. William Landes and Lewis Solomon, economists, found little evidence that mandatory-attendance laws increased the number of children in school. They found, too, that school systems have never effectively enforced such laws, usually because of the expense involved.

There is no contradiction between the assertion that compulsory attendance has had little effect on the number of children attending school and the argument that repeal would be a positive step toward improving education. Most parents want a high school education for their children. Unfortunately, compulsory attendance hampers the ability of public school officials to enforce legitimate educational and disciplinary policies and thereby make the education a good one.

Private schools have no such problem. They can fail or dismiss students, knowing such students can attend public school. Without compulsory attendance, public schools would be freer to oust students whose academic or personal behavior undermines the educational mission of the institution.

Has not the noble experiment of a formal education for everyone failed? While we pay homage to the homily, "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink," we have pretended it is not true in education.

Ask high school teachers if recalcitrant students learn anything of value. Ask teachers if these students do any homework. Quite the contrary, these students know they will be passed from grade to grade until they are old enough to quit or until, as is more likely, they receive a high school diploma. At the point when students could legally quit, most choose to remain since they know they are likely to be allowed to graduate whether they do acceptable work or not.

Abolition of archaic attendance laws would produce enormous dividends.

First, it would alert everyone that school is a serious place where one goes to learn. Schools are neither day-care centers nor indoor street corners. Young people who resist learning should stay away; indeed, an end to compulsory schooling would require them to stay away.

Second, students opposed to learning would not be able to pollute the educational atmosphere for those who want to learn. Teachers could stop policing recalcitrant students and start educating.

Third, grades would show what they are supposed to: how well a student is learning. Parents could again read report cards and know if their children were making progress.

Fourth, public esteem for schools would increase. People would stop regarding them as way stations for adolescents and start thinking of them as institutions for educating America's youth.

Fifth, elementary schools would change because students would find out early they had better learn something or risk flunking out later. Elementary teachers would no longer have to pass their failures on to junior high and high school.

Sixth, the cost of enforcing compulsory education would be eliminated. Despite enforcement efforts, nearly 15 percent of the school-age children in our largest cities are almost permanently absent from school.

Communities could use these savings to support institutions to deal with young people not in school. If, in the long run, these institutions prove more costly, at least we would not confuse their mission with that of schools.

Schools should be for education. At present, they are only tangentially so. They have attempted to serve an all-encompassing social function, trying to be all things to all people. In the process they have failed miserably at what they were originally formed to accomplish.

Example Summary, Paraphrase, and Quotation from the Essay:

Example summary: Roger Sipher makes his case for getting rid of compulsory-attendance laws in primary and secondary schools with six arguments. These fall into three groups—first that education is for those who want to learn and by including those that don't want to learn, everyone suffers. Second, that grades would be reflective of effort and elementary school teachers wouldn't feel compelled to pass failing students. Third, that schools would both save money and save face with the elimination of compulsory-attendance laws.

Example paraphrase of the essay's conclusion: Roger Sipher concludes his essay by insisting that schools have failed to fulfill their primary duty of education because they try to fill multiple social functions (par. 17).

Example quotation: According to Roger Sipher, a solution to the perceived crisis of American education is to "Abolish compulsory-attendance laws and allow only those who are committed to getting an education to attend" (par. 3).