Value: 15% of course grade
Due Date: Thursday, September 27
Background to the Assignment
The author of the white paper “Communications in the Policy Process” would like to make his paper more accessible to government employees attending a workshop on effective public sector writing (the author, and his consulting associate, are academics who consult for and give workshops to public sector clients). He would like to retain the key ideas of his paper but make them more concise and readable. He has asked you to summarize the section “What Makes a Text Effective,” on pages 7 to 10.
First, you will need a copy of “Communications in the Policy Process." Click on the document name above to automatically download the PDF.
Your task is to distill the information in pages 7–10 into a concise (~400 words), focused, and readable version of the author's discussion of the topic. Structure your summary as you feel best suits the purpose and audience. You may add headings and subheadings that reflect the divisions of your summary.
Before you begin writing, read Summary Writing Notes and How to Write a Good Summary. Remember to keep your purpose and your audience clearly in mind as you choose the ideas that you feel are essential to understanding the author's points. You might also want to read pages 1–6 to help you understand the broader context of the white paper.
As part of editing your summary, go through the following criteria to make sure that you've met all the expectations of the assignment.
- Does the summary contain only essential information?
- Does the summary contain all the essential information?
- Is the summary written in your own words?
- Would a reader make sense of the summary as a stand-alone document?
- Is the summary accurate and faithful to the original?
- Does the summary contain anything that was not in the original?
- Is the summary clear and complete?
- Is the summary concise?
- Is the summary coherent (does the flow from idea to idea make sense) and easy to read?
- Has the summary been edited for errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling and mechanics?
Bring a draft of your summary to class on Monday, September 24. You will have the chance to discuss any problems you're having with the assignment and to exchange drafts with another student for peer editing. Don't miss the workshop; if you do (without a legitimate excuse), you will lose 30% of your grade for the assignment.
Submitting your assignment
Name your file YourlastnameSummary.doc (e.g., DoyleSummary.doc) and send it to me (email@example.com) as an e-mail attachment by 11:59 p.m. on September 27.