Abstracts for Reading and Discussion
As you do each reading, summarize key points about the work and your reflections on it, using the following categories. I strongly recommend that you keep notes in this fashion so that our discussions will be productive. Keeping notes of this kind will prove very helpful in preparing presentations and essays.
MAIN POINT/ARGUMENT: summarize in 2or 3 sentences what you think was the authors main point, message, or argument.
EVIDENCE: note briefly one or two specific examples of the evidence that the author offered to support his main argument
M.I.T. (most interesting thing): note the one aspect of the work that you found to be the most interesting.
CONNECTIONS: note one or two ways the ideas in this reading relate to other works or subjects in the courseor with other materials familiar to you.
PROMPTINGS/REFLECTIONS: note an idea or reflections stimulated by the work, including possible questions or topics for further consideration or research.
EVALUATION: your assessment of the reading, its argument, its persuasiveness, etc. Thumbs up? Thumbs down? Why?
P.T. (perplexing thing): note briefly any ideas that you had trouble understanding or that seemed confusingperplexities and uncertainties.
KEY TERMS OR VOCABULARY: list the terms or words that seem to carry special significance in the work and its argument. Also list any term that you dont know or are unsure of. Look words that you dont know in a dictionary.