Writing summaries of secondary sources

Writing Summaries of Secondary Sources




Summary Template:




In (name of publication and date), (author’s name) (signal verb, such as argues, promotes, claims—leading to statement of main argument or purpose) (claim #1) (support of claim) (type of evidence or research for support)




For book or academic article




In The Cocktail Waitress: Woman’s Work in a Man’s World (1975), James Spradley and Brenda Mann analyze the gender roles within a middle class sports bar primarily from the perspective of the servers in the bar.  From their ethnographic research, Spradley and Mann assert that people’s behaviors and speech in the bar tend to promote traditionally masculine roles and values at the expense of both women servers and customers. Spradley and Mann support their claims with evidence from Brenda Mann’s participant-observation as a waitress in the bar and through extensive ethnographic interviews with the waitresses.   




For newspaper article



In “How Suburban Design is Failing Teen-agers” from the New York Times, 1999, William Hamilton examines claims from academic scholars and teenagers that poorly planned suburban communities can lead to teenagers’ sense of alienation and disconnection from community.  Hamilton reports on the views of regional planners, adolescent psychologists, and architects as well as interviews with teenagers in troubled suburban areas such as Denver to analyze the implications of these problems

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