Hacking Rhetoric


Prompt for Summaries 1 & 2

Assignment Overview

Locate a persuasive article relating to hacking and write a maximum of one-page (8.5×11) paper summarizing its argument.


Offer a concise but thorough summary of the position this source is advocating. Stay as close to the text as possible, quoting the author’s exact words at times to tie both you and your readers to the original text itself—cite page numbers for any quotations in parentheses after the quote (just the page numbers; no pp. or p.). Your aim is to hand over to your readers your understanding of WHAT this text is arguing for. Phrases such as “Smith says/notes/states,” or “according to Bell,” etc. will help you designate what is called intellectual property. You will not have room to cover all the points an author makes, so you will need to synthesize the information for us, tell us what position the author is advocating and then offer quotes from the text itself to demonstrate (to show us) that the author is arguing what you say s/he’s arguing. Do not offer your own comments, opinions, or arguments about what the text says, and do not offer a rhetorical analysis of the writing. Stick to content: what is the author saying in this text? What position is s/he advocating?

Submission Requirements

Save your assignment as a Word document (.doc) or PDF* and email it to beck.wise@utexas.edu by 11:59 p.m on the due date. INCLUDE YOUR NAME IN THE FILE TITLE, for example: ‘Wise Summary 1.doc’

In the assignment, list the author’s name and the full citation information of the piece you’re summarizing; set margins at 1 inch, spacing at single, and font at 12 pt.  Do not exceed a page in length. If your assignment is less than about a half page, you’ve probably missed something or picked a source that doesn’t advance much of an argument; your goal in this paper is to be both concise and comprehensive–but write as much as you need to in order to communicate the argument.

*If you have composed an assignment that needs a different submission method (website? physical object?), please let me know. For written assignments, .doc or .pdf only. Thanks!

Due Dates

Summary 1          Monday, September 16

Summary 2          Monday, September 23


In this course: These short summaries are a direct stepping stone towards your first major assignment, the annotated bibliography. You’re also likely to use them as sources in your later assignments.

In your university careers: Most university assignments, whether it’s a literature review in a humanities paper or an introduction or discussion section in a physics paper, require you to demonstrate some familiarity with other texts in your field — i.e., to be able to point out what another text says before relating it to your own topic.

In the world at large: Being able to quickly and clearly convey the essence of an argument (text, event, conversation, etc) is something that will stand you in good stead, both in your day-to-day life and in the workforce — for example, you might want to summarise the action of your favourite TV show to a friend who wasn’t home last night, or you might be asked to offer an executive summary of a report for your boss who’s too busy to read it.


One thought on “Summaries

  1. Pingback: Prompt for Summaries 1 & 2 posted | Hacking Rhetoric

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