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Essay 1: Summary & Analysis Essay

A summary is an important tool in writing and analyzing a work. You must be both a careful reader and a careful writer. For your first assignment, you will write a summary of at least 3 typed, double-spaced pages (750-800 words). Choose one of the essays from the list below (from your textbook).

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  • E.B. Du Bois, “Criteria of Negro Art” p.771
  • Alain Locke, “The New Negro” p.973
  • Arthur Schomburg, “The Negro Digs Up His Past” p.945
  • James T. Stewart, “The Development of the Black Revolutionary Artist” vol. 2, p.905
  • Toni Morrison, “Rootedness: The Ancestor as Foundation” vol. 2, p.1067

Essays must include the following three parts:

  • Summary (600 words)
  • Response/Conclusion (200 words)
  • Citation for the article in MLA format

Summary (600 words):

  • The introductory paragraph should begin by identifying the title of the work and author, followed by a concise restatement of the essay’s main argument.
  • Summarize the arguments used to support the writer’s thesis. Choose two examples/support to summarize.
  • If you use any short direct quotations in your summary, give the page number of each quotation in parentheses. (In research papers, parenthetical references are also given for paraphrased ideas and information from outside sources, but in this summary, all the ideas will come from your one source, so parenthetical page numbers are needed for direct quotations only.)
  • Don’t use too many quotations and don’t use the exact words of the source unless you cannot put that idea or information into your own words accurately or effectively. Limit quotations to a maximum of 3 short quotations.

Response (200 words)

Write your conclusions about the essay. This is the only section of the essay that should contain any of your own commentary or analysis. You may comment mainly on what you learned from the article or add comments on the topic of the article—what is the role of art and the artist in the U.S., in African American communities, and/or in the struggle for social equality? You may also comment on the relevance of the essay to works we have read in class or to contemporary issues. Does art continue to play a political/social role in our society?


Put one full citation to your article or story at the end of your essay, using MLA format.

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