OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENT OF ANTHROPOLOGY

Guidelines for Summarizing Articles and Chapters

Type a double-spaced, 4-sentence summary using the following formula: 

Sentence 1 includes the author, title, date, verb for what the author is doing (suggests, asserts, implies, argues, etc.), and the central assertion of the article.

Sentence 2 describes how the thesis is supported and developed.

Sentence 3 lays out the purpose of the article. If it helps, include an "in order to" phrase, indicating what is going to happen as a result of this article.

Sentence 4 pinpoints the audience for the article and its connection to other readings.


Example:

David McMurray

Anth 370 Family, Gender, Generation

February 5, 2000

Stephanie Coontz, in Chapter 5, "Putting Divorce in Perspective," in The Way We Really Are

(1998), argues that despite public beliefs to the contrary, divorce does not necessarily cause

problems for the children involved. She cites numerous studies which show that 75-80% of

children from divorced families do not have problems; and of those who do, poverty, little

maternal education, parental quarreling, and changing residence and school create many more

problems than the divorce itself. She seeks to draw attention to the public need to accept the

presence of "new" family forms in order to increase public understanding of the best ways to

raise children within alternative families. The chapter continues her two-pronged attempt to

debunk simplistic moralizing while also providing helpful information for people overwhelmed

by changing family circumstances.

 

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