Science Literacy: A Key to Finding Common Ground on Life’s Big Questions

Major Paper #1—Summary & Critical Response (Part 1)
We will be working on this assignment for the next two units. In this unit, we will focus on the summary. In Unit 3, we will focus on the critical response. The paper will be due at the end of Unit 3.
Purpose:
Most of us use critical reading strategies everyday to effectively process all of the information we are consistently bombarded with. This assignment allows you continue to explore ideas of reading and writing rhetorically, as you will use different strategies to write your summary and your critical response.
The Assignment:
This assignment will have two parts:
In this unit, we will be focusing on Part 1: The Summary.
The Summary
Summarize in 150-200 words the article your instructor has chosen from the assignment. Please use To Seek Common Ground on Life’s Big Questions, We Need Science Literacy provided below. In this summary, you should relay the article’s main points, completely and accurately, in your own words. If you find yourself in a situation in which the author’s words needed to be quoted directly (perhaps for emphasis), you must make it clear that these words are the author’s by using quotation marks appropriately. You will not want to quote anything over one sentence in length, and you will want to limit yourself to no more than 2-3 direct quotes, if you use any at all. Remember that the whole point of this portion of the assignment is for you to restate the author’s points objectively in your own words.
In general, I recommend you structure your first sentence something like this:
In To Seek Common Ground on Life’s Big Questions, We Need Science Literacy, Jonathan Garlick argues that…
This will function as the thesis statement of your summary, so this first sentence will need to convey the main point(s) of the article to give your reader an overall view.
Please be sure to review the Submitting Your Assignment of Unit #3 section for specific instructions on how you should turn in your work for grading. The Summary & Critical Response Essay with both required sections is due at the end of Unit #3.
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Major Paper #1—Summary/Critical Response (Part 2)
In the last unit, we focused on crafting the summary. In this unit, we will focus on the second half of this paper: the critical response. The paper (including both sections–the summary and the critical response) will be due at the end of this unit.
The Assignment:
This assignment has two parts:
In this unit, we will be focusing on Part 2, the Critical Response.
Critical Response
Write a two page (minimum of 400-500 words) response to the article your instructor has chosen from the assignment. Please use To Seek Common Ground on Life’s Big Questions, We Need Science Literacy provided below.
Before you even begin drafting, you will want to decide on the terms of your response. Once you decide on the terms (or grounds) of your response, you’ll want to figure out how you can support your points—using logic, outside evidence—whatever is appropriate. Your response cannot be based on simply your opinion about the issue.
Please be sure to review the Submitting Your Assignment of Unit #3 section for specific instructions on how you should turn in your work for grading. The Summary & Critical Response Essay with both required sections is due at the end of Unit #3.

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