Sample Essay for Summarizing, Paraphrasing, and Quoting
This handout is intended to help you become more comfortable with the uses of and distinctions among quotations, paraphrases, and summaries. This handout compares and contrasts the three terms, gives some pointers, and includes a short excerpt that you can use to practice these skills.
Contributors:Dana Lynn Driscoll, Allen Brizee
Last Edited: 2016-08-10 02:07:20
The following is a sample essay you can practice quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing. Examples of each task are provided at the end of the essay for further reference.
Here is the citation for Sipher's essay:
Sipher, Roger. “So That Nobody Has to Go to School If They Don't Want To.” The New York Times, 19 Dec. 1977, p. 31.
So That Nobody Has To Go To School If They Don't Want To
by Roger Sipher
A decline in standardized test scores is but the most recent indicator that American education is in trouble.
One reason for the crisis is that present mandatory-attendance laws force many to attend school who have no wish to be there. Such children have little desire to learn and are so antagonistic to school that neither they nor more highly motivated students receive the quality education that is the birthright of every American.
The solution to this problem is simple: Abolish compulsory-attendance laws and allow only those who are committed to getting an education to attend.
This will not end public education. Contrary to conventional belief, legislators enacted compulsory-attendance laws to legalize what already existed. William Landes and Lewis Solomon, economists, found little evidence that mandatory-attendance laws increased the number of children in school. They found, too, that school systems have never effectively enforced such laws, usually because of the expense involved.
There is no contradiction between the assertion that compulsory attendance has had little effect on the number of children attending school and the argument that repeal would be a positive step toward improving education. Most parents want a high school education for their children. Unfortunately, compulsory attendance hampers the ability of public school officials to enforce legitimate educational and disciplinary policies and thereby make the education a good one.
Private schools have no such problem. They can fail or dismiss students, knowing such students can attend public school. Without compulsory attendance, public schools would be freer to oust students whose academic or personal behavior undermines the educational mission of the institution.
Has not the noble experiment of a formal education for everyone failed? While we pay homage to the homily, "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink," we have pretended it is not true in education.
Ask high school teachers if recalcitrant students learn anything of value. Ask teachers if these students do any homework. Quite the contrary, these students know they will be passed from grade to grade until they are old enough to quit or until, as is more likely, they receive a high school diploma. At the point when students could legally quit, most choose to remain since they know they are likely to be allowed to graduate whether they do acceptable work or not.
Abolition of archaic attendance laws would produce enormous dividends.
First, it would alert everyone that school is a serious place where one goes to learn. Schools are neither day-care centers nor indoor street corners. Young people who resist learning should stay away; indeed, an end to compulsory schooling would require them to stay away.
Second, students opposed to learning would not be able to pollute the educational atmosphere for those who want to learn. Teachers could stop policing recalcitrant students and start educating.
Third, grades would show what they are supposed to: how well a student is learning. Parents could again read report cards and know if their children were making progress.
Fourth, public esteem for schools would increase. People would stop regarding them as way stations for adolescents and start thinking of them as institutions for educating America's youth.
Fifth, elementary schools would change because students would find out early they had better learn something or risk flunking out later. Elementary teachers would no longer have to pass their failures on to junior high and high school.
Sixth, the cost of enforcing compulsory education would be eliminated. Despite enforcement efforts, nearly 15 percent of the school-age children in our largest cities are almost permanently absent from school.
Communities could use these savings to support institutions to deal with young people not in school. If, in the long run, these institutions prove more costly, at least we would not confuse their mission with that of schools.
Schools should be for education. At present, they are only tangentially so. They have attempted to serve an all-encompassing social function, trying to be all things to all people. In the process they have failed miserably at what they were originally formed to accomplish.
Example Summary, Paraphrase, and Quotation from the Essay:
Example summary: Roger Sipher makes his case for getting rid of compulsory-attendance laws in primary and secondary schools with six arguments. These fall into three groups—first that education is for those who want to learn and by including those that don't want to learn, everyone suffers. Second, that grades would be reflective of effort and elementary school teachers wouldn't feel compelled to pass failing students. Third, that schools would both save money and save face with the elimination of compulsory-attendance laws.
Example paraphrase of the essay's conclusion: Roger Sipher concludes his essay by insisting that schools have failed to fulfill their primary duty of education because they try to fill multiple social functions (par. 17).
Example quotation: According to Roger Sipher, a solution to the perceived crisis of American education is to "Abolish compulsory-attendance laws and allow only those who are committed to getting an education to attend" (par. 3).
After a teenage gunman killed 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Fla., Americans of all political persuasions flocked to social media to express their views on gun policy.
On the pro-gun control side of the argument, Areva Martin, an author and TV commentator, tweeted a graphic that showed in most of the country, it is harder to vote than it is to buy an assault rifle.
She shared the following graphic with the comment, "Just let this sink in! #FloridaSchoolShooting #Florida #GunReformNow."
However, a closer look at both gun policy and election law suggest some important caveats that the graphic leaves out. (Martin did not reply to an inquiry from her representative.)
Where the graphic came from
Unlike many viral images we see, this one provided its sourcing.
It cited an article by Alex Seitz-Wald in Salon.com and the liberal Center for American Progress. The chart was put together from elements of the Salon article by Adam Peck, an editor with the website ThinkProgress, which is affiliated with the Center for American Progress. Peck told PolitiFact that the graphic was originally created to be embedded in a separate Think Progress article.
The accompanying ThinkProgress article "was our opportunity to provide readers with the kind of information and nuance that simply don't work in a visual capacity," Peck said. "Obviously, the pitfall is that those graphics can be easily divorced from their companion articles, losing whatever nuance we set out to provide."
Also important to note: The Salon article, the ThinkProgress article and the graphic were all published in 2013. (Seitz-Wald has been at NBC News since 2014.)
So the underlying data is five years old.
The meme’s re-emergence means there’s been a game of telephone, with notable context falling by the wayside.
Student survivors of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School gather at the capitol in Tallahassee, Fla., on Feb. 21, 2018. (AP/Mark Wallheiser)
IDs to buy guns
You wouldn’t know it from the graphic, but whether an ID is required for a gun sale depends on who is making the sale.
Under federal law, federally licensed gun dealers, importers and manufacturers must run background checks for sales to an unlicensed buyer. Specifically, a potential purchaser must show identification, complete a federal document known as a Form 4473, and pass a National Instant Criminal Background Check System check.
Where the meme has a point is that in the states that didn’t pass a tougher law, unlicensed private sellers are exempted from having to complete the background check process. Commonly, such unlicensed sellers operate from gun shows or flea markets, although a licensed dealer selling from a show would have to run the background check.
"For anyone who thinks he or she might not pass a background check, or is looking to circumvent any waiting period, they can bypass both in a majority of states," said Peck, the graphic's creator.
As Seitz-Wald noted in his article, states can add their own restrictions on top of these requirements. At the time the article was written, only about a third had done so. Since then, Oregon and Washington have begun requiring background checks (and thus an ID) on all gun sales, including private transfers.
This distinction — between the rules for licensed sellers and for unlicensed sellers — didn’t make it into the meme.
That matters. While it is possible in many states to buy a firearm without an ID by seeking out an unlicensed seller, such purchases account for a fraction of all sales. Gun shops and other types of brick-and-mortar stores — where background checks are required — account for a majority of purchases.
A research paper published last year in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that of the 70 percent of gun transfers studied that were purchases — as opposed to gifts and inheritances — 53 percent were purchased from stores and 17 percent were purchased from family, friends, online or gun shows. Those percentages have increased over time. In the past two years, 64 percent were purchased at stores.
In other words, it’s certainly possible to purchase a gun without an ID in many states, but in reality, a large majority of purchases are done with IDs and background checks.
States requiring IDs for voting
The graphic is more problematic on the point that in no state can you vote without proof of ID.
It’s certainly true that a number of states have requirements for voters to hand over a government-issued photo ID in one of just a few categories, such as driver’s licenses. The strictest of these include Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Other states also have ID requirements to vote, but in many cases, they allow easier-to-obtain paperwork, including documents without a photograph in some cases. Some of the valid documents, depending on the state, include student ID cards, utility bills, bank statements, paychecks, government checks, Medicare or Medicaid cards, employer ID cards, or a bank or debit card.
Finally, there are 16 states that do not currently require documents at polling booths at all. They are California, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Wyoming.
So the notion that every state requires an ID to vote is incorrect.
If the graphic had said that an ID is required to register to vote, it would have been somewhat more accurate. Under the federal Help America Vote Act, every state must request identification when registering first-time voters who did not register in person and did not provide identification when filling out the mail-in registration form. For these voters, a wide variety of documents are accepted for registration; many states allow some of the non-photo IDs cited above to serve that purpose.
The viral image said that in most states, you can buy an assault rifle with no proof of ID, but in every state, you need proof of ID to vote.
It is indeed possible to buy an assault rifle without an ID if you go to a gun show — but the graphic neglects to mention that these sales are the exception rather than the rule. A significant majority of gun purchases are made in transactions that require ID and a background check.
As for the voting claim, some states have imposed strict photo ID laws at the voting booth. However, the graphic ignores that about one-third of states require no ID at all to vote, and that many of those that do require identification allow a range of documents to serve that purpose, including student IDs, utility bills and debit cards.
We rate the viral image Mostly False.
Share the Facts
2018-02-22 21:02:32 UTC
In most states, you can buy an assault rifle with no proof of ID, but in every state, you need proof of ID to vote.
on the Internet
in a tweet
Sunday, February 18, 2018