Posted in English 1103, Reading, Teaching, Writing

ENG 1103: Starting with Summary

Today in class you read and summarized the September 15 article from The Wall Street Journal’s Facebook Files series. The summary that I wrote along with you appears below.

In The Wall Street Journal article “Facebook Tried to Make its Platform a Healthier Place. It Got Angrier Instead,” investigative reporters Keach Hagey and Jeff Horwitz document the social media company’s changes in its algorithms, adjustments that the company supposedly made to increase meaningful social interaction, or MSI. Although data scientists working for Facebook concluded that “[m]isinformation, toxicity, and violent content are inordinately prevalent among reshares,” the company resisted removing the boost that its algorithms gave to content most likely to be reshared by a long chain of users. In essence, the change had the opposite effect of its apparent aim.

And Moving Beyond Summary

Composing a summary seves as a useful follow-up to reading. Identifying the key points in a piece of writing and presenting them in your own words–and perhaps including a brief quotation–demonstrates that you understand what you’ve read.

When you move beyond summary to analysis, you shift your focus from a description of the subject to a close study of what the text means and how the writer constructs that meaning.

The movement from summary to argument–the move you will make in your final essay–involves a different turn. Rather than focusing on what the text means and how the writer constructs that meaning, you are placing the writer in conversation other credible sources on the subject and finding your own place in the conversation.

Next Up

On Wednesday, October 6, you will submit your completed Check, Please! Worksheet for the fourth lesson in the series. If you misplace your worksheet and cannot print a copy, complete the assignment on a sheet of notebook paper. Be sure to submit it at the beginning of class on Wednesday.

Also, on Wednesday you will receive your draft of your midterm reflection with my notes, and you will have the class period to begin revising your essay.

Work Cited

Hagey, Keach, and Jeff Horwitz. “Facebook Tried to Make its Platform a Healthier Place. It Got Angrier Instead. Internal Memos Show How a Big 2018 Change Rewarded Outrage and that CEO Mark Zuckerberg Resisted Proposed Fixes.” Wall Street Journal, Sep 15, 2021. ProQuest,