Free Essay

Us Versus Them in "It Takes a Tribe"

In: English and Literature

Submitted By jbisho1
Words 521
Pages 3
English W131
Elementary Composition

Microtheme 1: From Summary to Analysis

Description: 500 words, plus MLA-format Works Cited page Source: Berreby, “It Takes Tribe” RAW 8 - 12 Total Points: 50 (10 – summary, 40 – analysis) Due Date: Summary draft (2 copies) due Fri, 1-24; Final draft due Weds, 2-5

The Assignment

This assignment asks you to summarize “It Takes Tribe” and then analyze a significant piece of evidence from Berreby’s essay. To complete the assignment, prepare two well-developed paragraphs: 1. A 200-word summary in which you restate in your own words the content of “It Takes Tribe”, focusing on Berreby’s central claim and the main points that support it. The language of your summary should be independent of the original and contain few, if any, quotations. The summary must be accurate and complete, communicating your understanding of the essay as a whole and its purpose. It should be understandable to a reader who is not already familiar with Berreby’s essay. 2. A 300-word analysis in which you identify and analyze one important assumption or pattern of repetition and contrast from Berreby’s essay. Explore the significance of the evidence you have chosen. Connect the pattern or assumption you analyze to Berreby’s main claim to show your reader the logical links you see between the two.


Read the essay carefully, identifying Berreby’s main claim and the key ideas that support that claim. Remember that the thrust of the argument may come later in the piece—it’s your job to locate it and reframe it for your audience. Once you have a clear sense of Berreby’s argument, paraphrase by substituting your own words for the original. Using transitions, attributive tags, and strong verbs arrange your sentences so they read logically and smoothly. Be sure to frequently check your summary against the original for accuracy, objectivity, and completeness.

In the analytical paragraph, identify a key unstated assumption and/or pattern of repetition and contrast that shows what is important to Berreby. Make sure the analysis of this pattern and/or assumption is focused on specific textual details. Connect these details to Berreby’s main claim that you presented in the summary (see WA 166-167 and 170-172). Doing this will help you show your reader why the evidence you have chosen to analyze is significant. Use WA’s sections on “The Method” (26-32) and “Uncovering Assumptions” (91-94) to help you focus on the details in the essay instead of your reaction to it.

Criteria for Evaluation 1. Does the analysis identify and focus on a specific pattern and/or assumption? Does the analysis rely on specific evidence? Is the significance of this evidence explored? 2. Does the analysis and summary remain independent, brief, and objective by paraphrasing the author’s words, using a minimum of quotations, and avoiding judgment or personal response? 3. Is the summary of the central claim and supporting details complete and given appropriate emphasis reflective of the original? 4. Does the analysis and summary exhibit brevity and coherence through a logical flow of ideas and the use of transitions, attributive tags, and strong verbs?…...

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