Overview and Purpose
For your first précis, write a short essay in which you summarize and analyze Susan
Bennett’s, “Making Up the Audience.” The purpose of this précis is to engage Bennett’s
main ideas, her central examples, and methodologies closely so as to better understand
them. Writing a précis will enhance you reading, writing, and critical skills. This essay
should include the following two components:
Articulation of the Argument
What is the author’s main argument? Can you clearly articulate her thesis? Are there any
key sub-arguments? What are the main examples that she gives to bolster and expand
upon her ideas? What are the methods that she uses to investigate these examples? While
you may use quotes, attempt to restate the author’s thesis in your own words.
Critique the essay from your own perspective. If possible, avoid generalizations (i.e. “I
really liked this article!”). Instead, critique how and why Bennett’s argument was useful
or not useful to you as a reader. Be specific and cite particular examples from the essay to
support your statements.
The précis should be written as a short formal essay. Use complete sentences, page
numbers, proper grammar and sentence structure, and conventional practices of citation
(preferably MLA). The précis should be written as clearly as possible. Make sure you
read over your essay after you have finished writing it. The essay should be
approximately 2-3 pages (500-750 words) in length and should be typed and doublespaced.
You will be graded on your clear articulation of Bennett’s argument, the inclusion of
your personal analysis, your ability to balance both of these components, and the overall
structure and appearance of your essay.
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