1. Summary. Select a passage or set of passages that provide one important concept from the reading. It’s helpful if you can identify a core question that’s crucial to the reading. Examples: “what is the role of the puppeteers in the Allegory of the Cave” or “why does Rawls think that can’t a democratic society be a community?”. Summarize this passage in your own words. Show that you can explain to another person what this passage is saying.
2. Analysis. Give a more detailed analysis of this passage based on critical questions that you are going to ask of the text. Examples of critical questions:
a. what is the author trying to prove or establish?
b. what assumptions is the author making?
c. what is the author’s reasoning in getting from the assumptions (or premises) to what he or she is trying to establish (or conclusion)?
d. why does the author introduce these ideas at this point? What is the place of this passage within the work as a whole?
Quotations should be correctly cited; please ask if you’re not sure how to do this!
3. Response. Do you agree with the author? Why or why not? Do you have objections to what he or she says? If so, what are your reasons for disagreement with him or her? If you agree with him or her, why is that? Are there further consequences that you’d like to examine?