SUMMARIES AND
CRITIQUES
Sometimes it’s difficult to tell the difference
between a summary and a critique.
What do you think is the difference between a
summary and a critique?
Today’s Writing Assignment

You will be assigned to writing a summary and a critique for
The Outsiders.

So, take good notes, for you can use them to do today’s
assignment (how did you like my FANBOYS usage?  )
Summaries
A summary does…
Begin with a topic sentence,
telling the reader what they are
about to read
A summary does not…
judge or evaluate what you
read. – no opinions!
restate what you read/saw
in your own words.
maintain a neutral and
objective stance.
use irrelevant or unnecessary
details.

We first meet our narrator, fourteen-year-old Ponyboy, as he's walking
home from the movies – alone, which is something we know he's not
supposed to be doing. Ponyboy lives in a dangerous area. His East Side
neighborhood is patrolled by bullying Socials, rich kids from the West Side
of town. Pony's a Greaser and defenseless Greasers are the Socials'
favorite targets. Sure enough, Ponyboy is attacked by a carload of Socials
when he's in a vacant lot, just minutes from his home. Luckily his older
brothers – Darry and Sodapop – and the rest of his gang – Steve, TwoBit, Johnny, and Dallas – come to his rescue and chase away the Socials.
We learn that Ponyboy and his brothers lost their parents recently in a car
accident.
Summary
Critiques
A critique does…
A critique does not…
Begin with a topic sentence, telling
restate what you read—it is not a
the reader what they are about to read
summary!
Assess or analyze what you read/saw.
offer interpretations, opinions, and
judgments about what you read/saw.
give evidence, from the text or media,
to support your evaluation.
repeat unimportant or irrelevant
details.
have an overly biased tone or style.
use slang or overly casual language.

Parents need to know that this story of peer pressure, rebellion, and
identity centers on two rival groups of teens, the lower-class "outsider"
Greasers and the more well-heeled, popular Socs (short for Socials). It
includes fighting, underage drinking, delinquent behavior, a rumble, a fatal
stabbing, and a suicide. But the indelible characters and compelling story
have consistently hooked middle school kids, teens, and reluctant readers
since The Outsiders was first published in 1967. This book appeals to
preteens (many read it in sixth grade) because that's the time when kids
break into social cliques and life becomes tribal. The feelings of being
ostracized are timeless -- which is why this book is still so relevant more
than 40 years after its original publication. Kids may also want to check
out Francis Ford Coppola's 1983 film version.

Critique
Both
should…
 be written using the present tense (he remembers, she points out, the essay has).
 include the title of the piece you’re writing about and the author’s name.
 begin with a topic sentence, telling the reader what they are about to read
•
•
•
Example Topic Sentences
Summary = The Outsiders, by SE Hinton, is a story about the three Curtis
boys that find family with a town gang called the Greasers. The novel
begins…
Critique = The Outsiders,by SE Hinton, is an entertaining novel that grabs
the attention of it’s readers in the exposition with a wonderfully exciting
scene. The visual and sound effects were done well considering….
 after the initial introduction of the author, you should refer to him or her
by last name only.
 be proofread before the final draft.
Fashion Police

In a summary,

The fashion police
would just describe what
they see people wearing.
They would not say
whether or not they
liked the outfit.
Fashion Police

In a critique,

The fashion police would pick a part
of the outfit they didn’t like and explain
why they didn’t like it. Then, they might
tell a part of the outfit that they liked
and explain why. They would end with
a final judgment or rating of the outfit.
They would not describe the whole
outfit first!
Now it’s your tur n…
 You will be assigned to writing a summary or a critique for The
Outsiders.
 In your writing, be sure to use correct grammar, spelling, caps, and
punctuation.
 You must also use a topic sentence that shows if the paragraph will be a
summary or a critique. Use your notes!
 You have 15 minutes!
 If you finish early, go back and proofread your writing and make any
necessary corrections.
EXIT TICKET
Read your shoulder partner’s writing.
Then, decide if the piece is a summary or a critique.
After deciding, explain why you believe the piece of
writing is a summary or a critique. Cite evidence from
their paper to prove your answer!
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Summaries and critiques - Stewarts Creek Middle School