Summary Response Essay Examples and Organization Format


Summary Response Essay Examples and Organization Format

In order to write well, you need to practice good reading skills. You can’t expect to understand something just by glancing over it once. Writing a summary response essay is like writing a critique essay. In this article, we will show you some summary response essay examples you will need to develop your writing skills.

Meaning of Summary Response Essay?


A summary is a concise paraphrase of all the main ideas in an essay. It cites the author and the title (usually in the first sentence); it contains the essay’s thesis and supporting ideas; this may use direct quotation of forceful or concise statements of the author’s ideas.

A summary will NOT usually cite the author’s examples or supporting details unless they are central to the main idea. Most summaries present the major points in the order that the author made them and continually refer back to the article being summarized (i.e. “Damon argues that …” or “Goodman also points out that … “). The summary should take up no more than one-third the length of the work being summarized.


A response is a critique or evaluation of the author’s essay. Unlike the summary, it is composed of YOUR opinions in relation to the article being summarized. It examines ideas that you agree or disagree with and identifies the essay’s strengths and weaknesses in reasoning and logic, in quality of supporting examples, and in organization and style.

A good response is persuasive; therefore, it should cite facts, examples, and personal experience that either refutes or supports the article you’re responding to, depending on your stance.

Organizational Formats for Summary/Response Essays

1. Present the summary in a block of paragraphs, followed by the response in a block:

  • Intro/thesis
  • Summary (two to three paragraphs)
  • Agreement (or disagreement)
  • Disagreement (or agreement)
  • Conclusion

Note: Some essays will incorporate both agreement and disagreement in a response, but this is not mandatory.

2. Introduce the essay with a short paragraph that includes your thesis. Then, each body paragraph summarizes one point and responds to it, and a conclusion wraps the essay up.

  • Intro/thesis
  • Summary point one; agree/disagree
  • Summary point two; agree/disagree
  • Summary point three; agree/disagree
  • Conclusion

Summary Response Essay Examples

Example 1:

Article Used: The Year That Changed Everything – TIME

No one knew at the time, but 1948 launched three men toward their destinies


In his informative essay, “The Year that Changed Everything,” Lance Morrow claims that 1948 should be considered a pivotal one in American history. The author says this year was one in which future Presidents Nixon, Kennedy, and Johnson went through “formative ordeals.”

He explains how each man’s life was changed through decisions to reveal or conceal secrets. Nixon rose in politics through attempting to uncover communist activity in the Alger Hiss case. Kennedy prepared for the presidency by concealing his Addison’s disease and allowing his family to cover up family sexual indiscretions.

Johnson hid the questionable balloting in his congressional election. Morrow also mentions other provoking secrets of this era such as Kinsey’s sex report, DDT, and Orwell’s novel, 1984. He alludes to changes in world events by noting Gandhi’s assassination, The Marshall Plan and the birth of the State of Israel. Suggestively, Morrow notes that in this year of secrets and the birth of television Americans questioned again whether they were moral or immoral people.


I think that this essay is very thought-provoking even though I do not think Morrow clearly connects his examples to his thesis, and I think his explanations are weak throughout. I also think that his choice of 1948 is rather arbitrary for some of the examples.

For instance, Kennedy found out about his illness in 1947 and concealed it until his death, so why focus on 1948? Nevertheless, I do think that Morrow convinces me that 1948 was a “seedbed” for a chance in the way in which Americans viewed themselves, politicians and the political process.

Our current adversarial politics and distrust in politicians do seem to be rooted back in the Vietnam era and Watergate, the era when these three Presidents were in charge of our country. Finally, I like the idea that at the core, Americans believe it is important to question: “Are we a good people or bad people?”

Example 2:


In “Children Need to Play, Not Compete,” Jessica Statsky debates whether competitive sports are necessary for young children before their adolescent years. Statsky believes that competitiveness should belong to adult sports only because children psychologically are not ready to stop having fun on the field or in the gym in favour of a more serious attitude.

Among other reasons against an adult-like approach to sports is unreadiness of children bodies to endure heavy physical stresses, which can lead to injuries. Because of that unpreparedness, some children may be written off as unsuitable for certain kinds of sports while getting older the same children could show great results.

Statsky offers to divide sports activities for children under 12-14 years and those over that age. The latter could practice being competitive while the former could enjoy just playing and spending time with friends. The reason for that is that apart from the ability to compete, children need to develop an ability to cooperate, as well.


I find Jessica Statsky’s position reasonable. Not all people are born with a competitive streak. The least we can do for our children is to postpone their emergence to the reality of the dog-eat-dog world.

Therefore, it would be fair to create such conditions under which everyone’s needs could be tended. Taking into consideration the obvious physical and psychological harm mentioned in the article, I agree that it would be wise for sports officials to create special programs for younger children.

However, I am not sure whether it is necessary to develop competitiveness at all. I suppose there are children who are ambitious; hence, actually, they do not need to be encouraged to compete – they are always ready for that.

However, at the same time, there are many children who do not want to feel anxiety when they need to perform before other people. I agree with Statsky that younger children can miss the point of winning. It is not important for most of them.

Actually, I do not believe that competition is so good for self-esteem. People need to value themselves not because they are better than somebody else but because they are who they are. Competition violates the concept to a great extent. I know some children who have won feel sorry about those defeated.

I would support such feelings. In the game, the winner is one. It automatically makes all the rest losers. The defeated children feel ashamed and crestfallen. What positive reinforcement a child can obtain from that lesson?

All usual benefits of competitive sports can be gained without actual competition. In fact, I believe that it is the cooperation we need to teach more. With the help of cooperation, children can learn how to work in teams, improve their skills, and face challenges.

continue reading…

The American nation is great at competing; competition lies at the core of our mentality. However, being able to cooperate brings better results and makes oneself feel better. I insist that the only person we need to compete with is ourselves.

Each of us should remember himself/herself yesterday and try to be better tomorrow. I think it will be enough for a fruitful and fulfilling life. As for sports, I would leave it to professional athletes. Young children should undertake physical activity for fun.

Join Over 500,000+ Readers Online Now!



COPYRIGHT WARNING! Contents on this website may not be republished, reproduced, redistributed either in whole or in part without due permission or acknowledgement. All contents are protected by DMCA.

The content on this site is posted with good intentions. If you own this content & believe your copyright was violated or infringed, make sure you contact us at [[email protected]] to file a complaint and actions will be taken immediately.



Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply