The purpose: This assignment is an opportunity to prepare for the summarizing element of the Topic Essay assignment. Summarizing complicated information is a very different skill from outlining, requiring you to have a clear understanding of the information that you are sharing, so that you can distill it down to its essence and share that in a clear and compelling way. While students often think that they don’t have practice at this, in fact, you do! This task involves the same skills that talented users of social media use, especially in the mediums of Twitter, Instagram, and short-format video sites like Vine (defunct) and TikTok; to some degree, texting also permits this kind of presentation. Thus, this assignment gives you a chance to practice summarizing complex material using a format with which many of you are familiar.
Guidelines for social media summaries:
For social media summary assignment , first choose your social media format: Twitter, Instagram, short-form video, or text. Each of these has space and time limitations. If you choose short-form video, it should be no more than one minute. If Twitter or text, you may create a short chain of tweets or texts (no more than five tweets or texts of no more than 280 characters each). If Instagram, a photo and visible caption (no extending the caption into comments).
Within the constraints of the format you have chosen, provide a summary of the article/chapters that are the focus of the assignment. Remember, a summary is not an outline of the information covered – it is, instead, an overview which gives the reader/viewer a high-level sense of what the article says. One way to think of this is to cover what question or topic the authors address, why it’s important or interesting, and what they conclude.
Remember to take advantage of what these media offer you. In tweets and IG, hashtags can be an important way of conveying information. Text speak is absolutely acceptable, as are emojis. In short-form videos, background and soundtrack can be useful. In other words, these are not academic performances in limited space – they are exemplars of the social media platform you choose.