Throughout the course of the semester, we’ll encounter writers who are familiar with texts that we’ve never (but probably should have or should soon) read. The purpose of this assignment, therefore, is to ask you to seek out and read a touchstone text (published in the seventeenth, eighteenth, or early nineteenth century) that the writers and thinkers we discuss know well but that you don’t.

As you read the text you’ve selected, you should generate a summary that you will cut and paste into a collaborative document so that the whole class can learn from and share in your work. No two students in the class, therefore, can read and summarize the same text. Your summary should be between 500-1000 words, and you may organize it however you like — although it’s useful to organize your summary with the needs of unfamiliar readers in mind. Section headings are helpful, as are key pointers that indicate the relationship between where a reader is in your summary and where your summary is with regards to your primary text.

Following your summary, you should provide another 1-2 single-spaced pages of key passages from your text that you think would be helpful for your readers to have ready-to-hand.

Be sure to include a full MLA citation for your text so that we know what edition you’re working it, although it would also be a good idea for you to identify, locate, and work with the standard edition.

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