Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Sample Summary

The summary below is of an article to be summarized by students in a section of ENG 202: Technical Writing and Presentation at Technical Career Institutes for which I served as a midterm exam proctor.  It conforms to the standards for summaries in my own classes at that institution, which are discussed here.

Sam Howe Verhovek's "Mars in 39 Days" appears in the November 2010 issue of Popular Science.  In the article, Verhovek discusses the idea Chang Díaz has for a craft to take a manned mission to Mars and points beyond.  That idea is to use a magnetically-driven plasma engine to propel the craft at a speed of approximately 123,000 miles per hour, which will greatly reduce the transit time from Earth to Mars.  If successfully tested, the idea could possibly be used to support interplanetary transit of goods and people, allowing for effective colonization of the Solar System.  Verhovek also offers biographical data about Díaz and his experiences in and with space programs, helping to contextualize the discussion.  The article effectively conveys the hope of its subject and the potential of its material, presenting an optimistic view of the prospects of a return to human exploration of space.

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