Summary, Point, & Question Assignment


The Summary, Point, and Question (SPQ) assignment applies to multiple required readings in the class.   SPQs are indicated in the “Quizzes and Written Assignments” column of the online syllabus.  For each SPQ, please construct an outline of the main points of the reading, followed by a point and a question.  Include three headings in your SPQ: “Summary,” “Point,” and “Question.”  Even though all this explanation of how to do the SPQ assignment might make it seem like it’s a long and complicated thing to do, it’s really pretty basic once you have the format down – you summarize the reading, make a point, and ask a question.   Also, depending on the reading, your entire SPQ need be no longer than one, maybe two pages, single-spaced.



For this section, construct a numbered list of main points and sub-points.  For each number, write out the point in a full or partial sentence, being sure not to simply write a topic or heading.   You can insert a heading above the points to indicate the section in the reading, if you want, but the numbered point in your SPQ should capture the meaning of the point with words that will be intelligible to you (and others) when you look back at it for later study.  After main point, include sub-points.  Be sure to further indent those sub points in your list.


So the summary section will look something like this:



1.    The Indian subcontinent is incredibly diverse.  Koller gives these examples:

a.    Geography:  Modern day nations of Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India

b.    Languages: More than a hundred

                                                                                                                      i.     Ten language in the north, based in Sanskrit, known as Indo-Aryan

                                                                                                                    ii.     Four languages in the South, known as Dravidian

c.    Foreign influences via migrations, conquest, and trade . . .


                  Etc. . . . .




Follow your summary with a point about the reading – something that strikes you and gets you thinking.  Avoid saying that you liked or didn’t like the reading, or commenting on the authors style.  Instead, say something about the material that will revive your thoughts later and that you can offer in class.


So the point passage will look something like this:


I had no idea that India had so many diverse languages, but it makes sense that it does given its geographical diversity.  Languages must be able to thrive in different parts of India without much contact with each other, especially in the mountains.  




Then write a question that occurs to you.  Make sure that it isn’t a simple factual question, i.e., a question that ends the conversation rather than fueling it.   A question that ends the conversation is something like this: “What’s the population size of modern India?”   The answer is about 1.3 billion; conversation over.   But if you ask “how does India’s huge population related to the incredible diversity of religious traditions in India?” then you’ve fueled the conversation by getting us to scratch our heads and speculate, maybe draw on what other people have said about this matter.


So the question passage will look something like this:


Given that India’s population is so vast and diverse, why is such a large percentage of its people Hindu?






Okay, once you’ve done your summary, point, and question, you need to title the page(s) and the digital document exactly as follows before you submit to your Google file (yes, you have one for the class!).  Put the title at the top of the page on one line and without any spaces above it.


         Title the page itself as follows:  SPQ# [assigned reading as it appears in the right column of the syllabus] [Your last name]


So it will look like this:  SPQ01 Koller Ch 4 Snodgrass

Title your digital document as follows:  SPQ# [your last name]


So it will look like this:  SPQ01 Snodgrass




I’ve shared your Google file for the course with you.   Except for in-class assignments and exams, all of your written work goes into your google file by the deadline given in the syllabus.  An assignment submission that is submitted by any amount of time after the deadline will be considered late.  Late assignments will be accepted for one week at half-points.  The assignment will not be accepted after one week past the deadline.