Chapter review

Academic Summary

Your assignment this week is to summarize the recent US Supreme Court decision in Little Sisters of the Poor Sts. Peter & Paul Home v. Pennsylvania (591 U.S. ___ (2020)) in only 350-400 words. The goal of this assignment is to help you perfect a concise, professional writing voice, so you must remain within this word count. Summaries should make clear the facts and the ruling in the case.

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You are also not allowed to use a single form of the verb “to be” (am, is, are, was, were, be, being, or been). These verbs are an integral part of passive voice, which hurts your writing’s clarity and concision when used incorrectly. While your future graduate assignments likely won’t completely ban using passive voice, you want to be in the habit of using active voice whenever possible. Thus, this assignment completely bans the passive voice to help you practice utilizing the active voice.

Please review this weeks’ short, free e-textbook Writing Professionally with Clarity and Concision before beginning this summary. It will help you learn more about writing concisely, using active voice, and avoiding plagiarism.



The summary must be 350-400 words (citations included).
You should give a clear overview of the facts of the case and the Supreme Court’s holding, so you must be judicious in how you utilize this short word count.
Do not use “to be” verbs (am, is, are, was, were, be, being, or been.
Paraphrase whenever possible instead of directly quoting the material you’re summarizing.
If you absolutely need to use a quote, you must limit the quote to 3-4 words. No exceptions.
Write behind the author as your source. This means consistently mentioning him as you summarize his material: e.g., “The Chief Justice writes,…” etc.
Provide a one to two sentence summary of the entire chapter at the beginning of your first paragraph and a one to two sentence conclusion in your last paragraph.
These summaries do not follow APA style as that information won’t be covered until Week 5. Instead, format each summary as follows:

First and last name and page number in the top-right corner of the header (not the text area, the actual header).
1″ margins on all sides.
Lesson name as the title.
Cite each reference of the text with parentheses (page number only e.g., “Justice Ginsburg states…” (46).)
Be sure each sentence is clear and grammatically correct.
Double-space the text.
Indent all paragraphs 1/2″ (paragraph = ~125-200 words).
NOTE: Since you are paraphrasing and summarizing a Supreme Court case (not writing original opinion or analysis), you are expected to include citations throughout most sentences (if not every one) of the summary to practice avoiding plagiarism. You MAY use news articles about the case as sources.

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