Compsci 82, Fall 2009, Reading Synopses

Find examples of synopsese earning scores of 4 and 2 here.

Each of you will turn in three synopses on the group of readings for the group you're a member of. Each group will turn in three required synopses, there will be an opportunity to turn in extra synopses as well.

You'll turn in a synopsis as indicated on the syllabus page , you can find your group from the groups page.

For Compsci 82, a synopsis should incorporate both a summary of what you've read and your reaction to the topic discussed in the readings. The summary should include what you think the main points are as they relate to technical, social, legal and ethical aspects of the Internet and technology. The reaction should be your own thoughts and reaction to what you have read.


The summary serves two purposes: for you to demonstrate that you've read and understood the material and to help you better grasp the readings by the process of condensing them into a much smaller form. You should decide what the main ideas of the readings are and summarize them. The main ideas might be factual or informational, but they might be argumentative in terms of taking a stance about an issue. Your summary should make it clear what you think the main ideas are and that you've understood something of the technical, social, legal, and ethical aspects of the readings. Not all readings will have all of those aspects, but you should work to incorporate these aspects whenever possible.


Your reaction to the readings is what you think about the readings. For readings that are primarily informational or factual your reaction could include questions raised by the readings, issues you would like to understand in more depth, or aspects you thought the papers/authors conveyed well or poorly --- with justification for your reactions.

For readings that are more argumentative, persuasive, or positional (rather than being primarily factual) you should react to what the authors are saying based on your own knowledge and experience. You're not expected to do more research or readings, but to react and explain your thoughts, feelings, questions about what you've read.


In evaluating a synopsis we're looking for a good summary that makes it clear you've read and understood the articles/papers. The main ideas you summarize should be recognizable as such to others who have read the materials. Your synopsis might be for several related readings --- we'll evaluate the summary part of your synopsis based on how well you combine and synthesize the big ideas. The summary should go beyond merely restating ideas --- think of it as an abstract of the entire work or works you've read.

Your reaction should be justified to some extent. We're interested in your thoughts and feelings about the readings, but we'd like to know why you've reacted to the readings in the way you indicate in your synopsis.