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Step 1: Read the following passage:
During the last three decades — let us say, ever since the irreplaceable Pennsylvania Station was torn down in 1962 — there has developed, along with tough Landmark Preservation Law, a poignant veneration for [New York City's] remaining architectural treasures. Meanwhile, some of our best novelists, such as E.L. Doctorow, Toni Morrison, Don DeLillo, and Oscar Hijuelos, have invested considerable energy in stories about the New York of their — or their parents' — youth. The result is a revival of rich historical fiction bordering on memoir — alongside a seeming reluctance to capture the New York City of the present. The power that New York once had to compel tributes of description from even reluctant observers seems to have waned, while young American writers explore the mysteries of small town and suburb.

— From the introduction to Writing New York: A Literary Anthology,
©1998 by Philip Lopate
Step 2: You may want to read the paragraph one more time. Then, using your own words, explain the key point (or points) of the passage in the box below:

Step 3: Read the following two sentences:

A) Nowadays many writers seem more interested in the city as it was generations ago than they are in the New York City of today.

B) In the introduction to Writing New York, Philip Lopate claims that nowadays many writers seem more interested in the city as it was generations ago than they are in the New York City of today.
What's the difference between these two sentences? Explain below:

Step 4: Now, read the following student paragraphs about an article they read in a newspaper:

A) Brooklyn's problem, according to Ron Purfling, is that it suffers from an inferiority complex. In order to overcome its second-best status, Brooklyn needs to distinguish itself from its wealthier neighbor and celebrate its own unique history and culture.

B) I don't agree with Purfling at all. Most people in Brooklyn feel like they are just New Yorkers. Sure, they are proud of their borough, but I don't think anybody really cares that Manhattan is bigger or wealthier. Maybe they even like having a quieter place to go home to at the end of the day. And in Brooklyn, there aren't all those tourists crowding the streets.
What is the difference in how these students approach the article? Explain in the box below:

Have you received an assignment that calls for a summary? Do Your Own is a section that can help you get started.

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