Even though research-based assignments form an important component of the assessment in most of the classes I teach, I equally value assignments that ask students to pause and closely read assigned texts, putting texts in dialogue with each other to produce concise synthetic analyses. The sample essay and glossary assignments, below, are examples of this. The assignment titled Book Review teaches students the skill of digesting a large text, pulling out the main argument and sinews, and evaluating the strength of the scholarship.