Provide a summary of the third season of The Wire for an audience who has not seen the show. The summaries should run 1000 words.
This is an exercise in summarization (of course) and extreme concision. As is the case in innumerable professional situations, your job is to synthesize an enormous body of information in one very small space—and then another space less than a third the size.
You might be wondering: if your (imagined) audience hasn’t seen the show, should you avoid spoilers? The answer is no. Spoil away. Your audience is too busy to watch the series in the foreseeable future, so they have paid you for this summary. You tried to talk them out of it but the price was right.
Your summaries should be interesting and understandable for an uninitiated audience.
Your writing should show ample evidence of having been revised revision via Richard Lanham’s “paramedic method.” The content should thoroughly present The Wire to your audience, despite the assignment’s constraints.
You should get as close to the prescribed word count as possible, with a “grace” area of 10 words. The word count does not include the title, heading, etc. Think of these arbitrary constraints as productive conditions against which your writing—and thorough rewriting and revision—will push and pull. Through this process, you will constantly ask which material can fit, which needs to be condensed or expanded, which needs to be cut, and so on.