Using Sources, Page 5


A summary is a concise restatement in the writer's own words of the main ideas in a source; a summary, as its name implies, is substantially shorter than the original. Summary is useful when writers wish to report on the ideas of others without getting bogged down in unnecessary detail.

An Example

This example is from The Harbrace College Handbook, Twelfth Edition, pp. 416-17.

Source (from Don Davies, Maximizing Examination Performance, New York: Nichols, 1986)

Competition during study and practice sessions can be an incentive and a useful motivation technique provided it is used wisely and is closely related to the needs of individuals. Moderate competition between students provides interest and enjoyment, but it can be disastrous and destroy morale if too much importance is attached to the results. Motivation will also be weakened if an individual is either being continuously outclassed or is surpassing the other students with ease. Competition between low-skilled people tends to disrupt performance but for highly skilled people performance tends to be enhanced. (Davies 27)


According to Don Davies, competition can hurt students if the results are emphasized too much. But moderate competition can help improve both the motivation and performance of highly skilled students who are evenly matched (27).