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Online Guide to Writing and Research

Academic Integrity and Documentation

Practicing Academic Integrity

Managing Source Material

Summarizing Your Sources

A summary contains the significant points of a longer section of the source material presented in your own syntax. It is often drawn from the topic sentences of the paragraphs. As with paraphrasing, a summary demonstrates that you understand the material enough to include it and it more readily integrates into your own style of writing. 

Use summarizing in your writing to

  • present only the essential information of the source material in your own phrasing and fewer words

  • demonstrate that you understand the original material 

  • maintain consistency of style throughout your paper

Remember that you must give credit to the original source following the preferred style guide (e.g., APA, MLA, etc.) of your instructor and/or academic discipline.

“A second way in which increased dopamine release affects us during adolescence is the documented increase in our susceptibility to addiction. All behaviors and substances that are addictive involve the release of dopamine. As teens not only are we more likely to experiment with new experiences, we are also more prone to respond with a robust dopamine release that for some can become part of an addictive cycle. A drug, alcohol for example, can lead to release of dopamine, and we may feel compelled to ingest beer or wine or hard liquor. When the alcohol wears off, our dopamine plummets. We then are driven to use more of the substance that spike our dopamine circuits … As with any addiction, we continue to engage in the behavior despite knowing its negative impacts on our health. That’s the power of the dopamine reward” (Siegel, 2013, pp. 68-69).

Adolescents, more so than any other age group, are more likely to have a greater release of dopamine to novel experiences and drugs, which makes them more susceptible to addiction. The cycle of dopamine releasing and then falling after consuming a drug like alcohol causes teens, especially, to desire and seek that next dopamine release even while knowing the cons that come with said consumption (Siegel, 2013, pp. 68-69).

Key Takeaway

To summarize a source means to extract only the relevant points and conclusions of the source material, put them in your own phrasing, and still give credit to the source material.

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