According to Swales and Feek, a good summary has three principle requirements. First, it should be focused on the specific points in the source text that are relevant to your purpose. In graduate level writing, you usually won't need to summarize an entire document, but just a small part to use as evidence, or supporting information in your own presentations or writing. Next, it should represent the source text accurately. In other words, it's not appropriate to add your own opinions or evaluations to a summary. Finally, it should condense the source text, and be written in your own words. This helps avoid plagiarism, and shows those who read your work that you understood the material. Let's try an example together. Pause this video, and read the short article that accompanies this lesson. When you're ready, press Play again. Now that you've read the short article about caffeinated energy drinks, let's review the steps for writing a summary before we get started. Number one, skim the text, and make note of the subheadings. If there aren't any subheadings, try to divide the text into sections. Number two, identify the genre or organization of the text you are working with. For example, is this a research paper, or a work of literature? Does the text follow an argumentative structure, or a narrative one? Taking the time to do this can help you focus your reading strategies. Step three, now you'll start to read the text as you read. Be sure to highlight important information, or take notes. Do not include minor details. After you finish reading, revisit each section of the text, and list the points of each section that are relevant to your task. Then try to write a one sentence summary of each one. If you're doing this to use later in a literature review, or critique assignment, it's a good idea to write your reactions or thoughts about the important sections too. Repeat this process, and make changes to your notes if necessary. Imagine that you're writing a paper about how energy drinks are potentially harmful, and you need to find information to support your claim. Let's work through our summary steps with this purpose in mind. Returning to this article, we see that subheadings are conveniently included for us. First, there's background information. Methods, results, discussion, and a conclusion. Based on these subheadings, and the fact that this article came from a scholarly journal, we can identify this text genre to be a research paper or empirical study. This is important to note, because information from research can provide very strong evidence to support our argument. Step three, highlight, or take notes about important information. Because we need to find and summarize evidence that will support our claim about the potential danger of energy drinks, we need to focus our highlighting to only relevant information. In this article, there are three sections containing information which could be relevant for our task. First, in the Background section, there is a paragraph which cites the results of other studies which found harmful effects from caffeine consumption. Next, in the Results section, we see reporting about the type and frequency of side effects that students experienced after consuming caffeinated energy drinks. Finally, the Discussion section contains a paragraph which explains that the amount of caffeine in energy drinks far exceeds the dose necessary to simply improve energy levels and cognitive functioning. Next, we need to try to condense this important relevant information to one or two sentences. Here's an example of what can be written. Despite their potentially energy-increasing effects, students who consume caffeinated energy drinks can experience harmful physical side effects. Some of these include crash episodes, headaches, and heart palpitations. This brings us to step five. Note your own opinion, or evaluation of the information if it is warranted by your purpose for summarizing. In this case, is appropriate to do so. Remember, we're hunting for information that will support our claim that energy drinks are potentially harmful. Let's return to the three sections we highlighted to jot down some thoughts. In the Background section, I'm going to make a note to remind myself to read some of these other articles, because they may contain more evidence to support our argument. In the Results section, I'm going to mark table four, which shows the percentage of side effects students experienced in relation to how many caffeinated energy drinks were consumed. That could be really useful later on. Finally, I'm going to make a note that this paragraph in the discussion has some insightful points about the levels of caffeine in energy drinks. All right, I think we have what we need, a short two sentence summary of the information from this text that is relevant for our assignment. Just to be safe, you would want to repeat this process and check your notes. Up next, you'll return to your assigned reading for the week, and practice identifying good summaries of relevant information for an assignment.