Research summary writing is an occasional assignment. However, it doesn’t mean that students have to neglect its importance. Summary of research paper is a handy piece that helps you understand what the given study is about. It is especially vital when working on an extensive task that requires a thorough analysis of the topic. But what is research writing, why is it important, and how to write a summary paper? The article answers these and other crucial questions.
Research Summary Definition
A research summary is a written piece that wraps up the content of the article you have read. It is a condensed version of the scholarly document on the given topic. It is not the most assigned task, but it has gained its significance within the last years. When it comes to the purpose of research summary writing, it aims to develop students’ formal writing and critical thinking abilities. Apart from that, it helps with completing theses and dissertations and synthesizes scientific sources that can be used to write the mentioned final works.
How to Write a Research Summary
Before beginning, you have to define the article’s word count. The more extensive the article is, the larger your summary should be. For instance, take a look at the following criteria. Meeting it, you ensure getting a full-fledged, professional piece. An excellent summary:
- Condenses the original text
As a rule, it has to be one-fourth to one-third as long as the original text. Overall, the length depends upon the purpose of the piece. As for research summary writing, your piece has to be no longer than 30% of the original article.
- Consists of only the most crucial information
If you are not sure whether the included information is essential, ask yourself a question, “Is this element important enough for the reader to know about the topic?”
- Includes the article’s main points
It has to demonstrate only the ideas portrayed by the authors of the given article. Make sure to avoid including biased information, opinions, or other assumptions.
- Demonstrates your style
Meaning, it has to be written by you. You shouldn’t copy and paste it. Whenever you paraphrase or quote sentences, you have to give credit to the authors.
- Is written in one of the formats
When crafting this piece, ensure following a proper formatting style and structure.
How to Write a Research Summary: a Step-By-Step Guide
The process of research summary writing doesn’t differ from, let’s say, research paper writing. There are several standard steps to follow when composing a top-notch paper in the long run. They are:
- Go quickly through the article
Try to point out the main ideas from every section to get a clear picture of what the authors try to convey to the reader. Depending on your major, you may observe specific examples. They aim to help you understand the importance of content and its possible implications.
- Examine the article in-depth
You have to be competent in the topic and analyze several sources to know how to write a summary paper. Keep in mind that sometimes you will have to read much more literature that you may be required. Neglecting to do that results in a low-quality and unconvincing piece.
- Note down crucial information
While reading, don’t forget to summarize content gradually. For instance, if the article you are reading is divided into several sections, write a brief summary of each paragraph. It will help you organize your thoughts, and you will get a peerless summary at the end of a research paper. However, write the most necessary information only. There is a thin boundary between informative and wordy.
- Craft an outline
An outline is one of the most underrated but useful elements of successful and productive writing. In short, it is a layout that helps you remain organized and include the most important ideas in the paper. You are free to write it in whatever style you want, as you don’t have to submit it to the teacher (unless required otherwise).
- Write the first draft
Compose the first version of your work, paying no attention to possible mistakes. Just make sure to include all the characteristic elements (keep reading to learn them).
Research Summary Structure
Although a summary is a shortened version of the research paper, it has to be as informative as possible. That is why it is highly recommended to follow the same structure as the original piece has. A standard format of a summary may be as follows:
- Research question/problem
A good summary starts with a research question that will be answered by the author.
This section aims to explain the importance of such research.
- Theoretical framework
Here, you have to demonstrate within what framework the author conducts the investigation. Meaning, which models or scientific theories the author uses to answer the research question.
When working on this paragraph, you have to explain how the analysis has been carried out. You don’t have to delve into this section too much. Remain on the surface and deliver a short description of the data collected and processed.
- Outcomes and implications
Simply point out the most critical findings and their implications.
Answer the research question without adding any new information.
- Your take
This is an optional section. Depending on your major and discipline, you may have to explain the study from your perspective. If your professor encourages you to include this component, then make sure to write the elements you agree and disagree with. Explain why you think the arguments are relevant or otherwise. Barring this section, the entire summary needs to be objective.
How to Write a Summary of a Research Paper: Useful Tips
Below is a checklist of some handy tips you may want to use when working on research summaries:
- Abolish wordiness
Academic writing is famous for its extensive sentences, passive voice structures, and adverbs. To make your piece readable, eliminate adverbs and hard-to-follow sentences.
- Avoid the first person
Since you have to remain unbiased, you can’t include “I” when writing. Instead, use the third-person perspective.
- Use accurate language
To prove the hypothesis, you have to analyze most works on the given topic. Instead of proving, support them, or fail to find support.
- Re-read your piece
It is always great to proofread everything. By reading it, you will polish your text to a shine. If you can, ask your peers to check it, as well.
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