How to write a summary of a research paper

The summary of a research paper is an indispensable aid for students and researchers. Its function is to present a brief and precise summary of the crucial points and discoveries in a lengthy and unique paper. Doing so enables readers to quickly comprehend the purpose, methodologies, results, and implications of the research paper.

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It’s important to note that a research paper summary should not be construed as a critique or evaluation of the source. Instead, it should concisely and precisely represent the paper’s essential elements using your own words.

Summarizing a paper is a challenging endeavor that necessitates extensive reading and analysis. Nevertheless, appropriate guidance can make the process more manageable and less stressful. This article discusses when and how to write a summary of a research paper. It also provides elements of a practical overview and tips for writing one.

When to write a summary paper?

A summary of a research paper can be helpful for different purposes and audiences. Some situations when you may need to write a summary paper include:

Research paper publication

When submitting a research paper to a publication, you may need to provide a summary paper of your work. This will help the reviewers understand your research paper’s content quickly.

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Research paper presentation

Writing a summary can be helpful if you are planning to present a research paper at a conference or seminar. It helps the audience understand the paper’s main points without reading the entire work.

Literature review

Consider writing a summary paper if you’re conducting a literature review. It’s a valuable tool that helps summarize the key findings of the research papers you’ve reviewed.

Academic assignments

A summary is necessary if you have been assigned to read a research paper as part of class work. It helps provide accurate information, demonstrating your understanding of the paper or material provided.

Personal record keeping

A summary can be an excellent tool for guiding your research. It helps you record and remember the main points of the materials you’ve read or identified so you remember.

These are a few situations when you must write a summary of a research paper. Regardless of the scenario, always provide a clear overview so your readers can understand the original paper’s purpose, methodology, and findings.

Step-by-step guide on how to write a summary of a research paper

Writing a summary of a research paper is a great way to showcase an accurate yet concise account of your work. It helps determine if your article is worth reading or if you have understood the materials provided. As such, you must write a perfect summary to attract and engage your audiences. Here are five key steps on how to write a good overview of a research paper:

Read your research paper

Carefully read the original research paper several times to ensure you have perfectly understood the content. For the best results, approach reading by:

  • Scanning the paper to get a general idea of its topic and structure
  • Reading the article while highlighting key points and taking notes
  • Skimming through the article again and re-read any challenging sections to ensure you have understood the key points

To identify the main points, read the abstract first. This section summarizes the author’s work and provides an overview of the paper. Then examine the paper’s headings and subheadings, as they can help you understand what each section covers. You may also read and compare the introduction and conclusion to determine the research paper’s aims, purpose, and findings.

Break your content into sections

Breaking down the research paper into smaller sections helps make the content presented more manageable and understandable. You don’t need to worry if you’re dealing with a scientific paper. Such a paper often follows a standard empirical format with clearly marked sections, such as introduction, methodology, findings, and discussion.

Other papers may not have sections, so you must do it yourself. Write a phrase or word in the margin next to every paragraph to describe the paragraph’s content. Group paragraphs that cover similar topics to make work easier. Include supporting evidence and examples to support the main ideas for easy tracking.

Identify each section’s key points

Go through each section and select the most essential points. Think about what your reader needs to know to understand your research paper’s overall argument or conclusion as you do so. However, note that a summary does not require paraphrasing every paragraph. Instead, you must extract the essential points supporting the article’s argument or conclusion without additional details.

If you’re handling a scientific paper, ask questions to identify the main points in each section. For the introduction, determine the research problem or question addressed and hypotheses formulated. In the methods section, note the type of research conducted and how data was obtained and analyzed.

As for the results section, identify the essential findings and the supported hypotheses. Determine the overall answer to the research question, the author’s explanation of the results, implications of the findings, limitations, and any recommendations.

If the paper has a different structure, focus on the thesis statement and topic sentences to determine the key points. Highlight or underline the main points and ideas you can use to write a summary.

Write the summary

Using the main points, you have identified, write a summary of the research paper. Start with an introduction that provides context and sets the stage for the summary. Then, using your notes, write a paragraph summarizing each section of the paper.

Ensure you use your own words to avoid plagiarism and demonstrate your understanding of the paper. Keep the summary concise without leaving any key points to help readers understand it.

Remember to correctly cite the paper you’re summarizing to give credit to the author. How you format the paper may vary depending on your citation styles, such as MLA, APA, or Chicago. However, in most cases, you’ll need to provide in-text citations and a complete reference at the end of your research paper.

Compare your summary against the original research paper

Review the research paper once more and compare it to your summary. Ensure it accurately represents the author’s work, contains all essential information, and doesn’t have phrasing similar to the original paper.

Double-check your work, mainly if you summarize multiple research articles. Use a reliable plagiarism checker to confirm that your research paper summary is original and correctly cited.

Writing a summary of a research paper is an essential skill that requires careful reading and attention to detail. By following these five steps, you can create an accurate and concise summary that effectively communicates the main points of the research paper. With regular practice, writing summaries will become easier and more efficient.

Research paper summary example

A research paper summary example is valuable for inspiring and guiding your writing. Here’s an example to help you get started:

Title: “The Impact of Regular Exercise on Mental Health Outcomes in Adults Aged 50 and Older”

“Smith et al. (2021) investigated the impact of regular exercise on mental health outcomes in adults aged 50 and older. The study involved a randomized controlled trial with a sample of 200 participants assigned to either an exercise or a control group. The exercise group engaged thrice weekly in moderate-intensity aerobic and resistance exercises for 12 weeks.

As for the control group, it did not engage in any regular exercise. Results showed that the exercise group had significantly lower levels of depression and anxiety and improved self-esteem and overall well-being compared to the control group. The findings suggest that regular exercise can positively affect mental health outcomes in older adults.”

Elements of a practical summary for a research paper

A research paper summary often appears at the beginning of the article, after the title and abstract. You should write it perfectly to give the reader the paper’s main arguments and ideas and enable them to keep reading it. An effective summary of a research paper should be:

Concise and clear

A summary should be at most 10% of the original paper’s length. It should use simple and direct language to convey the main points and findings of the article.

Accurate and objective

A good summary should not include any personal opinions or interpretations of the paper. Instead, it should provide a brief, accurate account or overview of the author’s original work. It should not add new information or omit any essential information from the paper.

Coherent and logical

A practical summary should follow the same structure and order as the original paper. It should use transitions and connectors to link the sentences and paragraphs smoothly.

Original and plagiarism-free

The summary should use your own words to paraphrase the paper’s content. You should not copy any text from the original document or use quotation marks. Cite the source properly according to your citation style to give credit to the author and avoid plagiarism. Use a suitable plagiarism tool like Turnitin to ensure your paper is unique.

Ensure you proofread the paper and edit and compare it with your summary to ensure it accurately represents the original work. It should have captured the essential ideas, arguments, and evidence presented by the author.

How long is a summary paper?

The length of a summary paper can vary depending on the specific assignment or context. However, a summary paper should generally be shorter than the original article or text you are summarizing.

It is advisable to aim for a summary that is at least 10% of the length of the original text. If the original article is 1000 words, the summary should be around 100 long with one or several paragraphs.

However, the exact summary length may vary depending on the purpose and audience of the paper. Prioritize conveying the article’s essential information and main points over sticking to a specific word count.

Tips for writing an effective research paper summary

Writing an excellent summary of a research paper is a valuable skill that can help you understand and communicate complex ideas. A summary should provide a concise overview of the main points of a document without including irrelevant information. Below are a few tips to help you write a compelling summary:

Read the whole paper

You should read the entire paper to understand its main ideas and arguments to write a good summary. This will help you identify the most essential points to include in your summary.

Take notes as you read

While reading, note the paper’s main points, including critical arguments, evidence, and conclusions. This helps you stay organized and make it easier to write your summary.

Organize your ideas and thoughts

After reading and taking notes, organize your ideas and thoughts into a clear and concise outline. This will help you structure your summary and include all the essential information.

Write the introduction

Start your summary with a brief yet compelling introduction to grab the reader’s attention. It should provide context for the paper and introduce the author and the main argument.

State the author’s conclusions

In your research paper summary, clearly state the author’s main conclusions. Show how the findings support their argument.

Keep it precise

Ensure your summary is precise and to the point. Include only relevant information or details essential to understanding the paper’s main ideas.

Edit and proofread

Edit and proofread your summary carefully to ensure it is well-written and error-free. Check for plagiarism so you deliver a unique overview.

Writing an excellent summary of a research paper requires careful reading, note-taking, and organization. Following these tips allows you to create a concise and informative summary that effectively communicates the paper’s main points.

Seek help from experts today

Writing a summary of a research paper is daunting yet essential for various situations, such as literature review, academic assignment, and publication. It requires carefully reading the paper, breaking it into sections, and identifying the main points. Then organize and compare those points clearly and concisely with the original document to ensure accuracy. Ensure the summary includes the author’s conclusions and is precise and free of plagiarism and unnecessary details.

If you need help summarizing a research paper, seek help from professional homework paper writing services. These experts leverage their vast experience and knowledge to perfectly summarize and edit complex research papers. They ensure your research paper summary accurately accounts for the paper’s main points and is free of errors, plagiarism techniques, and writing and editing support.

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