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Research Summary – Structure, Examples and Writing Guide

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Research Summary

Research Summary

Definition:

A research summary is a brief and concise overview of a research project or study that highlights its key findings, main points, and conclusions. It typically includes a description of the research problem, the research methods used, the results obtained, and the implications or significance of the findings. It is often used as a tool to quickly communicate the main findings of a study to other researchers, stakeholders, or decision-makers.

Structure of Research Summary

The Structure of a Research Summary typically include:

  • Introduction : This section provides a brief background of the research problem or question, explains the purpose of the study, and outlines the research objectives.
  • Methodology : This section explains the research design, methods, and procedures used to conduct the study. It describes the sample size, data collection methods, and data analysis techniques.
  • Results : This section presents the main findings of the study, including statistical analysis if applicable. It may include tables, charts, or graphs to visually represent the data.
  • Discussion : This section interprets the results and explains their implications. It discusses the significance of the findings, compares them to previous research, and identifies any limitations or future directions for research.
  • Conclusion : This section summarizes the main points of the research and provides a conclusion based on the findings. It may also suggest implications for future research or practical applications of the results.
  • References : This section lists the sources cited in the research summary, following the appropriate citation style.

How to Write Research Summary

Here are the steps you can follow to write a research summary:

  • Read the research article or study thoroughly: To write a summary, you must understand the research article or study you are summarizing. Therefore, read the article or study carefully to understand its purpose, research design, methodology, results, and conclusions.
  • Identify the main points : Once you have read the research article or study, identify the main points, key findings, and research question. You can highlight or take notes of the essential points and findings to use as a reference when writing your summary.
  • Write the introduction: Start your summary by introducing the research problem, research question, and purpose of the study. Briefly explain why the research is important and its significance.
  • Summarize the methodology : In this section, summarize the research design, methods, and procedures used to conduct the study. Explain the sample size, data collection methods, and data analysis techniques.
  • Present the results: Summarize the main findings of the study. Use tables, charts, or graphs to visually represent the data if necessary.
  • Interpret the results: In this section, interpret the results and explain their implications. Discuss the significance of the findings, compare them to previous research, and identify any limitations or future directions for research.
  • Conclude the summary : Summarize the main points of the research and provide a conclusion based on the findings. Suggest implications for future research or practical applications of the results.
  • Revise and edit : Once you have written the summary, revise and edit it to ensure that it is clear, concise, and free of errors. Make sure that your summary accurately represents the research article or study.
  • Add references: Include a list of references cited in the research summary, following the appropriate citation style.

Example of Research Summary

Here is an example of a research summary:

Title: The Effects of Yoga on Mental Health: A Meta-Analysis

Introduction: This meta-analysis examines the effects of yoga on mental health. The study aimed to investigate whether yoga practice can improve mental health outcomes such as anxiety, depression, stress, and quality of life.

Methodology : The study analyzed data from 14 randomized controlled trials that investigated the effects of yoga on mental health outcomes. The sample included a total of 862 participants. The yoga interventions varied in length and frequency, ranging from four to twelve weeks, with sessions lasting from 45 to 90 minutes.

Results : The meta-analysis found that yoga practice significantly improved mental health outcomes. Participants who practiced yoga showed a significant reduction in anxiety and depression symptoms, as well as stress levels. Quality of life also improved in those who practiced yoga.

Discussion : The findings of this study suggest that yoga can be an effective intervention for improving mental health outcomes. The study supports the growing body of evidence that suggests that yoga can have a positive impact on mental health. Limitations of the study include the variability of the yoga interventions, which may affect the generalizability of the findings.

Conclusion : Overall, the findings of this meta-analysis support the use of yoga as an effective intervention for improving mental health outcomes. Further research is needed to determine the optimal length and frequency of yoga interventions for different populations.

References :

  • Cramer, H., Lauche, R., Langhorst, J., Dobos, G., & Berger, B. (2013). Yoga for depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Depression and anxiety, 30(11), 1068-1083.
  • Khalsa, S. B. (2004). Yoga as a therapeutic intervention: a bibliometric analysis of published research studies. Indian journal of physiology and pharmacology, 48(3), 269-285.
  • Ross, A., & Thomas, S. (2010). The health benefits of yoga and exercise: a review of comparison studies. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 16(1), 3-12.

Purpose of Research Summary

The purpose of a research summary is to provide a brief overview of a research project or study, including its main points, findings, and conclusions. The summary allows readers to quickly understand the essential aspects of the research without having to read the entire article or study.

Research summaries serve several purposes, including:

  • Facilitating comprehension: A research summary allows readers to quickly understand the main points and findings of a research project or study without having to read the entire article or study. This makes it easier for readers to comprehend the research and its significance.
  • Communicating research findings: Research summaries are often used to communicate research findings to a wider audience, such as policymakers, practitioners, or the general public. The summary presents the essential aspects of the research in a clear and concise manner, making it easier for non-experts to understand.
  • Supporting decision-making: Research summaries can be used to support decision-making processes by providing a summary of the research evidence on a particular topic. This information can be used by policymakers or practitioners to make informed decisions about interventions, programs, or policies.
  • Saving time: Research summaries save time for researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and other stakeholders who need to review multiple research studies. Rather than having to read the entire article or study, they can quickly review the summary to determine whether the research is relevant to their needs.

Characteristics of Research Summary

The following are some of the key characteristics of a research summary:

  • Concise : A research summary should be brief and to the point, providing a clear and concise overview of the main points of the research.
  • Objective : A research summary should be written in an objective tone, presenting the research findings without bias or personal opinion.
  • Comprehensive : A research summary should cover all the essential aspects of the research, including the research question, methodology, results, and conclusions.
  • Accurate : A research summary should accurately reflect the key findings and conclusions of the research.
  • Clear and well-organized: A research summary should be easy to read and understand, with a clear structure and logical flow.
  • Relevant : A research summary should focus on the most important and relevant aspects of the research, highlighting the key findings and their implications.
  • Audience-specific: A research summary should be tailored to the intended audience, using language and terminology that is appropriate and accessible to the reader.
  • Citations : A research summary should include citations to the original research articles or studies, allowing readers to access the full text of the research if desired.

When to write Research Summary

Here are some situations when it may be appropriate to write a research summary:

  • Proposal stage: A research summary can be included in a research proposal to provide a brief overview of the research aims, objectives, methodology, and expected outcomes.
  • Conference presentation: A research summary can be prepared for a conference presentation to summarize the main findings of a study or research project.
  • Journal submission: Many academic journals require authors to submit a research summary along with their research article or study. The summary provides a brief overview of the study’s main points, findings, and conclusions and helps readers quickly understand the research.
  • Funding application: A research summary can be included in a funding application to provide a brief summary of the research aims, objectives, and expected outcomes.
  • Policy brief: A research summary can be prepared as a policy brief to communicate research findings to policymakers or stakeholders in a concise and accessible manner.

Advantages of Research Summary

Research summaries offer several advantages, including:

  • Time-saving: A research summary saves time for readers who need to understand the key findings and conclusions of a research project quickly. Rather than reading the entire research article or study, readers can quickly review the summary to determine whether the research is relevant to their needs.
  • Clarity and accessibility: A research summary provides a clear and accessible overview of the research project’s main points, making it easier for readers to understand the research without having to be experts in the field.
  • Improved comprehension: A research summary helps readers comprehend the research by providing a brief and focused overview of the key findings and conclusions, making it easier to understand the research and its significance.
  • Enhanced communication: Research summaries can be used to communicate research findings to a wider audience, such as policymakers, practitioners, or the general public, in a concise and accessible manner.
  • Facilitated decision-making: Research summaries can support decision-making processes by providing a summary of the research evidence on a particular topic. Policymakers or practitioners can use this information to make informed decisions about interventions, programs, or policies.
  • Increased dissemination: Research summaries can be easily shared and disseminated, allowing research findings to reach a wider audience.

Limitations of Research Summary

Limitations of the Research Summary are as follows:

  • Limited scope: Research summaries provide a brief overview of the research project’s main points, findings, and conclusions, which can be limiting. They may not include all the details, nuances, and complexities of the research that readers may need to fully understand the study’s implications.
  • Risk of oversimplification: Research summaries can be oversimplified, reducing the complexity of the research and potentially distorting the findings or conclusions.
  • Lack of context: Research summaries may not provide sufficient context to fully understand the research findings, such as the research background, methodology, or limitations. This may lead to misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the research.
  • Possible bias: Research summaries may be biased if they selectively emphasize certain findings or conclusions over others, potentially distorting the overall picture of the research.
  • Format limitations: Research summaries may be constrained by the format or length requirements, making it challenging to fully convey the research’s main points, findings, and conclusions.
  • Accessibility: Research summaries may not be accessible to all readers, particularly those with limited literacy skills, visual impairments, or language barriers.

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Diana Ribeiro

How to write a summary of a research paper (with template)

by Diana Ribeiro Last updated Jul 20, 2020 | Published on Jun 27, 2020 Writing Skills 0 comments

In our daily work as medical writers, we have to read many scholarly articles and extract the main information from them. Having a process to retrieve that information and create a short summary that you can easily access will save you precious time. That’s why I decided to guide you through my process of summarising a research article and created a handy template.

Having short summaries of academic papers is useful to create news articles, press releases, social media posts, blog articles, or curated news reports, like the one I write weekly for my newsletter subscribers .

write a summary research paper

What’s the importance of summarising research articles?

If you don’t have a system to extract the main information from a scholarly paper, you may have to re-read it repeatedly, looking for that piece of information you know it’s there. Sure, you can use a highlighter pen to mark the main points, but sometimes what happens is that you end up with yellow walls of text. Or green. Or even a rainbow. Which may be pretty, but it’s quite useless as a retrieval system.

What also happens when you highlight text is that you end up with a diverse array of writing styles, none of them being your own. This way, when you try to write a text with information from multiple sources, you have to search for the information and write it in a consistent style.

In this article, I’ll show you how to retrieve the most relevant information from a scientific paper, how to write it in a compelling way, and how to present it in a news-worthy style that’s easily adaptable to your audience. Ready?

write a summary research paper

Three steps to summarise a research paper

1. scan and extract the main points.

First things first, so you have to read the paper. But that doesn’t mean you have to read it from start to finish. Start by scanning the article for its main points.

Here’s the essential information to extract from the research paper you have in front of you:

  • Authors, year, doi
  • Study question: look in the introduction for a phrase like “the aim of this study was”
  • Hypothesis tested
  • Study methods: design, participants, materials, procedure, what was manipulated (independent variables), what was measured (dependent variables), how data were analysed.
  • Findings: from the results section; fill this before you look at the discussion section, if possible. Write bullet points.
  • Interpretation: how did the authors interpreted their findings? Use short sentences, in your own words.

After extracting the key information , revisit the article and read it more attentively, to see if you missed something. Add some notes to your summary, but take care to avoid plagiarism. Write notes in your own words. If you can’t do that at this moment, use quotation marks to indicate that your note came straight from the study. You can rewrite it later, when you have a better grasp of the study.

2. Use a journalistic approach for the first draft

Some sources advise you to keep the same structure as the scientific article, but I like to use the journalistic approach of news articles and flush out the more relevant information first, followed by the details. This is more enticing for readers, making them want to continue reading. Yes, I know that your reader may be just you, but I know I have lost myself in some of the things I’ve written, so…keep it interesting, even for a future self 😊.

This is the main information you have to put together:

Title of the article: I like to keep the original article title for the summary, because it’s easier to refer back to the original article if I need to. Sometimes I add a second title, just for me, if the article title is too obscure or long.

  • 1 st paragraph: Answer the 5 W’s in 3-4 sentences.

Who? (the authors)

What? (main finding)

When and where? (journal, date of publication)

Why? (relevance)

This should be a standalone paragraph, meaning that the reader should be able to take out the main information even if they just read this paragraph.

  • Subsequent paragraphs: In 2-3 paragraphs or less, provide context and more information about the research done. If you’re not sure if a detail is important or not, you can include it here and edit it out in the next step.

3. Polish the rough edges

In this stage, you’re going to make a quick edit, checking for completeness and accuracy. Make sure you’ve included all the main points without repeating yourself. Double-check all the numbers. Stay focused on the research questions to avoid tangents. Avoid using jargon and the passive voice whenever possible.

Final summary

Using this approach, you’ll end up with a short summary of your article that you can use to craft other types of writing, such as press releases, news articles, social media blurbs, and many others.

The advantages of summarising research articles are that you can better understand what the article is about, and you’ll have a text written by you, so it’s easier to adapt and you avoid unintentional plagiarism.

That’s it! My guide to write a research paper summary 😊

I’ve created a handout with all the information in this blog post plus a fill-in-the-blanks template that you can use to summarise research articles, you can download it using the form below. You’ll be signed up to my mailing list, and receive a weekly roundup of news in the biomedical industry as a bonus!

If you have any comments or questions, please let me know in the comment box below.

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And subscribe to the biopharma newsletter 🙂

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Check your confirmation email for the template.

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About Diana Ribeiro

Diana Ribeiro  is a pharmacist and  freelance medical writer based in Cascais, Portugal.  Before starting her career in medical writing, Diana worked 10+ years in hospital and community pharmacies, where she helped patients and healthcare professionals with drug management and information. Nowadays, she helps pharma, biotech, and meddev companies communicate with their audiences in a clear, accurate, and compelling way. Diana is an active member of the European Medical Writers Association, where she volunteers for the webinar team. You can find more about her on  LinkedIn .

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Writing a Summary – Explanation & Examples

Published by Alvin Nicolas at October 17th, 2023 , Revised On October 17, 2023

In a world bombarded with vast amounts of information, condensing and presenting data in a digestible format becomes invaluable. Enter summaries. 

A summary is a brief and concise account of the main points of a larger body of work. It distils complex ideas, narratives, or data into a version that is quicker to read and easier to understand yet still retains the essence of the original content.

Importance of Summaries

The importance of summarising extends far beyond just making reading more manageable. In academic settings, summaries aid students in understanding and retaining complex materials, from textbook chapters to research articles. They also serve as tools to showcase one’s grasp of the subject in essays and reports. 

In professional arenas, summaries are pivotal in business reports, executive briefings, and even emails where key points need to be conveyed quickly to decision-makers. Meanwhile, summarising skills come into play in our personal lives when we relay news stories to friends, recap a movie plot, or even scroll through condensed news or app notifications on our smartphones.

Why Do We Write Summaries?

In our modern information age, the sheer volume of content available can be overwhelming. From detailed research papers to comprehensive news articles, the quest for knowledge is often met with lengthy and complex resources. This is where the power of a well-crafted summary comes into play. But what drives us to create or seek out summaries? Let’s discuss.

Makes Important Things Easy to Remember

At the heart of summarisation is the goal to understand. A well-written summary aids in digesting complex material. By distilling larger works into their core points, we reinforce the primary messages, making them easier to remember. This is especially crucial for students who need to retain knowledge for exams or professionals prepping for a meeting based on a lengthy report.

Simplification of Complex Topics

Not everyone is an expert in every field. Often, topics come laden with jargon, intricate details, and nuanced arguments. Summaries act as a bridge, translating this complexity into accessible and straightforward content. This is especially beneficial for individuals new to a topic or those who need just the highlights without the intricacies.

Aid in Researching and Understanding Diverse Sources

Researchers, writers, and academics often wade through many sources when working on a project. This involves finding sources of different types, such as primary or secondary sources , and then understanding their content. Sifting through each source in its entirety can be time-consuming. Summaries offer a streamlined way to understand each source’s main arguments or findings, making synthesising information from diverse materials more efficient.

Condensing Information for Presentation or Sharing

In professional settings, there is often a need to present findings, updates, or recommendations to stakeholders. An executive might not have the time to go through a 50-page report, but they would certainly appreciate a concise summary highlighting the key points. Similarly, in our personal lives, we often summarise movie plots, book stories, or news events when sharing with friends or family.

Characteristics of a Good Summary

Crafting an effective summary is an art. It’s more than just shortening a piece of content; it is about capturing the essence of the original work in a manner that is both accessible and true to its intent. Let’s explore the primary characteristics that distinguish a good summary from a mediocre one:

Conciseness

At the core of a summary is the concept of brevity. But being concise doesn’t mean leaving out vital information. A good summary will:

  • Eliminate superfluous details or repetitive points.
  • Focus on the primary arguments, events, or findings.
  • Use succinct language without compromising the message.

Objectivity

Summarising is not about infusing personal opinions or interpretations. A quality summary will:

  • Stick to the facts as presented in the original content.
  • Avoid introducing personal biases or perspectives.
  • Represent the original author’s intent faithfully.

A summary is meant to simplify and make content accessible. This is only possible if the summary itself is easy to understand. Ensuring clarity involves:

  • Avoiding jargon or technical terms unless they are essential to the content. If they are used, they should be clearly defined.
  • Structuring sentences in a straightforward manner.
  • Making sure ideas are presented in a way that even someone unfamiliar with the topic can grasp the primary points.

A jumble of ideas, no matter how concise, will not make for a good summary. Coherence ensures that there’s a logical flow to the summarised content. A coherent summary will:

  • Maintain a logical sequence, often following the structure of the original content.
  • Use transition words or phrases to connect ideas and ensure smooth progression.
  • Group related ideas together to provide structure and avoid confusion.

Steps of Writing a Summary

The process of creating a compelling summary is not merely about cutting down content. It involves understanding, discerning, and crafting. Here is a step-by-step guide to writing a summary that encapsulates the essence of the original work:

Reading Actively

Engage deeply with the content to ensure a thorough understanding.

  • Read the entire document or work first to grasp its overall intent and structure.
  • On the second read, underline or highlight the standout points or pivotal moments.
  • Make brief notes in the margins or on a separate sheet, capturing the core ideas in your own words.

Identifying the Main Idea

Determine the backbone of the content, around which all other details revolve.

  • Ask yourself: “What is the primary message or theme the author wants to convey?”
  • This can often be found in the title, introduction, or conclusion of a piece.
  • Frame the main idea in a clear and concise statement to guide your summary.

List Key Supporting Points

Understand the pillars that uphold the main idea, providing evidence or depth to the primary message.

  • Refer back to the points you underlined or highlighted during your active reading.
  • Note major arguments, evidence, or examples that the author uses to back up the main idea.
  • Prioritise these points based on their significance to the main idea.

Draft the Summary

Convert your understanding into a condensed, coherent version of the original.

  • Start with a statement of the main idea.
  • Follow with the key supporting points, maintaining logical order.
  • Avoid including trivial details or examples unless they’re crucial to the primary message.
  • Use your own words, ensuring you are not plagiarising the original content.

Fine-tune your draft to ensure clarity, accuracy, and brevity.

  • Read your draft aloud to check for flow and coherence.
  • Ensure that your summary remains objective, avoiding any personal interpretations or biases.
  • Check the length. See if any non-essential details can be removed without sacrificing understanding if it is too lengthy.
  • Ensure clarity by ensuring the language is straightforward, and the main ideas are easily grasped.

The research done by our experts have:

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write a summary research paper

Dos and Don’ts of Summarising Key Points

Summarising, while seemingly straightforward, comes with its nuances. Properly condensing content demands a balance between brevity and fidelity to the original work. To aid in crafting exemplary summaries, here is a guide on the essential dos and don’ts:

Use your Own Words

This ensures that you have truly understood the content and are not merely parroting it. It also prevents issues of plagiarism.

Tip: After reading the original content, take a moment to reflect on it. Then, without looking at the source, write down the main points in your own words.

Attribute Sources Properly

Giving credit is both ethical and provides context to readers, helping them trace back to the original work if needed. How to cite sources correctly is a skill every writer should master.

Tip: Use signal phrases like “According to [Author/Source]…” or “As [Author/Source] points out…” to seamlessly incorporate attributions.

Ensure Accuracy of the Summarised Content

A summary should be a reliable reflection of the original content. Distorting or misrepresenting the original ideas compromises the integrity of the summary.

Tip: After drafting your summary, cross-check with the original content to ensure all key points are represented accurately and ensure you are referencing credible sources .

Avoid Copy-Pasting Chunks of Original Content

This not only raises plagiarism concerns but also shows a lack of genuine engagement with the material.

Tip: If a particular phrase or sentence from the original is pivotal and cannot be reworded without losing its essence, use block quotes , quotation marks, and attribute the source.

Do not Inject your Personal Opinion

A summary should be an objective reflection of the source material. Introducing personal biases or interpretations can mislead readers.

Tip: Stick to the facts and arguments presented in the original content. If you find yourself writing “I think” or “In my opinion,” reevaluate the sentence.

Do not Omit Crucial Information

While a summary is meant to be concise, it shouldn’t be at the expense of vital details that are essential to understanding the original content’s core message.

Tip: Prioritise information. Always include the main idea and its primary supports. If you are unsure whether a detail is crucial, consider its impact on the overall message.

Examples of Summaries

Here are a few examples that will help you get a clearer view of how to write a summary. 

Example 1: Summary of a News Article

Original Article: The article reports on the recent discovery of a rare species of frog in the Amazon rainforest. The frog, named the “Emerald Whisperer” due to its unique green hue and the soft chirping sounds it makes, was found by a team of researchers from the University of Texas. The discovery is significant as it offers insights into the biodiversity of the region, and the Emerald Whisperer might also play a pivotal role in understanding the ecosystem balance.

Summary: Researchers from the University of Texas have discovered a unique frog, termed the “Emerald Whisperer,” in the Amazon rainforest. This finding sheds light on the region’s biodiversity and underscores the importance of the frog in ecological studies.

Example 2: Summary of a Research Paper

Original Paper: In a study titled “The Impact of Urbanisation on Bee Populations,” researchers conducted a year-long observation on bee colonies in three urban areas and three rural areas. Using specific metrics like colony health, bee productivity, and population size, the study found that urban environments saw a 30% decline in bee populations compared to rural settings. The research attributes this decline to factors like pollution, reduced green spaces, and increased temperatures in urban areas.

Summary: A study analysing the effects of urbanisation on bee colonies found a significant 30% decrease in bee populations in urban settings compared to rural areas. The decline is linked to urban factors such as pollution, diminished greenery, and elevated temperatures.

Example 3: Summary of a Novel

Original Story: In the novel “Winds of Fate,” protagonist Clara is trapped in a timeless city where memories dictate reality. Throughout her journey, she encounters characters from her past, present, and imagined future. Battling her own perceptions and a menacing shadow figure, Clara seeks an elusive gateway to return to her real world. In the climax, she confronts the shadow, which turns out to be her own fear, and upon overcoming it, she finds her way back, realising that reality is subjective.

Summary: “Winds of Fate” follows Clara’s adventures in a surreal city shaped by memories. Confronting figures from various phases of her life and battling a symbolic shadow of her own fear, Clara eventually discovers that reality’s perception is malleable and subjective.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long is a summary.

A summary condenses a larger piece of content, capturing its main points and essence.  It is usually one-fourth of the original content.

What is a summary?

A summary is a concise representation of a larger text or content, highlighting its main ideas and points. It distils complex information into a shorter form, allowing readers to quickly grasp the essence of the original material without delving into extensive details. Summaries prioritise clarity, brevity, and accuracy.

When should I write a summary?

Write a summary when you need to condense lengthy content for easier comprehension and recall. It’s useful in academic settings, professional reports, presentations, and research to highlight key points. Summaries aid in comparing multiple sources, preparing for discussions, and sharing essential details of extensive materials efficiently with others.

How can I summarise a source without plagiarising?

To summarise without plagiarising: Read the source thoroughly, understand its main ideas, and then write the summary in your own words. Avoid copying phrases verbatim. Attribute the source properly. Use paraphrasing techniques and cross-check your summary against the original to ensure distinctiveness while retaining accuracy. Always prioritise understanding over direct replication.

What is the difference between a summary and an abstract?

A summary condenses a text, capturing its main points from various content types like books, articles, or movies. An abstract, typically found in research papers and scientific articles, provides a brief overview of the study’s purpose, methodology, results, and conclusions. Both offer concise versions, but abstracts are more structured and specific.

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The CRAAP Test is an acronym used as a checklist to help individuals evaluate the credibility and relevance of sources, especially in academic or research contexts. CRAAP stands for Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose. Each of these criteria can help a researcher determine if a source is trustworthy and suitable for their needs.

In academia, research, journalism, and writing, the skill of quoting sources is fundamental. Accurate and proper quoting adds credibility to your work and demonstrates respect for the original authors and their ideas.

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How to Write a Research Paper Summary

Journal submission: Tips to submit better manuscripts | Paperpal

One of the most important skills you can imbibe as an academician is to know how to summarize a research paper. During your academic journey, you may need to write a summary of findings in research quite often and for varied reasons – be it to write an introduction for a peer-reviewed publication , to submit a critical review, or to simply create a useful database for future referencing.

It can be quite challenging to effectively write a research paper summary for often complex work, which is where a pre-determined workflow can help you optimize the process. Investing time in developing this skill can also help you improve your scientific acumen, increasing your efficiency and productivity at work. This article illustrates some useful advice on how to write a research summary effectively. But, what is research summary in the first place?  

A research paper summary is a crisp, comprehensive overview of a research paper, which encapsulates the purpose, findings, methods, conclusions, and relevance of a study. A well-written research paper summary is an indicator of how well you have understood the author’s work. 

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  • 2. Invest enough time to understand the topic deeply 

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Frequently asked questions (faq), how to write a research paper summary.

Writing a good research paper summary comes with practice and skill. Here is some useful advice on how to write a research paper summary effectively.  

1. Determine the focus of your summary

Before you begin to write a summary of research papers, determine the aim of your research paper summary. This will give you more clarity on how to summarize a research paper, including what to highlight and where to find the information you need, which accelerates the entire process. If you are aiming for the summary to be a supporting document or a proof of principle for your current research findings, then you can look for elements that are relevant to your work.

On the other hand, if your research summary is intended to be a critical review of the research article, you may need to use a completely different lens while reading the paper and conduct your own research regarding the accuracy of the data presented. Then again, if the research summary is intended to be a source of information for future referencing, you will likely have a different approach. This makes determining the focus of your summary a key step in the process of writing an effective research paper summary. 

2. Invest enough time to understand the topic deeply

In order to author an effective research paper summary, you need to dive into the topic of the research article. Begin by doing a quick scan for relevant information under each section of the paper. The abstract is a great starting point as it helps you to quickly identify the top highlights of the research article, speeding up the process of understanding the key findings in the paper. Be sure to do a careful read of the research paper, preparing notes that describe each section in your own words to put together a summary of research example or a first draft. This will save your time and energy in revisiting the paper to confirm relevant details and ease the entire process of writing a research paper summary.

When reading papers, be sure to acknowledge and ignore any pre-conceived notions that you might have regarding the research topic. This will not only help you understand the topic better but will also help you develop a more balanced perspective, ensuring that your research paper summary is devoid of any personal opinions or biases. 

3. Keep the summary crisp, brief and engaging

A research paper summary is usually intended to highlight and explain the key points of any study, saving the time required to read through the entire article. Thus, your primary goal while compiling the summary should be to keep it as brief, crisp and readable as possible. Usually, a short introduction followed by 1-2 paragraphs is adequate for an effective research article summary. Avoid going into too much technical detail while describing the main results and conclusions of the study. Rather focus on connecting the main findings of the study to the hypothesis , which can make the summary more engaging. For example, instead of simply reporting an original finding – “the graph showed a decrease in the mortality rates…”, you can say, “there was a decline in the number of deaths, as predicted by the authors while beginning the study…” or “there was a decline in the number of deaths, which came as a surprise to the authors as this was completely unexpected…”.

Unless you are writing a critical review of the research article, the language used in your research paper summaries should revolve around reporting the findings, not assessing them. On the other hand, if you intend to submit your summary as a critical review, make sure to provide sufficient external evidence to support your final analysis. Invest sufficient time in editing and proofreading your research paper summary thoroughly to ensure you’ve captured the findings accurately. You can also get an external opinion on the preliminary draft of the research paper summary from colleagues or peers who have not worked on the research topic. 

Mistakes to avoid while writing your research paper summary

Now that you’ve understood how to summarize a research paper, watch out for these red flags while writing your summary. 

  • Not paying attention to the word limit and recommended format, especially while submitting a critical review 
  • Evaluating the findings instead of maintaining an objective , unbiased view while reading the research paper 
  • Skipping the essential editing step , which can help eliminate avoidable errors and ensure that the language does not misrepresent the findings 
  • Plagiarism, it is critical to write in your own words or paraphrase appropriately when reporting the findings in your scientific article summary 

We hope the recommendations listed above will help answer the question of how to summarize a research paper and enable you to tackle the process effectively. 

Summarize your research paper with Paperpal

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How to summarize a research paper with Paperpal?

To generate your research paper summary, simply login to the platform and use the Paperpal Copilot Summary feature to create a flawless summary of your work. Here’s a step-by-step process to help you craft a summary in minutes:

  • Paste relevant research articles to be summarized into Paperpal; the AI will scan each section and extract key information.
  • In minutes, Paperpal will generate a comprehensive summary that showcases the main paper highlights while adhering to academic writing conventions.
  • Check the content to polish and refine the language, ensure your own voice, and add citations or references as needed.

The abstract and research paper summary serve similar purposes but differ in scope, length, and placement. The abstract is a concise yet detailed overview of the research, placed at the beginning of a paper, with the aim of providing readers with a quick understanding of the paper’s content and to help them decide whether to read the full article. Usually limited to a few hundred words, it highlights the main objectives, methods, results, and conclusions of the study. On the other hand, a research paper summary provides a crisp account of the entire research paper. Its purpose is to provide a brief recap for readers who may want to quickly grasp the main points of the research without reading the entire paper in detail.

The structure of a research summary can vary depending on the specific requirements or guidelines provided by the target publication or institution. A typical research summary includes the following key sections: introduction (including the research question or objective), methodology (briefly describing the research design and methods), results (summarizing the key findings), discussion (highlighting the implications and significance of the findings), and conclusion (providing a summary of the main points and potential future directions).

The summary of a research paper is important because it provides a condensed overview of the study’s purpose, methods, results, and conclusions. It allows you to quickly grasp the main points and relevance of the research without having to read the entire paper. Research summaries can also be an invaluable way to communicate research findings to a broader audience, such as policymakers or the general public.

  When writing a research paper summary, it is crucial to avoid plagiarism by properly attributing the original authors’ work. To learn how to summarize a research paper while avoiding plagiarism, follow these critical guidelines: (1) Read the paper thoroughly to understand the main points and key findings. (2) Use your own words and sentence structures to restate the information, ensuring that the research paper summary reflects your understanding of the paper. (3) Clearly indicate when you are paraphrasing or quoting directly from the original paper by using appropriate citation styles. (4) Cite the original source for any specific ideas, concepts, or data that you include in your summary. (5) Review your summary to ensure it accurately represents the research paper while giving credit to the original authors.

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When writing a summary, the goal is to compose a concise and objective overview of the original article. The summary should focus only on the article's main ideas and important details that support those ideas.

Guidelines for summarizing an article:

  • State the main ideas.
  • Identify the most important details that support the main ideas.
  • Summarize in your own words.
  • Do not copy phrases or sentences unless they are being used as direct quotations.
  • Express the underlying meaning of the article, but do not critique or analyze.
  • The summary should be about one third the length of the original article. 

Your summary should include:

  • Give an overview of the article, including the title and the name of the author.
  • Provide a thesis statement that states the main idea of the article.
  • Use the body paragraphs to explain the supporting ideas of your thesis statement.
  • One-paragraph summary - one sentence per supporting detail, providing 1-2 examples for each.
  • Multi-paragraph summary - one paragraph per supporting detail, providing 2-3 examples for each.
  • Start each paragraph with a topic sentence.
  • Use transitional words and phrases to connect ideas.
  • Summarize your thesis statement and the underlying meaning of the article.

 Adapted from "Guidelines for Using In-Text Citations in a Summary (or Research Paper)" by Christine Bauer-Ramazani, 2020

Additional Resources

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How to Write a Summary - Guide & Examples  (from Scribbr.com)

Writing a Summary  (from The University of Arizona Global Campus Writing Center)

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Research Summary: What is it & how to write one

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The Research Summary is used to report facts about a study clearly. You will almost certainly be required to prepare a research summary during your academic research or while on a research project for your organization.

If it is the first time you have to write one, the writing requirements may confuse you. The instructors generally assign someone to write a summary of the research work. Research summaries require the writer to have a thorough understanding of the issue.

This article will discuss the definition of a research summary and how to write one.

What is a research summary?

A research summary is a piece of writing that summarizes your research on a specific topic. Its primary goal is to offer the reader a detailed overview of the study with the key findings. A research summary generally contains the article’s structure in which it is written.

You must know the goal of your analysis before you launch a project. A research overview summarizes the detailed response and highlights particular issues raised in it. Writing it might be somewhat troublesome. To write a good overview, you want to start with a structure in mind. Read on for our guide.

Why is an analysis recap so important?

Your summary or analysis is going to tell readers everything about your research project. This is the critical piece that your stakeholders will read to identify your findings and valuable insights. Having a good and concise research summary that presents facts and comes with no research biases is the critical deliverable of any research project.

We’ve put together a cheat sheet to help you write a good research summary below.

Research Summary Guide

  • Why was this research done?  – You want to give a clear description of why this research study was done. What hypothesis was being tested?
  • Who was surveyed? – The what and why or your research decides who you’re going to interview/survey. Your research summary has a detailed note on who participated in the study and why they were selected. 
  • What was the methodology? – Talk about the methodology. Did you do face-to-face interviews? Was it a short or long survey or a focus group setting? Your research methodology is key to the results you’re going to get. 
  • What were the key findings? – This can be the most critical part of the process. What did we find out after testing the hypothesis? This section, like all others, should be just facts, facts facts. You’re not sharing how you feel about the findings. Keep it bias-free.
  • Conclusion – What are the conclusions that were drawn from the findings. A good example of a conclusion. Surprisingly, most people interviewed did not watch the lunar eclipse in 2022, which is unexpected given that 100% of those interviewed knew about it before it happened.
  • Takeaways and action points – This is where you bring in your suggestion. Given the data you now have from the research, what are the takeaways and action points? If you’re a researcher running this research project for your company, you’ll use this part to shed light on your recommended action plans for the business.

LEARN ABOUT:   Action Research

If you’re doing any research, you will write a summary, which will be the most viewed and more important part of the project. So keep a guideline in mind before you start. Focus on the content first and then worry about the length. Use the cheat sheet/checklist in this article to organize your summary, and that’s all you need to write a great research summary!

But once your summary is ready, where is it stored? Most teams have multiple documents in their google drives, and it’s a nightmare to find projects that were done in the past. Your research data should be democratized and easy to use.

We at QuestionPro launched a research repository for research teams, and our clients love it. All your data is in one place, and everything is searchable, including your research summaries! 

Authors: Prachi, Anas

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How to Write a Summary of a Research Paper

Last Updated: July 10, 2020 References

This article was co-authored by wikiHow staff writer, Hannah Madden . Hannah Madden is a writer, editor, and artist currently living in Portland, Oregon. In 2018, she graduated from Portland State University with a B.S. in Environmental Studies. Hannah enjoys writing articles about conservation, sustainability, and eco-friendly products. When she isn’t writing, you can find Hannah working on hand embroidery projects and listening to music. This article has been viewed 28,323 times.

Writing a summary of an academic research paper is an important skill, and it shows that you understand all of the relevant information presented to you. However, writing a summary can be tough, since it requires you to be completely objective and keep any analysis or criticisms to yourself. By keeping your goal in mind as you read the paper and focusing on the key points, you can write a succinct, accurate summary of a research paper to prove that you understood the overall conclusion.

Reading the Research Paper

Step 1 Figure out the focus of your summary.

  • For instance, if you’re supporting an argument in your own research paper, focus on the elements that are similar to yours.
  • Or, if you’re comparing and contrasting methodology, focus on the methods and the significance of the results.

Step 2 Scan through the article to pick out important information.

  • You can also read the abstract of the paper as a good example of what the authors find to be important in their article.

Step 3 Read the article fully 1 to 2 times.

  • Depending on how long and dense the paper is, your initial reading could take you up to an hour or more.

Step 4 Underline or highlight important information.

  • The important information will usually be toward the end of the paper as the authors explain their findings and conclusions.

Step 5 Take notes summarizing sections in your own words.

  • Writing a summary without plagiarizing, or copying the paper, is really important. Writing notes in your own words will help you get into the mindset of relaying information in your own way.

Including Relevant Information

Step 1 Aim to report the findings, not evaluate them.

  • For example, “The methods used in this paper are not up to standards and require more testing to be conclusive.” is an analysis.
  • ”The methods used in this paper include an in-depth survey and interview session with each candidate.” is a summary.

Step 2 Keep your summary brief.

  • If you’re writing a summary for class, your professor may specify how long your summary should be.
  • Some summaries can even be as short as one sentence.

Step 3 State the research question and hypothesis.

  • ”Environmental conditions in North Carolina pose a threat to frogs and toads.”

Step 4 Describe the testing and analyzation methods.

  • For example: “According to the climate model, frog and toad populations have been decreasing at a rapid rate over the past 10 years, and are on track to decrease even further in the coming years.”

Step 5 Talk about the results and how significant they were.

  • For example: “Smith and Herman (2008) argue that by decreasing greenhouse gases, frog and toad populations could reach historical levels within 20 years, and the climate model projections support that statement.”
  • You can add in the authors and year of publication at any time during your summary.

Step 6 Edit your summary for accuracy and flow.

  • If you have time, try reading your summary to someone who hasn’t read the original paper and see if they understand the key points of the article.

Expert Q&A

  • Make sure you fully understand the paper before you start writing the summary. Thanks Helpful 2 Not Helpful 0
  • Plagiarism can have serious consequences in the academic world, so make sure you’re writing your summary in your own words. [12] X Research source Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

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  • ↑ https://writingcenter.uconn.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/593/2014/06/How_to_Summarize_a_Research_Article1.pdf
  • ↑ https://www.ufv.ca/media/assets/academic-success-centre/handouts/Summarizing-a-Scholarly-Journal-Article-rev2018.pdf
  • ↑ https://integrity.mit.edu/handbook/academic-writing/summarizing
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/summary-using-it-wisely/
  • ↑ https://davidson.libguides.com/c.php?g=349327&p=2361763

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  • How to Write a Summary | Guide & Examples

How to Write a Summary | Guide & Examples

Published on 25 September 2022 by Shona McCombes . Revised on 12 May 2023.

Summarising , or writing a summary, means giving a concise overview of a text’s main points in your own words. A summary is always much shorter than the original text.

There are five key steps that can help you to write a summary:

  • Read the text
  • Break it down into sections
  • Identify the key points in each section
  • Write the summary
  • Check the summary against the article

Writing a summary does not involve critiquing or analysing the source. You should simply provide an accurate account of the most important information and ideas (without copying any text from the original).

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Table of contents

When to write a summary, step 1: read the text, step 2: break the text down into sections, step 3: identify the key points in each section, step 4: write the summary, step 5: check the summary against the article, frequently asked questions.

There are many situations in which you might have to summarise an article or other source:

  • As a stand-alone assignment to show you’ve understood the material
  • To keep notes that will help you remember what you’ve read
  • To give an overview of other researchers’ work in a literature review

When you’re writing an academic text like an essay , research paper , or dissertation , you’ll integrate sources in a variety of ways. You might use a brief quote to support your point, or paraphrase a few sentences or paragraphs.

But it’s often appropriate to summarize a whole article or chapter if it is especially relevant to your own research, or to provide an overview of a source before you analyse or critique it.

In any case, the goal of summarising is to give your reader a clear understanding of the original source. Follow the five steps outlined below to write a good summary.

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You should read the article more than once to make sure you’ve thoroughly understood it. It’s often effective to read in three stages:

  • Scan the article quickly to get a sense of its topic and overall shape.
  • Read the article carefully, highlighting important points and taking notes as you read.
  • Skim the article again to confirm you’ve understood the key points, and reread any particularly important or difficult passages.

There are some tricks you can use to identify the key points as you read:

  • Start by reading the abstract . This already contains the author’s own summary of their work, and it tells you what to expect from the article.
  • Pay attention to headings and subheadings . These should give you a good sense of what each part is about.
  • Read the introduction and the conclusion together and compare them: What did the author set out to do, and what was the outcome?

To make the text more manageable and understand its sub-points, break it down into smaller sections.

If the text is a scientific paper that follows a standard empirical structure, it is probably already organised into clearly marked sections, usually including an introduction, methods, results, and discussion.

Other types of articles may not be explicitly divided into sections. But most articles and essays will be structured around a series of sub-points or themes.

Now it’s time go through each section and pick out its most important points. What does your reader need to know to understand the overall argument or conclusion of the article?

Keep in mind that a summary does not involve paraphrasing every single paragraph of the article. Your goal is to extract the essential points, leaving out anything that can be considered background information or supplementary detail.

In a scientific article, there are some easy questions you can ask to identify the key points in each part.

If the article takes a different form, you might have to think more carefully about what points are most important for the reader to understand its argument.

In that case, pay particular attention to the thesis statement —the central claim that the author wants us to accept, which usually appears in the introduction—and the topic sentences that signal the main idea of each paragraph.

Now that you know the key points that the article aims to communicate, you need to put them in your own words.

To avoid plagiarism and show you’ve understood the article, it’s essential to properly paraphrase the author’s ideas. Do not copy and paste parts of the article, not even just a sentence or two.

The best way to do this is to put the article aside and write out your own understanding of the author’s key points.

Examples of article summaries

Let’s take a look at an example. Below, we summarise this article , which scientifically investigates the old saying ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’.

An article summary like the above would be appropriate for a stand-alone summary assignment. However, you’ll often want to give an even more concise summary of an article.

For example, in a literature review or research paper, you may want to briefly summarize this study as part of a wider discussion of various sources. In this case, we can boil our summary down even further to include only the most relevant information.

Citing the source you’re summarizing

When including a summary as part of a larger text, it’s essential to properly cite the source you’re summarizing. The exact format depends on your citation style , but it usually includes an in-text citation and a full reference at the end of your paper.

You can easily create your citations and references in APA or MLA using our free citation generators.

APA Citation Generator MLA Citation Generator

Finally, read through the article once more to ensure that:

  • You’ve accurately represented the author’s work
  • You haven’t missed any essential information
  • The phrasing is not too similar to any sentences in the original.

If you’re summarising many articles as part of your own work, it may be a good idea to use a plagiarism checker to double-check that your text is completely original and properly cited. Just be sure to use one that’s safe and reliable.

A summary is a short overview of the main points of an article or other source, written entirely in your own words.

Save yourself some time with the free summariser.

A summary is always much shorter than the original text. The length of a summary can range from just a few sentences to several paragraphs; it depends on the length of the article you’re summarising, and on the purpose of the summary.

With the summariser tool you can easily adjust the length of your summary.

You might have to write a summary of a source:

  • As a stand-alone assignment to prove you understand the material
  • For your own use, to keep notes on your reading
  • To provide an overview of other researchers’ work in a literature review
  • In a paper , to summarise or introduce a relevant study

To avoid plagiarism when summarising an article or other source, follow these two rules:

  • Write the summary entirely in your own words by   paraphrasing the author’s ideas.
  • Reference the source with an in-text citation and a full reference so your reader can easily find the original text.

An abstract concisely explains all the key points of an academic text such as a thesis , dissertation or journal article. It should summarise the whole text, not just introduce it.

An abstract is a type of summary , but summaries are also written elsewhere in academic writing . For example, you might summarise a source in a paper , in a literature review , or as a standalone assignment.

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the ‘Cite this Scribbr article’ button to automatically add the citation to our free Reference Generator.

McCombes, S. (2023, May 12). How to Write a Summary | Guide & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved 14 May 2024, from https://www.scribbr.co.uk/working-sources/how-to-write-a-summary/

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  • Research Summary: What Is It & How To Write One

Angela Kayode-Sanni

Introduction

A research summary is a requirement during academic research and sometimes you might need to prepare a research summary during a research project for an organization.

Most people find a research summary a daunting task as you are required to condense complex research material into an informative, easy-to-understand article most times with a minimum of 300-500 words.

In this post, we will guide you through all the steps required to make writing your research summary an easier task. 

What is a Research Summary?

A research summary is a piece of writing that summarizes the research of a specific topic into bite-size easy-to-read and comprehend articles. The primary goal is to give the reader a detailed outline of the key findings of a research.

It is an unavoidable requirement in colleges and universities. To write a good research summary, you must understand the goal of your research, as this would help make the process easier. 

A research summary preserves the structure and sections of the article it is derived from.

Research Summary or Abstract: What’s The Difference?

The Research Summary and Abstract are similar, especially as they are both brief, straight to the point, and provide an overview of the entire research paper. However, there are very clear differences.

To begin with, a Research summary is written at the end of a research activity, while the Abstract is written at the beginning of a research paper. 

A Research Summary captures the main points of a study, with an emphasis on the topic, method , and discoveries, an Abstract is a description of what your research paper would talk about and the reason for your research or the hypothesis you are trying to validate.

Let us take a deeper look at the difference between both terms.

What is an Abstract?

An abstract is a short version of a research paper. It is written to convey the findings of the research to the reader. It provides the reader with information that would help them understand the research, by giving them a clear idea about the subject matter of a research paper. It is usually submitted before the presentation of a research paper.

What is a Summary?

A summary is a short form of an essay, a research paper, or a chapter in a book. A research summary is a narration of a research study, condensing the focal points of research to a shorter form, usually aligned with the same structure of the research study, from which the summary is derived.

What Is The Difference Between an Abstract and a Summary?

An abstract communicates the main points of a research paper, it includes the questions, major findings, the importance of the findings, etc.

An abstract reflects the perceptions of the author about a topic, while a research summary reflects the ideology of the research study that is being summarized.

Getting Started with a Research Summary

Before commencing a research summary, there is a need to understand the style and organization of the content you plan to summarize. There are three fundamental areas of the research that should be the focal point:

  • When deciding on the content include a section that speaks to the importance of the research, and the techniques and tools used to arrive at your conclusion.
  • Keep the summary well organized, and use paragraphs to discuss the various sections of the research.
  • Restrict your research to 300-400 words which is the standard practice for research summaries globally. However, if the research paper you want to summarize is a lengthy one, do not exceed 10% of the entire research material.

Once you have satisfied the requirements of the fundamentals for starting your research summary, you can now begin to write using the following format:

  • Why was this research done?   – A clear description of the reason the research was embarked on and the hypothesis being tested.
  • Who was surveyed? – Your research study should have details of the source of your information. If it was via a survey, you should document who the participants of the survey were and the reason that they were selected.
  • What was the methodology? – Discuss the methodology, in terms of what kind of survey method did you adopt. Was it a face-to-face interview, a phone interview, or a focus group setting?
  • What were the key findings? – This is perhaps the most vital part of the process. What discoveries did you make after the testing? This part should be based on raw facts free from any personal bias.
  • Conclusion – What conclusions did you draw from the findings?
  • Takeaways and action points – This is where your views and perception can be reflected. Here, you can now share your recommendations or action points.
  • Identify the focal point of the article –  In other to get a grasp of the content covered in the research paper, you can skim the article first, in a bid to understand the most essential part of the research paper. 
  • Analyze and understand the topic and article – Writing a summary of a research paper involves being familiar with the topic –  the current state of knowledge, key definitions, concepts, and models. This is often gleaned while reading the literature review. Please note that only a deep understanding ensures efficient and accurate summarization of the content.
  • Make notes as you read – Highlight and summarize each paragraph as you read. Your notes are what you would further condense to create a draft that would form your research summary.

How to Structure Your Research Summary

  • Title – This highlights the area of analysis, and can be formulated to briefly highlight key findings.
  • Abstract – this is a very brief and comprehensive description of the study, required in every academic article, with a length of 100-500 words at most. 
  • Introduction – this is a vital part of any research summary, it provides the context and the literature review that gently introduces readers to the subject matter. The introduction usually covers definitions, questions, and hypotheses of the research study. 
  • Methodology –This section emphasizes the process and or data analysis methods used, in terms of experiments, surveys, sampling, or statistical analysis. 
  • Results section – this section lists in detail the results derived from the research with evidence obtained from all the experiments conducted.
  • Discussion – these parts discuss the results within the context of current knowledge among subject matter experts. Interpretation of results and theoretical models explaining the observed results, the strengths of the study, and the limitations experienced are going to be a part of the discussion. 
  • Conclusion – In a conclusion, hypotheses are discussed and revalidated or denied, based on how convincing the evidence is.
  • References – this section is for giving credit to those who work you studied to create your summary. You do this by providing appropriate citations as you write.

Research Summary Example 1

Below are some defining elements of a sample research summary.

Title – “The probability of an unexpected volcanic eruption in Greenwich”

Introduction – this section would list the catastrophic consequences that occurred in the country and the importance of analyzing this event. 

Hypothesis –  An eruption of the Greenwich supervolcano would be preceded by intense preliminary activity manifesting in advance, before the eruption.

Results – these could contain a report of statistical data from various volcanic eruptions happening globally while looking critically at the activity that occurred before these events. 

Discussion and conclusion – Given that Greenwich is now consistently monitored by scientists and that signs of an eruption are usually detected before the volcanic eruption, this confirms the hypothesis. Hence creating an emergency plan outlining other intervention measures and ultimately evacuation is essential. 

Research Summary Example 2

Below is another sample sketch.

Title – “The frequency of extreme weather events in the UK in 2000-2008 as compared to the ‘60s”

Introduction – Weather events bring intense material damage and cause pain to the victims affected.

Hypothesis – Extreme weather events are more frequent in recent times compared to the ‘50s

Results – The frequency of several categories of extreme events now and then are listed here, such as droughts, fires, massive rainfall/snowfalls, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc.

Discussion and conclusion – Several types of extreme events have become more commonplace in recent times, confirming the hypothesis. This rise in extreme weather events can be traced to rising CO2 levels and increasing temperatures and global warming explain the rising frequency of these disasters. Addressing the rising CO2 levels and paying attention to climate change is the only to combat this phenomenon.

A research summary is the short form of a research paper, analyzing the important aspect of the study. Everyone who reads a research summary has a full grasp of the main idea being discussed in the original research paper. Conducting any research means you will write a summary, which is an important part of your project and would be the most read part of your project.

Having a guideline before you start helps, this would form your checklist which would guide your actions as you write your research summary. It is important to note that a Research Summary is different from an Abstract paper written at the beginning of a research paper, describing the idea behind a research paper.

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Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts

Common Writing Assignments

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Welcome to the Purdue OWL

This page is brought to you by the OWL at Purdue University. When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice.

Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.

These OWL resources will help you understand and complete specific types of writing assignments, such as annotated bibliographies, book reports, and research papers. This section also includes resources on writing academic proposals for conference presentations, journal articles, and books.

Understanding Writing Assignments

This resource describes some steps you can take to better understand the requirements of your writing assignments. This resource works for either in-class, teacher-led discussion or for personal use.

Argument Papers

This resource outlines the generally accepted structure for introductions, body paragraphs, and conclusions in an academic argument paper. Keep in mind that this resource contains guidelines and not strict rules about organization. Your structure needs to be flexible enough to meet the requirements of your purpose and audience.

Research Papers

This handout provides detailed information about how to write research papers including discussing research papers as a genre, choosing topics, and finding sources.

Exploratory Papers

This resource will help you with exploratory/inquiry essay assignments.

Annotated Bibliographies

This handout provides information about annotated bibliographies in MLA, APA, and CMS.

Book Report

This resource discusses book reports and how to write them.

Definitions

This handout provides suggestions and examples for writing definitions.

Essays for Exams

While most OWL resources recommend a longer writing process (start early, revise often, conduct thorough research, etc.), sometimes you just have to write quickly in test situations. However, these exam essays can be no less important pieces of writing than research papers because they can influence final grades for courses, and/or they can mean the difference between getting into an academic program (GED, SAT, GRE). To that end, this resource will help you prepare and write essays for exams.

Book Review

This resource discusses book reviews and how to write them.

Academic Proposals

This resource will help undergraduate, graduate, and professional scholars write proposals for academic conferences, articles, and books.

In this section

Subsections.

10 Powerful AI Tools for Academic Research

  • Serra Ardem

10 Powerful AI Tools for Academic Research

AI is no longer science fiction, but a powerful ally in the academic realm. With AI by their side, researchers can free themselves from the burden of tedious tasks, and push the boundaries of knowledge. However, they must use AI carefully and ethically, as these practices introduce new considerations regarding data integrity, bias mitigation, and the preservation of academic rigor.

In this blog, we will:

  • Highlight the increasing role of AI in academic research
  • List 10 best AI tools for academic research, with a focus on each one’s strengths
  • Share 5 best practices on how to use AI tools for academic research

Let’s dig in…

The Role of AI in Academic Research

AI tools for academic research hold immense potential, as they can analyze massive datasets and identify complex patterns. These tools can assist in generating new research questions and hypotheses, navigate mountains of academic literature to find relevant information, and automate tedious tasks like data entry.

Four blue and white AI robots working on laptops.

Let’s take a look at the benefits AI tools offer for academic research:

  • Supercharged literature reviews: AI can sift through vast amounts of academic literature, and pinpoint relevant studies with far greater speed and accuracy than manual searches.
  • Accelerated data analysis: AI tools can rapidly analyze large datasets and uncover intricate insights that might otherwise be overlooked, or time-consuming to identify manually.
  • Enhanced research quality: Helping with grammar checking, citation formatting, and data visualization, AI tools can lead to a more polished and impactful final product.
  • Automation of repetitive tasks: By automating routine tasks, AI can save researchers time and effort, allowing them to focus on more intellectually demanding tasks of their research.
  • Predictive modeling and forecasting: AI algorithms can develop predictive models and forecasts, aiding researchers in making informed decisions and projections in various fields.
  • Cross-disciplinary collaboration: AI fosters collaboration between researchers from different disciplines by facilitating communication through shared data analysis and interpretation.

Now let’s move on to our list of 10 powerful AI tools for academic research, which you can refer to for a streamlined, refined workflow. From formulating research questions to organizing findings, these tools can offer solutions for every step of your research.

1. HyperWrite

For: hypothesis generation

HyperWrite’s Research Hypothesis Generator is perfect for students and academic researchers who want to formulate clear and concise hypotheses. All you have to do is enter your research topic and objectives into the provided fields, and then the tool will let its AI generate a testable hypothesis. You can review the generated hypothesis, make any necessary edits, and use it to guide your research process.

Pricing: You can have a limited free trial, but need to choose at least the Premium Plan for additional access. See more on pricing here .

The web page of Hyperwrite's Research Hypothesis Generator.

2. Semantic Scholar

For: literature review and management

With over 200 million academic papers sourced, Semantic Scholar is one of the best AI tools for literature review. Mainly, it helps researchers to understand a paper at a glance. You can scan papers faster with the TLDRs (Too Long; Didn’t Read), or generate your own questions about the paper for the AI to answer. You can also organize papers in your own library, and get AI-powered paper recommendations for further research.

Pricing: free

Semantic Scholar's web page on personalized AI-powered paper recommendations.

For: summarizing papers

Apparently, Elicit is a huge booster as its users save up to 5 hours per week. With a database of 125 million papers, the tool will enable you to get one-sentence, abstract AI summaries, and extract details from a paper into an organized table. You can also find common themes and concepts across many papers. Keep in mind that Elicit works best with empirical domains that involve experiments and concrete results, like biomedicine and machine learning.

Pricing: Free plan offers 5,000 credits one time. See more on pricing here .

The homepage of Elicit, one of the AI tools for academic research.

For: transcribing interviews

Supporting 125+ languages, Maestra’s interview transcription software will save you from the tedious task of manual transcription so you can dedicate more time to analyzing and interpreting your research data. Just upload your audio or video file to the tool, select the audio language, and click “Submit”. Maestra will convert your interview into text instantly, and with very high accuracy. You can always use the tool’s built-in text editor to make changes, and Maestra Teams to collaborate with fellow researchers on the transcript.

Pricing: With the “Pay As You Go” plan, you can pay for the amount of work done. See more on pricing here .

How to transcribe research interviews with Maestra's AI Interview Transcription Software.

5. ATLAS.ti

For: qualitative data analysis

Whether you’re working with interview transcripts, focus group discussions, or open-ended surveys, ATLAS.ti provides a set of tools to help you extract meaningful insights from your data. You can analyze texts to uncover hidden patterns embedded in responses, or create a visualization of terms that appear most often in your research. Plus, features like sentiment analysis can identify emotional undercurrents within your data.

Pricing: Offers a variety of licenses for different purposes. See more on pricing here .

The homepage of ATLAS.ti.

6. Power BI

For: quantitative data analysis

Microsoft’s Power BI offers AI Insights to consolidate data from various sources, analyze trends, and create interactive dashboards. One feature is “Natural Language Query”, where you can directly type your question and get quick insights about your data. Two other important features are “Anomaly Detection”, which can detect unexpected patterns, and “Decomposition Tree”, which can be utilized for root cause analysis.

Pricing: Included in a free account for Microsoft Fabric Preview. See more on pricing here .

The homepage of Microsoft's Power BI.

7. Paperpal

For: writing research papers

As a popular AI writing assistant for academic papers, Paperpal is trained and built on 20+ years of scholarly knowledge. You can generate outlines, titles, abstracts, and keywords to kickstart your writing and structure your research effectively. With its ability to understand academic context, the tool can also come up with subject-specific language suggestions, and trim your paper to meet journal limits.

Pricing: Free plan offers 5 uses of AI features per day. See more on pricing here .

The homepage of Paperpal, one of the best AI tools for academic research.

For: proofreading

With Scribbr’s AI Proofreader by your side, you can make your academic writing more clear and easy to read. The tool will first scan your document to catch mistakes. Then it will fix grammatical, spelling and punctuation errors while also suggesting fluency corrections. It is really easy to use (you can apply or reject corrections with 1-click), and works directly in a DOCX file.

Pricing: The free version gives a report of your issues but does not correct them. See more on pricing here .

The web page of Scribbr's AI Proofreader.

9. Quillbot

For: detecting AI-generated content

Want to make sure your research paper does not include AI-generated content? Quillbot’s AI Detector can identify certain indicators like repetitive words, awkward phrases, and an unnatural flow. It’ll then show a percentage representing the amount of AI-generated content within your text. The tool has a very user-friendly interface, and you can have an unlimited number of checks.

The interface of Quillbot's Free AI Detector.

10. Lateral

For: organizing documents

Lateral will help you keep everything in one place and easily find what you’re looking for. 

With auto-generated tables, you can keep track of all your findings and never lose a reference. Plus, Lateral uses its own machine learning technology (LIP API) to make content suggestions. With its “AI-Powered Concepts” feature, you can name a Concept, and the tool will recommend relevant text across all your papers.

Pricing: Free version offers 500 Page Credits one-time. See more on pricing here .

Lateral's web page showcasing the smart features of the tool.

How to Use AI Tools for Research: 5 Best Practices

Before we conclude our blog, we want to list 5 best practices to adopt when using AI tools for academic research. They will ensure you’re getting the most out of AI technology in your academic pursuits while maintaining ethical standards in your work.

  • Always remember that AI is an enhancer, not a replacement. While it can excel at tasks like literature review and data analysis, it cannot replicate the critical thinking and creativity that define strong research. Researchers should leverage AI for repetitive tasks, but dedicate their own expertise to interpret results and draw conclusions.
  • Verify results. Don’t take AI for granted. Yes, it can be incredibly efficient, but results still require validation to prevent misleading or inaccurate results. Review them thoroughly to ensure they align with your research goals and existing knowledge in the field.
  • Guard yourself against bias. AI tools for academic research are trained on existing data, which can contain social biases. You must critically evaluate the underlying assumptions used by the AI model, and ask if they are valid or relevant to your research question. You can also minimize bias by incorporating data from various sources that represent diverse perspectives and demographics.
  • Embrace open science. Sharing your AI workflow and findings can inspire others, leading to innovative applications of AI tools. Open science also promotes responsible AI development in research, as it fosters transparency and collaboration among scholars.
  • Stay informed about the developments in the field. AI tools for academic research are constantly evolving, and your work can benefit from the recent advancements. You can follow numerous blogs and newsletters in the area ( The Rundown AI is a great one) , join online communities, or participate in workshops and training programs. Moreover, you can connect with AI researchers whose work aligns with your research interests.

A woman typing on her laptop while sitting at a wooden desk.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is chatgpt good for academic research.

ChatGPT can be a valuable tool for supporting your academic research, but it has limitations. You can use it for brainstorming and idea generation, identifying relevant resources, or drafting text. However, ChatGPT can’t guarantee the information it provides is entirely accurate or unbiased. In short, you can use it as a starting point, but never rely solely on its output.

Can I use AI for my thesis?

Yes, but it shouldn’t replace your own work. It can help you identify research gaps, formulate a strong thesis statement, and synthesize existing knowledge to support your argument. You can always reach out to your advisor and discuss how you plan to use AI tools for academic research .

Can AI write review articles?

AI can analyze vast amounts of information and summarize research papers much faster than humans, which can be a big time-saver in the literature review stage. Yet it can struggle with critical thinking and adding its own analysis to the review. Plus, AI-generated text can lack the originality and unique voice that a human writer brings to a review.

Can professors detect AI writing?

Yes, they can detect AI writing in several ways. Software programs like Turnitin’s AI Writing Detection can analyze text for signs of AI generation. Furthermore, experienced professors who have read many student papers can often develop a gut feeling about whether a paper was written by a human or machine. However, highly sophisticated AI may be harder to detect than more basic versions.

Can I do a PhD in artificial intelligence?

Yes, you can pursue a PhD in artificial intelligence or a related field such as computer science, machine learning, or data science. Many universities worldwide offer programs where you can delve deep into specific areas like natural language processing, computer vision, and AI ethics. Overall, pursuing a PhD in AI can lead to exciting opportunities in academia, industry research labs, and tech companies.

This blog shared 10 powerful AI tools for academic research, and highlighted each tool’s specific function and strengths. It also explained the increasing role of AI in academia, and listed 5 best practices on how to adopt AI research tools ethically.

AI tools hold potential for even greater integration and impact on research. They are likely to become more interconnected, which can lead to groundbreaking discoveries at the intersection of seemingly disparate fields. Yet, as AI becomes more powerful, ethical concerns like bias and fairness will need to be addressed. In short, AI tools for academic research should be utilized carefully, with a keen awareness of their capabilities and limitations.

Serra Ardem

About Serra Ardem

Serra Ardem is a freelance writer and editor based in Istanbul. For the last 8 years, she has been collaborating with brands and businesses to tell their unique story and develop their verbal identity.

How To Write Better Sentences For A Research Paper?

How To Write Better Sentences For A Research Paper?

  • Smodin Editorial Team
  • Updated: May 17, 2024

When you’re faced with writing a research paper, coming up with clear, impactful sentences can be a headache. This is especially true when you aim to convey complex ideas effectively.

If you struggle with sentence structure or cannot express your thoughts clearly, this guide will help you.

From basic grammar to using AI tools, we’ll look at how to craft sentences that resonate with readers and bolster your arguments.

Understand the Basics of Sentence Structure

Understanding the basics of sentence structure is important in academic writing. Every sentence in your research paper is a building block, contributing to the clarity and persuasiveness of your argument. A good sentence begins with a clear focus: every word should help convey your main idea directly and effectively.

First, recognize the importance of a strong subject and verb combination. The subject of your sentence performs the action, which is described by the verb. Ensuring these elements are clear and concise prevents ambiguity and keeps the reader on their toes. For example: “The experiment demonstrates…” is more direct than saying: “It is demonstrated by the experiment that…”

Think about the structure of your sentences. A well-crafted sentence follows a logical pattern: subject, verb, object. Following this structure can make your writing easier while enhancing the article’s readability.

Finally, remember that every sentence you write should support the main point of your paragraph. Think of each sentence as a mini-argument that adds to your thesis, logically linking your ideas. Mastering these basics is the first step in ensuring that every sentence you write contributes substance.

Techniques for Enhancing Sentences

No, we weren’t about to leave you hanging. Here are some practical techniques that you can use to make each sentence add value to your research paper.

Achieving clarity is extremely important, especially in scientific writing and within your thesis statement. The argument must be clear to the reader immediately. One common issue is the overuse of complex sentences that muddy your points. Counter this by focusing on using active voice rather than passive voice. Passive voice can simply obscure “who” is performing the action.

Here’s an example: “The researcher conducted the experiment” (active) is clearer than: “The experiment was conducted by the researcher” (passive).

Also, when explaining processes or results that occurred in your study, past tense should be used consistently to maintain clarity. Ensure every verb in your sentence drives home a clear idea, supporting the main argument. So, when it comes to clarity, be sure to choose the right verb tense.

Sentence structure is an important part of keeping your academic articles engaging. The general rule is to mix different types of sentences to keep the reader’s interest and highlight key points.

Start by varying the length of your sentences: pair a shorter, impactful sentence with a longer, more descriptive one. This can prevent your writing from becoming boring. After a punchy statement, for example, extend the next sentence with additional details.

It’s also important to experiment with different starts to sentences . Using an adverb, an adjective, or a phrase to lead your thoughts can be helpful. Discussing your topics with various verbs also adds rhythm and dynamics to your text. Do this carefully, though: getting too creative with your diction can make a sentence more complex than it needs to be.

Trust us, it’s worth the effort to rephrase sentences to avoid repetitive structures and ensure your ideas are expressed as clearly and vividly as possible. This is key to crafting a compelling narrative for your article.

Transitions

Powerful transitions are the glue that holds your essay together, guiding the reader smoothly from one idea to the next. The first sentence of each paragraph should serve as a bridge from the previous paragraph. The most important point of a new section should be introduced clearly and succinctly.

This helps the reader follow your argument without struggling through abrupt changes and disconnected points. For example, if one paragraph discusses a specific aspect of your research, the next could link that aspect to another, deepening the reader’s understanding of the topic.

Within a paragraph, each sentence should logically flow to the next , using transition words and phrases to signal the connection between ideas. Using transitions effectively clarifies the relationship between paragraphs and sentences. It also reinforces the overall structure of your paper, ensuring each point contributes meaningfully to your thesis.

Write Better Sentences With Smodin

Using Smodin in your academic writing can transform how you structure sentences in your research papers. Smodin is equipped with tools to refine your writing and ensure it’s crisp, engaging, and informative. With it, you can expect meticulous attention to detail. This allows you to present more details clearly in your discussions.

The subject of your paper is handled with precision, backed by artificial intelligence (AI) that enriches your argument with well-structured ideas and only the relevant evidence.

Smodin’s AI tools help maintain a sharp focus on the topic at hand and select the best words to articulate your ideas. This can be particularly useful when you must express many research findings within a small word limit. Plus, Smodin’s ability to generate references accurately and integrate them seamlessly enhances credibility and saves you tons of time.

We should also mention that Smodin’s suite of AI writing tools goes way beyond just restructuring sentences. You can also do plagiarism checks and receive comprehensive research assistance, supporting your writing at every step.

Final Thoughts

To become a “good writer,” you must master sentence structure and clarity. It won’t be easy at first, but you can do it!

Present your subject in a way that resonates with your reader, ensuring that each sentence builds on the last to form a coherent argument. Eventually, with practice and attention to detail, you’ll improve.

Remember, you can speed this up by leveraging the power of artificial intelligence. Smodin lets you start for free, so what are you waiting for?

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COMMENTS

  1. Research Summary

    Research Summary. Definition: A research summary is a brief and concise overview of a research project or study that highlights its key findings, main points, and conclusions. It typically includes a description of the research problem, the research methods used, the results obtained, and the implications or significance of the findings.

  2. How To Write A Research Summary

    So, follow the steps below to write a research summary that sticks. 1. Read the parent paper thoroughly. You should go through the research paper thoroughly multiple times to ensure that you have a complete understanding of its contents. A 3-stage reading process helps.

  3. How to Write a Summary

    Table of contents. When to write a summary. Step 1: Read the text. Step 2: Break the text down into sections. Step 3: Identify the key points in each section. Step 4: Write the summary. Step 5: Check the summary against the article. Other interesting articles. Frequently asked questions about summarizing.

  4. PDF Summary and Analysis of Scientific Research Articles

    The summary section of your paper shows that you understood the basic facts of the research. The analysis shows that you can evaluate the evidence presented in the research and explain why the research could be important. Summary. The summary portion of the paper should be written with enough detail so that a reader would not have to look at ...

  5. How to Write a Summary

    Use the Right Tone and Voice. The tone and voice of your summary should match the original source material. Take note of the style from the source and reflect it in your writing. Whether the source material is formal or informal, academic or creative, ensuring consistency in tone and voice is key to an effective summary.

  6. PDF How to Summarize a Research Article

    A research article usually has seven major sections: Title, Abstract, Introduction, Method, Results, Discussion, and References. The first thing you should do is to decide why you need to summarize the article. If the purpose of the summary is to take notes to later remind yourself about the article you may want to write a longer summary ...

  7. Research Paper Summary: How to Write a Summary of a Research ...

    A summary must be coherent and cogent and should make sense as a stand-alone piece of writing. It is typically 5% to 10% of the length of the original paper; however, the length depends on the length and complexity of the article and the purpose of the summary. Accordingly, a summary can be several paragraphs or pages, a single paragraph, or ...

  8. How to write a summary of a research paper (with template)

    1. Scan and extract the main points. First things first, so you have to read the paper. But that doesn't mean you have to read it from start to finish. Start by scanning the article for its main points. Here's the essential information to extract from the research paper you have in front of you: Authors, year, doi.

  9. Writing a Summary

    Example 2: Summary of a Research Paper. Original Paper: In a study titled "The Impact of Urbanisation on Bee Populations," researchers conducted a year-long observation on bee colonies in three urban areas and three rural areas. Using specific metrics like colony health, bee productivity, and population size, the study found that urban ...

  10. How to Write a Research Paper Summary

    A research paper summary is a crisp, comprehensive overview of a research paper, which encapsulates the purpose, findings, methods, conclusions, and relevance of a study. A well-written research paper summary is an indicator of how well you have understood the author's work. Table of Contents. How to write a research paper summary. 1.

  11. Article Summaries, Reviews & Critiques

    When writing a summary, the goal is to compose a concise and objective overview of the original article. The summary should focus only on the article's main ideas and important details that support those ideas. ... Adapted from "Guidelines for Using In-Text Citations in a Summary (or Research Paper)" by Christine Bauer-Ramazani, 2020 ...

  12. Effective Summary For Research Paper: How To Write

    1. Read The Entire Research Paper. Before you can write an effective summary, you must first read and understand the research paper. This may seem like a time-consuming task, but it is essential to write a good summary. Make sure that you understand all of the main points of the paper before you begin writing. 2.

  13. Research Summary: What is it & how to write one

    A research summary is a piece of writing that summarizes your research on a specific topic. Its primary goal is to offer the reader a detailed overview of the study with the key findings. A research summary generally contains the article's structure in which it is written. You must know the goal of your analysis before you launch a project.

  14. A Guide to Writing a Research Summary: Steps, Structure, and Tips

    Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Summary Paper Find Out the Focus Area of Your Paper. Writing a research report requires you to read the entire article thoroughly. First, skim through the paper and understand the gist of the article. Once you have gone through the contents, you will have a fairly good idea of what the paper is all about.

  15. Easy Ways to Write a Summary of a Research Paper: 11 Steps

    Some summaries can even be as short as one sentence. 3. State the research question and hypothesis. To begin your summary, start by summarizing what the authors aim to answer and what their hypothesis was. You can combine both the question and the hypothesis into one short sentence to open up your summary.

  16. How to Write a Summary

    Table of contents. When to write a summary. Step 1: Read the text. Step 2: Break the text down into sections. Step 3: Identify the key points in each section. Step 4: Write the summary. Step 5: Check the summary against the article. Frequently asked questions.

  17. Research Summary: What Is It & How To Write One

    Keep the summary well organized, and use paragraphs to discuss the various sections of the research. Restrict your research to 300-400 words which is the standard practice for research summaries globally. However, if the research paper you want to summarize is a lengthy one, do not exceed 10% of the entire research material.

  18. How to Write a Research Paper Summary [Infographic]

    Creating an effective research paper summary requires finesse, precision, and the art of distilling complex information into bite-sized pieces of knowledge. Here's an infographic explaining the 3 key things you must keep in mind as you write a research paper summary. Paperpal is an AI academic writing assistant that can help researchers ...

  19. How to Write a Research Paper

    Develop a thesis statement. Create a research paper outline. Write a first draft of the research paper. Write the introduction. Write a compelling body of text. Write the conclusion. The second draft. The revision process. Research paper checklist.

  20. How to Write a Literature Review

    Examples of literature reviews. Step 1 - Search for relevant literature. Step 2 - Evaluate and select sources. Step 3 - Identify themes, debates, and gaps. Step 4 - Outline your literature review's structure. Step 5 - Write your literature review.

  21. Common Writing Assignments

    Common Writing Assignments. These OWL resources will help you understand and complete specific types of writing assignments, such as annotated bibliographies, book reports, and research papers. This section also includes resources on writing academic proposals for conference presentations, journal articles, and books.

  22. Report Writing Format with Templates and Sample Report

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