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How to write a research summary

29 May 2018

If you are visiting this page, you are probably facing all the difficulties of writing a summary for your research paper. While everything is quite clear with a research itself, many students ask themselves ‘What is a research summary?In this article, we will gladly give an answer!

It is a type of an assignment, which aims to give the reader a brief information about the topic you discuss in your research. The main aim of such a paper is to introduce the potential audience to the topic and make it want to go on reading. That is why most of the students, who lack writing skills, usually find it difficult to complete a summary.

To write an outstanding research summary you need to be able to analyze your paper and distinguish its key parts. Unfortunately, such a task may be more difficult than writing a long essay, as it requires concentration and an ability to be laconic.

How to write a research summary

Structure of summary and useful tips

If you want to know how to write a research summary, you should start with learning its structure and key elements. They include:

  • A title. Try to be brief and straight to the point;
  • Abstract;
  • Introduction, which contains key ideas of the whole research;
  • Methodology;
  • Section with the results of your study;
  • Discussion;
  • List of references and used sources.

If you want your summary to be flawless, here are the tips, which you will definitely find useful:

  • Have a clear picture of what your research is about. It may sound quite a weird advice but many students are not able to remember all the details of their work and simply fail to provide an adequate summary. It often results in a weak summary, which doesn’t get any important information on the topic;
  • Stick to the structure. While an essay has quite a free structure, a research paper and its summary need to follow a certain pattern and consist of the main elements. That is why you need to write a thesis statement, describe the key elements, write about all the tools you have used, provide numbers and make conclusions. In such a way, your summary will look like a mini-version of your paper;
  • Create an outline. It is very important to make notes throughout the way to remember what your paper is about. Write down the key points of your research, describe the question of your assignment and its hypothesis. Mention the methods you have used and sources you have analyzed. This will make a strong summary and will help you to stick to the point;
  • Always proofread your paper. Even if your summary is brief, it doesn’t mean that you don’t need to check all the lexical and grammar mistakes. In such a way, you will prevent yourself from losing grades and will always sound professional;
  • Download a research summary template to be able to understand how it should look like. It is also useful to read various articles, summaries and essays on your topic. You will always be aware of the latest trends and will be able to support a discussion;
  • Always edit your summary. If you want your paper to be readable and stylish, you should pay attention to every phrase and every paragraph. If you don’t think that you are able to complete such a task on your own, ask your friends or relatives for help.

Common mistakes

Summary of research is a very complicated task, so you will definitely find it useful to learn about the main errors. They include:

  • Not taking the assignment seriously and making lots of mistakes, both grammatical and lexical ones. Unfortunately, most of the students lack language skills and don’t have enough patience to proofread their texts before the delivery;
  • Wordiness of the text, filled with ‘really’, ‘I mean..’, ‘and so on’ and others. Try to avoid watery texts, as they always make your paper boring;
  • Excessive usage of first person and direct quotes. They seem unprofessional and distract the reader from the main point;
  • Downloading a research paper summary example and simply copying its parts. Being accused in plagiarism may greatly harm your reputation and influence your future in a long run;
  • Weak citing. You need to be familiar with the required formatting style to cite all the sources properly.

Your summary is the face of the whole research paper, so you need to pay attention to its quality in order to attract the reader.

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