Research Summary: What Is It?

The process of writing every college or university paper requires patience, knowledge, and skills. A research summary is not an exception as well. Some students do not have any idea what is the purpose of the summary and how to prepare it. If you are at the very beginning of the writing research summary or are stuck in the middle of the process, then go on reading this article and find out the answers to all your questions.

A research summary is a kind of paper aimed to give a short analysis of a given study. In most cases, it comes from academic journals and is known to be a common task for American students. They often need to write a research paper despite the type of educational establishment and the subject. 

In this way, students learn to deal with various resources of scientific literature and interpret them. It is crucial while studying both exact sciences and humanitarian as academic papers help work out new theories, ideas and come up with discoveries. Typically, a research summary keeps sections and the overall structure of the discussed article. 

However, it must not be just paraphrasing the article ideas and coming in the same word count. There are certain rules and requirements that you must follow, in case you want to impress your teacher and show a high level of expertise.

Step-by-Step Guide on Writing Research Summary

Most students feel confused while writing a research summary, especially if it is their first experience. Remember that this type of paper, like any other one, needs some practice, patience, and of course, skills. If you want to be more productive and do not waste too much time, then consider this step-by-step guide.

It will be of great help to every student who faces productivity bottlenecks and an absence of inspiration. Follow all steps and decrease the number of potential mistakes, making the entire writing process as simple as it is possible

Look Through the Article

It is not recommended to start with a detailed reading of the article. You just need to skim it to catch the overall idea and how it is revealed in each section. As a result, you will understand how various crucial lines of evidence are and which of them require closer consideration.

Examine and Understand the Article Topic

A student needs to study the topic very well to write a good research summary. Often, it is necessary to learn definitions, models, concepts, as well as the up-to-date state of knowledge. That’s why you need to be ready to do all this while reading the literature review.

In terms of a paper itself, you must understand listed evidence, analysis questions, how the evidence supports mentioned hypotheses, and also analysis implications. It is impossible to come up with a top-quality research summary without a full understanding of the paper and its content.

Write Down Notes

While reading the article, you may take some notes. Probably each paragraph can be described in a single sentence. Mind that some paragraphs require more attention than others, and do not write too much text. Otherwise, you will have to read your notes once again and analyze them. 

Later, you will understand what information is more important and what can be omitted. You can also practice highlighting but be accurate and do not underline everything. Let it be only the most crucial evidence, as too much coloring in the text may make you confused.

Work at a Draft

The next step is to assemble a draft made of notes from every paragraph and fundamental evidence. Ensure that all crucial characteristics are covered and you have not lost anything.

Look for Extra Literature

You can easily make your research summary look fantastic if you find additional literature. It is significant in case you want to talk about the incompleteness of the study, some contradictory evidence, etc. You should give facts to support your position. Otherwise, your ideas will not have any ground, which is unacceptable for a research summary.

What is Research Summary Structure?

A structure is as important as the content itself. Before starting to write, you need to know what should be included in a research summary. Actually, this is significant since missing at least one fundamental element will thwart all your efforts. So, do your best to adhere to a summary format that must be identical to the original paper one. Include all sections, no matter whether the related headings are available or not. The research summary structure looks like this:

  1. Title. It presents the area or topic of analysis and may present fundamental findings or arguments briefly.
  2. Abstract. It is a laconic and comprehensive study description. The abstract is available in each academic article and has up to 500 words in length. Do not confuse it with an abstract of an academic article that is longer.
  3. Introduction. This part of the research summary provides essential context aimed to present the subject to the readers. It introduces an up-to-date state of the investigation, crucial definitions, etc. In case the importance of the subject is not clear, the introduction can describe it. Also, this section mentions some investigation questions that were initiated by the authors.
  4. Methodology. The next part presents the data analysis or experimental methods that were used to collect the information. Mind that many of such details should be omitted in the research summary, so think twice to understand what to mention and what is not very important.
  5. Result section.  It includes evidence received from all experiments as well as a primary interpretation of the results. This section is often the largest one, so you need to review all information and include only the most important content.
  6. Discussion. This part presents the discussion of results by various experts. Here, you can mention various interpretations of results, strengths, and limitations of the study, conclusion, future exploration, etc.
  7. Conclusion.  This section may be identical to “Discussion” in the original article, but some specific instructions may require it to be a separate one. Here you need to return to hypotheses and either deny or validate them.
  8. References. This is the last key part of a research summary structure that must include all works that were directly mentioned in your paper. Other works must be included in case your critical point of view is required.

Mind that looking through other research summary paper examples and checking their structures will save your time and simplify the entire writing process. 

Effective Tips for Writing Research Summary

Consider a list of writing tips to make your experience of crafting a research summary as pleasant as it is possible:

  • Ensure you are familiar with a general direction. You need to be aware of the story that stands behind a particular article. If you do not remember some hypotheses, conclusions, stated goals, then you need to read and scan them again. You would better perform this when at least the fourth of the paper is ready.
  • Start with a detailed research outline. In this way, you will structure your paper and avoid possible inaccuracies. Do not hurry and watch every word.
  • Draft key conclusion elements. The conclusion must perform a lot of functions like talking about the subject’s significance, potential implications, invalidate or validate hypotheses, etc. It is recommended to write them down before writing the conclusion so that you will not forget anything.
  • Prepare the introduction and discussion parts last. It is recommended to leave these two parts for the end as you can adapt them in order to fit the word count. Start with hypotheses, then goals and questions, followed by main results. But do not break a natural order in terms of other parts.
  • Add some visual elements. The readers will perceive the text better if it includes at least a few charts or graphs. They will make your research summary more readable.
  • Be careful with plagiarism issues. It is quite common to use the ideas and thoughts of other people, but you need to be very accurate with a quotation. Do not forget to mention cited works not to be accused of plagiarism. Moreover, it is recommended to formulate your own phrases from scratch.
  • Mind the word count. Do you know how long a research summary is? It must not be very long as otherwise, you risk losing the necessary focus and confuse readers with too much information. Your summary must not be as long as the original paper, so mind the word count and do not include unimportant details.
  • Proofread your paper. Read the research summary a few times to make sure it has no spelling or grammar mistakes. Use all available tools to check whether the paper is too wordy or has some formatting issues. 
  • Watch used writing style. You should sound precise and formal when summarizing the content. Expressing a personal attitude may be mentioned only in the critical part if it is stated in requirements.
  • Ask somebody to check your summary. It would be great if some of your colleagues have time to read your paper. In this way, you will make sure that all crucial information is included, and you did not omit any important explanations.

Research Summary Examples

The question “How do you write a summary for a research paper” is one of the most popular requests in searching engines. As has been mentioned above, you need to look at some examples of research summary to clarify all issues. They will help you check the structure, length, and extra detail. Here are two such examples that were written based on imaginary articles. Look through them, and mind the structure.

Example 1

Title – “Possibility of the sudden eruption of volcano Kilauea”

Introduction – This part will include possible catastrophic consequences occurring in Hawaii in the case of the Kilauea eruption, as well as the significance of analyzing this situation.

Hypothesis – Kilauea eruption would be preceded by severe activities before and many years after the event.

Results – This section may include some reports and statistics from numerous volcanic eruptions that took place all over the world. It is necessary to find out what events took place before the eruptions and how they were detected.

Discussions and conclusion –  The volcano Kilauea is constantly watched by scientists and specialists as the possibility of eruption can be detected a few days before the event, so the hypothesis is confirmed. All this makes it necessary to work out emergency plans and prepare response measures.

Example 2

Title – “ The frequency of flood in the USA in a period from 2003-2007 as compared to the “60s”

Introduction – Extreme weather conditions come up with terrible material damage and losses.

Hypothesis – Flood events occur more often nowadays than in the “60s”.

Results – Here, you can include statistics of the flood events, reports, and their consequences.

Discussion and conclusion – Floods became more frequent these days, so the hypothesis is confirmed. This frequency correlates with regular rain and tsunami that lead to the necessity to make plans for urgent people evacuation and guaranteeing their safety. 

Partner with Professionals

Crafting a research summary comes with its own difficulties, but knowing the correct structure, understanding the content of the article with all complicated definitions, etc., as well as becoming familiar with efficient tips, will help you for sure. As a result, the process of writing a summary will not seem to be a real torture for you. Still, if you do not have enough time, or lack inspiration and desire, then you can approach a professional writing service.

You will not waste much time placing your order and providing the author with extra details. A professional company has a transparent system of ordering and paying. There are no doubts, and you will get a top-quality research summary before a deadline comes. 

Last but not least is the opportunity to communicate directly with the writer and clarify issues that you are interested in. Your teacher will not learn about your cooperation with a professional company, but you will save time, effort and can be completely sure about the research summary quality.