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How to Summarize Research Article in 5 Simple Steps

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How to Summarize Research Article in 5 Simple Steps

Students are often assigned to a task of summarizing the content of the research article. Academic writing is usually precise, clear, and follows a specific format. The same can be said about the article structure, which consists of the following parts:

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methodology
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Bibliography

In order to complete the assignment with positive results, the writer will have to follow five simple steps. Here they are:

Think about the Purpose of Your Summary

Well, article summary can be written for different purposes. It can be either a part of your class assignment or just a review of an article you want to use later to refresh the content in your memory. Depending on your goal, the length of the summary may vary, as well. If you intend to write a short overview of the article to use it later for your own purpose, you can make it longer. However, if you write it as a part of your class assignment, you will need to stick to the suggested word count.

Get Familiar with the Article Prior to Reading It

Many students prefer reading an abstract to scanning the whole article. It is not always helpful, as the abstract does not always contain all the information that is represented in the article.

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Take a look at the article prior to reading it to find out the following things:

  • Why the research discussed in the article was done;
  • What are the hypotheses presented in the article;
  • The way the hypotheses were tested by the researchers;
  • Findings and their interpretation.

Underline the parts you find most interesting and useful to go back to them later.

Read the Article Thoroughly

If all the parts of the article are clear to you, you can start reading it. It is recommended read the article a couple of times, especially those parts which are difficult to comprehend or which contain important information. In order to memorize and understand the information better, you can ask yourself supportive questions. They may include:

  • How does the study contribute to the problem solution?
  • Did you find the outcomes convincing enough?
  • Are there any unanswered questions?

Write a Summary

The main purpose of the summary is to provide a brief overview of the article. Consequently, it is important to concentrate only on the key issues of the paper, such as hypotheses tested, methods, results, implications, etc.

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Do not write the final version of the summary at once; start with a draft to make sure you have included everything you wanted.

Complete the Summary

After the draft is done, read the summary once again and think about the parts that can be improved, replaced, or simply removed. Check the structure, grammar, and spelling.

After all these steps are completed, you will get a high-quality summary, which will attain the highest grade!

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