Start Writing an Effective Scientific Article Summary

Some people think that writing an article summary is quick…

Some people think that writing an article summary is quick and easy. After all, how difficult would it be to jot down a few hundred words on a paper? But writing a summary of a scientific article quickly becomes a daunting task when you consider the weight of those few hundred words.

A research summary requires you to condense a complex research paper into an understandable and self-explanatory piece of focused writing. It must convey the core idea of the article without missing any key elements of the research paper.

Therefore, writing a summary article is often kept as the last task on the list because it is deemed to be a tedious process. This article will walk you through the important aspects of a research summary and how to structure one easily.

What Is a Research Summary?

A research summary is when you summarize a scientific article in more straightforward language. This summary is a part of your scientific paper that concisely but clearly explains the core findings of the article to its audience. A carefully crafted research summary speaks for you and your understanding of the material presented in the research paper.

Finding and highlighting the research paper’s key takeaways can help you write a quality research summary that is easier to understand. A research summary is a clear reflection of how the sections of the original paper are structured.

The goal of a research summary is to provide an overview of the subject, research methods, and conclusions used in the study. So, the summary must take an objective stance instead of analyzing or criticizing the paper.

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Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

Start Writing a Summary of a Scientific Article

You must clearly understand the structure, content, and organization of your research before you begin writing the summary. You need to concentrate on three key components of a research summary.

  • Include a section that explains the importance of the research, the methods, and the resources used to develop the conclusion. Also, make sure to write a concise but thorough explanation of the significance of the findings of the scientific paper.
  • Discuss each section of the scientific article in separate paragraphs to maintain a clear organization.
  • You must not include any new information or argument in the summary.
  • Restrict the summary to between 300-400 words because that is the general practice in most cases.

How to Structure a Scientific Article Summary

The research summary is simply a condensed form of the entire research paper that gives an overview of the paper to the readers.

Therefore, a research summary usually preserves the section of the actual article. Content from all sections of the article should be discussed, whether titles are present or not.

The following are essential structural components of any research summary:

Title

The title represents the main topic or area of analysis of the research. So, make sure to phrase it in a way that states the key findings and conclusions made about the research.

Abstract

The abstract sets the framework of the research paper, which must e concise but gives a comprehensive description of the research. A research summary is expected to have a considerably shorter abstract than any academic article.

Introduction

The introduction is the most important section of a research summary, as it familiarizes readers with the subject. In this section, you should outline your topic’s definition, the status of your research, and its applicability. You must also mention the problem statement, research strategies, and the hypothesis of the article in this part.

Methodology

This section details the methodology and procedures used to carry out the study. Write a concise description of the surveys, sampling, types of experiments, statistical analysis, and the rationale for selecting those specific methods.

Results

Make a list of the data gathered from the numerous experiment along with an initial analysis, findings, and the interpretations made. The results section is usually the most in-depth and extensive piece of the paper. Therefore, you must identify the essential elements and write the results in a concise manner.

Discussion

In this section, you present how the results were interpreted in light of their applicability. The discussion section includes the results, inferences, and theoretical models explaining the major strengths and limitations. You must include each of these essential components briefly in the summary.

Conclusion

Many research papers combine the discussion and conclusion sections. However, you may have to write about it in a separate paragraph based on the instructions given. The conclusion typically reviews the hypothesis. It also gives information regarding the validity or rejection of the arguments based on the results presented in the paper.

Conclusion

The key aspect of writing a summary of a scientific article is to understand the article’s main points and clearly put them into writing. This means that before starting to write, you should outline your piece to arrive at a manageable number of ideas that can be understood.

Moreover, it is often best to thoroughly read the article you are summarizing before beginning to write. It will give you an idea of what areas of the paper need greater attention. To help you clearly summarize a scientific paper, this article outlines some key steps and the structure to follow.

Frequently asked questions

Start Writing an Effective Scientific Article Summary

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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