A Guide to Writing an Effective Academic Summary

To write a good academic summary, you must know what…

To write a good academic summary, you must know what it entails.

Purposes of Academic Summary

Writing an academic summary serves several purposes, including assisting students with exams and preparing for a discussion. 

Therefore, students must be able to quickly grasp the structure of an article and reproduce the ideas in their own words. 

An academic summary may serve three purposes:

  • Explaining a text: aims to investigate text types, main themes, and theoretical frameworks; focuses on general content (annotated bibliography).
  • Replacing a text: extracts the most important (sub)themes (adding, removing, enhancing) sections of the text (exam preparation, reading report). 
  • The discussion of a text: a critical report with a verified conclusion (review, essay, final paper, preparation for a group discussion)

 Effective Tips- Academic Summary

Writing an effective academic summary is much easier to do from an outline, providing you with a writing plan for your summary.

This guide will cover all of the key ingredients of your summary and give you a handy outline of what to do.

Here are three tips for writing an effective academic Summary

  • Writing a summary is much easier to do from an outline, which will also provide you with a writing plan for your summary
  • Write your thesis at the top of the outline. Outline the supporting ideas you would like to include in the summary.
  • Outline the supporting ideas in summary. Whether it is an argumentative, descriptive or reflective paper, you will need to write an outline.
  • Include the author’s name, the work’s title, and the thesis statement in the first sentence.
  • Take the most from paragraphs with clear transitions between significant points.
  • Put the ideas together in the same order as the original.

Types of Academic Summary

  • Instances where the author’s name appears several times throughout the summary.
  • The author is only mentioned in brackets at the end of the summary.

Example of Formal Academic Summaries

An example of formal academic summaries would include a peer-reviewed journal article published in a reputable journal. 

The academic summary of the journal article would briefly introduce the topic, the authors, and the results of a study. It would also include a conclusion, next steps, and cited research and sources. 

You might also include a press release on the results of a study. It could also be a management thesis titled, for instance, ‘Doran’s Thesis: Building stable working relationships. 

Due to the length of standard academic texts, they are to be written as clearly and concisely as possible

To Wrap Up

An academic summary must be written in a language that follows the formal rules in English. It must also be easily understood by people unfamiliar with the original text.

It can be tricky to plan an excellent educational summary for an academic paper you have written, especially if you have a few hours. 

That is why you need to consider everything outlined in this guide when you are writing your academic summary. 

Frequently asked questions

What are the 3 main requirements for a good summary?

Summary must have three qualities: conciseness, accuracy, and objectivity.

What are the 5 steps of summary writing?

  • You should identify the main idea. Put out the most important point you want your reader to know.
  • No Judgments
  • Make sure it flows.
  • Check the summary against the article.
  • Keep it Brief. Most summary paragraphs are between five and eight sentences long.

What is the most effective way of summarizing an academic text?

Take the passage carefully to fully comprehend it. Read your summary carefully and pick the main idea and supporting points you think you should include. Think about how the source ideas are relevant to your argument(s) that you are trying to present in your paper, and include keywords and terms used by the author.

What are the six things a summary must include?

  • What were the methods used?
  • What were the participants?
  • What were the findings of the study?
  • What is the reason for this study?

How do you write a good academic summary?

  • A thesis or idea of general importance.
  • Describe the sections of the paper.
  • Support was used to back up the author’s thesis.

What is the importance of summarizing in academic writing?

Students learn how to identify essential ideas and consolidate important details that support them. Students can focus on key words and phrases of an assigned text that are worth noting and keeping in mind.

What are the 5 qualities of a good summary?

Summary should be comprehensive, concise, coherent, and independent. As you should do in all of the notes and notes, a summary must be complete: it must be comprehensive.

What is the process of writing a summary?

Do not make your own opinions or judgments when writing a summary. Aim to capture the most important ideas from the text and shorten and paraphrase them. It should be a concise, fair, objective comment on the original text. Your perspective should be represented in it, not your own.

What are the 7 steps in writing a summary?

  • Start writing the text.
  • Introduction
  • Continue reading the text.
  • Find the most important concepts and fundamental points of the text.
  • Organize the major ideas.
  • Conclusion paragraph
  • Main body paragraphs

How do you summarize correctly?

Reading a passage closely will let you find the main ideas and supporting ideas. You then need to briefly write down those ideas in a few sentences or paragraphs. Understanding the difference between a summary and a paraphrase is important. Paraphrases are simply rewriting passages in your own words.

What are key points to write a summary?

  • To reorder the ideas, follow the rules.
  • Find the sections in the text. Find the thesis and main ideas in the text.
  • The difference between major and minor details.
  • Reserve your opinions
  • Keep an eye on transition words.
  • Details and examples are removed.

How do you start an academic summary example?

What are the 4 steps to writing an effective summary?

  • Find the key idea. Summary tells the reader what the source material is about, reducing it to its most important point.
  • Keep it brief. Summary is not a rewrite of the original piece: it is a brief summary of the piece.
  • Write without judgment
  • Make sure it’s flowing.

What are the 8 steps to writing a summary?

  • Divide… and conquer
  • Read. Prepare for reading the selection now that you’ve prepared.
  • Reread. Rereading should be active.
  • One sentence at a time.
  • Make a thesis statement (the main idea that summarises everything).
  • Ready to write
  • Check for accuracy
  • Revise

How long should an academic summary be?

According to experts, the length of a summary should never exceed one-quarter the length that it had been originally, although it is often shorter. Please remember that a summary must always be written in your own words, or if not, should contain direct quotations.

A Guide to Writing an Effective Academic Summary

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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