A Guide to Writing an Effective Academic Summary

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.

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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. 

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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