Effective Steps to Summarize a Journal Article

If you’re wondering how to summarize a journal article, you’re…

If you’re wondering how to summarize a journal article, you’re in luck. This post explores everything to know about the process.

1. Read the Article & Analyze the Content

Read the article carefully. Your paper should be a reflection of the article’s themes and ideas, as well as a synopsis of what was mentioned

in the article. It’s essential to understand the qualitative and quantitative aspects of the paper and what its major points are. Reading the article requires a strategic approach to get a gist of the journal.

Understand the Context by Reading the Abstract

The abstract is a summary of the journal article that highlights key points from the research study. They are short paragraphs summarizing research articles or journals, typically no more than 200 words.

Ensure that you understand what the author is trying to discuss or analyze and why the research is important. This can help you figure out the arguments, quotes, and statistics to include in your summary.

Skip Ahead to the Conclusion

Get to the conclusion and find out where the proposed research will end. Learn more about the topic and see where the complicated outlines and arguments lead. Reading the researchers’ conclusions first makes it easier to absorb the facts.

Determine the Main Argument of the Article

It’s best to take notes, underline, or highlight the key points on the first go to avoid reading through the whole content again.

Pay attention to the first couple of paragraphs because this is most likely where the author will speak out their overall thesis. Determine the significant argument or notion that the author attempts to prove through their research.

Scan the Argument & Take Notes

Concentrate on the essential concepts and ideas proposed and relate them to the fundamental notion presented at the start of the essay.

When conducting research and gathering data from academic journals, efficiency is crucial. So, actively read the content and take notes as you read each section of the journal.

2. Create a Draft & Write the Summary

A journal article summary is like any other summary that gives the reader a quick overview of the study. It is easier to discuss a subject thoroughly and briefly if you have a good understanding of it.

To write a compelling summary, you need to determine the critical information and simplify it for the readers. The following tips will assist you in learning how to summarize a journal paper without sacrificing details.

Keep an objective tone & avoid personal pronouns

Striking a formal tone in academic writing is important. So, avoid personal pronouns and keep an objective tone in your summary. While summarizing a journal article, keep in mind that you’re not criticizing the content but overviewing it.

Start with the research question

The beginning of the article usually mentions the emphasis of the research study and the objective of performing the research.

This is where you should start your summary by picking up the research question. Describe the point the author is trying to make with their research in your own words.

Discuss the research methodology and findings

You must discuss the techniques and methodologies employed throughout the study.

Essentially, you need to outline how the authors or researchers arrived at their conclusions based on the firsthand investigation or data collection.

Don’t forget to mention the results achieved by the author. Make sure your summary includes the research question, the results, and the methods used to attain those results.

Connect the major points of the article

The objective of the summary is to give the reader a quick overview of the authors’ main ideas. It’s crucial to show how the relationships between the authors’ thoughts develop throughout the article summary.

You must explain the arguments in your own words. You need to fill the gap and assumptions to clarify and summarize the research to the readers.

Don’t make your own conclusions

Make sure not to draw your conclusions when summarizing a journal article. The idea of a summary is to briefly explain the writers’ ideas rather than to offer your additions and views.

Unless specifically indicated as part of the assignment, a summary of an article should not present your interpretations of the data.


A journal article summary is an effective and essential way to communicate research findings and transfer learning. Effective summarization of a journal article can help provide context to the text.

However, understanding the article’s key results is only part of the process of summarization. The successful summarization process must also include familiarization with the article’s context and supporting evidence.

This article provides a comprehensive guide on how to summarize a journal article effectively and efficiently.

Frequently asked questions

How do you summarize an article in one paragraph?

Summary: Include an introduction paragraph where you describe the topic, summarize an article’s background, and reiterate what the author has to say. The body paragraphs should then cover the main supporting arguments and evidence used by the author to defend them.

How do you critically evaluate a journal article?

  • Start Here
  • Analyzing the Text. Do a research on how and why it was conducted. Set up the research context. Evaluate the research. Assess the significance of the research.
  • Writing Your Critique

How do you summarize an article without plagiarizing?

If you want to avoid plagiarism when summarizing an article or other source, follow these two rules: Write a summary entirely in your own words by paraphrasing the author’s ideas. Cite the source with an in-text citation and a full reference so your reader can easily locate the original text.

How do you write a summary of findings in a research paper?

Prepare a paragraph or two for each finding in your study to describe. Assert the finding. Tell the reader how your findings relate to your study’s aim and focus. Compare your findings to literature.

What are the rules in summarizing?

An effective summary of the original passage must be comprehensive: you should take notes of all the important points in the original section. Please review all of your ideas on your list and include in your summary all those essential to the author’s development of her/his thesis or main idea.

What are the three basic steps in summarizing?

There are three steps to follow: (1) read and understand, (2) write short sentences with these key words.

What are the 4 steps to summarizing an article?

Provide details on the principal points of the article. Use the following details to support the main ideas. Keep in mind that you should not copy phrases and sentences from a publication unless they are direct quotations. Explain the underlying meaning of the article, not just the superficial details.

How do you summarize and critique a research article?

In order to create a clear picture of what an article is about, you need to share the key points of it. The focus of a critique may include a brief summary, but the main focus should be on your evaluation and analysis of the research itself.

How do you start a summary of a journal article?

You should identify what information is important and condense that information into a summary for your reader. If you understand a subject, it is easier to explain it thoroughly and briefly. It’s time to write down your first draft. The article should follow the same order as the article itself.

How do you summarize an article for a student?

  • Start by scanning the article. Reading the article is the perfect starting point for the summary process.
  • Identify the substructures in step 2.
  • Highlight the Key Points in Step 3.
  • Summary is the 4th step.
  • Compare the Summary and Article in Step 5.

What are the steps for Summarising?

  • Identify sections of the text. The title of the text’s thesis and main ideas.
  • Identify major and minor details.
  • Let minor details and examples stand.
  • Be aware of transition words.
  • Reorganize the ideas as needed.
  • Reserve your opinions

What is a journal summary?

In summarizing a journal article, you present a focused overview of a completed research study in a peer-reviewed publication. In a journal article summary, potential readers are given a brief summary, providing a sense of the article’s focus.

What are the 5 steps in summarizing?

  • Do not forget to identify the key points in each section.
  • The summary has been written step 4.
  • Two-step break down the text into sections.
  • Read the text first.
  • See the summary against the article in step 5.

How do you summarize a journal article effectively?

Give a brief summary of the main question(s) and the thesis or findings. Take notes in the margins about each section in the footnotes and subheadings to understand the organization. Have a brief note about the main idea or purpose of each paragraph in a section.

How do you summarize a lengthy paragraph and article of a research paper?

Describe the need for the research and say why it’s important. If the hypotheses were tested, please describe. Describe the methods in a few paragraphs (particants, design, procedure, materials, independent and dependent variables, how they used the data) and provide reasons why they were significant.

Effective Steps to Summarize a Journal Article

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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