A Complete Guide to Writing a Research Summary
A summary is a key part of any research. So, how should you go about writing one?
You will find many guides on the Internet about writing research. But, any article seldom covers the prospect of writing a research summary. While many things are shortened versions of the original article, there’s much more to research summaries.
From descriptive statistics to writing scientific research, a summary plays a vital role in describing the key ideas within. So, it begs a few questions, such as:
- What exactly is a research summary?
- How do you write one?
- What are some of the tips for writing a good research summary?
In this guide, we’ll answer all of these questions and explore a few essential factors about research writing. So, let’s jump right into it.
What is a Research Summary?
A research summary is a short, concise summary of an academic research paper. It is often used to summarize the results of an experiment, summarize the major findings and conclusions, and provide a brief overview of the methods and procedures used in the study.
The purpose of a research summary is to provide readers with enough information about an article to decide whether they want to read it in its entirety. It should be no more than two paragraphs long and should include:
- A brief introduction summarizing why the article was written
- The main idea of the article
- The major findings and conclusions
- An overview of how the study was conducted
In order to write effective research summaries, it is important that you can capture the essential points of the research and provide a concise overview. The key step in writing a good summary is to read through the article and make notes of the key points.
This can be done by underlining or highlighting key phrases in the article. One essential thing is to organize these points into an outline format, which includes an introduction and conclusion paragraph.
Another best and quick way to generate a precise summary of your research paper is to take assistance from the online text summarizer, like Summarizer.org.
The online summarizing tool gets the research paper and creates a precise summary of it by taking the important points.
Finally, you must edit your work for grammar and spelling errors before submitting it for grading.
The purpose of the research summary is to provide a comprehensive sum of everything that’s in the research. This includes a summarization of scientific/literal research, as well as of the writer’s aim and personal thoughts.
As for the summary length, it shouldn’t be more than 10% of the entire content. So, if your research is around 1000-words or so, then your summary should be 100-words. But, considering how most research papers are around 3000-4000 words, it should be 300-400 words.
Key pillars of a Research Summary
The summary of any research doesn’t just include the summarized text of the entire research paper. It includes a few other key things, which we’ll explore later on in this article. But, the purpose of a summary is to give proper insights to the reader, such as:
- The writer’s intention
- sources and bases of research
- the purpose & result.
That’s why it’s important to understand that the summary should tell your reader all these elements. So, the fundamentals of any summary include:
- Write a section and state the importance of the research paper from your perspective. In this section, you will have to describe the techniques, tools, and sources you employed to get the conclusion.
- Besides that, it’s also meant to provide a brief and descriptive explanation of the actionable aspect of your research. In other words, how it can be implemented in real life.
- Treat your research summary like a smaller article or blog. So, each important section of your research should be written within a subheading. However, this is highly optional to keep things organized.
- As mentioned before, the research summary shouldn’t exceed 300-400 words. But, some research summaries are known to surpass 10000-words. So, try to employ the 10% formula and write one-tenth of the entire length of your research paper.
These four main points allow you to understand how a research summary is different from the research itself. So, it’s like a documentary where research and other key factors are left to the science (research paper), while the narration explains the key points (research summary)
How do you write a Research Summary?
Writing a research summary is a straightforward affair. Yet, it requires some understanding, as it’s not a lengthy process but rather a tricky and technical one. In a research summary, a few boxes must be checked. To help you do just that, here are 6 things you should tend to separately:
A summary’s title can be the same as the title of your primary research. However, putting separate titles in both has a few benefits. Such as:
- A separate title shifts attention towards the conclusion.
- A different title can focus on the main point of your research.
- Using two different titles can provide a better abstract.
Speaking of an abstract, a summary is the abstract of your research. Therefore, a title representing that very thought is going to do a lot of good too. That’s why it’s better if the title of your summary differs from the title of your research paper.
The abstract is the summarization of scientific or research methods used in your primary paper. This allows the reader to understand the pillars of the study conducted. For instance, there has been an array of astrological research since James Webb Space Telescope started sending images and data.
So, many research papers explain this Telescope’s technological evolution in their abstracts. This allows the reader to differentiate from the astrological research made by previous space crafts, such as Hubble or Chandra.
The point of providing this abstract is to ensure that the reader grasps the standards or boundaries within which the research was held.
This is the part where you introduce your topic. In your main research, you’d dive right into the technicalities in this part. However, you’ll try to keep things mild in a research summary. Simply because it needs to summarize the key points in your main introduction.
So, a lot of introductions you’ll find as an example will be extensive in length. But, a research summary needs to be as concise as possible. Usually, in this part, a writer includes the basics and standards of investigation.
For instance, if your research is about James Webb’s latest findings, then you’ll identify how the studies conducted by this Telescope’s infrared and other technology made this study possible. That’s when your introduction will hook the reader into the main premise of your research.
4. Methodology / Study
This section needs to describe the methodology used by you in your research. Or the methodology you relied on when conducting this particular research or study. This allows the reader to grasp the fundamentals of your research, and it’s extremely important.
Because if the reader doesn’t understand your methods, then they will have no response to your studies. How should you tend to this? Include things such as:
- The surveys or reviews you used;
- include the samplings and experiment types you researched;
- provide a brief statistical analysis;
- give a primary reason to pick these particular methods.
Once again, leave the scientific intricacies for your primary research. But, describe the key methods that you employed. So, when the reader is perusing your final research, they’ll have your methods and study techniques in mind.
5. Results / Discussion
This section of your research needs to describe the results that you’ve achieved. Granted, some researchers will rely on results achieved by others. So, this part needs to explain how that happened – but not in detail.
The other section in this part will be a discussion. This is your interpretation of the results you’ve found. Thus, in the context of the results’ application, this section needs to dive into the theoretical understanding of your research. What will this section entail exactly? Here’s what:
- Things that you covered, including results;
- inferences you provided, given the context of your research;
- the theory archetype that you’ve tried to explain in the light of the methodology you employed;
- essential points or any limitations of the research.
These factors will help the reader grasp the final idea of your research. But, it’s not full circle yet, as the pulp will still be left for the actual research.
The final section of your summary is the conclusion. The key thing about the conclusion in your research summary, compared to your actual research, is that they could be different. For instance, the actual conclusion in your research should bring around the study.
However, the research in this summary should bring your own ideas and affirmations to full circle. Thus, this conclusion could and should be different from the ending of your research.
5 Tips for writing a Research Summary
Writing a research summary is easy once you tend to the technicalities. But, there are some tips and tricks that could make it easier. Remember, a research summary is the sum of your entire research. So, it doesn’t need to be as technical or in-depth as your primary work.
Thus, to make it easier for you, here are four tips you can follow:
1. Read & read again
Reading your own work repeatedly has many benefits. First, it’ll help you understand any mistakes or problems your research might have. After that, you’ll find a few key points that stand out from the others – that’s what you need to use in your summary.
So, the best advice anyone can give you is to read your research again and again. This will etch the idea in your mind and allow you to summarize it better.
2. Focus on key essentials in each section
As we discussed earlier, each section of your research has a key part. To write a thoroughly encapsulating summary, you need to focus on and find each such element in your research.
Doing so will give you enough leverage to write a summary that thoroughly condenses your research idea and gives you enough to write a summary out of it.
3. Write the research using a summarizing tool
The best advice you can get is to write a summary using a tool. Condensing each section might be a troublesome experience for some – as it can be time-consuming.
To avoid all that, you can simply take help from an online summarizer. It gets the lengthy content and creates a precise summary of it by using advanced AI technology.
As you can see, the tool condenses this particular section perfectly while the details are light.
Bringing that down to 10% or 20% will help you write each section accordingly. Thus, saving precious time and effort.
4. Word count limit
As mentioned earlier, word count is something you need to follow thoroughly. So, if your section is around 200-word, then read it again. And describe it to yourself in 20-words or so. Doing this to every section will help you write exactly a 10% summary of your research.
5. Get a second opinion
If you’re unsure about quality or quantity, get a second opinion. At times, ideas are in our minds, but we cannot find words to explain them. In research or any sort of creative process, getting a second opinion can save a lot of trouble.
There’s your guide to writing a research summary, folks. While it’s not different from condensing the entire premise of your research, writing it in simpler words will do wonders. So, try to follow the tips, tools, and ideas provided in this article, and write outstanding summaries for your research.