writing a research summary

How to Write a Research Summary

Writing research papers are one of the most common writing tasks teachers assigned to their students. It is often made as prerequisites in certain subjects such as Humanities and Languages.

Teachers understood the need for sufficient time to write an academic research paper. Unlike essays, research papers require a more in-depth knowledge about a certain topic either assigned by the teacher or chosen by the students themselves.

Writing assignments plays an essential role in our formal education as it is used as an authentic tool to assess our learning. And since we cannot do away with it as if we have much of a choice then it is better if we can make ourselves get used to it. Trust me, it’ll be a lot easier for you if you do so. The mere fact that you’ll be given several writing assignments such as research papers, essays and dissertations all throughout your college years means that it is indeed essential for you to develop your writing skills.

Basically, this task is given to students to teach them the importance of properly interacting and interpreting scientific literature which in particular are academic papers. This also paved a way to create new ideas  and theories from which evidence are presented before experts in various fields of knowledge.

Teachers often assigned a certain percentage of your final grade from your research paper thus it is imperative that you write it comprehensively specially if you’re eyeing for good marks.

What Is A Research Summary And Why Is It Important?

Writing a research paper is building upon what you knew about the subject and making a deliberate attempt to find out what experts knew. It involves surveying a certain field of knowledge to find the best information in that field.

In general, all research paper should present your own ideas backed with others’ information and data, especially those from experts in such field.

Every research paper has a research summary. A research summary is a type of paper which is designed to provide a brief overview of what the whole research paper is all about. It is a piece of academic writing that briefly describes your study to your audience and should therefore effectively capture the essence of the research as a whole. Moreover, a research summary is often used to preserve the structure or sections of the study it focuses on.

The Fundamental Elements of A Research Summary

Before discussing the various steps in writing a research summary, we owe to know first the fundamentals on the areas where we should focus more and pay attention to such as its content, style and organization.

Your research summary must include a brief discussion of  the techniques and tools that you used in your study as well as the importance of the research as a whole. You must be able to explain the benefits of your study to your readers.

In organizing a research summary, each topic should be discussed in separate paragraphs. If you have a lengthy research paper, it is advisable that you don’t go over 10% of the entire paper. On the average, research summary should consist with not more than 300 words. However, this may vary according to your teacher’s writing criteria so make sure to take note of it before you write your research summary.

How to Write a Research Summary

A research summary is a condensed version of the main idea of your research paper. That being said, it is highly recommended that you start writing a research summary of your paper after you are through with your entire research. This will ensure that everything that should be reflected in your research summary are all in there.

Here are the steps in writing a research summary:

  1. Read your entire research paper.

    The key to writing a good research summary is reading the entire research paper thoroughly beforehand. And while you are doing it, you must jot down notes of the important details and key findings that you need to highlight in your paper. This is a perfect way to help you organize your research summary better. Bear in mind that your research summary is a condensed version of your research therefore, it should contain the main points of your study.

  2. Write your summary draft.

    Your draft is you first outline on what to include in your last and final draft of the summary. Yes! You will be writing several drafts indeed. For your first draft, you need to focus more on the content rather than the length of your summary. During the process of writing your drafts, there will be a constant revision which will help you reach the required number of words. Writing a draft ensures that your research summary is comprehensively written.

  3. Identify the main points of your research paper.

    You have to identify all of the major points of your research paper that will encourage your readers to go through the entire research paper. These major points should be able thoroughly and completely explain what your research paper is all about.

  4. Separate different sections.

    You should be able to identify the different sections of your paper. Write a few sentences describing the main ideas of each section. In other words, you should be able to present and thoroughly describe what each main section is focused on. It should have these basic sections:

    1. Introduction, brief opening statement
    2. Purpose of the study
    3. Data gathering method
    4. Summary of findings
    5. Description of recommendations with actual justification.
  5. Combine all the information you have gathered.

    This step requires you to combine all salient information you gathered together in a single piece of writing. However, you must always remember that your summary is just an overview of your research paper as a whole. Again, it should be not be more than 10% of your whole paper.

Your research summary should follow the flow of the research paper itself and to guide you furthermore in writing your draft, here are some simple steps to follow:

  • State the research question in you summary introduction. This will serve as the summary’s direction. Give a brief explanation as to why your research is interesting and how it can help your prospects.
  • State your hypothesis. This will help both of you and your readers to stay focus on the topic at hand.
  • Briefly discuss the methodology you used in conducting your research. Give a thorough discussion about the procedure, materials, participants, design, etc. You should also include the analysis of your data in your research summary.
  • Give an overview of the results and significance of the study.
  • Finally, discuss briefly the key implications of your research. Make sure that the results and its interpretation directly coincide with your hypothesis.

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