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Writing a Great Research Summary


Now that you have completed a research paper, it is not over, indeed. The work is yet to be presented to an audience, and that is when you need to write a research summary. Though, if you intend to impress the listeners or readers, then you should work hard to make a great one. Let’s consider the main peculiarities of a research summary.

Writing a Great Research Summary

Why Do You Need a Research Summary?

This piece should describe your research from different sides so that your audience can understand the subject matter without having to read the actual paper. Though, the most challenging part is to choose only the most essential information and organize it into a logical flow to create an outstanding piece. You should be brief, but thorough. The readers/listeners should understand the content effortlessly and make them interested in the whole work.

How to Write a Great Research Summary?

First, create an outline and formulate a clear understanding of what should be presented. State the topic of your research and why you found it attractive. Then, elaborate on research questions and the expected result. Do not forget to include the methodology used and what the actual results were. Also, put an emphasis on the scientific significance of your work and how it can be used in further research. Finally, make a conclusion.

Advice on Making Your Research Summary Successful

  1. Do not underestimate it.

One of the most common mistakes is when students think that it is an easy task and postpone it until it’s too late. It goes without saying that it is a challenging task to summarize an extensive research paper in only one or two pages. Sometimes, it may take several hours to create a really great piece, so keep that in mind.

  1. Think about the addressee

Always remember who your target audience is. If it is more of a general one, then adjust the language and style accordingly. It is no good using overcomplicated terms, if you target audience has little knowledge about your subject area, but don’t make your summary too simple, either. You don’t want to sound like an amateur, right?

  1. Don’t get carried away

Ideally, a research summary has 10% of the length of the whole paper. Though, it is not always the case. For example, if a dissertation is more than 100 pages long, then the summary should not be 10 pages; 3-4 of them will do just fine. Remember to be concise and convey everything you want to say in as few words as possible. Wordiness is of no use in academic writing.

  1. Visual support

Tables, graphs, anything that visualizes the presented material will do great. However, don’t turn your research summary into a comic book.

  1. Do not copy anything from the original paper.

This one should be quite understandable. A research summary is a separate work and not a set of citations from your research paper. Besides, you should ensure that thoughts flow logically, which will be impossible to do if you have a piece consisting of numerous fragments.

How to Start

First of all, read your research paper once again. Mark everything that seems significant. Then, filter those things until you have just enough information to be included in the summary. Make an outline and then start your draft. After that, you will need to proofread it alone or ask someone to do that for you. What seems a great job to you right now may turn out to be a massive blooper in just a couple of hours. Polish your draft after that and eliminate all grammatical and other errors there might be. Proofread once again. If everything seems satisfying, then you are all done. Congrats!

To write a research summary may be hard. Creating a great one is even more challenging! Never underestimate the importance and complexity of this task to avoid severe mistakes. Treat this part of your research as seriously as you did with your dissertation and your effort will pay off.

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