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Summarizing Your Research Paper Properly

Summarizing your research paper gives you an opportunity to highlight and present your completed work. It gives potential readers of your report some insight into your article’s focus with a short descriptive account. A well-written summary should entice your potential readers to want to get a hold of your paper and read it, kind of like an advertisement. A skillfully written summary requires much practise and similar steps to writing the original paper.

Read and Reread your Paper

Make sure you understand your own work. Read and reread it. Underline key phrases and arguments. Scan your paper after you have done this and start to write out these key phrases and arguments.

Writing Your Summary

Just like when you wrote your research paper, you will write out your first draft. Write out the research question, and it was interesting. Restate the hypotheses you tested. Describe the methods, procedures, control and dependant groups, (if applicable) and how you analyzed. Briefly discuss the results you came up with and their significance. Talk about the implications of your results, being careful not to overstate their significance.

State how the implication of the results relate to your original hypothesis

During your first draft maintain your focus on the content, not the length. Chances are, your first draft will be too long but that is ok. It is easier to remove than add information after the fact. Read and reread your summary, then condense it. Remove general statements, be clear and concise. Every sentence should have value. After each draft, have a colleague read it. This will give you an idea of whether or not your summation is effective.

Do not be wordy. Eliminate adverbs such as “very” and “clearly.” Be specific and use concrete language. Avoid vagueness. Throughout the process of summation it does not hurt to have someone else edit for you. A second set of eyes will allow you to see how effective your summation is. You already understand your paper, the key with a summation is to ensure that everyone else does too.

When you are writing a summation of your work remember you are not writing for yourself. You want to interest other people in your paper. Know your target audience and write the summation with them in mind. It also needs to be specific and include accurate information. Most important, the best way to summarize your own work is to make sure you know it inside and out. Summarize your own paper like you would someone else’s.

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