Research articles use a standard format to clearly communicate information about an experiment. A research article usually has seven major sections: Title, Abstract, Introduction, Method, Results, Discussion, and References.
The first thing you should do is to decide why you need to summarize the article.
Allow enough time to read the article at least twice.
For more information on how to closely read an article, visit the CORE Library's Guide to Close Reading.
The purpose of a summary is to give the reader a clear, objective picture of the original text. Most importantly, the summary restates only the main points of a text or an article without giving examples or details, such as dates, numbers or statistics.
Guidelines for writing a summary of an article:
• State the main ideas of the article.
• Identify the most important details that support the main ideas.
• Write your summary in your own words; avoid copying phrases and sentences from the article unless they’re direct quotations.
• Express the underlying meaning of the article, not just the superficial details.
• Your summary should be about one third of the length of the original article; however, you should always defer to your instructor's requirements.
Your summary should include:
• Start with an overview statement which includes the author’s name and the title of the article.
• Finish with a thesis statement that states the main idea of the article.
• The number of paragraphs in your summary depends on the length of the original article.
• Your summary should be about one third the length of the original article, unless the instructor has specified other requirements. For a one-paragraph summary, discuss each supporting point in a separate sentence. Give 1-2 explanations for each supporting point. For a multi-paragraph summary, discuss each supporting point in a separate paragraph.
• Start each body paragraph with a topic sentence.
• Each paragraph focuses on a separate main idea and just the most important details from the article.
• Put the ideas from the essay into your own words. Avoid copying phrases and sentences from the article.
• Use transitional words and phrases to connect ideas.
• Summarize the main idea and the underlying meaning of the article.
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