Writing a Research Summary: Tips to Help you Write it Better

research writing

When drafting a research summary, you are supposed to present your audience with a professional piece of writing that describes your research to them. Generally, you should focus on giving the reader only a short overview of the entire study. Before writing a highquality summary, you need to identify the key information in a research project, understand, and then condense it for your audience. This way, you will be in a better position to present your readers with concise and accurate facts. Here are some of the tips to help you succeed in your writing process.

Establish your summary focus

Before doing anything, identifying the purpose of your paper is necessary. Therefore, establish the article goal or piece of work that needs summarizing to get a clear bearing of how it fits in your assignment.

Read the article

Before reading the whole article that needs to be summarized, it is necessary to skim it to come up with these facts:

  • The goals of the research and its question
  • The hypotheses that were tested in the piece of work that needs to be summarized
  • The findings of the study
  • The interpretation of the findings

As you scan the paper, it is prudent to underline the main ideas or write them in the article’s margin. However, do not depend on the information you glean here because it is not comprehensive enough to help in drafting a quality summary.

Read the work

After getting the gist of the study, you now need to do a thorough reading to extract everything required to compose the summary. It is necessary to read all the sections thoroughly while paying special attention to the areas you had underlined during your scan.

Mind your style

Regarding style, you should maintain a formal approach as you present your audience with the summary. Also, do not forget to abide by any styling requirement that your professors have approved for the work you are undertaking.

Don’t be wordy

Did you understand the word “summary” in the title of this post? If you did, then it is necessary to pay special attention to it because you are writing a condensed version of a research work. Therefore, you need to avoid wordiness like the plague. To make it livelier, you should use clear and concise verbs. For instance, do not write, “Looking at the findings, it is clear that there were no changes detected in the data.” Instead, you should say, “The findings don’t show any changes in the data.” This way, you will make your summary more impactful without wearing the reader with the same bulk of words you went through because the summary should help the reader to get everything in fewer words.

Use a specific and concrete language

After gathering all the details you need to do the summary, it is beneficial to pay particular attention to the language you will use in the summary. You need to write the summary in a language your target-audience will understand. Also, ensure that the language you use does not make your readers can have a hard time reading and understanding it while bearing in mind that your reader did not get an opportunity to read the article the way you did. Therefore, help them to understand your writing by using a concrete and specific language. You can also bolster it with examples and relevant references so that your audience can understand it better.

Paraphrase, don’t use direct quotations

Do you still wish to write research summary that is forceful? Then avoid making direct quotes. On the contrary, you are supposed to paraphrase the content to make it conform to the tenets of scientific writing.


Lastly, it is mandatory to revise your work to ensure that it has no errors. You can also give your paper to a trusted classmate or friend to read it so they can also point out any errors. This way, your readers will read your work easily without missing anything you intended them to get.

Research summaries enhance your analytical and summarizing skills. They allow you to condense complex and lengthy research papers into concise works that your readers can understand without digging through all the details. By paying attention to the secrets we have shared in this discourse, you will catapult yourself to the next level of efficiency in drafting compelling research summaries.