The Easiest Way to Write a Research Summary: Outline & Tips for Writing

The Easiest Way to Write a Research Summary: Outline & Tips for Writing

Published by on 2021-07-13 06:09:25

Student years are complicated. Endless hours in the classrooms and tons of homework aggravated by different types of academic writing you’ll never use in real life.

Anyway, that’s the part of your academic journey, and you have to put up with that. As a learner, you are supposed to digest everything teachers put in your mind. And it involves combining different writing styles and perfecting various academic paper writing skills.

So, today we are detailing the research summary. This is a specific type of academic writing that is widely used in the educational and scientific realms.

In this article, we are going to give you guidelines on how to write a research summary without breaking a sweat. We’ll share some fundamental things about this academic task, provide you with the classic outline, and show you how to organize the writing process so that it doesn’t eat much of your time.

What Is a Research Summary and Its Key Points?

If a research summary is a brand new type of paper for you, do not worry. We’ll help you clear up what this piece of writing stands for.

In brief, a research summary is a paper type that provides writing a journal article review or another scientific work. This piece of writing doesn’t provide any critique or analysis of the source. Its goal is to summarize the ideas and facts shared in the paper.

The reasons for writing a research paper can be numerous. Firstly, you might get this assignment as a stand-alone task to practice academic writing for your classes. 

Secondly, it is an indispensable part of submitting the research paper. So, when you are writing a research paper, get ready to craft one more academic paper type. You can find the summary at the end of a research paper as an overview of what you managed to find out during the investigation.

Another reason for drafting the research summary is the desire to simplify the research process. When you are writing a dissertation or another formidable paper, you’ve got to run through plenty of books, articles, and other scientific works. In these terms, a research summary is a great way of keeping different resources organized when you are crafting your own work.

And, finally, you may want to provide an overview of the scientific work of other scholars as a nice gesture to support your colleague or as a part of your own scientific work.

Research summary format

Peculiar Features of a Research Summary

Just like any paper, a research summary has a constellation of features that make it different from other works. Before you start jotting this paper type down, you should know what they really are to avoid any misunderstanding and submitting a completely different assignment type. So, here are the peculiarities of the research summary:

  • the research summary should briefly show the findings of the research paper or other scientific work;
  • it shouldn’t be too long: the standard research summary has around 300 words for a short paper or 10% of the larger work;
  • this paper shouldn’t repeat the research work word-for-word and should be paraphrased;
  • the key elements of the research summary include the actualization of the topic (why it might be interesting and significant), the hypothesis tested in the research paper, methods used for the investigation, and the findings;
  • use scientifically accurate language, but do not overuse the terms so that your audience could easily understand the message.

The Outline of the Research Summary

When you have a clear idea of what sections to include in your research summary and get rid of all the guesswork, you can cope with this task type faster than you’ve expected.

Just remember that the research summary is a condensed version of the original document. Thus, you shouldn’t add your own evaluation or anything. You just paraphrase content from all the chapters of the paper, and that’s it.

However, a standard summary has specific sections a student should add. So, here are the basic outline parts with some explanations regarding the content of each of them.


This research summary element introduces the topic of the research. It can also include the student name and the title of the educational establishment. 

The outline of the title can vary, so always check the requirements with your teacher. It’s really important as you might get fewer scores for your paper if you fail to follow the general title guidelines. 


The introduction is the key part of the research summary as it acquaints the reader with the subject matter and introduces the problem. It usually starts with showing the current state of the topic investigation or introducing some important concepts. You can also stress the importance of the research comparing the investigated facets of the study to the ones that haven’t been worked on yet.

No introduction will be complete without presenting the hypotheses formulated by the author of the reviewed paper. You do not give evaluations of the hypotheses, you just state what the author is going to be proving or finding out in the paper. That’s also not the place for outcomes. You will discuss them later.


Every hypothesis advanced by the reader should be checked using the scientific methodology. So, one of the sections in the research summary should dwell on the methods the author used to test the announced conjectures.

Generally, there are several groups of scientific methods: descriptive, observational, comparative, and experimental. It might be a case study, survey, experiment, statistical analysis, and more. They help prove or deny the sentiments with the use of facts, data, or the carried research.


This is probably the most important part of the file as it shows the outcomes of the whole research and shows the summarized conclusions in a very brief form. 

So, how to summarize a research article and present the results? Just list the facts the author obtained during the investigation. Again, you should not express your point of view towards this or that finding. Your goal is to show what the writer has concluded.

Usually, this is the longest section of the research summary as you provide evidence for every hypothesis the author announced.


In this part of the research summary, the student should discuss the results of the research in the context of the entire study domain. In other words, you should define the contribution of the research to the investigation of this subject. You can also define the future directions of the investigation of this topic.


In the conclusion section, you should define if the author succeeded or failed to prove the hypotheses introduced in the introduction. That’s a logical end of the paper that shows what work the author has carried on their way to study the subject matter.

How to Write a Summary of a Research Paper Without Breaking a Sweat

Did you know that the way you organize the whole writing thing will define the duration of the task performance and the final result?

We are here to help you write a stunning summary of the research paper without any additional effort. We suggest breaking down the whole process into sections, which involve preparation, writing, and finalization. Let’s see what each of the steps involves.

How to Get Prepared

You can dramatically boost your productivity and increase your writing speed by getting prepared properly. The preparation process might take some time but get ready to budget it, and you’ll see how easier it is for you to write your paper.

So, first of all, skim the initial paper to get a general understanding of the author’s point of view in case you are writing a summary of someone else's work. If you summarize your own paper, you might skip this step. Or you can also look through the written work to recollect the ideas that have been forgotten.

How to summarize a research article

Then, break the whole text into sections and read every section thoroughly. We would recommend taking notes of the most striking or important ideas. After this, you’ll be able to identify the key points of the work, which you’ll later use in your summary.

Finally, make an outline to plan what you're going to say in this or that section and how many words you can use to deliver the message.

How to Write Effectively

Now you are ready to pen down the findings and make the first draft of your summary. Create the convenient conditions that would set you in the right mood. Every person has their own writing rituals. Some like having a cup of steaming tea or coffee by their side. Others turn on focus music to play in the background. No matter what puts you into the right writing mood, do that to facilitate the process.

When you set to writing, proceed with the introduction and discussion last. Announce the hypotheses, describe methods, and specify results. Then, you can put the introduction and discussion down, adapting to the overall message and the word count of the summary.

Consider the writing style of your research summary. This might be the trickiest thing in the whole writing process as you should be able to deliver the message in academic language, but avoid using jargon. In this way, the paper should look professional but be understandable for the target audience.

Another aspect is the avoidance of plagiarism. It means the use of the text fragments word-for-word without proper citation. When you copy and paste passages from different sources without paraphrasing them, you can be accused of plagiarism, which is considered to be a serious academic offense in some institutions. So, consider expressing the same ideas the author said in the paper in other words and learn thoroughly how to summarize an article without plagiarizing.

When you are drafting your summary, mind the research summary format. The teacher might provide you with the formatting requirements, which include the font, line spacing, margins. 

Finalizing Your Research Summary

When the most daunting part of the writing process is over, comes another one - editing. During the final check, you should keep an eye on:

  • logic;
  • grammar;
  • style;
  • spelling;
  • word count;
  • wordiness;
  • formatting.

You can run the paper through AI apps that spot complex sentences, grammar errors, punctuation mistakes, and many more. 

Let us stress the importance of the word count of your summary paper since this criterion is frequently ignored. Do not turn your summary into another research paper, keep it short and neat. Make sure it meets the word limit the teacher has set. If none is given, mind that the research summary should make 10% of the entire work.

Check your summary several times and read it out loud. This will help you spot the fragments where your text is too complicated. We would also recommend editing your work after you take some rest. Do not rush into editing immediately because you might be prone to missing the errors.

When you think you have perfected your research summary, let your fellow or colleague read it. In this way, you’ll see if you made every point clear.

What if I Need Help?

A research summary is not a piece of writing you can finish in 30 minutes. It may take several hours to days to complete this academic task. However, some students feel too overwhelmed with other assignments or just do not know how to craft this paper type.

No matter what your reasons are if you need help when writing your research summary, we are ready to get you out of a tight educational spot. Just create an account on our platform and provide us with the project information. Then, we’ll connect you with the most qualified writer who will take on your order.

We are proud of having a huge team of writers working in different academic domains. Thanks to this, we cover a wide range of topics and paper types. Our experts will craft a winning paper of any difficulty level within the defined time-frames. We are serious about keeping the quality of our work at a high level, so you could enhance your performance with our help.