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Writing a summary of a research paper is one of the most important skills to develop as an academic writer. It is essential for synthesizing complex information in an efficient, effective way. Unfortunately, students often struggle with concluding their work. That is, you may not have the skills and experience in writing research paper summaries.

Thus, we have compiled this guide to help you navigate through the complexities of making a research summary. We will start by looking at what a research summary is. Then, we will dive into its structure, followed by do’s and don’ts of writing a great conclusion. To wrap up, we will look at five examples of great research summaries.

Read further to learn how to write a research paper summary.

What Is a Research Summary?

A research summary is a concise overview of your work. It outlines the major points and arguments without delving into too much detail. As a rule, it contains a brief description of the paper’s main topic, purpose, methods, findings, and conclusion. When writing a research article summary, it is important to be objective and avoid including personal opinions.

Summarizing a paper is important for many reasons. Let’s break down the main ones.

1. Improve comprehension of complex information

A research paper summary is an effective way to digest and better understand complex information. It helps you process the data and identify the main ideas much faster than reading through the entire paper.

2. Quickly gather the relevant ideas

Writing a conclusion is useful when gathering information from different sources. It will help you quickly pull out the most important facts and condense them into a few sentences or paragraphs. It saves time, energy, and sanity!

3. Time-saving technique

Rather than reading through the entire paper, you can read a conclusion and get to the bottom line. A summary helps save time when you are working with massive amounts of data.

Research Summary Structure

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Structuring your paper is essential for clarity and readability, and the same applies to the concluding section. As you already know, a summary of research paper is nothing but a concise form of the entire writing. Thus, the summary structure remains identical to the format presented in the paper.

How to summarize a research article? Here is what your research summary may look like.


The title reflects the topic of your writing. Try paraphrasing it so that it states the main results of your study.


The abstract is usually quite brief – up to 200-300 words. It should restate the paper idea and provide a brief overview of the findings. Don’t forget to explain the value of your writing to your readers.


The introduction section outlines the main purpose of your paper. It provides an overview of the key points discussed in your study. Include a brief review of related literature in this section.


In this section, you explain the methods you used to gather data. Note the sample size, research environment, sources of information, types of data collected, etc.


The findings section is where you present the results of your study. When writing the results section of a research paper summary, describe the outcomes of your study. Avoid getting into details though.


The discussion is typically the longest section of your conclusion. Here, you explain the implications of your research and provide a detailed interpretation of the results. Make sure to link it back to the literature review section.


The conclusion should restate the main ideas in your paper and give readers a sense of closure. Highlight what you have learned from the study and give an overview of future directions.

How to Write Research Paper Summary: Do’s

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Now that you know what a summary in research paper is, it is time to practice your knowledge. Here are some summary writing tips that can help you conclude your paper.

1. Use a concise language and style

If you are writing a research paper summary, use simple language. Stick to the facts and avoid any personal opinion or interpretation of the results. Aim for clarity and conciseness in your writing — avoid any unnecessary words or phrases.

Keep your summary research short and to the point. Try to limit it to one page at most. Use an active voice rather than a passive voice while writing a summary of research paper.

2. Be objective

Your conclusion should always be objective. So, avoid using personal biases or opinions in your writing. Stick to the facts found in your paper and present them from an unbiased viewpoint.

3. Emphasize important points

Put more emphasis on key points that will help your reader understand the research process. Include a brief review of related literature, methods, results, and discussion. Highlight new ideas or findings that have emerged out of your study. Include implications for future work if any.

4. Paraphrase the content

Rather than simply copying the words of the paper, try to paraphrase it and use your own words. Rewording will help you develop a deeper understanding of the material and make your conclusion more concise.

5. Include citations

Make sure you include any citations used in your research summary. It is important to acknowledge the sources you have consulted while writing the paper. Citing will help you prove the credibility of your research and give credit where it is due.

6. Compare your conclusion with the original paper 

Once you have finished summarizing your paper, read through it carefully and compare it with the original document. Check to see how accurate and clear the content is. Make sure you didn’t miss any important points mentioned in the paper.

7. Ask someone to read your summary

It can be helpful to ask someone else to read through your summary. It is a proven way to get an outside perspective on how good your concluding section is. A third-party reader may point out any issues or mistakes that you have missed.

How to Write Research Summary: Don’ts

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Now that you know what to do when writing a research paper summary, it is time to discuss the don’ts. Here are some tips that will help you avoid missteps while concluding your article.

1. Don’t copy content word for word

Never copy the content of your paper word for word in the conclusion section. This approach may result in plagiarism, and you may face penalties for it. Instead, paraphrase the content and use your own words.

2. Don’t add new information

Your summary should provide an overview of the original paper, not the introduction of new information. So, avoid adding any new material to the document. Stick to the facts presented in the paper and don’t go beyond that.

3. Don’t use jargon

Avoid using technical jargon or any difficult words. It will make the research paper summary harder to understand for your readers. Use everyday language instead and make sure it is clear and concise.

4. Don’t omit important information

Make sure you include all important information in your summary. Add background information, objectives, methods, and findings. Don’t leave out any key points as this will make your conclusion incomplete and confusing.

5. Don’t make it too long

Keep the research paper summary short and to the point. Aim for one page at most when writing a summary of research paper. Avoid adding irrelevant information to your document as it can make it unnecessarily long.

6. Write the Introduction and Discussion Last

When summarizing your paper, it’s best to write the introduction and discussion sections last. This approach will help you better align the summary with the paper. You can get a piece of mind that you do not miss out any key points.

7.  Don’t forget proofreading

Proofread your summary carefully before submitting it. Verify that your content is free of typos, grammar mistakes, and incorrect facts. Make sure you include relevant citations when needed. Cross-check the accuracy of the content with the original writing.

Research Summary Examples

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Before you proceed with crafting a powerful conclusion, an example of research summary would come in handy. Here are several examples that you can use for your reference.

Example 1

This study examined the impact of visual media on consumer choices and preferences. The research used an online survey to collect data from 200 participants. The results showed that most consumers preferred products with colorful packaging and design. This finding suggests that businesses should focus their efforts on creating attractive visuals.

Example 2

This paper looked at the effects of climate change on global food production and security. The study relies on both primary and secondary data sources. The findings showed that rising temperatures have harmed crop yields in many regions. As a result, there was a decrease in food security in many countries. Thus, global climate change is a serious threat to food production and requires urgent attention.

Example 3

This research studied the effectiveness of water conservation methods in reducing water wastage. The study used a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods to analyze data from 84 participants. The findings suggested that using low-flow showerheads and sprinklers can help reduce water usage. This result shows that practical water conservation measures in place can help reduce water wastage.

Example 4

This study investigated the impact of social media on political engagement among young adults. The research used a survey and interviews with 60 participants to collect data. The results showed that frequent use of social media can lead to increased political engagement among young people. This finding suggests that social media can serve as a tool to promote civic participation and democracy.

Example 5

This paper examined the impact of online shopping on consumer purchasing behavior. The study used a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods to analyze data from 200 participants. The results indicated that online shopping can lead to impulse buying, as well as increased product return rates. This finding suggests that businesses should consider the risks involved in the growing number of buyers.

These summary format examples should help you write an effective and concise conclusion for your research. Be sure to adjust these samples to fit the context of your writing.

Bottom Line

Writing a summary of a research paper is a difficult task for many students. Summarizing the main points of your work requires cognitive effort from your side. By using the tips and strategies, you can create an effective and comprehensive summary of your research paper in no time.

We hope our guide has given you an idea of how to summarize a research article. Keep a summary paper format clear, concise, and to the point. Include important information, avoid irrelevant details, and double-check the accuracy of your findings. Remember to proofread your summary before you submit it.

With these tips and examples of research summaries in hand, you can produce an effective summary of a research paper with ease!