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8 Tips on Writing a Paper Summary

Why do we need to write a paper summary in the first place? The answer is to give the reader a better understanding of what the whole text is about. Firstly, it helps them save time if they are searching for particular information. Secondly, it can hook readers into reading the paper.

Of course, you can always turn to EssayHub specialists and order an essay with a summary from them. Yet, writing one yourself is still a good experience and a valuable skill to master for students.

Here are a few tips that you can take advantage of.

Define the Main Ideas of the Paper
Before you get to writing a summary, you need to clearly state the main ideas you discussed in the paper. This is a skeleton that will help you in building the summary that is actually interesting to read. Those key ideas are central to your paper. So, they are obviously not that difficult to identify and list.

Highlight the Details Supporting the Main Ideas
Looking for details is usually harder than defining key ideas. This information – or its importance – is not usually so clear to you since you’ve read a lot of literature before getting to write a paper. Nevertheless, it’s still required to give some explanations in the summary to make it vivid and up to date.

Use Your Own Words
The paper is written in your voice with your opinions and ideas. Your summary should also reflect your ideas since you are the author. It’s essential that you use your own phrases and sentence constructions and avoid copying any external information unless you need a specific direct quotation to use.

Avoid plagiarism by any means because this compromises your summary and paper as a whole. Stealing one’s idea or borrowing it is not part of best writing practices. You should refrain from it by all means.

Make Your Summary Concise
Never write summaries that meet or exceed the paper’s length. Such long texts couldn’t even be called summaries. The gold standard is one page, but there can be exceptions, of course.

All in all, the targeted length of a summary shouldn’t go over one-third of the paper. It can be less but definitely not more than this threshold. Students need summaries to highlight some ideas and prepare guidance for readers. These are the points you need to hit while writing a summary.

For example, writing services reviews by NoCramming may qualify to be a summary of the service received. The client describes their impressions, helping others make up their mind whether they want to proceed with the company or not.

Structure Your Summary Properly
Even though summaries are written on the existing papers, they should also be structured academically. The text must flow easily, and the readers should be able to comprehend all of the ideas.

To achieve that, start with the introduction, then proceed to body paragraphs, and finalize it with the conclusion. The better you stick to the structure, the more appealing your summary will look.

Work on the Introduction
In this part, give an overview of the paper making emphasis on the key facts about it. For example, tell what it is about, why the topic is so relevant, and what it aims for. Also, write a proper thesis statement that explains the main idea of the text.

Make Body Paragraphs Interesting to Read
No one can tell you what number of paragraphs is expected in the summary. Honestly, it all depends on the paper and your writing style. However, make sure that altogether, your summary does not exceed 1/3 of the paper length.

If your summary should be concise, discuss every new idea in a separate sentence. If you have enough space, you can create a multi-paragraph summary with each idea being properly discussed. In this case, giving an explanation of the key points mentioned in the paper is a must.

Don’t forget that it’s a summary that you are working on. It should include only the most relevant and important information. Moreover, it’s forbidden to copy-paste sentences from the paper even if they all are your own. It still qualifies as plagiarism.

It’s recommended to use transition words throughout the body to connect different paragraphs. Otherwise, the main ideas mentioned separately may confuse your reader.

Conclude Your Summary
Like any other academically written text, your summary must have a conclusion. The reader should feel that this is the point where they should decide whether to keep reading the paper or give it up. Don’t start any new ideas in the conclusion, don’t put any rhetorical questions there, as well as don’t mention any areas for future research.

Take summary writing seriously. Even though it’s not often required, sometimes, those summaries are definitive in making the paper look scholarly and complete.
Author: Torsten Daerr