09 13

How to summarize an essay or article

how to summarize an essay or article

  • Home /
  • Summarize

Help me!

You have problems with the Summarize tool? Or perhaps you want to know its full potential?

Read this quick guide and see how you can improve your results.

Report a bug

We don't like bugs either, so if you spot one, please let us know and we'll do our best to fix it.

Buy script

If you want to buy this script you can see the Summarizer script page for documentation and pricing.

Buy great games

Donate!

If you like these tools and you want to help us pay for the hosting you can use the following buttons to donate some money.

Donate Button

© Copyright Tools 4 noobs 2007-2017. All rights reserved.
If you need a particular online tool, don't hesitate to give us a message by using our contact form, and we'll see what we can do about it.
Back to Top

A journal article summary provides potential readers with a short descriptive commentary, giving them some insight into the article's focus. Writing and summarizing a journal article is a common task for college students and research assistants alike. With a little practice, you can learn to read the article effectively with an eye for summary, plan a successful summary, and write it to completion.

Steps

Part 1 Reading the Article

  1. 1

    Read the abstract. Abstracts are short paragraphs written by the author to summarize research articles. Abstracts are usually included in most academic journals and are generally no more than 100-200 words. The abstract provides a short summary of the content of the journal article, providing you with important highlights of the research study.
    • The purpose of an abstract is to allow researchers to quickly scan a journal and see if specific research articles are applicable to the work they are doing.
  • Remember that an abstract and an article summary are two different things, so an article summary that looks just like the abstract is a poor summary.[1] An abstract is highly condensed and cannot provide the same level of detail regarding the research and its conclusions that a summary can.[2]
  • 2

    Understand the context of the research. Make sure you know what specifically the authors will be discussing or analyzing, why the research or the topic matters, whether or not the article is written in response to another article on the topic, etc. By doing this, you'll learn what arguments, quotes, and data to pick out and analyze in your summary.

  • 3

    Skip to the conclusion. Skip ahead to the conclusion and find out where the proposed research ends up to learn more about the topic and to understand where the complicated outlines and arguments will be leading.
  • If you're collecting research, you may not need to digest another source that backs up your own if you're looking for some dissenting opinions.
  • 4

    Identify the main argument or position of the article. To avoid having to read through the whole thing twice to remind yourself of the main idea, make sure you get it right the first time. Take notes as you read and highlight or underline main ideas.
    • Pay special attention to the beginning paragraph or two of the article. This is where the author will most likely lay out their thesis for the entire article. Figure out what the thesis is and determine the main argument or idea that the author or authors are trying to prove with the research.
      • Look for words like hypothesis, results, typically, generally, or clearly to give you hints about which sentence is the thesis.
    • Underline, highlight, or rewrite the main argument of the research in the margins.
  • Maybe, but probably not. It's usually not essential to read research articles word-for-word, as long as you're picking out the main idea, and why the content is there in the first place.
  • 6

    Take notes while you read. Efficiency is key when you're doing research and collecting information from academic journals. Read actively as you comb through the material. Circle or highlight each individual portion of the journal article, focusing on the sub-section titles.[3]
    • These segments will usually include an introduction, methodology, research results, and a conclusion in addition to a listing of references.
  • Part 2 Planning a Draft

    1. 1

      Write down a brief description of the research. In a quick free write, describe the academic journey of the article, listing the steps taken from starting point to concluding results, describing methodology and the form of the study undertaken.
    These will help you discover the main points necessary to summarize.
  • 2

    Decide what aspects of the article are most important. You might refer to these as the main supporting ideas, or sections, of the article. While these may be marked clearly with subheadings, they may require more work to uncover. Anything that's a major point used to support the main argument of the author needs to be present in the summary.
    • Depending on the research, you may want to describe the theoretical background of the research, or the assumptions of the researchers. In scientific writing, it's important to clearly summarize the hypotheses the researchers outlined before undertaking the research, as well as the procedures used in following through with the project. Summarize briefly any statistical results and include a rudimentary interpretation of the data for your summary.
    • In humanities articles, it's usually good to summarize the fundamental assumptions and the school of thought from which the author comes, as well as the examples and the ideas presented throughout the article.
  • Comments

    1. Hobosidozose

      SUMMARIZE IT TO ME IN 20 WORDS OR LESS!

    2. Decisocateh

      PLEASE don"t reveal what"s happening ( or not ) in Trump"s head! Summarize it for us, kindly.

    3. Xuxewolim

      You must be knowing means ( v. ) to summarize or repeat in concise form

    4. Xozewofi

      I"m basically consumed with work right now. Can you summarize or point me to a good summary?

    5. Nihekat

      I think FDA has an option to convene or not for nme’s with caveat that if they don’t, they have to summarize why not in the action letter.

    6. Kalofujud

      How can you summarize you or in a single tweet?

    7. Logalevecinigu

      Since I"ll be leaving for Italy tomorrow and it being unlikely I"ll have internet or time to live tweet, think I"ll just summarize.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>