A research summary is a requirement during academic research and sometimes you might need to prepare a research summary during a research project for an organization.
Most people find a research summary a daunting task as you are required to condense complex research material into an informative, easy-to-understand article most times with a minimum of 300-500 words.
In this post, we will guide you through all the steps required to make writing your research summary an easier task.
A research summary is a piece of writing that summarizes the research of a specific topic into bite-size easy-to-read and comprehend articles. The primary goal is to give the reader a detailed outline of the key findings of a research.
It is an unavoidable requirement in colleges and universities. To write a good research summary, you must understand the goal of your research, as this would help make the process easier.
A research summary preserves the structure and sections of the article it is derived from.
The Research Summary and Abstract are similar, especially as they are both brief, straight to the point, and provide an overview of the entire research paper. However, there are very clear differences.
To begin with, a Research summary is written at the end of a research activity, while the Abstract is written at the beginning of a research paper.
A Research Summary captures the main points of a study, with an emphasis on the topic, method, and discoveries, an Abstract is a description of what your research paper would talk about and the reason for your research or the hypothesis you are trying to validate.
Let us take a deeper look at the difference between both terms.
An abstract is a short version of a research paper. It is written to convey the findings of the research to the reader. It provides the reader with information that would help them understand the research, by giving them a clear idea about the subject matter of a research paper. It is usually submitted before the presentation of a research paper.
A summary is a short form of an essay, a research paper, or a chapter in a book. A research summary is a narration of a research study, condensing the focal points of research to a shorter form, usually aligned with the same structure of the research study, from which the summary is derived.
An abstract communicates the main points of a research paper, it includes the questions, major findings, the importance of the findings, etc.
An abstract reflects the perceptions of the author about a topic, while a research summary reflects the ideology of the research study that is being summarized.
Before commencing a research summary, there is a need to understand the style and organization of the content you plan to summarize. There are three fundamental areas of the research that should be the focal point:
Once you have satisfied the requirements of the fundamentals for starting your research summary, you can now begin to write using the following format:
Below are some defining elements of a sample research summary.
Title – “The probability of an unexpected volcanic eruption in Greenwich”
Introduction – this section would list the catastrophic consequences that occurred in the country and the importance of analyzing this event.
Hypothesis – An eruption of the Greenwich supervolcano would be preceded by intense preliminary activity manifesting in advance, before the eruption.
Results – these could contain a report of statistical data from various volcanic eruptions happening globally while looking critically at the activity that occurred before these events.
Discussion and conclusion – Given that Greenwich is now consistently monitored by scientists and that signs of an eruption are usually detected before the volcanic eruption, this confirms the hypothesis. Hence creating an emergency plan outlining other intervention measures and ultimately evacuation is essential.
Below is another sample sketch.
Title – “The frequency of extreme weather events in the UK in 2000-2008 as compared to the ‘60s”
Introduction – Weather events bring intense material damage and cause pain to the victims affected.
Hypothesis – Extreme weather events are more frequent in recent times compared to the ‘50s
Results – The frequency of several categories of extreme events now and then are listed here, such as droughts, fires, massive rainfall/snowfalls, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc.
Discussion and conclusion – Several types of extreme events have become more commonplace in recent times, confirming the hypothesis. This rise in extreme weather events can be traced to rising CO2 levels and increasing temperatures and global warming explain the rising frequency of these disasters. Addressing the rising CO2 levels and paying attention to climate change is the only to combat this phenomenon.
A research summary is the short form of a research paper, analyzing the important aspect of the study. Everyone who reads a research summary has a full grasp of the main idea being discussed in the original research paper. Conducting any research means you will write a summary, which is an important part of your project and would be the most read part of your project.
Having a guideline before you start helps, this would form your checklist which would guide your actions as you write your research summary. It is important to note that a Research Summary is different from an Abstract paper written at the beginning of a research paper, describing the idea behind a research paper.
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