How to Write a Summary of an Article

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How to Write a Summary of an Article

When writing an article, a lot of facts and information are included. Often, this volume of information needs to be compressed to make the content more understandable.

Essentially, a summary helps assess whether an article satisfies the standards for the topic, whether it was constructed with all the nuances of the subject, whether it can lead to a conclusion, and so on.

An article summary is a brief, well-written document that summarizes a single academic article and is informed by a close reading of that piece. The thesis and supporting arguments are identified, explained, and analyzed in summaries of argumentative papers; the research questions, methods, findings, and implications of the study are identified, explained, and analyzed in summaries of empirical publications.

Article summaries are a good gauge of your reading and writing abilities, even if they are frequently brief and don't make up a significant percentage of your grade. Your professors may assign you to summarize articles to help you hone essential reading, translating, and writing abilities.

Additionally, reading an academic piece closely for an article summary gives you a helpful introduction to the writing patterns in your field (e.g., Political Studies, Biology, or Anthropology).

It might be challenging to decide precisely what information is significant enough to add to an article summary, even though making one may seem basic and straightforward. In addition, there are many more factors to consider than just restating the facts.

But don't worry; you'll find thorough guidelines on how to write a summary of an article in this post.

What exactly is a summary, and why is it important?

It's critical to remember that summaries are an effective way to evaluate your reading and writing abilities. Simply put, a summary is a concise description of the content of an article written solely in your own words.

Generally, a summary should be about one-third the length of the original and still include all of the most crucial details.

There are many advantages to summarizing an article, and it's crucial to concentrate most of the information inside. This can be useful for the writer since it helps identify the primary ideas and essential facts. It can offer a diversity of viewpoints that boost comprehension and throw light on the subject while effectively conveying the article's main ideas.

Additionally, since they won't have to read through numerous pages of content to grasp what your thesis statement was about, it might make articles easier for readers to comprehend.

Steps for Writing Effective Summary of an Article

Understanding that article summaries must demonstrate your ability to read and evaluate material is the first step in learning how to write one.

Try to read the article at least twice.

You should first read the essay in its whole to fully understand the arguments and the subject matter. Don't make notes at this point; instead, focus solely on reading the article. Strong reading skills are essential in this situation.

You have to read the article you wish to summarize. However, you should first skim the content before reading it in its entirety. Highlight a few of the article's key points. Make sure you describe your thesis and all of your supporting arguments. Understand the topic.

Understand and State the core concept of the article

After attentively reading the text, you can determine its central concept and subject. Once you've skimmed, read the article to find more precise information and understand the core concept of the article. You should reread any sections that stand out as being particularly significant or challenging and note any information you should include in your summary.

Start taking notes

When summarizing the article, be sure to include the essential keywords. After determining the main point, start noting the supporting facts, focus on the main ideas, and think about what else might be relevant or significant for the summary in the rest of the piece. It's also a good idea to emphasize certain words or phrases in the text.

Adequately summarize each section of the article.

You can notice that the content is divided into many sections as you read it. Before moving on to the next section's summary, take the time to summarize each of the preceding paragraphs. 

As you summarize, remember that you should attempt to convey as much information as possible about the subject via paraphrasing rather than directly copying the text. By doing this, you may be sure that you are properly citing the article's original author while avoiding plagiarism.

Write it down in your own words.

Start by putting it in your own words; unless they are exact quotations, stay away from reusing phrases and sentences from the article. Try to express the material in your own words as you read the article and make notes of specific details. Likewise, don't simply rearrange or replace a few words. 

What you read should be written using wholly new material. To avoid plagiarism, it's crucial to use your own words whenever possible. Plagiarism is unacceptable. Direct duplicating another person's work without giving them credit is considered plagiarism.

Maintain the structure or Format of the Summary

A summary must have an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion that totals no more than one-third the length of the original article.

  • Introduction: Your introduction should have a hook that piques the reader's interest. The title of the piece, a general overview of the subject, and, ideally, a thesis statement that encapsulates the substance of the writing and identifies the themes you will elaborate on are all included in the introduction.
  • Body Paragraphs: A separate paragraph should be used for each supporting statement. Each body paragraph should discuss, explain, or summarize the supporting points. Be sure to discuss the reasons behind each conclusion and the supporting evidence used to support it.
  • Conclusion: To begin your decision, restate the topic sentence or thesis statement from your introduction, being sure to use different wording. Using this section, you can more effectively convey the article's main ideas and supporting evidence—a summary of any new problems, difficulties, or ramifications the piece raises.

Breaking Down your Summary

The first thing you want to do in your summary is connected your essay and the article you’re summarizing. You can accomplish this by mentioning the article's topic and outlining how it supports your writing or is similar to your essay.

Following this, you can include the information from the article that backs up the allegation. Try to highlight all of the article's essential ideas, but only those that also apply to your essay.

The article's findings should be included in your summary as the last step. Once complete, continue writing your resume by describing how this conclusion impacts your job.

Essential things to keep in mind

Try to keep in mind that the reader is reading a summary of your work that is drawn from a separate source as you continue to write it. To emphasize that these aren't your own words, you can refer to the author and use phrases like "the author believed this" or "The author concluded..."

Making direct quotations is another thing to avoid. Your own words should be used in the summary. Except in cases where you cannot paraphrase the work in any other way, you should never use quotes in summary.

Writing a Summary of an Article: Challenges

  • Choosing what details or examples to include from the article poses a considerable challenge when writing an article summary. Do not forget that article summaries are much shorter than the original articles. 
  • You lack the room to address every issue the author raises. The author's key points should be explained, with a few strong examples supporting them.
  • Remember that you must write article summaries in your own words as well. Scholarly writing frequently uses specialized terminology to clarify complex concepts, making it challenging to comprehend and accurately summarize. 
  • Many students tend to employ direct quotations when dealing with challenging content, sparing them the time and effort needed to comprehend and rephrase it. But for a summary, you must sum up—which the Oxford English Dictionary defines as "to state briefly or succinctly"—the key points made throughout the book. 
  • You must be concise in your own words, showing that you comprehend the article.

Common Problems in Article Summaries

  • When writing an article summary, students' most frequent issue is that they don't comprehend the assignment's purpose. You are responsible for writing about the article in outline rather than the article's actual subject matter. 
  • Additionally, when reading critically, you will frequently consider your perspective on a subject or an argument;. 
  • At the same time, it may be tempting to express your opinion on the article's thesis or conclusions, but the purpose of an article summary is different. Instead, you must recognize, describe, and evaluate the fundamental argument and how it is supported.
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