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How to write a summary of a paper and keep it short and simple?

At some point you may be asked to write a summary of a paper. The best way to succeed in writing a summary is to keep it short and simple. This may seem easier said than done. What stuff do you keep in and what stuff do you keep out? How in depth should you go into the bulk of the paper? This is a good technique to learn for writing a dissertation for your PhD or when you are asked to summarize your paper in an abstract.

Tips on how to handle a summarization of a paper:

    First things first, read the paper thoroughly. Read the paper from beginning to end several times so that you have an idea of what the paper is about. Please do not try and write a summary when you have not read the entire article. There really is not a short cut for this step. In order to catch the essence of the paper, you will have to read it thoroughly and maybe take a few notes.

    Next you want to pull out the basic details of the paper and jot them down. This should be mostly the main points and main aspects of the background. A good way to think about it is to create an outline of the paper. This outline will help you determine which points are the most important. Creating an outline is one of the easiest ways to build a summary.

    Another way to handle a summary is to summarize each paragraph in a few words. This will give you a basic script to start with when you are trying to summarize your paper. Go through each paragraph (after reading the whole paper) and write a few sentences about it. Once you have your summary of all the paragraphs pull it all together or summarize the different topics or sub heading sections.

The main idea is to keep it short and simple. Only include the main points and none of the supporting facts. Leave the facts and the proof for the paper. Make sure to include the thesis sentence in the summarization. The paper is written to prove the thesis sentence so this should be what you pick out first when writing a summary. This will keep you headed in the right direction and help you determine what is important to mention in the summary.

If you keep it short and simple, you will succeed at creating a great summary.

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Writing Advice

Make sure you always follow the specific finalizing instructions from your teacher, because they will be marking your research paper and looking for those things.

Don’t rely completely on your word processor’s spell check, because it won’t catch everything. Print your research paper if you can, and give it a good old fashioned proofread.

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Research paper writing advice