Research Summary Writing Guide

Published 16 October, 2023

A research summary is a short, concise description of your research project that provides an overview of the problem you’re trying to solve and how you solved it. A well-written research summary should state what was researched, how it was done, what were the findings, and if applicable, the limitations of the study. A good way to organize these points is in a bulleted list. A well-written summary can help readers quickly understand complicated topics and provide an overview of important information for decision-makers who have limited time to devote to reading lengthy reports. The goal of this blog post is to provide tips for writing a research summary.

A person writing a dissertation, thesis, and research paper is supposed to write a research summary as well. The main idea behind writing a research summary is to give an overview of the entire research conducted on a topic in a precise way. Research summary writing tips are given here for those who are not able to write a good research summary for dissertation, thesis, and research paper also.

What is a research summary?

The term research summary explains for itself that it is a summary of research that is carried out on a topic. A research summary gives a prior idea to the reader about the main prospective of research, its major arguments, and methods of research. Also, it is possible to find an idea about the research findings and results from the research summary. But no details are revealed in the research summary part and the reader is just provided with the superficial glimpses of research in a research summary.

Or we can say, A research summary is a brief and concise explanation of the purpose, objectives, methods, results, and conclusions from one or more experiments. A researcher summarizes their research in a concise way so that it can be shared with peers in the field for review. Providing sufficient information is needed to grasp your project’s aims without too many words so your message has an impact that leaves an impression.

It can be written in few words like 300 to 500 words which hardly form a single page of the thesis, dissertation, and research paper as well. The reader must get a good idea about your research at a glance while reading the research summary. Everything should be written in a proper balance by maintaining the format, structure, and word limit in proper order.

Read More: Research Paper Introduction

Importance of research summary

  • A research summary is the overview of a research paper, dissertation and thesis as well. Writing a research summary is very crucial to give the readers a primary idea about what you are going to do with the research topic in the next 25 to 30 pages. If a person skips writing a research summary it becomes difficult to understand the research paper at the macro level for the readers.
  • The way by which we use the contents page of the dissertation to seek an idea about the entire dissertation similarly research summary gives an idea about the research on the topic. That is why it is very important to write a research summary for the dissertation, thesis, and research paper also in the United Kingdom.
  • The research summary provides a detailed overview of the entire process from start to finish. This includes identifying results and then summarizing them in an easy-to-read format for readers who are short on time or just interested in key points.

How to write a research summary 

Writing a research summary can be completed by following a set pattern of rules and structure. It is important to have an idea about the rules for writing a research summary for a dissertation or for that matter research paper. Here is a step-by-step guide to constructing the research summary:

Step 1. Read the entire document

It is critically important to read and take notes on the document before you begin writing your research summary. This will help make it easier for you to organize your thoughts, highlight key statements of facts or recommendations in a clear way so that readers can more easily understand what’s being discussed.

Step 2. Prepare the draft of the research summary 

The draft of a research summary can be prepared by noting down the major points of research on a rough note. Then these points are assembled in a very sophisticated way to avoid any clumsiness in the research summary. Also, the length of a research summary in the dissertation, thesis, and research paper is very short which should not be crossed beyond a single page or one and a half pages at the maximum. All these things should be clear in the mind of a person who is writing a research summary for any type of research work. Some ingredients of the first draft include:

  • Project the objective of research on a given topic: The primary thing that you have to write in a research summary is the objective of the research on a given topic. If your readers are not aware of the main purpose for which you are doing given research they will not be able to understand the entire research summary. You do not need to go very thorough while writing your research objectives just give a brief idea about it to the readers.
  • A hypothesis or thesis related to the objective of the research: While drafting a research summary it is important to give a crucial place for the thesis or hypothesis on the research topic. A hypothesis comprises the main perspective and ideology of the writer towards the given topic of research.
  • Methodologies used to substantiate the thesis: The Research methodology that is used in the research paper to reach the particular argument and its solutions also need to be discussed in the research summary as well.
  • Major arguments on the topic to meet the research perspective: The arguments and main research points are also to be included in the research summary. This should be done at a very superficial level and one does not need to go in-depth while writing the research arguments and their points in the research summary.
  • Findings of the research: The research findings should be written in the research summary while writing a dissertation or thesis work. The findings are the solutions to the arguments which are developed on the topic of research. Whatever data is collected from the research is written in the findings of the research summary in a precise manner.
  • Discussion and interpretation of research results at a glance: Eventually whatever is obtained from the research on a given topic is necessary to be included in the research summary of the paper of dissertation. Just like a discussion chapter of a dissertation is written afterward the research is complete similar is the case here. The interpretation of every point should be done in a separate sentence to clear things like a crystal for the readers.

Step 3. Combine the information and write the summary

Now that you know the key points that the article aims to communicate, you need to put them in your own words. The information gathered is now used to combine them into a research summary. You can include bullet points selectively to enhance brevity and emphasis.


The research summary should be concise, clear, and to the point. It is not a place for you to add your personal opinion or expand on points that were already mentioned in the body of your paper. We’ve outlined the steps for writing successful research summaries and provided some tips on how to make your work stand out from others. This blog post has provided research summary writing guidelines that will help any student write an academic paper about their current topic of study. If you want to learn more about how professional writers structure their work, read this article for some inspiration!

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