How To Summarize A Research Paper On Soil Contamination In The US


Alright, so you have written a brilliant research paper on soil contamination in the US. Well, you have almost written it because right now you have reached the part where you need to summarize it and you have suddenly become unstuck. Don’t worry, plenty of students routinely find themselves in a similar predicament! With the internet being so easily accessible these days anyone can find the answers that they are looking for which is why I have put together my brief guide on writing that all-important summary.

  • Is there an abstract?
  • In an ideal world you will have an abstract from which to work. An abstract is in essence a summary in its most basic and primitive form. If you don’t have an abstract to work with then you will need to right back the beginning and revisit the “How’s” as in “How” you conducted your research!

  • Use your literature review as a reference point
  • The literature review is a great tool and it doesn’t matter whether the arguments outlined in them are supportive of your opinion or not. All you have to do is list them methodically in your summary. Accuracy is also critical in this scenario.

  • Methodolgy
  • There are usually several different methodologies, so which did the author use? Were they credible? Why did they choose one particular methodology over another? With the benefit of hindsight would another have worked better?

  • Data analysis
  • Okay, so this doesn’t have to be long-winded or particularly protracted. You simply need to list the data sources gathered, as well as the results from the data. This needs to be as objective and as critically minded as possible. Above all it is imperative that there are no suggestions of bias.

  • Suggestions for improvements
  • Typically, your summary should also include as to how the research might be improved, whether there were any limitations that restricted the scope of the work. For example, financial constraints may have stopped you from physically meeting with people in order to conduct interviews. Therefore, you might have simply chosen to interview them via telephone, skype or email instead.

  • Do not express an opinion
  • You are probably already aware of this but this is not the time or the place to be expressing an opinion. Your aim is to be totally impartial. To express one would be a major faux-pas.