How to write a journal article
This article was co-authored by Jamie Korsmo. There are 5 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. Summarizing a journal article is the process of presenting a focused overview of a completed research study that is published in a peer-reviewed, scholarly source. A journal article summary provides potential readers with a short descriptive commentary, giving them some insight into the article’s focus. Writing and summarizing a journal article is a common task for college students and research assistants alike. Abstracts are short paragraphs written by the author to summarize research articles. Abstracts are usually included in most academic journals and are generally no more than 100-200 words.
The abstract provides a short summary of the content of the journal article, providing you with important highlights of the research study. Remember that an abstract and an article summary are two different things, so an article summary that looks just like the abstract is a poor summary. An abstract is highly condensed and how to write a journal article provide the same level of detail regarding the research and its conclusions that a summary can. Understand the context of the research.
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Make sure you know what specifically the authors will be discussing or analyzing, why the research or the topic matters, whether or not the article is written in response to another article on the topic, etc. By doing this, you’ll learn what arguments, quotes, and data to pick out and analyze in your summary. Skip ahead to the conclusion and find out where the proposed research ends up to learn more about the topic and to understand where the complicated outlines and arguments will be leading. It’s much easier to comprehend the information if you read the researchers’ conclusions first.
You still need to go back and actually read the article after coming to the conclusion, but only if the research is still applicable. Identify the main argument or position of the article. To avoid having to read through the whole thing twice to remind yourself of the main idea, make sure you get it right the first time. Take notes as you read and highlight or underline main ideas. Pay special attention to the beginning paragraph or two of the article.
This is where the author will most likely lay out their thesis for the entire article. Underline, highlight, or rewrite the main argument of the research in the margins. Keep yourself focused on this main point, so you’ll be able to connect the rest of the article back to that idea and see how it works together. If it’s unclear, try to articulate it for yourself, as best as you can understand the author’s ideas and what they’re attempting to prove with their analysis. Continue reading through the various segments of the journal article, highlighting main points discussed by the authors. Focus on key concepts and ideas that have been proposed, trying to connect them back to that main idea the authors have put forward in the beginning of the article.
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Students need the approval of their dissertation supervisor before embarking on any type of fieldwork (see the section on Research Ethics for more information).
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