Writing a synopsis for a research

How to write a summary of a research paper (with template)

In our daily work as medical writers, we have to read many scholarly articles and extract the main information from them. Having a process to retrieve that information and create a short summary that you can easily access will save you precious time. That’s why I decided to guide you through my process of summarising a research article and created a handy template.

Having short summaries of academic papers is useful to create news articles, press releases, social media posts, blog articles, or curated news reports, like the one I write weekly for my newsletter subscribers.

What’s the importance of summarising research articles?

If you don’t have a system to extract the main information from a scholarly paper, you may have to re-read it repeatedly, looking for that piece of information you know it’s there. Sure, you can use a highlighter pen to mark the main points, but sometimes what happens is that you end up with yellow walls of text. Or green. Or even a rainbow. Which may be pretty, but it’s quite useless as a retrieval system.

What also happens when you highlight text is that you end up with a diverse array of writing styles, none of them being your own. This way, when you try to write a text with information from multiple sources, you have to search for the information and write it in a consistent style.

In this article, I’ll show you how to retrieve the most relevant information from a scientific paper, how to write it in a compelling way, and how to present it in a news-worthy style that’s easily adaptable to your audience. Ready?

Three steps to summarise a research paper

1. Scan and extract the main points

First things first, so you have to read the paper. But that doesn’t mean you have to read it from start to finish. Start by scanning the article for its main points.

Here’s the essential information to extract from the research paper you have in front of you:

  • Authors, year, doi
  • Study question: look in the introduction for a phrase like “the aim of this study was”
  • Hypothesis tested
  • Study methods: design, participants, materials, procedure, what was manipulated (independent variables), what was measured (dependent variables), how data were analysed.
  • Findings: from the results section; fill this before you look at the discussion section, if possible. Write bullet points.
  • Interpretation: how did the authors interpreted their findings? Use short sentences, in your own words.

After extracting the key information , revisit the article and read it more attentively, to see if you missed something. Add some notes to your summary, but take care to avoid plagiarism. Write notes in your own words. If you can’t do that at this moment, use quotation marks to indicate that your note came straight from the study. You can rewrite it later, when you have a better grasp of the study.

2. Use a journalistic approach for the first draft

Some sources advise you to keep the same structure as the scientific article, but I like to use the journalistic approach of news articles and flush out the more relevant information first, followed by the details. This is more enticing for readers, making them want to continue reading. Yes, I know that your reader may be just you, but I know I have lost myself in some of the things I’ve written, so…keep it interesting, even for a future self 😊.

This is the main information you have to put together:

Title of the article: I like to keep the original article title for the summary, because it’s easier to refer back to the original article if I need to. Sometimes I add a second title, just for me, if the article title is too obscure or long.

  • 1 st paragraph: Answer the 5 W’s in 3-4 sentences.

Who? (the authors)

What? (main finding)

When and where? (journal, date of publication)

This should be a standalone paragraph, meaning that the reader should be able to take out the main information even if they just read this paragraph.

  • Subsequent paragraphs: In 2-3 paragraphs or less, provide context and more information about the research done. If you’re not sure if a detail is important or not, you can include it here and edit it out in the next step.

3. Polish the rough edges

In this stage, you’re going to make a quick edit, checking for completeness and accuracy. Make sure you’ve included all the main points without repeating yourself. Double-check all the numbers. Stay focused on the research questions to avoid tangents. Avoid using jargon and the passive voice whenever possible.

Final summary

Using this approach, you’ll end up with a short summary of your article that you can use to craft other types of writing, such as press releases, news articles, social media blurbs, and many others.

The advantages of summarising research articles are that you can better understand what the article is about, and you’ll have a text written by you, so it’s easier to adapt and you avoid unintentional plagiarism.

That’s it! My guide to write a research paper summary 😊

I’ve created a handout with all the information in this blog post plus a fill-in-the-blanks template that you can use to summarise research articles, you can download it using the form below. You’ll be signed up to my mailing list, and receive a weekly roundup of news in the biomedical industry as a bonus!

If you have any comments or questions, please let me know in the comment box below.

How to Write a Great Synopsis for Thesis

A synopsis is a structured outline of a research thesis and the steps followed to answer the research question. The goal of writing a synopsis is to clearly and thoroughly explain the need to investigate a certain problem using particular practical methods to conduct the study. One of the main components of this written work is an extensive literature review containing strong evidence that the proposed research is feasible.

Establishing the Background

A supervisor may ask you to write a synopsis for one or more reasons:

  • to help you improve your critical thinking and writing skills
  • to help you understand how to design a comprehensive synopsis
  • to encourage you to write a comprehensive literature review to make sure that the research problem has not been answered yet
  • to make you conduct a logical analysis of the steps that should be followed to meet the objectives of the research

A synopsis should be coherent in terms of research design. Thus, you should ensure that the research problem, aims, and research methods are logically linked and well-considered. Note that all synopses should contain answers for several crucial questions:

  • Why should research on the proposed problem be undertaken?
  • What is expected to be achieved?
  • What has been done by other researchers on the proposed topic?
  • How will the objectives of the study be achieved?

The Writing Process

Before proceeding, consider answering the following questions:

  • Why am I going to study this topic?
  • Why do I consider it to be important?
  • Have I conducted an extensive literature review on the topic?
  • What problem will the research help to solve?
  • How do I incorporate previous studies on the topic?

The structure of a synopsis should correspond to the structure of qualifying research work, and the word count should be 2,500–3,000 words (Balu 38). The basic elements of a synopsis include a title page, contents page, an introduction, background, literature review, objectives, methods, experiments and results, conclusions, and references.

Introduction

As this comprises the first part of the main text, the introduction should convince readers that the study addresses a relevant topic and that the expected outcomes will provide important insights. Also, this section should include a brief description of the methods that will be used to answer the research question. Usually, the introduction is written in 1–3 paragraphs and answers the following questions:

  • What is the topic of the research?
  • What is the research problem that needs to be meaningfully understood or investigated?
  • Why is the problem important?
  • How will the problem be studied?

Background

In this section, you should set the scene and better introduce the research topic by proving its scientific legitimacy and relevance. It is important to establish a clear focus and avoid broad generalizations and vague statements. If necessary, you may explain key concepts or terms. Consider covering the following points in this section:

  • Discuss how the research will contribute to the existing scientific knowledge.
  • Provide a detailed description of the research problem and purpose of the research.
  • Provide a rationale for the study.
  • Explain how the research question will be answered.
  • Be sure to discuss the methods chosen and anticipated implications of the research.

Literature Review

A review of existing literature is an important part of a synopsis, as it:

  • gives a more detailed look at scientific information related to the topic
  • familiarizes readers with research conducted by others on a similar subject
  • gives insight into the difficulties faced by other researchers
  • helps identify variables for the research based on similar studies
  • helps double-check the feasibility of the research problem.

When writing the literature review, do not simply present a list of methods researchers have used and conclusions they have drawn. It is important to compare and contrast different opinions and be unafraid to criticize some of them. Pay attention to controversial issues and divergent approaches used to address similar problems. You may discuss which arguments are more persuasive and which methods and techniques seem to be more valid and reliable. In this section, you are expected not to summarize but analyze the previous research while remembering to link it to your own purpose.

Objectives

Identify the objectives of the research based on the literature review. Provide an overall objective related to the scientific contribution of the study to the subject area. Also include a specific objective that can be measured at the end of the research.

Methods

When writing this section, consider that the aim of the research is to produce new knowledge regarding the topic chosen. Therefore, the research methodology forms the core of your project, and your goal is to convince readers that the research design and methods chosen will rationally answer the research questions and provide effective tools to interpret the results correctly. It may be appropriate to incorporate some examples from your literature review into the description of the overall research design.

When describing the research methodology, ensure that you specify the approaches and techniques that will be used to answer the research question. In addition, be specific about applying the chosen methods and what you expect to achieve. Keep in mind that the methods section allows readers to evaluate the validity and feasibility of the study. Therefore, be sure to explain your decision to adopt specific methods and procedures. It is also important to discuss the anticipated barriers and limitations of the study and how they will be addressed. Specify what kind of contribution to the existing knowledge on the topic is expected, and discuss any ethical considerations that are relevant to the research.

Experiments and Results

Logically present and analyze the results of the study using tables or figures.

Conclusion

In this section, you should again state the significance of the research and summarize the study. Be sure to mention the study objectives and methods used to answer the research questions. Also, discuss how the results of the study contribute to the current knowledge on the problem.

References

A synopsis should contain a list of all references used. Make sure the references are formatted according to the chosen citation style and each source presented in this section is mentioned within the body of the synopsis.

Summary

The purpose of writing a synopsis is to show a supervisor a clear picture of a proposed project and allow him or her to find any gaps that have not been considered previously. A concisely written synopsis will help you gain approval to proceed with the actual research. While no rigid rules for writing this type of paper have been established, a synopsis should be constructed in a manner to help a supervisor understand the proposed research at first glance.

Balu, R. “Writing a Good Ph.D Research Synopsis.” International Journal of Research in Science and Technology, vol. 5, no. 4, 2015, pp. 38–48.

How to Write a Synopsis

How to write a synopsis? The synopsis is the plan of your research paper. It is presented at the end of the research. I includes your research topic, objectives, hypothesis, rationale for your study, the proposed methods of data collection, instruments, etc.

A synopsis is based on all the information that you have proposed for your study. There might be some secondary sources that you have consulted before actually conducting the study you can include those sources in your synopsis. The results, discussions and conclusion are the three main sections of research paper that are not a part of your synopsis. Below is a list of all the headings that will be included in the synopsis.

  • Title
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Objectives and hypothesis
  • Review of literature
  • Research methodology
  • References

The above mentioned headings are part of a standard synopsis. All of these headings will be described shortly in the synopsis and in detail in the actual research paper/report. Along with these headings results, discussions, and conclusion will make part of the research paper.

Title

The title of the synopsis is the title of the research paper/report. It is a short but explanatory phrase that describes the objective of the proposed research. The title of the synopsis and the actual research can be different but the main aim should remain same. An example of the synopsis title can be as follows:

Abstract

The abstract should provide a brief but precise idea about the research. It should include the main objectives, the conceptual framework, and the research methodology. It should not be lengthy and should not exceed more than 150 words.

Introduction

The introduction part of the synopsis should introduce the readers about the main problem under study. It should also briefly identify the problem and its significance. You should inform the readers why this study should be conducted and who will be benefited from it. This part should be written with caution as it provides the rationale for your study. The jury can ask you questions regarding the scope and significance of your study. Write the significance of your study objectively and precisely but do not miss anything that can make your study important.

The length of the introduction in the synopsis can be as much as one paragraph to 1-2 pages. Depending on the length of your actual manuscript you have to decide how long the synopsis should be. There can be at least two paragraphs: one for introducing the problem under study and another for providing rationale for the study.

Objectives and hypothesis

The objectives are developed from the main topic of your study. There can be one general objective of your study and there can be one or more then one specific objectives of your study. Keep in mind that you cannot just formulate a lot of objectives and fulfill only one or two. Your research should aim at all the objectives that you have proposed in the synopsis.

The hypothesis is the possible answer to your research question. You develop this hypothesis from your own knowledge of the subject area or from the review of the literature. The hypothesis should be logical, directional and objective. It should clearly state how you are going to solve the problem. In a quantitative research there should have to be a hypotheses that can be tested statistically after the results are analyzed. In qualitative research there can be no hypothesis.

Review of literature

The review of literature is brief in synopsis so only the most relevant reviews should be included. In the actual research paper you have to write more reviews. In the review of literature you should include work from other authors that is directly linked to the problem under study. You should also provide some reviews that can explain the gap in knowledge that your study aims to explore. The literature reviews should be selected form sources that are trustworthy and reliable.

Research methodology

The research methodology should include all the details about the subjects of the study, data collection, data collection instruments, data analysis techniques, study design, and any other measures taken in the study. Your methodology will inform the readers your approach to solve the problem under study. It should be the best possible option to achieve objective, reliable, and generalizable results.

The subjects can be human beings or non-human so describe the characteristics of the subjects and provide rationale for selecting a specific population. Define the sample and the sample size if you are using a sample of the population. Provide details about the data collection technique/s and the data collection instrument. If this is an experiment provide details about the apparatus, if it is a survey research provide details about the questionnaire format or the interview plan. Also you should write about the data analysis techniques, how you ensured sampling precision etc. In data analysis techniques inform the readers about the proposed statistical tests that you have to apply to get the results.

References

Provide accurate list of references at the end of the synopsis so that the readers can get to know the source of information. You should use the same referencing style that you have to use in the research paper. It can be MLA, APA, Harvard Style, Chicago Style of Citation or any other. You should ask your supervisor or teacher before hand about the citation style that you have to use. Remember that accuracy is very important in writing the references in the synopsis as well as in the research paper. Also remain consistent when you are following one style of citation keep it the same throughout the in-text citation and the end references.

How to Write an Incredible Synopsis in 4 Simple Steps

Your novel is fully written, edited, and polished to perfection — you’re ready to pitch it to agents! But you’re missing a critical piece of persuasion: the synopsis. Even after putting together your entire book, you may have no idea how to write one, or even how to approach it.

Luckily, we’ve got answers for you. Read on for our best tips on writing a synopsis that’s clear, concise, captivating… and may even lead to an all-out agent battle over your novel!

What is a synopsis?

A synopsis is a summary of a book that familiarizes the reader with the plot and how it unfolds. Although these kinds of summaries also appear on the pages of school book reports and Wikipedia, this guide will focus on constructing one that you can send out to agents (and eventually publishers).

Your novel synopsis should achieve two things: firstly, it should convey the contents of your book, and secondly, it should be intriguing!

While you don’t need to pull out all the marketing stops at this stage, you should have a brief hook at the beginning and a sense of urgency underlying the text that will keep your reader going. It should make potential agents want to devour your whole manuscript — even though they’ll already know what happens.

While writing your synopsis, make sure that it includes:

  • A complete narrative arc
  • Your own voice and unique elements of your story
  • The ending or resolution (unlike in a blurb)

As for the ideal length for this piece, it varies from project to project. Some authors recommend keeping it to 500 words, while others might write thousands. However, the standard range is about one to two single-spaced pages (or two to five double-spaced pages).

You may also want to have an additional “brief” summary prepared for agents who specifically request a single page or less. Remember: as hard as it will be to distill all your hard work into that minimal space, it’s crucial to keep your synopsis digestible and agent-friendly.

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How to write a novel synopsis in 4 steps

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1. Get the basics down first

When it comes to writing a synopsis, substance is the name of the game. No matter how nicely you dress it up, an agent will disregard any piece that doesn’t demonstrate a fully fleshed out plot and strong narrative arc. So it stands to reason that as you begin writing, you should focus on the fundamentals.

Start with major plot points

Naturally, you want agents to be aware of your story’s major plot points. So the best way to start summarizing your story is to create a list of those plot points, including:

  • The inciting incident — what sparks the central conflict of your story?
  • The events of the rising action — what happens in the interlude between the inciting incident and the climax, and how does this build tension?
  • The height of the action, or climax, of your story — this one is the most important, as it should be the most exciting part of your book!
  • The resolution or ending — again, unlike a blurb, a synopsis doesn’t need to dangle the carrot of an unknown ending to the reader; you can and should reveal your story’s ending here, as this brings the plot and narrative arc to a close.

Listing these points effectively maps out the action and arc of your story, which will enable the reader to easily follow it from beginning to end.

Include character motivations

The key here is not to get too deep into characterization, since you don’t have much room to elaborate. Instead, simply emphasize character motivations at the beginning and end of your synopsis — first as justification for the inciting incident, then again to bring home the resolution. For example:

Beginning: “Sally has spent the past twenty years wondering who her birth parents are [motivation]. When a mysterious man offers her the chance to find them, she spontaneously buys a ticket to Florence to begin her journey [inciting action].”

Ending: “She returns to the US with the man who was her father all along [resolution], safe in the knowledge that she’ll never have to wonder about him again [restated motivation].”

Also note how the text here is written in third person, present tense, as it should be regardless of the tense or POV of your actual book. Writing a synopsis in first or second person doesn’t really work because it’s not meant to be narrated — just summarized. Basically, the present tense works to engage the reader while the third person allows the story to be told smoothly.

2. Highlight what’s unique

Now it’s time to spice up your synopsis by highlighting the elements that make it unique. Agents need to know what’s so special about your book in particular — and moreover, is it special enough to get readers to pick it up? Below are some features you might employ to grab an agent’s attention and assure them of your book’s appeal.

Voice

Your writing voice is an essential tool here: it conveys your novel’s tone and is one of the most important factors in making your work stand out. However, it’s also one of the most difficult elements to evoke in such a small amount of space.

The best way to capture voice in a synopsis is through extremely deliberate word choice and sentence structure. So if you were Jane Austen, you’d use clever words to magnify your wit: “When Darcy proposes to her apropos of nothing, Elizabeth has the quite understandable reaction of rejecting him.” You may not be able to use all the elaborate prose of your novel, but your synopsis should still reflect its overall feeling.

Plot twists

Even though they’re one of the oldest tricks in the book, readers will never tire of juicy plot twists. If your novel contains one or more of these twists, especially at the climax, make sure your synopsis accentuates it. But don’t hint too much at the twist, as this will make it seem more dramatic when it comes; a couple of words in the intro will suffice as foreshadowing.

For instance, if you were writing a summary of Gone Girl, you might open with “Nick Dunne wakes up one morning to find that his wife, Amy, has apparently disappeared.” This implies that she may not be as “gone” as we think she is, setting the stage for the later reveal.

how to write a synopsis

Gone Girl-esque plot twist = unforgettable. Image: 20th Century Fox

Point of view

Another aspect that might set your book apart is a distinctive point of view. Since you’ll be giving your synopsis in third person, you can limit this inclusion to an introductory sentence: “This book is narrated from the point of view of a mouse.”

Although this strategy works best for books with a highly unusual point of view (such as The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, in which the story is told by Death), it can also be very helpful to remember for seemingly bog-standard narrators. If one of your characters narrates in first person, make sure to address their individual narrative quirks as well as any biases or limitations; highlighting an unreliable narrator can really add to your novel’s intrigue!

3. Edit for clarity and excess

Don’t shroud your synopsis in mystery; this is very frustrating to agents who just want to know what happens in your book! With that in mind, after you’ve written the bulk of your summary, it’s time to edit for clarity. You also may have to delete some text, so you can get it right in that couple-page sweet spot.

Editing for clarity

The paramount rule of synopses is a real doozy: tell, don’t show. It’s the opposite of that classic adage that writers have heard their whole lives, and it’s exactly what you need to write a successful synopsis.

As you return to what you’ve written, scan for sentences that are vague or unclear, especially toward the beginning. Many writers fall into the trap of trying to hook agents by opening with a sentence akin to the first murky line of a literary novel. Again, though you do want your intro to be intriguing, it has to cut to the chase pretty quickly.

When it comes to opening a synopsis, you need to think like Tolkien, not Tolstoy. “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” Crisp, clear, and to the point: one of the very few times you should tell, rather than show.

Editing excess words

If your synopsis is longer than a couple of pages at this point, you need make some serious cutbacks. Read through what you have, scrutinizing every sentence and word, even if you think you’ve chosen them carefully. Reduce any run-on sentences or subordinate clauses that unnecessarily lengthen your piece.

Finally, eliminate irrelevant details — anything that doesn’t lead to the next plot point or directly contribute to your voice or other distinctive elements. It’s unlikely you’ll have included any of these in the first place, but just in case they’ve slipped through, cut them. Save the frills for your book; remember, your synopsis is all about substance.

4. Make sure it flows

By the time it’s finished, your synopsis should read like a summary from an excellent book review — or at the very least SparkNotes or Shmoop. This means not only clearly and concisely hitting every important point, but also reading in a smooth manner, placing just the right amount of emphasis on the critical moments and unique aspects we’ve discussed.

Get test readers

A great way to ensure that your synopsis is paced precisely and flows well is to give it to test readers, either someone you know or a professional editor. You’ve spent way too much time with these words to be objective about them, so pay attention to what other people suggest: possible word substitutions, transitions, and which details to emphasize versus delete.

Use professional synopses as models

You don’t want to look at examples of other synopses too soon, otherwise yours will come out sounding formulaic and stale. That said, professional synopses can be a very valuable tool for refining toward the end of the process! Compare and contrast them to the synopsis you’ve written, and adapt any techniques or turns of phrase you feel would enhance it.

Here’s an example of a strong (albeit brief) synopsis of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, courtesy of the Oxford Companion to English Literature:

Phillip Pirrip, more commonly known as “Pip,” has been brought up by his tyrannical sister, wife of the gentle Joe Gargery. He is introduced to the house of Miss Havisham who, half-crazed by the desertion of her lover on her bridal night, has brought up the girl Estella to use her beauty as a means of torturing men. Pip falls in love with Estella and aspires to become a gentleman.

Money and expectations of more wealth come to him from a mysterious source, which he believes to be Miss Havisham. He goes to London, and in his new mode of life meanly abandons the devoted Joe Gargery, a humble connection of whom he is now ashamed.

Misfortunes come upon him. His benefactor proves to be an escaped convict, Abel Magwich, whom he as a boy had helped. Pip’s great expectations fade away and he is penniless. Estella meanwhile marries his sulky enemy Bentley Drummle, by whom she is cruelly ill treated.

In the end, taught by adversity, Pip returns to Joe Gargery and honest labor. He and Estella, who has also learnt her lesson, are finally reunited.

how to write a synopsis

Pip and Estella meet again in Great Expectations (2012). Image: Lionsgate

This synopsis works well because it includes:

  • The inciting incident (Pip moving in with Miss Havisham), the rising action (him being in London), the climax (returning to Joe Gargery), and the resolution (reuniting with Estella)
  • Character motivations (Miss Havisham wants to punish all men because her fiancé betrayed her; Pip wants to become a gentleman so Estella will fall in love with him)
  • A plot twist (Pip’s benefactor being a criminal — whom he knows from his childhood!)
  • Distinctive voice (formal yet engaging, doesn’t detract from the plot) and smoothly written style (events are chronological and progress quickly)

Your synopsis is one of the biggest deciding factors in whether an agent wants to see more from you or not. No matter how chipper your query letter, the bottom line is that this summary tells agents (and later publishers) what they really need to know: what your book is about, what makes it unique, and most importantly, if they can sell it.

That’s why it’s vital that you make your synopsis airtight. Fortunately, if you’ve followed these steps, yours will be chock full of plot details with a touch of your own special writing sauce: a synopsis that any agent (hopefully) won’t be able to resist.

Many thanks to Reedsy editors (and former agents) Sam Brody and Rachel Stout for consulting on this piece!

Do you have any tips for writing an irresistible synopsis? Leave them in the comments below!

How to Write a Synopsis: A Step-By-Step Guide

A synopsis involves providing a thorough summary of a story from the start till the end. Unlike a standard summary that just highlights the narrative, a synopsis goes more in-depth by providing all of the plot details, including the ending. Writing a good synopsis is important for when you want to get a book or screenplay published. If you know how to write a good synopsis, it can really help you achieve your goals. As you write it, you will need to focus on the main conflict as well as the resolution to the problem. Furthermore, you should discuss the main characters, including their personalities and motivations. This task has to look professional, which means you should make sure to proofread and edited it properly. Also note that most publishers will only accept full manuscripts, but nonetheless, writing the synopsis will allow you to highlight the most essential details.

Buy Research Papers In High Quality

If you are working on a synopsis for a research project, there will obviously be significant differences. Rather than discussing characters and plots, you would instead talk about a problem that requires solution, the methods and sources that you used in order to collect information, and conclusions that you reached after conducting the research. But either way, your ultimate goal is to get your paper published and for a large audience of readers to see it.

How to Write a Synopsis: Prewriting Stage

Those who know how to write a synopsis understand the importance of planning before you start writing. Indeed, there are a lot of things to think about. First, list the main characters from the story and identify their roles (i.e., protagonist, romantic interest, antagonist). Discuss the main plot and story arcs. Do not concern yourself with the subplots unless they are essential for the resolution of the story’s conflict. If you are writing a book, your synopsis should contain a one-sentence summary per chapter. If you have written a play or screenplay, each act should be one sentence in lengthy.

As you can certainly appreciate, publishers and agents have a busy job of looking through hundreds of synopses, which means your story has to be original and really stick out from the others. With that in mind, ask yourself a few questions. What makes your particular story so compelling? Does it contain a surprise ending? What type of audience is your story geared towards? When you provide a summary of the plot, adhere to the proper synopsis format. Discuss how the story begins, making sure to keep the reader hooked. Discuss the main points, including any obstacles that stand in the way of the main characters. The main characters should be well defined and relatable since character development is key if you want the audience to feel an emotional connection to them. Finally, reveal the ending so that the publisher or agent can decide whether it is satisfactory.

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How to Write a Synopsis for a Book

When you know how to write a synopsis for a book, you can really make a good impression. Stay focused, highlight all of the main plot points and characters, and really give the publisher or agent a reason to go forward with your book proposal. Writing a book synopsis is not difficult as long as you follow these steps:

Step 1: Scan the manuscript and look for the key moments of each chapter. For most of the chapters, a one or two-sentence summary will be sufficient. However, for important chapters such as the first one and the final one, you might need to devote a few more sentences since so much of the story’s essential information is contained within them. You should also discuss how the arcs resolve themselves and how the story comes to a conclusion.

Step 2. The first chapter will make or break the story, so take it seriously. Make sure to set it up really well when you write the synopsis. Get things started immediately by discussing the setting of the story, the main characters, and the main problems that they encounter.

Step 3: Cobble your short chapter summaries together, based on proper synopsis formatting. It will be somewhat barebones, but should nonetheless be coherent.

Step 4: Skim the story, focusing on the main plot points. Summarizing each chapter in a sentence or two will result in leaving out a lot of the context. Read everything carefully and make sure that you are able to connect one point to the next. Use the “because. then” structure and include more details as necessary.

Step 5. Give it another look, this time focusing on how the characters are affected by the events. A well-written story will explain how the character evolves as the story proceeds. Do they learn any important lessons? Did they start off as insecure only to develop confidence at the end? Did they have personality flaws that they were able to improve upon? Every story should have a purpose, and one of the ways this is achieved is by demonstrating that the character changed their priorities or motivations based on the situations they found themselves in.

Step 6. Revise and edit. You are almost finished, but if you want it to look professional and polished, there is one essential step that you cannot overlook! Look through the synopsis one last time, making sure that it includes all of the essential information while avoiding the less relevant details. If any of the sentences do nothing to advance the story, take them out. Choose your descriptive words well since your synopsis has to be concise but still highly informative.

How to Write a Synopsis for a Research Project

Finally, we will discuss how to write a synopsis for a research project. This will also be useful if you are wondering how to how to write a synopsis for a research paper, how to write a synopsis for a dissertation, how to write a synopsis for a thesis, or how to write a critical synopsis.

Step 1: Decide on a title

It should be concise and to the point, but at the same time informative since it conveys what the purpose of your project is. Choose the language carefully since the title should give the intended audience a reason to want to keep reading.

Step 2: Create an outline

Think of the synopsis in the same way that an architect views a blueprint. It provides us with a concise and well-planned idea about what the project entails. It also highlights the problems, discusses potential solutions and all of the sources that you used. This is important as it allows the reader – especially busy ones – to be informed about the project. If they want more details, they can them proceed to read the project in full.

Step 3: Discuss the main aims and objectives of your project

You want the audience to understand that the topic under discussion is relevant and important. Since most of them will have limited knowledge about it, provide background information as well as context. It would also be helpful to discuss why it is personally important to you to find answers.

Step 4: Inform the reader about the field of research that you are undertaking

For example, is it related to commerce? Biology? Communication? Business? Politics? Social science? This will serve two purposes: it will draw the reader who is interested in learning more about these fields and it will help eliminate those who have no interest in the topic and therefore not waste their time.

What Is Research Project Synopsis Writing

A synopsis (or protocol) of a research project is a type of document that is submitted to an organization, research institution, or even a governing body for various purposes such as:

  1. Fulfilling requirements for maintaining the status as a professor.
  2. In order to receive ethical clearance.
  3. Falling the requirements for receiving a Master’s or Ph.D.
  4. Peer review.
  5. In order to receive grants that will allow you to carry out the research.

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When an organization offers funds for a research project, they want to know what the project is about and ultimately decide whether it is worth providing money for. These committee boards often live busy lives and have to look through a lot of proposals, which means they don’t have a whole lot of time to devote to them. This is why they need to be brief, show a great deal of competence, and demonstrate that your project is feasible and relevant. In particular, you have to think of a synopsis as an opportunity to sell your ideas and receive approval to go forward with your research.

It goes without saying that a synopsis or protocol makes a significant difference. In fact, if your synopsis is written without much thought or if you rush to try to complete it, it is extremely unlikely that the committee or organization will be impressed. Thus is important to understand how to write this type of paper in a way that shows you are serious about the research project and will devote all the time and energy required to make it successful.

What is Research Project Synopsis Writing

What is research project synopsis writing? Let us take a look at what protocol means as well as synopsis’ meaning in a literal way. Protocol (which is derived from Greek, meaning first page) is defined as a complete and organized manner for carrying out a research project. Synopsis (“syn” meaning “together” and “opsis” meaning “seeing) means a brief summary. Both words can be used interchangeably, although synopsis is more common. Below we will discuss in detail the synopsis format and project synopsis.

Project Synopsis Format

Let us take a look at the project synopsis format. This is very importance since the whole purpose of a thesis synopsis is to demonstrate that you can organize a document in a clear way. Furthermore, since the synopsis format for a project is generally universal for all scientifically-based research, it is something that any committee will find familiar and easy to follow. Here is what to include:

  • The title of your proposed research;
  • Statement of the problem and hypothesis;
  • Aims and objectives;
  • Literature review;
  • Research methodology;
  • References.

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Synopsis for Projects

Let us look at a more in-depth explanation of what a synopsis for projects involves.

Title

The title for research synopsis writing needs to be short, but still provides information about the research topic. You would want to take an academic approach to this, mean means avoiding titles that include slang or seem sensationalized. You can include the hypothesis in the title if you wish, but avoid discussing other details in the title itself.

Statement of the Problem or Hypothesis

For the synopsis of a project, you would want to discuss the problem or hypothesis in a brief but clear manner. When you have a thorough understanding about the problem, it makes it easier for you to build the research proposal around it. Of course, it also makes it easier for you to develop a hypothesis or hypotheses. It is important that the problem be relevant and current. You can also discuss how finding a solution to this problem with lead to measurable positive outcomes. You would also want to discuss your personal motivations for carrying out this project as well as an explanation for why the reader should find it to be a worthy project.

The hypothesis is defined as a prediction or explanation detailing the relationship between two or more variables. Note that the hypothesis should be based on solid reasoning and firm knowledge about the topic. In other words, it is not merely a random guess that was created just to fulfil the need for proposing a hypothesis. It also should not be something subjective nor should it be something that has either been thoroughly explained or is so obvious that it is not worthy of testing. You can base your hypothesis on the knowledge that you have gained during the course of your studies, or from having done a compressive literature review that would indicate that your hypothesis could have some validity. Keep this under 200 words.

Aims and Objectives

Every research proposal should contain purpose. The aims and objectives lays its purpose out carefully. When thoroughly defined, it demonstrates to the committee judging your research project proposal that you have really given the project a lot of thought.

Review of Literature

The literature review is essential for several reasons:

  1. It provides background and context related to the problem under study.
  2. It briefly discusses similar work done by other researchers.
  3. It identifies gaps in the research, which is essential as it provides strong justification for carrying out your proposal.
  4. It discusses weaknesses of other research and explains how they can be corrected. This can go a long way towards making your project more feasible since you have a plan to improve upon previous research ideas.
  5. The literature review makes it possible to structure or modify the methodology based on the information you have uncovered.
  6. The literature review allows you to identify important variables and conceptualize their relationship.

The literature view does not have to be comprehensive. In fact, if the project is accepted, you will most likely need to add more literature view works. It is generally recommended that the review consist of around 300 words. You should use reputable sources that others can easily retrieve. In particular, you should focus on scholarly journals and academic research that has been peer-reviewed and can be found on JSTOR and other databases. Do not include any academic work that is only tangentially related since you really want to focus on topics that are applicable to your research.

How to Write a Methodology for a Project Report

Do you know how to write a methodology for a project report? Here are some types.

Start with a sub heading. Move on to the methodology. Keep in mind that this section of the paper should be relatively short, consisting of around 150-200 words. Given the importance of the methodology, you should include these elements:

  • Study design;
  • Study settings;
  • Sampling;
  • Variables;
  • Controls;
  • Study methods;
  • Data collection;
  • Study methods.

When discussing the methods, you should explain both why they are best for your study as well as other methods that would either make little sense, would be impractical or are prohibitively expensive.

Here are a few possible approaches that you can use when collecting information:

How to Write a Synopsis for a Project / Research

A project synopsis ought to give a good summary of the entire project with a minimum number of words. The synopsis gives the gist of the entire project covering the aim of the project, the objectives, and the details of the team involved in the project. Whether you are working on an academic or a professional project, a good synopsis goes a long way in capturing the details of your work.

The synopsis can be a maximum of 2-3 pages touching on the objective and working procedure of the specific project. Some significant things that ought to be included in the synopsis include;

  • The project’s title
  • The problem
  • The context or reason behind a particular topic (Background of a study)
  • The objective of a project
  • The scope of the project
  • The methodology
  • The technology used to analyse data
  • The testing technologies or methods
  • Limitations of the technology used
  • The contribution to the knowledge of the project
  • The conclusion

The Title

This is the first step in writing a synopsis. The writing of a clear title is significant because it says what your project is all about and shall be based on. The title is short and easy to understand and will hook the interest of your reader. It gives a picture of the content and the context of the work done on a project. The title indicates the dependent and independent variables and describes the nature of the project. The next section would touch on the contributors who might have donated or given moral support to the researcher. If the project is a result of a team effort, then the whole team ought to be acknowledged.

The background of the study

This is the context of a study, a researcher will clearly define the background of a study by answering questions such as the broad environment which shall be referred to within research. And if there is any historical perspective that might have contributed to the research of a project.

The Objective of a Study

The aim and objectives of a particular study shall be covered under the objectives section. The motive that drives a researcher to the particular topic of study is clearly described in this section of the hypnosis. At this point, the researcher can also state the target audience he or she wanted to reach and the reason for that. This can arouse the interest of the reader and makes them want to understand the rest of the project and what the findings were. The objective of a project ought to be in line with the background by narrowing down the broad view of background into a concise statement of; What motivates a researcher to take on a particular project? How the title relates to the particular issue or field under investigation.

The Reference Books Used

This is the broad problem area to the objective of the project and touches on the past literature review or bibliography that exists in a particular field of study. In the literature review section, the researcher shall explore the topic of the project to the extent that it justifies the pursuit of new research activity. The researcher does this by quoting previous research done on the problem area and different findings made. From the findings, the researcher can state the knowledge gap that drove him or her toward this particular project which he intends to fill. In this part of the synopsis, the researcher can also justify that his topic of the study had not been properly explored by past researchers and that is what drives him to explore it.

Limitations of the Technologies used

It is advisable to mention the resources you have used in designing and developing your project but also the limitations of the technologies you have employed in the collection of data and analysis. This will command more respect among the readers and the authenticity of the project will be enhanced. Other researchers who might be interested in carrying out projects using similar technologies can take precautions if you state the limitations of the different technologies you have used.

Division of the different Modules

The different modules incorporated in the research such as the admin module, and the module intro ought to be explained in detail. The project admin helps the administrators to manage the members of the team, assign roles and assign permission to particular roles.

The Status of the Project

In every synopsis, the current status of the development of a project is properly scribbled in the status section to give the reader the progress of a project. If a researcher is in the beginning stages of a project, then he can mention that the project is in the planning stages and that he or she will, later on, execute the plan. If the project is already in progress, the researcher can clearly state that the development of a project is in progress.

The problem statement and the Hypothesis

The problem under study ought to be clearly written and to the point, when the problem is well understood, then it is clear to develop a plan and formulate the hypothesis upon which a researcher shall be benchmarking towards solving the problem. The hypothesis shall consist of the presumed explanation of the many variables at a time. It is almost impossible to have a successful project without clearly understanding what you are trying to solve as a researcher because that gives you a step-by-step guide on what data to collect and which audience or entity to research.

Be Precise

When writing a synopsis, it is easy to get wordy and lose the reader. Just remember that less is more when it comes to several things and most importantly when it comes to writing a synopsis. If for example, the project is 1000 words, your synopsis can only be 450 words. It is a brief of the whole thing. When writing the synopsis, it is important to prioritize the important aspect of a project and ignore the unnecessary details. When writing a synopsis, keep in mind that this is the conclusion of the entire project. Write it short and crisp and not several paragraphs that are worth reading through.

The Target Audience

The people whom you are targeting with your project ought to be mentioned. You can further elaborate on whom the project shall benefit in the long run under the subheading section. This is done to get the target audience to go through the project keenly since it might be beneficial to them. You can even write the synopsis in the beginning stages of the project to arouse the audience and motivate them to follow through on the project and what it has for them eventually.

An Outline of the Project

This is the blueprint of your project. It consists of what your project is about, a highlight of the problems you are trying to solve, some of the solutions you are coming up with, and the books and the technologies you used are discussed clearly. This is what simply tells your reader about the project without him or her having to go through the project. If you write it simply and attractively, it will sell the reader on the project. However, if the synopsis is dull, no matter how great the project is, a reader might miss that due to a poor synopsis. Write it professionally and clearly so that everyone gets the idea of what you are doing and the message you want to deliver to the audience. This is a mirror for the rest of the project, when a person is going through a synopsis, they should have a quick idea of whether the project is for them or not. If a synopsis is explaining something marketing-related and the reader is from an engineering background, then the project might not be of use to them. When the synopsis reflects the whole idea of the project, it saves time for the reader in figuring out what the project is all about and whether it is for them or not.

Get Rid of Errors

While writing a synopsis, it is important to eliminate mistakes such as spelling and grammar. You can fail to pass an important message due to typographical errors in your document. Eliminate errors to better the understanding of your synopsis among readers. If you want many readers to read your synopsis, get rid of the unnecessary errors and have a clear synopsis. Write in different paragraphs, don’t put everything in one paragraph. It can look attractive, and use different colours and colourful words while writing.

Conclusion

The synopsis to your project is like the trailer to a movie, the better it looks, the more shall people be motivated to dig deeper into your project and have a look at it. Write a clear title, problem statement, and hypothesis, develop a clear objective and have a clear target audience. Above all, keep it simple.

How To Write A Research Summary

Deeptanshu D

It’s a common perception that writing a research summary is pretty quick and an easy task. After all, how hard can writing 300-400 words be? However, the reality behind a research summary lies in stark contrast to this common crowd perception. Now, whether you are writing a research summary as a part of your dissertation, essay or you are trying to create a compelling draft for your paper, churning out a complex research paper to transform it into an informative self-explanatory snapshot can be one of the most daunting stages of a research process. That’s why writing a research summary often comes at the end of the task list.

A well-curated research summary represents you and your skills as knowledgeable about the information written in the research paper. Therefore, it is prudent to remain objective and ignore any analysis or criticism while creating a research summary. To generate a concise and accurate description of a research paper that proves your understanding of the research topic and its conclusions, you must stay attentive to the goals and purpose of a research summary.

Regardless of the various scenarios and goals associated with a research summary, it can be demanding and exhausting. However, obtaining an appropriate level of knowledge before embarking on a pile of research papers can make the entire process a lot easier. Here are a few ways to learn completely about a research summary and then start writing a summary for your task (research paper).

What is a Research Summary?

A research summary is an academic piece of writing that describes the findings of a research paper to a targeted audience in a brief yet concise manner. While writing a quality research summary, you must discover and identify the significant points in the research and condense it in a more straightforward form for its reader. To prepare a research summary, you need to gather explicit knowledge of the topic that will allow easy comprehension of the contents of the paper for you as well as its audience. A research summary is like a doorway that provides access to the structure of a research paper’s sections.

Fundamentals of a Research Summary

Before you start creating the research summary, you must delve deeper to get insights into its content, style, and organization. There are three fundamental areas of a research summary that you must focus on while preparing a good research summary.

  1. While deciding over the contents of your research summary, you must include a section on its importance as a whole, the techniques, and the tools that were used to formulate the conclusion. Additionally, you should provide a brief yet thorough explanation of how the findings of the research paper have real world applications benefiting the people.
  2. To keep the summary as a well-organized academic writing piece, try to provide the various sections of the research paper in separate paragraphs. Besides, how the idea of particular factual research came up first must be explained in a separate paragraph.
  3. As a general practice worldwide, research summaries are restricted to 300-400 words. However, if you have chosen a lengthy research paper, try not to exceed the word limit of 10% of the entire research paper.

Structure of a Research Summary

The research summary is nothing but a concise form of the entire research paper. Therefore, the format or the structure of a research summary stays the same as the research paper. Regardless of whether section titles are present or not, you must include contents from all the sections and a brief discussion over them. The structural elements that a research summary must consist of:

  1. Title:It represents the topic of the research. Try to phrase it so that it includes the key findings or conclusion of the task.
  2. Abstract:This represents a concise yet thorough description of the study conducted. It would help if you refrain from copy-pasting the exact statements from the research paper itself. Unlike a research paper’s abstract, the word limit is expected to be very short in the abstract of a research summary.
  3. Introduction:This is the most crucial section of a research summary as it helps readers get familiarized with the topic. You should include the definitions, the current state of the investigation, its context, and importance in the real world, etc., in this part. Additionally, you should present the problem statement, investigative measures, and any hypothesis (if made) in this section.
  4. Methodology:This section provides details about the methodology and the methods adopted to conduct the study. You should write a brief description of the surveys, sampling, type of experiments, statistical analysis, and the rationality behind choosing those particular methods.
  5. Results:Create a list of evidence obtained from the various experiments with a primary analysis, conclusions, and interpretations made upon that. In the paper research paper (for which you are creating the summary), you will find the results section as the most detailed and lengthy part. Therefore, you must pick up the key elements and wisely decide which elements are worth including and which are worth skipping.
  6. Discussion:This is where you present the interpretation of results in the context of their application. This part usually covers results, inferences, theoretical models explaining the obtained values, key strengths, and limitations. All of these are vital elements that you must include while preparing a research summary.
  7. Conclusion:In the parent or the original research paper, you may find this section merged with the discussions. However, depending upon the instructions, you may have to prepare this as a separate section in your research summary. Usually, in this section, a revisit is made to the hypothesis assumed before the study. It also provides the details about the validation or denial about the arguments made in the research paper, based upon how convincing the results were obtained.

The structure of a research summary closely resembles the anatomy of a scholarly article. Additionally, you should keep your research and references limited to authentic and scholarly sources only.

Tips for Writing a Research Summary

Regardless of the different purposes a research summary serves, the core concept of undertaking a research summary is to present your audience with a simple and clear understanding of the parent research paper. Follow the steps outlined below to write a research summary.

1. Read the parent paper thoroughly

You should go through the research paper thoroughly multiple times to ensure that you’ve understood the concept presented in it completely. You can follow a 3-stage reading process to gain an adequate understanding:

a. Scan: Just read it once to get an understanding of its basic concept and methodologies.

b. Read the article attentively by going through each section, highlighting the key elements, and subsequently listing the topics that you will include in your research summary.

c. Skim the article a few more times to decipher the interpretation of various experimental results, statistical analysis, and application in different contexts.

Below you will find a few tips through which you can cross this phase easily.

You start reading through the abstract. In the abstract, you will get to understand the author’s viewpoint about the research topic and the expectations that were assumed from the study.

Sincerely go through different headings and subheadings as it will allow you to understand the underlying concept of each section. You can try reading the introduction and conclusion simultaneously to understand the motive of the task and how obtained results stay fit to the expected outcome.

2. Identifying the key elements in different sections

While going through different sections of an article, you can try finding answers to simple “What,” “How,” and “Why.” Follow through the list to understand what answers you should try looking for in each section of a research paper:

i) Introduction:

  • What is the research question, and how is the author trying to address it?
  • Is the author making any hypothesis in the introductory part?

ii) Methods:

  • What type of methods were adopted?
  • What was the sample size for data collection, and how was it analyzed?

iii) Results:

  • What were the most vital findings of the conducted experiments?
  • Do the results support the hypothesis that was made?

iv) Discussion/Conclusion

  • What is the final solution to the problem statement of the research paper?
  • What is the author’s explanation for the obtained results?
  • What is the inference drawn from the observations?
  • What recommendations does the author make?
  • What are the various limitations of the conducted study?

3. Start writing the research summary

Now that you’ve listed the key points that the paper tries to demonstrate, you can start writing the summary following the standard structure of a research summary.

In any case, never copy-paste the statements from the parent research paper. Instead, try writing down each section in your own words. This will not only help in keeping zero plagiarism but will also show your complete understanding of the subject. Alternatively, you can use a summarizing tool (AI-based summary generators) to shorten the content or summarize the content without disrupting the actual meaning of the article.

In any case, never copy-paste the statements from the parent research paper. Instead, try writing down each section in your own words. This will not only help in keeping zero plagiarism but will also show your complete understanding of the subject. Alternatively, you can use a summarizing tool (AI-based summary generators) to shorten the content or summarize the content without disrupting the actual meaning of the article.

It is important that you paraphrase the author’s ideas and concepts behind each section. The best way to accomplish this is by listing it separately and later including it in the research summary as per it’s fit in different sections.

4. Include visuals

One of the best ways to summarize and consolidate a research paper is to provide visuals like graphs, charts, pie diagrams, etc.. Using visuals, you can easily explain the facts, the past trends, and the probabilistic figures around a concept.

5. No plagiarism at all

It will be very tempting to pick up a few statements or the entire paragraphs depending upon the clarity of those sections. However, in any case, you must not indulge in any copy-pasting. Even paraphrasing should be done with utmost care and attention. The best way to accomplish this is by creating each section from scratch using the notes you will be preparing while reading the parent article. Your own words weaved through your understanding is the only way to keep your paper safe without any plagiarism.

6. Religiously follow the word count limit

You need to have strict control while writing different sections of a research summary. In many cases, it has been observed that the research summary and the parent research paper became the same length. If that happens, it can lead to discrediting of your efforts and research summary itself. Whatever the standard word limit has been imposed, you must observe that carefully.

7. Proofread your research summary multiple times

The process of writing the research summary can be exhausting and tiring. However, you shouldn’t allow this to become a reason to skip checking your academic writing several times for mistakes like misspellings, grammar, wordiness, and formatting issues. Your research summary can stand out from the others, provided it is drafted perfectly on both technicality and comprehension parameters.

8. Watch while you write

Keep a keen observation of your writing style. You should use the words very precisely, and in any situation, it should not represent your personal opinions on the topic. You should write the entire research summary in utmost impersonal, precise, factually correct, and evidence-based writing.

9. Ask a friend/colleague to help

Once you are done with the final copy of your research summary, you must ask a friend or colleague to read it. You must test whether your friend or colleague could grasp everything without referring to the parent paper. This will help you in ensuring the clarity of the article.

Conclusion:

Once you become familiar with the research paper summary concept and understand how to apply the tips discussed above in your current task, summarizing a research summary won’t be that challenging. While reading the different aspects of your academic career, you will face different scenarios where you may have to create many research summaries. In such cases, you just need to look for answers for simple questions like “Why this study is necessary,” “What were the methods,” “Who were the participants,” “What conclusions were drawn from the research,” and “How it is relevant to the wider world.” Once you find out the answers to these questions, you can easily create a good research summary following the standard structure and a precise writing style.

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