Writing Summaries and Critiques
Definition of Genre
Summaries and critiques are two ways to write a review of a scientific journal article. Both types of writing ask you first to read and understand an article from the primary literature about your topic. The summary involves briefly but accurately stating the key points of the article for a reader who has not read the original article. The critique begins by summarizing the article and then analyzes and evaluates the author’s research. Summaries and critiques help you learn to synthesize information from different sources and are usually limited to two pages maximum.
Actions to Take
1. Skim the article without taking notes:
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The egg capsules of the marine snails Nucella lamellosa and N. lima protect developing embryos against low-salinity stress, even though the solute concentration within the capsules falls to near that of the surrounding water within about 1 h.
5. Write a draft of your summary:
Don’t look at the article while writing, to make it easier to put the information in your own words and avoid unintentional plagiarism.
Refer back to the article later for details and facts.
Ask yourself questions as you write: o What is the purpose of the study? What questions were asked? o How did the study address these questions? o What assumptions did the author make? o What were the major findings? o What surprised you or struck you as interesting? o What questions are still unanswered?
A complete citation of the article goes at the top of the page, below your heading.
Don’t skip a line between the citation and the start of the essay.
Indent the first line of the essay.
Be concise and eliminate superfluous information.
The introductory paragraph summarizes the background information and purpose of the research (specific questions the study researched).
Then, explain the methods that were used to investigate the research questions (use past tense). Mention the major