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APA Style Resource Center (6th EDITION): Summary of Article

APA style of documenting and citing sources for college research, plus more.

Summary of an Article

Selecting an article from a peer- reviewed or academic journal:

  • Make sure your subject is approved by your instructor.
  • If your instructor wants a “research” article, make sure that your article has the 4 main components of a research article: introduction, methods, results and discussion ( or something very similar to those).
  • Journal articles are usually on very specific topic or research. (generally, you are not going to find a peer-reviewed article that explains a disease. Instead, you may find articles about research in a particular aspect of the disease).
  • Make sure that the subject of the article is of interest to you.
  • Find an article that is not too technical for you and that you understand the main points of the article.
  • Read the abstract first if available to understand what the article is about.

 Writing a summary of an article:

  • Understand what your instructor expects from this assignment.
  • The citation for the article has to be in APA style (unless your instructor tells you otherwise). If you obtained the article from one of our databases, it usually has it cited for you, although not always correct.
  • When summarizing the article do not do write what is in the abstract, even if you change your words around.  That is plagiarism
  • Do not just state the information you find in the article by changing words or paraphrasing a paragraph.  That is plagiarism.
  • The best way is to read the article, write notes and without looking at it summarize it in your own words.