Reading academic material, whether course work or research material, can sometimes be a daunting task. We don’t always find it easy to understand what we’re reading, and sometimes we aren’t sure why we are reading something or how it will help us.
Luckily, you can develop your reading skills to help you make the most of your academic experience. When we first engage with course work or research material, our first task is to understand and summarize what we have read. From this, we will be able to work with these new ideas in more complex ways.
Overall, this Study Room will help you develop your ability to read and understand a professional article, identify the main arguments and ideas in that article, and express those main ideas clearly and accurately in a well-formatted summary essay.
What is an Academic Summary?
We summarize information all the time, for example by explaining what we did on the weekend or describing a favourite movie. But academic summary is a little more involved.
The goal of academic summary is to identify and express the most necessary ideas from the work. As you move through your studies, you will be expected to read and learn from many sources, including articles, textbook chapters, videos and podcasts.
To manage all this, you will need to get good at understanding what you read in order to filter the information, and identify the most important ideas and arguments. These key ideas can be summarized so you can use them in exams and write papers.
Remember, you only truly understand a source if you can summarize it effectively.
How to Start
Study Room 1 offers 3 lessons that guide you through a process of critical reading and the development of a summary essay.
This Study Room works best when you complete the lessons in order. In each lesson, you build on the work completed in the one before it until, finally, you complete a summary essay.
Can’t do it all? No problem. Dip in to any lesson to find useful tips, templates and samples on each topic.
- Reading to understand (Lesson A).
To summarize an article, you must first be able to understand the ideas it presents.
- Filtering information (Lesson B).
Once you understand an article, you must be able to identify the main ideas.
- Writing a summary (Lesson C).
You must understand the conventions and expectations of an academic summary in order to express the main ideas succinctly and clearly.
View the quick access list of the blank templates offered in this lesson. You can use these templates as resources to help you complete future work.