how to write a summary for a research essay in mla format

how to write a summary for a research essay in mla format

Writing a summary for a research essay in MLA format requires you to condense the key points and findings of your research into a clear and concise 1000-word summary. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to write such a summary:

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1. Understand the Purpose:

  • Before you begin, ensure you understand the purpose of the summary. It should provide an overview of the research, highlighting the most important findings, arguments, and conclusions.

2. Read and Analyze the Research Paper:

  • Carefully read the research paper you’re summarizing. Take notes on the main points, key findings, evidence, and the overall structure of the paper.

3. Structure the Summary:

  • Organize your summary with a clear structure, including an introduction, body, and conclusion.

4. Write the Introduction:

  • Start with a brief introduction that includes the title of the research paper, the author’s name, and a sentence explaining the paper’s purpose or focus. For example:
In [Author's Name]'s research paper, "[Title of the Paper]," the author explores...

5. Summarize the Main Points:

  • In the body of the summary, present the main points of the research paper in a logical order. Begin with the most important points and findings and work your way down to the less significant details.
  • Keep each summary paragraph focused on a single aspect or point from the research paper. Use your own words to convey the information.

6. Cite the Source:

  • When summarizing specific findings or ideas from the research paper, cite the source using MLA in-text citations. Include the author’s last name and the page number (if applicable). For example: (Smith 45).

7. Analyze and Interpret:

  • In addition to summarizing, provide a brief analysis or interpretation of the research’s significance. Discuss the implications of the findings or the importance of the research topic.

8. Maintain Objectivity:

  • Maintain an objective tone throughout your summary. Avoid personal opinions or biases.

9. Write the Conclusion:

  • In the conclusion, briefly restate the key findings and their significance. You can also mention any limitations of the research or suggest potential areas for future study.

10. Revise and Proofread: – After writing the summary, revise and proofread it carefully to ensure clarity, coherence, and accuracy. Check for any grammar or punctuation errors.

11. Format in MLA Style: – Ensure that your summary is formatted according to MLA guidelines. This includes using 12-point Times New Roman or Arial font, double-spacing, 1-inch margins, and proper citation format.

12. Include a Works Cited Page: – If you reference other sources within your summary, include a Works Cited page at the end of your document with proper MLA citations for those sources.

13. Check the Word Count: – Verify that your summary is approximately 1000 words long, as specified.

Remember that a summary should be a condensed version of the research paper, capturing its main points and findings. It should provide readers with a clear understanding of the research without needing to read the entire paper.

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