Planning the Summary
The goal of the assignment is to review and summarize an article from
a scientific journal (e.g., IEEE Xplore, Journal of Fluid Mechanics,
Energy and Environment, EE Times, etc.) for a generalist (nontechnical)
audience. You may optionally choose to review and summarize a conference
paper. The selected article should be related to engineering, and the
article should be of a suitable length for creating a 2 to 3-page
summary (3-page maximum for the body text) using double-spaced,
left-justified text. A lengthy article will be difficult to summarize
within the scope of the assignment. A highly specialized article will be
difficult to summarize for a generalist (non-technical) audience.
Creating a Written Summary
The format (visual appearance) of the summary should consist of
double-spaced and left justified text using an appropriate font size and
style. The form (organization) of the summary should include a brief
introduction to the topic to provide context, a summary of the main
points/key details of the article, followed by a brief conclusion to
bring closure to the summary as outlined below (do not use the words
Introduction, Body or Conclusion as headings in your summary). Headings
are not required for this assignment. The style (tone and formality of
the writing) should reflect a formal, scientific tone, avoiding the use
of contractions, colloquial expressions, and unnecessary use of
first-person references (I, me, my, we, ours, us) and be written to a
generalist (non-technical) audience.
Title – State the title of the article at the top of the page (Do not use “Journal Article Summary”).
Begin the summary with an introductory statement (approximately one or
two sentences) describing the subject and scope of the article to
provide context for the reader.
Body – Summarize
the main points presented in the article. Create a brief outline that
identifies the major points discussed in the article. Use your outline
as a guide for writing your summary. After each major point is added to
your summary, write a transition statement to smoothly move from one
major point to the next. Add an appropriate amount of detail to each
major point to provide sufficient clarity for the reader. Omit, find a
synonym, or define any concepts, terminology, or units of measure as
appropriate for a generalist (non-technical) reader.
Conclusion – Bring
closure to your summary by providing a forward-looking statement
regarding ongoing research efforts, possible future applications, or
evolutionary path of the technology.
Evaluation – In a
separate paragraph, provide your assessment of how well the article
conveyed the information to its intended target audience using clear,
concise and well-organized discourse.
Citing Source Material
No in-text citations are required for this writing assignment.
However, the full bibliographic citation of the article you are
summarizing should be placed at the end of your summary after the
evaluation paragraph. The 3-page limit is for the summary itself. Using a
fourth page for the bibliographic citation (or any other citations you
wish to include) is acceptable. If you use any additional sources to
help define any concepts or terminology found in the article, you must
cite those sources as well using IEEE citation style. The Library
Research Guide can help you find suitable scientific articles (the
electronic link is provided in the Course Reference Materials module on the Canvas course space).
Planning the Summary