The Article Summary Assignment

The Article Summary Assignment

What is the assignment?

  • Write a 1.5-2 page summary of a scholarly article (note that this may be an article of your own choosing or an article supplied to you by your instructor. See your class Bb site for this specific requirement).
  • The summary must include a cover page formatted in APA style, 1-2 pages of text, and a reference page with the article referenced in accordance with APA style requirements.
  • This assignment is an exercise in reading and learning to summarize in your own words.
  • This assignment is worth 100 points.


How does this assignment relate to your future?


  • When you work in a career job, you will be asked, many times to write down in your own words, what has been discussed or read about.
  • Being able to formulate thoughts concisely about something is an important skill in any professional job.
  • If you choose to go to graduate school, you will need to read many scholarly articles and be able to analyze them.
  • Why should you learn how to format your papers in APA style? APA style…
    • Teaches students to pay attention to detail.
      • Jobs require attention to detail.
    • Requires students to follow directions.
      • Teaches students how to write objectively and present evidence.
      • Jobs require employees to present information using facts, statistics, reasoning, and examples; not “I think, I feel, or I believe!”
    • Teaches procedural compliance.
      • Employers want workers who know how to follow a procedure because most jobs require procedural compliance!


What should you pay attention to when completing this assignment?


  • Organize this paper just like you would organize a good essay: introduction, body, conclusion.
  • Develop each paragraph with specific examples from the original article, or use logical reasoning to develop and make your points. Well developed paragraphs should be between 3-5 sentences long. If you are unsure of how to write good paragraphs, consult and old English Composition textbook or make an appointment to see someone in the Student Success Center.
  • Your job is to read the article, and then summarize what you have read in your own words.
    • As you read, take notes. Then focus on the research described in the article. The using the guidelines below (taken from Galvan, 2009) please discuss:
      • Note whether the research is quantitative or qualitative.
      • If the research was quantitative, then try to discuss several of the bulleted items from the list below:
        • Note whether the study was experimental or non-experimental.
        • If the study was an experiment, then note whether the participants were assigned to random to treatment conditions.
        • Note attempts to use cause-and-effect issues in non-experimental studies.
        • Consider the test-retest reliability of the instrumentation. (You may have to read ahead in your text to find this information).
        • Consider the internal consistency reliability of the instrumentation.
        • Consider the validity of the instrumentation.
        • Consider whether an instrument is valid for a particular purpose.
        • Note differences in how a variable is measured across studies.
        • Note how the participants were sampled. Make notes on the demographics of the participants.
      • If the research is qualitative, then try to discuss several of the bulleted items from the list below:
  • Note whether the research was conducted by an individual or a research team.
  • When there is a research team, note whether the analysis of the data was initially conducted independently.
  • Note whether outside experts were consulted.
  • Note whether participants were consulted in the interpretation of the data.
  • Note whether the researchers used a purposive sample or a sample of convenience.
  • Note whether the demographics of the participants were described.
  • Consider whether the method of qualitative analysis is described in sufficient detail.
  • Note whether quantities are provided when researchers discuss quantitative matters.

Where to find guidance on how to complete this assignment:

  • Check out the Galvan book. The earlier chapters in this book discuss how to read and analyze scholarly articles.
  • Check out the Rules of Thumb book for help with grammar, etc.

Requirements for the formatting of the APA style cover page:

  • The cover page should have a “Running head” on the cover, followed by a shortened version of the title of your paper in all CAPS. (See p. 41 in the APA Style Manual). Note that you will NOT be required to write an Abstract for this assignment.
  • The page number may be omitted from the cover page, or you can try to include “1” for page 1 in the upper right hand corner of the page. Note that this should be formatted in the “Header” function of your paper.
  • In the upper half of the cover page you should include the following:

Name of Your Paper

Your First Name, Middle Initial, and Last Name

Wilmington University

  • For the reference page, type References on the top of the page in bold. Continue with double-spacing as you then write the reference entry in APA style. See the APA manual section 7.01 for how to properly format the journal article for this assignment. Note that each journal varies somewhat, depending on whether the journal has a doi, whether it is a journal with continuous pagination or paginated by issue, or whether it is an online or print journal article. Note also that the APA manual does provide a general reference form that you can use to format your journal article. The APA style manual covers formatting the reference page in section 6.22-6.25 and 6.27- 6.32.

Requirements for the text of your paper:

  • One-inch margins all around
  • Use Times Roman 12 point font
  • Double-space paper throughout (even the references)
  • Indent each paragraph.
  • Use citations whenever you use quoted material, factual information, or statistics from the original source. The correct APA formatting style is as follows (Author, year, p. #). For example, (Smith, 1998, p. 231). Note the commas in between.  The APA Style Manual cover requirements and formatting for in-text citations in section 6.11- 6.21.


#          #          #

The following rubric will be used to grade this assignment:

Grading Criteria for Article Summaries

Criteria Needs Improvement


Meets Expectations


Exceeds Expectations




Clearly organized introduction, body, conclusion Disorganized, leaves the reader wondering what is being said Summary has Intro, body, conclusion Smoothly written, easy to read, topic introduced, organization clearly evident  
The author’s thesis statement is captured and the author’s central theme is explained. Fails to capture, offers the wrong idea or missed the main thesis, or does not explain. Central theme is explained although it may not be exactly clear or need to be reread in order to understand it Central theme explained in captivatingly worded language, immediately interesting  
Supporting Ideas: All of the article’s supporting ideas are summarized and relationships among these ideas are explained without going into details. Main ideas are not summarized and relationships of ideas are not explained. Supporting ideas are summarized and relationships explained Supporting ideas are summarized and relationships explained while at the same time maintaining an interesting tone and making the summary an interesting read  
Writing style:

·         Ideas are clearly connected and make sense.

·         Important points are supported with facts, examples, or referenced back to the article with the appropriate citation.

Ideas are not connected, little or no supporting facts or use of material from the article, parts are confusing, and/or includes generalizations. Ideas are connected, important points make sense, citations are used, and facts and examples support the main ideas Ideas are connected, important points make sense, citations are used, and facts and examples support the main ideas.  Logical flow of ideas, transitions are used,  
Opinions: the student refrains from offering opinions and sticks to summarizing the article’s ideas. Opinions and judgments are included that are not warranted and/or not a part of the original article, or if part of the original article, are further judges without substance. Main ideas are summarized without straying too far from the main ideas of the article, some personal opinions or judgments may be evident, may have missed some of the information of the main ideas in the article Opinions are not offered, main ideas are succinctly summarized without including too much specific detail (as in the original article)  
Fewer than 10 mechanics, spelling, usage, grammar or punctuation errors. Exceeds 8 grammatical and/or punctuation errors. Between 4-5 errors, but they are minor and do not detract from the summary. No errors whatsoever!  
Use of transitions to connect sentences and ideas. Choppy, sentences are not connected. Summary expresses the ideas of the author; sentences relate to one another; may take a re-reading to understand. This summary is easy to read and makes sense the first time it is read. It is interesting to read and smoothly written.  
Correct choice of words used, verb tenses, avoidance of wordy phrases, etc. Improper use of language or slang, wrong word choice, appears “padded” Occasional wrong word choice, somewhat wordy but not enough to detract from the summary. May occasionally use wrong verb tense. No wrong word choice or slang, uses correct verb tenses. Tightly written and uses words to convey meaning rather than take up space.  
Follows academic writing style of using 12 point Times Roman font and uses one-inch margins all around. Fails to meet this criteria by obvious disregard for the expectations stated in the criteria. Meets this criteria with only minor exceptions. Exceeds this criteria by completely meeting ALL of these requirements with NO exception!  
APA-style cover sheet, citations, and references; Appropriately uses in-text citations in APA style formatting. Fails to meet this criteria by obvious disregard (+8) for the expectations stated in the criteria. Meets this criteria with only minor (3-4) exceptions. Exceeds this criteria by completely meeting ALL of these requirements with NO exceptions!