How to write an article synopsis: Great hints

How to write a synopsis for an article? Generally, the purpose of any synopsis is to produce a critical review and analysis of the article. It means that you will need to apply your critical and analytical thinking skills when reading and reviewing the article. Of course, you will need to outline the main idea of the article and list smaller, related ideas that frame the picture of the article. You will need to help your readers understand the main idea of the article, as well as its utility and implications for practice. Quite often, article synopses are used by researchers to guide their decisions and projects.

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What is the organization of article synopsis?

There are many article synopsis examples available on the Internet. They may be of great help during the process of writing an article synopsis. While working on an article synopsis, you will have to organize your thoughts logically. Make sure that they flow smoothly. Your readers should not have any difficulty getting the main idea of the article. Sometimes, it is appropriate to follow the author’s logic, step by step. Sometimes, you may need to reorganize the logic of the article to make it more understandable for the reader.

As a student, you have to write hundreds of papers before you graduate. You know that your professor reads thousands of student papers during the course. As a result, he or she knows how to make difference between good and bad writing. This is what article synopsis writing is about. It is about making your writing effective. It means that you should be concise in writing. Avoid unnecessary words and redundant sentences. Include only important information that relates directly to the topic and subject of the article synopsis. Check if all elements of the article synopsis are present.

Simple recommendations to follow
Take some time to understand the meaning and message of the article. Do not hurry. Begin the writing process when you have a perfect understanding of the article. Take a break after you finish reading. Then you will have enough time to write the article synopsis.
You may need to read the article several times. Take notes while reading the article. What is the main theme? What are the secondary themes? What most important points does the author make? Answer these questions using evidence from the article.
Create a brief outline. You do not need to follow any specific format. Sometimes, just a few ideas are enough to create a perfect outline. Use these ideas to frame your discussion and analysis.

How to write a synopsis of an article

The purpose of any synopsis is to communicate the purpose and results of the study to a target audience. Most research articles include the following components: an abstract, an introduction, a review of literature, methods, results and discussion, limitations and references.

Now it is time to learn how to write a perfect article synopsis. Generally, all synopses follow the same format. The first thing to do when working on an article synopsis is defining the focus. Why are you writing the synopsis? What are you going to do? Depending on the focus, you will take notes while reading the article. The focus will also determine the way you handle article information and incorporate it in your synopsis. For example, if the focus is on summarizing the article, you may want to write a longer synopsis and include some interesting details. In contrast, if the focus is on critiquing the method and design, you will include just a brief summary and a detailed synopsis of the methods used in the study.

Read the article

Give yourself enough time to read and understand the article. You cannot write a great article synopsis if you do not understand what it is all about. It will take so much longer if you do not understand the meaning and purpose of the study. You cannot interpret the significance of study findings or elaborate on them if you do not understand a single word. Remember that a good article synopsis will be written using your own words. Follow the article’s logic to identify and understand the key aspects:

  • Purpose of research or question answered;
  • Hypothesis or hypotheses tested;
  • Methods and approaches used to test hypothesis (hypotheses);
  • Results or findings;
  • Significance of findings.

As you move ahead with each point, identify the most important sentences and underline them. You may also want to take some notes. Do not rely on the abstract. It is very short and does not provide the full information needed for your synopsis. Be ready to choose between significant and non-significant facts and data. Be ready to include only the most significant facts.

Perform an in-depth analysis of the data provided in the article. Interactivity is what you need to achieve the best result. Review each section more than once to understand its meaning. You will also have to understand their meaning in the context of the whole article. Answer the following questions:

  • What are the results of your study?
  • Are the results convincing? Are there any unexpected findings?
  • How can the results of the study explain the processes and decisions affecting your practice? Are the results meaningful enough to answer the study question?
  • Is there anything missing? Are there any questions that were not answered?

Plagiarism is also a problem. However, you can easily avoid it. Follow these simple steps:

  • Reword everything. Do not forget to credit the author and include in-text citations whenever you take material directly from the article.
  • Should you try to use direct quotes, it would automatically mean that you have failed to understand the meaning of the article. 

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Summarizing the article

When working on the synopsis of the article, you will need to summarize its contents. In fact, if you want to produce a coherent synopsis, writing a great summary is a must. Here, you will need to select the most important information and explain it in your own words. The article synopsis should also be written in your own words. Do not use any direct quotes; otherwise, you will confuse the reader.

Now that you have this information, start writing the first draft. Follow the outline. Follow the logic of the article. Write the synopsis according to the requirements provided by your professor. Recommendations below can be helpful:

  • Begin with the research question and the hypothesis tested
  • Review and describe the design and methods used to test the hypothesis. Identify the independent and dependent variables. How are these variables operationalized?
  • What are the results of the study?
  • How significant are these findings for your practice and your field of study?
  • What are the implications of these results for future research?
  • How would you interpret the meaning of these results in the context of your knowledge or the information you have obtained from the course readings?

It may happen that your professor only asks you to produce a detailed summary of the article. Therefore, you will need to review the instructions for your article synopsis.

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Once the first draft is completed, review it. Check for grammar and spelling. Remove unnecessary information. Add missing information. Make sure that the requirements for the article synopsis have been followed. Check formatting and style. See if in-text references have been included for every instance where you took ideas and information from the original article.   

  • Keep your readers interested. All ideas should be communicated clearly.
  • Do not be wordy or redundant. Exclude unnecessary details.
  • Be specific. Vagueness is your strongest enemy.
  • Try to avoid direct quotes. Better paraphrase. In fact, your professor will give you a higher grade if your paper does not contain any direct quotes. This is a common standard in academic and scientific writing.

Review and edit the draft. Ask for help if you feel that you need it.

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