Reference: APA format

Principle: Concise statement of relationship being investigated. May differ from author, especially if you see study related to an area which is not the primary focus of the study. Note that principle is not a hypothesis but the broader idea being tested by the specific hypothesis of the study.

Design: Diagrammatic representation of the experimental groups. Indicate random assignment or not. Number of subjects in each group. Statistical test to be used if unusual or not obvious for the design.

Independent Variables: Summary statement of treatments. Define operationally. May not agree with author's definition. Be accurate and concise.

Dependent Variable: Measures to be compared. Define operationally. Be specific.

Procedures: Diagrammatic representation of steps or phases in data collection. If special apparatus is used, a note concerning its characteristics might be included here.

Results: Graphic representation of differences observed. Be concise. Represent only finding relevant to the principle. Principle may not be primary focus of author hence secondary findings may be appropriate for your purposes. Indicate significant differences. A copy of analysis of variable table or chi-square figures are not results.

Comments: This should be a statement relating study to other studies, citing why you thought it important or interesting, or any other information of use to you as you review summary at a later time.


  1. Entire summary should fit on a single sheet - one side.
  2. Be concise. Draw pictures. Don't just copy statements. Abbreviate but don't lose meaning.
  3. Summarize study for your purposes, not authors'. Principle may be different from authors. Study may test several principles while your interest is in only one. Auxiliary results may be interesting but unnecessary.
  4. If you see study as related to principle in an unusual way, not obvious to casual reader, be sure to summarize reasoning in comments.
  5. Author's conclusions may be useful but usually are not. Put emphasis in demonstrated differences (empirical relationships) not on author's conclusions.
  6. Remember this is a summary, not critique. Try to represent exactly what happened.