How do I write an academic report

Write a summary & summary | Examples for the bachelor thesis

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In addition to the introduction and the main part, the summary is one of the three important basic components of any scientific work from which House work up to bachelor thesis or master thesis. Writing a good summary that skilfully rounds off the work counts as a proof of competence in scientific work.

In fact, mistakes often happen that leave a negative impression. After all, the summary is at the end of the work and is therefore read last. Because of this, however, many people tend to leave the summary behind. You should keep in mind that the end of a piece of work really stays in the reader's mind.

We have a Writing instructions for the summary in a scientific paper and the components that are important for a good summary are explained in more detail. This is how you can write a good and convincing summary!

frequently asked Questions

The summary serves as a guide for the reader. A good summary indicates that it has a convincing reference to the introduction. That means the Research question You should answer or refer to the conclusions that you deal with in your bachelor thesis.

In no case should you bring new topics into a summary. Check out our post for more helpful tips on writing a summary!

In your summary you list the results of your scientific work on. You will give a brief overview and answer your research question. Furthermore, you classify your results in the research context and submit the conclusion that emerges from them. Last but not least, you can give an outlook into the future and outline any upcoming developments.

Relevance of the summary

Writing a scientific paper is always associated with a lot of time and effort and after the main part has been completed, the feeling spreads that you have already done the most important thing. Actually, “only” a summary or summary is missing to round off the whole thing. But you shouldn't lose your concentration when writing a summary.

IMPORTANT: Many terms, one meaning! Regardless of whether you are writing a summary, summary, résumé or conclusion. They all mean the same thing: a summarizing, evaluating presentation of the results. You just have to pay attention to the fact that it is no repetition of the content, but the results can be summarized as an answer to the research question.

The feeling of “having already said everything” in the main part with subsequent discussion can make writing the summary & summary more difficult.

Nevertheless may at the end never run out of breath, because ...

  1. ... he serves Reader guidancein order to "catch the reader who may have fallen by the wayside by means of a summary of the key statements and to tie them back to the work through appropriate reminder of the problem and objective" (Winter 2004: 75).
  2. ... he presents the results briefly and concisely and gives one Answer to the research questionobtained through analyzes and research (cf. Samac, Prenner & Schwetz 2014: 74).
  3. ... it is proof of yoursCompetence as an author: To what extent have you shown understanding for the connections and can you present / abstract results (cf. Brauner & Vollmer 2004: 121)?
  4. ... he shows his work Place within the research context to (cf. Andermann, Drees & Grätz 2006: 87): Why is your work an enrichment? What gain in knowledge do you offer the reader?

Danger:Of course you have dealt intensively with your topic, but if you want to write your summary, remember that the reader must understand your approach in a comprehensible manner. So write in a structured manner and at an appropriate level.

Content of the summary

If you want to write a summary, you have to know which ones Core elements it contains and how long it should be. Even if there is no standard specification regarding the length: the more extensive the work, the longer the summary should be at the end (cf. Stickel-Wolf & Wolf 2013: 207; Brauner & Vollmer 2004: 117).

In terms of content, a good summary or a good summary should above all contain the following points:

Summary elementsimplementation
Essential statementsOverview of the structure of the work, results of the individual chapters are briefly presented (cf. Oertner, St. John & Thelen 2014: 31)
Result: answer to the research questionRelate results and research question. How is the research question answered?
Critical appraisalClassifying results in the research context, critically assessing the scope (cf. Winter 2004: 76); self-critical reflection, points of criticism, gaps and limitations (cf. Oertner, St. John & Thelen 2014: 31)
Consequences of the results Conclusions, open questions (cf. Samac, Prenner & Schwetz 2014: 74), suggestions for further research: "future research" (cf. Franck 2004: 199)
outlookWrite a summary and project results into the future, outline upcoming developments, effects of the results on practice (see Stickel-Wolf & Wolf 2013: 208)

You can write the summary and give a variable outlook into the future. (cf. Rossig & Prätsch 2005: 76) In the summary, use the information gained from your work as a basis for further possible research work.

Length of the summary

If you want to write a summary, you do not have a predetermined page length for the summary! For one Seminar paper it is enough to refer to the results Research question showcase. In theses, however, one should refer to further research (give an outlook) that is important for the context and the research community (cf. Gruber, Huemer & Rheindorf 2009: 117-18).

The summary should about 5% of the work include (see Esselborn-Krumbiegel 2002: 143). For one bachelor thesis the recommendation is two to three pages (cf. Samac, Prenner & Schwetz 2014: 74), in comparison, the summary of a term paper consists of a few sentences and is therefore a short summary with a concluding remark (cf. Brauner & Vollmer 2004: 117 ).

Write a summary with this rule of thumb: The total required number of pages is used as the basis for calculating the length of the summary. In other words, if three to five pages are appropriate for an 80-page thesis (see Stickel-Wolf & Wolf 2013: 207), the summary of an average seminar paper of around 10 pages should not be much more than one page.

Summary: helpful examples

Here are examples of summaries or summaries from student work to give an overview of the possibilities of linguistic actions, how to write a summary or a summary (adapted from Gruber, Huemer & Rheindorf 2009: 115-17). If you want to write a summary, examples will help you better understand the concept behind it.

First part I. of the summary: summary of the results, conclusion and answer to the Research question.

Write a summary: Point out limitations and points of criticism of your own work, but at the same time justify the valuable results the work has in store despite possible weaknesses.

Tip for the summary and the summary of the bachelor thesis: Offer suggestions on how future research can build on the presented results, offer an outlook, i. H. Provide a forecast of future developments based on the available results.

It can happen that a empirical research does not show the desired results or hypotheses cannot be substantiated. Or the research brings to light something that was not expected.

The following applies: No result is also a result! When writing a summary you should never try to put something together that the analysis has not shown. It may be that, as Stickel-Wolf and Wolf note, “only a few readers 'get off their feet'” (2013: 207). Nevertheless, it can be very useful to know how not to do it: The falsification of a hypothesis is also a relevant result (cf. Gruber, Huemer & Rheindorf 2009: 114).

You can find out more about empirical research, how it works and how you can implement it for your bachelor's or master's thesis in our article.

Connection of introduction & conclusion

The summary or the summary is a closed part and must be able to stand on its own (cf. Oertner, St. John & Thelen 2014: 31), so it must not just be the repetition of what is in the Bulk was said. Nevertheless, the summary is part of the House work or bachelor thesis. In the introduction the topic is presented and in this context questions (the research question and possible sub-questions) are raised.

Writing the summary means one Reference to these questions and to answer them on the basis of the knowledge gained from the main part. introduction and summary are therefore in a direct relationship.

Example of how the introduction and summary work together

So that you can write the summary and create a convincing reference to the introduction, we have a small example for you. These formulations are intended to clarify the differences between the introduction and the summary when you are writing the summary.

Topic: The development of the father figure in German novels of the 2000s

  • Introduction: The father figure is increasingly assuming an absent role in modern German-language novels. It is important to examine how this absence is presented and justified in terms of content.
  • Summary or summary: Father figures in German-language novels suffer from a kind of identity crisis. Torn between conventional and modern role models, they shine through actual physical absence or lack of language in their children's lives. Based on Roman X etc ...
TIP: In the correction phase you should look at the introduction and summary of the bachelor thesis or master thesis Read through one after the other to check whether the questions raised in the introduction are also answered in the summary.

You can find out in detail everything that goes into introducing a scientific paper in our blog post on this topic.

Common mistakes in the summary

It is not just about the “what” as the content of the summary and the summary, but also how this content is packaged, i.e. how the summary is written. Writing a good summary naturally means maintaining the appropriate language level for an academic paper. In terms of content, there is above all one faux pas that you should definitely not tap into, namely the introduction of new ideas that are not part of the existing ones argumentation were in the main part.

Because it is important to "summarize the answers / results worked out in the main part (and only these!) With regard to the questions formulated in the introductory part" (Rossig & Prätsch 2005: 76). In concrete terms: In the summary or the summary NEVER use new facts and content (cf. Oertner, St. John & Thelen 2014: 31; Esselborn-Krumbiegel 2002: 143), rather the answer to the research question only results from those arguments that were developed and discussed in the main part. The following checklist shows what you should absolutely avoid on a stylistic level if you want to write your summary.

You can read about what the right place for arguing in a scientific paper is and how you can build up a solid argument in our article.

Error checklist: write a correct summary & summary

  1. Self-adulation such as B .: This enabled scientifically valuable results to be achieved or The completely closed chain of arguments resulted in ...; the appraiser is entitled to make these assessments (cf. Bänsch & Alewell 2013: 86).
  2. Lengthy remarks and analogous Repetitions of passages from the main part (cf. Andermann, Drees & Grätz 2006: 87); because the summary summarizes the results, but never brings the whole work into a "bonsai format" (cf. Esselborn-Krumbiegel 2002: 142).
  3. Appeal to the readerto continue the research in order to emphasize the urgency of the topic (cf. Winter 2004: 75); it seems artificial and the relevance of the topic is more likely to be called into question.
  4. Leaflet style lurid formulations, e.g. B. at long last, Of course, it must not be forgotten, tragic; In science you have to remain neutral, even when you write about conditions that you think are bad / wrong (cf. Franck 2004: 200). If you want to write your summary, you should keep writing factual!
  5. Diminish your own performance, B .: I would like to join this modest resolution in the hope of being able to show a tendency; in a thesis you should made clear, shown, occupied have (cf. Franck 2004: 201); Criticizing is important, but it needs to be done appropriately.

At the Proofreading you should see to it that it is neither shortfalls (unanswered questions) still surpluses (Answers to questions not asked) gives. From this you can tell whether your summary is complete or whether there is more research needed (cf. Bänsch & Alewell 2013: 6), and of course also to ensure that no new thoughts have crept in. If you want to write your abstract, it should of course fit your academic work!

Use a good summary

Indeed, the Summary & the Summary is underestimated by many. Much effort is put into creating a sound argument in the Bulk data is also presented skillfully and interpreted in a comprehensible manner. Then, however, an actually good job ends with a summary or a summary, between the lines of the loveless haste and the impatience to finally come to an end is written. Writing the summary and staying on the ball is the be-all and end-all.

Franck & Stary aptly note here: "What is read last usually has a lasting impact. Laxly formulated: The good not in the end, but always something good in the end ”(2009: 156). An excellent summary cannot compensate for the weaknesses in the main part, but a bad summary will also have a negative overall impression in the end.

IMPORTANT: Sufficient time must be available to write the summary (just like the introduction) so that it can be written without time pressure. Reading the last few pages has a great influence on the overall assessment (cf. Franck 2004: 201). Make it clear to yourself which new, important insights were gained in this work. You should be aware of how your reader approaches the text: He filters out the most important things, that is, what was your goal, was it achieved and, if so, how?


  • The summary or the summary of the bachelor thesis is often also called Conclusion, rĂ©sumĂ©, perspective (s), outlook, or Results) but all terms essentially mean the same thing and represent the summary of the results of the work.
  • Writing the abstract doesn't just answer that Research question, rather also serves to guide the reader, assigns the work to the research context.
  • The length of the summary is calculated in relation to the total length and complexity of the work.
  • A summary is used to give a brief overview of the structure of the thesis and to answer the research question. After carefully weighing up strengths and weaknesses, a conclusion should be drawn here. It should also contain suggestions for further research and possibly an outlook into the future.
  • Introduction and summary are mutually dependent and must therefore always be related to one another: The introduction raises questions that are taken up and answered at the end in the summary.
  • The summary should never and must never be underestimated written with care because it is the last to be read, it has the greatest potential to leave a lasting (negative) impression on the reader.
  • Never have new thoughts that were not previously im Bulk are discussed in the summary.
  • As far as the stylistic level is concerned: Your own performance should neither be overly praised (remain factual!) Nor belittled; Dissolute repetitions of the main part must be avoided as well as emotionally charged / sensational appeals to the reader.


Andermann, Ulrich, Martin Drees & Frank Götz. 2006.How to write scientificWork? 3rd edition Mannheim: Dudenverlag.

Bänsch, Axel & Dorothea Alewell. 2013.Scientific work. 11th edition Munich: Oldenbourg Verlag.

Brauner, Detlef JĂĽrgen & Hans-Ulrich Vollmer. 2004.Successful scientific work - Seminar paper Diploma thesis PhD thesis. Sternenfels: Verlag Wissenschaft und Praxis.

Esselborn-Krumbiegel, Helga. 2002.From Idea to Text - A Guide to Scientific Write. Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöningh.

Franck, Norbert. 2004.Scientific work manual. Frankfurt: Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag.

Franck, Norbert & Joachim Stary. 2009.The technique of scientific work. 15th edition Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöningh.

Gruber, Helmut, Birgit Huemer & Markus Rheindorf. 2009.Scientific work - a Practice book for students. Vienna: Böhlau Verlag.

Oertner, Monika, Illona St. John & Gabriele Thelen. 2014.Scientific Writing - a Practical book for writing trainers and students. Paderborn: Wilhelm Fink.

Rossig, Wolfram E. & Joachim Prätsch. 2005.Scientific work. 5th edition. Weyhe: PRINT-TEC.

Samac, Klaus, Monika Prenner & Herbert Schwetz. 2014.The bachelor thesis at the university and University of Applied Sciences. 3rd edition Vienna: Facultas.

Stickel-Wolf, Christine & Joachim Wolf. 2013.Scientific work and learning techniques - Study successfully - know how! 7th edition Wiesbaden: Springer Gabler.

Winter, Wolfgang. 2005.Writing scientific papers. 2nd edition Frankfurt: Redline Economy.

about the author

Bianca Mohr

Bianca Mohr (M. A.) is a doctoral candidate and research assistant at the University of Erfurt. During her studies at the University of WĂĽrzburg, she worked as a tutor and was able to gain years of experience in giving students an introduction to scientific work, as well as providing personal advice. She is doing her doctorate in the field of "early bilingualism". She also holds seminars for Bachelor students on the topics of early multilingualism and early second language acquisition. Ms. Mohr gives scientific guidelines on the subject of "Writing theses".