Public Health Informatics

Learning Goal: I’m working on a public health writing question and need guidance to help me learn.

Students will do an online (e.g., PubMed, Google Scholar) or library search for a peer-reviewed article from the published scientific/academic on a public health informatics topic of their choice.

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Writing a SUMMARY of an article
The purpose of a summary is to give the reader a clear, objective picture of the original text. Most importantly, the summary restates only the main points of a text or a lecture without giving examples or details, such as dates, numbers or statistics.

Guidelines for writing a summary of an article:
• State the main ideas of the article.
• Identify the most important details that support the main ideas.
• Write your summary in your own words; avoid copying phrases and sentences from the article unless they’re direct quotations.
• Express the underlying meaning of the article, not just the superficial details.
• Your summary should be about one third of the length of the original article.

Your summary should include:

Introduction
• Start with a summary or overview of the article which includes the author’s name and the title of the article.
• Finish with a thesis statement that states the main idea of the article.
Body Paragraphs
• The number of paragraphs in your summary depends on the length of the original article.
• Your summary should be about one third the length of the original article. For a one-paragraph summary, discuss each supporting point in a separate sentence. Give 1-2 explanations for each supporting point. For a multi-paragraph summary, discuss each supporting point in a separate paragraph.
• Start each body paragraph with a topic sentence.
• Each paragraph focuses on a separate main idea and just the most important details from the article.
• Put the ideas from the essay into your own words. Avoid copying phrases and sentences from the article.
• Use transitional words and phrases to connect ideas.

Concluding Paragraph
• Summarize the main idea and the underlying meaning of the article.

Your article summary should:

Contain the title and author(s) of the article (include an APA or AMA format formal full citation of the article)
Contain significant paraphrasing rather than directly copied words, phrases, and sentences.
Include the main ideas in order.
Leave out most details.
Leave out outside info not drawn from the selection.
Not have a formal conclusion.
Notes:

A great summary is easy to read and explains all of the main points in the original. Important points to remember:

The main idea of the article is conveyed clearly and concisely
The summary is written in the unique style of the writer
The summary is much shorter than the original document
The summary explains all the important notions and arguments
The summary condenses a lot of information into a small space

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