A summary (or abstract) should give a concise statement of the problem, the experimental approach and the major findings and conclusions. It should be intelligible without reference to other parts of the paper. According to the Society for General Microbiology1, "references should not be cited and abbreviations should be defined". Although the summary is the first section of the report, it is usually the last section that is written. This is because it is a summary or an overview of the whole report and it is easier to write after you have finished the whole report. The typical length for a summary is 250 words.

1. Society for General Microbiology (2007). Instructions for Authors,


Kathy gives advice on how to prepare a successful research report (1m 34s):

Jacquie explains how peer review helped her improve her report (26s):

Mathew outlines how he wrote the report (20s):

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