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MA 410: History of Mathematics: Research Summaries

Writing Research Summaries

A research summary is similar to an annotated bibliography except it is not as formal. The research summary is simply a very short description of what your article or book is about; it can be evaluative as well as descriptive. Was the writing clear? Was the author good at explaining the material, or was the article muddy and unclear? The research summary should also contain the most important points of the material and enough citation information so that the item can be found again.


This example is for a journal and follows the Chicago Manual of Style for the citation. You may not need to have all of this information for your assignment, but providing it helps someone else to find the article to which you are referring. Providing all the needed information will also get you used to using a citation style.

Staal, J.F. "Euclid and Panini." Philosophy East and West 15, no.2 (1965): 99-116.

Rambling but interesting article that compares the philosophical methods used by Panini, a Indian linguist, to those used by the Greek mathematician, Euclid. Concludes that Panini's influence on Indian culture is similar to Euclid's influence on Western culture, leading the two cultures to place emphasis on different types of methods. India's philosophical method is more grammatical, whereas the philosophical method of the West is more mathematical.