Lay Summary Instructions:
The summary should be similar in format to that of Nature Research Highlights, the only difference is to write 500 words.
In your lay summary you should include the following sections:
1. An image, photo, or diagram that illustrates the topic of the article. This should be captioned.
2. A headline that is impactful, factually accurate, and encourages the reader to read your summary.
3. A one-sentence ‘top line’ that summarizes what is novel about the research or its findings.
4. The main body: a summary of what you think the research paper article’s key points are.
5. Finally, for the lay summary you should provide only one single reference for the
article chosen in APA style.
Overall, the summary should be no more than 500 words long (10%), excluding the
reference, but including all other sections.
Tips for writing a lay summary
• Tell a story:
✓ Introduce the research topic and why it is important
✓ Describe the specific problem that the research is trying to solve/what gap in our
knowledge is it trying to address
✓ Describe how is the research carried out
✓ Describe outcomes/benefits/importance (the bigger picture)
• Remember to organize your summary so that it will make sense to a lay reader (this may not be the same order as information is provided in the article).
• Use everyday language and give simple explanations for scientific terms.
• Use positive sentences and active phrases (avoid formal and passive sentence construction).
• Do not use jargon or acronyms.
• Avoid using a complicated sentence structure, for example, lots of semi-colons or
commas (rather break down long sentences into smaller, more readable ones).
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