Jessup Playbooks Logo

Nursing Program Playbook

Assignment: Article Summary/Review

For this assignment, you will have to write a one page summary and review of ONE evidence-based article* about one of three topics: hand hygiene, breastfeeding, or medication errors. Your review must be formatted in APA style.

*An evidence-based article is one where the authors cite evidence to back up their claims. Their evidence sources typically are listed after the article, and in the case of Web articles, they can be listed at the end or be linked from the text.  If the latter, follow the links to make sure they actually point to evidence (such as a study, or something from an authority such as the CDC) and not opinion.


  • This is NOT a research paper. You have to work with ONE source, and you have to condense the contents of that source, in your own words, to create the summary. Additionally, you have to include a review (assessment/evaluation of strengths, weaknesses, qualities, missing information, potential improvements, etc.) of the article. 
  • Do not use parenthetical citations -- you only have one source, so they would be redundant.
  • Do not use direct quotes (exact quotes from the source in quotation marks).  This is too short an essay for that, so write everything in your own words.
  • Do not use "I," "you," or similar statements. This summary is not about you and you're not chatting with your readers; you're only summarizing other people's words.
    • Instead of "I think this study would be beneficial for all nursing staff because...," write: "This study would be beneficial for all nursing staff because...."
    • Instead of "As a nurse, you may face this issue at work, and the article provides some strategies...." write: "Nurses may face this issue at work, and the article provides some strategies..."
  • To ensure your readers understand that your essay is a summary of a specific article, be clear from the start.  Here's an example of one way you could start your essay:
    • The article "Hand Washing Compliance Strategies," by King, Stafford, and Nichols (2018), goes over best practices to assure compliance with hand washing rules established at a small hospital in Cook County, Illinois.
  • As you continue writing your essay, refer to the source every so often by using signal phrases. For example:
    • The authors write that....
    • King, Stafford, and Nichols surveyed a group of nurses about....
    • The authors concluded that.....
  • Here is an example of a summary review. The author is reviewing a book about a historical event; read the summary (it's not long) to see how you should approach yours.


Resources for the Assignment

For this assignment, use one or more of the databases listed below. You can also use the PubMed Central, a database from the National Library of Medicine.  When using this database,  make sure the articles are available in full. For all databases, select articles that are less than 5 years old.

How to Find Articles

To search the databases, use the following strategies:

  • Search with concrete nouns: breastfeeding, medication errors, hand hygiene.
  • To refine your search, use Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT). For example: hand hygiene AND compliance
  • When using Boolean operators, write them in all capital letters
  • To find articles with a similar focus, search the database with terms from one of the articles you found -- this will retrieve similar articles

APA Style

  • You were given a printed quick guide to the APA style. For the full guide, go See the full guide here.
  • You will not be using in text citations, because your review is of just one source. 
  • Since the review is so short (one page), avoid using direct quotations. This means that you need to paraphrase the material from the source (this means to restate it in your own words)
  • If you need to create a title page, follow the example in the document attached below.  


Asking for Help

  • For help with research mechanics (such as help with topics, databases, citation formatting, APA style, etc.), please contact your course librarian for help with your assignment.  You were given the email address when you visited the library.  Please send emails from your school's email account, not from personal email accounts.
  • If you send attachments, they have to be in Word.  If you use Google Docs, you can download a document in Word to send, even if you use a Mac.  Note: As a PVCC student, you can get the Microsoft Suite for free, for Mac or Windows.
  • If you need help with composition issues, please visit the Writing Center.  Please note that neither the library nor the Writing Center will proofread or edit your papers.