I am confronted with the task of writing a survey paper, the advisor collected for me a number of papers to study and summarize and I suspect they would come up with the schema and structure of the draft.

my question is should I be explicit about the details of each paper in the summary of each? Will that be OK in the final version of the survey paper? In how many lines of text roughly speaking should i summarize each of the provided papers?

  • definitely not!
    – SSSOF
    Oct 18, 2022 at 12:16
  • You are approaching the task incorrectly! That's not how surveys are written. If it was about lines, I could write a robot to do it. Why do I need you? Oct 19, 2022 at 19:29
  • @Prof.SantaClaus Your comment is useless. To be useful, if you know how to write a surveys paper and you have a experience with that, you should write an answer to explain how to do it, how should we approach. Because there's many people who don't know to do it.
    – Mahefa
    Nov 13, 2023 at 10:14

1 Answer 1


Your question seems to be mainly about the expectations and customs at your institution. However, you can take inspiration from a very high level journal, ACM Computing Surveys (CSUR), that is accessible from the ACM Digital Library. At this level, there is no fixed number of lines for each paper. Rather, the papers are organized into batches (which make up chapters), and within each batch, a linear story is being told. Fundamental concepts are given much more space and some heavy papers that might be the last word on an algorithm or implementation might have only a couple of lines.

Be warned that coming up with a good story to summarize the research is quite difficult. It involves really understanding the research papers, but goes beyond it. You might imagine having to explain to a new student what this field is about. (The new student is intelligent, but does not know a lot.) If you can explain, then you have started to understand the field.

  • Could i write 10 lines of text to describe one paper involved in the survey?
    – SSSOF
    Oct 18, 2022 at 10:51
  • @SSSOF That's not how it works. It's not about lines. It's about understanding, and how those 'lines' contribute to the central story or theme. Oct 19, 2022 at 19:28
  • but eventually you will have to describe the papers! and to do, how far can you go describing one
    – SSSOF
    Oct 20, 2022 at 11:44

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