Caleb S.
Caleb S.

How to Write an Abstract - Simple & Easy Step-by-Step Guide

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Published on: May 12, 2020

Last updated on: Apr 15, 2023

How to Write an Abstract

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Abstracts are an invaluable tool for conveying the essence of research in a way that researchers can easily understand. The abstract is the most important part of any research paper. It provides readers with an overview and summarizes all relevant information in 150 to 300 words.

The importance of an abstract cannot be understated. People do not read your work if you convince them with the first few sentences. So, spend time and energy on this part!

If you're looking for a way to make your abstract engaging, then this guide is perfect for you. Learn how to create an abstract that will hook readers with helpful tips and examples.

What is an Abstract?

The abstract is a brief and concise summary of your research. It should give readers an idea about what they will find in the paper. Also, it must describe the research outcomes without giving away too much detail at once.

A strong abstract is an essential part of any research paper and thesis. It gives the audience a chance to decide whether to read the full paper. It not only helps with readability but also aids in proving that there's something valuable for them in the research, after all!

This section of your paper is about 150 to 250 words long and precedes the table of contents. Then, the title page and acknowledgments come after the abstract.

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Types of an Abstract

There are four main types of abstract given below:

Descriptive Abstract - It is less than 100 words long and should include the most important information found in research.

Highlight Abstract - The abstract is written to present a thorough overview of the research study while attracting readers.

Informative Abstract - This abstract should summarize the information, results, conclusion, or recommendation in an easy-to-read format. And it should not exceed 300 words.

Critical Abstract - This abstract provides a framework for evaluating the reliability of a study. It is approximately 500 words long and should include all relevant information.

How to Write an Abstract?

Research papers, books, and journals require an abstract at the beginning. This section should catch the reader's attention and convince them to read till the end. If it lacks creativity and logic, then there is less chance that they'll even read the rest of the paper.

To write a good abstract, follow the important steps outlined below.

1. Better Understand the Instructions

Before starting your research paper, you must read the instructions mentioned by your teacher. These will serve as guidelines for what kind of abstracts are allowed and how they should be formatted.

These guidelines may include the following:

      • What kind of abstract should you write?
      • Any organization-specific rules that must be followed
      • The required and strict word count
      • A proper structure or pattern to adhere to
      • Formatting and style requirements

Following these instructions will tempt readers to continue reading your paper.

2. Compose the Research Paper First

The abstract should be written at the end of your research paper. This section must summarize key points from the body of your paper. Thus, you can't know all these important points before writing up everything else.

3. Include the Research Study's Background

In the abstract, include some background information on your research topic. Keep it brief and concise to avoid lengthy details that could distract readers from what's important.

To get a more in-depth understanding of your research, it is important that you only include relevant facts.

4. State Research Objectives and Problem

Begin your abstract by stating the purpose and objectives of your research. Explain its importance to readers and the research questions you hope to answer.

Use words like evaluate, analyze, and investigate to accomplish this. Furthermore, this section may be written in the simple past or present tense but never in the future.

While stating your research problem, answer the following questions:

      • What is the main issue that your research is attempting to address?
      • What will the study add to the field?
      • Why are you carrying out this study?
      • What is the study's scope, i.e., general or specific?
      • What is the main point of contention?
      • Why should the audience read the entire document?

5. State the Research Methods

The methodology of your research should be discussed in an abstract. You will describe the research methods you have used to answer your question in a structured abstract.

It usually consists of one or two sentences written in the past tense. Don't try to explain everything in it; instead, be concise and brief.

This part aims to give an overview of how you conducted your research. It can be qualitative, quantitative, or case studies.

Just explain why you chose a particular method and how it benefits your research.

6. Analyze the Previous Researches

A research abstract should provide a unique perspective on the topic. It is not too long and complicated, just mentioning how your work differs from other studies in this field of study so far.

With an abstract, you need to summarize enough information for the reader not to get bored.

7. Summarize Findings and Results

In this section, summarize your study's major findings and results. Avoid using ambiguous qualitative terms and write in simple past and present tense.

Also, define your study's contribution in concrete terms, such as percentage, trends, figures, and so on. Likewise, compare the methods, results, and discussion with the hypothesis by stating whether or not the study was successful.

8. Write Your Conclusion

In the final section of the abstract, write the conclusion of your research. This should explain the solution to your research problem and question.

Specify any research limitations, such as sample size or methodology. This will help readers understand the research's credibility and the circumstances under which it was conducted.

In this section, a writer can also make suggestions and recommendations for future research and a call to action. Make certain that your findings add value to the relevant field of knowledge.

9. Add Keywords to Catch Reader's Attention

To catch the reader's attention, add a list of keywords at the end of your abstract. These keywords must be the most frequently used and relevant terms.

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Potential readers can easily find your paper during their searches if you include such keywords in your research. So, you must include 5 to 10 keywords from your research study.

Keep in mind that the Publication Manuals of the American Psychological Association (APA) style has some specific formatting requirements for these keywords.

10. Read Some Abstract Samples

Reading abstract samples before writing will help you avoid the pitfalls that plague many writers. So, before spending hours on research, read some online examples of different subjects. These disciplines may include social sciences and humanities.

Here is a document with sample abstracts for various subjects.

11. Create a Rough Draft First

Create the first draft of your abstract. At this point, don't worry about the word limit or the content. Simply concentrate on the main theme of your research and jot down everything that comes to mind.

Avoid not including the following elements in the abstract.

Repetitive Information

      • Overuse of phrases, adverbs, and adjectives
      • Abbreviations or acronyms
      • References to other research work
      • Incomplete sentences
      • Definitions of keywords and terms
      • Citations to other people's work
      • Jargon language or ellipticals
      • Image, table, or illustration of any kind
      • Extensive background information

Once you've finished writing, go over it again and again. Edit anything that reveals unnecessary details.

12. Proofread Before Submission

To produce a quality paper, you must proofread and edit your work thoroughly. This is the last step in completing any writing process!

Students who skip this step often end up with low grades. So, it is important to proofread and double-check your work before handing it over to your teacher.

Different Types of Abstract Examples

Here is an abstract template and examples for your better understanding.

Tips to Write an Abstract for a Research Paper

Below are some helpful tips for writing a great paper abstract.

  • Reverse outlining is a process of writing the abstract in reverse chronological order. It starts with creating keywords and arguments then summarizes them for a clear idea of your abstract.
  • Explore the different styles of abstracts you can use to create your own.
  • It is important to make your writing as clear and concise as possible. Make sure that each sentence presents one major argument. And avoid jargon language for readers to understand the topic at hand easily.
  • The information you provide needs to be new and original. Do not just summarize other people’s ideas or include citations. Summarize your ideas first in your own words and then refer to other people's work.

Writing an abstract is not difficult as everyone thinks. It requires proper structure and detail, but writing one becomes a very quick process once you know the right formula!

A perfect abstract is a key component of any research paper. But, not everyone has the talent to create one themselves. If you're one of them, then is the best assignment writing service for you.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between an abstract and an introduction?

The difference between an abstract and an introduction is that the abstract summarizes your entire study. On the other hand, the introduction only contains a few elements of an abstract.

Caleb S.


Caleb S., Literature, Marketing

Caleb S. has been providing writing services for over five years and has a Masters degree from Oxford University. He is an expert in his craft and takes great pride in helping students achieve their academic goals. Caleb is a dedicated professional who always puts his clients first.

Caleb S. has been providing writing services for over five years and has a Masters degree from Oxford University. He is an expert in his craft and takes great pride in helping students achieve their academic goals. Caleb is a dedicated professional who always puts his clients first.

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