How to Write an Abstract for a Research Paper


Need to create a research paper or dissertation abstract, but from the name of the task, you’re baffled by the trickiness of this head-scratcher? Don’t stress early. Read our free article to get your hands on the background information and writing tips that will show you the alternative to get over this intimidating procedure and uncover how to write an abstract. Follow the commendable path of least resistance and get your piece made without a snag.

What Is the Abstract?

The abstract provides a short theoretical framework, major findings, targets, and summations of your writing. The abstract serves to help readers grasp what you are bringing up without reading the entire paper.

Every abstract must accomplish the same objective, three styles exist that you might be asked to use:

  • descriptive
  • informative
  • critical

Let’s get an idea of what each of them represents.

A descriptive type reveals main points on the aim, methods, relevance of the original document, with no mention of the consequences and summations. The aim of an informative abstract is to provide a stand-alone synopsis of the main content, along with the results. A critical one is not much favored in academics, but it won’t harm you if you read a few sentences about this abstract type. Just like descriptive and informative abstracts, the critical one also takes care of the main argument points, goals, etc. But it contains a section of an overview or critique of the methods, outcomes, or research channels too.

Depending on the style, a good abstract may contain different elements. Here are a few things you can be asked to attach to your sample:

  • research issue and goals
  • methods
  • key results or arguments
  • conclusion

Always verify the formatting requirements with your supervisor before commencing the writing process. The teacher can ask you to make it either in APA style (American Psychological Association) or MLA style (Modern Language Association).

How to Write an Abstract — Quick Tips

You won’t skip writing this part if you’re going to work on a thesis, research paper, dissertation. You’ll also need to submit it along with the article to the academic journal or Google Scholar.

As you don’t want to spend a lot of time on it, here are our tips that will assist you in coping with this task much faster and easier.

Write it only after your paper is ready

The fact this section follows the title page shouldn’t mislead you to take care of it first. An abstract should state what you’ve managed to bring up, and you’ll come to an awareness of that only when you complete the paper. Even if you have a plan and rely on your productive study skills, save writing this part of the piece for last.

Begin writing only when you know requirements

We’ve already explained the types, formatting styles, outlines for this kind of writing. So ahead of writing from the name of the task, you’d better talk with your teacher or professor for clear instructions. The more you are informed, the less editing or re-writing you’ll have to do.

Compose the abstract sticking to the logical structure

  1. Your goal
    Why is your research critical? Why should anyone read your work in full?
  2. Problem
    What problem do you put forward in your work? What is your main argument or thesis?
  3. Methods
    What methods were used to reach your goals?
  4. Results
    What have you discovered during your working process? Have you confirmed your hypothesis?
  5. Conclusions
    How does your info add to what’s already known about the matter? How can your results be used in other works?

Make up a topic, like a video game addiction, and fill in your framework. Then format it, so it has an introduction, body, and conclusion. It needs to mirror the design of the essay. This is simple but effective.

Write your first draft

Your abstract is an encapsulation, not paraphrased or taken from your work or any other research source. Attempt to create the sample using different wording or phrases. When you’re figuring out how to write an abstract, mind that it needs to be short but informative. Avoid fillers and get straight to the point. Every line needs to communicate a clear main point. Don’t use jargon that can be misinterpreted by general readers.

To grab the readers’ attention, you should provide specific facts. You can add dates, statistics results, or any other figures that are pertinent. But give only those facts that have been used in your work.

Polish till it’s perfect

Editing is a natural part of writing. While checking for the first time, proofread the written text for errors, and ensure the formatting style is adhered to. Then pay special attention to the content. As this part needs to be a brief overview of the work, double-check if it achieves a clear sum up of the paper. Also, find out if you adhered to the symbol limit. If no guidelines for the count were provided, the abstract shouldn’t exceed one page that was double-spaced.

No matter what style you are using, APA format or some other one, utilize these important tips, and you’ll complete your task pretty fast.