Guide On How To Write An Abstract - Types, Format, Examples


Guide On How To Write An Abstract - Types, Format, Examples

Writing a research paper, in most cases, you will be required to add a short abstract. As far as there are several different types of academic abstracts, you should study all the peculiarities of the required abstract type in order to write an A+ grade paper. In case you have some trouble with understanding the core aspects of this obligatory part of a research paper, you can easily ask for credible academic assistance online and follow all the purposes of the abstract part in your writing work.  

 What is an abstract? Definition, types, and purpose

Before learning how to write an abstract, each student should understand the purpose and definition of this part of the research essay. A properly written abstract is a short summary of the main aspects of the research paper. Each abstract should include:

  • research problems
  • purpose of the paper
  • design of the research paper
  • major findings
  • brief summary of concluding points and interpretations

The main purpose of writing an abstract is to help the reader decide whether they want to read the rest of the research paper or not. 

There are three core types of an abstract:

  1. Descriptive abstract. It aims to outline the major points covered in a particular piece of writing.
  2. Informative abstract. The core purpose of this type of abstract is to provide details about the substance of the research work.
  3. Critical abstract. This type of abstract serves as a judgment of the study concerning its reliability and validity. 

Importance of abstract

When a student or the researcher is looking for valid sources for their research, a properly written academic abstract gives a perspective to evaluate the article before reading it. It means that the reader can have a look not only at the core points of the paper, but also check a list of key terms and study the purpose and the methods of the particular research. As far as you can see, the abstract plays an important role in storing your research and scholarly data in a concise form. 

When to write and abstract

Most professors often give their students strict requirements regarding a word limit, format, structure, and the necessity of an abstract, so, first and foremost, make sure to check your professor's requirements. If you wonder "When should I write an abstract?" - you should keep in mind that an abstract is a very last thing to write. To start working on your abstract, you should finish your research and then start accurately summarizing the entirety of your research or thesis paper.

Abstract structure

Although abstract is a short part of the research paper, as its word count varies between 6 sentences and a paragraph of 300 words, it should be structured properly in order to get full credit for the whole paper. The major parts of a common abstract are:

  • Introduction. Brief and attractive summary of major points found in the research that would make the reader interested in reading the whole study.
  • Research significance. Reasons for doing particular research.
  • Methodology. It is about the methods applied to a particular field of study. In other words, you should answer the questions What and How did you do?
  • Results. Here, you should tell the reader about the prime findings and the advantages of the used method based on the results. 
  • Conclusion. Here, you should provide the final thoughts about the meaning and the contribution of the major findings.

To make sure your abstract covers all the necessary information, have a look at the useful checklist of what should and what shouldn't take place in a perfect abstract.

What to include in an abstract 

  1. Precise summary of the paper
  2. Keywords
  3. Introduction, statement of the problem
  4. Literature review 
  5. Methodology 
  6. Data collection
  7. Analysis 
  8. Conclusions 
  9. Further recommendations
  10. References

 What should not be mentioned in an abstract 

  1. Discussion
  2. Too much background
  3. Too many methods
  4. Citations
  5. Abbreviations
  6. Detailed measurements
  7. New information (not included in the main paper)
  8. Images, illustrations, figures, or tables
  9. Jargon
  10. Incomplete sentences
  11. Redundant phrases
  12. Repetitive information
  13. Unnecessary adverbs and adjectives 

How to write an abstract for a paper 

It may turn to a real challenge when you need to condense the whole research, especially when it is a dissertation, into just a few hundred words. It is highly important to make an abstract perfectly, as a total impression from your paper depends on the quality of an abstract. To make sure your abstract follows all the requirements, there are few strategies that can help you write an abstract:

  • to write an abstract,  write your paper or dissertation first
  • start with the overall purpose of the investigated research problems
  • write about the basic design of the paper
  • list major findings
  • provide a brief summary of conclusions.
  • outline the keywords

Abstract example  

To make sure you follow the proper structure of an abstract writing with such elements as purpose, methodology, findings, implications, and value, here are some examples of the perfect abstracts. 

Abstarct Example 1: 

"The purpose of this article is to assess the concept of grade inflation in higher education institutions in an effort to determine its prevalence, causes, and strategies which can be implemented to curtail it. A literature review of the problem is presented along with several strategies as possible solutions to restraining the problem of escalating grades in the college classroom. The problem of grade inflation has been a topic of concern for over a century, and there are no quick fixes or simple methods of reversing this trend, but there are several alternatives presented which could help curtail this trend. Most of the research is based on anecdotal research. Very little has been written on how to fix this problem. This paper brings this issue to the forefront in an effort to engage the reader, college administrators, and educators. This paper is the building block for future research on this topic. The culture of the college classroom, teaching and learning could be affected by this issue. The hiring, training, and evaluation of college instructors could be impacted if colleges and universities choose to investigate the issue of grade inflation at their institutions. The paper begins with an overview of previous research in this area and then moves on to what is currently being implemented to curb grade inflation. The authors then propose several methods and possible solutions that could be implemented to deal with this problem."

Abstarct Example 2: 

"Previous research with structured abstracts has taken place in mainly medical contexts. This research indicated that such abstracts are more informative, more readable, and more appreciated by readers than are traditional abstracts. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that structured abstracts might also be appropriate for a particular psychology journal. Twenty-four traditional abstracts from the Journal of Educational Psychology were re-written in a structured form. Measures of word length, information content, and readability were made for both sets of abstracts, and 48 authors rated their clarity. The structured abstracts were significantly longer than the original ones, but they were also significantly more informative and readable and judged significantly clearer by these academic authors. These findings support the notion that structured abstracts could be profitably introduced into psychology journals. 

Keywords: abstracts; structured writing; information clarity; readability".

How to write an abstract in APA format

To follow all the rules of APA format, an abstract should take a single paragraph, no more than 250 words and be double-spaced,. To add the key words, start a new paragraph, type the word "Keywords," and then list all the necessary keywords. The main points to remember are:

  • italicized word Keywords
  • a colon mark after Keywords
  • keep it left aligned.

How to write an abstract for a research paper 

To write a good abstract for your research paper, make sure to cover all the main sections of an abstract. Here are the prime sections of a common abstract which can be adapted concerning purposes of the paper and research:

  1. A short summary of the research paper
  2. Words that identify key aspects of the research paper
  3. Identification of the needs for the research question 
  4. Placing the work in a paper context
  5. Explanation of the methods replicated in the study
  6. Description of the process
  7. Pointing out the potential omissions
  8. Examination of the data by quantitative and qualitative means
  9. Accounting for results
  10. Providing a list of research consulted

How to write an abstract for a dissertation 

To make a brilliant abstract summarizing a larger work, such as a dissertation, make sure to follow such steps:

  • State research question and aims
  • Provide a brief methodology description
  • Summarize the prime findings and arguments
  • State a conclusion.

Tips from a pro for writing a great abstract  

If you really need an effective abstract, follow the useful tips below. These recommendations will help you write a perfect abstract that will spark your audience’ interest to read the research paper or dissertation to the end.

  • Write a research paper or dissertation first
  • Keep it clear and readable
  • Focus on the research issue
  • Use only complete sentences
  • Use simple and clear language
  • Keep it the most precise
  • Use just those keywords or phrases that you are sure people might intuitively enter into a search engine.

Where to get help

If you are not great at how to write an abstract, you should not type an abstract anyhow. Writing an abstract is a responsible process that requires a deep knowledge of the abstract type, problem statement, and main points of the research or dissertation. Therefore, to format an abstract properly, students should study an informative abstract, descriptive abstract, highlight abstract, and critical abstract requirements in detail. 

In case you are a busy person, you can easily find a perfect academic writer who can quickly help you handle custom abstract writing in a quick manner. To get professional help, you should place an order at our online academic assistance platform and wait for top-quality results. 

If you haven't got the idea of how to write an abstract perfectly, hire an academic expert, and get a top-quality result right now!