How to Write an Abstract - An Easy Guide
Working on your research paper and do not know how to write an abstract?
Don’t worry, we know that you are worried and we are here to help you with it.
Read this easy guide to master the art of writing an impressive abstract.
Table of Contents
1. What is an Abstract?
An abstract is an essential part of a research paper, or a thesis, and no paper is considered complete without it. Often overlooked by the students, many of them think that an abstract is just a summary of their paper and something that they should not work hard on.
Research papers with weak abstracts are likely to be rejected by the reviewers.
A good abstract informs your reader about the main theme and points of your research. Based on it, the reader decides whether he wants to continue with your paper or not, which simply means that your abstract should be strong and relevant to your research.
For those who do know how important an abstract is, the bigger concern is how to write an impressive and memorable abstract. Students are often confused about it and in their confusion, they make mistakes.
2. How to Write an Abstract
Writing an abstract is not as hard as you think. It requires structure and detail but this does not mean that writing a perfect abstract is impossible. It needs practice and lots of review but it is definitely something that you can achieve with practice.
Following are the 6 easy steps to write a memorable and compelling abstract:
2.1 See the Instructions
Every research paper comes with a set of instructions. These instructions are the guidelines that every student must follow when working on his or her paper. Therefore, before doing anything, go through the guidelines that your teacher has given.
In general terms, an abstract is a 250 words long section, and in APA style, the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, which is aimed at engaging the readers to move forward with the paper.
Other guidelines include the pattern that you will need to follow, other than paper abstract and your title page, are results and conclusion, literature review and the methods, results and discussion added in the main part of the paper.
Besides all this, make sure that you do not exceed the given word count.
2.2 Write your Paper Before
Before writing your abstract, we suggest that you write your full paper first. You will need to present your paper's important and key points briefly in your abstract and you cannot expect to know all this before completing the paper. Writing a research paper requires detail oriented approach and with a good abstract, you can fix your focus to the main points of the research.
Write your research paper of thesis before moving to the abstract section. Though it comes even before the introduction and literature review, resist the urge to write it before getting done with the paper.
2.3 Add Background Information
Add some background information of your research into the abstract. However, do not add too much details and keep the information concise and focused on the main research question and topic.
Instead of adding irrelevant information and lengthy details, choose those facts only that are related to your research and helps you explain the significance and expected outcome of your research.
2.4 Describe the Research Methodology
Every research has a methodology and your research also follows some methods. Explain your research methodology in your abstract but, like all the other details, do not try to explain everything in it. Be concise and brief.
Whatever your research methodology is qualitative or quantitative, state your reasons for choosing it and why it benefits your research. But, make sure that you follow the golden rule of keeping everything brief.
2.5 Mention the Important Points
Make an outline and state the important points of ypu8r research. Some consider an abstract, the mini version of their research and add just enough information to keep the reader engaged.
When adding the important points, make sure that you mention the points only. The explanation will come later in the main sections so focus on informing about the main research points only.
2.6 Read some Abstract Samples
Learning through examples is the best and fastest way of learning anything. Before writing your paper's abstract, read some online samples related to different subjects like science, social sciences and humanities to get an idea of the type of abstract that such subjects should have.
2.7 Make a Rough Draft First
Make a rough draft of your abstract. At this stage, do not think of any word limit of the type of words and content that you a4re putting on paper. Just focus on the main theme of your research paper and write down everything that crosses your mind. Once you are done with the ‘writing your heart out' part, review and fine tune it.
Remove everything that gives away too much of details and make sure that the specific details that are concise and are just giving the hint are only included in the abstract.
2.8 Proofread before Submission
No writing process is complete without the final and detailed proofreading. Once you are done writing the abstract, proofread and edit it as needed. Many students try to avoid this part and submit the paper without proper proofreading.
As a result, they end up with low grades. Besides the abstract, read the rest of the paper and double check the paper's results section before you hand it over to your teacher.
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