How to write an abstract for a research paper

What is an abstract?

It is a summary of a longer work such as a research paper or dissertation. It concisely reports the outcomes and aims of the paper so that the audiences clearly understand what is contained or to expect as they read through. It is usually written after completion of the rest parts of the research paper to ensure it accurately represents the information contained in the document. An abstract is written for a specific purpose and audience. Our research paper helper can help you with that.

research paper abstract

Purpose of an abstract

Research documents are bulk with hundreds of pages. Thus, the provision of a summary of what the work is all about ease the process of scrutinizing them. The audiences can avoid frustration from reading documents that do not meet your needs as a researcher. A well-written abstract gives enough information to decide whether to invest your time in reading the full research paper.

Components of a Good Abstract

Abstract concisely describe your full research paper document in less than 300 words. Since it is describing an already completed task, an abstract is written in the past tense in an active voice. Some of the critical components to be included in an abstract are problem statement, research objectives; methodology applied results and findings, and conclusion.

Research aims

Start by defining the purpose of your research, clearly stating its relevance or importance and why you chose to investigate a particular topic (problem statement). It shows the research question that the author aimed to answer. Afterward, state the objective statement that guides what you ought to do. The objectives should use verbs such as investigate, analyze, or evaluate.

Methodology

The part should give a vivid description of what you did to answer your research question or test your hypothesis. Indicate the research methods employed to collect information and the tool used for analysis. Besides, indicate the exact number of participants and use past simple tense because you are referring to already completed actions; for instance, focused group discussion was conducted with 200 participants. The aim is to give the audience or the reader of the research paper an overview clue of the approach and procedures utilized in the study. Therefore, do not evaluate the obstacles or validity of the methods here, because the goal in the abstract is not to account for the strength or weakness of the methodology.

Results presentation

Summarize the main research results and findings in one or two sentences. Present or past tense can be adopted in writing these statements; for example, the study shows or showed a strong correlation between item-A and item-B. It is not possible to include all the findings in the abstract, especially for long and complex studies. Therefore, it is necessary to highlight the essential outcome that will help the audiences understand the conclusion. Also, the highlighted results should allure the reader’s attention to find out more about the findings.

Conclusion

State the concluding statement of the research paper basing on the results and findings presented. The audience or reader should have a clear picture of the critical point that the research has proved or argued as they finish. It is usually written in the past simple tense; for example, we conclude that item-A increases or decreases item-B. It is also important to briefly mention the important limitations that the study experienced. It will assist the readers in assessing the credibility of the research.

Keywords

It is important to note that different writing or formatting styles, such as APA or MLA, have specific requirements. For publication papers, it is necessary to include keywords at the end of the abstract. The keywords should reference the critical points of the study. They are aimed at assisting potential readers in finding your paper during their literature search.

It is a real challenge to condense a whole research paper into a couple of hundred words. However, the abstract is the first thing that the reader will see, and it is essential to get it right and on point. Therefore, take extra time to counter check it before submission and, if necessary, have someone to look at it; that way, you will avoid any doubt or assumption. Other strategies that can help is to read other peoples’ research paper abstracts to learn more, write a short, clear, and concise summary where every sentence communicates. The impact an abstract creates on its readers is what matters. Lastly, focus on your research while observing the set style of requirements and understand that not all abstracts contain the same elements.