How to Write an Abstract for a Research Paper: A Guide for Students

Have you completed a research paper? Don’t hurry to submit it until you write an abstract. It’s an essential part of research paper writing as it helps readers to get an idea of what your research is about. Many students make a big mistake when they copy the part of the research paper and name it “Abstract”. What exactly is an abstract? It’s an independent text that should be easy-to-understand to the person who hasn’t read your paper. 

College students often find it difficult to complete a short summary of the research project. It isn’t surprising as you need to express all the key points of the large paper within a word limit. It can be challenging as you need to follow a certain structure. 

If you have never written abstracts before, you’re recommended to ask professional writers from research paper writing services such as SmartWritingService to provide you with a good custom-written academic paper online. Experienced writers know how to create a high-quality abstract that will stand out. Do you want to know how professionals write great abstracts? Check the rules for abstract writing below.

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What Information Should You Include in the Abstract?

“What should I write an abstract about?” – After you complete your research paper, you are supposed to write a brief summary of your academic project. Before you write an abstract, you should have a clear understanding of its purpose. 

An abstract will help the reader to make a decision whether to spend time on your research paper or not. This short piece of writing makes it easier for readers to navigate through your large project and get acquainted with the most important points of the research paper. 

It’s possible to say that an abstract is your large academic project in miniature.

Here are the main things that should be present in your abstract text.

  • Write about the goals of your research paper.
  • Share what research methods you’ve used in the process of work.
  • Present your research findings.
  • Conclude the research paper summary.

How Long Is Abstract?

You should stick to a certain word limit when writing an abstract. Make it clear and concise writing, not less than 150 words but not more than 300 words. Take into account that your teacher may ask you to write an abstract with another word limit. Be sure to check the requirements before you get started. Remember that you should include the abstract before the paper contents.

Step-by-Step Guidelines for Writing a Perfect Abstract

Now, you know that the reader will evaluate your abstract before reading the larger project. You have only one chance to make a positive impression. Follow the tips below to write a strong abstract for your research.

  • Identify the research problem and state your paper goals. You can give some valuable background information on the topic but don’t make it too detailed. Keep in mind that you can’t use Future Tense here as you have already written the paper. Write this part of the abstract in Present or Past.
  • Describe the methodology. Now, you need to devote a couple of sentences to the methods you’ve used during the research. Just tell what exactly you did and how effective your actions were. The reader should have a clear picture of the scientific approach you’ve applied to achieve your goal.
  • Share research results. At this stage, you need to tell your target audience about your achievements. If the list of the results is too long, you can omit something in the abstract. List only the most significant findings. 
  • Write a conclusion. Finally, tell about the most effective problem solution you have found during the research. Your abstract should contain the answer to the main paper question. It’s a good idea to give useful recommendations that can be used by other researchers.

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More Expert Tips for Creating a Strong Abstract

Are you going to publish your research paper? Then, remember that you need to prepare a list with the keywords when you complete the abstract. Why should you do this? It’s done with the aim to help readers find your piece of writing fast. 

One more thing to take into account is that you should make sure that you have formatted your abstract and the list of keywords the right way. Your teacher may ask you to follow the guidelines of APA style or meet some other formatting requirements. 

  • Make sure your abstract is logical. Reread an abstract and make sure that each sentence is logical. The text should be readable. For this, you need to make long sentences shorter and omit all the unnecessary information. Check whether there are connections between sentences.
  • Don’t include the information that isn’t on your research paper. Remember that an abstract is just a condensed paper version. It must reflect on the main points of your research. Don’t include any new arguments that the reader won’t be able to find in the main project.
  • Check abstract samples before you write your own one. It’s better to see once than to hear hundred times. The same is here. Check examples paying special attention to their structure. The best way to learn from samples is to ask your teacher to provide you with a high-quality example or go to custom writers and get it at a reputable service.
  • Edit and proofread the final version. Are you ready with the abstract? At the final stage of abstract writing, you need to devote at least several minutes to check whether it sounds great. Use grammar checkers to make sure that your piece of writing is free from mistakes.

Hopefully, now you have a better understanding of what an abstract is and feel inspired for writing your own one.