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How to Write the Abstract to a Research Paper

What is an academic abstract? An abstract of a research paper is a brief restatement of every essential point of the paper. It is one paragraph and is usually limited to 300 words. You will find the abstract of a research paper below the title, alone or where the paper ends. It is important to note that it is not a plant or introduction to the research paper. The abstract of a research paper is an exercise on how to write with precision and efficiency.

The abstract to the research paper is written after the paper is done and all research finished. It should have the same language as that of the paper. Its primary purpose is to allow a quick appreciation of how applicable, important and valid your paper is. The reader may know the subject but is yet to read your paper.

Information found in the abstract of a research paper is usually presented in four categories:

  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Conclusions

This abstract of a research paper follows the logical order of the paper strictly. It ought to be parallel with the structure of the research paper as originally done. It must not add any new information.

The abstract of a research paper can be looked at as an independent document. Due to this, it should be coherent, unified, concise and be able to stand on its own. This means that the abstract of a research paper should be in itself complete.

An abstract is likely to be read without the rest of the document and will sometimes be read with the title. If you go to Amazon.com, any book being sold will have an abstract. Purchasing decisions are sometimes just based on the abstract of a research paper. Because of its significance, all keywords should be present in the abstract.

Abstracts are divided into two: They are either informative or descriptive. The descriptive abstract of a research paper will identify the research contents or its basic subject and demonstrate the organization of the paper without giving any results or conclusions. It is also known as the indicative abstract. Usually such an abstract is short and comes in handy when the paper is really long.

The informative abstract provides the key argument and gives a summary of principal data. This abstract provides the reader with a general idea of objectives, methods, results and conclusions of your research paper. Knowing this, be keen to be specific when writing this abstract. The structure abstract of a research paper, which has more than just one paragraph, is a subtype of this abstract type.

Now that you know how it should look like, what should you include in the abstract of a research paper?

  • The purpose or motivation-the research question or main subject and literature review
  • Specifics such as objectives, problem statement, methodology, hypothesis, limitations etc
  • Results- the major findings and discussion
  • Conclusions and implications-what the findings mean.

 

 

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