How to Write an Abstract for a Research Paper: Be a Professional

The abstract section of your research paper is not nearly as difficult as many people make it out to be. The abstract functions as a stand alone paragraph which explains in a concise fashion what is contained in your paper. It is the section read by most people and is also the section used to catalogue your work once it has been published.

  • Your abstract should be limited to an average of two hundred words though this precise figure can be found in your research paper requirements.

  • Your abstract is the first section after your cover page.

  • Your abstract should cover each section of your paper. If there are five sections in your paper then there should be at least five sentences in your abstract; one for every section.

  • Your abstract should summarize your entire work and give the reader a clear picture of what is in your paper.

  • Do not forget to cover the results of your work in the abstract. This is a common mistake made by students and will be the first clue that you are not a professional.

  • Make sure your abstract includes keywords related to the content for better cataloguing in the future. These keywords should be placed directly below the abstract.

  • Make sure it is no longer than one page.

In order to prepare for the abstract you need to conduct proper research. Research in and of itself will give you exposure to many abstracts and will help you to review other examples in your field and see what they have in common. Researching for your paper can be a long process, but if you are using library resources in conjunction with the internet, you will have everything you need at your disposal.

Many students are turning to the internet, and especially using library databases and search engines to look for quality, peer reviewed content. While the internet is a great resource and vast, if you are not using the library databases you need to take precautions to ensure the content you find is credible before you use it for your paper. Review peer reviewed articles to get a glimpse into multiple abstract examples from previous papers. See what style they use and pay particular attention to the language they use to keep their content precise.

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