How To Write An Abstract [Informational Guide]

 

If you are a PhD. student or have to have to submit a detailed presentation on a topic, writing an abstract is a must. So here we have provided you with how-to guide related to the steps which you should follow to write a great abstract.

 

 

An abstract is a piece of summary which is written for a detailed project, such as a research paper, thesis, conference proceeding, literature, etc. So the abstract is very useful for providing a summary about a detailed report and tell your readers what they can expect from your report. generally an abstract contains a short message of the larger detailed report of work. The contents of an abstract depend upon the discipline for which you are writing the abstract. For instance, an abstract related to humanities topic might contain thesis, background and conclusion of the report. While an abstract related to science or social science topic might contain the purpose, scope or results of the topic which has been taken up.

An abstract does not contain any excerpts from the actual thesis or report which it is made for. It is an original document which is made so that it becomes easy for the reader to understand what are you trying to prove or validate through your document.

An abstract cannot be written without understanding what your research paper is all about and what do you expect readers to gain from it. Suppose you have written a great thesis or a literary report, but have not written an abstract or have written a poorly structured abstract. So all your efforts might go to vain and your dissertation or literary review might not be published after all! Or your scientific thesis might not be approved by your college. So that you find the best inspiration to write an abstract for any purpose, we have provided you here with some few steps which will help you write a great abstract and get all the accolades and achievements that you deserve.

So let’s get to some useful tips and tricks on how to write a good and polished abstract for various fields and requirements.

How To Write– 

An Abstract APA

The APA (American Psychological Association) guidelines for writing an APA is the most common format which is followed while writing a thesis for social sciences. So here are some useful tips which you can keep in mind while writing an APA abstract. But before that, let’s have a look at the format of an APA abstract:

Format of An APA Abstract

  • The Title 

The abstract should contain the title “Abstract” at the top of the page.

  • The Main Body

Next, the paragraph should follow starting with the introduction of the abstract. Since double-spacing formatting is used, it should start after leaving two lines below the title.

  • Paragraph Indents

The starting od a new paragraph must not be indented and written in a block format. That means all your paragraph must be started from the left-margin of your sheet.

  • Spacing

An abstract is always written with double-spacing between the paragraph. Use a sheet which has at least 1-inch margin from all the sides.

  • Keywords

A keyword will let the reader know what are the main words in a paragraph. Write the keywords only if your professor or publisher requires you too.

How To Write An APA Abstract:

Here are some useful guidelines which you must keep in mind while writing APA abstract:

  1. Length of the Abstract: 

While writing an abstract, make sure to keep the word limit between 150-200 words. This makes for 10-20 lines of text.

Additional Info:

  • It is not recommended to use bold, italics, or underlined text anywhere in your abstract.
  • Capitalize all proper nouns, just as you would do in main text.
  • Always use the Roman numerals for any number which you want to write in an abstract. The exception to this rule is the beginning of a sentence, in which case you write the number in words.
  • Make sure to use the third person throughout the text. Use their, them, etc. avoid using “I. we, us, you”.
  • Mark the abstract page as Page number 2.

If you have reached the end of the page, and there is a blank space left, never use that blank space, and continue from the next page onwards.

2. Font:

Unless otherwise specifies, use Times New Roman with font size 12 as the format of the font.

An Abstract For a Conference

An abstract is a brief summary of the paper you want to present at an academic conference. If your abstract is not written properly then chances are that your abstract will not be selected for the conference. Hence here are a few guidelines which you must follow to write an abstract for the conference:

  1. Guidelines of the Event:

You must follow the guidelines set by the event managers regarding the format for your abstract. These can be expressed by:

  • ensuring that the topic for your abstract fits the purpose of the event.
  • ensuring that the word count does not exceed that is set by the organizers.
  • following the instructions regarding the format of the proposal.
  • include all the additional information required (such as basic personal data, keywords, the exact level of study,etc.)
  • ensuring correct English grammar usage and spellings.
  • adhering to the deadline.

2. Answer Some Pertinent Questions:

A good abstract is on which original research is done and provides added value to the ongoing debate or discussion related to the particular topic. So you must ensure not to divert from your topic and try to  incorporate these important questions into your abstract:

  • What is the issue you want to take up?
  • The research methods which you use to research the issue taken up.
  • What are the data which you have used while doing your research?
  • What intermediary findings you have discussed in your paper.

3. Retain the Important Information

Avoid starting your abstract with an introduction, otherwise, you will exceed your word limit. Just straightaway begin with the subject matter you are touching upon. There is no need to include the citations for authors or resources which you referred to while making the abstract.

4. Ask For Help

If you are stuck during any part of writing the paper or need some guidance while doing so, you can always ask the panel convenor (if you are a part of a pre-established panel) about their opinion regarding the abstract. Or you can go through the many abstracts s which are available online from the previous conferences of the particular event. Ask yourself: what kind of abstract made the evaluator give a positive response.

An Abstract For a Paper

An abstract might be written for a scientific paper or a literary thesis. Whatever field you might be writing an abstract for, it should be concise and should explain in brief the purpose for writing the paper to your readers and must let them decide whether they would any topic which they would find relevant.

Here are some tips and tricks which you can use to write a compelling research paper:

  • Get Started With Your Abstract: Although an abstract is presented at the beginning of the paper, it is a concise summary or overview of your entire paper, Hence it must be written only after completing your actual paper or thesis. Since you can only write your abstract properly after you have an idea about your whole paper.
  • Review The Requirements For Writing The Paper: You might be writing the paper for a particular journal or publication, and it might have some guidelines or requirements which requires you to follow. Keep in mind those guidelines before writing your abstract and follow them strictly.
  • Consider Your Audience’s Requirements: Thsi is an important factor to be kept in mind, since you are writing for your audience, after all. The purpose of abstracts is to let your audience quickly have a gist fo your work and go to the part which they find relevant after reading your abstract.

A Scientific Abstract

If you have to present any scientific journal, publication or academic paper, then writing an abstract is a must. It helps the other scientists to quickly go through your actual scientific literature in brief, and get a bird’s eye view of the topics they want to read in depth. So the following tips must be kept in mind while writing a scientific abstract:

  • Keep your abstract of one to two paragraphs, of about 100-200 words.
  • It should summarize the Purpose, Methods, Results and Conclusion of the Paper.
  • It becomes difficult to contain all the information in such a short word limit. So start by summarizing the important details about your research, and then edit it by removing the extra information and just explaining the necessary concepts.
  • You should not use any abbreviations or citations in your abstract. It should be an independent document without any footnotes.

Various Parts of A Scientific Abstract:

Any scientific abstract must contain the following information:

  • Introduction: This section is very important to acquaint the readers with the research paper. Since an abstract has a word-limit, you should directly touch upon the important points related to the paper.
  • Aim/Objective: This part is important from the point of view of readers since it explains them the main purpose for which you have written the scientific paper.
  • Methods: This section must be written according to the methods used during the research, as some methods used might not be able to be described in detail, while some might be described succinctly.

Conclusion

An abstract is the most important part of your whole research paper. Without it, your thesis or research paper might not be approved by a publication or journal, or might not invoke interest in the readers. Hence you must know the proper guidelines before writing an abstract. We hope we could provide you with some useful guidelines and tips on how to write abstracts for different fields. Do let us know by commenting below if you found these tips useful.

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