How to Write an Abstract for a Research Paper: Use This Professional Guide

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6 minutes readingSep 09, 2020

Without an abstract, it is hard to imagine a professional research paper. It is an integral chapter of this project, just like methods results or literature review and discussion. Without offering this part to your audience, the readers will not be sure whether your work is worthy of studying it from cover to cover. It should give an overall picture and a hint of what the reader will learn.

You'll probably have to work with a research paper abstract in college for the first time (if you have not already). School students rarely do this task. Essays do not require this part. That is why you may need help with this important part of academic writing, and this post will explain how to write an abstract for a research paper.

What Is a Research Paper Abstract?

To begin with, a good abstract is more than a summary. We cannot call it a research paper introduction, either. This kind of writing is a brief summary of the finished research along with the list of findings, which is intended to describe the study without many details and make it clear for the audience why the suggested piece can be useful. The main idea is to show what the problem is and how the reader can benefit from learning how to solve this issue. This part of your work needs to be self-contained and brief.

For various papers, you might have to use different methods to write it. Your purpose is to convince the audience of the importance of your topic and engage them in further exploration of the offered case. Pretend that you discovered an article with an interesting title, but are not sure whether the five pages are worth your attention late in the evening. It is simple to decide - have a look at the research paper abstract. If it contains buzzwords that you would react to, as well as hints for the captivating story, you would likely read the piece. Otherwise, you may decide that the writing is not worth your attention. Another function of this chapter is to assist the library with cataloging publications with respect to the key phrases that pop up in them.

This tiny piece that helps readers decide whether they should spend their time on the offered publication should not exceed 1/3 of a standard A4 page, meaning 300 words (it also depends on whether the text is double-spaced or not). It is not easy to interpret all thoughts within these limits. However, to write research paper at the professional level, one should dedicate enough time to creating this part of the paper. Keep in mind that the majority reads this part before the body. Now you know that the abstract provides an overview of the project, and it is time to move on to the next question on this topic.

What Are the Different Types of a Research Paper Abstract?

There are several different types of abstracts. This part may cost you a good grade if not taken care of, so you should be careful and attentive when choosing the right shape of it for your assignment.

  • Descriptive abstract - as the name suggests, it is about providing the description of the selected topic or research question, using more adjectives and adverbs. The idea is to show what the author wanted to achieve at the end.
  • Informative abstract - to come up with this type of summary, a writer should come back to the body of their work and re-read such sections as methodology, objectives of the study, supporting evidence; informative abstract acts as meaningful advice.
  • Critical abstract - include the findings of the experiment and expert feedback on the already known information. It is possible to analyze the previous studies and give a tip on why your study could offer improved solutions or answers. If you choose this type of an abstract research paper, the word count can be greater here - up to 500.
  • Highlight type - the goal is to catch the eye of the reader with the help of not only stated facts but the writer's own vision of the problem. It can be both subjective and objective. It is possible to use this type only in publications for entertainment - in academic and scientific writing, it is not the best option.

No matter which abstract type you choose, develop this chapter after you are done with the rest of the research paper. Use past tense - only after you have a full picture you can create a summary.

What Are the Integral Parts of an Abstract for a Research Paper?

Only after you have your reader's attention, it is possible to move to other parts of a research paper - writing an abstract first is a common mistake regarding academic writing. Before the introduction main part, an abstract should show up, and its key features are:

  1. Motivation or statement of a problem - why does this study matter? What are the possible practical or theoretical gaps in the research?
  2. Process and resources - this one refers to the short description of methods and sources used in the study (e.g., paintings, interviews, poll results, texts, etc.)
  3. Product or outcomes - this element corresponds to the results section, and an author must present what he or she invented or discovered during the investigation.
  4. Implications and discussion are the two main components at the final stage - can you name any larger implications of your results? How are obtained findings differ from those offered by the previous researchers, and what are some of your predictions based on your analysis?

We want to specify that this piece of writing follows the title page. The next steps would be a thesis statement along with an intro, but that is how the project appears visually; in fact, you should always leave the abstract for the last phase of work. It is the good idea as you will know all the nuances by that time.

You may need an original research paper abstract at any academic level: from high school to university. If you are not sure how to craft it, you may benefit from seeking professional writing assistance. Taking into account the word limit, you might decide to turn for help to the research paper writing service if the writing guidance from this article is not enough. In this case, find out more about our trusted company and have a look at any paper abstract example from our writers to ensure that they invest enough skills and effort in their work.

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Writing even as little as three hundred words can be a challenge. And you'll have to stick to the APA style guidelines (mostly). Whether you need just an executive summary or the full paper for your studies, hire one of our advanced essay writers to get professional writing guidance, valuable writing tips, and help with your homework assignments. We will:

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