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How to write an abstract? – Here are some effective tips for you

How to write an abstract

Abstract of a paper is quite similar to the cover of a book that depicts the central theme. On playing it well, the rest of the paper seems to flow smoothly. If you are scripting the dissertation in APA format, you need to incorporate certain rubrics all through the content. This blog articulates everything that a student needs to know prior to establishing the abstract section.

Before recognizing the methodology and elements of an abstract, get acquainted with a few more details. To start with, learn the significance of writing an abstract.

An Abstract is a “Must

If you are an amateur in paper writing, it is obvious that you have no idea about the importance of an abstract. The below list may help you in identifying its need!

  • Depicts a brief overview of the main topic.
  • Holds key elements from the core section.
  • Tells readers what to expect from the paper.
  • Shows the applicability of work to a certain extent.
  • Allows audiences perform an informed judgement.
  • Contains keywords that aid in easy searching.
  • Helps some databases index larger papers.

How Does an APA Abstract Look Like?

Though the basic idea of abstract is the same, irrespective of your referencing style, there are some specific rules that must be inserted in accordance with your paper format. Here are the general guidelines –

  • It should be written within 150-200 words.
  • The paragraph must not start with an indent.
  • Acronyms should be defined at the end, (indented).
  • The heading should not be Bold, Italicized, or Underlined.
  • There should be a 1-inch margin on all four sides of the page.
  • The font style should be ‘Times New Roman’ and font size ‘12’.
  • It must have the running title excluding the word ‘running-head’.

For an illustrative view, check the blog on how to write an APA research paper with examples. Now that you are conversant with the basic rules, you must identify the kinds of abstract.

What are the Types of Abstracts?

Prior to penning the research paper, it is essential for every student to discern the different types of abstract. Otherwise, you cannot tone it with the rest of the paper. There are four explicit categorical divisions – Descriptive, Informative, Critical, and Highlighting. Know them bit by bit!

  • Descriptive Abstract: It depicts a short summary of the work, mainly within 100 words. Nature should be descriptive i.e., here you should discuss the intent, research methodology, and possibilities of the research using significant keywords from the content. Make certain, there is neither any judgement to your arguments nor any conclusion to your opinions. Most of the scholars consider this to be an outline of their work.
  • Informative Abstract: The majority of the papers demand informative abstract as it holds a little more than the descriptive one. Besides including the purpose, scope, and methods, it must mention the evidence, results, and the thesis/dissertation conclusion. The underlying idea is to provide readers with every possible aspect of reading the paper. Experts address this type of abstract as a ‘surrogate for the paper’.
  • Critical Abstract: As the name shows, it is critical to writing as well. Alongside the chief findings and facts, it must entail some validations and reliability in support to your work. However, you have to draft it cleverly keeping voids in between, so the readers should go through the full paper rather than simply reading the abstract section. Generally, the length of a critical abstract is between 400-500 words due to additional commentary.
  • Highlighting Abstract: This one is written with a specific motive of engaging readers to your work. Instead of providing with a pretext of the complete paper, you have to insert inconsistent and cohesive remarks that spark the audience’s curiosity. It is not at all a true abstract, and therefore, can never stand independent of its allied piece of writing. Because of its impromptu nature, it is hardly used in academic writing.

The Approach of Writing an Abstract

Likewise the whole research paper, you must follow a writing style while drafting the abstract section. Note the tricks mentioned below and try to incorporate them for a flawless copy.

  • Though most of the sentences in abstract calls for passive constructions, you must look for scopes to insert active voices. As experts say, it helps to connect with the readers, directly.
  • Each of the sentences must be complete and concise. It is wise not to put complex sentences as it makes them difficult to read. Simple sentences describe the content easily by letting readers understand them
  • Make use of past tenses while inserting the pieces of evidence, facts, stats and data as you are reporting from researches that have been completed. Only the conclusion driven out of the research can be in the present tense.
  • Intelligence lies in working on the abstract after penning the entire paper. Take key statements from every section and put them sequentially to develop an overview of the draft. Then rephrase them and compose accordingly to define the abstract.
  • Before submission, recheck whether all the points in abstract agree with what you have mentioned in the body paragraphs. Do not include superfluous information in this section.

You are almost familiar to writing an abstract, now. However, a chief concern is yet to be discussed.

What are the Elements of an Abstract?

An abstract is known to be a single long paragraph, so often; students fail to understand its layers. In that single block, you have to answer certain questions, that too sequentially. Possibly, understanding the elements of this piece is one of the main concerns for every student. Find the questions as listed below.

  • Will it add value to the field in near future?
  • What issue does it concern to or attempt to solve?
  • What is the significance of your conducted research?
  • Is there any future scope of research for this project?
  • Why will it fascinate the readers to read until the end?
  • What are the findings or conclusion of your analysis?
  • What are the proposed changes as a result of this investigation?
  • Which of the models and the pieces of evidence are included here?

Irrespective of your topic, be certain to follow these tricks, tips, and hacks in your research paper abstract. Needless to say, you will end up obtaining the highest grades. But, at times, students make some common mistakes. In the subsequent section, you can find the mistakes to be avoided.

Don’ts of an Abstract

  • Do not use acronyms, jargons, or confusing words.
  • Carefully avoid elliptical and incomplete sentences.
  • Do not make it extra-long with background information.
  • Avoid images, tables, charts, figures, or anything like that.
  • There should not be a reference to any other research work.

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