How To Write An Effective Abstract For A Research Paper

There are a lot of problems people should solve. Researchers make a contribution to solving these problems. But there a lot of problems they face to provide a reader with really high-quality papers.

Every book has its cover, and sometimes people choose a book for its cover. Why does it happen? People don’t want to dive into the sense of written novels, essays, and others, they are lured by the appearance.

When it comes to the presentation of your study, there are a lot of rules you should follow. Sometimes, it’s very difficult to get a success when you don’t know what you should start writing this paragraph from and how to write it. As in any other paper, it should consist of several sections. In each of them, you should provide a specified information about your study. Also, you should know, that abstracts divide into two types. It depends on which requirements a journal has for this.

What is an Abstract?

Abstracts are resembling “executive summary” telling the audience about the most important things of the research.

They can be of two types including descriptive and informative.

  1. The first type consists of around 100-200 words and looks like a brief summary including a purpose, methods, objective. It shouldn’t include information about results and conclusion.
  2. The second type of the abstract consists of around one page. It presents only the most important moments of your study and summarizes every aspect of the work. Also, it includes the results of the paper. To determine which type is suitable for you, you should follow the recommendations of the journal.


Here, I’ll bring several tips and recommendations on how to write an abstract.

If you have decided to write this paragraph, you should pay attention to that it should fit all the guidelines and requirements of the journal. Every journal has its own requirements, but there are questions that you need to pay attention to:

  • How many words should a publication have?
  • Which type of the paragraph does a research require?
  • Which style and formatting requirements does a journal have?

Specify your audience

When it comes to scientific journals, abstracts are used for specifying by the reader whether information contained in the research will be interesting for the reader or not. They are used for providing the main argument.

Answer these question when you are writing it:

  • Are there other researches in this field with the same objective?
  • Does your study play a very important role in the development of the science?

What should an abstract contain?

The main task of the paragraph is to cover all parts of the study. It should explain your research. It should contain only around 2 hundred words, you should use the clearest constructions and statements not confusing a reader with unnecessary information. It shouldn’t be overloaded with complex phrases and ambiguous references.

You should follow these general tips:

  • A writer should avoid acronyms and abbreviations as they should be explained. It’s better when you use them in your paper.
  • References are suitable only when they relate to well-known people. Otherwise, you should avoid all the references.
  • This paragraph shouldn’t contain any tables, figures, sources, long quotations. You can insert a lot of figures, quotes, and sources in the body of your paper.

To get a success use keywords

Keywords are a really useful tool for attracting readers. They are placed in the section under the abstract including the most relevant terms. They are resembling “tubes” that readers enter in the field of the search engines helping readers to land at your academic paper. These keywords should be words used very often in the search engines. Also, they should be the most relevant to your paper and found very often in your abstract. You should place around five-ten words and brief phrases used in the research in both abstract and keywords section.

Which sections do an abstract consist of?

As mentioned earlier in the text, this is an inherent part of any study providing a reader with the most important information and resembling a surrogate or synopsis of your academic paper.

In the most social sciences, papers include several sections. Among them, there are a purpose and motivation, problem, methods and materials, summarizing of results, and a conclusion. Each section should be short and include around one or two sentences, and you can explain one element or statement if it’s very interesting or compelling. An abstract is very often one paragraph so that all these sections should merge into the one comprehensive paragraph providing a reader with valuable information.

When you are writing a paragraph, you should follow the next scheme:

The first target of your abstract is to identify your purpose and motivation. You can specify a purpose of answering the following questions:

  • Why have you decided to write this paper?
  • Why should an audience read this paper to the end?
  • Which contribution does this research do into the field of the science?

In the next section, you should explain a problem that you want to solve due to this research. Also, you should write, why this study is so important. You can combine the motivation and the problem section, but usually, these sections are separate.

When you writing this section, you should answer the next questions:

  • Which problem does your study solve?
  • Does your research explain something general or specific?
  • What is your main statement and argument?

In the third section, you should list the methods and materials. You should explain to a reader why you have decided to solve this problem and specify the problem of the research.

In the third section, you should:

  • List methods, specify a type of the study, your variables, and the extent of the work;
  • Provide a reader with the evidence to support your thesis statement;
  • List the most important sources.

In the results section, you should summarize the results of the study and write an overview of the outcome of the study.

In the end, you should write a conclusion.