Whether you’re a seasoned researcher or a student working on your first academic paper, you need to be equipped with valuable tips and tricks to craft captivating abstracts. This short guide will help you master the tricks of writing an abstract that communicates your research effectively, grabs attention, and leaves a lasting impact.
What is an abstract?
An abstract is a brief overview of the research article. It underlines core content areas of the paper, such as the research purpose, the relevance or importance of the work, methodology, and outcomes.
Although the abstract is the first section of the paper, it is usually written last. It should be prepared separately from the paper, within a single paragraph and less than 250 words.
Remember that the abstract is an independent part of the paper and should make sense by itself, without further reference to other studies, sources, or materials.
Why writing a good abstract is important?
As the first section of the paper, the abstract should help readers to decide whether the study is relevant to their purposes and encourage them to read the whole paper. Furthermore, since most academic journal databases and search engines use abstracts (as well as the title and keywords) to specify key terms for indexing a published paper, a well-written abstract will help proper indexing and allows the other researchers to easily find your paper.
What should be included in the abstract?
A well-written abstract should contain the following:
- The purpose: The core purpose of the research, its importance, and its difference from other studies should be explained thoroughly in the abstract.
- Problem statement: It should be clearly explained what problem the paper attempts to study and what is the scope of the research. Also, the main argument and hypothesis of the research should be clarified.
- Methodology: research design and methods (such as sampling, data collection, and data analysis approach) should be explained and discussed to ensure potential readers of the results’ reliability and validity.
- Results: results obtained through study, findings, or arguments must be described concisely but thoroughly. In other words, the most important outcomes of the study should be highlighted.
- Implications: the practical or theoretical applications of the research outcomes, as well as the contribution to the body of knowledge, should be pointed out.