Writing an Abstract

Writing an abstract for a research paper can be a challenging process. There are multiple sections that may confuse you if you have no prior experience. It can overwhelm you, and might even make you prone to missing out on very specific details.

For now, let’s just zoom in on the very first section – the abstract. It is the first portion of any research paper that gives a quick overview of what you are focusing on in your paper. A research paper usually explores complex terms, briefs on the background and academic relevance, provide analysis and in-depth points on the conclusions.

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pointing handSo How to Begin with Writing an Abstract?

Before anything, you must remember to only curate the abstract after finishing the rest of your entire research paper. Plan in sections before you start writing an abstract. Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t happen in one go. Take the time to do enough research, take in citations and derive results.

Depending on whether you are replicating a previous study, you may have to add the citation. This is not a fixed case as it varies on the type and depth of your research.

After that, you begin writing rough abstracts by using keywords. Remember to keep the abstract between 120-300 words. Some even exceed up to 500 depending on the methodology, the branches of conclusions and implied results.

Show it to someone reliable to review your abstract. Also, proofread yourself.

pointing handUse Keywords

An abstract is a very short summary of a larger work and if it is not short, it needs to be shortened. It may be the first section of your research paper, but it should be written at the very last. It contains curated information that will describe the main contents of your entire study. From the Literature review to the conclusion, you should cover it all. The way to do that precisely is by signaling through the use of keywords. Keywords help to index the rest of your paper. Doing so precisely will drive more interested readers to continue and filter out anybody who does not find relevance to your topic, immediately. It will, therefore, increase the chances of your paper being understood.

Your abstract should cover the following details:

  • A brief introduction on the topic
  • Brief context on the social/academic relevance (optional)
  • A brief explanation of your purpose and objective(s)
  • Facts that have been covered already
  • Thoroughly discuss with Literature review relevant to the topic to support your research process
  • The direction you’re heading towards
  • The methods of analysis
  • Report the outcome of your research
  • Citations where necessary
  • Breaking down any abbreviations

Avoid the following things:

  • Giving any overstatement
  • Going into details on the background information
  • Evaluating or defending your paper already
  • Too many methodologies
  • Any information that was not discussed in the rest of the paper

To Sum It All Up, a good extract isn’t just brief, but it is relevant and is precise It will also grab a reader’s attention to keep going so it needs to be eye-catching. No one can stop you from creating an impressive abstract if you follow the simple dos and don’ts.

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By David Adewusi

David is a blog writer who likes writing about literature, English grammar, and editing methods. He has also worked as a copy editor and proofreader. He has written excellent blog posts for Scientific Editing.

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