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Research Paper Writing: 2. Abstract

Abstract overview

An abstract is a short, and powerful statement that describes the research paper as a whole. The abstract should contain 150 to 250 words. The abstract provides a reason of selection and indexing. It allows the audience an overview to determine whether the paper is worth the reward of reading.

The two types of abstracts are descriptive and informative. The descriptive abstract indicates the information found in the paper, makes no judgment, and is very short with 100 words or less. The informative abstract explains the main arguments, includes all the parts of the paper, and the length varies. Abstract varies depending on the field the paper is covering, for an example, a history paper, and a psychology paper.

Qualities of effective abstracts

  • The abstract should be easy to read
  • Be concise
  • Be exact and unambiguous
  • Have an organization scheme that will make the information clear
  • Simply report a summary of what is in the paper
  • Use one or more well-developed paragraphs
  • Use an introduction-body-conclusion structure
  • Provide a logical connection

The abstract should contain

  • Motivation
  • Problem statement
  • Approach
  • Results
  • Conclusion


Look at the link below to et information on APA style and see an example of an research abstract in the sample paper.