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General Tips for Writing an Abstract for a Paper


A short concise summary for a research paper (usually about one paragraph long) is called abstract. You may be required to write it for your dissertation, article, report or any other type of serious piece of academic writing.

Please note that it’s advised to write an abstract after you complete the work. However, sometimes you may need to hand it in before the research is complete. In this case, you won’t need to include any detailed information about the results and conclusions achieved. You will just have to give a short description of your methods, objectives and estimated outcome of the research.

In essence, abstract is an advert for your paper. This is why it should be written in simple language that will interest the audience, regardless of whether they are proficient in the field of your study.

How to Create an Appealing Abstract

The first rule of writing a good abstract is: be concise. It’s essential that you don’t overload it with unnecessary details. There will be enough room in the introduction section of your work to provide a more elaborate description of the project.

Reduce the number of technical terms used in the abstract to a minimum and exclude any jargon expressions completely. The piece must be easy to read and understand for everyone.

In order to be considered good, abstract should provide the reader with answers to the following questions:

  • - What is the project’s goal?
  • - Why is your research important?
  • - How did you study the subject?
  • - What kinds of materials are used for demonstrating the conclusions you reached?
  • - What are the conclusions?
  • - What does this information mean for the field as a whole?

Stylistically abstracts must follow the rule of four C’s. This means that this piece of writing should be:

  • - Complete - Covering all the major information about the research.
  • - Concise - Free of any unnecessary data and explanations.
  • - Clear - Well-organized and easy to read.
  • - Cohesive - Every part of the abstract connects to the other seamlessly.

In order to be sure that you did everything right, you will need to give the abstract to a professor to look over.

You will also need to consult your advisor before writing an abstract, as there are several types of them, and you must know which is required for this project.

When writing abstracts, you should avoid the following:

  • - Do NOT include references to other papers.
  • - Do NOT mention any information that isn’t included in the body of the work.
  • - Do NOT include term definitions in this part of your paper.


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