How to Write a Research Paper Abstract

Research Paper Abstract

The first part of your Research Paper Abstract is the results section. You should clearly outline every relevant result and show how they affect the population studied. This is the longest section of the abstract, and nothing should compromise its quality. The conclusion should only be a few sentences, and most researchers express their theoretical opinion at this stage. Your conclusion should be as brief as possible, and only briefly summarize the results. The body of the abstract should follow the same guidelines.

Informational or descriptive

When writing an abstract for an informational or descriptive research paper, you must carefully consider the style and format of the article you’re analyzing. An informative abstract is a surrogate for the paper’s main text, which can contain thousands of words. The abstract should present general findings and summarize the research paper’s goals. The structure and organization of the paper should be clear, and the abstract should contain supporting evidence and arguments.

A descriptive abstract summarizes the topics of a piece of writing and doesn’t include any evaluation of the paper. It uses key terms from the text, including objectives, methods, and scope. This type of abstract is generally short and simple. Unstructured abstracts follow a more conventional style and are presented in a single paragraph without specific labels per paragraph. Both styles are effective, though, so make sure to understand the difference between them.


To create an effective short research paper abstract, start by considering your audience. Your abstract serves as an overview of your entire research paper. To make it as short as possible, focus on the APA guidelines and write in the past tense. Use clear, concise sentences to convey your information. You may also use the active voice to reduce word count. APA guidelines also emphasize the importance of economy of words. To summarize your research, use the active voice instead of the passive.

A good abstract should evaluate the paper and defend its argument. It should explain why the study was conducted, what its goals were, and how it will be used to further research the subject. The goal is to capture the audience’s attention and help the reader make a decision based on the information. It should be relevant to the author’s field or industry and contain the key findings of the paper. Adding keywords to your abstract can make it more appealing to publishers and readers.

Avoid referencing anything outside of your study

You should not reference anything outside of your study when writing your research-paper abstract. You should use only well-known individuals and works. In addition, it is important to avoid citing long quotations and tables. You will have plenty of time to present these details in the body of your paper. Here are some useful tips:

Write the most important information first. The abstract is meant to summarize the main body of your paper. This can be thousands of words. Hence, it is essential to include important sections and organizational schema. The body of the paper will develop your ideas and evidence in more detail. The abstract will serve as the surrogate of the research paper. It also acts as a summary of the thousands of words found in the main text.

References to others’ work

While making reference to others’ work isn’t required in the research paper abstract, it is highly recommended. It can prevent your abstract from getting tossed in the “circular file” or getting disregarded by readers. The first step in drafting a successful research paper abstract is to ensure that your title is relevant to the subject matter of your paper. Make sure that your title matches the overall format of the research paper.

When citing someone’s work, you must make sure to use their name and their initials. If the paper is a replication of prior research, you should cite it with the author’s name and family name. Also, make sure to recast sentences that start with a number or acronym, and define any unique terms or abbreviations. Finally, you must include the full citation for the source in your reference list.


The structure of a research paper abstract is an important part of the whole manuscript. APA suggests using a font that is both readable and encapsulates the content. It is recommended that the titles of your paper be written in their original language, but you may choose to translate them into English. In the title, use words such as examine, test, and evaluate to convey the intended effect of your research. In the body of the abstract, use the APA style of referencing to cite your sources.

After the title, follow the keywords in the abstract. Keywords provide search engine optimization, so choose words that are likely to be used by readers. Use these keywords throughout the abstract to boost your ranking in search results. While keywords serve an important function, they should not be used in place of the title. Some journals, for example, do not allow authors to use their title terms as keywords. So, choose your keywords carefully. It is recommended that you have someone else read and edit your abstract to ensure that it contains the essential information.

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