Writing a research paper abstract can be intimidating, but it can be made significantly easier following a few simple steps. One thing to keep in mind is that the abstract should come last, after you’ve finished your research paper. This may appear to be a simple task, but because the abstract is frequently listed first in a paper’s requirements, some people attempt to complete it first and become lost in the process. Within your abstract, you should include all relevant information from your full research paper, such as the problem you’re addressing, your research, and your findings. Your abstract should also include keywords that are important to your final paper, and it should all be presented in a few hundred words or less.
A research paper abstract is a short document that comes with a research paper and provides a useful synopsis of the entire paper. An abstract’s purpose is to give a potential reader a quick overview of the work so that someone who is interested in what you’re writing about can decide whether or not to read the entire paper. While this may seem unnecessary for research papers written for a class that will most likely only be read an instructor, it is a critical skill to develop if you plan on writing a thesis or dissertation.
Only write your research paper abstract after you’ve finished the rest of your paper, as this will make it easier for you to gather your thoughts and research. Your abstract can be thought of as a teaser for your research paper, similar to a movie trailer. You want to present your information in such a way that someone can decide whether or not to read your paper after that. This means that your abstract must contain enough relevant information for someone to make an informed decision.
Unlike a movie trailer, which only hints at plot points and suggests the action of a film, your research paper abstract should include all of your paper’s “action,” including the conclusion. Indicate the research you conducted, particularly if it included any experimental work, as well as the results you discovered. In this type of writing, precision and language conservation are crucial, and you’ll want to make sure that each sentence is complete but brief and relevant to the abstract. Any keywords used in your research paper should be included in the abstract, as this will make it easier for someone searching a database of abstracts to find yours.