Why do you need to know how to write an abstract for a research paper?
An abstract for a research paper is simply a summary as to what the paper is about. Located at the beginning of your paper it allows the reader to quickly see exactly what your paper is about and what they should expect to find if they read your work. This allows other academics looking for relevant information to quickly find information they need for their own research without having to read through hundreds of pages of irrelevant information. So it is vital to learn how to write an abstract for a research paper well so that you ensure that any reader will understand what to expect when reading your paper.
How do you write an abstract?
Learning how to write an abstract for an essay or an academic paper is not too different; you just need to understand how to accurately summarize your work. It is not that difficult to achieve by following the steps that are outlined below. Although the abstract is located at the beginning of your work it will be one of the very last pieces that you write a summary. It is not an introduction to your paper but a full overview of what has been written about within your paper.
Writing your academic abstract
Your abstract on the whole will follow the overall structure of your academic paper and should seek to summarize the main points from each of the many sections as well as briefly introducing the paper as a whole. To write it well you need to cover all of the following areas:
• Explain briefly why you needed to do this research
• Explain how the research is important and to whom
• Give a reason as to why and who should read your paper
• What is the specific issue that your research is examining; what is the scope of your research?
• What is your thesis, claim or argument?
• Explain what other works you looked at; what are your most important sources
• How did you go about conducting your own research?
• What information did you get from your research?
• Did the information fully support your original hypothesis?
• Give a general overview of your main findings
• Are there any implications of your research?
What not to do when writing an abstract
When learning how to write an abstract for a research paper it is worth keeping in mind what you should not do also. There are many issues that you will want to avoid especially considering that your reputation will be on the line with something as important as an academic paper:
• Don’t repeat anything that is written elsewhere in your paper; your abstract should be summary written in completely new words
• Don’t introduce anything new that is not mentioned elsewhere within your paper
• Don’t exceed the requirements for word count or page length
• Don’t use abbreviations or acronyms
• Don’t be overly specific; this is a broad overview
Get your abstract written perfectly
No academic writing can be rushed out without being carefully reviewed to ensure that it is written perfectly. The demands on academic writing are significant and you need to ensure that your abstract:
• Is formatted correctly according to the requirements for your paper
• Is error free through careful proofreading
• Is factual and has been carefully checked
• Covers all of the main areas of your research without any omissions
• Mentions the right keywords for your research (so that it can be found on a search)
All of the above hints and tips on how to write an abstract for a research paper will help to ensure that you can provide a well written abstract for your academic paper or even corporate bio
Image credit: gstatic.com, phdcomics.com, api.ning.com.