Research paper abstract: tips and suggestions

For a research paper an abstract can have more than one purpose. In general it provides detailed information about what you did behind your research or a summary. The length of an abstract may vary but it is roughly one paragraph in length or about 150 words. Students can find this part of the research paper challenging since you need to know what information to include while staying with guidelines for the content. The information should provide good detail about what you did to get your paper, draw attention to your content and provide credibility. The following tips can help give further insight on what to consider when writing an abstract.

  • Think about your audience and who will review your research paper. This will help you in choosing appropriate language or jargon to use when you write it.
  • Be detailed with your information and concrete.
  • Show that you have a genuine interest in your topic. When someone reads this content they should have a sense of the writer showing conviction toward their topic.
  • Use caution on how you word your content. There may be certain words or phrases that you can use instead of personal pronouns. Many suggest you write the content in third person.
  • Use the entire word count when writing your abstract. For instance, if the suggested word count is 200 words, use the full amount to get your summary across in a detailed manner. If you fall too short of the word count the abstract may come off skimpy or lacking evidence.
  • Give yourself time to work on the abstract. Just because it is short doesn’t mean you should not give it a good amount of time to write, revise and edit what you come up with.
  • Get a jump start on your content by getting prepared ahead of time. Starting early can give you an advantage while being respectful to your audience. You can organize your content ahead of time and think about what to include before preparing a draft.
  • Too many students think they can wait till the last minute to start writing their abstract. But if your content comes off as written poorly, this could hurt your research paper or even lead to rejection if the content is related to a proposal.
  • Seek sample abstract content to get a better idea of what to write.
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