Writing an Abstract for Your Research Paper

Definition and Purpose of Abstracts

An abstract is a short summary of your (published or unpublished) research paper, usually about a paragraph (c. 6-7 sentences, 150-250 words) long. A well-written abstract serves multiple purposes:

  • an abstract lets readers get the gist or essence of your paper or article quickly, in order to decide whether to read the full paper;
  • an abstract prepares readers to follow the detailed information, analyses, and arguments in your full paper;
  • and, later, an abstract helps readers remember key points from your paper.

It’s also worth remembering that search engines and bibliographic databases use abstracts, as well as the title, to identify key terms for indexing your published paper. So what you include in your abstract and in your title are crucial for helping other researchers find your paper or article.

If you are writing an abstract for a course paper, your professor may give you specific guidelines for what to include and how to organize your abstract. Similarly, academic journals often have specific requirements for abstracts. So in addition to following the advice on this page, you should be sure to look for and follow any guidelines from the course or journal you’re writing for.

The Contents of an Abstract

Abstracts contain most of the following kinds of information in brief form. The body of your paper will, of course, develop and explain these ideas much more fully. As you will see in the samples below, the proportion of your abstract that you devote to each kind of information—and the sequence of that information—will vary, depending on the nature and genre of the paper that you are summarizing in your abstract. And in some cases, some of this information is implied, rather than stated explicitly. The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association , which is widely used in the social sciences, gives specific guidelines for what to include in the abstract for different kinds of papers—for empirical studies, literature reviews or meta-analyses, theoretical papers, methodological papers, and case studies.

Here are the typical kinds of information found in most abstracts:

  • the context or background information for your research; the general topic under study; the specific topic of your research
  • the central questions or statement of the problem your research addresses
  • what’s already known about this question, what previous research has done or shown
  • the main reason(s) , the exigency, the rationale , the goals for your research—Why is it important to address these questions? Are you, for example, examining a new topic? Why is that topic worth examining? Are you filling a gap in previous research? Applying new methods to take a fresh look at existing ideas or data? Resolving a dispute within the literature in your field? . . .
  • your research and/or analytical methods
  • your main findings , results , or arguments
  • the significance or implications of your findings or arguments.

Your abstract should be intelligible on its own, without a reader’s having to read your entire paper. And in an abstract, you usually do not cite references—most of your abstract will describe what you have studied in your research and what you have found and what you argue in your paper. In the body of your paper, you will cite the specific literature that informs your research.

When to Write Your Abstract

Although you might be tempted to write your abstract first because it will appear as the very first part of your paper, it’s a good idea to wait to write your abstract until after you’ve drafted your full paper, so that you know what you’re summarizing.

What follows are some sample abstracts in published papers or articles, all written by faculty at UW-Madison who come from a variety of disciplines. We have annotated these samples to help you see the work that these authors are doing within their abstracts.

Choosing Verb Tenses within Your Abstract

The social science sample (Sample 1) below uses the present tense to describe general facts and interpretations that have been and are currently true, including the prevailing explanation for the social phenomenon under study. That abstract also uses the present tense to describe the methods, the findings, the arguments, and the implications of the findings from their new research study. The authors use the past tense to describe previous research.

The humanities sample (Sample 2) below uses the past tense to describe completed events in the past (the texts created in the pulp fiction industry in the 1970s and 80s) and uses the present tense to describe what is happening in those texts, to explain the significance or meaning of those texts, and to describe the arguments presented in the article.

The science samples (Samples 3 and 4) below use the past tense to describe what previous research studies have done and the research the authors have conducted, the methods they have followed, and what they have found. In their rationale or justification for their research (what remains to be done), they use the present tense. They also use the present tense to introduce their study (in Sample 3, “Here we report . . .”) and to explain the significance of their study (In Sample 3, This reprogramming . . . “provides a scalable cell source for. . .”).

Sample Abstract 1

From the social sciences.

Reporting new findings about the reasons for increasing economic homogamy among spouses

Gonalons-Pons, Pilar, and Christine R. Schwartz. “Trends in Economic Homogamy: Changes in Assortative Mating or the Division of Labor in Marriage?” Demography , vol. 54, no. 3, 2017, pp. 985-1005.

“The growing economic resemblance of spouses has contributed to rising inequality by increasing the number of couples in which there are two high- or two low-earning partners. [Annotation for the previous sentence: The first sentence introduces the topic under study (the “economic resemblance of spouses”). This sentence also implies the question underlying this research study: what are the various causes—and the interrelationships among them—for this trend?] The dominant explanation for this trend is increased assortative mating. Previous research has primarily relied on cross-sectional data and thus has been unable to disentangle changes in assortative mating from changes in the division of spouses’ paid labor—a potentially key mechanism given the dramatic rise in wives’ labor supply. [Annotation for the previous two sentences: These next two sentences explain what previous research has demonstrated. By pointing out the limitations in the methods that were used in previous studies, they also provide a rationale for new research.] We use data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) to decompose the increase in the correlation between spouses’ earnings and its contribution to inequality between 1970 and 2013 into parts due to (a) changes in assortative mating, and (b) changes in the division of paid labor. [Annotation for the previous sentence: The data, research and analytical methods used in this new study.] Contrary to what has often been assumed, the rise of economic homogamy and its contribution to inequality is largely attributable to changes in the division of paid labor rather than changes in sorting on earnings or earnings potential. Our findings indicate that the rise of economic homogamy cannot be explained by hypotheses centered on meeting and matching opportunities, and they show where in this process inequality is generated and where it is not.” (p. 985) [Annotation for the previous two sentences: The major findings from and implications and significance of this study.]

Sample Abstract 2

From the humanities.

Analyzing underground pulp fiction publications in Tanzania, this article makes an argument about the cultural significance of those publications

Emily Callaci. “Street Textuality: Socialism, Masculinity, and Urban Belonging in Tanzania’s Pulp Fiction Publishing Industry, 1975-1985.” Comparative Studies in Society and History , vol. 59, no. 1, 2017, pp. 183-210.

“From the mid-1970s through the mid-1980s, a network of young urban migrant men created an underground pulp fiction publishing industry in the city of Dar es Salaam. [Annotation for the previous sentence: The first sentence introduces the context for this research and announces the topic under study.] As texts that were produced in the underground economy of a city whose trajectory was increasingly charted outside of formalized planning and investment, these novellas reveal more than their narrative content alone. These texts were active components in the urban social worlds of the young men who produced them. They reveal a mode of urbanism otherwise obscured by narratives of decolonization, in which urban belonging was constituted less by national citizenship than by the construction of social networks, economic connections, and the crafting of reputations. This article argues that pulp fiction novellas of socialist era Dar es Salaam are artifacts of emergent forms of male sociability and mobility. In printing fictional stories about urban life on pilfered paper and ink, and distributing their texts through informal channels, these writers not only described urban communities, reputations, and networks, but also actually created them.” (p. 210) [Annotation for the previous sentences: The remaining sentences in this abstract interweave other essential information for an abstract for this article. The implied research questions: What do these texts mean? What is their historical and cultural significance, produced at this time, in this location, by these authors? The argument and the significance of this analysis in microcosm: these texts “reveal a mode or urbanism otherwise obscured . . .”; and “This article argues that pulp fiction novellas. . . .” This section also implies what previous historical research has obscured. And through the details in its argumentative claims, this section of the abstract implies the kinds of methods the author has used to interpret the novellas and the concepts under study (e.g., male sociability and mobility, urban communities, reputations, network. . . ).]

Sample Abstract/Summary 3

From the sciences.

Reporting a new method for reprogramming adult mouse fibroblasts into induced cardiac progenitor cells

Lalit, Pratik A., Max R. Salick, Daryl O. Nelson, Jayne M. Squirrell, Christina M. Shafer, Neel G. Patel, Imaan Saeed, Eric G. Schmuck, Yogananda S. Markandeya, Rachel Wong, Martin R. Lea, Kevin W. Eliceiri, Timothy A. Hacker, Wendy C. Crone, Michael Kyba, Daniel J. Garry, Ron Stewart, James A. Thomson, Karen M. Downs, Gary E. Lyons, and Timothy J. Kamp. “Lineage Reprogramming of Fibroblasts into Proliferative Induced Cardiac Progenitor Cells by Defined Factors.” Cell Stem Cell , vol. 18, 2016, pp. 354-367.

“Several studies have reported reprogramming of fibroblasts into induced cardiomyocytes; however, reprogramming into proliferative induced cardiac progenitor cells (iCPCs) remains to be accomplished. [Annotation for the previous sentence: The first sentence announces the topic under study, summarizes what’s already known or been accomplished in previous research, and signals the rationale and goals are for the new research and the problem that the new research solves: How can researchers reprogram fibroblasts into iCPCs?] Here we report that a combination of 11 or 5 cardiac factors along with canonical Wnt and JAK/STAT signaling reprogrammed adult mouse cardiac, lung, and tail tip fibroblasts into iCPCs. The iCPCs were cardiac mesoderm-restricted progenitors that could be expanded extensively while maintaining multipo-tency to differentiate into cardiomyocytes, smooth muscle cells, and endothelial cells in vitro. Moreover, iCPCs injected into the cardiac crescent of mouse embryos differentiated into cardiomyocytes. iCPCs transplanted into the post-myocardial infarction mouse heart improved survival and differentiated into cardiomyocytes, smooth muscle cells, and endothelial cells. [Annotation for the previous four sentences: The methods the researchers developed to achieve their goal and a description of the results.] Lineage reprogramming of adult somatic cells into iCPCs provides a scalable cell source for drug discovery, disease modeling, and cardiac regenerative therapy.” (p. 354) [Annotation for the previous sentence: The significance or implications—for drug discovery, disease modeling, and therapy—of this reprogramming of adult somatic cells into iCPCs.]

Sample Abstract 4, a Structured Abstract

Reporting results about the effectiveness of antibiotic therapy in managing acute bacterial sinusitis, from a rigorously controlled study

Note: This journal requires authors to organize their abstract into four specific sections, with strict word limits. Because the headings for this structured abstract are self-explanatory, we have chosen not to add annotations to this sample abstract.

Wald, Ellen R., David Nash, and Jens Eickhoff. “Effectiveness of Amoxicillin/Clavulanate Potassium in the Treatment of Acute Bacterial Sinusitis in Children.” Pediatrics , vol. 124, no. 1, 2009, pp. 9-15.

“OBJECTIVE: The role of antibiotic therapy in managing acute bacterial sinusitis (ABS) in children is controversial. The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of high-dose amoxicillin/potassium clavulanate in the treatment of children diagnosed with ABS.

METHODS : This was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Children 1 to 10 years of age with a clinical presentation compatible with ABS were eligible for participation. Patients were stratified according to age (<6 or ≥6 years) and clinical severity and randomly assigned to receive either amoxicillin (90 mg/kg) with potassium clavulanate (6.4 mg/kg) or placebo. A symptom survey was performed on days 0, 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 10, 20, and 30. Patients were examined on day 14. Children’s conditions were rated as cured, improved, or failed according to scoring rules.

RESULTS: Two thousand one hundred thirty-five children with respiratory complaints were screened for enrollment; 139 (6.5%) had ABS. Fifty-eight patients were enrolled, and 56 were randomly assigned. The mean age was 6630 months. Fifty (89%) patients presented with persistent symptoms, and 6 (11%) presented with nonpersistent symptoms. In 24 (43%) children, the illness was classified as mild, whereas in the remaining 32 (57%) children it was severe. Of the 28 children who received the antibiotic, 14 (50%) were cured, 4 (14%) were improved, 4(14%) experienced treatment failure, and 6 (21%) withdrew. Of the 28children who received placebo, 4 (14%) were cured, 5 (18%) improved, and 19 (68%) experienced treatment failure. Children receiving the antibiotic were more likely to be cured (50% vs 14%) and less likely to have treatment failure (14% vs 68%) than children receiving the placebo.

CONCLUSIONS : ABS is a common complication of viral upper respiratory infections. Amoxicillin/potassium clavulanate results in significantly more cures and fewer failures than placebo, according to parental report of time to resolution.” (9)

Some Excellent Advice about Writing Abstracts for Basic Science Research Papers, by Professor Adriano Aguzzi from the Institute of Neuropathology at the University of Zurich:

best research paper abstract ever

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Home → Academic Writing → How To Write The Best Abstract Of Any Research Paper (And How Not To)

How To Write The Best Abstract Of Any Research Paper (And How Not To)

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  • December 24, 2022

how to write the best abstract

Your abstract decides the quality of your research paper and if it’s worth publishing. Journal editors (and readers) read your abstract first, and they usually make a decision to consider publishing it. Even after the work is published, the first thing your target audience reads is the abstract. Hence, you should know how to write the best abstract of your research paper to ensure your work will not go futile.

Only if your abstract succeeds in catching their interest, your work will be gone through or cited by other researchers. Thus, to help you get your work noticed, I present you the examples of some of the best and worst abstracts. I’ll also explain the reasons behind them being best or worst.

Before you look at the samples you must understand what an abstract is and its basic structure.

What is an abstract?

An abstract is a 100–200 words summary of your research paper (length varies depending on the style guide the journal follows such as APA, CMS, etc.). Although presented on the top of your paper, an abstract must always be written once you have finished with the rest of your article Here are a few examples to help you understand how an amazing thesis statement looks like:

Remember: Your abstract is not only what other researchers make out of your study but also what any search engine “thinks” about your work. Your title and abstract will be used by the search engine to understand what your paper is about and index it accordingly.

Features of a good abstract

1. Around 200 words of a good abstract will give the readers the gist of the paper and can grab their attention to read further.

2. A good abstract follows the guidelines of the journal where the paper is to be submitted. Many journals ask for a single paragraph for an abstract while others ask to divide the abstract under sub headings such as:

  • Methods and results

3. Whatever the guideline be, a good abstract follows a proper structure such as mentioned below:

  • The context of your work
  • The purpose of the study/problem it solves
  • Methodology used
  • Implications

The sequence and the amount of information in each section depends upon the nature of work or the subject area. However, you have to compile all this information within 200 words.

Examples of best abstracts for any research article

1. biotechnology research paper.

The above abstract is around 100 words. It starts with a background and addresses the problem all in the present tense. This is then followed by the objective of the study. The author clearly mentions what is reported in the paper. The next section highlights the results with just a hint of the methodology used. The best thing about this abstract is that it catches the reader’s attention by focusing on the best achievements of the work- the amount of hydrogen produced and the efficiency of recycling. Such abstracts are likely to induce a feeling to read the entire paper and know how the experiments are done.

best research paper abstract ever

2. Social Psychology

This article published in one of the finest journals has a perfect abstract. It starts with a brief explanation of the research topic and, in the next statement, addresses the problem. This is then followed by a smooth transition to objective of the study. The methodology is written in the past tense and a brief of all the results produced is given. The abstract ends with a single line conclusion drawn from all the results.

best research paper abstract ever

3. Humanities

In this case, the author starts directly with the objective of the study and then adds a little background. The transition is smooth and hence the abstract looks good. How the study is conducted is then followed with results imbibed. At last, the author mentions the implications of the study making it a good abstract.

best research paper abstract ever

Examples of the worst abstracts

1. In the sample shown below, the abstract starts with the objective in past tense which should always be present tense- “The aim of the study is…”. A gist of the results should be given such that it highlights the achievements of the work, which this abstract fails at. Moreover, the flow of the sentences is very poor i.e. when you read the abstract it gives you a feeling that the author has just compiled some pointers in a paragraph.

best research paper abstract ever

2. In the following example of worst abstracts, the background of the study is unnecessarily stretched making it lengthy. The entire abstract thereafter explains what FDI is, instead of stating the purpose of the study, how it is conducted and what are the results. Also, the author concludes the paragraph again highlighting the objective of the study- A perfect example of the worst abstract for a research article.

best research paper abstract ever

Now you know how to write a good abstract of your research paper. Regardless of any research area, the structure of an abstract is same. Remember, for any assistance, you can always hire a professional scientific writer. Expert professional writers in your field of interest know how to present the paper and will check for the consistency, organization, flow and structure of your research paper making it publication ready.

Keep striving, researchers! ✨

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  • How to Write an Abstract | Steps & Examples

How to Write an Abstract | Steps & Examples

Published on February 28, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on July 18, 2023 by Eoghan Ryan.

How to Write an Abstract

An abstract is a short summary of a longer work (such as a thesis ,  dissertation or research paper ). The abstract concisely reports the aims and outcomes of your research, so that readers know exactly what your paper is about.

Although the structure may vary slightly depending on your discipline, your abstract should describe the purpose of your work, the methods you’ve used, and the conclusions you’ve drawn.

One common way to structure your abstract is to use the IMRaD structure. This stands for:

  • Introduction

Abstracts are usually around 100–300 words, but there’s often a strict word limit, so make sure to check the relevant requirements.

In a dissertation or thesis , include the abstract on a separate page, after the title page and acknowledgements but before the table of contents .

Table of contents

Abstract example, when to write an abstract, step 1: introduction, step 2: methods, step 3: results, step 4: discussion, tips for writing an abstract, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about abstracts.

Hover over the different parts of the abstract to see how it is constructed.

This paper examines the role of silent movies as a mode of shared experience in the US during the early twentieth century. At this time, high immigration rates resulted in a significant percentage of non-English-speaking citizens. These immigrants faced numerous economic and social obstacles, including exclusion from public entertainment and modes of discourse (newspapers, theater, radio).

Incorporating evidence from reviews, personal correspondence, and diaries, this study demonstrates that silent films were an affordable and inclusive source of entertainment. It argues for the accessible economic and representational nature of early cinema. These concerns are particularly evident in the low price of admission and in the democratic nature of the actors’ exaggerated gestures, which allowed the plots and action to be easily grasped by a diverse audience despite language barriers.

Keywords: silent movies, immigration, public discourse, entertainment, early cinema, language barriers.

A faster, more affordable way to improve your paper

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best research paper abstract ever

Proofread my paper

You will almost always have to include an abstract when:

  • Completing a thesis or dissertation
  • Submitting a research paper to an academic journal
  • Writing a book or research proposal
  • Applying for research grants

It’s easiest to write your abstract last, right before the proofreading stage, because it’s a summary of the work you’ve already done. Your abstract should:

  • Be a self-contained text, not an excerpt from your paper
  • Be fully understandable on its own
  • Reflect the structure of your larger work

Start by clearly defining the purpose of your research. What practical or theoretical problem does the research respond to, or what research question did you aim to answer?

You can include some brief context on the social or academic relevance of your dissertation topic , but don’t go into detailed background information. If your abstract uses specialized terms that would be unfamiliar to the average academic reader or that have various different meanings, give a concise definition.

After identifying the problem, state the objective of your research. Use verbs like “investigate,” “test,” “analyze,” or “evaluate” to describe exactly what you set out to do.

This part of the abstract can be written in the present or past simple tense  but should never refer to the future, as the research is already complete.

  • This study will investigate the relationship between coffee consumption and productivity.
  • This study investigates the relationship between coffee consumption and productivity.

Next, indicate the research methods that you used to answer your question. This part should be a straightforward description of what you did in one or two sentences. It is usually written in the past simple tense, as it refers to completed actions.

  • Structured interviews will be conducted with 25 participants.
  • Structured interviews were conducted with 25 participants.

Don’t evaluate validity or obstacles here — the goal is not to give an account of the methodology’s strengths and weaknesses, but to give the reader a quick insight into the overall approach and procedures you used.

Next, summarize the main research results . This part of the abstract can be in the present or past simple tense.

  • Our analysis has shown a strong correlation between coffee consumption and productivity.
  • Our analysis shows a strong correlation between coffee consumption and productivity.
  • Our analysis showed a strong correlation between coffee consumption and productivity.

Depending on how long and complex your research is, you may not be able to include all results here. Try to highlight only the most important findings that will allow the reader to understand your conclusions.

Finally, you should discuss the main conclusions of your research : what is your answer to the problem or question? The reader should finish with a clear understanding of the central point that your research has proved or argued. Conclusions are usually written in the present simple tense.

  • We concluded that coffee consumption increases productivity.
  • We conclude that coffee consumption increases productivity.

If there are important limitations to your research (for example, related to your sample size or methods), you should mention them briefly in the abstract. This allows the reader to accurately assess the credibility and generalizability of your research.

If your aim was to solve a practical problem, your discussion might include recommendations for implementation. If relevant, you can briefly make suggestions for further research.

If your paper will be published, you might have to add a list of keywords at the end of the abstract. These keywords should reference the most important elements of the research to help potential readers find your paper during their own literature searches.

Be aware that some publication manuals, such as APA Style , have specific formatting requirements for these keywords.

It can be a real challenge to condense your whole work into just a couple of hundred words, but the abstract will be the first (and sometimes only) part that people read, so it’s important to get it right. These strategies can help you get started.

Read other abstracts

The best way to learn the conventions of writing an abstract in your discipline is to read other people’s. You probably already read lots of journal article abstracts while conducting your literature review —try using them as a framework for structure and style.

You can also find lots of dissertation abstract examples in thesis and dissertation databases .

Reverse outline

Not all abstracts will contain precisely the same elements. For longer works, you can write your abstract through a process of reverse outlining.

For each chapter or section, list keywords and draft one to two sentences that summarize the central point or argument. This will give you a framework of your abstract’s structure. Next, revise the sentences to make connections and show how the argument develops.

Write clearly and concisely

A good abstract is short but impactful, so make sure every word counts. Each sentence should clearly communicate one main point.

To keep your abstract or summary short and clear:

  • Avoid passive sentences: Passive constructions are often unnecessarily long. You can easily make them shorter and clearer by using the active voice.
  • Avoid long sentences: Substitute longer expressions for concise expressions or single words (e.g., “In order to” for “To”).
  • Avoid obscure jargon: The abstract should be understandable to readers who are not familiar with your topic.
  • Avoid repetition and filler words: Replace nouns with pronouns when possible and eliminate unnecessary words.
  • Avoid detailed descriptions: An abstract is not expected to provide detailed definitions, background information, or discussions of other scholars’ work. Instead, include this information in the body of your thesis or paper.

If you’re struggling to edit down to the required length, you can get help from expert editors with Scribbr’s professional proofreading services or use the paraphrasing tool .

Check your formatting

If you are writing a thesis or dissertation or submitting to a journal, there are often specific formatting requirements for the abstract—make sure to check the guidelines and format your work correctly. For APA research papers you can follow the APA abstract format .

Checklist: Abstract

The word count is within the required length, or a maximum of one page.

The abstract appears after the title page and acknowledgements and before the table of contents .

I have clearly stated my research problem and objectives.

I have briefly described my methodology .

I have summarized the most important results .

I have stated my main conclusions .

I have mentioned any important limitations and recommendations.

The abstract can be understood by someone without prior knowledge of the topic.

You've written a great abstract! Use the other checklists to continue improving your thesis or dissertation.

If you want to know more about AI for academic writing, AI tools, or research bias, make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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An abstract is a concise summary of an academic text (such as a journal article or dissertation ). It serves two main purposes:

  • To help potential readers determine the relevance of your paper for their own research.
  • To communicate your key findings to those who don’t have time to read the whole paper.

Abstracts are often indexed along with keywords on academic databases, so they make your work more easily findable. Since the abstract is the first thing any reader sees, it’s important that it clearly and accurately summarizes the contents of your paper.

An abstract for a thesis or dissertation is usually around 200–300 words. There’s often a strict word limit, so make sure to check your university’s requirements.

The abstract is the very last thing you write. You should only write it after your research is complete, so that you can accurately summarize the entirety of your thesis , dissertation or research paper .

Avoid citing sources in your abstract . There are two reasons for this:

  • The abstract should focus on your original research, not on the work of others.
  • The abstract should be self-contained and fully understandable without reference to other sources.

There are some circumstances where you might need to mention other sources in an abstract: for example, if your research responds directly to another study or focuses on the work of a single theorist. In general, though, don’t include citations unless absolutely necessary.

The abstract appears on its own page in the thesis or dissertation , after the title page and acknowledgements but before the table of contents .

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

McCombes, S. (2023, July 18). How to Write an Abstract | Steps & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved November 28, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/dissertation/abstract/

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Shona McCombes

Shona McCombes

Other students also liked, how to write a thesis or dissertation introduction, shorten your abstract or summary, how to write a literature review | guide, examples, & templates, what is your plagiarism score.

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How to write an abstract that stands out

A well-written abstract helps to attract readership.

best research paper abstract ever

Credit: vladwel/Getty Images

10 August 2021

best research paper abstract ever

vladwel/Getty Images

The brevity of an abstract belies its importance to a manuscript. It’s what catches a reader’s attention and helps them to decide whether a paper is relevant. Yet failing to reflect the content of the paper in the abstract was singled out as the most common error in a recently published study of problems in biomedical manuscripts.

Nature Index spoke to researchers to get their suggestions for how to make abstracts eye-catching as well as accurate.

Carolina Quezada: Get writing practice as early as you can

Postdoctoral Fellow, Universidad Bernardo O’Higgins (Chile) and member of the eLife Early Career Advisory Group

A well-written abstract should highlight clearly and in an engaging way what is most special about the research findings to its potential audience. An excellent abstract should be interesting and accessible to all potential readers including non-experts.

Carolina Quezada

Carolina Quezada

It is important for scientists to get practice writing abstracts as early as possible and seek out formal training opportunities within their schools and professional networks. Even if one writes well in technical and academic language, it does not necessarily make one able to communicate science properly to non-experts, and this skill is becoming more valued.

Regarding that, journals have started introducing ‘layman abstracts’, which are written for the public and researchers who are new to the field. I find them particularly useful because more people can better appreciate the value of the research.

At the eLife Early Career Advisory Group, we have also led efforts to involve more early-career researchers in editing and peer reviews, and I hope more journals can consider having similar initiatives. When researchers are able to get more experience reading, comparing and evaluating abstracts, they can also develop into better writers, and that benefits the entire scientific community.

Simone Schürle-Finke: Don’t overhype your research; know the purpose of your abstract

Group Head, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (Switzerland)

An abstract helps to draw attention to a manuscript and there may be pressure to overhype the findings. A good abstract should avoid that; one way to do so is to be quantitative. In my papers , I like to make use of numbers to state findings or compare my technology with state-of-the-art techniques.

Simone Schürle-Finke

Simone Schürle-Finke

I also find it most helpful to write an abstract after the main body of a manuscript is written. At this stage of paper writing, I am very familiar with the narrative and data and will be able to take a step back to look at the big picture. This can help me summarise key findings of my paper and their limitations so I can communicate them in the abstract accurately.

Researchers write abstracts for many purposes and it is important to differentiate them as they can differ in their emphasis. When I write a paper abstract, there is greater focus on the findings. On the other hand, for a grant abstract, when the purpose is to get funding, the emphasis is on specific aims and potential implications of the project. A well-written abstract needs to be able to capture the essence of its purpose.

Esra Senol: Seek advice from peers and learn from published work

PhD student, National University of Singapore

A challenge I face while writing abstracts is not knowing how much background to include. Some journals provide specific information such as how many lines for background introduction in abstract, but most don’t. To overcome this challenge, I try to get feedback from my inner circle, such as colleagues in the same field and peers who are outside my field.

Esra Senol

I find suggestions from non-expert scientists helpful because as experts of a field, I may have technical blind spots. Editors who decide whether to send papers out for peer review may not be experts in my field. Getting advice from non-expert researchers has enabled me to better communicate the value of my research through abstracts.

Researchers can face difficulties writing in English especially when it is not their first language. Although my scientific training is in English, I realise that I may not always express myself as well as native writers. To improve my abstract writing skills, I would read many top, highly-cited papers in my field and also learn from published work in the journals I am targeting to submit to.

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How to Write an Abstract for a Research Paper | Examples

best research paper abstract ever

What is a research paper abstract?

Research paper abstracts summarize your study quickly and succinctly to journal editors and researchers and prompt them to read further. But with the ubiquity of online publication databases, writing a compelling abstract is even more important today than it was in the days of bound paper manuscripts.

Abstracts exist to “sell”  your work, and they could thus be compared to the “executive summary” of a business resume: an official briefing on what is most important about your research. Or the “gist” of your research. With the majority of academic transactions being conducted online, this means that you have even less time to impress readers–and increased competition in terms of other abstracts out there to read.

The APCI (Academic Publishing and Conferences International) notes that there are  12 questions or “points” considered in the selection process  for journals and conferences and stresses the importance of having an abstract that ticks all of these boxes. Because it is often the ONLY chance you have to convince readers to keep reading, it is important that you spend time and energy crafting an abstract that faithfully represents the central parts of your study and captivates your audience.

With that in mind, follow these suggestions when structuring and writing your abstract, and learn how exactly to put these ideas into a solid abstract that will captivate your target readers.

Before Writing Your Abstract

How long should an abstract be.

All abstracts are written with the same essential objective: to give a summary of your study. But there are two basic styles of abstract: descriptive and informative . Here is a brief delineation of the two:

Of the two types of abstracts, informative abstracts are much more common, and they are widely used for submission to journals and conferences. Informative abstracts apply to lengthier and more technical research and are common in the sciences, engineering, and psychology, while descriptive abstracts are more likely used in humanities and social science papers. The best method of determining which abstract type you need to use is to follow the instructions for journal submissions and to read as many other published articles in those journals as possible.

Research Abstract Guidelines and Requirements

As any article about research writing will tell you, authors must always closely follow the specific guidelines and requirements indicated in the Guide for Authors section of their target journal’s website. The same kind of adherence to conventions should be applied to journal publications, for consideration at a conference, and even when completing a class assignment.

Each publisher has particular demands when it comes to formatting and structure. Here are some common questions addressed in the journal guidelines:

  • Is there a maximum or minimum word/character length?
  • What are the style and formatting requirements?
  • What is the appropriate abstract type?
  • Are there any specific content or organization rules that apply?

There are of course other rules to consider when composing a research paper abstract. But if you follow the stated rules the first time you submit your manuscript, you can avoid your work being thrown in the “circular file” right off the bat.

Identify Your Target Readership

The main purpose of your abstract is to lead researchers to the full text of your research paper. In scientific journals, abstracts let readers decide whether the research discussed is relevant to their own interests or study. Abstracts also help readers understand your main argument quickly. Consider these questions as you write your abstract:

  • Are other academics in your field the main target of your study?
  • Will your study perhaps be useful to members of the general public?
  • Do your study results include the wider implications presented in the abstract?

Outlining and Writing Your Abstract

What to include in an abstract.

Just as your  research paper title  should cover as much ground as possible in a few short words, your abstract must cover  all  parts of your study in order to fully explain your paper and research. Because it must accomplish this task in the space of only a few hundred words, it is important not to include ambiguous references or phrases that will confuse the reader or mislead them about the content and objectives of your research. Follow these  dos  and  don’ts  when it comes to what kind of writing to include:

  • Avoid acronyms or abbreviations since these will need to be explained in order to make sense to the reader, which takes up valuable abstract space. Instead, explain these terms in the Introduction section of the main text.
  • Only use references to people or other works if they are well-known. Otherwise, avoid referencing anything outside of your study in the abstract.
  • Never include tables, figures, sources, or long quotations in your abstract; you will have plenty of time to present and refer to these in the body of your paper.

Use keywords in your abstract to focus your topic

A vital search tool is the research paper keywords section, which lists the most relevant terms directly underneath the abstract. Think of these keywords as the “tubes” that readers will seek and enter—via queries on databases and search engines—to ultimately land at their destination, which is your paper. Your abstract keywords should thus be words that are commonly used in searches but should also be highly relevant to your work and found in the text of your abstract. Include 5 to 10 important words or short phrases central to your research in both the abstract and the keywords section.

For example, if you are writing a paper on the prevalence of obesity among lower classes that crosses international boundaries, you should include terms like “obesity,” “prevalence,” “international,” “lower classes,” and “cross-cultural.” These are terms that should net a wide array of people interested in your topic of study. Look at our nine rules for choosing keywords for your research paper if you need more input on this.

Research Paper Abstract Structure

As mentioned above, the abstract (especially the informative abstract) acts as a surrogate or synopsis of your research paper, doing almost as much work as the thousands of words that follow it in the body of the main text. In the hard sciences and most social sciences, the abstract includes the following sections and organizational schema.

Each section is quite compact—only a single sentence or two, although there is room for expansion if one element or statement is particularly interesting or compelling. As the abstract is almost always one long paragraph, the individual sections should naturally merge into one another to create a holistic effect. Use the following as a checklist to ensure that you have included all of the necessary content in your abstract.

how to structure an abstract list

1) Identify your purpose and motivation

So your research is about rabies in Brazilian squirrels. Why is this important? You should start your abstract by explaining why people should care about this study—why is it significant to your field and perhaps to the wider world? And what is the exact purpose of your study; what are you trying to achieve? Start by answering the following questions:

  • What made you decide to do this study or project?
  • Why is this study important to your field or to the lay reader?
  • Why should someone read your entire article?

In summary, the first section of your abstract should include the importance of the research and its impact on related research fields or on the wider scientific domain.

2) Explain the research problem you are addressing

Stating the research problem that your study addresses is the corollary to why your specific study is important and necessary. For instance, even if the issue of “rabies in Brazilian squirrels” is important, what is the problem—the “missing piece of the puzzle”—that your study helps resolve?

You can combine the problem with the motivation section, but from a perspective of organization and clarity, it is best to separate the two. Here are some precise questions to address:

  • What is your research trying to better understand or what problem is it trying to solve?
  • What is the scope of your study—does it try to explain something general or specific?
  • What is your central claim or argument?

3) Discuss your research approach

Your specific study approach is detailed in the Methods and Materials section .  You have already established the importance of the research, your motivation for studying this issue, and the specific problem your paper addresses. Now you need to discuss  how  you solved or made progress on this problem—how you conducted your research. If your study includes your own work or that of your team, describe that here. If in your paper you reviewed the work of others, explain this here. Did you use analytic models? A simulation? A double-blind study? A case study? You are basically showing the reader the internal engine of your research machine and how it functioned in the study. Be sure to:

  • Detail your research—include methods/type of the study, your variables, and the extent of the work
  • Briefly present evidence to support your claim
  • Highlight your most important sources

4) Briefly summarize your results

Here you will give an overview of the outcome of your study. Avoid using too many vague qualitative terms (e.g, “very,” “small,” or “tremendous”) and try to use at least some quantitative terms (i.e., percentages, figures, numbers). Save your qualitative language for the conclusion statement. Answer questions like these:

  • What did your study yield in concrete terms (e.g., trends, figures, correlation between phenomena)?
  • How did your results compare to your hypothesis? Was the study successful?
  • Where there any highly unexpected outcomes or were they all largely predicted?

5) State your conclusion

In the last section of your abstract, you will give a statement about the implications and  limitations of the study . Be sure to connect this statement closely to your results and not the area of study in general. Are the results of this study going to shake up the scientific world? Will they impact how people see “Brazilian squirrels”? Or are the implications minor? Try not to boast about your study or present its impact as  too  far-reaching, as researchers and journals will tend to be skeptical of bold claims in scientific papers. Answer one of these questions:

  • What are the exact effects of these results on my field? On the wider world?
  • What other kind of study would yield further solutions to problems?
  • What other information is needed to expand knowledge in this area?

After Completing the First Draft of Your Abstract

Revise your abstract.

The abstract, like any piece of academic writing, should be revised before being considered complete. Check it for  grammatical and spelling errors  and make sure it is formatted properly.

Get feedback from a peer

Getting a fresh set of eyes to review your abstract is a great way to find out whether you’ve summarized your research well. Find a reader who understands research papers but is not an expert in this field or is not affiliated with your study. Ask your reader to summarize what your study is about (including all key points of each section). This should tell you if you have communicated your key points clearly.

In addition to research peers, consider consulting with a professor or even a specialist or generalist writing center consultant about your abstract. Use any resource that helps you see your work from another perspective.

Consider getting professional editing and proofreading

While peer feedback is quite important to ensure the effectiveness of your abstract content, it may be a good idea to find an academic editor  to fix mistakes in grammar, spelling, mechanics, style, or formatting. The presence of basic errors in the abstract may not affect your content, but it might dissuade someone from reading your entire study. Wordvice provides English editing services that both correct objective errors and enhance the readability and impact of your work.

Additional Abstract Rules and Guidelines

Write your abstract after completing your paper.

Although the abstract goes at the beginning of your manuscript, it does not merely introduce your research topic (that is the job of the title), but rather summarizes your entire paper. Writing the abstract last will ensure that it is complete and consistent with the findings and statements in your paper.

Keep your content in the correct order

Both questions and answers should be organized in a standard and familiar way to make the content easier for readers to absorb. Ideally, it should mimic the overall format of your essay and the classic “introduction,” “body,” and “conclusion” form, even if the parts are not neatly divided as such.

Write the abstract from scratch

Because the abstract is a self-contained piece of writing viewed separately from the body of the paper, you should write it separately as well. Never copy and paste direct quotes from the paper and avoid paraphrasing sentences in the paper. Using new vocabulary and phrases will keep your abstract interesting and free of redundancies while conserving space.

Don’t include too many details in the abstract

Again, the density of your abstract makes it incompatible with including specific points other than possibly names or locations. You can make references to terms, but do not explain or define them in the abstract. Try to strike a balance between being specific to your study and presenting a relatively broad overview of your work.

Wordvice Resources

If you think your abstract is fine now but you need input on abstract writing or require English editing services (including paper editing ), then head over to the Wordvice academic resources page, where you will find many more articles, for example on writing the Results , Methods , and Discussion sections of your manuscript, on choosing a title for your paper , or on how to finalize your journal submission with a strong cover letter .    

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SciSpace Resources

Abstract Writing: A Step-by-Step Guide With Tips & Examples

Sumalatha G

Table of Contents



Abstracts of research papers have always played an essential role in describing your research concisely and clearly to researchers and editors of journals, enticing them to continue reading. However, with the widespread availability of scientific databases, the need to write a convincing abstract is more crucial now than during the time of paper-bound manuscripts.

Abstracts serve to "sell" your research and can be compared with your "executive outline" of a resume or, rather, a formal summary of the critical aspects of your work. Also, it can be the "gist" of your study. Since most educational research is done online, it's a sign that you have a shorter time for impressing your readers, and have more competition from other abstracts that are available to be read.

The APCI (Academic Publishing and Conferences International) articulates 12 issues or points considered during the final approval process for conferences & journals and emphasises the importance of writing an abstract that checks all these boxes (12 points). Since it's the only opportunity you have to captivate your readers, you must invest time and effort in creating an abstract that accurately reflects the critical points of your research.

With that in mind, let’s head over to understand and discover the core concept and guidelines to create a substantial abstract. Also, learn how to organise the ideas or plots into an effective abstract that will be awe-inspiring to the readers you want to reach.

What is Abstract? Definition and Overview

The word "Abstract' is derived from Latin abstractus meaning "drawn off." This etymological meaning also applies to art movements as well as music, like abstract expressionism. In this context, it refers to the revealing of the artist's intention.

Based on this, you can determine the meaning of an abstract: A condensed research summary. It must be self-contained and independent of the body of the research. However, it should outline the subject, the strategies used to study the problem, and the methods implemented to attain the outcomes. The specific elements of the study differ based on the area of study; however, together, it must be a succinct summary of the entire research paper.

Abstracts are typically written at the end of the paper, even though it serves as a prologue. In general, the abstract must be in a position to:

  • Describe the paper.
  • Identify the problem or the issue at hand.
  • Explain to the reader the research process, the results you came up with, and what conclusion you've reached using these results.
  • Include keywords to guide your strategy and the content.

Furthermore, the abstract you submit should not reflect upon any of  the following elements:

  • Examine, analyse or defend the paper or your opinion.
  • What you want to study, achieve or discover.
  • Be redundant or irrelevant.

After reading an abstract, your audience should understand the reason - what the research was about in the first place, what the study has revealed and how it can be utilised or can be used to benefit others. You can understand the importance of abstract by knowing the fact that the abstract is the most frequently read portion of any research paper. In simpler terms, it should contain all the main points of the research paper.


What is the Purpose of an Abstract?

Abstracts are typically an essential requirement for research papers; however, it's not an obligation to preserve traditional reasons without any purpose. Abstracts allow readers to scan the text to determine whether it is relevant to their research or studies. The abstract allows other researchers to decide if your research paper can provide them with some additional information. A good abstract paves the interest of the audience to pore through your entire paper to find the content or context they're searching for.

Abstract writing is essential for indexing, as well. The Digital Repository of academic papers makes use of abstracts to index the entire content of academic research papers. Like meta descriptions in the regular Google outcomes, abstracts must include keywords that help researchers locate what they seek.

Types of Abstract

Informative and Descriptive are two kinds of abstracts often used in scientific writing.

A descriptive abstract gives readers an outline of the author's main points in their study. The reader can determine if they want to stick to the research work, based on their interest in the topic. An abstract that is descriptive is similar to the contents table of books, however, the format of an abstract depicts complete sentences encapsulated in one paragraph. It is unfortunate that the abstract can't be used as a substitute for reading a piece of writing because it's just an overview, which omits readers from getting an entire view. Also, it cannot be a way to fill in the gaps the reader may have after reading this kind of abstract since it does not contain crucial information needed to evaluate the article.

To conclude, a descriptive abstract is:

  • A simple summary of the task, just summarises the work, but some researchers think it is much more of an outline
  • Typically, the length is approximately 100 words. It is too short when compared to an informative abstract.
  • A brief explanation but doesn't provide the reader with the complete information they need;
  • An overview that omits conclusions and results

An informative abstract is a comprehensive outline of the research. There are times when people rely on the abstract as an information source. And the reason is why it is crucial to provide entire data of particular research. A well-written, informative abstract could be a good substitute for the remainder of the paper on its own.

A well-written abstract typically follows a particular style. The author begins by providing the identifying information, backed by citations and other identifiers of the papers. Then, the major elements are summarised to make the reader aware of the study. It is followed by the methodology and all-important findings from the study. The conclusion then presents study results and ends the abstract with a comprehensive summary.

In a nutshell, an informative abstract:

  • Has a length that can vary, based on the subject, but is not longer than 300 words.
  • Contains all the content-like methods and intentions
  • Offers evidence and possible recommendations.

Informative Abstracts are more frequent than descriptive abstracts because of their extensive content and linkage to the topic specifically. You should select different types of abstracts to papers based on their length: informative abstracts for extended and more complex abstracts and descriptive ones for simpler and shorter research papers.

What are the Characteristics of a Good Abstract?

  • A good abstract clearly defines the goals and purposes of the study.
  • It should clearly describe the research methodology with a primary focus on data gathering, processing, and subsequent analysis.
  • A good abstract should provide specific research findings.
  • It presents the principal conclusions of the systematic study.
  • It should be concise, clear, and relevant to the field of study.
  • A well-designed abstract should be unifying and coherent.
  • It is easy to grasp and free of technical jargon.
  • It is written impartially and objectively.


What are the various sections of an ideal Abstract?

By now, you must have gained some concrete idea of the essential elements that your abstract needs to convey . Accordingly, the information is broken down into six key sections of the abstract, which include:

An Introduction or Background

Research methodology, objectives and goals, limitations.

Let's go over them in detail.

The introduction, also known as background, is the most concise part of your abstract. Ideally, it comprises a couple of sentences. Some researchers only write one sentence to introduce their abstract. The idea behind this is to guide readers through the key factors that led to your study.

It's understandable that this information might seem difficult to explain in a couple of sentences. For example, think about the following two questions like the background of your study:

  • What is currently available about the subject with respect to the paper being discussed?
  • What isn't understood about this issue? (This is the subject of your research)

While writing the abstract’s introduction, make sure that it is not lengthy. Because if it crosses the word limit, it may eat up the words meant to be used for providing other key information.

Research methodology is where you describe the theories and techniques you used in your research. It is recommended that you describe what you have done and the method you used to get your thorough investigation results. Certainly, it is the second-longest paragraph in the abstract.

In the research methodology section, it is essential to mention the kind of research you conducted; for instance, qualitative research or quantitative research (this will guide your research methodology too) . If you've conducted quantitative research, your abstract should contain information like the sample size, data collection method, sampling techniques, and duration of the study. Likewise, your abstract should reflect observational data, opinions, questionnaires (especially the non-numerical data) if you work on qualitative research.

The research objectives and goals speak about what you intend to accomplish with your research. The majority of research projects focus on the long-term effects of a project, and the goals focus on the immediate, short-term outcomes of the research. It is possible to summarise both in just multiple sentences.

In stating your objectives and goals, you give readers a picture of the scope of the study, its depth and the direction your research ultimately follows. Your readers can evaluate the results of your research against the goals and stated objectives to determine if you have achieved the goal of your research.

In the end, your readers are more attracted by the results you've obtained through your study. Therefore, you must take the time to explain each relevant result and explain how they impact your research. The results section exists as the longest in your abstract, and nothing should diminish its reach or quality.

One of the most important things you should adhere to is to spell out details and figures on the results of your research.

Instead of making a vague assertion such as, "We noticed that response rates varied greatly between respondents with high incomes and those with low incomes", Try these: "The response rate was higher for high-income respondents than those with lower incomes (59 30 percent vs. 30 percent in both cases; P<0.01)."

You're likely to encounter certain obstacles during your research. It could have been during data collection or even during conducting the sample . Whatever the issue, it's essential to inform your readers about them and their effects on the research.

Research limitations offer an opportunity to suggest further and deep research. If, for instance, you were forced to change for convenient sampling and snowball samples because of difficulties in reaching well-suited research participants, then you should mention this reason when you write your research abstract. In addition, a lack of prior studies on the subject could hinder your research.

Your conclusion should include the same number of sentences to wrap the abstract as the introduction. The majority of researchers offer an idea of the consequences of their research in this case.

Your conclusion should include three essential components:

  • A significant take-home message.
  • Corresponding important findings.
  • The Interpretation.

Even though the conclusion of your abstract needs to be brief, it can have an enormous influence on the way that readers view your research. Therefore, make use of this section to reinforce the central message from your research. Be sure that your statements reflect the actual results and the methods you used to conduct your research.


Good Abstract Examples

Abstract example #1.

Children’s consumption behavior in response to food product placements in movies.

The abstract:

"Almost all research into the effects of brand placements on children has focused on the brand's attitudes or behavior intentions. Based on the significant differences between attitudes and behavioral intentions on one hand and actual behavior on the other hand, this study examines the impact of placements by brands on children's eating habits. Children aged 6-14 years old were shown an excerpt from the popular film Alvin and the Chipmunks and were shown places for the item Cheese Balls. Three different versions were developed with no placements, one with moderately frequent placements and the third with the highest frequency of placement. The results revealed that exposure to high-frequency places had a profound effect on snack consumption, however, there was no impact on consumer attitudes towards brands or products. The effects were not dependent on the age of the children. These findings are of major importance to researchers studying consumer behavior as well as nutrition experts as well as policy regulators."

Abstract Example #2

Social comparisons on social media: The impact of Facebook on young women’s body image concerns and mood. The abstract:

"The research conducted in this study investigated the effects of Facebook use on women's moods and body image if the effects are different from an internet-based fashion journal and if the appearance comparison tendencies moderate one or more of these effects. Participants who were female ( N = 112) were randomly allocated to spend 10 minutes exploring their Facebook account or a magazine's website or an appearance neutral control website prior to completing state assessments of body dissatisfaction, mood, and differences in appearance (weight-related and facial hair, face, and skin). Participants also completed a test of the tendency to compare appearances. The participants who used Facebook were reported to be more depressed than those who stayed on the control site. In addition, women who have the tendency to compare appearances reported more facial, hair and skin-related issues following Facebook exposure than when they were exposed to the control site. Due to its popularity it is imperative to conduct more research to understand the effect that Facebook affects the way people view themselves."

Abstract Example #3

The Relationship Between Cell Phone Use and Academic Performance in a Sample of U.S. College Students

"The cellphone is always present on campuses of colleges and is often utilised in situations in which learning takes place. The study examined the connection between the use of cell phones and the actual grades point average (GPA) after adjusting for predictors that are known to be a factor. In the end 536 students in the undergraduate program from 82 self-reported majors of an enormous, public institution were studied. Hierarchical analysis ( R 2 = .449) showed that use of mobile phones is significantly ( p < .001) and negative (b equal to -.164) connected to the actual college GPA, after taking into account factors such as demographics, self-efficacy in self-regulated learning, self-efficacy to improve academic performance, and the actual high school GPA that were all important predictors ( p < .05). Therefore, after adjusting for other known predictors increasing cell phone usage was associated with lower academic performance. While more research is required to determine the mechanisms behind these results, they suggest the need to educate teachers and students to the possible academic risks that are associated with high-frequency mobile phone usage."


Quick tips on writing a good abstract

There exists a common dilemma among early age researchers whether to write the abstract at first or last? However, it's recommended to compose your abstract when you've completed the research since you'll have all the information to give to your readers. You can, however, write a draft at the beginning of your research and add in any gaps later.

If you find abstract writing a herculean task, here are the few tips to help you with it:

1. Always develop a framework to support your abstract

Before writing, ensure you create a clear outline for your abstract. Divide it into sections and draw the primary and supporting elements in each one. You can include keywords and a few sentences that convey the essence of your message.

2. Review Other Abstracts

Abstracts are among the most frequently used research documents, and thousands of them were written in the past. Therefore, prior to writing yours, take a look at some examples from other abstracts. There are plenty of examples of abstracts for dissertations in the dissertation and thesis databases.

3. Avoid Jargon To the Maximum

When you write your abstract, focus on simplicity over formality. You should  write in simple language, and avoid excessive filler words or ambiguous sentences. Keep in mind that your abstract must be readable to those who aren't acquainted with your subject.

4. Focus on Your Research

It's a given fact that the abstract you write should be about your research and the findings you've made. It is not the right time to mention secondary and primary data sources unless it's absolutely required.

Conclusion: How to Structure an Interesting Abstract?

Abstracts are a short outline of your essay. However, it's among the most important, if not the most important. The process of writing an abstract is not straightforward. A few early-age researchers tend to begin by writing it, thinking they are doing it to "tease" the next step (the document itself). However, it is better to treat it as a spoiler.

The simple, concise style of the abstract lends itself to a well-written and well-investigated study. If your research paper doesn't provide definitive results, or the goal of your research is questioned, so will the abstract. Thus, only write your abstract after witnessing your findings and put your findings in the context of a larger scenario.

The process of writing an abstract can be daunting, but with these guidelines, you will succeed. The most efficient method of writing an excellent abstract is to centre the primary points of your abstract, including the research question and goals methods, as well as key results.

Interested in learning more about dedicated research solutions? Go to the SciSpace product page to find out how our suite of products can help you simplify your research workflows so you can focus on advancing science.

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Home » Research Paper Abstract – Writing Guide and Examples

Research Paper Abstract – Writing Guide and Examples

Table of Contents

Research Paper Abstract

Research Paper Abstract

Research Paper Abstract is a brief summary of a research pape r that describes the study’s purpose, methods, findings, and conclusions . It is often the first section of the paper that readers encounter, and its purpose is to provide a concise and accurate overview of the paper’s content. The typical length of an abstract is usually around 150-250 words, and it should be written in a concise and clear manner.

Research Paper Abstract Structure

The structure of a research paper abstract usually includes the following elements:

  • Background or Introduction: Briefly describe the problem or research question that the study addresses.
  • Methods : Explain the methodology used to conduct the study, including the participants, materials, and procedures.
  • Results : Summarize the main findings of the study, including statistical analyses and key outcomes.
  • Conclusions : Discuss the implications of the study’s findings and their significance for the field, as well as any limitations or future directions for research.
  • Keywords : List a few keywords that describe the main topics or themes of the research.

How to Write Research Paper Abstract

Here are the steps to follow when writing a research paper abstract:

  • Start by reading your paper: Before you write an abstract, you should have a complete understanding of your paper. Read through the paper carefully, making sure you understand the purpose, methods, results, and conclusions.
  • Identify the key components : Identify the key components of your paper, such as the research question, methods used, results obtained, and conclusion reached.
  • Write a draft: Write a draft of your abstract, using concise and clear language. Make sure to include all the important information, but keep it short and to the point. A good rule of thumb is to keep your abstract between 150-250 words.
  • Use clear and concise language : Use clear and concise language to explain the purpose of your study, the methods used, the results obtained, and the conclusions drawn.
  • Emphasize your findings: Emphasize your findings in the abstract, highlighting the key results and the significance of your study.
  • Revise and edit: Once you have a draft, revise and edit it to ensure that it is clear, concise, and free from errors.
  • Check the formatting: Finally, check the formatting of your abstract to make sure it meets the requirements of the journal or conference where you plan to submit it.

Research Paper Abstract Examples

Research Paper Abstract Examples could be following:

Title : “The Effectiveness of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Treating Anxiety Disorders: A Meta-Analysis”

Abstract : This meta-analysis examines the effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) in treating anxiety disorders. Through the analysis of 20 randomized controlled trials, we found that CBT is a highly effective treatment for anxiety disorders, with large effect sizes across a range of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder. Our findings support the use of CBT as a first-line treatment for anxiety disorders and highlight the importance of further research to identify the mechanisms underlying its effectiveness.

Title : “Exploring the Role of Parental Involvement in Children’s Education: A Qualitative Study”

Abstract : This qualitative study explores the role of parental involvement in children’s education. Through in-depth interviews with 20 parents of children in elementary school, we found that parental involvement takes many forms, including volunteering in the classroom, helping with homework, and communicating with teachers. We also found that parental involvement is influenced by a range of factors, including parent and child characteristics, school culture, and socio-economic status. Our findings suggest that schools and educators should prioritize building strong partnerships with parents to support children’s academic success.

Title : “The Impact of Exercise on Cognitive Function in Older Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis”

Abstract : This paper presents a systematic review and meta-analysis of the existing literature on the impact of exercise on cognitive function in older adults. Through the analysis of 25 randomized controlled trials, we found that exercise is associated with significant improvements in cognitive function, particularly in the domains of executive function and attention. Our findings highlight the potential of exercise as a non-pharmacological intervention to support cognitive health in older adults.

When to Write Research Paper Abstract

The abstract of a research paper should typically be written after you have completed the main body of the paper. This is because the abstract is intended to provide a brief summary of the key points and findings of the research, and you can’t do that until you have completed the research and written about it in detail.

Once you have completed your research paper, you can begin writing your abstract. It is important to remember that the abstract should be a concise summary of your research paper, and should be written in a way that is easy to understand for readers who may not have expertise in your specific area of research.

Purpose of Research Paper Abstract

The purpose of a research paper abstract is to provide a concise summary of the key points and findings of a research paper. It is typically a brief paragraph or two that appears at the beginning of the paper, before the introduction, and is intended to give readers a quick overview of the paper’s content.

The abstract should include a brief statement of the research problem, the methods used to investigate the problem, the key results and findings, and the main conclusions and implications of the research. It should be written in a clear and concise manner, avoiding jargon and technical language, and should be understandable to a broad audience.

The abstract serves as a way to quickly and easily communicate the main points of a research paper to potential readers, such as academics, researchers, and students, who may be looking for information on a particular topic. It can also help researchers determine whether a paper is relevant to their own research interests and whether they should read the full paper.

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How to Write a Good Abstract: Four Essential Elements with Example

This article shall guide you on how to write a good abstract. It lists the four essential elements of a good abstract, ideal number of words, and tense. The article ends with an example abstract of a real-life study with a supplemental video related to the findings.

After finishing your research paper, thesis, or scientific paper, there is a need for you to write the abstract. How is the abstract written? What are the essential elements of a good abstract?

If this is your first time, or you don’t feel confident about writing your first abstract, these tips are handy. I provide an example to demonstrate how it works.

Table of Contents

Why write the abstract.

Abstracts are indispensable references for scientists or students working on their research proposal; particularly, in preparing their literature review .

The information provided in the abstract must be sufficient to help the researcher decide whether the work is relevant to his or her interest or not. It should be brief but not lacking in essential elements to foster understanding of the research conducted. The abstract will also help the researcher decide whether to read the whole research paper or not.

Definition of an Abstract

An abstract is a summary of your research paper, thesis, or scientific paper. The abstract describes an unpublished or published research study in capsule form. It is a brief overview of the investigation so that researchers can comprehend the content of the research quickly. A good abstract is a mini-version of the whole research paper.

Four Essential Elements of a Good Abstract

So how should the abstract of a research paper be written so that readers will derive the maximum benefit from it?

In writing a good abstract, the critical sections of a research paper should be present. Generally, an informational abstract should sum up the main sections of the research paper, i.e., the introduction, the materials and methods used, the findings, discussion, conclusions, and recommendations. Therefore, it should contain the following essential elements:

1. Objective, aim, or purpose of the research paper

This part of the abstract mentions the study’s rationale. It states clearly the  objective , aim, or purpose of the study. It answers the question: “Why do we care about the issue?”

It states the problem statement or the central argument or  thesis statement . The relevance of the study in society is highlighted. Why did the researchers undertake the research? What is at stake?

2. Method or methodology that states the procedures used in the conduct of the study


The method or methodology part concisely describes the  method or methodology  employed in gathering the data, processing, and analysis. It gives a brief description of how the researcher or group of researchers performed the investigation. It includes the number of samples, instruments, and  statistical tests  used to analyze the data for quantitative researches. This part also gives a hint on the scope of the study.

This portion of the abstract tells us the perspective adopted by the researcher or researchers. It describes the types of evidence used.

The method or methodology part also mentions the key concepts, relevant keywords that make it distinct and searchable. It also describes the focus of the investigation, whether it is a group of people, a particular gender, race, community, environment, etc.

3. Results or major findings

This portion of the abstract summarizes the results or major findings of the study. It only states the significant results, most important ones, or highlights of the study in a sentence or a few sentences.

You can cite the probability values here to show the significance of computed correlations or differences. It emphasizes the practical importance of the findings; how those findings will add or enhance the body of knowledge on the issue.

4. Principal conclusion

This part of the research abstract states the principal conclusion of the study. After obtaining the findings, what did the researchers conclude?

The conclusion, in particular, should be given special attention in writing the abstract. The conclusion should be well supported by the findings of the investigation; not a sweeping statement without any valid argument or evidence to back it up. 

Other considerations in writing the research abstract

Do you need to include recommendations in the research abstract?

In practice, some academic institutions or scientific journals do not incorporate recommendations in the abstract. Browsing through some published scientific papers, I discovered that some abstracts end with only significant findings. While it would be good practice to have information as mentioned here, some deviations do exist.

As an academician, reading research abstracts that tell very little of the salient findings of the paper, particularly those behind a  paywall , causes frustration. I tend to think those abstracts work more as a marketing strategy rather than to disseminate important information.

For publicly-funded researches, where most researches almost always belong, withholding information for commercial gain, appears to be unethical or defeats the purpose of research. In the US,  taxpayers spend $140 billion every year  supporting research that they cannot access for free. That is why  open-access publishing  has gained popularity in recent years. However, authors still contend with the high costs of publication in open-access journals.

In truth, we can’t afford to be  free riders  as reliable and rigorous scientific publication requires time, money, and effort to produce. A candidate paper for publication requires intensive  peer review , editing, and formatting to make it worthy of publication in reputable journals. But perhaps publishing companies also need to be reasonable in their charges as many reviewers give their services for free.

Finally, the references (e.g. name of author and date) should not be cited in the abstract unless the research paper involves an improvement or modification of a previously published method used by a researcher.

Number of Words

Many references on how to write a good abstract recommend that it should be short. But how short should the research abstract be?

If you submit a paper for inclusion in a conference presentation, organizers usually limit its length from 250 to 300 words. It is possible, however, to capture the essence of the paper in a few sentences.

Hence, the challenge is how to make the research abstract as short as possible, without leaving out the essential elements, that will cause readers to read the paper. The abstract serves as a teaser, a taste of the pie for readers to decide whether they will read the whole piece.

Abstracts should not exceed 250 words, but this number could vary depending on the prescribed number of words, say when you would like to submit your research paper to a popular scientific journal. A good abstract adheres to brevity.

The limited number of words required for the research abstract means that every word included in the abstract is necessary and should be coherent. Important information should fit into one paragraph. This format requires a little bit of thinking and practice for the beginning researcher.

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Tense of the Abstract

In what tense should the abstract be written?

The abstract is usually written in the past tense because the investigation has transpired. However, statement of facts in, say, the results and discussion and the conclusion, must be in the present tense.

In recent years, however, many authors write in the active tense. They use the first-person perspective in writing the paper. You can see the following phrases in the abstract:

  • We analyze five years of sample visitor data…
  • We compare non-linear, Poisson, and negative binomial count data…
  • In this study, I challenge these interpretations…

Ultimately, the journal of publication defines the manner of abstract writing. But if you want the reader to grasp what you want to convey, bringing all the elements together would be more useful to the reader.

Example of an Abstract

I provide an example of a good abstract abiding with the precepts advanced in this article. It is for you to judge if this meets your expectations.

Young children’s exposure to violent computer games

This report discusses a two-year study on the effect of exposing four to six-year-old children to violent computer games. The study involved 200 children in nursery schools whose aggressive tendencies and anti-social behavior were observed with their teachers’ cooperation. The computer games they played at home were likewise assessed with the help of their parents. A strong correlation between violent computer game use and aggressive tendencies was obtained. Violent computer games, especially interactive ones, caused greater aggressiveness and anti-social behavior among children.

Although concisely written, the abstract captures the essence of the study. You can easily understand what transpired in that study, determine its relevance to your particular research, and decide whether to read the whole paper or merely cite the findings to strengthen your argument. But it always pays to read at least the method or methodology section of the full paper. While the study’s results are highly socially relevant, you might want to  critique the paper  by meticulously examining how the data was gathered and analyzed.

The example of an abstract given here is a real-life situation, as Dr. Perry Wilson reports in the following video.

Notice in the video that the study has its limitations. The participants, while young (8 to 12 years old), were conscious that they were observed in a university laboratory. This set-up may have affected their behavior.

Again, delving into the methodology of the study pays off. You cannot just blindly accept any scientific finding. It is always subject to error.

Final Notes

Have your style by deviating a little from the convention. The point is, the abstract should be interesting enough such that readers will want to read your investigation, learn from it, or skip it because it’s not directly relevant to their interest.

Since you want others to discover your work, select keywords or phrases that capture the essence of your research. Popular search engines like Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, or Safari need these keywords to effectively serve those who look for information on the issue that you cared to spend your time, money, and effort.

©P. A. Regoniel 9 November 2021

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About the author, patrick regoniel.

Dr. Regoniel, a faculty member of the graduate school, served as consultant to various environmental research and development projects covering issues and concerns on climate change, coral reef resources and management, economic valuation of environmental and natural resources, mining, and waste management and pollution. He has extensive experience on applied statistics, systems modelling and analysis, an avid practitioner of LaTeX, and a multidisciplinary web developer. He leverages pioneering AI-powered content creation tools to produce unique and comprehensive articles in this website.

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Research Paper Guide

How To Write An Abstract

Nova A.

How to Write an Abstract - A Step by Step Guide

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Published on: Dec 17, 2017

Last updated on: Oct 29, 2023

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Have you ever wondered why writing an abstract matters? It might seem like a small part of your research paper or project, but it plays a big role.

Picture this: You've worked hard on your research, and you want people to read it. But if your abstract isn't well-written, they might just skip it and miss all your great ideas.

Don't worry! 

In this easy-to-follow guide, we will walk you through the process of creating a clear and attention-grabbing abstract step-by-step. 

By the end, you'll be able to write abstracts that make your work stand out and get the attention it deserves. 

Let's get started!

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What is an Abstract?

An abstract is a short summary of your research. It tells the readers what the central point of your paper is and also describes the aims and outcomes.

A strong abstract further allows the audience to decide whether they want to continue with your paper or not. It is a vital component of a research paper and a thesis, and no paper is considered complete without it.

What Goes into an Abstract?

An abstract typically includes:

  • The Purpose: Why was the research or document created?
  • Methods: How was the research conducted or the document prepared?
  • Results: What did the research find or what does the document discuss?
  • Conclusions: What are the main takeaways or implications?

Types of an Abstract

The use of different types of abstracts depends on the document you're summarizing and the audience you're targeting.

 Let's explore the common types of abstracts:

Critical Abstracts

  • Purpose : Critical abstracts go beyond summarizing and provide a critical evaluation or analysis of the document's content, assessing its strengths and weaknesses.
  • Contents : They include a review of the document's methodology, key findings, and an evaluation of the quality and significance of the work.
  • Use Case : Common in literature reviews, research critiques, and scholarly analyses, critical abstracts help readers assess the value and reliability of the source.

Descriptive Abstracts

  • Purpose : Descriptive abstracts give a clear overview of what's in the document. They are the most basic type.
  • Contents : They describe the main topic, purpose, and scope of the document without giving away specific details, conclusions, or results.
  • Use Case : These are often used for shorter documents or to provide a general sense of what a longer document contains.

Informative Abstracts

  • Purpose: Informative abstracts go a step further than descriptive ones. They not only describe the document's content but also provide key results, findings, and conclusions.
  • Contents : They include essential details about the document, such as the research methodology , results, and conclusions, allowing readers to understand the document's significance.
  • Use Case : Common in academic and scientific publications, informative abstracts help researchers quickly decide whether they want to read the full paper.

Highlight Abstracts

  • Purpose : Highlight abstracts emphasize the most critical points of a document. They aim to grab the reader's attention and highlight the document's most significant contributions.
  • Contents : These abstracts focus on the most important findings, key conclusions, and their broader implications, often showcasing why the document is worth reading.
  • Use Case : Used in highly competitive fields or when you want to draw attention to groundbreaking research.

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How to Write an Abstract for a Paper?

Whether you're a student working on a research paper or an academic aiming to publish your work, crafting an effective abstract follows a structured process. 

Here are the key steps to help you write a compelling abstract:

1. Follow Instructions Closely 

When tackling a research paper abstract, always begin by thoroughly reviewing the provided instructions. These guidelines act as your roadmap, ensuring you stay on the right track. Look out for:

  • Abstract Type : Your teacher may specify the type, such as descriptive or informative.
  • Structure : Note any recommended sections or organization rules.
  • Word Count : Stick to the prescribed word limit diligently.
  • Style and Formatting : Adhere to style and formatting requirements.

Following these instructions matters because they demonstrate your commitment to academic integrity, keep your abstract clear and focused, aid in grading, and reflect professionalism.

2. Write the Abstract Last

Compose your research paper first and save the abstract for last. Why?

  • Comprehensive Overview : Completing the paper provides a full grasp of your research, aiding in summarizing key points effectively.
  • Highlight Key Points : You can't pinpoint essential details until you've thoroughly explored your subject in the paper.
  • Conciseness : After writing, distill your work into a concise abstract without missing crucial information.
  • Alignment : Ensure the abstract aligns perfectly with your paper's content, reflecting your work accurately.

3. Include Relevant Background

Incorporate concise, pertinent background information into your abstract to provide context. Focus on why your study's expected outcomes matter in addressing the main research question. Avoid lengthy or irrelevant details.

4. Define the Research Problem and Objectives

Begin your abstract by clearly outlining the research's purpose and objectives. Make the case for its significance to individuals and society and specify the research question(s) you aim to address.

  • Use Action Words : Employ terms like "evaluate," "analyze," and "investigate" to describe your research's purpose.
  • Past or Present Tense : Write this section in simple past or present tense; avoid the future tense.
  • Address Key Questions: Answer these vital questions:
  • Why conduct this research?
  • How does it contribute to the field?
  • Why should readers delve into the full paper?
  • What central problem does your research solve?
  • What's the study's scope, specific or general?
  • What's the primary argument?

By addressing these questions, your abstract sets the stage, offering a clear understanding of your research's significance and objectives compelling readers to explore your full paper.

5. Describe the Research Methods

In your abstract, briefly touch on the research methods employed to address your research question. Use 1 to 2 concise, past-tense sentences.

  • Concise Overview : Offer a high-level view of the approaches, procedures, and sources utilized in your research.
  • Methodology Type: Mention whether your methods were qualitative , quantitative , case study , or another type.
  • Explain Method Choice : State why you selected a specific method and how it benefits your research.

6. Highlight Previous Research

Incorporate a brief mention of relevant previous research on your chosen topic in your abstract. Emphasize the unique perspective of your research without delving into excessive detail.

  • Concise Overview : Provide a brief overview of previous research, highlighting its relevance to your work.
  • Uniqueness : Mention how your research offers a distinct perspective or contribution to the existing body of knowledge.
  • Engaging Content : Keep the reader engaged by including enough information to convey the importance of your research within the context of prior studies.

7. Summarize Key Findings and Results

In your abstract, succinctly summarize the major findings and results of your study using simple past and present tense. Avoid vague qualitative terms and instead focus on concrete details.

  • Clarity is Key: Ensure clarity in your summary, using concrete measures such as percentages, trends, figures, or specific outcomes.
  • Evaluate Against Hypothesis : State whether your study aligns with the initial hypothesis, highlighting the success or divergence of your findings.

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8. Present Your Conclusion

In the final section of your abstract, provide a clear and concise conclusion to your research. Explain how your study addresses the research question and problem.

  • Answer the Question : Articulate the answer to your research question and problem.
  • Acknowledge Limitations: Mention any limitations related to sample size or methodology. This transparency helps readers assess the research's credibility and context.
  • Future Research and Recommendations : Consider offering suggestions and recommendations for future research or a call to action. Ensure your results contribute value to the field of knowledge.

9. Incorporate Keywords to Attract the Audience

At the end of your abstract, include a list of 5 to 10 relevant keywords that are central to your research study. These keywords should be the most common and pertinent terms related to your research.

  • Opt for Clarity: Ensure your keywords are clear and accurately represent the core concepts of your research.
  • Improve Discoverability: By including keywords, you enhance the discoverability of your paper. Potential readers can easily find your work during their searches.
  • Follow Style Guidelines: If your research follows a specific style guide, such as the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA), be sure to adhere to its formatting requirements for keywords.

10. Benefit from Abstract Samples

Before composing your research paper's abstract, it's highly beneficial to read other abstracts from various disciplines, including science, social sciences, and humanities. These examples offer valuable insights into the structure and style of abstracts across different subjects.

  • Accelerated Learning : Learning through examples is a swift and effective method. Examining diverse abstracts helps you understand the distinct characteristics each subject's abstract should possess.
  • Guidance for Literature Review: When working on a literature review , studying sample abstracts provides a clear picture of the type of abstract that suits each subject.

You can easily find a collection of sample abstracts online or consult documents that compile samples from different disciplines. These samples serve as valuable references, assisting you in crafting an abstract that aligns with the conventions and expectations of your specific field of study.

Here is a sample for your reference:

Sample Abstracts

11. Begin with a Rough Draft

Start your abstract-writing process with a rough draft. At this stage, focus solely on your paper's main theme, allowing your thoughts to flow without concern for word limits or specific content requirements.

However, avoid including the following elements in your abstract:

  • Lengthy background details.
  • Unnecessary phrases, adverbs, and adjectives.
  • Repetitive information.
  • Acronyms or abbreviations.
  • References to other research work.
  • Incomplete sentences.
  • Elliptical or jargon language.
  • Citations to others' work.
  • Any type of image, table, or illustration.
  • Definitions of keywords and terms.

After creating your initial draft, thoroughly review and revise it. Remove excessive details and ensure your abstract remains concise, offering a glimpse of the information found in the main sections of your paper. This iterative process helps refine your abstract, making it clear and impactful.

12. Proofread Thoroughly Before Submission

After you've written your abstract, it's essential to invest time in a meticulous proofreading and editing process. This final step is critical to ensure the quality of your abstract and, ultimately, your research paper.

  • Avoid Costly Mistakes : Neglecting proofreading can lead to avoidable errors that may result in lower grades. Careful proofreading helps you present your work professionally and accurately.
  • Comprehensive Review : Don't limit your proofreading to the abstract alone. Read the entire paper, paying special attention to the results section, to confirm the consistency and coherence of your work.
  • Refer to Guidelines : If your institution or style guide has specific requirements for abstracts, ensure that your abstract aligns with these guidelines.

By dedicating time to thorough proofreading and reviewing the entire paper, you can confidently submit a well-polished abstract that accurately represents your research and enhances your academic performance.

How to Write An Abstract For A Research Paper

Tips to Write an Abstract for a Research Paper

Writing an effective abstract requires skill and precision. Here are some valuable tips to craft an abstract that stands out and effectively represents your research:

  • Understand Your Audience : Consider who will be reading your research paper and tailor the abstract to their level of expertise and interest.
  • Write Last : Create the abstract after you've completed the entire paper. This ensures it accurately summarizes the key points.
  • Be Concise : Keep the abstract concise and to the point. Avoid unnecessary details or lengthy explanations.
  • Use Clear Language : Write in clear language that is easy to understand. Avoid jargon and technical terms unless necessary.
  • Structure It : Organize the abstract with a clear structure, typically including sections for the research problem, methods, results, conclusions, and keywords.
  • Highlight Significance : Explain the importance of your research and its potential impact on the field. Convince readers that your work is worth exploring.

Abstract Page Template and Examples

The following are the abstract examples and a template. Read them if you want to know more.

Abstract Template

Sample Research Paper Abstract APA

Sample Research Paper Abstract MLA

Abstract Example - Adaptability and Evolution of Life

Scientific Research Paper Abstract

Abstract for thesis

Abstract example

Abstract of a report

Abstract for research proposal

Abstract for a presentation

Abstract for a book chapter

Abstract APA

In summary, this guide will help you write a perfect abstract for your paper if you follow it closely.

Writing an abstract is not hard. It requires proper structure and detail. But, it is something that you can do with practice and hard work.

This guide will help you write a perfect abstract for your paper if you follow it closely.

However, not everyone possesses the knack for creating a stellar abstract. In such cases, seeking assistance from a top paper writing service is a smart move for your research.

For all your academic writing requirements, MyPerfectWords.com is your ultimate choice. Simply make an order for a meticulously crafted abstract from our expert writers.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between an abstract and an introduction.

The difference between an abstract and an introduction is that the abstract summarizes your entire study. In contrast, the introduction includes only some elements of what is in an abstract. 

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Editorial article, editorial: post covid-19: analysing and addressing the challenges faced by patients following intensive care treatment for covid-19.

best research paper abstract ever

  • 1 Department of Political and Social Study, University of Salerno, Fisciano, Italy
  • 2 Department of Medicine, Surgery and Dentistry, University of Salerno, Baronissi, Italy

Editorial on the Research Topic Post COVID-19: analysing and addressing the challenges faced by patients following intensive care treatment for COVID-19


This Research Topic has aimed to reflect the significant consequences of the pandemic for COVID-19 survivors; therefore, it offers readers the opportunity to understand all those factors that have influenced and continue to influence patients' distress and opportunities for recovery, with the aim of best ensuring that the consequences of the pandemic do not develop into chronic injuries.

The key concept throughout the Research Topic was transdisciplinarity, as reflected both in the scientific differentiation of the papers received and in the very organization of the various authors within each paper. So, given the nature of the topic, which falls between medicine, sociology, social work and psychology, it was possible to obtain a more comprehensive assessment of the complexity of the current situation ( Auriemma et al., 2023 ).

Although the health perspective focuses primarily on understanding the physiological aspects of COVID-19, it was possible to capture, through the papers presented, the different ways in which patients were able to restore their wellbeing not only physiologically, but also socially, especially through the support they received from medical professionals as many papers describe and from local health services after discharge from intensive care units (ICUs).

Review and opinion contributions

Among the various works that confirmed and lent luster to our main objective, we certainly find Di Rosa 's review, whose aim was to reflect on the specific area of the interaction between health care and social care (and vice versa). This field, as obvious as it is, does not always receive the right attention, whose roles increasingly go by the wayside despite the enormous amount of work being done. Therefore, the author showed how medicalization in emergency management has undermined or, at least, weakened the comprehensive approach to the person and vulnerability profiles that should inspire social and health integration ( Di Rosa ). The author, also described the relationship that exists between health systems and social systems and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on it, pointing out and specifying how much that weak link that, especially in certain parts of the world, was present has been undermined.

By reading Deng's text, however, it is possible to delve, in small steps, into the other focus of our call, that of physiological care processes. Indeed, it is possible to understand how the early application of prone ventilation, for COVID-19 patients, offered a survival advantage, all of which generated, as consecon a lower expected mortality in patients with severe ARDS ( Deng and Zou ).

Empirical results: quantitative data and original research

The empirical work section opens with a very interesting paper by Agnoletti et al. who present readers with an innovative and functional method for coping with the increase in intensive care unit beds related to pandemic COVID-19, demonstrating the feasibility and efficiency of a dynamic model of hospital reorganization.

The aim of the study by Wang et al. was to explore the application and effect of the “WeChat cloud service” in the emergency intensive care unit. A kind of tele-medicine, or, at least, tele-support. The research was conducted on 774 patients admitted within the intensive care unit between February 2020 and June 2021. The authors pointed out that, there was a significantly better situation due to lower costs and lower delirium situations. Claiming that the “WeChat cloud service” was helpful in preventing and controlling coronavirus disease 2019 during the outbreak and improving patient experience ( Wang et al. ).

Instead, authors Snoubar et al. , proposed an article starting with a description of the qualitative-quantitative research conducted on the effect of COVID-19 fear toward the future. They analyzed 204 Turkish social workers who were engaged in the front lines against the pandemic. In general, social workers were found to be extremely concerned about contracting COVID-19. However, the authors also pointed out that female social workers had a greater fear of contracting the infection than males. Social workers and frontline committed health workers can use these findings to develop effective intervention programs reduce fears related to COVID-19 ( Snoubar et al. ).

To enrich our review, it is also possible to read the work of Zulbaran-Rojas et al. The authors present work that investigates the consequences of being in the intensive care unit for long periods of time. Dwelling on one risk in particular, namely the deconditioning of lower extremity muscles, especially in critically ill patients. The study is described as a double-blind, randomized controlled trial through which the safety and efficacy of electrical stimulation in the lower limbs was examined. Therefore, the researchers' goal was to have empirical evidence in the use of electrostimulation to prevent muscle decay ( Zulbaran-Rojas et al. ).

Another very interesting study for our call is the work of Naorungroj et al. The authors described the characteristics and outcomes of intrahospital mortality of patients hospitalized for COVID-19. This paper is presented as a retrospective review on the medical records of patients with COVID-19 infection admitted to the intensive care unit of Siriraj Hospital between January 2020 and December 2021. The authors hypothesized a strategy based on appropriate selection of patients to be admitted to the ICU and to implement solutions to limit disease progression to prevent intubation ( Naorungroj et al. ).

One of the most outstanding studies in this call is the descriptive study by Yoo et al. The authors conducted interviews with caregivers of patients admitted to intensive care units during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their goal was to analyze the impact of listening to music on their psychological wellbeing. To collect this information, three questionnaires were administered, the first being the Korean version of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, and the second being the World Health Organization Quality of Life Scale. Finally, a third, ad-hoc constructed questionnaire was used with the aim of collecting information on participants' engagement in musical activities, thus generating a data set that led to interesting results ( Yoo et al. ).

Regarding the cross-sectional study by Habibi Asgarabad et al. we note how the aim was to assess the validity and reliability of the General Health Questionnaire, characterized by 12 items and administered to patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in 2020. The authors pointed out that among the factorial models, using the three-factor model (successful coping, self-esteem and stress) proved to be the most suitable. So, overall, the results revealed some very interesting data, which had only been hypothesized before. That is, mental distress in patients with COVID-19 is related to high perceived stress and, more importantly, low sleep quality, which is easy to hypothesize because of the noise and intensive care units, but interesting to highlight with empirical data ( Habibi Asgarabad et al. ).

Within our call we find, also, an experimental study by Maslova et al. , which was conducted in the post-COVID-19 paradigm to assess the quality of life after 9 months after leaving the ICU of critically ill patients. Two hospitalization conditions were analyzed, the first involving the use of medical oxygen for therapy and the second involving the non-use of medical oxygen for therapy in addition to outpatient treatment. This represents one of the first studies in the current literature to report the quality of life of patients who responded to treatment 9 months after COVID-19 ( Maslova et al. ).

Another very interesting study is represented within the work of Kuryllo et al. The authors' goal was to observe how patients admitted to the intensive care unit may exhibit muscle weakness up to a year or more after discharge. Within this study was analyzing neuromuscular progression by distinguishing the results between women and men, however, the study found no sex differences in the parameters assessed in the 3- to 6-month follow-up; the significant difference, however, was found in the 6- to 12-month follow-up ( Kuryllo et al. ).

The study by Hajkova et al. examined the impact of anxiety and depression symptoms during the first phase of pandemic COVID-19. Therefore, the authors highlighted behavioral, cognitive and emotional changes in the Czech population. The authors' goal was, therefore, to show what has been widely hypothesized, namely, that increased anxiety and depression are symptoms that have characterized the experience of many due to loneliness and reduced close relationships ( Hajkova et al. ).

The study protocol by Sum et al. observes the residual symptoms manifested by patients in the post-acute and rehabilitation stages include fatigue, dyspnea and insomnia. The double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of the combination of the two formulas [named “COVID-19 Rehab Formula (CRF)”] in treating the residual symptoms of COVID-19 (long COVID). In addition, evaluating the efficacy and safety of CRF in treating residual symptoms of COVID-19 with a scientifically rigorous design ( Sum et al. ).

The clinical study by Chi et al. explored the risk factors associated with postoperative hypoxemia in elderly patients recovered from COVID-19 disease and undergoing surgery for hip fracture in the short term. The authors conducted the study within three hospitals in China and found statistically significant differences among patients, and also followed the classification of the American Society of Anesthesiologists by comparing it with the presence of sputum symptoms, preoperative hypoxemia, and pulmonary inflammation from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. So, it is interesting to note empirically how secondary risks can seriously affect respiratory disease ( Chi et al. ).

The main objective of this call, which we felt was fully achieved, was to highlight some of the insights that can be gained from a transdisciplinary exploration in the analysis of patients and health care and non-health care personnel during COVID-19. This allowed, in this way, to generate a pool of research from around the world, highlighting the different ways of operating, assessing and operationalizing the same disease. Consequently, it is important to analyze and delve into any type of theory while avoiding dwelling only on those theories that reflect on understanding others as only a matter of biological input, as the aspect of cultural interaction remains at the core of any discourse. We live in a historical period where isolated sectorization does not lead to any interesting discoveries, so the sciences need transdisciplinarity as m, as seen in this Research Topic, contributing to a common knowledge that can place the person at the center of all scientific discourse, avoiding scientistic reductionism and allowing researchers and scholars to draw on the broadest possible sources. In conclusion, the wonderful and ambitious goal that we editors from distant disciplines had set for ourselves and which the authors of each paper masterfully fulfilled, we must emphasize that today, despite the post-pandemic, it is possible to reflect from this to face the new challenges that the future holds. Mixing the techniques used in these papers, rather than emphasizing a different one than has always been used, to compare the results. So, transdisciplinarity as a deeper way of approaching science and future research.

Author contributions

VA: Writing—original draft, Writing—review & editing. GI: Writing—original draft, Writing—review & editing. GS: Writing—original draft, Writing—review & editing. OP: Writing—original draft, Writing—review & editing.

The author(s) declare that no financial support was received for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

The author(s) declared that they were an editorial board member of Frontiers, at the time of submission. This had no impact on the peer review process and the final decision.

Publisher's note

All claims expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of their affiliated organizations, or those of the publisher, the editors and the reviewers. Any product that may be evaluated in this article, or claim that may be made by its manufacturer, is not guaranteed or endorsed by the publisher.

Auriemma, V., Ferrara, I., Miranda, E., Patti, S., Baldassarre, D, Scarpati, G., et al. (2023). Assesment of Quality of Life After Discharge From ICU: A Comparison Between COVID-19 and Non-COVID-19 Patients . Milan: Salute e Società, Franco Angeli.

Google Scholar

Keywords: doctor–patient, intensive care, post COVID-19, social wellbeing, psychic wellbeing

Citation: Auriemma V, Iorio G, Scarpati G and Piazza O (2023) Editorial: Post COVID-19: analysing and addressing the challenges faced by patients following intensive care treatment for COVID-19. Front. Sociol. 8:1332156. doi: 10.3389/fsoc.2023.1332156

Received: 02 November 2023; Accepted: 17 November 2023; Published: 28 November 2023.

Edited and reviewed by: John Offer , Ulster University, United Kingdom

Copyright © 2023 Auriemma, Iorio, Scarpati and Piazza. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) . The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

*Correspondence: Vincenzo Auriemma, vauriemma@unisa.it

This article is part of the Research Topic

Post COVID-19: Analysing and Addressing the Challenges Faced by Patients Following Intensive Care Treatment for COVID-19


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