A Complete Guide on How to Write an Abstract for a Research Paper

How to Write an Abstract for a Research Paper? What is an abstract?
Fig 1. About abstract

What is an abstract?

  • Abstract is the summary of the research paper.
  • In other words, abstract can be defined as the brief explanation of larger work.
  • Reading research paper is a time consuming task. Reading an abstract of research paper saves time to decide whether to read full research paper or not.
  • The abstract is written in online journals, research grants, book proposal, Ph. D. thesis, conference paper and in book chapter.

Why write an abstract?

  • There are mainly two simple reasons to understand the reason of writing an abstract i.e. selection and indexing.
  • Selection: Abstract makes the selection easy for readers/ authors whether reading that research paper is worth while or not. Reading an complete research paper is very time consuming task for an author in order to understand whats exactly been discussed in that research paper. But abstract (summary of research paper) makes it easy to understand the content been discussed in the research paper in very less time.
  • Indexing: The abstracts are used for indexing purpose by the online databases in order to search research papers and big research projects. By abstract indexing, it becomes simple to search any research paper or any big research work. For this purpose, the abstract contains only relevant keywords or phrases that makes the searching easy.

Basic point to remember

Before you know and understand that how to write an abstract it is necessary to remember certain points that need to be remembered while writing an abstract.
  • Write the abstract from scratch.
  • Identify your audience.
  • The most important and vital information should be written first.
  • Use understandable, short and effective language.
  • The content of abstract should be written in the same order of the research paper.
  • The keywords or phrases should be selected intelligently that can easily search your research paper on the online database.
  • Check the maximum and minimum count of words in abstract.
  • Always follow the guidelines of journal or conference paper.
  • Check formatting requirements.
  • Always check for grammatical and linguistic mistakes.

How to write an abstract?

Abstract can be written in two different ways
Descriptive
·         The descriptive abstracts are usually shorter in length. Some guideline says it to be ranging from 100-200 words in length or 100 words or less.
·         It explains the only the purpose, objective, and methods of the paper.
· But doesn’t explain the results and conclusion.
· The descriptive abstracts are more appropriate for smaller papers and articles.
·       It makes no judgments about the work.
·    It does include key words found in the text.
·      As per some readers it is considered as an outline of the work, rather than a summary.
Informative
·   These kinds of abstract are longer in length ranging from one paragraph to one page in length. The words length ranges from 200 to 250 words.
·    It summarizes every aspect of the study, including the results and conclusion.
·  Informative abstracts are much more common, and they are widely used for submission to journals and conferences.
·         Informative abstracts are written for more technical research. The majority of abstracts are informative.
· Here all the main opinions and the significant results and evidence are discussed in the complete article/paper/book.
·    An informative abstract also holds the same information been discussed by the descriptive abstract. Apart from that it also holds results and conclusions of the research and the recommendations of the author.
Abstract can be written in two different formats
Structured
·    Consists of one paragraph with multiple headings.
·         Few journals follow this abstract pattern.
·  It is mostly used by medical related publication journals.
·     Heading usually consists of Aim, Objective, Methods, Results, and Conclusion.
·   It assists the readers in easy and faster understanding.
· Locating relevant and important information needs very less time.
Unstructured
·    Consists of one paragraph with no heading.
·   Most of the journals follow only this abstract pattern.
·       It does not contain any headings like Aim, Objective, Methods, Results, and Conclusion.
·  Readers need to read full abstract to understand about the paper.
· Locating relevant and important information needs more time.

What not to write in an abstract?


  • Do not copy-paste any content in an abstract.
  • Avoid adding references in an abstract.
  • Avoid going in too much of detail
  • Avoid adding any unnecessary information in an abstract.
  • Do not define terms in an abstract.

When to write an abstract?

  • The abstract is the first section of the research paper. But it is suggested that it should be written in the last after the rough draft of the research paper is completed.
  • Because abstract is the summary of the research paper. And when rough draft is completely ready then only it is possible to write a good abstract.

What to do after writing an abstract?

  • Review and revise yourself.
  • Ask your co-workers or with a professor or even a specialist to review the abstract, get their feedback and again revise.
  • Check whether an abstract meets the targeted journal requirement.

Resources used in this article


                For more image processing topics refer: https://www.gofastresearch.com/
A Complete Guide on How to Write an Abstract for a Research Paper A Complete Guide on How to Write an Abstract for a Research Paper Reviewed by Dr. Prabhishek Singh on April 25, 2020 Rating: 5

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