The abstract is commonly used in academia to comprehensively summarize the aims and outcomes of a research paper for the reader to understand what the paper is about. It should include enough detail for the reader to ascertain the nature of the topic, the strategy being investigated, research method and design, and the significance of the major findings, and conclusions reached. It is often documented when writing a thesis, dissertation, review, or submitting an academic journal article. The abstract appears at the beginning of a report but is written at the end.
What are the types of abstracts?
- Descriptive or Indicative Abstracts - only describe the data and primary research components contained in the document including objective, scope of work and the methodology used. It explains the type of research and what the document is about but does not offer definitive conclusions.
- Informative Abstracts - These are usually longer and describe not only the purpose of the paper, but also the main conclusions and contents.
- Critical or Evaluative - An evaluative summary of the contents of the paper, usually describing the strengths and weaknesses.
The abstract is a brief synopsis of the entire research and they can vary in length, typically one or two well-developed paragraphs no more than 250 words. An abstract should include the following:
- Purpose – The overall objective of the study and the research problem being investigated. This should highlight why the work is important, the problem it is attempting to solve, and the rationale for the research.
- Methods – The basic methods of the study including how the author went about the project, design, data collection and testing used.
- Results – Key findings found as a result of the analysis. The author should highlight any new findings that contradict previous theories.
- Conclusion – A short summary of the interpretations and implications of the findings.
By incorporating these elements, you can be sure of a good start. This Abstract Example template is ready-made, printable and customizable, which makes it easy to create your own look and feel, regardless of what industry you’re in. Just download this Abstract Example template in Google Docs, MS Word format and you are ready to go!
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Vernia Brooks - DEU