What is an Abstract?
An abstract is a short statement about your research or project designed to give the reader a complete, yet concise, understanding of your paper’s research and findings. It gives a thorough overview of your paper or project.
What is the Purpose of an Abstract?
A well-prepared abstract allows a reader to quickly and accurately identify the basic content of your research or project. Readers should be able to read your abstract to see if the related research is of interest to them.
What Should be in an Abstract?
A model abstract should contain the following elements:
- a statement of the purpose of your study
- the research methods/methodology used to arrive at your results and/or conclusions
- the results observed
- the conclusions drawn from your study and their significance
How to Structure an Abstract
The abstract should be no more than 250 words.
- PURPOSE: Explain the purpose of your study/paper. Ideally in 1-3 sentences, state the primary objectives and scope of the study or the reasons why the document was written. Also state the rationale for your research. Why did you do the research? Is the topic you are researching an ignored or newly discovered one? Why is it significant? Here you should include your hypothesis if appropriate.
- METHODS: In terms of methodology (research methods), clearly state the techniques or approaches used in your study. For papers concerned with non-experimental work (such as those in the humanities, some social sciences, and the fine arts) describe your sources and your use/interpretation of the sources.
- RESULTS: Describe your results (the findings of your experimentation), the data collected, and effects observed as informatively and concisely as possible. These results may be experimental or theoretical, just remember to make note of that in your abstract. Give special priority in your abstract to new and verified findings that contradict previous theories. Mention any limits to the accuracy or reliability of your findings if appropriate.
- CONCLUSION: Your conclusions should in essence describe the implications of the results:Why are the results of your study important to your field and how do they relate to the purpose of your investigation?