An abstract is a brief summary of an extended essay, book chapter, or research report.
Its purpose is to inform readers as to the argument your paper sets forth or the conclusion of your research. This handout describes the process of writing a concise, informative abstract.
Written in a direct non-repetitive style, the abstract should:
identify the problem (research question or thesis) investigated.
describe the scope of investigation.
summarize the results.
state the conclusion(s).
To write a GOOD abstract, follow the instructions:
Highlight the sentences in the paper that detail the problem investigated.
Highlight the research question or thesis.
Identify information (phrases, key words) that shows the scope and sequence of the investigation.
Condense the conclusion into a few concise sentences.
Words of Advice:
For the first draft, don’t worry about length. Just try to cover all the important components that are required in the abstract. Use all the information that you highlighted and identified as you read through the essay (or article).
Take a word count before you begin to edit.
Begin editing by deleting words, phrases and sentences that are less important or provide more explanation than necessary.
4. Look for places where sentences can be combined to omit extra words or condense ideas.
Delete unnecessary background information.
Do not use abbreviations, direct quotes or citations.
Avoid writing in the first person (I):
Rather than saying, “In this essay I discuss…”, try a more formal approach by starting your abstract with as opening similar to:
“This essay discusses the effects of . . . .
“Specifically, this paper investigates (restate the thesis) . . .”
“This essay examines how . . . . It attempts to answer the question . . .”
Write to the required word count.
Finally…. Do NOT include information in your abstract that does not appear in the paperJ