Writing a research paper abstract is very easy but can be messed up if the right step is not followed. Since It is always concise with fewer details and references.
Besides, Most people don’t need the details in your research paper, they just need their focus on the research and that can only be gotten with a well-done research paper abstract.
Therefore, If your question is how to write a research paper abstract, then this article is just for you, you will be enlightened on what a research paper abstract entails, what it is used for, and of course, the importance of each part of the research paper abstract.
What is a Research Paper Abstract?
Abstract which is also known as a synopsis is always placed at the beginning of an article, presentation, or note involving research done on a certain topic. Similarly, It is the summary of all the research and information pulled together in a written piece.
It is used to draw the attention of the reader to the main purpose of the article, in a piece of about 5000 words that needs to be checked in less than 20-30 minutes, it’s impossible to read all but with a well-structured abstract, the reader can understand and get the point of the research.
Besides, By reading the abstract, you can tell what the end of the research is, and you can know the conclusion of the full text, this helps academic sectors and scientific establishments during research.
Writing a research paper abstract came into existence in 1800 when summaries of meetings were always put down by the Royal Society and from there, novel writers, and publishers started adding summaries to their texts for a full assessment of the important information.
Types of Research Paper Abstracts
Some say there are three types of abstract, some say four, and some two but we will be looking at the five major types of abstract.
- Descriptive abstract
- Informative abstract
- Critical abstract
- Structured abstract
- Highlight abstract
#1. Descriptive Abstract
A descriptive abstract is a type of abstract that shows the exact information in research, you get the full details of the information found during the research. It does not give the conclusion of the work nor does it give judgments to it.
Professors and high intellects love this kind of abstract for its brevity, it is not more than 150 words and is easy to read within a few minutes. So when writing a descriptive abstract you have to compress the main focus of your work into a few words to understand the reader without the conclusion added.
Below is a perfect guideline for writing a descriptive abstract
- The first thing is to title it “Abstract”, with this, the reader has full awareness of the summary of the research.
- Keywords used in the research are well listed under the title. Keywords are the cogent words used in the work.
- Point out the relation between the topic, subheadings, and source.
- Ensure it is as brief as possible, not more than 150 words, or else the reader will get bored.
- Keep the reader tuned to the purpose or overview of the research paper.
- Don’t add conclusions or what the result is
- End with a bottom line which is most times your thought on the subject.
#2. Informative Abstract
An informative abstract is a type of abstract that deals with the major information and point of the research. It comes from a fully informative angle but no source, method, or conclusion just like the descriptive. Unlike the descriptive, which takes you on the long work briefly, this points out the major arguments and statement of overview.
Besides, This is majorly used for humanities and psychology research papers as readers will get the point with few glances.
Perfect guideline on how to write an informative abstract.
- Define your problem and the root of the research.
- State the key points only, do not explain them or give them in detail just state them accordingly.
- Let your reader know the full importance of your research, like an overview.
- Make it open to the reader I.e very accessible.
- Give background and source root if needed.
- It doesn’t have a conclusion.
#3. Critical Abstract
This type of abstract has critics. After all the findings, keywords, and conclusions, comments and judgments are made about the certainty and originality of the research. However, The best way to know a critical abstract is by the structure and the comparison with other views on the same subject.
Besides, This abstract has a conclusion and overview of the methods used and the source root. It also includes a recommendation.
Perfect guideline on how to write a critical abstract
- Read the text carefully and sift out the best points and pen down
- The abstract is not too long, not short, just about 2-3 pages with conscience points.
- The questions asked should be your launching point and expand point from there.
- Ensure you provide the necessary information, the title, author’s name, etc
- State the problem, then work on the thesis and straight to the argument, at this point, the author’s claim is questioned and evidence is required.
- Respond to the authors’ work in the assessment section and give little explanation.
#4. Structured Abstract
This type of abstract is the best abstract when it comes to ordering lines and good structuring. Hence, You can never go wrong or get lost in such an abstract. It consists of label sections, methods, and conclusions for easy understanding.
When you come across a structured abstract by the numbering and section, you can easily find the main point or exactly what you are looking for.
Perfect guideline on how to write a structured abstract
- Open your abstract with an introduction
- State your objectives from your primary objective
- Show your methods, and how the search went
- Then indicate the results, was it successful? Did it meet the expectation? briefly state.
- Then draw your conclusion
Another advantage of the structured abstract is clarity and easy research of the subject.
#5. Highlight Abstract
This is done majorly to attract the attention of readers, it gives this spark that makes the reader want to read the text. Also, In some cases, pictures are added to show the full meaning of the text.
Therefore, It’s more like leaving the reader in suspense with incomplete words. However, It must be brief and concise too.
Perfect guideline on how to write and highlight abstract
- Be brief and concise
- Don’t give full details of the text to give suspense to readers
- Use a picture to interest readers.
- The statement should be the starting point followed by the problem, methods, findings, and source root.
- Draw your conclusion.
You may also check out How To Write A Research Paper Thesis Statement
Elements Of A Research Paper Abstract
Here are the Elements to be included when you want to write a Research paper abstract.
- Research value
This is the beginning of the abstract, it is the first paragraph of the piece. To get the reader in line with your piece, the introduction must be catchy with the keywords shown at least once.
However, Without the introduction, your abstract is invalid and unacknowledged. In this section, you tell us what the research is about and what we should expect while reading it without telling us the conclusion.
This should not be more than 3- 5 lines but very detailed.
#2. Research Value
Now, this is the valuable part of an abstract, it can not be omitted. Hence, This part tells us everything we need to know about the research, it is the research itself. It also shows us the significance of the research done, I mean no one researches for no reason, the main reason and the importance of the research conducted are stated in this phase.
For example, if research is done on Oceanography history, the research value will brief us on the importance of every single piece of information you got and the research itself. The reader at this point must be glued to the piece already.
In the research paper abstract, the methodology tells us how the research was conducted, and what method and step did you take while doing it. This is very important because it helps readers trace the source and see if it is actually accurate and if it can bring so much trust to your piece already.
When the methodology is absent, the reader is made to assume that the steps taken are not reliable and that’s why it’s not stated on paper.
Imagine research done on the human brain transmitting waves down to non-living things through chemicals, your readers don’t know how but we want to know and the only way to find out is through the methodology. If the method used isn’t found in your abstract, then it is termed inaccurate and that alters the ingenuity of the whole text.
What did you discover at the end of the research? What was the outcome of the whole study? These questions are answered in the result section. Therefore, In the research paper abstract, after you must have stated your methodology, you give detailed results of the study based on the method used. You have to be practical and truthful about it without bias.
A faulty text can be known in the result section, if the result section doesn’t tally with the methodology then it will be questioned. It is done in a logical order.
This is a synthesis of your main points, it is not just a mere summary it’s a further pointer to why readers should be more engaged in your research. Therefore, Ensure you restate your research topic, and thesis and brush up on the main points for readers’ understanding. This must also be very brief and concise.
Furthermore, In drawing your conclusion too, you can state your opinion on the research you have done and wrap it up there ensuring your opinion is valid and logical.
How To Write A Research Paper Abstract
Here are the important features to note when writing a research paper abstract.
- Ensure it is brief and concise
- Review all details and source roots to avoid inaccuracy
- Begin with your introductory paragraph
- Give a summary of the main points of the research
- Lay strong emphasis on the keywords
- State the methodology, how you came went about the research
- Tell the results and give your thoughts on the study.
- Use catchy and logical words in the conclusion to state the importance of the research in case the memo was missed in the introductory section.
- Don’t bore the readers, just give cogent points.
- Draw your conclusion.
You may consider How To Write A Research Paper Introduction
How Long Should A Research Paper Abstract Be?
Depending on the kind of abstract but generally, the abstract should not be more than 300 words at most, it’s not the full text just a thick summary of the text.
Importance Of Abstracts In Research
Below are some of the importance of writing abstracts in research papers.
- Gives enough details in full text
- It’s brief and concise
- It helps highlight the main point of the research
- It gives the reader prior knowledge and final thought of the study without reading through.
How to write a research paper abstract can be practiced by everyone but perfected by a few if the right steps are followed. A research paper abstract is needed to draw the reader’s attention which includes the basic elements of the abstract from the introduction to the conclusion.
The various types of abstracts were also stated with their peculiarities and I think with this, one can draft a perfect research paper abstract for lecturers and concerned readers.
FAQs On How To Write A Research Paper Abstract
Aim of research
The best way to write an abstract is by being brief and also including the essential details which are a catchy introduction, the aim of the survey, how you did the survey(methods), the outcome, and your conclusion. This is perfect for both you and the reader when getting the key point.