All You Need to Know About Writing an Abstract

Written by Henry Young. Posted in Writing

Writing an abstract involves making a summary of the contents of an article, book, thesis, or speech. It represents a way of expressing in fewer words the main idea of any analysis of a specified discipline and subject, and it has the goal to help the reader understand faster the paper’s purpose. The first rule that an abstract has to respect refers to the fact that it has to appear at the beginning of the academic paper. Moreover, it has to act like a point of entry for the paper.

Writing an abstract is also known as realizing a précis or synopsis in some publications. The difference that exists between an abstract and an executive summary that management reports incorporate is re-flected by the fact that an executive summary has more information than the abstract does.

Here are some details that will help you understand more about this type of document and all the elements that are integrated in its content:

• An academic abstract contains a research focus which implies reflecting the concern that is exposed by the author or making a statement of the problem;

• It must reveal the research methods that were used by the person who wrote it. Experimental research, questionnaires and case studies are just a few of the tools that he can use.

• Such a document must integrate the results and the findings of the research;

• It must end with some accurate conclusions and recommendations that can allow others to reflect on the things that they have just learned.

• References can also be a part of an academic abstract. However, most of the publications integrate them into the article body which treats the same subject but in more depth.

Writing an abstract is not such a difficult task, especially since it must not contain more than 500 words. Its typical length varies from 100 to 500 words, so it doesn’t imply using more than a page to achieve your goal. Furthermore, there are two types of abstracts:

• The complete abstract, which is also known as the informative abstract, futures a length that ranges from 100 to 200 words and it summarizes the major topics, the paper structure and the key words.

• The limited abstract is also known as the descriptive abstract, and it offers a description of what the paper is all about, without digging into its substance. It is similar to a table of contents in paragraph form.