An abstract of a research paper is a synopsis that provides an overview of the entire research in 250-300 words. A good abstract captures the essence of the entire research and provides the crux of your research to the reader. An abstract informs the reader about the research problem, aims, objectives, key findings, inferences, implications, and recommendations for future research. You must be thinking about how it is possible to convey so much information in just a few words. We will address your concerns about how to write an effective abstract of a research paper in this article.
What is An Abstract of a research paper?
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Before we watch any movie, we visit YouTube and search for the movie’s trailer. A movie’s trailer provides us with a synopsis or an overview by capturing the essence of the movie. It does not tell us everything about the movie because that would be a spoiler; however, it gives us enough information to assess whether it is worth watching or not. Similarly, an abstract of a research paper provides a brief overview of the entire research between 250-300 words to the reader. An abstract informs the reader about the key aspects of your research and does not provide all kinds of details.
However, an abstract provides sufficient information to the reader to assess the worth of your research. The reader determines the significance of your research and its relevance to the reader’s life or research goals and decides whether it is worth a read or not. Therefore, an abstract is the most important aspect of a research paper and must be written carefully. Researchers usually write abstracts once they finish their research because they have a clear idea about the key points of the research.
Think of an abstract as a business proposal seeking to convince a client to invest, and in this case, your abstract’s end goal is to convince your reader to invest his or her time reading the entire research. Writing an abstract is often difficult for students since they get bogged down by information overload and end up writing lengthy paragraphs, which is antithetical to an abstract. Therefore, if you need any assistance in writing the abstract of a research paper, you can always take help from expert writers at research paper writing services.
What are the contents of an abstract?
An abstract of a research paper does not exceed 300 words, and it summarises the key points of your research. It includes the following components:
- Statement of the problem
- Aims and objectives of the study
- Research design and brief sentences (preferably not more than two) describing the research methods
- Results and key findings of your research
- A brief overview of interpretation and conclusion
- Implications or recommendations for future research
Different Types of Abstracts
A descriptive abstract of a research paper describes the research or briefly provides a descriptive narrative of the research. It does not provide information about the key findings or conclusions of the research. A descriptive abstract of a research paper encompasses important keywords placed smartly in the text and briefly sheds light on the research objectives, methodology, and scope. Descriptive abstracts are like summaries that provide a cursory glance at the entire research in not more than 100 words. It is sometimes referred to as an outline of the research.
The purpose of an informative abstract is to inform the reader about the key contents of the research paper. An informative abstract does not provide any critique or analysis of the work itself; however, it informs the reader about the key aspects of the research in not more than 300 words. Informative abstract provides information about the following aspects of the research:
- Research Problem
- Research goals and objectives
- Research methods
- Research’s scope
- Results and key findings
- Conclusion and recommendations
A highlight abstract is a type of abstract in a research paper that aims to capture the reader’s attention. Highlight abstract is like an attention grabber in the sense that it provides enough information to capture the reader’s interest while at the same time leaving room for inciting the reader’s curiosity. It is seldom used in academic research papers since the purpose is to only captivate the reader’s interest rather than providing information on the key contents of the research.
How to write an abstract of a research paper?
Step 1: Introduce the Reader to The Research
The first step to writing an abstract of a research paper is to inform the reader what it is you are investigating. It might be a theoretical or practical issue, but you must inform the reader about the overall purpose of your research. You can inform the reader what specific research question or aspect of the subject you tackled in your research paper. It is unnecessary to go into extra details or provide the background of the research; your goal is to provide enough information for the reader to understand the rationale of your research. Inform the reader about the aims and objectives of your study by using terms such as:
- The current research investigates
- This study investigates
- This study evaluates
Note that the phrases mentioned above are not worded in future tense because the abstract is written at the end of the research, and therefore you must use present simple or simple past tense.
Step 2: Inform the reader about the Research Methods
The next step in writing an abstract of a research paper is briefly providing an overview of the research methods. It should not exceed more than two to three lines and precisely describe the methods. It needs to provide enough information about the data collection and analysis methods.
Step 3: State the Results
For informative abstracts, you only need to summarise the key findings of your research. Remember that you do not have to include the entire results of your research; you should only highlight the key findings.
Step 4: Conclusion and Recommendations
In the final step, you just need to provide information about the interpretation of study results, implications, and recommendations for future studies. The reader must get a clear picture of your research’s significance and outcomes which would compel him or her to read the entire paper. You can write the conclusion and recommendations in the present tense Trusty Read.
An abstract summarises the key contents of the research paper and provides an overview of the research’s aims, objectives, and key findings. Write an abstract once you finish your research because you will have a clear idea about the major aspects of your research. You can refer to the above-mentioned guidelines for writing an effective abstract.