Nova A.
Nova A.

How to Write an Abstract for a Research Paper - A Step by Step Guide

Read Time

8 min read

how to write an abstract

People also read

Have you ever wondered why writing an abstract matters? It might seem like a small part of your research paper or project, but it plays a big role.

Picture this: You've worked hard on your research, and you want people to read it. But if your abstract isn't well-written, they might just skip it and miss all your great ideas.

Don't worry! 

In this easy-to-follow guide, we will walk you through the process of creating a clear and attention-grabbing abstract step-by-step. 

By the end, you'll be able to write abstracts that make your work stand out and get the attention it deserves. 

Let's get started!

On This PageArrow Down

  • 1. What is an Abstract?
  • 2. Types of an Abstract
  • 3. Steps to Write an Abstract for a Research Paper
  • 4. Abstract Page Template and Examples
  • 5. Tips to Write an Abstract for a Research Paper

What is an Abstract?

An abstract is a short summary of your research. It tells the readers what the central point of your paper is and also describes the aims and outcomes.

A strong abstract further allows the audience to decide whether they want to continue with your paper or not. It is a vital component of a research paper and a thesis, and no paper is considered complete without it.

What Goes into an Abstract?

An abstract typically includes:

  • The Purpose: Why was the research or document created?
  • Methods: How was the research conducted or the document prepared?
  • Results: What did the research find, or what does the document discuss?
  • Conclusions: What are the main takeaways or implications?

Below is an example of a research paper abstract, with each section highlighted for clarity.

How to Write an Abstract

Types of an Abstract

The use of different types of abstracts depends on the document you're summarising and the audience you're targeting.

 Let's explore the common types of abstracts:

Critical Abstracts

Critical abstracts not only summarize but also offer a thoughtful evaluation or analysis of the research paper. They cover the paper’s methods and main findings and assess the quality and importance of the work.

Descriptive Abstracts

Descriptive abstracts give a clear overview of what's in the research paper. They are the most basic type. They describe the main topic, purpose, and scope of the paper without giving away specific details, conclusions, or results. 

Informative Abstracts 

Informative abstracts go a step further than descriptive ones. They not only describe the paper’s content but also provide key results, findings, and conclusions. They include essential details about the paper, such as the research methodology, results, and conclusions, allowing readers to understand its significance.

Highlight Abstracts

Highlight abstracts emphasize the most critical points of a paper. They aim to grab the reader's attention and highlight its most significant contributions. These abstracts focus on the most important findings, key conclusions, and their broader implications, often showcasing why the research paper is worth reading.

Steps to Write an Abstract for a Research Paper

Whether you're a student working on a research paper or a researcher aiming to publish your work, writing an effective abstract follows a structured process. 

Here are the key steps to help you write a compelling abstract:

Step 1: Follow Instructions Closely 

When tackling a research paper abstract, always begin by thoroughly reviewing the provided instructions. These guidelines act as your roadmap, ensuring you stay on the right track. Look out for:

  • Abstract Type: Your teacher may specify the type, such as descriptive or informative.
  • Structure: Note any recommended sections or organization rules.
  • Word Count: Stick to the prescribed word limit diligently.
  • Style and Formatting: Adhere to style and formatting requirements.

Step 2: Include Relevant Background

Incorporate concise background information into your abstract to provide context. Focus on why your study's expected outcomes matter in addressing the main research question. Avoid lengthy or irrelevant details.

Step 3: Define the Research Problem and Objectives

Begin your abstract by clearly outlining the research's purpose and objectives. Make the case for its significance to individuals and society. Specify the research question(s) you aim to address.

  • Use Action Words: Employ terms like "evaluate," "analyze," and "investigate" to describe your research's purpose.
  • Past or Present Tense: Write this section in simple past or present tense; avoid the future tense.
  • Address Key Questions: Answer these vital questions:
  1. Why conduct this research?
  2. How does it contribute to the field?
  3. Why should readers delve into the full paper?
  4. What central problem does your research solve?
  5. What's the study's scope, specific or general?
  6. What's the primary argument?

Step 4: Describe the Research Methods

In your abstract, briefly touch on the research methods employed to address your research question. Use 1 to 2 concise, past-tense sentences.

  • Concise Overview: Offer a high-level view of the approaches, procedures, and sources utilized in your research.
  • Methodology Type: Mention whether your methods were qualitative, quantitative, case study, or another type.
  • Explain Method Choice: State why you selected a specific method and how it benefits your research.

Step 5: Highlight Previous Research

Incorporate a brief mention of relevant previous research on your chosen topic in your abstract. Emphasize the unique perspective of your research without delving into excessive detail.

  • Concise Overview: Provide a brief overview of previous research, highlighting its relevance to your work.
  • Uniqueness: Mention how your research offers a distinct perspective or contribution to the existing body of knowledge.
  • Engaging Content: Keep the reader engaged by including enough information to convey the importance of your research within the context of prior studies.

Step 6: Summarize Key Findings and Results

Summarize the major findings and results of your study using simple past and present tense. Avoid vague qualitative terms and instead focus on concrete details.

  • Clarity is Key: Ensure clarity in your summary, using concrete measures such as percentages, trends, figures, or specific outcomes.
  • Evaluate Against Hypothesis: State whether your study aligns with the initial hypothesis, highlighting the success or divergence of your findings.

Step 7: Present Your Conclusion

In the final section of your abstract, provide a clear and concise conclusion to your research. Explain how your study addresses the research question and problem.

  • Answer the Question: Articulate the answer to your research question and problem.
  • Acknowledge Limitations: Mention any limitations related to sample size or methodology. This transparency helps readers assess the research's credibility and context.
  • Future Research and Recommendations: Consider offering suggestions and recommendations for future research or a call to action. Ensure your results contribute value to the field of knowledge.

Abstract Page Template and Examples

The following are the abstract examples and a template. Read them if you want to know more.

Tips to Write an Abstract for a Research Paper

Follow these tips to ensure your abstract is concise, engaging, and accurately represents your work:

  • Revise Your Abstract

Revision is a crucial step in crafting an effective abstract. Once you've drafted your initial version, go back and carefully review it. Check for clarity, coherence, and alignment with the main paper. Look for opportunities to improve conciseness without sacrificing essential information.

  • Get Feedback from a Peer

Seeking feedback from a peer provides an external perspective on your abstract. Another person can offer valuable insights into the clarity and effectiveness of your communication.

  • Consider Getting Professional Editing and Proofreading

An experienced editor can help refine your language, ensure proper grammar and syntax, and enhance overall readability. This step is especially important when aiming for publication in academic journals or presenting your research to a wider audience.

  • Write Your Abstract After Completing Your Paper

Crafting the abstract after completing the paper allows for a comprehensive overview of your research. It ensures that the abstract accurately reflects the main points, key findings, and conclusions of your work. This approach contributes to a more cohesive and aligned representation of your research.

  • Keep Your Content in the Correct Order

Maintain the proper sequence of information in your abstract. Follow the structure outlined in the earlier steps: purpose, methods, results, and conclusions. This logical flow helps readers navigate through your abstract effortlessly, enhancing comprehension and engagement.

  • Write the Abstract from Scratch

Avoid copying and pasting sentences directly from your paper into the abstract. Instead, write the abstract from scratch, ensuring that it is a standalone piece that effectively encapsulates the essence of your research. This approach fosters clarity and ensures that the abstract serves its purpose of providing a concise summary.

  • Don’t Include Too Many Details in the Abstract

Resist the temptation to include excessive details in the abstract. Focus on the essential aspects of your research, emphasizing key findings and conclusions. A concise abstract maintains reader interest and encourages them to delve into the full paper for a more in-depth understanding.

In summary, this guide will help you write a perfect abstract for your paper if you follow it closely. 

However, not everyone possesses the knack for creating a stellar abstract. In such cases, seek essay help online from

For all your academic writing requirements, is your ultimate choice. Simply make an order for a meticulously crafted abstract from our expert writers.

Feel free to reach out to our customer service now for your "write my research paper" needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between an abstract and an introduction?

FAQ Icon

The difference between an abstract and an introduction lies in their respective scopes and content. An abstract condenses your larger work into a concise paragraph, whereas the introduction encompasses some but not all elements found in an abstract.

How long should an abstract be?

FAQ Icon

The length of an abstract can vary depending on the specific requirements of the journal article, or academic institution you are submitting to. However, a typical length falls in the range of 150 to 250 words. 

AI Essay Bot

Write Essay Within 60 Seconds!

Use our AI tool to generate high quality essay
Try AI Essay Writer Free
Nova A.


Nova A.

Nova Allison is a Digital Content Strategist with over eight years of experience. Nova has also worked as a technical and scientific writer. She is majorly involved in developing and reviewing online content plans that engage and resonate with audiences. Nova has a passion for writing that engages and informs her readers.

Get Help

Paper Due? Why Suffer? That’s our Job!

Top-class writers are here!Get Help

Keep reading

14 min read

Research Paper Writing - A Step by Step Guide

research paper
6 min read

Research Paper Examples - Free Sample Papers for Different Formats!

Research Paper Example
8 min read

Guide to Creating Effective Research Paper Outline

Research Paper Outline
21 min read

Interesting Research Paper Topics for 2024

Research Paper Topics
17 min read

Research Proposal Writing - A Step-by-Step Guide

Research Proposal
7 min read

How to Start a Research Paper - 7 Easy Steps

how to start a research paper
8 min read

Writing a Literature Review For a Research Paper - A Comprehensive Guide

how to write a literature review
16 min read

Qualitative Research - Methods, Types, and Examples

Qualitative research
16 min read

8 Types of Qualitative Research - Overview & Examples

types of qualitative research
17 min read

Qualitative vs Quantitative Research - Learning the Basics

Qualitative vs. Quantitative Research
18 min read

200+ Engaging Psychology Research Paper Topics for Students in 2024

Psychology Research Paper Topics
13 min read

Learn How to Write a Hypothesis in a Research Paper: Examples and Tips!

how to write a hypothesis
18 min read

20+ Types of Research With Examples - A Detailed Guide

Types of Research
13 min read

Understanding Quantitative Research - Types & Data Collection Techniques

Quantitative Research
18 min read

230+ Sociology Research Topics & Ideas for Students

Sociology Research Topics
17 min read

How to Cite a Research Paper - A Complete Guide

How to Cite a Research Paper
21 min read

Excellent History Research Paper Topics- 300+ Ideas

History Research Paper Topics
12 min read

A Guide on Writing the Method Section of a Research Paper - Examples & Tips

Research Methodology
11 min read

How To Write an Introduction Paragraph For a Research Paper: Learn with Examples

how to write an introduction for a research paper
7 min read

Crafting a Winning Research Paper Title: A Complete Guide

how to write a good research paper title
9 min read

Writing a Research Paper Conclusion - Step-by-Step Guide

How To Write A Conclusion For A Research Paper
11 min read

Writing a Thesis For a Research Paper - A Comprehensive Guide

research paper thesis
9 min read

How To Write A Discussion For A Research Paper | Examples & Tips

how to write a discussion for a research paper
12 min read

How To Write The Results Section of A Research Paper | Steps & Examples

how to write the results section of a research paper
11 min read

Writing a Problem Statement for a Research Paper - A Comprehensive Guide

how to write a problem statement for a research paper
14 min read

Finding Sources For a Research Paper: A Complete Guide

how to find sources for a research paper
8 min read

A Guide on How to Edit a Research Paper

how to edit a research paper
16 min read

200+ Ethical Research Paper Topics to Begin With (2024)

24 min read

300+ Controversial Research Paper Topics & Ideas - 2024 Edition

Controversial Research Paper Topics
14 min read

150+ Argumentative Research Paper Topics For You - 2024

Argumentative Research Paper Topics
9 min read

How to Write a Research Methodology for a Research Paper

How To Write A Research Methodology
Browse All