How to Write a Research Paper Abstract

An abstract is a summary of an unpublished or published research paper. It’s about one paragraph of six to seven sentences and 150 to 250 words. An abstract allows readers to get the importance of your research paper. It enables them to decide whether to read the entire document or not. It prepares readers to abide by the papers detailed information, arguments, and analysis. It also assists readers in mastering critical points from your research paper.

The bibliographic databases and the search engines use abstracts. They use them together with titles to spot keywords that index your research paper. What you add in your title and abstract is essential to help researchers to get to your paper. When writing an abstract for your course paper, your teacher will give guidelines. The abstract journals have unique specifications for abstracts. Make sure you observe the instructions offered for the article you are writing.

Abstracts have a brief of the following information. The body of your paper will build and explain the ideas fully. The space you will give each information in an abstract varies depending on the type of paper. Abstract information may have these forms: the background information or context of research. It’s the general topic under study and the exact subject of the study. The abstract also has the central statements or questions of a problem that the investigation will address. An abstract has information on what was previously known about the question. It also has what the previous research has done. It also has the key reasons, rationale, goals, and exigency for the analysis.

An abstract also gives your analytical and research methods, arguments, results, or findings. It will also show the implications and significance of your arguments or conclusions.

An abstract has to have self-intelligibility to make the reader not read the entire paper. Don’t include reference citations in an abstract. An abstract has what you studied in the research. It has your research findings and your paper’s arguments. Citation of specific literature happens in the body of the article.

It’s tempting to write an abstract at the start of your writing because it comes as the first part of the paper. It’s advisable to write the entire essay first then go back to write an abstract. You will be in a position to know what you are summarizing.

A social science abstract uses the present tense to describe authentic interpretations. It also describes the general facts that are true. It includes the current explanations for the social phenomena under study. The present tense also helps to explain findings and implications in the research. Authors use the past tense in describing past research done.

A humanity abstract uses past tense to describe events done in the past. The present tense then becomes vital in describing the happenings in those past events. The past tense helps explain the meaning or significance of those past texts. It describes the arguments presented in that article.

Science abstracts use past tense to describe the effects of the previous research studies. The past tense also aids in describing researches conducted, methods used, and the findings. Science abstract uses the present tense to justify the author’s research.

The present tense also aids in introducing the study. It’s essential in explaining the importance of the study.


The above are perfect guidelines to use in writing an ideal abstract for science papers. Use the tips to make a complete and perfect abstract for your course paper. You can check examples online to boost your understanding of the concept.

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