Writing A Research Paper Abstract: Complete Instructions


Do you need to write one of these? Don’t even know what it is? Freaking out? Well, there is no need to worry! Relax and remember that learning can actually be fun and rewarding!

Here’s everything you need to know:

So what exactly is it then?


  • An abstract is a summary of a larger project- in this case, a research paper.

  • It should contain the main objectives, as well as the methods used to accomplish them.

  • It should include an overview of the results of your project as well as any conclusions that may possibly be drawn from them.

  • The manner of it will be concise and clear and consist of just one well-developed paragraph.

  • It shouldn’t contain any new information that has not been included in the chapters.

  • It should make sense in its own right.

  • Because it is an overview of the whole, it’s generally best to write it last, so you can base it on what you have written!

Make sure that you are constructing it to the correct requirements!

Construction and content can change depending on the subject it’s relevant to, so make sure that you know what the exact requirements are. A research paper will often belong to science based subjects, which have a different approach to, say, humanities subjects; where the emphasis is more upon the method you have used.

Remember to ask your tutor if you are not certain of the specific requirements.

Editing and polishing is the key!

Remember to edit it to a high standard. Make sure it incorporates all the exact key areas you need to relate.

Don’t overlook the importance of your abstract- after all, it will be the first thing that’s read. Even though it’s short, it still needs to be comprehensive in its content and flow. So write a rough draft first and then edit it again and again until you are completely happy with it.

Remember to give yourself enough time to write it. Don’t overlook it in your timetable planning; just because it’s the last thing to be written certainly does not make it any less important!

Do you still need more help?

If you still have questions, then do not be afraid to ask your professor. It might also help for you to look at other examples of abstracts. You’ll be able to easily find these in your campus library as well as on the internet.