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Write an Academic Paper Abstract

How to Write an Academic Paper Abstract 

Academic paper abstracts typically tell your instructor what you discovered, your findings, your arguments, or your key points that you want the instructor to remember. This article will give you a guideline on how to write an academic paper abstract. It will include all the crucial things you need to know before you write an academic paper abstract.

The abstract usually acts as the summary of your paper and prospective readers use it to make a decision whether they will read your paper or not. Your abstract should represent as much as possible quantitative and qualitative analysis in your paper.

Most students tend to write an academic paper abstract casually at the beginning because they do not know what to say.  Some of them do not take enough time and end up submitting the abstract in a rush.

Before you write an academic paper abstract, the first step is to establish which paper to include in your paper. The following are the common types of abstracts

Critical abstracts: it provides a judgment or comment about the papers validity, reliability, or completeness. You will evaluate the paper and compare it with other works on the same subject. The critical abstract is 400-500 words in the length due to the additional interpretive commentary.

Descriptive abstracts: this abstract indicates the type of information found in your paper, but it makes no judgments or arguments about the findings nor does it provide a conclusion or results of the research. It in cooperates keywords found in the paper and may include the purpose, methods and scope of the research. Descriptive abstracts are short and only describe the work you are summarizing, and some writers consider it as their paper outline.

Informative abstract: most abstracts are informative, and they give a description of the paper instead of just criticizing and evaluating it. An excellent informative abstract should explain all the main arguments, significant results, and evidence you are providing in the paper. The length of the informative abstract depends on the discipline, but a normal one is around 300 words.

Remember that the informative abstract can be found in the descriptive abstract but it also gives the results and conclusions of your paper and gives a recommendation. It answers the following questions:

  1. Why did you do this paper?
  2. What did you do and how?
  3. What did you find?
  4. What is the meaning of your findings?

Highlight abstract: it is specifically written to attract the reader’s attention of the paper. In this abstract, incomplete remarks and facts may be used to spark the reader’s interest and therefore are not recommended in academic writing.

The structure of an academic paper abstract

Every discipline has different ways of writing academic papers. However, there are general guidelines that you follow when you want to write an academic paper abstract. Mostly abstracts are broken down into three sections:

Section 1

It states the problem and your reason as to why your audience/readers should care. Here you introduce the context of your study including the issue that your study intends to address. You should use this opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of the current literature.

You should try to show the reader that the issue you are about to address is interesting and is worth discussing.

Section 2

This is where you state your approach, your findings, and the results. You give the reader an insight of what you are going to present in your paper. Outline your study, the methods you used (theoretical or practical), and your sources and how they answer the question you mentioned in paragraph 1.

The number of words you will include in this paragraph depends on the details that you want to give about the issue. Overall, it is crucial to make this section as meaningful as possible.

Ensure that your evidence is well explained, and you have stated where it is coming from. You should not just state your point of argument but also establish the point that you used to come up with your final decision.

Section 3

This is the conclusion part. You discuss how the paper affects your discipline of study and why it is relevant. Remember you need to convince your audience why they should read the paper so you have to show them that it is indeed significant.

10 Points to note when you want to write an academic paper abstract

  1. While drafting your abstract, look beyond your subject of discussion to see if the assumptions concerning your discipline are challenged; ensure you have questioned the significance of your ideas; put emphasis on significant results and address the limitations in a reasonable manner.
  2. Do not repeat your title because the abstract will is read with the title always. However, you should make it stand out on its own because there is a high possibility it will not be read with the rest of the paper.
  3. Ensure you emphasize the arguments of your paper in proportion to the points that the reader will receive in the body of your paper. Your readers expect you to summarize the findings, purpose, and conclusion in the abstract so you should do exactly that.
  4. Do not include information that is not included in the paper in your abstract. This is crucial to the writing of your paper because you do not want to give the reader of your paper that the study covers certain information that it does not. If the reader is your instructor, you might end up scoring very low marks because you gave false information.
  5. Ensure you avoid using the first person “I” ”We”. You should also try to use active verbs instead of passive ones as much as possible.
  6. Avoid as much as possible to use trade names, acronyms, abbreviations, or symbols in your abstract. The reason is you will take much time and words trying to explain their meaning to the reader. Your abstract should not be very long and do this means adding more words and space.
  7. Ensure that you are reporting rather than commenting on your findings.
  8. Use keywords from your paper to help you accurately index your document for future research.
  9. Ensure that you are sensitive to the needs and knowledge of your audience when writing your academic paper. This means that you should write what your readers will understand. Do not assume that what is obvious to you will be the same to your readers. Use a simple language and try to elaborate points that you think need explanations.
  10. Avoid procrastination! Ensure that you do not postpone the writing of your abstract. It is best to write an academic abstract paper immediately after you are done with your paper when the ideas are still fresh in your mind.

Bonus fact: your instructor will suggest that you write an academic paper abstract for all of your papers while in college. One of the reasons is because it makes you focus on things that are important to your academic papers. The abstract can be helpful in the writing process of your paper especially if you are stuck.

Tips to ensure that you write an academic abstract in the best way

Do proper preparation

Sometimes creating time to do your research while in college can be hard sometimes. One reason is most students have busy schedules, and some have to juggle between jobs and studies. Despite all these, you should put in mind that studying is the primary reason you came to college.

Failure to create enough time to prepare for your paper results to a poorly done abstract that is not able to convince the reader to read your paper. You should dedicate a few hours so that you can research on sources to base your argument from.

Understand the topic of your academic paper well

Mostly, your instructor will give you the required guidelines that you can follow while writing your paper. Ensure that you understand them clearly, as this will help you while researching. If you are getting difficulties finding sources or write an academic paper abstract, do not be shy to ask for a guide from your professor or anyone one else who is experienced.

Hire an online company

Although it is against some schools policy to do this, it is an easy and efficient way to do your academic papers while in college. These companies have the required tools and a group of experienced writers with expertise to handle all type of academic papers.

Students who find it hard to create time to do their papers can always get them done by online companies in the required time. More to helping you beat the deadline, they will ensure that you are presenting a quality paper that will enable you to score high marks.

In conclusion, the above is just a guideline on how you can write an academic paper abstract while in college. One critical thing is to follow the guidance that your instructor provides in class. Some professors demand their abstract written in a certain way so it is important to follow what they say or you will score low marks on your paper.

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