top of page

  How to Make Abstract

If you need to write an abstract for an academic paper, don't panic; your abstract is simply a summary of the work or paper that others can use as an overview. It will help your reader to understand the paper and it will help people searching for a particular work to find it and decide whether it suits their purposes. Seeing as an abstract is only a summary of the work you've already done, it's easy to accomplish!


Four Methods:

1.Sample Abstracts

2.Getting Your Abstract Started

3.Writing Your Abstract

4.Formatting Your Abstract


Method 1 of 3: Getting Your Abstract Started


1. Write your paper first. Even though an abstract goes at the beginning of the work, it acts as a summary of your entire paper. Rather than introducing your topic, it will be an overview of everything you write about in your paper.

  • A thesis and an abstract are entirely different things. The thesis in a paper introduces the main idea or question, while an abstract works to review the entirety of the paper, including the methods and results.

  • Even if you think you know what your paper is going to be about, always save the abstract for last. You will be able to give a much more accurate summary if you do just that - summarize what you’ve already written.


2. Review and understand any requirements for writing your abstract. The paper you’re writing is likely not of your own accord, and relates back to a specific assignment for work or school. As a result, you may also be presented with specific requirements for your overall essay and abstract. Before you start writing, refer to a rubric or guidelines you were presented with to identify important issues to keep in mind.

  • Is there a maximum or minimum length?

  • Are there style requirements?

  • Are you writing for an instructor or a publication?

  • Consider your audience. Will other academics in your field read this abstract, or should it be accessible to a lay reader or somebody from another field?


3. Determine the type of abstract you must write. Although all abstracts accomplish essentially the same goal, there are two primary styles of abstract: descriptive and informative. You may have been assigned a specific style, but if you haven’t you will have to determine which is right for you. Typically, informative abstracts are used for much longer and technical research while descriptive abstracts are best for shorter papers.

  • Descriptive abstracts explain the purpose, goal, and methods of your research but leave out the results section. These are typically only 100-200 words.

  • Informative abstracts are like a condensed version of your paper, giving an overview of everything in your research including the results. These are much longer than descriptive abstracts, and can be anywhere from a single paragraph to a whole page long.[1]

  • The basic information included in both styles of abstract are the same, with the main difference being that the results are only included in an informative abstract, and an informative abstract is much longer than a descriptive one.


Method 2 of 3: Writing Your Abstract


1.Identify your purpose. You’re writing about a correlation between lack of lunches in schools and poor grades. So what? Why does this matter? The reader wants to know why your research is important, and what the purpose of it is. Start off your descriptive abstract by answering one or all of the following:

  • Why did you decide to do this study?

  • Why is this research important?

  • Why should someone read your entire essay?


2.Explain the problem at hand. So the reader knows why you wrote your paper or why you think your topic is important, but now they need to know what the primary issue your paper deals with is. You can sometimes combine the problem with your motivation, but it is best to be clear and separate the two.

  • What problem is your research trying to better understand or solve?

  • What is the scope of your study - a general problem, or something specific?

  • What is your main claim or argument?


3.Explain your methods. Motivation - check. Problem - check. Methods? Now is the part where you give an overview of how you accomplished your study. If you did your own work, include a description of it here. If you reviewed the work of others, it can be briefly explained.

  • Discuss your own research including the variables and your approach.

  • Describe the evidence you have to support your claim

  • Give an overview of your most important sources.


4.Describe your results (informative abstract only). This is where you begin to differentiate your abstract between a descriptive and an informative abstract. In an informative abstract, you will be asked to provide the results of your study. What is it that you found?

  • What answer did you reach from your research or study?

  • Was your hypothesis or argument supported?

  • What are the general findings?


4.Give your conclusion. This should finish up your summary and give closure to your abstract. In it, address the meaning of your findings as well as the importance of your overall paper. This format of having a conclusion can be used in both descriptive and informative abstracts, but you will only address the following questions in an informative abstract.

  • What are the implications of your work?

  • Are your results general or very specific?


Method 3 of 3: Formatting Your Abstract


1.Keep it in order. There are specific questions your abstract must provide answers for, but the answers but be kept in order as well. Ideally it should mimic the overall format of your essay, with a general ‘introduction, ‘body,’ and ‘conclusion.’


2.Provide helpful information. Unlike a topic paragraph which may be intentionally vague, an abstract should provide a helpful explanation of your paper and your research. Word your abstract so that the reader knows exactly what you’re talking about, and isn’t left hanging with ambiguous references or phrases.

  • Avoid using direct acronyms or abbreviations in the abstract, as these will need to be explained in order to make sense to the reader. That uses up precious writing room, and should generally be avoided.

  • If your topic is about something well-known enough, you can reference the names of people or places that your paper focuses on.


3.Write it from scratch. Your abstract is a summary, yes, but it should be written completely separate from your paper. Don’t copy and paste direct quotes from yourself, and avoid simply paraphrasing your own sentences from elsewhere in your writing. Write your abstract using completely new vocabulary and phrases to keep it interesting and redundancy-free.


4.Use key phrases and words. If your abstract is to be published in a journal, you want people to be able to find it easily. In order to do so, readers will search for certain queries on online databases in hopes that papers, like yours, will show up. Try to use 5-10 important words or phrases key to your research in your abstract.

  • For example, if you’re writing a paper on the cultural differences in Schizophrenia, be sure to use words like “schizophrenia,” “cross-cultural,” “culture-bound,” “mental illness,” and “societal acceptance.” These might be search terms people use when looking for a paper on your subject.


5.Use real information. You want to draw people in with your abstract; it is the hook that will encourage them to continue reading your paper. However, do not reference ideas or studies that you don’t include in your paper in order to do this. Citing material that you don’t use in your work will mislead readers and ultimately lower your viewership.


6.Avoid being too specific. An abstract is a summary, and as such should not refer to specific points of your research other than possibly names or locations. You should not need to explain or define any terms in your abstract, a reference is all that is needed. Avoid being too explicit in your summary and stick to a very broad overview of your work


7.Be sure to do basic revisions. The abstract is a piece of writing that, like any other, should be revised before being completed. Check it over for grammatical and spelling errors and make sure it is formatted properly.


All the best for your Project by LJ Project Team....




Send your feedback on

bottom of page