How to Write an Abstract? | Purpose, Aims, Methods, Tips, Results, Do’s and Don’ts

How to Write an Abstract?: You must be wondering what is an abstract? To answer this question, we can say that the abstract is likely the most significant element of your paper for various reasons. As a result, the abstract becomes a tool for concisely communicating your study while highlighting its most significant aspects.

This article will provide you with advice on how to prepare for writing an abstract where you will learn how to write an abstract for assignment. If you’re writing an abstract for a class paper, your professor could give you precise instructions on what to include and how to format it. Academic publications, on the other hand, frequently have precise standards for abstracts, and you can understand this by observing different how to write an abstract example.

What is an Abstract?

What is an abstract?

An abstract is a shortened form of a lengthier piece of writing (such as a dissertation or research paper). The abstract summarises your study’s objectives and findings so that readers understand what the article is about.

The usual length of an abstract is 150–300 words; however, certain colleges and publications have strict word restrictions, so double-check the criteria of the university or journal. In a dissertation or thesis, place the abstract on a separate page after the title page and acknowledgements but before the table of contents.

Purpose of an abstract

Abstracts are frequently indexed with keywords in academic databases, making your work easier to discover. Because the abstract is the first thing a reader sees, it must explain the contents of your article simply and properly. An abstract is a brief overview of a research paper, and it serves two purposes:

  1. To assist potential readers in determining whether your material is relevant to their own study.
  2. To present the most important facts to individuals who do not have time to read the entire study.

When do you need to write an abstract?

The abstract should always come last on your list of things to write. It should be a completely unique and self-contained work, not a paraphrase of your dissertation or paper. The abstract should be understandable even if the reader hasn’t read the complete work or any connected sources.

An abstract is nearly always necessary when writing a thesis, dissertation, research paper, or submitting an article to an academic publication. The simplest method to create an abstract is to follow the same format as the main work—think of it as a mini-dissertation or research piece. In the vast majority of cases, this means that the abstract should have four key elements.

Write the abstract at the end of the text after you’ve finished the remainder of the content. The following four elements must be included:

  1. The research question and goals.
  2. The approaches and methods.
  3. The most important findings or arguments.
  4. The conclusion.

Aims to write in an abstract

Before writing an abstract, you should first list down the key points or areas you want to cover in your abstract.

  • Begin by stating your research’s goal explicitly. The practical or theoretical problem the study addresses or the research question you are attempting to answer can be mentioned.
  • You can include some background information about your topic’s social or intellectual importance, but don’t go into great depth.
  • Declare your study goal when you’ve identified the problem. Use verbs like examine, test, analyse, and assess to express exactly what you set out to achieve.
  • This section of the abstract can be written in the present or past simple tense, but it should never relate to the future because the study is already completed.

Methods to write in an abstract

Describe the research strategies you utilised to respond to your query. This section should consist of a summary of one to two sentences of what you did. Because it relates to accomplished activities, it is frequently written in the past simple tense.

Don’t analyse validity or barriers here—the purpose is to provide the reader with a brief overview of the broad strategy and methods you utilised, not to give a detailed description of the methodology’s merits and limitations.

Results and Conclusion to write in an abstract

Finally, summarise the key findings of the study. The present or past simple tense can be used in this segment of the abstract. You may not be able to add all your findings here, depending on how extensive and involved your study is. Make a point of highlighting only the most essential facts so that the reader can comprehend your conclusions.

Last but not least, present your research’s primary findings: what is your solution to the problem or question. The reader should be able to grasp the major argument that your research has shown or argued in the end. In most cases, conclusions are written in the present simple tense.

Tips for writing an abstract

Condensing your whole dissertation into a few hundred words might be difficult, but the abstract will be the first and often the only thing people read, so it’s crucial to get it right. The tips listed below can assist you in getting started for writing different types of abstracts.

  1. Invert the outline: There aren’t going to be the same components in every abstract. If your study has a different structure, for example, a humanities dissertation with theme chapters that create an argument, you can compose your abstract using a reverse outlining method.

Make a list of keywords for each chapter or part and write one to two phrases that describe the main point or argument. This will provide you with a structure for your abstract. Then, edit the sentences to demonstrate how the argument progresses and to draw links.

  1. Concentrate on your own research: The aim of the abstract is to report on your research’s original contributions; thus, avoid discussing other people’s work in the abstract, even if you discuss it substantially in the main body.
  2. Write in a clear and concise manner: A good abstract should be brief yet powerful, so make every word count. Each sentence or statement should explain one primary idea clearly. Avoid needless filler words and gibberish; your abstract should be clear to those who are unfamiliar with your subject.
  3. Follow the formatting: If you’re writing a thesis or dissertation or submitting it to a publication, the abstract may have specific formatting requirements; check the instructions, style your work appropriately, and stay within the word limit.

Dos and Don’ts for Abstract Writing


  • Maintain brevity and succinctness in your writing. To save time rewriting the abstract later, most journals have a limited word count, so check the requirements before you compose it.
  • Write for the people who will read it. Keep your terminology as simple as possible if you’re writing for a wide readership or if your study might be of interest to the public. Remember that not all your readers will be native English speakers if you’re writing in English.
  • Concentrate on the most important findings, conclusions, and takeaways.
  • First, write your paper, then write an abstract as a summary.
  • Before you start writing your abstract, double-check the journal’s criteria, such as needed subheadings.
  • Include keywords or phrases that can help people find your work in search engines like PubMed or Google Scholar.
  • Check your abstract for spelling and grammatical problems several times. These kinds of mistakes might convey the impression that your research isn’t sound, making it more difficult to locate reviewers who will accept your request to examine your paper.
  • Your abstract should give readers a sample of what they may expect from the body of your piece.


  • Do not make your study more exciting.
  • Do not consider where this study may go in the future.
  • Do not use abbreviations or acronyms only if they’re really required or well-known, such as DNA.
  • Do not unnecessarily repeat statements or information.
  • Do not include anything that something else in your manuscript contradicts the abstract.
  • Do not include information, results, or interpretations that aren’t included in the main text.
  • Do not mention citations and references.
  • Do not provide details on normal laboratory processes or statistical methods, or software unless it is the centre of your work.
  • Do not include lengthy background information about past works or research that is not related to the current work.


When writing your abstract, the key issue will be to make it succinct while including all the information you want. The journal may demand a structured abstract with certain headings, depending on your topic area.

A well-structured abstract will make it easier for your viewers to comprehend your research. If your journal does not need a structured abstract, it is still a good idea to use a similar approach; simply provide the abstract as a single paragraph with no headers.

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