A research abstract is a summary of your finished paper that functions as a framework. This framework gives an overall report about the selected topic and emphasis on the major opinions that have been established in the research paper.It is basically the researchers’ elevator pitch to the readers. The objective of a research paper abstract is to efficiently convey your proposition to the readers. The clarity of your communication increases the probabilities of your research being used for worthy purposes. Abstracts could also be related to the “executive summary” in business surroundings: like an official briefing on the most important part of your research, or the “gist” of your research. Now with the majority of academic transactions being conducted online, this means that you have even less time to influence readers as there is a surge in other abstracts out there to read. With the availability of online publication databases, writing a convincing abstract is even more essential today than it was in the times of bound paper manuscripts.
Types of research paper abstract
Though this writing is a simple and brief outline or summary of your work; it can be of two types. These are descriptive and informative. The descriptive type is the top choice if you go for explanations. In this, you should specify the objective, aim and your research techniques to readers. However, omit specifics on results and conclusions as those shouldn’t be included in the descriptive summary. Ideally should be of 100-200 words in length.
Alternatively, informative type requires you to analyze the outcomes of research and emphasizes on significant views you have established in the paper. The informative abstract is lengthier than descriptive abstract and should limit to a couple of paragraphs or extend up to one page in length. It is a condensed abstract of your research that reviews every aspect of the study, including the concluding results.
If your mentor requires a specific type, it will be easier for you to start working on your abstract. But if you have to decide it on your own, you should contemplate both types and choose the one that is most appropriate. Informative abstracts are widely used for submission to journals and conferences. They relate to extensive and more technical research. Descriptive abstracts are more apt for shorter papers and articles.
Structure of the Abstract
The abstract (especially the informative abstract) does almost as much work as the thousands of words that follow it in the main body. In the field of hard sciences and most social sciences, the abstract includes a detailed section and organizational scheme. Each section is condensed—only a single sentence or two. As the abstract is just about always one long paragraph, the individual sections should naturally combine into one another to build an all-inclusive effect. After you have selected on the type, find out what elements are essential to be incorporated in your summary. Use the following checklist to ensure that:
- Ascertain Purpose: This should be mentioned in every academic paper you write. You should start your abstract by explaining why people should care about this study—why is it significant to your field and perhaps to the wider world? What is the precise purpose of your study; what are you trying to accomplish? Why did you select this particular topic? How can your research benefit the reader? Answering to these questions will assist you to build a perfect purpose of writing to describe your reader your primary goal and aim. The first section of your abstract should include the significance of the research and the effect it might have in the related research field.
- Describe the Problem: The problem you decided to examine is the centre of attention in your research paper. Stating the “problem” that your research addresses are the outcome of why your specific study is essential and needed. You can merge the problem with the purpose section, but from a view of simplicity, it is best to isolate the two.
- Discuss Methods: Methods are simply the ways you have been developing/looking for solutions for the problem. You have established the importance of the research, your motivation for studying this issue, and the specific problem your paper addresses. Now discuss how you resolved or made an improvement on this problem. How you directed your research. If in your paper you assessed the efforts of others, clarify this here. Choose two-three main methods that were used the most and describe them clearly for readers. You are essentially presenting the reader the internal mechanism of your research and how it worked in the study.
- Summarize your Results: Results should only be incorporated if you write informative type abstract. They are the opinions you have established in the course of your work. While your research paper should cover a thorough description of results, they have to be explained concisely in the abstract. Avoid using too many ambiguous languages (e.g, “same,” “less,” “great”) and try to use at least some quantifiable expressions (i.e., percentages, figures, numbers).
- State your conclusion: In this section of your abstract, give a statement about the suggestions of your study. You can convey some foremost results and reaffirm the relevance of the research. Add how the consequences you achieved can alter the situation and help others in their studies of the issue. Never claim our study’s influence as too all-embracing.
Regardless of your mentor’s requirements, all the academic assignments you prepare have to be formatted properly with our research paper format guide. It is imperative that your abstract is understandable even to the person who hasn’t read your research. To guarantee that, avoid including any abbreviations, acronyms or complex terms in summary. You don’t have to add any tables, charts, and diagrams as they will burden the opinion of your text. If required, it’s better to include a table in the research part. Include 5-10 important words or short phrases vital to your research in both the abstract and keywords sections. Go through the whole manuscript to remove the smallest mistakes, if any. The aim of writing an abstract is to outline the wide-ranging points, not to dig into lengthy clarifications and explanations. Strike a balance between being specific to your study and presenting a relatively broad overview of your work.