How to Write an Abstract for a Research Paper + Examples

Abstract writing may seem easy for the most part, but it is a vital inclusion in a well-written research paper. They usually contain all the significant bits of information written in the main paper but in a more precise and briefer format. If you are writing a research paper abstract, your professor may provide you with specific guidelines on organizing your abstract. But in most cases, you are left to create the overall idea and determine how your abstract turns out by yourself.

Before giving the steps on writing abstracts for research papers, let’s briefly get into what an abstract entails.

What is an Abstract in a Research Paper?

An abstract for research paper is a summary of the entire written piece. Its functions are to precisely report the objective and outcome of the research so that the readers fully understand the research paper requirements.

How to Write Abstract for Research Paper

An abstract allows readers to get the essence of your paper swiftly so they can decide whether to read the full work. It also gives guidelines to readers on how to follow detailed analysis, arguments, and information expressed in your full paper. Below are the steps involved in writing an abstract for a research paper.

  • First, write the paper

An abstract is typically the last thing you need to write in your research paper. This is because an abstract is meant to be written based on the direct summary of the entire research paper. If you write your abstract initially, you run the risk of missing some vital points expressed in the paper.

  • Review the requirements

Depending on where the research paper was assigned, you need to review the requirements to ensure you are writing in the correct structure, length, or style. This ensures you accurately write your abstract.

  • Review your audience and publication

Abstracts are primarily designed to help readers quickly learn if the main piece of writing is what they want to read. Thus, considering your audience and the publication environment is a good way to ensure you capture a good amount of readers.

  • Determine the abstract type

Identifying the type of abstract you need to write is another important step in writing abstracts for a research paper. There are two major types of abstracts: the descriptive and informative types. If you have been given the type of abstract to write, you should stick to it, and if you haven’t, you can choose the one you would prefer.

  • Describe the problem

A good description of the problem your research seeks to provide a solution to is needed when writing an abstract. You have to identify your main arguments and describe their general issues.

  • Explain methods of research

Here, you will need to explain the methods taken or employed in your research or study. This usually involves the type of research you conducted, your approach, and the various variables involved.

  • Explain the results

This is usually included in an informative abstract. Here you share your general findings, handy solutions, or answers you have gotten from your research and study.

  • Conclusion

Here, you finalize your research paper summary by discussing the meaning behind your findings and expressing the importance of your study and research. Conclusions are required in both types of abstracts.

Abstract Format for Research Paper

The abstract format for a research paper usually includes:

  1. The background information for research and the topic under study
  2. The statement of the problem your research paper seeks to address
  3. Previous research conducted
  4. The main objectives of the research
  5. The study and analytic method involved
  6. Results of the research
  7. Significance of the findings of the research
  8. And the conclusion

Research Paper Abstract Example APA

Abstract of research papers written in APA format is written on their page and in the same order as the main paper.

Research Paper Abstract Example MLA

An abstract written in MLA style is typically aimed at summarising results, objectives, and the paper’s conclusion. The MLA style abstract is the most popular and commonly employed abstract style in art and humanities fields.

Here is a good research paper abstract example:

Homicide remains the most serious crime in society. Since it is considered an abhorrent crime, homicide investigation remains a serious aspect of anyone in the criminal justice field. Despite this, not all homicides have been solved. Some of these homicides and the subsequent investigations have reached legendary status. One of these cases is the murder of a young woman in Los Angeles in 1947. The name Elizabeth Short is not well known to individuals today. However, the posthumous epithet she was given is well known. She is known as The Black Dahlia. He tragic and brutal murder remains unsolved, despite a serious investigation. The investigation focused on a number of men in her life, including a married man whom she was seeing. Evidence was collected at the scene. However, in the years before forensic evidence, not enough was known to help solve the murder. Her death remains shrouded in mystery, and the brutality of her murder still invites curiosity.

A good abstract should be independently intelligible, leaving the reader to get all the information required about your main paper and whether it is worth reading. Abstract writing is a lot easier when you get the hang of it. You could easily write a top-notch abstract for your research paper with constant practice and research.

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