You may have probably heard the word before, but what is an abstract? If you see a boring trailer, would you even pay to watch the full movie? Many wouldn’t, right? This is the same way an abstract applies to a research paper. It has the power to make or break your piece, just like that. Scholars even go further to call it the initial anchor of the research paper. If you are looking for ways on how to write one, then this guide is well-suited for your needs.
Before sharing free useful tips to make your abstract the bomb, it is imperative to have a look at the examples as a start. Whether it is a complex research paper or interesting but simple essays, you need to check out some examples first, to guide you into writing your perfectly crafted piece. There’s a vast database you can use online. You can get excellent free essay examples from any available resource on the internet. Otherwise, here are ten easy steps you can follow to make your research paper abstract more effective:
1. Write it after you’re done with the paper
The worst mistake you can do to your research paper is starting with the abstract. As much as many students are used to doing this, it is a terrible way that can ruin your chances of having a professional piece. Make it a habit to first complete a research paper, and then you can craft the abstract.
But you may ask the basis of using this format. Well, it’s pretty straightforward. An abstract sums up all of the ideas and thoughts presented in the research paper. It is similar to a conclusion, only that it comes at the top. Therefore, you’ll need to use the information that is present in your text, as a source for writing it.
2. Get rid of unnecessary information
A proper abstract should be brief and straight to the point. There’s no need to fill it with fluff unless you want to bore the reader. Back to the movie trailer example, if you are keen on them, they are usually very concise. They only showcase the best parts of the movie as a teaser to make you anticipate watching the real thing. Similarly, for an abstract, it should give the reader anxious to read the entire research paper. It shouldn’t have everything present in the whole text, but just bits of information.
So, how long should an abstract be? Generally, you should have it between 150-250 words. It should be short enough not to bore the reader, and also long enough to have all the primary details.
3. Have a flow of information
Know how to structure your piece to have a summary of all of the topics present in the paper, in chronological order. Make sure you include the methodology, study design, techniques, significant findings, purpose, a summary of your clarifications and the conclusion or implications of the subject.
4. Make sure that there are consistency and rhythm
The information presented in the research paper should be similar to that found in the abstract. If they contradict, then you may end up confusing your reader.
5. Only use the key sentences and phrases
Some of the samples that you choose to use in your abstract should be the major ones present in the entire text. Anyone reading yours should have a general idea of what your entire paper is about.
6. Don’t be irrelevant
Most papers end up flopping due to the lack of relevance in the abstract. For example, don’t bring in foreign information that is absent in the research paper. Also, don’t use abbreviations that you haven’t defined before in the text. Besides, avoid any discussions of previous literature or citations that have no connection to your piece. In brief, avoid any term that doesn’t make sense to the current piece. Finally, don’t add up any of the details about the methods you used in the research; they are irrelevant too.
7. Ask for a second opinion
You are not always right. Your judgment alone is not sufficient. Ask a friend or someone else you trust for a balanced view of what your abstract looks like. They should check all the fine details, and if possible, they should be professionals to know what is expected of a sturdy abstract. Things like the purpose, methods and aims, need to be considered jointly. They shouldn’t be mere sycophants who will tell you what you want to hear. They should have the audacity to tell you whether or not you’re clear.
8. Refer to professional examples
Look at what the famous scholars are doing and see if your piece is similar. This is how to write an abstract.
There’s an 80% chance that the reader will continue to read your script, based on the contents of your abstract. So try to make it most informative, well-written and logically structured.