The format of your abstract will depend on the work being abstracted. An abstract of a scientific research paper will contain elements not found in an abstract of a literature article, and vice versa. However, all abstracts share several mandatory components, and there are also some optional parts that you can decide to include or not.

In order to properly narrow down your perspective, it is important to know the category your work and your abstract falls into. To begin with, you need to determine what type of abstract your research should include. Four general types exist.:

Critical Abstracts

In addition to explaining the key results and data, a critical abstract includes a decision or statement on the validity, accuracy or completeness of the analysis. The author reviews the paper and often compares it on the same subject with other works. Due to the additional interpretive commentary, critical abstracts are typically 400-500 words in size. Such abstract forms are seldom used.

Descriptive abstract

The type of information contained in the work is indicated by a descriptive abstract. It does not make any assumptions on the job, nor does it give research results or conclusions. This includes keywords used in the text and may include the research intent, methodology, and scope. In general, the abstract defines only the work to be described. Many scholars see it as a work description rather than a review. Usually very short, 100 words or less are descriptive abstracts.

Informative abstract

Most abstracts are informative While not praising or judging a project yet, they are doing more than explaining it. A strong description of data serves as a reference for the research itself. That is, all the main points and the relevant findings and facts in the paper are presented and clarified by the author. An informative abstract incorporates the information found in a descriptive abstract[ purpose, methodology, scope] but also includes the research results and conclusions and the author's recommendations. The length varies by discipline, but the length of a concise paper is typically no more than 300 words.

Highlight Abstract

Specifically, a highlight abstract is written to attract the attention of the reader to the study. There is no pretense that the paper is either a balanced or complete picture and, in fact, incomplete and leading remarks can be used to spark the interest of the reader. It is not a true abstract and therefore rarely used in academic writing in that a highlight abstract can not stand independent of its associated article.

Now you have understood the kind of abstract you are about to write let’s now delve into the nitty-gritty of abstract writing.

When preparing to draft your abstract, keep the following key process elements in mind:

What will the style of writing look like?

When possible, use the active voice, but remember that much of your abstract can involve passive constructions of sentences. Regardless, use concise, but complete, sentences to write your abstract. Get to the point quickly and always use the past tense when you comment on a completed analysis.

How you should format your abstract?

Abstracts should be written in a block format as a single paragraph and without indentations between paragraphs. The abstract section accompanies the title page immediately in most situations. The page should not be numbered. Rules set out in the writing manual vary, but generally, the word "Abstract" should be centered at the top of the page with double spacing between the heading and the abstract. The final sentences of an abstract outline the assumptions, consequences or applications of your thesis to practice in a concise manner and, where appropriate, a recommendation on the need for additional research uncovered from the results can be followed.

  1. identify your objectives and motivation

So your research in Nigerian squirrels is about rabies. So what about it? Why does this matter? You should start your abstract by explaining why this study should concern people — why is it important to your field and perhaps to the wider world? And what is your study's purpose; what are you trying to accomplish? Start by answering the following questions:

  • What made this study or project do you plan to do?
  • Why is your field or the lay reader important for this study?
  • Why should anybody read the whole essay?

To sum up, the first section of your abstract should include the importance of the research and its impact on the related field of research or on one of the wider world.

  1. Explain the problem your research is undertaking

The corollary to why your particular study is important and necessary is to state the problem that your work discusses. For example, although the issue of "rabies in Nigerian squirrels" is important, what is the problem— the "missing piece of the puzzle"— that your study is helping to solve? You may merge the issue with the chapter on motivation, but it is better to separate the two from an organizational and straightforward viewpoint. Here are some specific questions to be answered:

  • What is your research trying to understand better, or what problem is it trying to solve?
  • What is your study's scope— does it attempt to explain something general or specific?
  • What's your central argument or claim?
  1. Explain your methodology and materials:

You have established the value of research, your motivation to study this topic, and the specific issue discussed in your paper. Now you have to explore how you have solved and improved on this issue— how you have done your research. If your study includes your own or your team's work, please describe it here. When you read other people's work in your journal, explain this here. Have you used models of analytics? A simulation? A study of the double-blind? A review of the case? You basically show the reader your research machine's internal engine and how it worked in the analysis. Please be sure:

Make your research work a detailed one — include study methods/type, variables, and range of work Please provide brief evidence to support your argument.

  1. Summarise your results.

You will give an overview of your study outcome here. Do not use too many vague qualitative terms (e.g. "very," "small," "tremendous") and try to use at least a few quantitative terms (e.g., percentages, numbers). Save the statement of conclusion in your descriptive language. Answer such questions: What was the concrete outcome of your study (e.g. trends, figures, phenomena correlation)?

How did you compare your results with your hypothesis? Was the success of the study?

Where are the highly unexpected results or were they all predicted to a large extent?

  1. Put forward your conclusion:

You will give a statement on the implications of your study in the last section of your abstract. Make sure that this statement is closely related to your results and not to the study area in general. Will the results of this study shake the world of science? How do people see "Brazilian squirrels" impact? Or are the effects minor? Try not to boast about your study or present its impact as too far-reaching, as researchers and journals tend to be skeptical in scientific papers about bold claims. Address one of the following questions:

  • What are the exact effects on my area of these results? On the broader world?
  • What other types of study would result in further problems being solved?
  • To broaden knowledge in this area, what other information is needed?

Important tips to note finally…

Even though this is the first segment of your work, the abstract should be written last as it outlines the contents of your work as a whole. A good strategy for beginning to write the abstract is to take entire sentences or key phrases from each section of the work and put them in a series that summarizes the text. Review or add phrases or words that connect to make the narrative flow clear and smooth. Remember that numerical results [ i.e., written in parentheses] should be stated parenthetically.

Check to make sure that the information in the abstract fully agrees with what you wrote in the work before you submit your final work. Think of the abstract as a sequential set of full sentences that describe the most important information using the fewest words that are needed.