How to Write an Abstract for a Research Paper

hello this is kevin from word vice and

today i'm going to talk to you about

what you need to include in a research

paper abstract now why is the abstract

important well it essentially seduces

the reader into reading the rest of your

paper and even purchasing the paper if

necessary it also must summarize all of

the parts of your paper by writing

accurately concisely and including only

the most important content you can keep

those readers seduced into reading your

paper before we get into the

nitty-gritty of the structure of the

abstract let's talk about a couple

things you need to keep in mind before

you even begin to write it there are two

main types of abstracts that accompany

research writing the first is the

descriptive abstract the descriptive

abstract is around 100 to 200 words in

length and what it does is it indicates

the type of information found in the

paper it explains the purpose objective

and methods of the paper but not the

results or the conclusion the

informative abstract on the other hand

is by far more common for conferences in

journals and these abstracts essentially

act as a surrogate of the paper they

summarize every aspect of the study

including the results you also want to

make sure you research all of the

guidelines for the journal or conference

to what you're submitting before you

write the abstract ask questions about

the maximum or minimum word count ask is

your abstract structured or unstructured

a structured abstract has explicit

headings that show which part of the

abstract you're writing whereas an

unstructured abstract does not you also

want to be sure of any specific

formatting requirements that the journal

or conference will have now let's talk

about the structure of the abstract an

abstract is essentially a summary of

your paper and contains five sections

these sections are the purpose and

motivation the problem the methods you

used the results and the conclusion as

abstracts are almost always one long

paragraph these sections will flow into

each other and create a unified holistic

effect in section one you need to

identify the purpose and motivation of

your study now right off the bat you

need to get the reader's attention

so clearly state both your motivation

for study and

the purpose of your study why did you

decide to do this particular study and

why is it important to your area of

study or a wider audience so your

motivation sentence might look something

like this

rising incidents of rabies among

domestic animals is an increasing

concern in Brazilian cities immediately

following the purpose and motivation

section you need to state your problem

what is your research trying to better

understand or what questions is it

trying to solve what is your central

claim or argument don't be afraid to

start your purpose sentence clearly and

frankly the purpose of this research is

by being clear and direct you're going

to let the reader know your intentions

in the study a problem statement might

look something like this the purpose of

this study is to investigate the

connection between urban population

proximity to jungles with wild squirrel

populations in the incidence of rabies

and domestic animals we've started out

with the purpose of the study is to

again this is a great way to state your

problem and indicate to the reader what

your study is about following your

motivations and the problem you need to

talk about your methods what did you do

and how did you do it now you don't have

a lot of space to talk about your

methods here so what you want to do is

discuss only those methods that are most

significant which parts are most

important for readers to understand your

results using a cross sectional analysis

this study analyzed the incidence of

rabies and Brazilian squirrels from 2007

to 2015 and measured these results

against a similar study conducted in

2011 the language in this section deals

directly with the research and analysis

methodology but as you can see we've

only focused on the most important parts

of this methodology now in the

methodology section you want to be sure

and not include any references to other

works or studies you can do that later

in the introduction of your paper the

next section of your abstract will be a

summary of the results just as in the

method section you should determine what

the most significant results were you

should link these results to your

problem in your conclusion think about

what your study yielded in terms of

concrete outcomes for example trends

figures correlations between

were there any highly unexpected

outcomes or were they all largely

predicted again because of space you

don't really want to be too detailed

here and you want to pull your reader in

so focus on the most significant parts

of your results let's check in with our

Brazilians girlfriends the proximity of

a dense urban population to brazilian

squirrel habitats was found to play the

greatest role in facilitating the spread

of rabies to domestic animals and we've

linked our results directly back to the

problem we initially asked which was

what is the role what is the correlation

between urban population and rabies and

domestic animals in the last section of

your abstract you should give a

statement about the implications of your

study this is your conclusion statement

relate this content back to your problem

and purpose you established earlier you

want to answer the question you

initially set out to answer at the

beginning of the abstract here are some

questions you can think about answering

here what did the results mean in the

context of your problem

what other unanswered questions about

your problem are there and what other

studies might yield further solutions to

these questions in our sample abstract

we can make a conclusion like so this

study definitively answers the questions

regarding correlation between proximity

to brazilian squirrels and the

transmission of rabies to pets further

studies are needed to establish causal

relationships and develop preventative

measures so our language reflects the

problem that we initially set out to

answer which is the question regarding

this correlation of the proximity this

conclusion also addresses the issue of

lack of information for related studies

here's some general tips to keep in mind

when writing your abstract first write

the abstract last writing your abstract

last will ensure that the information in

both the body of your paper and the

abstract are consistent always keep your

content in order start with the

introduction and finish with the

conclusion if you're out of order the

reader might be confused and skip to the

next abstract write the abstract from

scratch because the abstract is a

self-contained entity even though it's a

mini paper you want to make sure to

avoid any redundancies in your

copying and pasting from the body of

your paper really does not make for a

strong abstract only include key terms

in key words in the abstract that are

highly relevant to your paper while

throwing a lot of key words out there

may generate a lot of traffic and views

of your abstract it certainly won't

engage the reader to keep reading your

paper the same principle of relevancy

applies to the keywords that you put at

the bottom of your abstract by using the

terms that are most relevant to your

paper you ensure that on a search engine

or database the researchers searching

for your work will find what they need

to find and not extraneous information

so we hope this video was helpful in

helping you write an abstract that will

engage and encourage a reader to keep

reading your paper if so please like and

subscribe to our Channel and for more

great content please visit word vice.com

thanks and happy writing