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How to Write an Abstract | Steps & Examples

Published on February 28, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on July 18, 2023 by Eoghan Ryan.

How to Write an Abstract

An abstract is a short summary of a longer work (such as a thesis ,  dissertation or research paper ). The abstract concisely reports the aims and outcomes of your research, so that readers know exactly what your paper is about.

Although the structure may vary slightly depending on your discipline, your abstract should describe the purpose of your work, the methods you’ve used, and the conclusions you’ve drawn.

One common way to structure your abstract is to use the IMRaD structure. This stands for:

  • Introduction

Abstracts are usually around 100–300 words, but there’s often a strict word limit, so make sure to check the relevant requirements.

In a dissertation or thesis , include the abstract on a separate page, after the title page and acknowledgements but before the table of contents .

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Table of contents

Abstract example, when to write an abstract, step 1: introduction, step 2: methods, step 3: results, step 4: discussion, tips for writing an abstract, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about abstracts.

Hover over the different parts of the abstract to see how it is constructed.

This paper examines the role of silent movies as a mode of shared experience in the US during the early twentieth century. At this time, high immigration rates resulted in a significant percentage of non-English-speaking citizens. These immigrants faced numerous economic and social obstacles, including exclusion from public entertainment and modes of discourse (newspapers, theater, radio).

Incorporating evidence from reviews, personal correspondence, and diaries, this study demonstrates that silent films were an affordable and inclusive source of entertainment. It argues for the accessible economic and representational nature of early cinema. These concerns are particularly evident in the low price of admission and in the democratic nature of the actors’ exaggerated gestures, which allowed the plots and action to be easily grasped by a diverse audience despite language barriers.

Keywords: silent movies, immigration, public discourse, entertainment, early cinema, language barriers.

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You will almost always have to include an abstract when:

  • Completing a thesis or dissertation
  • Submitting a research paper to an academic journal
  • Writing a book or research proposal
  • Applying for research grants

It’s easiest to write your abstract last, right before the proofreading stage, because it’s a summary of the work you’ve already done. Your abstract should:

  • Be a self-contained text, not an excerpt from your paper
  • Be fully understandable on its own
  • Reflect the structure of your larger work

Start by clearly defining the purpose of your research. What practical or theoretical problem does the research respond to, or what research question did you aim to answer?

You can include some brief context on the social or academic relevance of your dissertation topic , but don’t go into detailed background information. If your abstract uses specialized terms that would be unfamiliar to the average academic reader or that have various different meanings, give a concise definition.

After identifying the problem, state the objective of your research. Use verbs like “investigate,” “test,” “analyze,” or “evaluate” to describe exactly what you set out to do.

This part of the abstract can be written in the present or past simple tense  but should never refer to the future, as the research is already complete.

  • This study will investigate the relationship between coffee consumption and productivity.
  • This study investigates the relationship between coffee consumption and productivity.

Next, indicate the research methods that you used to answer your question. This part should be a straightforward description of what you did in one or two sentences. It is usually written in the past simple tense, as it refers to completed actions.

  • Structured interviews will be conducted with 25 participants.
  • Structured interviews were conducted with 25 participants.

Don’t evaluate validity or obstacles here — the goal is not to give an account of the methodology’s strengths and weaknesses, but to give the reader a quick insight into the overall approach and procedures you used.

Next, summarize the main research results . This part of the abstract can be in the present or past simple tense.

  • Our analysis has shown a strong correlation between coffee consumption and productivity.
  • Our analysis shows a strong correlation between coffee consumption and productivity.
  • Our analysis showed a strong correlation between coffee consumption and productivity.

Depending on how long and complex your research is, you may not be able to include all results here. Try to highlight only the most important findings that will allow the reader to understand your conclusions.

Finally, you should discuss the main conclusions of your research : what is your answer to the problem or question? The reader should finish with a clear understanding of the central point that your research has proved or argued. Conclusions are usually written in the present simple tense.

  • We concluded that coffee consumption increases productivity.
  • We conclude that coffee consumption increases productivity.

If there are important limitations to your research (for example, related to your sample size or methods), you should mention them briefly in the abstract. This allows the reader to accurately assess the credibility and generalizability of your research.

If your aim was to solve a practical problem, your discussion might include recommendations for implementation. If relevant, you can briefly make suggestions for further research.

If your paper will be published, you might have to add a list of keywords at the end of the abstract. These keywords should reference the most important elements of the research to help potential readers find your paper during their own literature searches.

Be aware that some publication manuals, such as APA Style , have specific formatting requirements for these keywords.

It can be a real challenge to condense your whole work into just a couple of hundred words, but the abstract will be the first (and sometimes only) part that people read, so it’s important to get it right. These strategies can help you get started.

Read other abstracts

The best way to learn the conventions of writing an abstract in your discipline is to read other people’s. You probably already read lots of journal article abstracts while conducting your literature review —try using them as a framework for structure and style.

You can also find lots of dissertation abstract examples in thesis and dissertation databases .

Reverse outline

Not all abstracts will contain precisely the same elements. For longer works, you can write your abstract through a process of reverse outlining.

For each chapter or section, list keywords and draft one to two sentences that summarize the central point or argument. This will give you a framework of your abstract’s structure. Next, revise the sentences to make connections and show how the argument develops.

Write clearly and concisely

A good abstract is short but impactful, so make sure every word counts. Each sentence should clearly communicate one main point.

To keep your abstract or summary short and clear:

  • Avoid passive sentences: Passive constructions are often unnecessarily long. You can easily make them shorter and clearer by using the active voice.
  • Avoid long sentences: Substitute longer expressions for concise expressions or single words (e.g., “In order to” for “To”).
  • Avoid obscure jargon: The abstract should be understandable to readers who are not familiar with your topic.
  • Avoid repetition and filler words: Replace nouns with pronouns when possible and eliminate unnecessary words.
  • Avoid detailed descriptions: An abstract is not expected to provide detailed definitions, background information, or discussions of other scholars’ work. Instead, include this information in the body of your thesis or paper.

If you’re struggling to edit down to the required length, you can get help from expert editors with Scribbr’s professional proofreading services or use the paraphrasing tool .

Check your formatting

If you are writing a thesis or dissertation or submitting to a journal, there are often specific formatting requirements for the abstract—make sure to check the guidelines and format your work correctly. For APA research papers you can follow the APA abstract format .

Checklist: Abstract

The word count is within the required length, or a maximum of one page.

The abstract appears after the title page and acknowledgements and before the table of contents .

I have clearly stated my research problem and objectives.

I have briefly described my methodology .

I have summarized the most important results .

I have stated my main conclusions .

I have mentioned any important limitations and recommendations.

The abstract can be understood by someone without prior knowledge of the topic.

You've written a great abstract! Use the other checklists to continue improving your thesis or dissertation.

If you want to know more about AI for academic writing, AI tools, or research bias, make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

Research bias

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An abstract is a concise summary of an academic text (such as a journal article or dissertation ). It serves two main purposes:

  • To help potential readers determine the relevance of your paper for their own research.
  • To communicate your key findings to those who don’t have time to read the whole paper.

Abstracts are often indexed along with keywords on academic databases, so they make your work more easily findable. Since the abstract is the first thing any reader sees, it’s important that it clearly and accurately summarizes the contents of your paper.

An abstract for a thesis or dissertation is usually around 200–300 words. There’s often a strict word limit, so make sure to check your university’s requirements.

The abstract is the very last thing you write. You should only write it after your research is complete, so that you can accurately summarize the entirety of your thesis , dissertation or research paper .

Avoid citing sources in your abstract . There are two reasons for this:

  • The abstract should focus on your original research, not on the work of others.
  • The abstract should be self-contained and fully understandable without reference to other sources.

There are some circumstances where you might need to mention other sources in an abstract: for example, if your research responds directly to another study or focuses on the work of a single theorist. In general, though, don’t include citations unless absolutely necessary.

The abstract appears on its own page in the thesis or dissertation , after the title page and acknowledgements but before the table of contents .

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Writing an Abstract for Your Research Paper

Definition and Purpose of Abstracts

An abstract is a short summary of your (published or unpublished) research paper, usually about a paragraph (c. 6-7 sentences, 150-250 words) long. A well-written abstract serves multiple purposes:

  • an abstract lets readers get the gist or essence of your paper or article quickly, in order to decide whether to read the full paper;
  • an abstract prepares readers to follow the detailed information, analyses, and arguments in your full paper;
  • and, later, an abstract helps readers remember key points from your paper.

It’s also worth remembering that search engines and bibliographic databases use abstracts, as well as the title, to identify key terms for indexing your published paper. So what you include in your abstract and in your title are crucial for helping other researchers find your paper or article.

If you are writing an abstract for a course paper, your professor may give you specific guidelines for what to include and how to organize your abstract. Similarly, academic journals often have specific requirements for abstracts. So in addition to following the advice on this page, you should be sure to look for and follow any guidelines from the course or journal you’re writing for.

The Contents of an Abstract

Abstracts contain most of the following kinds of information in brief form. The body of your paper will, of course, develop and explain these ideas much more fully. As you will see in the samples below, the proportion of your abstract that you devote to each kind of information—and the sequence of that information—will vary, depending on the nature and genre of the paper that you are summarizing in your abstract. And in some cases, some of this information is implied, rather than stated explicitly. The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association , which is widely used in the social sciences, gives specific guidelines for what to include in the abstract for different kinds of papers—for empirical studies, literature reviews or meta-analyses, theoretical papers, methodological papers, and case studies.

Here are the typical kinds of information found in most abstracts:

  • the context or background information for your research; the general topic under study; the specific topic of your research
  • the central questions or statement of the problem your research addresses
  • what’s already known about this question, what previous research has done or shown
  • the main reason(s) , the exigency, the rationale , the goals for your research—Why is it important to address these questions? Are you, for example, examining a new topic? Why is that topic worth examining? Are you filling a gap in previous research? Applying new methods to take a fresh look at existing ideas or data? Resolving a dispute within the literature in your field? . . .
  • your research and/or analytical methods
  • your main findings , results , or arguments
  • the significance or implications of your findings or arguments.

Your abstract should be intelligible on its own, without a reader’s having to read your entire paper. And in an abstract, you usually do not cite references—most of your abstract will describe what you have studied in your research and what you have found and what you argue in your paper. In the body of your paper, you will cite the specific literature that informs your research.

When to Write Your Abstract

Although you might be tempted to write your abstract first because it will appear as the very first part of your paper, it’s a good idea to wait to write your abstract until after you’ve drafted your full paper, so that you know what you’re summarizing.

What follows are some sample abstracts in published papers or articles, all written by faculty at UW-Madison who come from a variety of disciplines. We have annotated these samples to help you see the work that these authors are doing within their abstracts.

Choosing Verb Tenses within Your Abstract

The social science sample (Sample 1) below uses the present tense to describe general facts and interpretations that have been and are currently true, including the prevailing explanation for the social phenomenon under study. That abstract also uses the present tense to describe the methods, the findings, the arguments, and the implications of the findings from their new research study. The authors use the past tense to describe previous research.

The humanities sample (Sample 2) below uses the past tense to describe completed events in the past (the texts created in the pulp fiction industry in the 1970s and 80s) and uses the present tense to describe what is happening in those texts, to explain the significance or meaning of those texts, and to describe the arguments presented in the article.

The science samples (Samples 3 and 4) below use the past tense to describe what previous research studies have done and the research the authors have conducted, the methods they have followed, and what they have found. In their rationale or justification for their research (what remains to be done), they use the present tense. They also use the present tense to introduce their study (in Sample 3, “Here we report . . .”) and to explain the significance of their study (In Sample 3, This reprogramming . . . “provides a scalable cell source for. . .”).

Sample Abstract 1

From the social sciences.

Reporting new findings about the reasons for increasing economic homogamy among spouses

Gonalons-Pons, Pilar, and Christine R. Schwartz. “Trends in Economic Homogamy: Changes in Assortative Mating or the Division of Labor in Marriage?” Demography , vol. 54, no. 3, 2017, pp. 985-1005.

“The growing economic resemblance of spouses has contributed to rising inequality by increasing the number of couples in which there are two high- or two low-earning partners. [Annotation for the previous sentence: The first sentence introduces the topic under study (the “economic resemblance of spouses”). This sentence also implies the question underlying this research study: what are the various causes—and the interrelationships among them—for this trend?] The dominant explanation for this trend is increased assortative mating. Previous research has primarily relied on cross-sectional data and thus has been unable to disentangle changes in assortative mating from changes in the division of spouses’ paid labor—a potentially key mechanism given the dramatic rise in wives’ labor supply. [Annotation for the previous two sentences: These next two sentences explain what previous research has demonstrated. By pointing out the limitations in the methods that were used in previous studies, they also provide a rationale for new research.] We use data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) to decompose the increase in the correlation between spouses’ earnings and its contribution to inequality between 1970 and 2013 into parts due to (a) changes in assortative mating, and (b) changes in the division of paid labor. [Annotation for the previous sentence: The data, research and analytical methods used in this new study.] Contrary to what has often been assumed, the rise of economic homogamy and its contribution to inequality is largely attributable to changes in the division of paid labor rather than changes in sorting on earnings or earnings potential. Our findings indicate that the rise of economic homogamy cannot be explained by hypotheses centered on meeting and matching opportunities, and they show where in this process inequality is generated and where it is not.” (p. 985) [Annotation for the previous two sentences: The major findings from and implications and significance of this study.]

Sample Abstract 2

From the humanities.

Analyzing underground pulp fiction publications in Tanzania, this article makes an argument about the cultural significance of those publications

Emily Callaci. “Street Textuality: Socialism, Masculinity, and Urban Belonging in Tanzania’s Pulp Fiction Publishing Industry, 1975-1985.” Comparative Studies in Society and History , vol. 59, no. 1, 2017, pp. 183-210.

“From the mid-1970s through the mid-1980s, a network of young urban migrant men created an underground pulp fiction publishing industry in the city of Dar es Salaam. [Annotation for the previous sentence: The first sentence introduces the context for this research and announces the topic under study.] As texts that were produced in the underground economy of a city whose trajectory was increasingly charted outside of formalized planning and investment, these novellas reveal more than their narrative content alone. These texts were active components in the urban social worlds of the young men who produced them. They reveal a mode of urbanism otherwise obscured by narratives of decolonization, in which urban belonging was constituted less by national citizenship than by the construction of social networks, economic connections, and the crafting of reputations. This article argues that pulp fiction novellas of socialist era Dar es Salaam are artifacts of emergent forms of male sociability and mobility. In printing fictional stories about urban life on pilfered paper and ink, and distributing their texts through informal channels, these writers not only described urban communities, reputations, and networks, but also actually created them.” (p. 210) [Annotation for the previous sentences: The remaining sentences in this abstract interweave other essential information for an abstract for this article. The implied research questions: What do these texts mean? What is their historical and cultural significance, produced at this time, in this location, by these authors? The argument and the significance of this analysis in microcosm: these texts “reveal a mode or urbanism otherwise obscured . . .”; and “This article argues that pulp fiction novellas. . . .” This section also implies what previous historical research has obscured. And through the details in its argumentative claims, this section of the abstract implies the kinds of methods the author has used to interpret the novellas and the concepts under study (e.g., male sociability and mobility, urban communities, reputations, network. . . ).]

Sample Abstract/Summary 3

From the sciences.

Reporting a new method for reprogramming adult mouse fibroblasts into induced cardiac progenitor cells

Lalit, Pratik A., Max R. Salick, Daryl O. Nelson, Jayne M. Squirrell, Christina M. Shafer, Neel G. Patel, Imaan Saeed, Eric G. Schmuck, Yogananda S. Markandeya, Rachel Wong, Martin R. Lea, Kevin W. Eliceiri, Timothy A. Hacker, Wendy C. Crone, Michael Kyba, Daniel J. Garry, Ron Stewart, James A. Thomson, Karen M. Downs, Gary E. Lyons, and Timothy J. Kamp. “Lineage Reprogramming of Fibroblasts into Proliferative Induced Cardiac Progenitor Cells by Defined Factors.” Cell Stem Cell , vol. 18, 2016, pp. 354-367.

“Several studies have reported reprogramming of fibroblasts into induced cardiomyocytes; however, reprogramming into proliferative induced cardiac progenitor cells (iCPCs) remains to be accomplished. [Annotation for the previous sentence: The first sentence announces the topic under study, summarizes what’s already known or been accomplished in previous research, and signals the rationale and goals are for the new research and the problem that the new research solves: How can researchers reprogram fibroblasts into iCPCs?] Here we report that a combination of 11 or 5 cardiac factors along with canonical Wnt and JAK/STAT signaling reprogrammed adult mouse cardiac, lung, and tail tip fibroblasts into iCPCs. The iCPCs were cardiac mesoderm-restricted progenitors that could be expanded extensively while maintaining multipo-tency to differentiate into cardiomyocytes, smooth muscle cells, and endothelial cells in vitro. Moreover, iCPCs injected into the cardiac crescent of mouse embryos differentiated into cardiomyocytes. iCPCs transplanted into the post-myocardial infarction mouse heart improved survival and differentiated into cardiomyocytes, smooth muscle cells, and endothelial cells. [Annotation for the previous four sentences: The methods the researchers developed to achieve their goal and a description of the results.] Lineage reprogramming of adult somatic cells into iCPCs provides a scalable cell source for drug discovery, disease modeling, and cardiac regenerative therapy.” (p. 354) [Annotation for the previous sentence: The significance or implications—for drug discovery, disease modeling, and therapy—of this reprogramming of adult somatic cells into iCPCs.]

Sample Abstract 4, a Structured Abstract

Reporting results about the effectiveness of antibiotic therapy in managing acute bacterial sinusitis, from a rigorously controlled study

Note: This journal requires authors to organize their abstract into four specific sections, with strict word limits. Because the headings for this structured abstract are self-explanatory, we have chosen not to add annotations to this sample abstract.

Wald, Ellen R., David Nash, and Jens Eickhoff. “Effectiveness of Amoxicillin/Clavulanate Potassium in the Treatment of Acute Bacterial Sinusitis in Children.” Pediatrics , vol. 124, no. 1, 2009, pp. 9-15.

“OBJECTIVE: The role of antibiotic therapy in managing acute bacterial sinusitis (ABS) in children is controversial. The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of high-dose amoxicillin/potassium clavulanate in the treatment of children diagnosed with ABS.

METHODS : This was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Children 1 to 10 years of age with a clinical presentation compatible with ABS were eligible for participation. Patients were stratified according to age (<6 or ≥6 years) and clinical severity and randomly assigned to receive either amoxicillin (90 mg/kg) with potassium clavulanate (6.4 mg/kg) or placebo. A symptom survey was performed on days 0, 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 10, 20, and 30. Patients were examined on day 14. Children’s conditions were rated as cured, improved, or failed according to scoring rules.

RESULTS: Two thousand one hundred thirty-five children with respiratory complaints were screened for enrollment; 139 (6.5%) had ABS. Fifty-eight patients were enrolled, and 56 were randomly assigned. The mean age was 6630 months. Fifty (89%) patients presented with persistent symptoms, and 6 (11%) presented with nonpersistent symptoms. In 24 (43%) children, the illness was classified as mild, whereas in the remaining 32 (57%) children it was severe. Of the 28 children who received the antibiotic, 14 (50%) were cured, 4 (14%) were improved, 4(14%) experienced treatment failure, and 6 (21%) withdrew. Of the 28children who received placebo, 4 (14%) were cured, 5 (18%) improved, and 19 (68%) experienced treatment failure. Children receiving the antibiotic were more likely to be cured (50% vs 14%) and less likely to have treatment failure (14% vs 68%) than children receiving the placebo.

CONCLUSIONS : ABS is a common complication of viral upper respiratory infections. Amoxicillin/potassium clavulanate results in significantly more cures and fewer failures than placebo, according to parental report of time to resolution.” (9)

Some Excellent Advice about Writing Abstracts for Basic Science Research Papers, by Professor Adriano Aguzzi from the Institute of Neuropathology at the University of Zurich:

research in progress abstract example

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How to Write an Abstract (With Examples)

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how to write an abstract

Table of Contents

What is an abstract in a paper, how long should an abstract be, 5 steps for writing an abstract, examples of an abstract, how prowritingaid can help you write an abstract.

If you are writing a scientific research paper or a book proposal, you need to know how to write an abstract, which summarizes the contents of the paper or book.

When researchers are looking for peer-reviewed papers to use in their studies, the first place they will check is the abstract to see if it applies to their work. Therefore, your abstract is one of the most important parts of your entire paper.

In this article, we’ll explain what an abstract is, what it should include, and how to write one.

An abstract is a concise summary of the details within a report. Some abstracts give more details than others, but the main things you’ll be talking about are why you conducted the research, what you did, and what the results show.

When a reader is deciding whether to read your paper completely, they will first look at the abstract. You need to be concise in your abstract and give the reader the most important information so they can determine if they want to read the whole paper.

Remember that an abstract is the last thing you’ll want to write for the research paper because it directly references parts of the report. If you haven’t written the report, you won’t know what to include in your abstract.

If you are writing a paper for a journal or an assignment, the publication or academic institution might have specific formatting rules for how long your abstract should be. However, if they don’t, most abstracts are between 150 and 300 words long.

A short word count means your writing has to be precise and without filler words or phrases. Once you’ve written a first draft, you can always use an editing tool, such as ProWritingAid, to identify areas where you can reduce words and increase readability.

If your abstract is over the word limit, and you’ve edited it but still can’t figure out how to reduce it further, your abstract might include some things that aren’t needed. Here’s a list of three elements you can remove from your abstract:

Discussion : You don’t need to go into detail about the findings of your research because your reader will find your discussion within the paper.

Definition of terms : Your readers are interested the field you are writing about, so they are likely to understand the terms you are using. If not, they can always look them up. Your readers do not expect you to give a definition of terms in your abstract.

References and citations : You can mention there have been studies that support or have inspired your research, but you do not need to give details as the reader will find them in your bibliography.

research in progress abstract example

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If you’ve never written an abstract before, and you’re wondering how to write an abstract, we’ve got some steps for you to follow. It’s best to start with planning your abstract, so we’ve outlined the details you need to include in your plan before you write.

Remember to consider your audience when you’re planning and writing your abstract. They are likely to skim read your abstract, so you want to be sure your abstract delivers all the information they’re expecting to see at key points.

1. What Should an Abstract Include?

Abstracts have a lot of information to cover in a short number of words, so it’s important to know what to include. There are three elements that need to be present in your abstract:

Your context is the background for where your research sits within your field of study. You should briefly mention any previous scientific papers or experiments that have led to your hypothesis and how research develops in those studies.

Your hypothesis is your prediction of what your study will show. As you are writing your abstract after you have conducted your research, you should still include your hypothesis in your abstract because it shows the motivation for your paper.

Throughout your abstract, you also need to include keywords and phrases that will help researchers to find your article in the databases they’re searching. Make sure the keywords are specific to your field of study and the subject you’re reporting on, otherwise your article might not reach the relevant audience.

2. Can You Use First Person in an Abstract?

You might think that first person is too informal for a research paper, but it’s not. Historically, writers of academic reports avoided writing in first person to uphold the formality standards of the time. However, first person is more accepted in research papers in modern times.

If you’re still unsure whether to write in first person for your abstract, refer to any style guide rules imposed by the journal you’re writing for or your teachers if you are writing an assignment.

3. Abstract Structure

Some scientific journals have strict rules on how to structure an abstract, so it’s best to check those first. If you don’t have any style rules to follow, try using the IMRaD structure, which stands for Introduction, Methodology, Results, and Discussion.

how to structure an abstract

Following the IMRaD structure, start with an introduction. The amount of background information you should include depends on your specific research area. Adding a broad overview gives you less room to include other details. Remember to include your hypothesis in this section.

The next part of your abstract should cover your methodology. Try to include the following details if they apply to your study:

What type of research was conducted?

How were the test subjects sampled?

What were the sample sizes?

What was done to each group?

How long was the experiment?

How was data recorded and interpreted?

Following the methodology, include a sentence or two about the results, which is where your reader will determine if your research supports or contradicts their own investigations.

The results are also where most people will want to find out what your outcomes were, even if they are just mildly interested in your research area. You should be specific about all the details but as concise as possible.

The last few sentences are your conclusion. It needs to explain how your findings affect the context and whether your hypothesis was correct. Include the primary take-home message, additional findings of importance, and perspective. Also explain whether there is scope for further research into the subject of your report.

Your conclusion should be honest and give the reader the ultimate message that your research shows. Readers trust the conclusion, so make sure you’re not fabricating the results of your research. Some readers won’t read your entire paper, but this section will tell them if it’s worth them referencing it in their own study.

4. How to Start an Abstract

The first line of your abstract should give your reader the context of your report by providing background information. You can use this sentence to imply the motivation for your research.

You don’t need to use a hook phrase or device in your first sentence to grab the reader’s attention. Your reader will look to establish relevance quickly, so readability and clarity are more important than trying to persuade the reader to read on.

5. How to Format an Abstract

Most abstracts use the same formatting rules, which help the reader identify the abstract so they know where to look for it.

Here’s a list of formatting guidelines for writing an abstract:

Stick to one paragraph

Use block formatting with no indentation at the beginning

Put your abstract straight after the title and acknowledgements pages

Use present or past tense, not future tense

There are two primary types of abstract you could write for your paper—descriptive and informative.

An informative abstract is the most common, and they follow the structure mentioned previously. They are longer than descriptive abstracts because they cover more details.

Descriptive abstracts differ from informative abstracts, as they don’t include as much discussion or detail. The word count for a descriptive abstract is between 50 and 150 words.

Here is an example of an informative abstract:

A growing trend exists for authors to employ a more informal writing style that uses “we” in academic writing to acknowledge one’s stance and engagement. However, few studies have compared the ways in which the first-person pronoun “we” is used in the abstracts and conclusions of empirical papers. To address this lacuna in the literature, this study conducted a systematic corpus analysis of the use of “we” in the abstracts and conclusions of 400 articles collected from eight leading electrical and electronic (EE) engineering journals. The abstracts and conclusions were extracted to form two subcorpora, and an integrated framework was applied to analyze and seek to explain how we-clusters and we-collocations were employed. Results revealed whether authors’ use of first-person pronouns partially depends on a journal policy. The trend of using “we” showed that a yearly increase occurred in the frequency of “we” in EE journal papers, as well as the existence of three “we-use” types in the article conclusions and abstracts: exclusive, inclusive, and ambiguous. Other possible “we-use” alternatives such as “I” and other personal pronouns were used very rarely—if at all—in either section. These findings also suggest that the present tense was used more in article abstracts, but the present perfect tense was the most preferred tense in article conclusions. Both research and pedagogical implications are proffered and critically discussed.

Wang, S., Tseng, W.-T., & Johanson, R. (2021). To We or Not to We: Corpus-Based Research on First-Person Pronoun Use in Abstracts and Conclusions. SAGE Open, 11(2).

Here is an example of a descriptive abstract:

From the 1850s to the present, considerable criminological attention has focused on the development of theoretically-significant systems for classifying crime. This article reviews and attempts to evaluate a number of these efforts, and we conclude that further work on this basic task is needed. The latter part of the article explicates a conceptual foundation for a crime pattern classification system, and offers a preliminary taxonomy of crime.

Farr, K. A., & Gibbons, D. C. (1990). Observations on the Development of Crime Categories. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 34(3), 223–237.

If you want to ensure your abstract is grammatically correct and easy to read, you can use ProWritingAid to edit it. The software integrates with Microsoft Word, Google Docs, and most web browsers, so you can make the most of it wherever you’re writing your paper.

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Before you edit with ProWritingAid, make sure the suggestions you are seeing are relevant for your document by changing the document type to “Abstract” within the Academic writing style section.

You can use the Readability report to check your abstract for places to improve the clarity of your writing. Some suggestions might show you where to remove words, which is great if you’re over your word count.

We hope the five steps and examples we’ve provided help you write a great abstract for your research paper.

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  • How to Write an Abstract | Steps & Examples

How to Write an Abstract | Steps & Examples

Published on 1 March 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on 10 October 2022 by Eoghan Ryan.

An abstract is a short summary of a longer work (such as a dissertation or research paper ). The abstract concisely reports the aims and outcomes of your research, so that readers know exactly what your paper is about.

Although the structure may vary slightly depending on your discipline, your abstract should describe the purpose of your work, the methods you’ve used, and the conclusions you’ve drawn.

One common way to structure your abstract is to use the IMRaD structure. This stands for:

  • Introduction

Abstracts are usually around 100–300 words, but there’s often a strict word limit, so make sure to check the relevant requirements.

In a dissertation or thesis , include the abstract on a separate page, after the title page and acknowledgements but before the table of contents .

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Table of contents

Abstract example, when to write an abstract, step 1: introduction, step 2: methods, step 3: results, step 4: discussion, tips for writing an abstract, frequently asked questions about abstracts.

Hover over the different parts of the abstract to see how it is constructed.

This paper examines the role of silent movies as a mode of shared experience in the UK during the early twentieth century. At this time, high immigration rates resulted in a significant percentage of non-English-speaking citizens. These immigrants faced numerous economic and social obstacles, including exclusion from public entertainment and modes of discourse (newspapers, theater, radio).

Incorporating evidence from reviews, personal correspondence, and diaries, this study demonstrates that silent films were an affordable and inclusive source of entertainment. It argues for the accessible economic and representational nature of early cinema. These concerns are particularly evident in the low price of admission and in the democratic nature of the actors’ exaggerated gestures, which allowed the plots and action to be easily grasped by a diverse audience despite language barriers.

Keywords: silent movies, immigration, public discourse, entertainment, early cinema, language barriers.

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You will almost always have to include an abstract when:

  • Completing a thesis or dissertation
  • Submitting a research paper to an academic journal
  • Writing a book proposal
  • Applying for research grants

It’s easiest to write your abstract last, because it’s a summary of the work you’ve already done. Your abstract should:

  • Be a self-contained text, not an excerpt from your paper
  • Be fully understandable on its own
  • Reflect the structure of your larger work

Start by clearly defining the purpose of your research. What practical or theoretical problem does the research respond to, or what research question did you aim to answer?

You can include some brief context on the social or academic relevance of your topic, but don’t go into detailed background information. If your abstract uses specialised terms that would be unfamiliar to the average academic reader or that have various different meanings, give a concise definition.

After identifying the problem, state the objective of your research. Use verbs like “investigate,” “test,” “analyse,” or “evaluate” to describe exactly what you set out to do.

This part of the abstract can be written in the present or past simple tense  but should never refer to the future, as the research is already complete.

  • This study will investigate the relationship between coffee consumption and productivity.
  • This study investigates the relationship between coffee consumption and productivity.

Next, indicate the research methods that you used to answer your question. This part should be a straightforward description of what you did in one or two sentences. It is usually written in the past simple tense, as it refers to completed actions.

  • Structured interviews will be conducted with 25 participants.
  • Structured interviews were conducted with 25 participants.

Don’t evaluate validity or obstacles here — the goal is not to give an account of the methodology’s strengths and weaknesses, but to give the reader a quick insight into the overall approach and procedures you used.

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Next, summarise the main research results . This part of the abstract can be in the present or past simple tense.

  • Our analysis has shown a strong correlation between coffee consumption and productivity.
  • Our analysis shows a strong correlation between coffee consumption and productivity.
  • Our analysis showed a strong correlation between coffee consumption and productivity.

Depending on how long and complex your research is, you may not be able to include all results here. Try to highlight only the most important findings that will allow the reader to understand your conclusions.

Finally, you should discuss the main conclusions of your research : what is your answer to the problem or question? The reader should finish with a clear understanding of the central point that your research has proved or argued. Conclusions are usually written in the present simple tense.

  • We concluded that coffee consumption increases productivity.
  • We conclude that coffee consumption increases productivity.

If there are important limitations to your research (for example, related to your sample size or methods), you should mention them briefly in the abstract. This allows the reader to accurately assess the credibility and generalisability of your research.

If your aim was to solve a practical problem, your discussion might include recommendations for implementation. If relevant, you can briefly make suggestions for further research.

If your paper will be published, you might have to add a list of keywords at the end of the abstract. These keywords should reference the most important elements of the research to help potential readers find your paper during their own literature searches.

Be aware that some publication manuals, such as APA Style , have specific formatting requirements for these keywords.

It can be a real challenge to condense your whole work into just a couple of hundred words, but the abstract will be the first (and sometimes only) part that people read, so it’s important to get it right. These strategies can help you get started.

Read other abstracts

The best way to learn the conventions of writing an abstract in your discipline is to read other people’s. You probably already read lots of journal article abstracts while conducting your literature review —try using them as a framework for structure and style.

You can also find lots of dissertation abstract examples in thesis and dissertation databases .

Reverse outline

Not all abstracts will contain precisely the same elements. For longer works, you can write your abstract through a process of reverse outlining.

For each chapter or section, list keywords and draft one to two sentences that summarise the central point or argument. This will give you a framework of your abstract’s structure. Next, revise the sentences to make connections and show how the argument develops.

Write clearly and concisely

A good abstract is short but impactful, so make sure every word counts. Each sentence should clearly communicate one main point.

To keep your abstract or summary short and clear:

  • Avoid passive sentences: Passive constructions are often unnecessarily long. You can easily make them shorter and clearer by using the active voice.
  • Avoid long sentences: Substitute longer expressions for concise expressions or single words (e.g., “In order to” for “To”).
  • Avoid obscure jargon: The abstract should be understandable to readers who are not familiar with your topic.
  • Avoid repetition and filler words: Replace nouns with pronouns when possible and eliminate unnecessary words.
  • Avoid detailed descriptions: An abstract is not expected to provide detailed definitions, background information, or discussions of other scholars’ work. Instead, include this information in the body of your thesis or paper.

If you’re struggling to edit down to the required length, you can get help from expert editors with Scribbr’s professional proofreading services .

Check your formatting

If you are writing a thesis or dissertation or submitting to a journal, there are often specific formatting requirements for the abstract—make sure to check the guidelines and format your work correctly. For APA research papers you can follow the APA abstract format .

Checklist: Abstract

The word count is within the required length, or a maximum of one page.

The abstract appears after the title page and acknowledgements and before the table of contents .

I have clearly stated my research problem and objectives.

I have briefly described my methodology .

I have summarized the most important results .

I have stated my main conclusions .

I have mentioned any important limitations and recommendations.

The abstract can be understood by someone without prior knowledge of the topic.

You've written a great abstract! Use the other checklists to continue improving your thesis or dissertation.

An abstract is a concise summary of an academic text (such as a journal article or dissertation ). It serves two main purposes:

  • To help potential readers determine the relevance of your paper for their own research.
  • To communicate your key findings to those who don’t have time to read the whole paper.

Abstracts are often indexed along with keywords on academic databases, so they make your work more easily findable. Since the abstract is the first thing any reader sees, it’s important that it clearly and accurately summarises the contents of your paper.

An abstract for a thesis or dissertation is usually around 150–300 words. There’s often a strict word limit, so make sure to check your university’s requirements.

The abstract is the very last thing you write. You should only write it after your research is complete, so that you can accurately summarize the entirety of your thesis or paper.

Avoid citing sources in your abstract . There are two reasons for this:

  • The abstract should focus on your original research, not on the work of others.
  • The abstract should be self-contained and fully understandable without reference to other sources.

There are some circumstances where you might need to mention other sources in an abstract: for example, if your research responds directly to another study or focuses on the work of a single theorist. In general, though, don’t include citations unless absolutely necessary.

The abstract appears on its own page, after the title page and acknowledgements but before the table of contents .

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the ‘Cite this Scribbr article’ button to automatically add the citation to our free Reference Generator.

McCombes, S. (2022, October 10). How to Write an Abstract | Steps & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved 18 June 2024, from https://www.scribbr.co.uk/thesis-dissertation/abstract/

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Abstract Writing: A Step-by-Step Guide With Tips & Examples

Sumalatha G

Table of Contents

step-by-step-guide-to-abstract-writing

Introduction

Abstracts of research papers have always played an essential role in describing your research concisely and clearly to researchers and editors of journals, enticing them to continue reading. However, with the widespread availability of scientific databases, the need to write a convincing abstract is more crucial now than during the time of paper-bound manuscripts.

Abstracts serve to "sell" your research and can be compared with your "executive outline" of a resume or, rather, a formal summary of the critical aspects of your work. Also, it can be the "gist" of your study. Since most educational research is done online, it's a sign that you have a shorter time for impressing your readers, and have more competition from other abstracts that are available to be read.

The APCI (Academic Publishing and Conferences International) articulates 12 issues or points considered during the final approval process for conferences & journals and emphasises the importance of writing an abstract that checks all these boxes (12 points). Since it's the only opportunity you have to captivate your readers, you must invest time and effort in creating an abstract that accurately reflects the critical points of your research.

With that in mind, let’s head over to understand and discover the core concept and guidelines to create a substantial abstract. Also, learn how to organise the ideas or plots into an effective abstract that will be awe-inspiring to the readers you want to reach.

What is Abstract? Definition and Overview

The word "Abstract' is derived from Latin abstractus meaning "drawn off." This etymological meaning also applies to art movements as well as music, like abstract expressionism. In this context, it refers to the revealing of the artist's intention.

Based on this, you can determine the meaning of an abstract: A condensed research summary. It must be self-contained and independent of the body of the research. However, it should outline the subject, the strategies used to study the problem, and the methods implemented to attain the outcomes. The specific elements of the study differ based on the area of study; however, together, it must be a succinct summary of the entire research paper.

Abstracts are typically written at the end of the paper, even though it serves as a prologue. In general, the abstract must be in a position to:

  • Describe the paper.
  • Identify the problem or the issue at hand.
  • Explain to the reader the research process, the results you came up with, and what conclusion you've reached using these results.
  • Include keywords to guide your strategy and the content.

Furthermore, the abstract you submit should not reflect upon any of  the following elements:

  • Examine, analyse or defend the paper or your opinion.
  • What you want to study, achieve or discover.
  • Be redundant or irrelevant.

After reading an abstract, your audience should understand the reason - what the research was about in the first place, what the study has revealed and how it can be utilised or can be used to benefit others. You can understand the importance of abstract by knowing the fact that the abstract is the most frequently read portion of any research paper. In simpler terms, it should contain all the main points of the research paper.

purpose-of-abstract-writing

What is the Purpose of an Abstract?

Abstracts are typically an essential requirement for research papers; however, it's not an obligation to preserve traditional reasons without any purpose. Abstracts allow readers to scan the text to determine whether it is relevant to their research or studies. The abstract allows other researchers to decide if your research paper can provide them with some additional information. A good abstract paves the interest of the audience to pore through your entire paper to find the content or context they're searching for.

Abstract writing is essential for indexing, as well. The Digital Repository of academic papers makes use of abstracts to index the entire content of academic research papers. Like meta descriptions in the regular Google outcomes, abstracts must include keywords that help researchers locate what they seek.

Types of Abstract

Informative and Descriptive are two kinds of abstracts often used in scientific writing.

A descriptive abstract gives readers an outline of the author's main points in their study. The reader can determine if they want to stick to the research work, based on their interest in the topic. An abstract that is descriptive is similar to the contents table of books, however, the format of an abstract depicts complete sentences encapsulated in one paragraph. It is unfortunate that the abstract can't be used as a substitute for reading a piece of writing because it's just an overview, which omits readers from getting an entire view. Also, it cannot be a way to fill in the gaps the reader may have after reading this kind of abstract since it does not contain crucial information needed to evaluate the article.

To conclude, a descriptive abstract is:

  • A simple summary of the task, just summarises the work, but some researchers think it is much more of an outline
  • Typically, the length is approximately 100 words. It is too short when compared to an informative abstract.
  • A brief explanation but doesn't provide the reader with the complete information they need;
  • An overview that omits conclusions and results

An informative abstract is a comprehensive outline of the research. There are times when people rely on the abstract as an information source. And the reason is why it is crucial to provide entire data of particular research. A well-written, informative abstract could be a good substitute for the remainder of the paper on its own.

A well-written abstract typically follows a particular style. The author begins by providing the identifying information, backed by citations and other identifiers of the papers. Then, the major elements are summarised to make the reader aware of the study. It is followed by the methodology and all-important findings from the study. The conclusion then presents study results and ends the abstract with a comprehensive summary.

In a nutshell, an informative abstract:

  • Has a length that can vary, based on the subject, but is not longer than 300 words.
  • Contains all the content-like methods and intentions
  • Offers evidence and possible recommendations.

Informative Abstracts are more frequent than descriptive abstracts because of their extensive content and linkage to the topic specifically. You should select different types of abstracts to papers based on their length: informative abstracts for extended and more complex abstracts and descriptive ones for simpler and shorter research papers.

What are the Characteristics of a Good Abstract?

  • A good abstract clearly defines the goals and purposes of the study.
  • It should clearly describe the research methodology with a primary focus on data gathering, processing, and subsequent analysis.
  • A good abstract should provide specific research findings.
  • It presents the principal conclusions of the systematic study.
  • It should be concise, clear, and relevant to the field of study.
  • A well-designed abstract should be unifying and coherent.
  • It is easy to grasp and free of technical jargon.
  • It is written impartially and objectively.

the-various-sections-of-abstract-writing

What are the various sections of an ideal Abstract?

By now, you must have gained some concrete idea of the essential elements that your abstract needs to convey . Accordingly, the information is broken down into six key sections of the abstract, which include:

An Introduction or Background

Research methodology, objectives and goals, limitations.

Let's go over them in detail.

The introduction, also known as background, is the most concise part of your abstract. Ideally, it comprises a couple of sentences. Some researchers only write one sentence to introduce their abstract. The idea behind this is to guide readers through the key factors that led to your study.

It's understandable that this information might seem difficult to explain in a couple of sentences. For example, think about the following two questions like the background of your study:

  • What is currently available about the subject with respect to the paper being discussed?
  • What isn't understood about this issue? (This is the subject of your research)

While writing the abstract’s introduction, make sure that it is not lengthy. Because if it crosses the word limit, it may eat up the words meant to be used for providing other key information.

Research methodology is where you describe the theories and techniques you used in your research. It is recommended that you describe what you have done and the method you used to get your thorough investigation results. Certainly, it is the second-longest paragraph in the abstract.

In the research methodology section, it is essential to mention the kind of research you conducted; for instance, qualitative research or quantitative research (this will guide your research methodology too) . If you've conducted quantitative research, your abstract should contain information like the sample size, data collection method, sampling techniques, and duration of the study. Likewise, your abstract should reflect observational data, opinions, questionnaires (especially the non-numerical data) if you work on qualitative research.

The research objectives and goals speak about what you intend to accomplish with your research. The majority of research projects focus on the long-term effects of a project, and the goals focus on the immediate, short-term outcomes of the research. It is possible to summarise both in just multiple sentences.

In stating your objectives and goals, you give readers a picture of the scope of the study, its depth and the direction your research ultimately follows. Your readers can evaluate the results of your research against the goals and stated objectives to determine if you have achieved the goal of your research.

In the end, your readers are more attracted by the results you've obtained through your study. Therefore, you must take the time to explain each relevant result and explain how they impact your research. The results section exists as the longest in your abstract, and nothing should diminish its reach or quality.

One of the most important things you should adhere to is to spell out details and figures on the results of your research.

Instead of making a vague assertion such as, "We noticed that response rates varied greatly between respondents with high incomes and those with low incomes", Try these: "The response rate was higher for high-income respondents than those with lower incomes (59 30 percent vs. 30 percent in both cases; P<0.01)."

You're likely to encounter certain obstacles during your research. It could have been during data collection or even during conducting the sample . Whatever the issue, it's essential to inform your readers about them and their effects on the research.

Research limitations offer an opportunity to suggest further and deep research. If, for instance, you were forced to change for convenient sampling and snowball samples because of difficulties in reaching well-suited research participants, then you should mention this reason when you write your research abstract. In addition, a lack of prior studies on the subject could hinder your research.

Your conclusion should include the same number of sentences to wrap the abstract as the introduction. The majority of researchers offer an idea of the consequences of their research in this case.

Your conclusion should include three essential components:

  • A significant take-home message.
  • Corresponding important findings.
  • The Interpretation.

Even though the conclusion of your abstract needs to be brief, it can have an enormous influence on the way that readers view your research. Therefore, make use of this section to reinforce the central message from your research. Be sure that your statements reflect the actual results and the methods you used to conduct your research.

examples-of-good-abstract-writing

Good Abstract Examples

Abstract example #1.

Children’s consumption behavior in response to food product placements in movies.

The abstract:

"Almost all research into the effects of brand placements on children has focused on the brand's attitudes or behavior intentions. Based on the significant differences between attitudes and behavioral intentions on one hand and actual behavior on the other hand, this study examines the impact of placements by brands on children's eating habits. Children aged 6-14 years old were shown an excerpt from the popular film Alvin and the Chipmunks and were shown places for the item Cheese Balls. Three different versions were developed with no placements, one with moderately frequent placements and the third with the highest frequency of placement. The results revealed that exposure to high-frequency places had a profound effect on snack consumption, however, there was no impact on consumer attitudes towards brands or products. The effects were not dependent on the age of the children. These findings are of major importance to researchers studying consumer behavior as well as nutrition experts as well as policy regulators."

Abstract Example #2

Social comparisons on social media: The impact of Facebook on young women’s body image concerns and mood. The abstract:

"The research conducted in this study investigated the effects of Facebook use on women's moods and body image if the effects are different from an internet-based fashion journal and if the appearance comparison tendencies moderate one or more of these effects. Participants who were female ( N = 112) were randomly allocated to spend 10 minutes exploring their Facebook account or a magazine's website or an appearance neutral control website prior to completing state assessments of body dissatisfaction, mood, and differences in appearance (weight-related and facial hair, face, and skin). Participants also completed a test of the tendency to compare appearances. The participants who used Facebook were reported to be more depressed than those who stayed on the control site. In addition, women who have the tendency to compare appearances reported more facial, hair and skin-related issues following Facebook exposure than when they were exposed to the control site. Due to its popularity it is imperative to conduct more research to understand the effect that Facebook affects the way people view themselves."

Abstract Example #3

The Relationship Between Cell Phone Use and Academic Performance in a Sample of U.S. College Students

"The cellphone is always present on campuses of colleges and is often utilised in situations in which learning takes place. The study examined the connection between the use of cell phones and the actual grades point average (GPA) after adjusting for predictors that are known to be a factor. In the end 536 students in the undergraduate program from 82 self-reported majors of an enormous, public institution were studied. Hierarchical analysis ( R 2 = .449) showed that use of mobile phones is significantly ( p < .001) and negative (b equal to -.164) connected to the actual college GPA, after taking into account factors such as demographics, self-efficacy in self-regulated learning, self-efficacy to improve academic performance, and the actual high school GPA that were all important predictors ( p < .05). Therefore, after adjusting for other known predictors increasing cell phone usage was associated with lower academic performance. While more research is required to determine the mechanisms behind these results, they suggest the need to educate teachers and students to the possible academic risks that are associated with high-frequency mobile phone usage."

quick-tips-on-writing-a-good-abstract

Quick tips on writing a good abstract

There exists a common dilemma among early age researchers whether to write the abstract at first or last? However, it's recommended to compose your abstract when you've completed the research since you'll have all the information to give to your readers. You can, however, write a draft at the beginning of your research and add in any gaps later.

If you find abstract writing a herculean task, here are the few tips to help you with it:

1. Always develop a framework to support your abstract

Before writing, ensure you create a clear outline for your abstract. Divide it into sections and draw the primary and supporting elements in each one. You can include keywords and a few sentences that convey the essence of your message.

2. Review Other Abstracts

Abstracts are among the most frequently used research documents, and thousands of them were written in the past. Therefore, prior to writing yours, take a look at some examples from other abstracts. There are plenty of examples of abstracts for dissertations in the dissertation and thesis databases.

3. Avoid Jargon To the Maximum

When you write your abstract, focus on simplicity over formality. You should  write in simple language, and avoid excessive filler words or ambiguous sentences. Keep in mind that your abstract must be readable to those who aren't acquainted with your subject.

4. Focus on Your Research

It's a given fact that the abstract you write should be about your research and the findings you've made. It is not the right time to mention secondary and primary data sources unless it's absolutely required.

Conclusion: How to Structure an Interesting Abstract?

Abstracts are a short outline of your essay. However, it's among the most important, if not the most important. The process of writing an abstract is not straightforward. A few early-age researchers tend to begin by writing it, thinking they are doing it to "tease" the next step (the document itself). However, it is better to treat it as a spoiler.

The simple, concise style of the abstract lends itself to a well-written and well-investigated study. If your research paper doesn't provide definitive results, or the goal of your research is questioned, so will the abstract. Thus, only write your abstract after witnessing your findings and put your findings in the context of a larger scenario.

The process of writing an abstract can be daunting, but with these guidelines, you will succeed. The most efficient method of writing an excellent abstract is to centre the primary points of your abstract, including the research question and goals methods, as well as key results.

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An abstract summarizes, usually in one paragraph of 300 words or less, the major aspects of the entire paper in a prescribed sequence that includes: 1) the overall purpose of the study and the research problem(s) you investigated; 2) the basic design of the study; 3) major findings or trends found as a result of your analysis; and, 4) a brief summary of your interpretations and conclusions.

Writing an Abstract. The Writing Center. Clarion University, 2009; Writing an Abstract for Your Research Paper. The Writing Center, University of Wisconsin, Madison; Koltay, Tibor. Abstracts and Abstracting: A Genre and Set of Skills for the Twenty-first Century . Oxford, UK: Chandos Publishing, 2010;

Importance of a Good Abstract

Sometimes your professor will ask you to include an abstract, or general summary of your work, with your research paper. The abstract allows you to elaborate upon each major aspect of the paper and helps readers decide whether they want to read the rest of the paper. Therefore, enough key information [e.g., summary results, observations, trends, etc.] must be included to make the abstract useful to someone who may want to examine your work.

How do you know when you have enough information in your abstract? A simple rule-of-thumb is to imagine that you are another researcher doing a similar study. Then ask yourself: if your abstract was the only part of the paper you could access, would you be happy with the amount of information presented there? Does it tell the whole story about your study? If the answer is "no" then the abstract likely needs to be revised.

Farkas, David K. “A Scheme for Understanding and Writing Summaries.” Technical Communication 67 (August 2020): 45-60;  How to Write a Research Abstract. Office of Undergraduate Research. University of Kentucky; Staiger, David L. “What Today’s Students Need to Know about Writing Abstracts.” International Journal of Business Communication January 3 (1966): 29-33; Swales, John M. and Christine B. Feak. Abstracts and the Writing of Abstracts . Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2009.

Structure and Writing Style

I.  Types of Abstracts

To begin, you need to determine which type of abstract you should include with your paper. There are four general types.

Critical Abstract A critical abstract provides, in addition to describing main findings and information, a judgment or comment about the study’s validity, reliability, or completeness. The researcher evaluates the paper and often compares it with other works on the same subject. Critical abstracts are generally 400-500 words in length due to the additional interpretive commentary. These types of abstracts are used infrequently.

Descriptive Abstract A descriptive abstract indicates the type of information found in the work. It makes no judgments about the work, nor does it provide results or conclusions of the research. It does incorporate key words found in the text and may include the purpose, methods, and scope of the research. Essentially, the descriptive abstract only describes the work being summarized. Some researchers consider it an outline of the work, rather than a summary. Descriptive abstracts are usually very short, 100 words or less. Informative Abstract The majority of abstracts are informative. While they still do not critique or evaluate a work, they do more than describe it. A good informative abstract acts as a surrogate for the work itself. That is, the researcher presents and explains all the main arguments and the important results and evidence in the paper. An informative abstract includes the information that can be found in a descriptive abstract [purpose, methods, scope] but it also includes the results and conclusions of the research and the recommendations of the author. The length varies according to discipline, but an informative abstract is usually no more than 300 words in length.

Highlight Abstract A highlight abstract is specifically written to attract the reader’s attention to the study. No pretense is made of there being either a balanced or complete picture of the paper and, in fact, incomplete and leading remarks may be used to spark the reader’s interest. In that a highlight abstract cannot stand independent of its associated article, it is not a true abstract and, therefore, rarely used in academic writing.

II.  Writing Style

Use the active voice when possible , but note that much of your abstract may require passive sentence constructions. Regardless, write your abstract using concise, but complete, sentences. Get to the point quickly and always use the past tense because you are reporting on a study that has been completed.

Abstracts should be formatted as a single paragraph in a block format and with no paragraph indentations. In most cases, the abstract page immediately follows the title page. Do not number the page. Rules set forth in writing manual vary but, in general, you should center the word "Abstract" at the top of the page with double spacing between the heading and the abstract. The final sentences of an abstract concisely summarize your study’s conclusions, implications, or applications to practice and, if appropriate, can be followed by a statement about the need for additional research revealed from the findings.

Composing Your Abstract

Although it is the first section of your paper, the abstract should be written last since it will summarize the contents of your entire paper. A good strategy to begin composing your abstract is to take whole sentences or key phrases from each section of the paper and put them in a sequence that summarizes the contents. Then revise or add connecting phrases or words to make the narrative flow clearly and smoothly. Note that statistical findings should be reported parenthetically [i.e., written in parentheses].

Before handing in your final paper, check to make sure that the information in the abstract completely agrees with what you have written in the paper. Think of the abstract as a sequential set of complete sentences describing the most crucial information using the fewest necessary words. The abstract SHOULD NOT contain:

  • A catchy introductory phrase, provocative quote, or other device to grab the reader's attention,
  • Lengthy background or contextual information,
  • Redundant phrases, unnecessary adverbs and adjectives, and repetitive information;
  • Acronyms or abbreviations,
  • References to other literature [say something like, "current research shows that..." or "studies have indicated..."],
  • Using ellipticals [i.e., ending with "..."] or incomplete sentences,
  • Jargon or terms that may be confusing to the reader,
  • Citations to other works, and
  • Any sort of image, illustration, figure, or table, or references to them.

Abstract. Writing Center. University of Kansas; Abstract. The Structure, Format, Content, and Style of a Journal-Style Scientific Paper. Department of Biology. Bates College; Abstracts. The Writing Center. University of North Carolina; Borko, Harold and Seymour Chatman. "Criteria for Acceptable Abstracts: A Survey of Abstracters' Instructions." American Documentation 14 (April 1963): 149-160; Abstracts. The Writer’s Handbook. Writing Center. University of Wisconsin, Madison; Hartley, James and Lucy Betts. "Common Weaknesses in Traditional Abstracts in the Social Sciences." Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 60 (October 2009): 2010-2018; Koltay, Tibor. Abstracts and Abstracting: A Genre and Set of Skills for the Twenty-first Century. Oxford, UK: Chandos Publishing, 2010; Procter, Margaret. The Abstract. University College Writing Centre. University of Toronto; Riordan, Laura. “Mastering the Art of Abstracts.” The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association 115 (January 2015 ): 41-47; Writing Report Abstracts. The Writing Lab and The OWL. Purdue University; Writing Abstracts. Writing Tutorial Services, Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning. Indiana University; Koltay, Tibor. Abstracts and Abstracting: A Genre and Set of Skills for the Twenty-First Century . Oxford, UK: 2010; Writing an Abstract for Your Research Paper. The Writing Center, University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Writing Tip

Never Cite Just the Abstract!

Citing to just a journal article's abstract does not confirm for the reader that you have conducted a thorough or reliable review of the literature. If the full-text is not available, go to the USC Libraries main page and enter the title of the article [NOT the title of the journal]. If the Libraries have a subscription to the journal, the article should appear with a link to the full-text or to the journal publisher page where you can get the article. If the article does not appear, try searching Google Scholar using the link on the USC Libraries main page. If you still can't find the article after doing this, contact a librarian or you can request it from our free i nterlibrary loan and document delivery service .

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Research Method

Home » Research Paper Abstract – Writing Guide and Examples

Research Paper Abstract – Writing Guide and Examples

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Research Paper Abstract

Research Paper Abstract

Research Paper Abstract is a brief summary of a research pape r that describes the study’s purpose, methods, findings, and conclusions . It is often the first section of the paper that readers encounter, and its purpose is to provide a concise and accurate overview of the paper’s content. The typical length of an abstract is usually around 150-250 words, and it should be written in a concise and clear manner.

Research Paper Abstract Structure

The structure of a research paper abstract usually includes the following elements:

  • Background or Introduction: Briefly describe the problem or research question that the study addresses.
  • Methods : Explain the methodology used to conduct the study, including the participants, materials, and procedures.
  • Results : Summarize the main findings of the study, including statistical analyses and key outcomes.
  • Conclusions : Discuss the implications of the study’s findings and their significance for the field, as well as any limitations or future directions for research.
  • Keywords : List a few keywords that describe the main topics or themes of the research.

How to Write Research Paper Abstract

Here are the steps to follow when writing a research paper abstract:

  • Start by reading your paper: Before you write an abstract, you should have a complete understanding of your paper. Read through the paper carefully, making sure you understand the purpose, methods, results, and conclusions.
  • Identify the key components : Identify the key components of your paper, such as the research question, methods used, results obtained, and conclusion reached.
  • Write a draft: Write a draft of your abstract, using concise and clear language. Make sure to include all the important information, but keep it short and to the point. A good rule of thumb is to keep your abstract between 150-250 words.
  • Use clear and concise language : Use clear and concise language to explain the purpose of your study, the methods used, the results obtained, and the conclusions drawn.
  • Emphasize your findings: Emphasize your findings in the abstract, highlighting the key results and the significance of your study.
  • Revise and edit: Once you have a draft, revise and edit it to ensure that it is clear, concise, and free from errors.
  • Check the formatting: Finally, check the formatting of your abstract to make sure it meets the requirements of the journal or conference where you plan to submit it.

Research Paper Abstract Examples

Research Paper Abstract Examples could be following:

Title : “The Effectiveness of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Treating Anxiety Disorders: A Meta-Analysis”

Abstract : This meta-analysis examines the effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) in treating anxiety disorders. Through the analysis of 20 randomized controlled trials, we found that CBT is a highly effective treatment for anxiety disorders, with large effect sizes across a range of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder. Our findings support the use of CBT as a first-line treatment for anxiety disorders and highlight the importance of further research to identify the mechanisms underlying its effectiveness.

Title : “Exploring the Role of Parental Involvement in Children’s Education: A Qualitative Study”

Abstract : This qualitative study explores the role of parental involvement in children’s education. Through in-depth interviews with 20 parents of children in elementary school, we found that parental involvement takes many forms, including volunteering in the classroom, helping with homework, and communicating with teachers. We also found that parental involvement is influenced by a range of factors, including parent and child characteristics, school culture, and socio-economic status. Our findings suggest that schools and educators should prioritize building strong partnerships with parents to support children’s academic success.

Title : “The Impact of Exercise on Cognitive Function in Older Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis”

Abstract : This paper presents a systematic review and meta-analysis of the existing literature on the impact of exercise on cognitive function in older adults. Through the analysis of 25 randomized controlled trials, we found that exercise is associated with significant improvements in cognitive function, particularly in the domains of executive function and attention. Our findings highlight the potential of exercise as a non-pharmacological intervention to support cognitive health in older adults.

When to Write Research Paper Abstract

The abstract of a research paper should typically be written after you have completed the main body of the paper. This is because the abstract is intended to provide a brief summary of the key points and findings of the research, and you can’t do that until you have completed the research and written about it in detail.

Once you have completed your research paper, you can begin writing your abstract. It is important to remember that the abstract should be a concise summary of your research paper, and should be written in a way that is easy to understand for readers who may not have expertise in your specific area of research.

Purpose of Research Paper Abstract

The purpose of a research paper abstract is to provide a concise summary of the key points and findings of a research paper. It is typically a brief paragraph or two that appears at the beginning of the paper, before the introduction, and is intended to give readers a quick overview of the paper’s content.

The abstract should include a brief statement of the research problem, the methods used to investigate the problem, the key results and findings, and the main conclusions and implications of the research. It should be written in a clear and concise manner, avoiding jargon and technical language, and should be understandable to a broad audience.

The abstract serves as a way to quickly and easily communicate the main points of a research paper to potential readers, such as academics, researchers, and students, who may be looking for information on a particular topic. It can also help researchers determine whether a paper is relevant to their own research interests and whether they should read the full paper.

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Study Skills

Writing an abstract

An abstract is a condensed version of your article; a distillation of the most important information (Belcher, 2019, p. 93).  

This page will help you to: 

understand the purpose and importance of an abstract 

plan an abstract 

structure and write different types of abstracts for your thesis and publication. 

Introduction to abstracts

This section will introduce the abstract and outline their purpose and importance. 

reflection icon

Before you continue, reflect on your previous writing experiences and the feedback you have received. How would you rate your ability in the following skills? Rate your ability from ‘good’ to ‘needs development’. 

Reflect on your answers. Congratulations if you feel confident about your skills. You may find it helpful to review the materials on this page to confirm your knowledge and possibly learn more. Don't worry if you don't feel confident. Work through these materials to build your skills.   

An abstract gives an overview of your entire project and usually answers these questions: 

What is your research about? 

Why is it important? 

How did you do it? 

What did you find? 

Why are your findings important? 

An abstract is generally brief: about 150-300 words for a journal article and about 500 words for a thesis. Requirements will vary depending on the type of abstract, the journal, the institution or the discipline.  

In some disciplines, an abstract is divided into several short sections such as Background; Methodology; Findings; Implications. 

The abstract aims to: 

give readers a summary of a research study 

help readers decide whether the research is relevant before they read the full paper 

provide a roadmap for readers who wish to read the whole article or thesis.  

It therefore functions as a stand-alone mini text, a screening device and a preview (Huckin, 2001). 

The abstract is generally the first thing a reader will look at although the abstract is the last part of a dissertation to be written (Cooley & Lewkowicz, 2003, p. 112). 

study skills task icon

Explore the interactive image below to understand the many reasons why writing a good abstract is important. Click the (+) in the image for more information about each point. 

Planning an abstract

This section outlines the process of planning an abstract. This includes understanding different types of abstract, knowing when to start writing and a step-by-step process for writing an abstract. 

The type or style of an abstract depends on several considerations. For example,  they may be structured or unstructured depending on the discipline. More information can be found in Structuring an abstract.

Different types of abstracts are required depending on where you want to publish. These include thesis abstracts, research article abstracts, conference abstracts and so on. More information can be found in Different types of abstracts.   

To know when to write an abstract, it is necessary to understand the process of building an article. 

The sequence for writing an article is different to the sequence for reading it. When writing, you may:

  • produce your tables and figures which convey the results of your research and help you form an argument.
  • describe your methods and results and then discuss the results
  • write the conclusion and introduction and ensure they are consistent with each other
  • produce the abstract once the study is complete. 

Text for image: Tittle, Abstract, and Keywords; Conclusion, Introduction; Methods, Results, Discussion; Figures/ tables (your data)

A complete abstract that summarises the article, tells a coherent story, states the argument and reveals the most significant findings can only be written after all the steps in the writing process are complete. 

However, you should START drafting an abstract EARLY as the task is "the anchor and catalyst for the framing and reframing of writing goals (Liner et al, 2014, p. 223). You can draft a preliminary abstract of a paper as a way of beginning to think about the topic and as a device for organising your ideas. Throughout your research project, you are likely to modify the abstract because the abstract also serves as a diagnostic tool (Belcher, 2019). If you can't write some parts in your abstract, it may mean your research does not yet have a clear focus.  

This section introduces you to the structure of an abstract in a thesis and a journal article. It also provides you with different ways to organise the abstract.  In writing an abstract, it is important to be clear about these following points: 

  • Is it a conference abstract, a thesis abstract or a research article abstract?  

What is the word limit? 

  • Is it a structured or an unstructured abstract? 

A  good abstract should:  

summarise the article or thesis 

tell a story 

state the argument and a claim for the significance of that argument 

reveal the most valuable findings 

state the methods briefly 

use strong verbs, not vague ones 

include all the most relevant keywords.  

(Belcher, 2019, p. 83) 

To ensure your abstract includes the key components listed above, it is recommended that you follow these fives moves in this typical order:

Moves 1: Backgrounf/context/ problem    Question: why is the topic important? What was done? What was the outcome? What does it mean?   Moves 2: Present research/ purpose   Question: What is the study about?   Move 3: Methods/ materials/ subjects   Question: What was done?   Move 4: Results/ Findings   Question: What was the outcome?   Move 5: Discussion/ conclusions   Question: What does it mean?

Let's look at two examples 

Example 1:  

Publishing is crucial to every researcher and every article sent to a reputable scientific journal undergoes a rigorous editorial evaluation by expert peer reviewers. Linguists have investigated the peer review process but to the best of our knowledge, no studies have been conducted on peer review comments on medical articles written in English by Italian researchers. The present study aims to establish the most common types of comments made by peer reviewers and to identify the linguistic problems that Ita

The structure of an abstract varies. For example, not all abstracts include five moves and writing styles vary across disciplines. Of the moves, moves 2, 3 and 4 are usually considered essential.  

You should  analyse examples in your discipline and read the instructions for authors from your target journal carefully.  

Being concise

The most important language feature of abstracts is that they are concise. Every word in the abstract has been chosen because it is necessary and performs a function.  To learn more, visit the Academic Style in Writing page and do the practice tasks in Being concise.

Present and past tenses are mainly used in abstracts, as illustrated below. 

Moves 1: Backgrounf/context/ problem    Question: why is the topic important? What was done? What was the outcome? What does it mean?   Tense: present   Moves 2: Present research/ purpose   Question: What is the study about?   Tense: Present   Move 3: Methods/ materials/ subjects   Question: What was done?   Tense: Past   Move 4: Results/ Findings   Question: What was the outcome?   Tense: Past   Move 5: Discussion/ conclusions   Question: What does it mean?   Tense: Past

Look at this example:

Publishing is crucial to every researcher and every article sent to a reputable scientific journal undergoes a rigorous editorial evaluation by expert peer reviewers. Linguists have investigated the peer review process but to the best of our knowledge, no studies have been conducted on peer review comments on medical articles written in English by Italian researchers (Move 1). The present study aims to establish the most common types of comments made by peer reviewers and to identify the linguistic problems

Read this abstract and click on the correct verb choices.

Word choice:

Your abstract needs to be concise so choice of words is important. A good abstract needs to include key words and strong verbs. 

Text for the image:   Word choice in abstracts   Key words: Include all the most relevant key words, since many search engines search by abstract and tittle alone   Strong verbs: Use 'shows’ rather than ‘attempts to’ or 'tries to’    Use 'argues' or 'demonstrates' rather than 'examine'

Opening sentences to engage readers:

Writing the first sentence in an abstract can be challenging. Here are four basic types of opening sentences based on Swales and Feak (2009) that may help you.  

Being a text detective

To ensure you make appropriate language choices in your abstracts, pay close attention to the language used in published abstracts in your discipline. Think of yourself as a text detective. 

Learn more about this by visiting Academic Style in Writing and exploring the abstracts in Being a text detective .

Different types of abstracts

This section introduces you to the different types of abstract you may need to write.

The table below compares a thesis abstract and a research article abstract .

Thesis abstract and research article abstract   Similarities: Give a concise summary of the entire research study   Follows the five moves of (1) background, (2) purpose, (3) methods, (4) results, (5) discussion, conclusion and implications    Differences:    Thesis abstract   Purpose: education and advancement (establishing the credibility in and contributing to the field)   Audience: mainly educational committee (those who evaluate whether you are worthy of a degree)   Length: longer (over 500 words), dep

A conference abstract is normally a standalone abstract ranging from 100 to 500 words, depending on the conference. It is designed to help conference organisers decide whether they would like your paper to be presented at the conference and attendees decide whether they would like to attend your presentation. 

A conference abstract describes the topic you would like to present at the conference. It can report a complete study, a part of your study or a study that is in progress (a promissory abstract). 

Let's look at the examples below:

A conference abstract can report a complete study, a part of your study or a study in progress   A complete study   Recent calls for university administrators to advance interdisciplinary research and teaching have suggested that allocating campus space to such initiatives is key to their success. Yes questions remain concerning just what kinds of spaces are most conducive to this agenda. This article aims to shed light on this relationship by drawing on case studies of five interdisciplinary area studies c

It is very important that you read the conference instructions carefully. Here are points to consider when preparing to write a conference abstract. 

When is the submission date? How much time do you have to write the abstract?  

What is the acceptance rate of the conference? 

Is this a promissory abstract? ( a study in progress) 

What is the conference theme and sub-themes? 

A graphical abstract is a single, visual summary of the main findings of an article, allowing readers to easily identify the article's main message. It does not take the place of a written abstract but complements your written abstract.   

You can communicate your research in different ways through graphical abstracts:  

Flow diagrams use simple shapes such as shapes, arrows and crosses to describe the process.

Visual representations use models to bring a particular study into the context.

Graphs, charts and images can capture the main research findings. 

Let's look at some examples of graphical abstracts:

A video abstract introduces readers to your article and emphasises why they should read your work. The video focuses on  

  • What question(s) did you want to answer with your research?  
  • How did you go about it?  
  • What conclusions did you come to?  

Your video should make people want to know more.  Here are the top tips for making your video abstract engaging: 

Top tips for an engaging video   MAKE IT SHORT 2 mins 20 seconds or less   MAKE IT CONCISE   Answer these questions: What are your research questions? How did you go about it? What were your conclusions?   MAKE IT ACCESSIBLE   Use clear language, be succinct and make people want to know more    MAKE IT READABLE    If you use texts or images in your slides, make sure there is not too much, and audience can easily read them while listening to you talk    MAKE THE AUDIO CLEAR    MAKE YOUR TALK NATURAL

You can find examples of video abstracts on theTaylor and Francis academic publisher site  here .  

Highlights are the ‘elevator pitch’ of your article. They are the three to five bullet points that will help increase the discoverability of your article via search engines.  

They capture the novel results of your research as well as new methods that were used during the study (Elsevier, 2023). In other words, they communicate the core findings, convey the essence, and demonstrate the distinctiveness of your research. 

Each highlight usually does not exceed 85 characters, including spaces, so it should be very concise.  

When you know which journal you want to publish in, read articles from the journal as well as the instructions for authors to gain an understanding of whether highlights are required and how they are written.  

Below is an example of highlights. 

Text for the image    Improving interpretability of word embeddings by generating definition and usage   Haitong Zhang, Yongping Du, Jiazxin Sun and Qingxiao Li    Highlights   A model with gated mechanism is proposed for generating context-aware definitions   Scaled dot-product attention captures the interaction between contexts and words   ELMo embeddings are used to compensate for the drawbacks of word embeddings   Our definition model with multi-task learning achieves significant improvement       Usual

More information on highlights can be found on the Elsevier academic publishing page  here .  

Over to you: draft your abstract

Apply what you have learned to your own abstracts.

Use this template to plan and draft your abstract.  

The template will help you gain an overview of the five moves including the background, aim of your research, research method, main findings, discussion and conclusion. You can download it and save it as a Word document once you have finished. 

Use these three tips to improve your draft.

Read these comments made by abstract reviewers. Have you avoided these pitfalls in your own abstract?

Reviewer criticisms of abstracts   The author has written more than 400 words in the abstract. it's verbose and doesn't get to the point   The abstract is only understandable after the paper has been read. It should be understandable to a general Engineering –literate audience, not just to those few researchers within the author's very specific field   The abstract doesn't flow. It looks like the author just cut and paste sentences from the body of the paper   Nice idea but in general I think the abstract i

Locate and read the author instructions for your target journal or for a conference you would like to attend.

Take an abstract you have written previously and practise tailoring it to meet the reviewers' requirements.

 

 

 

Exchange drafts with a peer. 

 

 

Does the abstract:

Reflect on your learning 

1  

Revisit the self-analysis quiz at the top of the page. How would you rate your skills now?    

2  

Remember that writing is a process and mistakes aren't a bad thing. They are a normal part of learning and can help you to improve.  

If you would like more support, visit the Language and Learning Advisors page. 

References  

Belcher, W. L. (2019). Writing your journal article in twelve weeks: A guide to Academic Publishing Success.   The University of Chicago Press  

Blaxter, L., Hughes, C. & Tight, M. (2006). How to research. Open University Press 

Chang, HW., Kanegasaki., S, Jin, F., Deng, Y., You, Z., Chang, J., Kim, D. Y., Timilshina, M., Kim, J., Lee, Y. L., Toyama-Sorimachi, N., & Tsuchiya, T. (2020). A common signaling pathway leading to degranulation in mast cells and its regulation by CCR1-ligand. Allergy, 75, 1371– 1381. https://doi.org/10.1111/all.14186  

Chiricozzi, A., Talamonti, M., De Simone, C., Galluzzo, M., Gori, N., Fabbrocini, G., Marzano, A.V., Girolomoni, G., Offidani, A., Rossi, M.T., Bianchi, L., Cristaudo, A., Fierro, M.T., Stingeni, L., Pellacani, G., Argenziano, G., Patrizi, A., Pigatto, P., Romanelli, M., Savoia, P., Rubegni, P., Foti, C., Milanesi, N., Belloni Fortina, A., Bongiorno, M.R., Grieco, T., Di Nuzzo, S., Fargnoli, M.C., Carugno, A., Motolese, A., Rongioletti, F., Amerio, P., Balestri, R., Potenza, C., Micali, G., Patruno, C., Zalaudek, I., Lombardo, M., Feliciani, C., Di Nardo, L., Guarneri, F., Peris, K. (2021). Management of patients with atopic dermatitis undergoing systemic therapy during COVID-19 pandemic in Italy: Data from the DA-COVID-19 registry. Allergy, 76, 1813-1824. https://doi.org/10.1111/all.14767  

Friedman, J. Z., & Worden, E, A. (2016). Creating interdisciplinary space on campus: lessons from US area studies centers. HERDSA , 35(1), 129-141. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2015.1128886&nbsp ;

Huckin, T. N. (2001). Abstracting from abstracts. In M. Hewings (Ed.), Academic writing in context, Birmingham, UK; University of Birmingham Press.  

Humphrey, P. (2015). English language proficiency in higher education: student conceptualisations and outcomes. [Doctoral dissertation, Griffith University] 

Machi, L. A & McEvoy, B. T. (2012). The literature review: six steps to success . Corwin 

Niessen, N.M., Gibson, P.G., Baines, K.J., Barker, D., Yang, I.A., Upham, J.W., Reynolds, P.N., Hodge, S., James, A.L., Jenkins, C., Peters, M.J., Marks, G.B., Baraket, M., Simpson, J.L. and Fricker, M. (2021). Sputum TNF markers are increased in neutrophilic and severe asthma and are reduced by azithromycin treatment. Allergy, 76, 2090-2101. https://doi.org/10.1111/all.14768  

Phukon, J., Borah, A. J., & Gogoi, S. (2022). Transition-metal-catalyzed synthesis of spiro compounds through activation and cleavage of C-H bonds. Asian Journal of Organic Chemistry Review, 11, 1-35. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajoc.202200581  

Ridley, D. (2008). The literature review: A step-by-step guide for students. SAGE Publications. 

Zhao, F., Zhao, L., Wang, L., & Song, H. (2020). An ensemble discreet differential evolution for the distributed blocking flowshop scheduling with minimising makespan criterion. Expert Systems with Applications , 160, 1-21. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eswa.2020.113678  

Woods, M. G. (2021). Culture Counts: A choice modelling approach to quantifying cultural values for First Nations people [Doctoral dissertation, Charles Darwin University]. https://researchers.cdu.edu.au/en/studentTheses/culture-counts-a-choice-modelling-approach-to-quantifying-cultura  

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Writing an Abstract for a Research Paper: Guidelines, Examples, and Templates

There are six steps to writing a standard abstract. (1) Begin with a broad statement about your topic. Then, (2) state the problem or knowledge gap related to this topic that your study explores. After that, (3) describe what specific aspect of this problem you investigated, and (4) briefly explain how you went about doing this. After that, (5) describe the most meaningful outcome(s) of your study. Finally, (6) close your abstract by explaining the broad implication(s) of your findings.

In this article, I present step-by-step guidelines for writing an abstract for an academic paper. These guidelines are fo llowed by an example of a full abstract that follows these guidelines and a few fill-in-the-blank templates that you can use to write your own abstract.

Guidelines for Writing an Abstract

The basic structure of an abstract is illustrated below.

research in progress abstract example

A standard abstract starts with a very general statement and becomes more specific with each sentence that follows until once again making a broad statement about the study’s implications at the end. Altogether, a standard abstract has six functions, which are described in detail below.

Start by making a broad statement about your topic.

The first sentence of your abstract should briefly describe a problem that is of interest to your readers. When writing this first sentence, you should think about who comprises your target audience and use terms that will appeal to this audience. If your opening sentence is too broad, it might lose the attention of potential readers because they will not know if your study is relevant to them.

Too broad : Maintaining an ideal workplace environment has a positive effect on employees.

The sentence above is so broad that it will not grab the reader’s attention. While it gives the reader some idea of the area of study, it doesn’t provide any details about the author’s topic within their research area. This can be fixed by inserting some keywords related to the topic (these are underlined in the revised example below).

Improved : Keeping the workplace environment at an ideal temperature positively affects the overall health of employees.

The revised sentence is much better, as it expresses two points about the research topic—namely, (i) what aspect of workplace environment was studied, (ii) what aspect of employees was observed. The mention of these aspects of the research will draw the attention of readers who are interested in them.

Describe the general problem that your paper addresses.

After describing your topic in the first sentence, you can then explain what aspect of this topic has motivated your research. Often, authors use this part of the abstract to describe the research gap that they identified and aimed to fill. These types of sentences are often characterized by the use of words such as “however,” “although,” “despite,” and so on.

However, a comprehensive understanding of how different workplace bullying experiences are associated with absenteeism is currently lacking.

The above example is typical of a sentence describing the problem that a study intends to tackle. The author has noticed that there is a gap in the research, and they briefly explain this gap here.

Although it has been established that quantity and quality of sleep can affect different types of task performance and personal health, the interactions between sleep habits and workplace behaviors have received very little attention.

The example above illustrates a case in which the author has accomplished two tasks with one sentence. The first part of the sentence (up until the comma) mentions the general topic that the research fits into, while the second part (after the comma) describes the general problem that the research addresses.

Express the specific problem investigated in your paper.

After describing the general problem that motivated your research, the next sentence should express the specific aspect of the problem that you investigated. Sentences of this type are often indicated by the use of phrases like “the purpose of this research is to,” “this paper is intended to,” or “this work aims to.”

Uninformative : However, a comprehensive understanding of how different workplace bullying experiences are associated with absenteeism is currently lacking. The present article aimed to provide new insights into the relationship between workplace bullying and absenteeism .

The second sentence in the above example is a mere rewording of the first sentence. As such, it adds nothing to the abstract. The second sentence should be more specific than the preceding one.

Improved : However, a comprehensive understanding of how different workplace bullying experiences are associated with absenteeism is currently lacking. The present article aimed to define various subtypes of workplace bullying and determine which subtypes tend to lead to absenteeism .

The second sentence of this passage is much more informative than in the previous example. This sentence lets the reader know exactly what they can expect from the full research article.

Explain how you attempted to resolve your study’s specific problem.

In this part of your abstract, you should attempt to describe your study’s methodology in one or two sentences. As such, you must be sure to include only the most important information about your method. At the same time, you must also be careful not to be too vague.

Too vague : We conducted multiple tests to examine changes in various factors related to well-being.

This description of the methodology is too vague. Instead of merely mentioning “tests” and “factors,” the author should note which specific tests were run and which factors were assessed.

Improved : Using data from BHIP completers, we conducted multiple one-way multivariate analyses of variance and follow-up univariate t-tests to examine changes in physical and mental health, stress, energy levels, social satisfaction, self-efficacy, and quality of life.

This sentence is very well-written. It packs a lot of specific information about the method into a single sentence. Also, it does not describe more details than are needed for an abstract.

Briefly tell the reader what you found by carrying out your study.

This is the most important part of the abstract—the other sentences in the abstract are there to explain why this one is relevant. When writing this sentence, imagine that someone has asked you, “What did you find in your research?” and that you need to answer them in one or two sentences.

Too vague : Consistently poor sleepers had more health risks and medical conditions than consistently optimal sleepers.

This sentence is okay, but it would be helpful to let the reader know which health risks and medical conditions were related to poor sleeping habits.

Improved : Consistently poor sleepers were more likely than consistently optimal sleepers to suffer from chronic abdominal pain, and they were at a higher risk for diabetes and heart disease.

This sentence is better, as the specific health conditions are named.

Finally, describe the major implication(s) of your study.

Most abstracts end with a short sentence that explains the main takeaway(s) that you want your audience to gain from reading your paper. Often, this sentence is addressed to people in power (e.g., employers, policymakers), and it recommends a course of action that such people should take based on the results.

Too broad : Employers may wish to make use of strategies that increase employee health.

This sentence is too broad to be useful. It does not give employers a starting point to implement a change.

Improved : Employers may wish to incorporate sleep education initiatives as part of their overall health and wellness strategies.

This sentence is better than the original, as it provides employers with a starting point—specifically, it invites employers to look up information on sleep education programs.

Abstract Example

The abstract produced here is from a paper published in Electronic Commerce Research and Applications . I have made slight alterations to the abstract so that this example fits the guidelines given in this article.

(1) Gamification can strengthen enjoyment and productivity in the workplace. (2) Despite this, research on gamification in the work context is still limited. (3) In this study, we investigated the effect of gamification on the workplace enjoyment and productivity of employees by comparing employees with leadership responsibilities to those without leadership responsibilities. (4) Work-related tasks were gamified using the habit-tracking game Habitica, and data from 114 employees were gathered using an online survey. (5) The results illustrated that employees without leadership responsibilities used work gamification as a trigger for self-motivation, whereas employees with leadership responsibilities used it to improve their health. (6) Work gamification positively affected work enjoyment for both types of employees and positively affected productivity for employees with leadership responsibilities. (7) Our results underline the importance of taking work-related variables into account when researching work gamification.

In Sentence (1), the author makes a broad statement about their topic. Notice how the nouns used (“gamification,” “enjoyment,” “productivity”) are quite general while still indicating the focus of the paper. The author uses Sentence (2) to very briefly state the problem that the research will address.

In Sentence (3), the author explains what specific aspects of the problem mentioned in Sentence (2) will be explored in the present work. Notice that the mention of leadership responsibilities makes Sentence (3) more specific than Sentence (2). Sentence (4) gets even more specific, naming the specific tools used to gather data and the number of participants.

Sentences (5) and (6) are similar, with each sentence describing one of the study’s main findings. Then, suddenly, the scope of the abstract becomes quite broad again in Sentence (7), which mentions “work-related variables” instead of a specific variable and “researching” instead of a specific kind of research.

Abstract Templates

Copy and paste any of the paragraphs below into a word processor. Then insert the appropriate information to produce an abstract for your research paper.

Template #1

Researchers have established that [Make a broad statement about your area of research.] . However, [Describe the knowledge gap that your paper addresses.] . The goal of this paper is to [Describe the purpose of your paper.] . The achieve this goal, we [Briefly explain your methodology.] . We found that [Indicate the main finding(s) of your study; you may need two sentences to do this.] . [Provide a broad implication of your results.] .

Template #2

It is well-understood that [Make a broad statement about your area of research.] . Despite this, [Describe the knowledge gap that your paper addresses.] . The current research aims to [Describe the purpose of your paper.] . To accomplish this, we [Briefly explain your methodology.] . It was discovered that [Indicate the main finding(s) of your study; you may need two sentences to do this.] . [Provide a broad implication of your results.] .

Template #3

Extensive research indicates that [Make a broad statement about your area of research.] . Nevertheless, [Describe the knowledge gap that your paper addresses.] . The present work is intended to [Describe the purpose of your paper.] . To this end, we [Briefly explain your methodology.] . The results revealed that [Indicate the main finding(s) of your study; you may need two sentences to do this.] . [Provide a broad implication of your results.] .

  • How to Write an Abstract

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Undergraduate Research

  • How to Write An Abstract

Think of your abstract or artist statement like a movie trailer: it should leave the reader eager to learn more but knowledgeable enough to grasp the scope of your work. Although abstracts and artist statements need to contain key information on your project, your title and summary should be understandable to a lay audience.

research in progress abstract example

Please remember that you can seek assistance with any of your writing needs at the MU Writing Center . Their tutors work with students from all disciplines on a wide variety of documents. And they are specially trained to use the Abstract Review Rubric that will be used on the abstracts reviewed at the Spring Forum.

Types of Research Summaries

Students should submit artist statements as their abstracts.  Artist statements should introduce to the art, performance, or creative work and include information on media and methods in creating the pieces.  The statements should also include a description of the inspiration for the work, the meaning the work signifies to the artist, the artistic influences, and any unique methods used to create the pieces.  Students are encouraged to explain the connections of the work with their inspirations or themes.  The statements should be specific to the work presented and not a general statements about the students’ artistic philosophies and approaches.  Effective artist statements should provide the viewer with information to better understand the work of the artists.  If presentations are based on previous performances, then students may include reflections on the performance experiences and audience reactions.

Abstracts should describe the nature of the project or piece (ex:  architectural images used for a charrette, fashion plates, advertising campaign story boards) and its intended purpose.  Students should describe the project or problem that they addressed and limitations and challenges that impact the design process.  Students may wish to include research conducted to provide context for the project and inform the design process. A description of the clients/end users may be included.  Information on inspirations, motivations, and influences may also be included as appropriate to the discipline and project.  A description of the project outcome should be included.

Abstracts should include a short introduction or background to put the research into context; purpose of the research project; a problem statement or thesis; a brief description of materials, methods, or subjects (as appropriate for the discipline); results and analysis; conclusions and implications; and recommendations.  For research projects still in progress at the time of abstract submission, students may opt to indicate that results and conclusions will be presented [at the Forum].

Tips for writing a clear and concise abstract

The title of your abstract/statement/poster should include some language that the lay person can understand.   When someone reads your title they should have SOME idea of the nature of your work and your discipline.

Ask a peer unfamiliar with your research to read your abstract. If they’re confused by it, others will be too.

Keep it short and sweet.

  • Interesting eye-catching title
  • Introduction: 1-3 sentences
  • What you did: 1 sentence
  • Why you did it: 1 sentence
  • How you did it: 1 sentence
  • Results or when they are expected: 2 sentences
  • Conclusion: 1-3 sentences

Ideas to Address:

  • The big picture your project helps tackle
  • The problem motivating your work on this particular project
  • General methods you used
  • Results and/or conclusions
  • The next steps for the project

Things to Avoid:

  • A long and confusing title
  • Jargon or complicated industry terms
  • Long description of methods/procedures
  • Exaggerating your results
  • Exceeding the allowable word limit
  • Forgetting to tell people why to care
  • References that keep the abstract from being a “stand alone” document
  • Being boring, confusing, or unintelligible!

Artist Statement

The artist statement should be an introduction to the art and include information on media and methods in creating the piece(s).  It should include a description of the inspiration for the work, what the work signifies to the artist, the artistic influences, and any unique methods used to create the work.  Students are encouraged to explain the connections of the work with their inspiration or theme.  The artist statement (up to 300 words) should be written in plain language to invite viewers to learn more about the artist’s work and make their own interpretations.  The statement should be specific to the piece(s) that will be on display, and not a general statement about the student’s artistic philosophy and approach.  An effective artist statement should provide the viewer with information to better understand and experience viewing the work on display.

Research/Applied Design Abstract

The project abstract (up to 300 words) should describe the nature of the project or piece (ex:  architectural images used for a charrette, fashion plates, small scale model of a theater set) and its intended purpose.  Students should describe the project or problem that was addressed and limitations and challenges that impact the design process.  Students may wish to include research conducted to provide context for the project and inform the design process. A description of the clients/end users may be included.  Information on inspirations, motivations, and influences may also be included as appropriate to the discipline and project.

Key Considerations

  • What is the problem/ big picture that your project helps to address?
  • What is the appropriate background to put your project into context? What do we know? What don’t we know? (informed rationale)
  • What is YOUR project? What are you seeking to answer?
  • How do you DO your research? What kind of data do you collect?  How do you collect it?
  • What is the experimental design? Number of subjects or tests run? (quantify if you can!)
  • Provide some data (not raw, but analyzed)
  • What have you found? What are your results? How do you KNOW this – how did you analyze this?
  • What does this mean?
  • What are the next steps? What don’t we know still?
  • How does this relate (again) to the bigger picture. Who should care and why?  (what is your audience?)

More Resources

  • Abstract Writing Presentation from University of Illinois – Chicago
  • Sample Abstracts
  • A 10-Step Guide to Make Your Research Paper More Effective
  • Your Artist Statement: Explaining the Unexplainable
  • How to Write an Artist Statement

Forum Abstract Review Rubric

Here is the Forum Abstract Review Rubric for you and your mentor to use when writing your abstract to submit to the Spring Research & Creative Achievements Forum.

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Undergraduate research and distinguished scholarships menu, undergraduate research and distinguished scholarships, abstract and artist statement tips.

To present at an academic conference, such as the symposium, it is expected that presenters prepare an abstract, which simply represents a summary of the research to be presented. It offers a brief synopsis of the purpose and primary ideas of the project. Abstracts also precede papers in research journals and appear in programs of academic conferences. It is crucial that researchers learn how to write professional abstracts that succinctly convey their research to the intended audience.

Undergraduate students registering to present/perform at the Undergraduate Research Symposium submit either an abstract or artist statement for their research, creative work, or works-in-progress. Students in the arts may choose to submit an artist statement in lieu of an abstract, if they prefer. All abstracts submitted for the symposium, will be published in the program book.

Abstracts and artist statements for the UO symposium will be no more than 1500 characters , and should be comprehensible to a wide-ranging audience- from those who are experts in the field to the lay person.

Attend an Abstract and Artist Statement Writing Workshop

"Crafting & Developing an Abstract, Project Summary or Artist Statement," presented jointly by ASURE and OURJ, will be held on the following days:

  • April 3, 2024, 5:00-7:00 pm in the Knight Library DREAMLab 
  • April 9, 2024, 4:30-6:30 pm in the EMU Miller Room

How Do I Write an Abstract?

An abstract should be succinct, factual, and balanced. A reader should be able to gain a summary of the project through an abstract. Your abstract should contain the following components:

  • Introductory sentence(s) - background, and general information about the topic
  • Statement of thesis, hypothesis, purpose, or question of study, motivation and significance of the work
  • General methods/procedures used- goals of the practice being implemented
  • Results/findings or anticipated results (if the work is still in progress)
  • Primary conclusion of the work, implications or insights about this work
  • General statement of the significance of the research, or range of audience who will be interested in the study

Prior to submitting your abstract, always proofread your writing and ask a friend to perform an additional proofreading. Always print out a copy to read, as it is much easier to catch typos that don’t involve misspelled words (e.g., if vs. is; both are words, so your spell check program will miss the difference). Double check your grammar, run a spell check and a word/character count, and be sure to submit it by the deadline. 

An Artist Statement

(Abstract format for those presenting creative projects)

An artist statement explains your work—a description of your creative endeavors (and/or process) that provides insight into the project. The statement introduces the reader to your work, so they may get an overall sense of the themes you are exploring, motivation, materials you work with or creative medium to express your creativily and potential influences.

  • Medium, materials and methods- Describe the medium and materials you use to answer the "how." How do you create your art? What materials do you use (camera, oil paint, charcoal, metal, wood pencil)? For example, are you a digital photographer or prefer film and print in a darkroom?
  • Subject matter- The subject matter might be obvious to you, but not to your audience. However, you may introduce the 'subject' in ways that still allow your audience to form their own interpretations.
  • Relationship between your concept and materials- What are your influences, vision for the work? What is the message that you hope to convey through your creative work?

What Are General Abstract Guidelines?

Every conference and professional meeting will have guidelines for submitting an abstract. Be sure to check the guidelines and to follow them (otherwise, you risk your abstract/submission being rejected immediately). 

  • Abstract deadline date:  These are usually very strict. An abstract received after the deadline will not be accepted. 
  • Word count restriction: Most meetings have a word (or character) restriction (typically 200– 250 words: 1500 characters). Abstracts that exceed this word count will be cut off at the restricted number when published or not accepted. 
  • Format: All meetings will require a specific format for an abstract, including specific margins, font, and/or font size. They will also require a certain way to list the authors and to present their affiliations.

Where Can I Get Feedback or Help with My Abstract?

Ask your faculty or research mentors to help with writing an abstract. The Undergraduate Research Symposium organizers and ASURE (Affiliated Students for Undergraduate Research Engagement) student group also offer drop-in open hours advising.

Symposium preparation workshops are offered by ASURE & OURJ in the coming weeks leading up to the symposium, and recorded workshops accessible via the Symposium YouTube channel. 

Fine-tune your symposium presentation and get feedback (as well as pizza) during a drop-in session at the "Symposium and Slices" workshop presented by ASURE & OURJ. It will be held Thursday, May 9, from 3:00 to 9:00 pm at the DREAMLab in the Knight Library .

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

At what point in my research project should i submit an abstract for the undergraduate research symposium.

Participants will submit abstracts through the Undergraduate Research Symposium Participation Registration form. The Undergraduate Research Symposium organizers recognize that abstracts may represent tentative or projected findings, conclusions, or outcomes. 

Posters can be presented at almost any stage of a research project and are an excellent way to get feedback on work in-progress. Typically, students who have been doing research for two terms are in a good position to present a poster. 

You are encouraged to discuss your research progress with your faculty and research mentors. They should assist you in the abstract-writing process. 

Where, additionally, should I present my work?

The University of Oregon’s Undergraduate Research Symposium offers a supportive environment to present your work and to receive informal feedback that can help prepare you for regional and national academic conferences in your field of study. Consult your faculty mentor or research advisor for recommendations of conferences to attend and/or present at. Subject librarians at UO Libraries serve as valuable resources for publication, presentation opportunities information and resources. The UO Library also hosts Scholars’ Bank , an open access repository for the intellectual work of faculty and students, and staff at the University of Oregon, is a resource to make public scholarly work. 

Additional Resources for Abstract and Artist Statement Development

  • Art Guide Organization " The Complete Guide to Writing an Artist Statement "
  • Art Institute Chicago " Artist Statement "
  • UC Davis “ How to Write an Abstract for the Undergraduate Research Scholarship and Creative Activities Conference ” 
  • Johns Hopkins Abstract-Writing Tips  
  • Michigan State University Abstract Examples  
  • RISD " Importance of an Artist Statement "
  • University of Minnesota “ Abstract Writing ” 
  • University of Missouri “ How to Write an Abstract ” 
  • UO Undergraduate Research Symposium Abstract examples 
  • Washington University in St Louis Office of Undergraduate Research “ Writing an Abstract ” 

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Research-in-progress (rip): tips.

Making the Most of RIP  

Powerpoints by Fellowship Alumna, Neda Ratanawongsa, MD, MPH

What is RIP?

A forum where fellows can talk about their research idea, designs, and results and get feedback in an informal, comfortable setting.

At what stages of my research can I present?

All stages: starting a project, planning the design, analyzing the data, or getting ready to present your results at conferences or in manuscripts.

Why are we talking about this?

  • Different objectives (& skills) for presenting research-in-progress vs. completed work
  • Necessary to do this throughout your career
  • It doesn’t have to be scary – can it even be enjoyable?!
  • We want to encourage you to present often and feel more comfortable each time.

Setting Your Objectives

You will never get through as much as you thought you would – set a reasonable agenda.

Starting a research project

  • Present what’s been done
  • Identify the gap(s) in the literature
  • Present/refine your conceptual framework
  • Identify possible research questions/hypotheses
  • Discuss pros/cons of research methodologies
  • Identify potential datasets
  • Solicit ideas on mentors/collaborators/funding sources

Research design or data analysis

  • Briefly present what’s been done as it affects your design
  • Identify your specific aim(s) and hypotheses
  • Present your research design
  • Focus on 1-2 issues / dilemmas – for example: Research design: • Are these appropriate inclusion / exclusion criteria? • How can I improve recruitment? • Please pilot my questionnaire. • How can I get my protocol through the IRB? • How can I collect data on other variables in my conceptual framework? Data analysis: • Do the variables in my model make sense? • Here’s an interesting finding – what do you think of my conclusions? • Are there other confounders I haven’t considered?

Presenting for conferences

  • Explain the venue / audience / constraints for your future presentation
  • My talk is too long.
  • I talk too quickly.
  • Do my slides make sense? 
  • I’m worried about fielding questions.
  • Present as if you are at the conference (including Q&A time afterwards)
  • Allow ample time to get feedback on the style, content, and your responses in Q&A

10 Ways to Make the Most of Your RIP Presentation

1. Present early and often.

  • Better to reconsider your design before submitting the IRB, collecting data, or writing the manuscript

2. Present weeks or months before key deadlines.

  • You'll be more willing to incorporate major changes and have time to present again

3. Invite faculty.

  • Ask your mentor(s) to come.
  • Invite faculty who are not working with you but who have experience with the methodology / content (use your mentors to help you identify and invite them)
  • Allow enough lead time so you can coordinate with faculty schedules

4. Prepare for 20 minutes/20 slides.

  • Allow enough time for questions while you present and discussion after
  • Avoid the temptation to present lots of background
  • Go over your slides and objectives with your project mentor in advance to optimize the structure of your talk

5. State upfront and explicitly your (one to three) objectives for the session (see above). 6. Consider how to manage your audience when they:

  • If they question something upstream of your objective (e.g. research design), go with the flow for a period of time,
  • But redirect your audience back to your objectives when necessary: "These are all great points, but I’d like to move on to …"
  • You can ask the audience to hold questions during part/all of your talk,
  • But try to practice managing interruptions (which may occur at a conference or job talk): "That’s an important question, and I think my next few slides will address that issue. If I don’t, please remind me to come back to that before we end."

7. Convert comments into constructive criticism.

  • "That's a great point that I've struggled with - do you or does anyone else have suggestions on how I could do this differently?"
  • Let the audience know in advance the type of feedback you want (content vs. style)

8. Assign a note-taker.

  • Save your energy for thinking about and fielding questions
  • Have someone bring a laptop to write down what others say and how you respond to their comments / questions

9. Set time aside that day to process the feedback.

  • Look over the notes and/or talk about them with your project mentors
  • Don’t necessarily act on every suggestion, but keep track of why you don’t (great for anticipating questions at future presentations and writing the limitations section)

10. Solicit feedback on how you present.

  • Assign someone to take notes on how you can improve your format, speaking style, responses to questions, the way you redirect the audience
  • Hand out a form asking for feedback on both content and presentation style.

When You’re Not Presenting in RIP

  • You will learn by hearing others’ critiques and suggestions.
  • You will learn by thinking critically about other presentations.
  • Better to hear from a variety of viewpoints.
  • If you don’t understand something from the presenter or from an audience member, chances are that someone else doesn’t understand either.
  • You don’t have to have an answer to a concern that you raise; someone else may have one.
  • Better to receive constructive criticism here now than everywhere else later.
  • Consider writing down suggestions that don’t relate to the session’s objectives and are not immediately pressing.
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Progress in Lung Cancer Screening Adoption

  • 1 Department of Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
  • 2 Cancer Outcomes Public Policy and Effectiveness Research (COPPER) Center, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
  • 3 Associate Editor, JAMA Internal Medicine
  • Original Investigation Patient Navigation for Lung Cancer Screening at a Health Care for the Homeless Program Travis P. Baggett, MD, MPH; Nora Sporn, MA, MPH; Joana Barbosa Teixeira, MA; Elijah C. Rodriguez, BA; Nillani Anandakugan, MS; Natalia Critchley, BS; Evangeline Kennedy, BS; Katherine Hart, BS; Andrea Joyce, MA; Yuchiao Chang, PhD; Sanja Percac-Lima, MD, PhD; Elyse R. Park, PhD, MPH; Nancy A. Rigotti, MD JAMA Internal Medicine
  • Original Investigation Lung Cancer Screening in the US, 2022 Priti Bandi, PhD; Jessica Star, MA, MPH; Kilan Ashad-Bishop, PhD; Tyler Kratzer, MPH; Robert Smith, PhD; Ahmedin Jemal, DVM, PhD JAMA Internal Medicine

The National Lung Screening Trial, a landmark randomized clinical trial that demonstrated the efficacy of lung cancer screening with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT), was published more than a decade ago. 1 In the interim, the US Preventive Services Task Force has endorsed lung cancer screening in certain adults, insurance coverage of LDCT has expanded, and a second large randomized clinical trial, the NELSON trial, demonstrated that LDCT can reduce lung cancer mortality. 2 Importantly, annual LDCT screening also carries risks. In a recent observational study, approximately 32% of those screened underwent additional imaging, 3% had invasive testing, and 31% of those who received invasive testing had a complication. 3

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Richman IB , Gross CP. Progress in Lung Cancer Screening Adoption. JAMA Intern Med. Published online June 10, 2024. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2024.1673

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The Evolving Landscape of Antibody-Drug Conjugates: In Depth Analysis of Recent Research Progress

Affiliations.

  • 1 CAS, A Division of the American Chemical Society, Columbus, Ohio 43210, United States.
  • 2 ACS International India Pvt. Ltd., Pune 411044, India.
  • PMID: 37821099
  • PMCID: PMC10655051
  • DOI: 10.1021/acs.bioconjchem.3c00374

Antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) are targeted immunoconjugate constructs that integrate the potency of cytotoxic drugs with the selectivity of monoclonal antibodies, minimizing damage to healthy cells and reducing systemic toxicity. Their design allows for higher doses of the cytotoxic drug to be administered, potentially increasing efficacy. They are currently among the most promising drug classes in oncology, with efforts to expand their application for nononcological indications and in combination therapies. Here we provide a detailed overview of the recent advances in ADC research and consider future directions and challenges in promoting this promising platform to widespread therapeutic use. We examine data from the CAS Content Collection, the largest human-curated collection of published scientific information, and analyze the publication landscape of recent research to reveal the exploration trends in published documents and to provide insights into the scientific advances in the area. We also discuss the evolution of the key concepts in the field, the major technologies, and their development pipelines with company research focuses, disease targets, development stages, and publication and investment trends. A comprehensive concept map has been created based on the documents in the CAS Content Collection. We hope that this report can serve as a useful resource for understanding the current state of knowledge in the field of ADCs and the remaining challenges to fulfill their potential.

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Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no competing financial interest.

Structure and mechanism of action…

Structure and mechanism of action of ADCs. (A) Scheme of antibody structure including…

Timeline of key events and…

Timeline of key events and discoveries in the antibody–drug conjugate research and development.…

Yearly growth of the number…

Yearly growth of the number of documents (journal articles and patents) in the…

Exemplary ADC linkers: (A) acid…

Exemplary ADC linkers: (A) acid labile hydrazone linker; (B) enzyme cleavable Val-Cit linker;…

Top countries with respect to…

Top countries with respect to the number of ADC-related journal articles (blue) and…

(A) Top organizations publishing ADC-related…

(A) Top organizations publishing ADC-related journal articles. Top patent assignees of ADC-related patents…

Top scientific journals with respect…

Top scientific journals with respect to the number of ADC-related (A) articles published…

(A) Top patent offices receiving…

(A) Top patent offices receiving ADC-related patent applications. (B) Flow of ADC-related patent…

Diseases explored in ADC-related publications:…

Diseases explored in ADC-related publications: (A) cancers (Inset: Annual growth of the number…

Therapies explored in the ADC-related…

Therapies explored in the ADC-related publications.

Drug delivery systems explored in…

Drug delivery systems explored in the ADC-related publications.

ADC payloads explored in the…

ADC payloads explored in the scientific publications: (A) Number of publications exploring ADC…

ADC target antigens explored in…

ADC target antigens explored in the scientific publications for solid tumors and hematological…

ADC antibodies explored in the…

ADC antibodies explored in the scientific publications: (A) Number of publications exploring ADC…

Antibody-payload linker types explored in…

Antibody-payload linker types explored in scientific publications.

Correlations between different concept pairings…

Correlations between different concept pairings are shown as heat maps. ADC target antigens…

(A) A word cloud of…

(A) A word cloud of the most widely used ADC-related concepts in the…

ADC Concept Map. Size of…

ADC Concept Map. Size of the dot at each concept/topic corresponds to the…

Capital invested by global region…

Capital invested by global region for the period 2012–2022 in the antibody–drug conjugate…

Organizations conducting preclinical ADC research…

Organizations conducting preclinical ADC research with the number of ADC candidates in their…

Number of ADC clinical trials…

Number of ADC clinical trials by year.

(A) ADC clinical trial indications;…

(A) ADC clinical trial indications; (B) Percentage of ADC clinical trials in various…

Percentage of ADC clinical trials…

Percentage of ADC clinical trials in various phases for the treatment of specific…

Percentage of ADC clinical trials in various statuses for the treatment of specific…

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Analysis of the use of sample size and effect size calculations in a temporomandibular disorders randomised controlled trial—short narrative review.

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2. materials and methods, 4. discussion, 5. conclusions, author contributions, institutional review board statement, informed consent statement, acknowledgments, conflicts of interest.

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Click here to enlarge figure

InclusionExclusion
Patient
Adult and Pediatric population
Intervention
Treatment and investigation of TMDs
Outcome
Classification of the research as a randomised controlled trial in the PubMed database.
Comparison
TMDs vs. Health Subject
TMDs vs. TMDs
Study Design
Clinical Trial
Narrative Review
Systematic Articles
Meta-analysis
Opinions
Case reports or series patients
Animal or biomechanical studies
Publications in a language other than English
Post-conference abstracts
2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
No.IDQSSESIDQSSESIDQSSESIDQSSESIDQSSES
1[ ]Q110[ ]Q300[ ]Q200[ ]Q300[ ]Q210
2[ ]Q210[ ]Q300[ ]Q300[ ]Q400[ ]Q110
3[ ]Q111[ ]Q211[ ]Q100[ ]Q211[ ]Q110
4[ ]Q100[ ]Q110[ ]Q110[ ]Q100[ ]Q100
5[ ]Q300[ ]Q100[ ]Q210[ ]Q310[ ]Q110
6[ ]Q100[ ]Q200[ ]Q200[ ]Q110[ ]Q110
7[ ]Q110[ ]Q110[ ]Q200[ ]Q200[ ]Q111
8[ ]Q110[ ]Q300[ ]Q300[ ]Q301[ ]Q110
9[ ]Q100[ ]Q101[ ] Q111[ ]Q200[ ]Q100
10[ ]Q110[ ]Q110[ ]Q310[ ]Q210[ ]Q100
11[ ]Q100[ ]Q200[ ]Q311[ ]Q300[ ]Q111
12[ ]Q100[ ]Q100[ ]Q300[ ]Q100[ ]Q110
13[ ]Q110[ ]Q211[ ]Q310[ ]Q310[ ]Q110
14[ ]Q210[ ]Q100[ ]Q100[ ]Q110[ ]Q110
15[ ]Q200[ ]Q111[ ]Q201[ ]Q110[ ]Q100
16[ ]Q210[ ]Q200[ ]Q300[ ]Q210[ ]Q111
17[ ]Q200[ ]Q100[ ]Q111[ ]Q211[ ]Q110
18[ ]Q300[ ]Q200[ ]Q210[ ]Q210[ ]Q110
19[ ]Q110[ ]Q300[ ]Q110[ ]Q210[ ]Q110
20[ ]Q300[ ]Q110[ ]Q200[ ]Q210[ ]Q100
21[ ]Q100[ ]Q110[ ]Q200[ ]Q111[ ]Q110
22[ ]Q200[ ]Q210[ ]Q110[ ]Q300[ ]Q110
23[ ]Q110[ ]Q211[ ]Q100[ ]Q210[ ]Q100
24[ ]Q200[ ]Q300[ ]Q210[ ]Q300[ ]Q110
25 [ ]Q210[ ]Q300[ ]Q211[ ]Q210
26 [ ]Q111[ ]Q210[ ]Q300[ ]Q110
27 [ ]Q200[ ]Q110[ ]Q200[ ]Q110
28 [ ]Q111[ ]Q211[ ]Q100[ ]Q110
29 [ ]Q100[ ]Q210[ ]Q200[ ]Q110
30 [ ]Q110[ ]Q211[ ]Q210[ ]Q110
31 [ ]Q210[ ]Q110[ ]Q210[ ]Q110
32 [ ]Q110[ ]Q300[ ]Q310
33 [ ]Q300[ ]Q110[ ]Q200
34 [ ]Q111[ ]Q110
35 [ ]Q210[ ]Q111
36 [ ]Q200[ ]Q300
37 [ ]Q100
38 [ ]Q210
39 [ ]Q210
Total In Year111 208 207 185 253
% 464 5121 5619 5515 8110
 
Total SS calculation n94 58%
Total ES calculation n24 15%
NameFormula for Sample SizeExample of Use
1Formula for Proportions (Binomial) The formula for proportions (binomial), can be used to study the effectiveness of treatments or medical interventions, to study the incidence or prevalence of diseases and to study the efficacy of a drug, etc.
2Formula for Mean (Homogeneity) The mean (homogeneity) formula can be used in studies that measure health parameters (hormone levels, blood pressure, blood sugar levels, etc.), the effectiveness of diagnostic or therapeutic interventions, and studies that focus on average treatment outcomes.
Formula For Effect SizeExample of Use
1 ES for Student’s t-test
2 ES for Student’s t-test
3 Hedges’s g correction for bias (Student’s t-test) recommended when n < 50
4 Glass’s
5 ES for the Mann–Whitney U test or Wilcoxon test
6 ES for the Mann–Whitney U test or Wilcoxon test
7 Formula for converting r into Cohen’s d effect size
8 ES for the Chi-Squared test
9 ES for the Chi-Squared test
10 ES for a Kruskal–Wallis test
CoefficientsSmallMediumLargeWhat is/When to Use
Cliff’s δ0.150.330.47It is a measure that compares two groups in the case of ordinal or ranked variables. It is used to assess the difference in distribution between two groups, but unlike many other effect measures, it is more robust to sample imbalance, data skewness and non-linear relationships.
Cohen’s d0.200.500.80This measure works best for comparisons between two groups, for example, an experimental group and a control group (comparison of two groups or differences between averages).
Cohen’s d 0.150.400.75Brydges’ recommendation in gerontology [ ].
Cohen’s d 0.250.550.95Gaeta and Brydges’ recommendation in audiology and speech-language pathology [ ].
Cohen’s d0.150.360.65Lovakov and Agadullina’s recommendation in social psychology and sub-disciplines within social psychology [ ].
Cohen’s g0.050.150.25Cohen’s g is a less common variant of Cohen’s d and is used to measure the difference between 2 groups (for example in McNemar’s test).
Cohen’s f0.100.250.40It is used when there is a comparative analysis of more than two groups.
Cohen’s ω0.100.300.50Cohen’s ω is used in regression analyses, particularly for linear regression, to measure how strongly factors are related.
Cramér’s V
and
phi (φ)
df
Cramér’s V—it is used to assess the strength of the relationship between 2 or more categorical factors in tables of different sizes, allowing comparison across different contingency table sizes. It s a more general measure applicable to tables of different dimensions (different numbers of rows and columns).

phi (φ)—specifically used for 2 × 2 contingency tables, ϕ measures the strength of the connection between categorical variables in contingency tables. It focuses on tables of a fixed size, making it suitable for more specific contexts like two-factor analysis in medical studies or qualitative research.
0.10.30.51
0.070.210.352
0.060.170.293
0.050.150.254
0.040.130.225
Glass’s 0.200.500.80It is used in the context of experimental analysis, where one group is treated as the control group and the other as the experimental group.
Hedges’ g0.200.500.80This coefficient is a measure of ES similar to Cohen’s d, but with a correction for SS. Used for intergroup analyses with small samples.
Hedges’ g 0.150.400.75Brydges recommendation in gerontology [ ].
Hedges’ g 0.250.550.95Gaeta and Brydges’ recommendation in audiology and speech-language pathology [ ].
Pearson’s r0.100.300.50It is used to measure the strength and direction of a relationship between 2 continuous factors. It is employed to quantify the intensity and orientation of a connection between 2 continuous variables.
Pearson’s r 0.100.200.30Brydges’ recommendation in gerontology [ ].
Pearson’s r 0.250.400.65Gaeta and Brydges’ recommendation in audiology and speech-language pathology [ ].
Pearson’s r0.120.240.41Lovakov and Agadullina’s recommendation in social psychology and related disciplines [ ].
Pearson’s r0.100.200.30Gignac and Szodorai’s recommendation [ ].
Odds Ratio1.442.484.27Odds ratio is a measure used in statistics, especially in epidemiology and other areas of medical research, to determine the strength of the relationship between 2 variables, usually in the context of a case–control study.
Odds Ratio 1.683.476.71Recommended by Chen et al. [ ].
η 0.010.060.14It is a measure of ES used mainly in the analysis of variance (ANOVA). It is used to assess the strength of the connection between the independent and dependent variables when we have more than two groups of data.
ω 0.010.060.14It is a measure of ES in the analysis of variance (ANOVA). This is a more sophisticated measure that takes into account the number of groups and the number of observations in each group. It is considered to be a more accurate and less biased measure of effect size in ANOVA than η .
Very SmallSmallMediumLargeVery LargeHuge
Cohen’s d 0.200.500.80
Sawilowsky0.01 1.202.00
InstitutionLink Accessed on 16 May 2024
Australian Bureau of Statistics
Cambridge University
Harvard University
Johns Hopkins University
Missouri State University
Universität Wien
Universiti Sains Malaysia
University College London
University of British Columbia
University of California, San Francisco
University of Colorado
University of Michigan
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Share and Cite

Zieliński, G.; Gawda, P. Analysis of the Use of Sample Size and Effect Size Calculations in a Temporomandibular Disorders Randomised Controlled Trial—Short Narrative Review. J. Pers. Med. 2024 , 14 , 655. https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm14060655

Zieliński G, Gawda P. Analysis of the Use of Sample Size and Effect Size Calculations in a Temporomandibular Disorders Randomised Controlled Trial—Short Narrative Review. Journal of Personalized Medicine . 2024; 14(6):655. https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm14060655

Zieliński, Grzegorz, and Piotr Gawda. 2024. "Analysis of the Use of Sample Size and Effect Size Calculations in a Temporomandibular Disorders Randomised Controlled Trial—Short Narrative Review" Journal of Personalized Medicine 14, no. 6: 655. https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm14060655

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