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How to Write an Abstract for a Research Paper
The APA publication manual suggests that your abstract should function much like your title page—it should allow the person reading it too quickly determine what your paper is all about. The APA manual states that the abstract is the single most important paragraph in your entire paper. Your abstract is the first thing that most people will read, and it is usually what informs their decision to read the rest of your paper. A good abstract lets the reader know that your paper is worth reading. According to the official guidelines of the American Psychological Association, a good abstract should be:.
The format of your abstract also depends on the type of paper you are writing. For example, an abstract summarizing an experimental paper will differ from that of a meta-analysis or case study. The sixth-edition APA manual suggests that an abstract be between and words. However, they note that the exact requirements vary from one journal to the next.
If you are writing the abstract for a class, you might want to check with your instructor to see if he or she has a specific word count in mind.
Psychology papers such as lab reports and APA format articles also often require an abstract. In these cases as well, the abstract should include all of the major elements of your paper, including an introduction, hypothesis, methods, results, and discussion.
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The abstract may be very brief, but it is so important that the official APA style manual identifies it as the most important paragraph in your entire paper. It may not take a lot of time to write, but careful attention to detail can ensure that your abstract does a good job representing the contents of your paper. Ever wonder what your personality type means? Sign up to find out more in our Healthy Mind newsletter. Nagda S. How to Write a Scientific Abstract. J Indian Prosthodont Soc. More in Student Resources. Basic APA Format. Writing an Abstract. View All. Brief but packed with information.
Each sentence must be written with maximum impact in mind. Objective and accurate.
The abstract's purpose is to report rather than provide commentary. It should also accurately reflect what your paper is about. Only include information that is also included in the body of your paper. First, write your paper. While the abstract will be at the beginning of your paper, it should be the last section that you write.
10 Good Abstract Examples That Will Kickstart Your Brain
Once you have completed the final draft of your psychology paper , use it as a guide for writing your abstract. Begin your abstract on a new page and place your running head and the page number 2 in the top right-hand corner. You should also center the word "Abstract" at the top of the page. Keep it short. According to the APA style manual, an abstract should be between to words.
If you are writing your paper for a psychology course, your professor may have specific word requirements, so be sure to ask. The abstract should also be written as only one paragraph with no indentation.