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.
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.
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.
A major goal of this course is the development of effective technical writing skills.
To help you become an accomplished writer, you will prepare several research papers based upon the studies completed in lab.
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.
Sometimes your professor will ask you to include an abstract, or general summary of your work, with your research paper.
The length varies according to discipline, but an informative abstract is usually no more than 300 words in length.
A highlight abstract is specifically written to attract the reader’s attention to the study.