Definition Research Paper Abstract

Since academic research documents can run from 2000-word journal articles up to dissertations of tens of thousands of words, it is helpful to provide a brief summary of what the work contains, to avoid the frustration of reading the document in full only to realize that it doesn’t meet your needs as a fellow researcher.By reading the abstract at the beginning, assuming it is well written, you are given enough information to decide whether or not to invest time in reading the work in full.When you have written a research paper, a thesis, or a dissertation, it is common practice to provide a summary of the work contained in the document.

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If your abstract doesn’t grab their attention and make a good first impression, there’s a good chance your research paper will be rejected at the outset.

Moreover, even after your research paper is published, your abstract will be the first, and possibly only, thing readers will access through electronic searches.

Since your abstract will be the key to finding the complete work, take the extra time to double check it before submission.

Better still, have someone who knows nothing about your research take a look at it – that way you can be sure you have hit the appropriate level of assuming no previous knowledge.

In scientific writing, on the other hand, abstracts are usually structured to describe the background, methods, results, and conclusions, with or without subheadings.

Now how do you go about fitting the essential points from your entire paper— why the research was conducted, what the aims were, how these were met, and what the main findings were—into a paragraph of just 200-300 words?

Don’t be surprised if you find that they also happen to have some of the best abstracts you’ve seen!

This article was co-authored by Megan Morgan, Ph D.

Megan Morgan is a Graduate Program Academic Advisor in the School of Public & International Affairs at the University of Georgia.

She earned her Ph D in English from the University of Georgia in 2015.

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