How to Write a Good Research Paper Abstract

Friday, January 22, 2010

A research paper abstract serves the purpose of giving the committee a precise but clear idea of the contents of the research paper. They determine the worthiness of your research paper by reading the abstract. That makes it important for you to be very clear about the information you give in the abstract. In certain cases your research paper would be accepted only after your abstract manages to pass through certain judging criteria. Hence the abstract of your research paper should be prepared very carefully.

The objective of an abstract doesn’t end with that of giving the reader an idea of the contents. In the modern age, where information is stored electronically, an abstract makes it easier for others to find the relevant information for their purposes. Especially while searching among endless collections of documents, people tend to study the abstracts instead of going through the complete document to find out if it suits them. This also needs to be remembered while writing your research paper abstract.

The main challenge of writing an abstract is its word limit of around 250-300 words. While compressing matter for the purpose of an introduction or conclusion, you can make do with picking certain specific data which is mandatory for these parts. But an abstract needs to contain all the important aspects of your research paper. This includes:

1. The topic: Your research paper topic and the particular aspect of the topic you are dealing with have to be specified in the abstract. The perspective from which you handle the topic changes according to the subject you are pursuing. Hence you need to mention which subject forms the perspective of your topic. But do not elaborate. This bit of information is partially understood.

2. The thesis: Consider the focal point of your research. Your thesis statement is expected to be just a single line. But the preciseness of your thesis is even more important while including it in the research paper abstract.

3. The method: The research method should most necessarily be mentioned in your abstract. Different methods of research reveal different aspects of the same topic even if the conclusion might be the same. Hence your abstract should tell the reader what method was used for your research.

4. The sources: The impressiveness of the document relies largely upon the sources which were used for the research. The relevance and credibility of the sources count to a big extent. This determines the need of letting your reader know of the sources you used for your research, in advance.

5. The verdict: The conclusion of your research must be reinstated in the abstract after mentioning the other aspects of the research.

6. The key words: Considering the electronic storage preferred by the modern world, you need to include the key words which would best describe your research topic and the theory in your abstract, to make it easier to spot.

Including so much information into 250 words will not be very easy. But research paper abstracts cannot be stretched any longer than that. But since the document is of so much importance, you have to manage an impressive one. If you are not good with words, consider getting professional help with preparing the abstract of your research paper.

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