A research paper abstract is an advertisement for your publication. Much like in advertising, you should show what exactly you are selling and for whom your written piece is intended. But what makes an abstract top-notch and how to finish it easily? Our article will teach you how to do it in 5 simple steps!  

What Is an Abstract to Paper?

What is an abstract in a research paper? It's an independent text resume that gives complete information about the entire work's content. Even if it's only 1/4 of the typewritten text page. Abstracts play a massive role in such works. Therefore, each word should carry more meaning and value. But no worries! Read further to discover how and why to write an abstract for a research paper. You can also pay to write research paper to avoid any further individual work. 

How to Write an Abstract for Research Paper

Research paper abstract attracts readers' attention and sparks interest in your material. It helps them understand if your report is valuable. Concise essence of your work is needed to understand if it's worth reading and searching in the information system. Your paper will be listed in libraries' databases based on this part. This is especially important while searching for literary sources.

Don't be confused! An abstract is not a part of research paper introduction but self-contained text. You should write it only after finishing your paper. It helps you to rely on its main points.

The research paper abstract should fully reveal your work's content. It should include all main features: information about structure, content, and conclusion.  

Step #1. Define Purpose of Your Research Paper

How to start an abstract for a research paper? One main thing you should keep in mind is that your foreword answers the most important questions raised in your work. Describe specific scientific problems which solve an issue on your work topic. Make an emphasis on your solved tasks, results, and their relevance.

To write the correct abstract, you need to start right away on the subject's significance. 

Step #2 Indicate Problem of Your Research

The problem of the research paper logically goes right after the highlighted purpose. You should pose and prove a scientific problem. Choose one previously undeveloped or sufficiently uncovered. State general dilemma together with name differences between theoretical and practical significance in science.

Don't use the words "research" and "study" to define the problem. Because they indicate means of achieving a solution and how to solve obstacles but not the problem itself. Having any trouble with that?

Step #3 Approach Your Research Methodology

In this part of the research paper abstract, you should describe the main study concepts. Methodology in research includes elements of the theoretical part. Basically, it's just a set of structures and mechanisms in any knowledge area.

Check out research paper methods example that you can use:  

ApproachArea of Use
Chronological approachDevelopment of historical processes and events
Systems approachModern general scientific methodology
Professional-activity approachSocial work, Psychology, Pedagogics Studies
Praxeological approachPurposeful training  
Reflexive-innovative approachTesting professional skills in the social sphere
Information approachBasis of social communication
Formal approachPsychology and social work, but provided in formulas using symbolic systems (often mathematics).

Step #4 Describe Result of Research Paper

The result of the study is a detailed description of personal contribution to the solution of a posed problem. Describe the results of your research paper as clearly and informatively as possible.

You should indicate:  

  • Basic theoretical information
  • Outcomes of experiments
  • Patterns and relationships in solving problems
  • Factual data used in academic writing.

We recommend emphasizing fundamental discoveries, new solutions, and conclusions.

Step #5 Conclude Your Work

Finally, it's time to find out how to write a conclusion for a research paper in a few simple sentences. You should evaluate and analyze your investigation. Consider suggestions and recommendations for solving problems that you faced at the beginning of work. As a final touch, assess your work's significance. In addition, you can identify further directions for future explorations. And that may be enough for your abstract.  

Step #6 Add After Abstract

After your research paper abstract is finished, it is common to indicate keywords. These are words or phrases that define the background of the entire work and subject area. As a rule, these are five to seven terms. You need them so that your work can be easily found in databases. Keywords help the reader see the literature they are looking for. Use keywords not only after the abstract. You should also use them in the title and text.

Here are some examples of keywords for annotations posted above. 

Tips for Research Paper Abstracts

Now when your abstract is almost ready, we have 4 valuable tips for you to follow.

  • Segmentation Get rid of any blur when handling. Try to be as clear about your audience as possible. Who will be interested? Who will benefit most from reading it?
  • Specificity Specificity always prevails over generalized information and makes any advertising message clear and believable. Be specific in your annotations (don't say "flower" if you can say "rose"). Let readers burn with desire to read text.
  • Uniqueness Stop copying and imitating. If all abstracts become similar to each other, then readers’ choice will turn into a numbers game. Be unique and readers will appreciate it. See how all competitors compose annotations and suggest your solution.
  • Fast result Don't make readers wait long. Nature is such that we all prefer to see results immediately (quickly, almost instantly). In general, results should be visible as soon as possible.

Sounds like you'll need lots of time to do it all properly? Use the best college paper writing service to avoid any trouble. 


The research paper abstract is a short summary of your study. Summarize it in a few sentences. First, you state relevance together with the problem. Then, you describe solutions or methodology, and results. Finally, you write conclusions and practical relevance.

Keep in mind that this is not part of the introduction or conclusion but an independent piece!  

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1. What goes in a research paper introduction?

The research paper abstract should contain:

  • Clearly defined work's purpose
  • Main research objects
  • Essence of used methods
  • Most important results
  • Conclusion.

2. What should not be included in an abstract?

Research paper abstract’s DON’TS:

  • No information from bibliographic descriptions: avoid repeating books’ names, its subtitle data, etc.
  • No generally known information: typical cliches and well-known information are inappropriate.
  • No special terms and narrow scientific terminology: abstract should be clear for readers who do not specialize in your narrow field. Therefore, it is desirable to use generally accepted or standardized terms and definitions.
  • No reference to literature.
  • No references to specific tables or illustrations.
  • No writing about what was done and how. It is a typical mistake. Instead, focus on what follows from it.
Article posted on:May 3, 2022
Article updated on:Jul 21, 2022


Leave your comment here:
6/22/2022 1:18 PM
Hello. I am writing a research paper right now and trying to make an abstract. But how do you format an abstract for a research paper? Are there any specifics?
6/23/2022 11:40 AM
Hi Theo,

The formatting of your abstract depends on the formatting of your whole research paper. Just stick to the style you chose (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.) to make your abstract just right.
7/5/2022 4:34 PM
Hi, so here's a quick question. How often do you read just a research paper's abstract as opposed to the whole paper? I don't really feel like writing an abstract and wonder if there's a way to just not write it.
7/5/2022 5:08 PM
Hello Mary,

In a research paper, the abstract is read quite frequently. It is a way for a researcher to understand whether the whole paper is interesting and useful or not. This saves a lot of time if a paper is not really great but you are stuck reading it anyway.