The Five Elements you should Include in Your Abstract

An abstract is a short summary of your research paper. An abstract is an overview of a scientific paper project, typically one to two paragraphs long, and provides a concise overview of what the study will look at. Abstracts are short summaries of papers, and they form the introduction to a full paper. Researchers write abstracts to summarize their work and omit details not necessary for the reader to understand the project. You should use it for the reader to get an idea of what you will talk about. Your abstract should be a brief summary of your research, not a description of the article. Abstracts are typically used for research but can also be found in grant proposals, reports, articles, dissertations, and even books (especially those that focus on research methodology). The five elements of a well-written abstract include:

  • Introduction
  • Research significance
  • Methodology
  • Results
  • Conclusion

Introduction

It answers the question: Why did you do this project instead of something else? What is the problem or issue that needed to be addressed?

The purpose of the introduction is to introduce the topic of your research to your reader. The introduction is where you tell the reader what your study aims to discover. It gives the reader a little background, usually with a small reference to what other research has been done in the area, and then quickly explains what you are proposing to look into. Make sure that you include your specific aims, or reasons, for carrying out the study. Include background information about the topic, which will provide a context for your study and give a brief overview of what is already known about it.

The Background/Research significance

This section provides a little history giving the reader a background of where your project fits in with similar projects. It helps to give an overview of why you did the research.

You should specify the main aim of the research. If it is a hypothesis, indicate whether it was confirmed or rejected by your study. The research significance will give the reader an idea of why your study is important to others as well as to you.

Methodology

This is where you talk about how you conducted the study. You should include things like how many participants were involved and their characteristics; how data was collected or obtained; and any other information that will help your readers understand how the study went about its work.

This section describes how your experiment was set up and carried out. Was this an observational study, survey, or experimental study? Were there controls used, etc.? This section should provide a detailed description of what methods were used for data collection and how it was analyzed. Use tables, figures, and high-quality statistical tests wherever possible.

Results

What are the results of the experiment? What did you find? The results should be presented in a sequence that makes sense to the reader. If necessary, you can group the data into sections or tables. You may also use graphics (e.g., graphs, figures) along with numerical values to make it easier for your reader to understand your study's outcome. The Results should tell your readers what you discovered. It helps to follow the same format from the abstract into the full paper to make it easy for your reader to follow along. This is also where you can talk about the limitations of the study or things that could be improved in future research.

Conclusion

This section outlines your findings and answers the questions that you had at the beginning of your project. How do your results answer those questions, or how do they relate to previous research? The conclusion should summarize your findings and give a concise statement about your conclusions and implications. You may also need to discuss the limitations and strengths of your study.

It is important to remember that your abstract should be clear. Go into enough detail to make your reader understand your study topic, but keep in mind that abstracts should be short and concise. Only include information that is pertinent to the topic and use as little jargon as possible.

There are many different ways to format your abstract. You may see other abstracts that use different formats, but they will always include the five parts.

In conclusion, the abstract is where you hook your reader. Make sure to detail your study enough so that other researchers in the same field can understand your purpose and method while still making it clear and concise enough for your general audience.