How to Write an APA Abstract for Your Research Paper?

The most important part of your academic work may be the research paper abstract. Regrettably, a lot of students make mistakes in this section and provide the reader with inaccurate information since they are unsure of how to write an abstract. 

This post will highlight a variety of advice that should be helpful if you want to master your abstract. The objective of an abstract, its format, the distinctions between an abstract and an introduction, and finally the practical procedures for crafting a precise abstract for your work will all be highlighted in this article. 

What is an abstract in APA?

The dissertation abstract is a succinct summary of a lengthy academic document that highlights the objectives and findings of your research while also offering readers an overview of the main concepts in your work

The abstract is the first section of your research paper that readers will encounter, and as a result, it will have the greatest impact on how they perceive your work. This section should explain the goal of your research, the methodology you used, and the consequences of your findings.

Research paper abstract format

The commonly adopted abstract format is the IMRAD format which stands for the introduction, methods, results, and discussion. 

  • Introduction

The goal of your research should be stated in the introduction, along with the research questions that your work attempts to address. This section, which should be written in the present or past simple tense, should also emphasize how pertinent your research question is to the subject.

  • Methods

This area needs to be a showcase for the overall strategy you employed in your research. The methods section should not go into specifics like the benefits and drawbacks of the approaches because it is typically presented in the present simple tense. 

  • Results

Only the most significant conclusions from your paper should be highlighted in the results portion of your abstract. Like the previous section, this one should be written in the past simple tense and avoid becoming sidetracked by irrelevant study results. 

  • Discussion

The discussion should highlight your research’s findings and take notice of any significant research constraints. 

The difference between the abstract and the introduction of a research paper

The introduction and abstract have quite different purposes, even though both are designed to introduce the reader to the topic. First of all, with only 200 words compared to the introduction’s 15% of the entire word count, the abstract is far shorter. 

Also, the introduction delves further into the background knowledge of a topic to support the research questions you plan to address. In contrast, the abstract does not discuss the research gaps that call for your investigation; it only emphasizes the methodology, the thesis statement, and the main research questions.

Also, the abstract comes first, immediately following the title page, whereas the introduction comes after your literature review section.

How to write a dissertation abstract

Due to their lack of knowledge of the steps required in producing an abstract, many students produce abstracts of poor quality. Many students either write the abstracts too early, skipping through the article’s important arguments, or duplicate a piece of their paper and use it as the abstract.

We advise following the steps below when writing your scientific study abstract:

  1. Examine the faculty’s policies

Take the time to educate yourself with the numerous guidelines supported by your faculty before beginning to write your abstract. Several of these recommendations concern the length of your abstract and the tenses you should utilize.

  1. Making a reverse outline

Create a reverse outline of your paper when you’ve finished writing it, highlighting all the important concepts in each chapter. The reverse outline makes it simple for you to assess your research paper and highlights the key points for your abstract.

  1. Creating an abstract outline

After gathering the main concepts from each chapter, arrange them in the areas of the abstract that the IMRAD system has designated. 

  1. Writing and revising a dissertation 

Write your abstract, then read it over to make sure it follows all the instructions from your faculty. 

Final take

We hope that this article has answered any questions you had regarding the APA format abstract. We however suggest that you access an example of a research paper abstract to better acquaint yourself with the steps of writing an outstanding abstract.

Also, feel free to engage our team of experts for assistance with any challenging concepts you could encounter when going about your research paper.

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