Writing an Abstract for Your Research Paper

Definition and Purpose of Abstracts

An abstract is a short summary of your (published or unpublished) research paper, usually about a paragraph (c. 6-7 sentences, 150-250 words) long. A well-written abstract serves multiple purposes:

  • an abstract lets readers get the gist or essence of your paper or article quickly, in order to decide whether to read the full paper;
  • an abstract prepares readers to follow the detailed information, analyses, and arguments in your full paper;
  • and, later, an abstract helps readers remember key points from your paper.

It’s also worth remembering that search engines and bibliographic databases use abstracts, as well as the title, to identify key terms for indexing your published paper. So what you include in your abstract and in your title are crucial for helping other researchers find your paper or article.

If you are writing an abstract for a course paper, your professor may give you specific guidelines for what to include and how to organize your abstract. Similarly, academic journals often have specific requirements for abstracts. So in addition to following the advice on this page, you should be sure to look for and follow any guidelines from the course or journal you’re writing for.

The Contents of an Abstract

Abstracts contain most of the following kinds of information in brief form. The body of your paper will, of course, develop and explain these ideas much more fully. As you will see in the samples below, the proportion of your abstract that you devote to each kind of information—and the sequence of that information—will vary, depending on the nature and genre of the paper that you are summarizing in your abstract. And in some cases, some of this information is implied, rather than stated explicitly. The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association , which is widely used in the social sciences, gives specific guidelines for what to include in the abstract for different kinds of papers—for empirical studies, literature reviews or meta-analyses, theoretical papers, methodological papers, and case studies.

Here are the typical kinds of information found in most abstracts:

  • the context or background information for your research; the general topic under study; the specific topic of your research
  • the central questions or statement of the problem your research addresses
  • what’s already known about this question, what previous research has done or shown
  • the main reason(s) , the exigency, the rationale , the goals for your research—Why is it important to address these questions? Are you, for example, examining a new topic? Why is that topic worth examining? Are you filling a gap in previous research? Applying new methods to take a fresh look at existing ideas or data? Resolving a dispute within the literature in your field? . . .
  • your research and/or analytical methods
  • your main findings , results , or arguments
  • the significance or implications of your findings or arguments.

Your abstract should be intelligible on its own, without a reader’s having to read your entire paper. And in an abstract, you usually do not cite references—most of your abstract will describe what you have studied in your research and what you have found and what you argue in your paper. In the body of your paper, you will cite the specific literature that informs your research.

When to Write Your Abstract

Although you might be tempted to write your abstract first because it will appear as the very first part of your paper, it’s a good idea to wait to write your abstract until after you’ve drafted your full paper, so that you know what you’re summarizing.

What follows are some sample abstracts in published papers or articles, all written by faculty at UW-Madison who come from a variety of disciplines. We have annotated these samples to help you see the work that these authors are doing within their abstracts.

Choosing Verb Tenses within Your Abstract

The social science sample (Sample 1) below uses the present tense to describe general facts and interpretations that have been and are currently true, including the prevailing explanation for the social phenomenon under study. That abstract also uses the present tense to describe the methods, the findings, the arguments, and the implications of the findings from their new research study. The authors use the past tense to describe previous research.

The humanities sample (Sample 2) below uses the past tense to describe completed events in the past (the texts created in the pulp fiction industry in the 1970s and 80s) and uses the present tense to describe what is happening in those texts, to explain the significance or meaning of those texts, and to describe the arguments presented in the article.

The science samples (Samples 3 and 4) below use the past tense to describe what previous research studies have done and the research the authors have conducted, the methods they have followed, and what they have found. In their rationale or justification for their research (what remains to be done), they use the present tense. They also use the present tense to introduce their study (in Sample 3, “Here we report . . .”) and to explain the significance of their study (In Sample 3, This reprogramming . . . “provides a scalable cell source for. . .”).

Sample Abstract 1

From the social sciences.

Reporting new findings about the reasons for increasing economic homogamy among spouses

Gonalons-Pons, Pilar, and Christine R. Schwartz. “Trends in Economic Homogamy: Changes in Assortative Mating or the Division of Labor in Marriage?” Demography , vol. 54, no. 3, 2017, pp. 985-1005.

“The growing economic resemblance of spouses has contributed to rising inequality by increasing the number of couples in which there are two high- or two low-earning partners. [Annotation for the previous sentence: The first sentence introduces the topic under study (the “economic resemblance of spouses”). This sentence also implies the question underlying this research study: what are the various causes—and the interrelationships among them—for this trend?] The dominant explanation for this trend is increased assortative mating. Previous research has primarily relied on cross-sectional data and thus has been unable to disentangle changes in assortative mating from changes in the division of spouses’ paid labor—a potentially key mechanism given the dramatic rise in wives’ labor supply. [Annotation for the previous two sentences: These next two sentences explain what previous research has demonstrated. By pointing out the limitations in the methods that were used in previous studies, they also provide a rationale for new research.] We use data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) to decompose the increase in the correlation between spouses’ earnings and its contribution to inequality between 1970 and 2013 into parts due to (a) changes in assortative mating, and (b) changes in the division of paid labor. [Annotation for the previous sentence: The data, research and analytical methods used in this new study.] Contrary to what has often been assumed, the rise of economic homogamy and its contribution to inequality is largely attributable to changes in the division of paid labor rather than changes in sorting on earnings or earnings potential. Our findings indicate that the rise of economic homogamy cannot be explained by hypotheses centered on meeting and matching opportunities, and they show where in this process inequality is generated and where it is not.” (p. 985) [Annotation for the previous two sentences: The major findings from and implications and significance of this study.]

Sample Abstract 2

From the humanities.

Analyzing underground pulp fiction publications in Tanzania, this article makes an argument about the cultural significance of those publications

Emily Callaci. “Street Textuality: Socialism, Masculinity, and Urban Belonging in Tanzania’s Pulp Fiction Publishing Industry, 1975-1985.” Comparative Studies in Society and History , vol. 59, no. 1, 2017, pp. 183-210.

“From the mid-1970s through the mid-1980s, a network of young urban migrant men created an underground pulp fiction publishing industry in the city of Dar es Salaam. [Annotation for the previous sentence: The first sentence introduces the context for this research and announces the topic under study.] As texts that were produced in the underground economy of a city whose trajectory was increasingly charted outside of formalized planning and investment, these novellas reveal more than their narrative content alone. These texts were active components in the urban social worlds of the young men who produced them. They reveal a mode of urbanism otherwise obscured by narratives of decolonization, in which urban belonging was constituted less by national citizenship than by the construction of social networks, economic connections, and the crafting of reputations. This article argues that pulp fiction novellas of socialist era Dar es Salaam are artifacts of emergent forms of male sociability and mobility. In printing fictional stories about urban life on pilfered paper and ink, and distributing their texts through informal channels, these writers not only described urban communities, reputations, and networks, but also actually created them.” (p. 210) [Annotation for the previous sentences: The remaining sentences in this abstract interweave other essential information for an abstract for this article. The implied research questions: What do these texts mean? What is their historical and cultural significance, produced at this time, in this location, by these authors? The argument and the significance of this analysis in microcosm: these texts “reveal a mode or urbanism otherwise obscured . . .”; and “This article argues that pulp fiction novellas. . . .” This section also implies what previous historical research has obscured. And through the details in its argumentative claims, this section of the abstract implies the kinds of methods the author has used to interpret the novellas and the concepts under study (e.g., male sociability and mobility, urban communities, reputations, network. . . ).]

Sample Abstract/Summary 3

From the sciences.

Reporting a new method for reprogramming adult mouse fibroblasts into induced cardiac progenitor cells

Lalit, Pratik A., Max R. Salick, Daryl O. Nelson, Jayne M. Squirrell, Christina M. Shafer, Neel G. Patel, Imaan Saeed, Eric G. Schmuck, Yogananda S. Markandeya, Rachel Wong, Martin R. Lea, Kevin W. Eliceiri, Timothy A. Hacker, Wendy C. Crone, Michael Kyba, Daniel J. Garry, Ron Stewart, James A. Thomson, Karen M. Downs, Gary E. Lyons, and Timothy J. Kamp. “Lineage Reprogramming of Fibroblasts into Proliferative Induced Cardiac Progenitor Cells by Defined Factors.” Cell Stem Cell , vol. 18, 2016, pp. 354-367.

“Several studies have reported reprogramming of fibroblasts into induced cardiomyocytes; however, reprogramming into proliferative induced cardiac progenitor cells (iCPCs) remains to be accomplished. [Annotation for the previous sentence: The first sentence announces the topic under study, summarizes what’s already known or been accomplished in previous research, and signals the rationale and goals are for the new research and the problem that the new research solves: How can researchers reprogram fibroblasts into iCPCs?] Here we report that a combination of 11 or 5 cardiac factors along with canonical Wnt and JAK/STAT signaling reprogrammed adult mouse cardiac, lung, and tail tip fibroblasts into iCPCs. The iCPCs were cardiac mesoderm-restricted progenitors that could be expanded extensively while maintaining multipo-tency to differentiate into cardiomyocytes, smooth muscle cells, and endothelial cells in vitro. Moreover, iCPCs injected into the cardiac crescent of mouse embryos differentiated into cardiomyocytes. iCPCs transplanted into the post-myocardial infarction mouse heart improved survival and differentiated into cardiomyocytes, smooth muscle cells, and endothelial cells. [Annotation for the previous four sentences: The methods the researchers developed to achieve their goal and a description of the results.] Lineage reprogramming of adult somatic cells into iCPCs provides a scalable cell source for drug discovery, disease modeling, and cardiac regenerative therapy.” (p. 354) [Annotation for the previous sentence: The significance or implications—for drug discovery, disease modeling, and therapy—of this reprogramming of adult somatic cells into iCPCs.]

Sample Abstract 4, a Structured Abstract

Reporting results about the effectiveness of antibiotic therapy in managing acute bacterial sinusitis, from a rigorously controlled study

Note: This journal requires authors to organize their abstract into four specific sections, with strict word limits. Because the headings for this structured abstract are self-explanatory, we have chosen not to add annotations to this sample abstract.

Wald, Ellen R., David Nash, and Jens Eickhoff. “Effectiveness of Amoxicillin/Clavulanate Potassium in the Treatment of Acute Bacterial Sinusitis in Children.” Pediatrics , vol. 124, no. 1, 2009, pp. 9-15.

“OBJECTIVE: The role of antibiotic therapy in managing acute bacterial sinusitis (ABS) in children is controversial. The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of high-dose amoxicillin/potassium clavulanate in the treatment of children diagnosed with ABS.

METHODS : This was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Children 1 to 10 years of age with a clinical presentation compatible with ABS were eligible for participation. Patients were stratified according to age (<6 or ≥6 years) and clinical severity and randomly assigned to receive either amoxicillin (90 mg/kg) with potassium clavulanate (6.4 mg/kg) or placebo. A symptom survey was performed on days 0, 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 10, 20, and 30. Patients were examined on day 14. Children’s conditions were rated as cured, improved, or failed according to scoring rules.

RESULTS: Two thousand one hundred thirty-five children with respiratory complaints were screened for enrollment; 139 (6.5%) had ABS. Fifty-eight patients were enrolled, and 56 were randomly assigned. The mean age was 6630 months. Fifty (89%) patients presented with persistent symptoms, and 6 (11%) presented with nonpersistent symptoms. In 24 (43%) children, the illness was classified as mild, whereas in the remaining 32 (57%) children it was severe. Of the 28 children who received the antibiotic, 14 (50%) were cured, 4 (14%) were improved, 4(14%) experienced treatment failure, and 6 (21%) withdrew. Of the 28children who received placebo, 4 (14%) were cured, 5 (18%) improved, and 19 (68%) experienced treatment failure. Children receiving the antibiotic were more likely to be cured (50% vs 14%) and less likely to have treatment failure (14% vs 68%) than children receiving the placebo.

CONCLUSIONS : ABS is a common complication of viral upper respiratory infections. Amoxicillin/potassium clavulanate results in significantly more cures and fewer failures than placebo, according to parental report of time to resolution.” (9)

Some Excellent Advice about Writing Abstracts for Basic Science Research Papers, by Professor Adriano Aguzzi from the Institute of Neuropathology at the University of Zurich:

how to write a scientific report abstract

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How to Write an Abstract for a Scientific Paper

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If you're preparing a research paper or grant proposal, you'll need to know how to write an abstract. Here's a look at what an abstract is and how to write one.

An abstract is a concise summary of an experiment or research project. It should be brief -- typically under 200 words. The purpose of the abstract is to summarize the research paper by stating the purpose of the research, the experimental method, the findings, and the conclusions.

  • How to Write an Abstract

The format you'll use for the abstract depends on its purpose. If you're writing for a specific publication or a class assignment, you'll probably need to follow specific guidelines. If there isn't a required format, you'll need to choose from one of two possible types of abstracts.

Informational Abstracts

An informational abstract is a type of abstract used to communicate an experiment or lab report .

  • An informational abstract is like a mini-paper. Its length ranges from a paragraph to 1 to 2 pages, depending on the scope of the report. Aim for less than 10% the length of the full report.
  • Summarize all aspects of the report, including purpose, method, results, conclusions, and recommendations. There are no graphs, charts, tables, or images in an abstract. Similarly, an abstract does not include a bibliography or references.
  • Highlight important discoveries or anomalies. It's okay if the experiment did not go as planned and necessary to state the outcome in the abstract.

Here is a good format to follow, in order, when writing an informational abstract. Each section is a sentence or two long:

  • Motivation or Purpose: State why the subject is important or why anyone should care about the experiment and its results.
  • Problem: State the hypothesis of the experiment or describe the problem you are trying to solve.
  • Method: How did you test the hypothesis or try to solve the problem?
  • Results: What was the outcome of the study? Did you support or reject a hypothesis? Did you solve a problem? How close were the results to what you expected? State-specific numbers.
  • Conclusions: What is the significance of your findings? Do the results lead to an increase in knowledge, a solution that may be applied to other problems, etc.?

Need examples? The abstracts at PubMed.gov (National Institutes of Health database) are informational abstracts. A random example is this abstract on the effect of coffee consumption on Acute Coronary Syndrome .

Descriptive Abstracts

A descriptive abstract is an extremely brief description of the contents of a report. Its purpose is to tell the reader what to expect from the full paper.

  • A descriptive abstract is very short, typically less than 100 words.
  • Tells the reader what the report contains, but doesn't go into detail.
  • It briefly summarizes the purpose and experimental method, but not the results or conclusions. Basically, say why and how the study was made, but don't go into findings. 

Tips for Writing a Good Abstract

  • Write the paper before writing the abstract. You might be tempted to start with the abstract since it comes between the title page and the paper, but it's much easier to summarize a paper or report after it has been completed.
  • Write in the third person. Replace phrases like "I found" or "we examined" with phrases like "it was determined" or "this paper provides" or "the investigators found".
  • Write the abstract and then pare it down to meet the word limit. In some cases, a long abstract will result in automatic rejection for publication or a grade!
  • Think of keywords and phrases a person looking for your work might use or enter into a search engine. Include those words in your abstract. Even if the paper won't be published, this is a good habit to develop.
  • All information in the abstract must be covered in the body of the paper. Don't put a fact in the abstract that isn't described in the report.
  • Proof-read the abstract for typos, spelling mistakes, and punctuation errors.
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How to Write a Scientific Abstract

Suhasini nagda.

Nair Hospital Dental College, Mumbai, India

Scientific publications are an important source of information and knowledge in Academics, Research and development. When articles are submitted for publication, the 1st part that comes across and causes an impact on the minds of the readers is the abstract. It is a concise summary of the paper and must convey the right message. It is a quick overview of the entire paper and giving a gist of the paper and also gives us and insight into whether the paper fulfills the expectations of the reader.

Abstracts are significant parts of academic assignments and research papers. The abstract is written at the end and by this time, the author has a clear picture regarding the findings and conclusions and hence the right message can be put forward.

Types of Scientific Abstracts [ 1 ]

  • Descriptive
  • Informative
  • Semi-structured
  • Non structured

Descriptive Abstracts

This type of abstract is usually very short (50–100 words). Most descriptive abstracts have certain key parts in common. They are:

□ Background

□ Purpose

□ Particular interest/focus of paper

□ Overview of contents (not always included)

These abstracts are inconvenient in that, by not including a detailed presentation of the results, it is necessary to have access to the complete article ; they may present the results via a phrase synthesizing them, without contributing numerical or statistical data. Ultimately, these guide readers on the nature of the contents of the article, but it is necessary to read the whole manuscript to know further details [ 1 ].

Informative Abstracts

From these abstracts, you must get the essence of what your report is about, usually in about 200 words. Most informative abstracts also have key parts in common. Each of these parts might consist of 1–2 sentences. The parts include:

□ Aim or purpose of research

□ Method used

□ Findings/results

□ Conclusion

The abstracts provide accurate data on the contents of the work, especially on the results section. Informative abstracts are short scientific productions, since they follow the IMRaD structure [ 2 ] and can in fact replace the whole text, because readers extract from these the most valuable information and in many instances it is not necessary to read the complete text.

Recommendations by the CONSORT [ 3 ] declaration, in its adaptation for abstracts, offer a guide for the elaboration of an abstract of a clinical trial in structured and informative manner, using up to 400 words and briefly including the Title, Methods (participants, interventions, objective, outcomes, randomization, blind tests), Results (number of randomizations, recruitment, number of analyses, outcome, important adverse effects), and Conclusions, registry of the clinical trial and conflict of interests.

Structured Abstracts

A structured abstract has a paragraph for each section: Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, and Conclusion (it may even include paragraphs for the objectives or other sections). This type of presentation is often required for informative abstracts. The CONSORT [ 3 ] declaration suggests the presentation of clinical trials with structured abstracts . Structuring an abstract permits its informative development

Semi-structured Abstract

A semi-structured abstract is written in only one paragraph, where each sentence corresponds to a section . All the sections of the article are present as in the structured abstract [ 1 ].

Non-structured Abstract

When the abstract does not present divisions between each section , and it may not even present any of them, it is a non-structured abstract. The sentences are included in a sole paragraph. This type of presentation is ideal for descriptive abstracts [ 1 ].

Key Steps to Plan Writing an Abstract [ 4 ]

  • Introduction—what is the topic?
  • Statement of purpose?
  • Summarize why have other studies not tackled similar research questions?
  • How has the research question been tackled?
  • How was the research done?
  • What is the key impact of the research?

Errors in the Creation of an Abstract [ 1 ]

  • The abstract of an article should contribute to readers the most relevant aspects of each part of the whole manuscript, maintaining a balance between excessive detail and a vague contribution of information.
  • The abstract should be written by adequately selecting the words and sentences to accomplish coherent, clear, and concise contents.
  • A common defect is including adequate information like abbreviations, excessive acronyms, bibliographic references, or figures.
  • The length of an abstract will be determined by the instructions to authors by each journal; an excessively lengthy abstract is the most frequent error.
  • Sections should maintain coherence and order and that the conclusions must be substantiated by the results revealed and respond to the objectives proposed.
  • Frequently, abstracts have poorly defined objectives, excessive numerical data and statistical results, and conclusions not based on results presented.

In short, a good abstract is one that:

  • Is coherent and concise
  • Covers all the essential academic elements of the full-length paper
  • Contains no information not included in the paper;
  • Is written in plain English and is understandable to a wider audience and discipline-specific audience;
  • Uses passive structures in order to report on findings
  • Uses the language of the original paper, in a more simplified form
  • Usually does not include any referencing; and
  • In publications such as journals, it is found at the beginning of the text, but in academic assignments, it is placed on a separate preliminary page.

A good abstract usually ensures a good article, but a bad abstract often points towards an undesirable article. Scientific abstracts are a challenge to write and for the success of our publications, careful and planned writing of the abstract is absolutely essential.

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  • How to Write an Abstract

Abstract

Expedite peer review, increase search-ability, and set the tone for your study

The abstract is your chance to let your readers know what they can expect from your article. Learn how to write a clear, and concise abstract that will keep your audience reading.

How your abstract impacts editorial evaluation and future readership

After the title , the abstract is the second-most-read part of your article. A good abstract can help to expedite peer review and, if your article is accepted for publication, it’s an important tool for readers to find and evaluate your work. Editors use your abstract when they first assess your article. Prospective reviewers see it when they decide whether to accept an invitation to review. Once published, the abstract gets indexed in PubMed and Google Scholar , as well as library systems and other popular databases. Like the title, your abstract influences keyword search results. Readers will use it to decide whether to read the rest of your article. Other researchers will use it to evaluate your work for inclusion in systematic reviews and meta-analysis. It should be a concise standalone piece that accurately represents your research. 

how to write a scientific report abstract

What to include in an abstract

The main challenge you’ll face when writing your abstract is keeping it concise AND fitting in all the information you need. Depending on your subject area the journal may require a structured abstract following specific headings. A structured abstract helps your readers understand your study more easily. If your journal doesn’t require a structured abstract it’s still a good idea to follow a similar format, just present the abstract as one paragraph without headings. 

Background or Introduction – What is currently known? Start with a brief, 2 or 3 sentence, introduction to the research area. 

Objectives or Aims – What is the study and why did you do it? Clearly state the research question you’re trying to answer.

Methods – What did you do? Explain what you did and how you did it. Include important information about your methods, but avoid the low-level specifics. Some disciplines have specific requirements for abstract methods. 

  • CONSORT for randomized trials.
  • STROBE for observational studies
  • PRISMA for systematic reviews and meta-analyses

Results – What did you find? Briefly give the key findings of your study. Include key numeric data (including confidence intervals or p values), where possible.

Conclusions – What did you conclude? Tell the reader why your findings matter, and what this could mean for the ‘bigger picture’ of this area of research. 

Writing tips

The main challenge you may find when writing your abstract is keeping it concise AND convering all the information you need to.

how to write a scientific report abstract

  • Keep it concise and to the point. Most journals have a maximum word count, so check guidelines before you write the abstract to save time editing it later.
  • Write for your audience. Are they specialists in your specific field? Are they cross-disciplinary? Are they non-specialists? If you’re writing for a general audience, or your research could be of interest to the public keep your language as straightforward as possible. If you’re writing in English, do remember that not all of your readers will necessarily be native English speakers.
  • Focus on key results, conclusions and take home messages.
  • Write your paper first, then create the abstract as a summary.
  • Check the journal requirements before you write your abstract, eg. required subheadings.
  • Include keywords or phrases to help readers search for your work in indexing databases like PubMed or Google Scholar.
  • Double and triple check your abstract for spelling and grammar errors. These kind of errors can give potential reviewers the impression that your research isn’t sound, and can make it easier to find reviewers who accept the invitation to review your manuscript. Your abstract should be a taste of what is to come in the rest of your article.

how to write a scientific report abstract

Don’t

  • Sensationalize your research.
  • Speculate about where this research might lead in the future.
  • Use abbreviations or acronyms (unless absolutely necessary or unless they’re widely known, eg. DNA).
  • Repeat yourself unnecessarily, eg. “Methods: We used X technique. Results: Using X technique, we found…”
  • Contradict anything in the rest of your manuscript.
  • Include content that isn’t also covered in the main manuscript.
  • Include citations or references.

Tip: How to edit your work

Editing is challenging, especially if you are acting as both a writer and an editor. Read our guidelines for advice on how to refine your work, including useful tips for setting your intentions, re-review, and consultation with colleagues.

  • How to Write a Great Title
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How to Write a Scientific Abstract

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A scientific abstract summarizes your research paper or article in a concise, clearly written way that informs readers about the article's content. Researchers use abstracts to determine whether a paper is relevant to their work and/or decide which papers to acquire and read. For academic conferences, participants only receive copies of the abstracts in proceedings. When readers search through electronic databases for articles, the abstract is usually the sole part of the paper that they see without cost. Typically 200-250 words, a scientific abstract consists of five key parts: title and author information, background, methods, results, and conclusions. [1] X Trustworthy Source PubMed Central Journal archive from the U.S. National Institutes of Health Go to source

Preparing to Write an Abstract

Step 1 Complete your research paper.

Structuring an Abstract

Step 1 Explain the background of your study.

  • Think of the research paper as having investigated a particular scientific question. Other researchers will value knowing your research question.
  • Your background section should answer questions like: What did I study? Why is my research question important? What did my field of study know about my research question before I did this study? How will this study advance knowledge in our field? [6] X Trustworthy Source PubMed Central Journal archive from the U.S. National Institutes of Health Go to source
  • Try to use an active voice and reduce passive language throughout your abstract. For example, write: "I interviewed Cassandra" instead of "Cassandra was interviewed by me."
  • Minimize use of pronouns like "I" or "we." Write about "the study," "this paper examines," or "this research" instead of "my study" or "I write about..."
  • Keep your abstract in the past or present tense but not in the future. For instance, do not write: "this paper will examine" but "this paper examines" or "the results showed."

Step 2 Share your research methods.

  • What was the research design?
  • How long did the study last?
  • What was the sample size?
  • How did you recruit participants?
  • What was the research setting? [7] X Trustworthy Source PubMed Central Journal archive from the U.S. National Institutes of Health Go to source

Step 3 Demonstrate your results.

  • Some organizations, journals, or conferences require a special format for the title, which could be all uppercase letters, bolded, or italics. [12] X Research source www.med.upenn.edu/focus/.../WritingaResearchAbstract_CompI-B.doc

Checking Style and Flow

Step 1 Read your abstract aloud and check content accuracy and flow.

  • Read the abstract as if you were another researcher deciding whether to read your paper. Do you find the abstract has the right information to help you decide whether to read it? If not, ask yourself what is missing.

Step 2 Proofread for correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

  • Be sure to place commas and periods within quotation marks, e.g. "Milton said." instead of "Milton said".
  • Do not end sentences with prepositions (of, for, about).
  • Vary your verbs and nouns from sentence to sentence and use a print or online thesaurus for synonyms in order to not sound repetitive.
  • Avoid vague adjectives like "very" and "many." Try to quantify your findings with specific numbers or conditions that offer comparisons. For example, "135 interlocutors participated" or "Subject A's performance was thirty percent better than Subject B's performance."
  • Written years should not have apostrophes. Thus, write "1990s" rather than "1990's."
  • Eliminate unnecessary content and add any missing important pieces of information. [13] X Research source

Step 3 Complete a word count.

Community Q&A

Community Answer

  • Do not include references to other papers, non-standard abbreviations, or any kinds of illustrations. For abbreviations you do include, always spell them out the first time you use them unless they are in common use. [14] X Research source www.acponline.org/residents_fellows/competitions/abstract/prepare/res_abs.htm Thanks Helpful 2 Not Helpful 0
  • Review the abstract guidelines for the specific journal or scholarly discipline for which you are writing. Most disciplines (e.g. biology or sociology) have their own stylistic conventions for abstracts. Use other abstracts from your field as examples for style. Thanks Helpful 2 Not Helpful 0
  • If you write an abstract for a research paper that you did not write, remember that it is not your job to review the paper, criticize its methods, or offer your opinion on the importance or relevance of the research. Thanks Helpful 1 Not Helpful 2

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  • ↑ http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3136027/
  • ↑ https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/706/1/
  • ↑ www.med.upenn.edu/focus/.../WritingaResearchAbstract_CompI-B.doc
  • ↑ http://abacus.bates.edu/~ganderso/biology/resources/writing/HTWsections.html#abstract
  • ↑ www.acponline.org/residents_fellows/competitions/abstract/prepare/res_abs.htm

About this article

When you write an academic abstract, start with 1 to 3 introductory sentences that explain the study’s topic, purpose, and research questions. Then, follow up with 2 to 3 sentences on how you conducted your study, including its duration and sample size. Next, write 1 to 2 sentences on the results of the study. Finally, conclude with 1 to 2 sentences on the main point and impact of the research. To learn how to choose a title and edit your work, scroll down . . . Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper

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An abstract summarizes, usually in one paragraph of 300 words or less, the major aspects of the entire paper in a prescribed sequence that includes: 1) the overall purpose of the study and the research problem(s) you investigated; 2) the basic design of the study; 3) major findings or trends found as a result of your analysis; and, 4) a brief summary of your interpretations and conclusions.

Writing an Abstract. The Writing Center. Clarion University, 2009; Writing an Abstract for Your Research Paper. The Writing Center, University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Importance of a Good Abstract

Sometimes your professor will ask you to include an abstract, or general summary of your work, with your research paper. The abstract allows you to elaborate upon each major aspect of the paper and helps readers decide whether they want to read the rest of the paper. Therefore, enough key information [e.g., summary results, observations, trends, etc.] must be included to make the abstract useful to someone who may want to examine your work.

How do you know when you have enough information in your abstract? A simple rule-of-thumb is to imagine that you are another researcher doing a similar study. Then ask yourself: if your abstract was the only part of the paper you could access, would you be happy with the amount of information presented there? Does it tell the whole story about your study? If the answer is "no" then the abstract likely needs to be revised.

How to Write a Research Abstract. Office of Undergraduate Research. University of Kentucky; Staiger, David L. “What Today’s Students Need to Know about Writing Abstracts.” International Journal of Business Communication January 3 (1966): 29-33; Swales, John M. and Christine B. Feak. Abstracts and the Writing of Abstracts . Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2009.

Structure and Writing Style

I.  Types of Abstracts

To begin, you need to determine which type of abstract you should include with your paper. There are four general types.

Critical Abstract A critical abstract provides, in addition to describing main findings and information, a judgment or comment about the study’s validity, reliability, or completeness. The researcher evaluates the paper and often compares it with other works on the same subject. Critical abstracts are generally 400-500 words in length due to the additional interpretive commentary. These types of abstracts are used infrequently.

Descriptive Abstract A descriptive abstract indicates the type of information found in the work. It makes no judgments about the work, nor does it provide results or conclusions of the research. It does incorporate key words found in the text and may include the purpose, methods, and scope of the research. Essentially, the descriptive abstract only describes the work being summarized. Some researchers consider it an outline of the work, rather than a summary. Descriptive abstracts are usually very short, 100 words or less. Informative Abstract The majority of abstracts are informative. While they still do not critique or evaluate a work, they do more than describe it. A good informative abstract acts as a surrogate for the work itself. That is, the researcher presents and explains all the main arguments and the important results and evidence in the paper. An informative abstract includes the information that can be found in a descriptive abstract [purpose, methods, scope] but it also includes the results and conclusions of the research and the recommendations of the author. The length varies according to discipline, but an informative abstract is usually no more than 300 words in length.

Highlight Abstract A highlight abstract is specifically written to attract the reader’s attention to the study. No pretense is made of there being either a balanced or complete picture of the paper and, in fact, incomplete and leading remarks may be used to spark the reader’s interest. In that a highlight abstract cannot stand independent of its associated article, it is not a true abstract and, therefore, rarely used in academic writing.

II.  Writing Style

Use the active voice when possible , but note that much of your abstract may require passive sentence constructions. Regardless, write your abstract using concise, but complete, sentences. Get to the point quickly and always use the past tense because you are reporting on a study that has been completed.

Abstracts should be formatted as a single paragraph in a block format and with no paragraph indentations. In most cases, the abstract page immediately follows the title page. Do not number the page. Rules set forth in writing manual vary but, in general, you should center the word "Abstract" at the top of the page with double spacing between the heading and the abstract. The final sentences of an abstract concisely summarize your study’s conclusions, implications, or applications to practice and, if appropriate, can be followed by a statement about the need for additional research revealed from the findings.

Composing Your Abstract

Although it is the first section of your paper, the abstract should be written last since it will summarize the contents of your entire paper. A good strategy to begin composing your abstract is to take whole sentences or key phrases from each section of the paper and put them in a sequence that summarizes the contents. Then revise or add connecting phrases or words to make the narrative flow clearly and smoothly. Note that statistical findings should be reported parenthetically [i.e., written in parentheses].

Before handing in your final paper, check to make sure that the information in the abstract completely agrees with what you have written in the paper. Think of the abstract as a sequential set of complete sentences describing the most crucial information using the fewest necessary words. The abstract SHOULD NOT contain:

  • A catchy introductory phrase, provocative quote, or other device to grab the reader's attention,
  • Lengthy background or contextual information,
  • Redundant phrases, unnecessary adverbs and adjectives, and repetitive information;
  • Acronyms or abbreviations,
  • References to other literature [say something like, "current research shows that..." or "studies have indicated..."],
  • Using ellipticals [i.e., ending with "..."] or incomplete sentences,
  • Jargon or terms that may be confusing to the reader,
  • Citations to other works, and
  • Any sort of image, illustration, figure, or table, or references to them.

Abstract. Writing Center. University of Kansas; Abstract. The Structure, Format, Content, and Style of a Journal-Style Scientific Paper. Department of Biology. Bates College; Abstracts. The Writing Center. University of North Carolina; Borko, Harold and Seymour Chatman. "Criteria for Acceptable Abstracts: A Survey of Abstracters' Instructions." American Documentation 14 (April 1963): 149-160; Abstracts. The Writer’s Handbook. Writing Center. University of Wisconsin, Madison; Hartley, James and Lucy Betts. "Common Weaknesses in Traditional Abstracts in hte Social Sciences." Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 60 (October 2009): 2010-2018; Procter, Margaret. The Abstract. University College Writing Centre. University of Toronto; Riordan, Laura. “Mastering the Art of Abstracts.” The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association 115 (January 2015 ): 41-47; Writing Report Abstracts. The Writing Lab and The OWL. Purdue University; Writing Abstracts. Writing Tutorial Services, Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning. Indiana University; Koltay, Tibor. Abstracts and Abstracting: A Genre and Set of Skills for the Twenty-First Century . Oxford, UK: 2010; Writing an Abstract for Your Research Paper. The Writing Center, University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Writing Tip

Never Cite Just the Abstract!

Citing to just a journal article's abstract does not confirm for the reader that you have conducted a thorough or reliable review of the literature. If the full-text is not available, go to the USC Libraries main page and enter the title of the article [NOT the title of the journal]. If the Libraries have a subscription to the journal, the article should appear with a link to the full-text or to the journal publisher page where you can get the article. If the article does not appear, try searching Google Scholar using the link on the USC Libraries main page. If you still can't find the article after doing this, contact a librarian or you can request it from our free i nterlibrary loan and document delivery service .

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Writing an abstract - a six point checklist (with samples)

Posted in: abstract , dissertations

how to write a scientific report abstract

The abstract is a vital part of any research paper. It is the shop front for your work, and the first stop for your reader. It should provide a clear and succinct summary of your study, and encourage your readers to read more. An effective abstract, therefore should answer the following questions:

  • Why did you do this study or project?
  • What did you do and how?
  • What did you find?
  • What do your findings mean?

So here's our run down of the key elements of a well-written abstract.

  • Size - A succinct and well written abstract should be between approximately 100- 250 words.
  • Background - An effective abstract usually includes some scene-setting information which might include what is already known about the subject, related to the paper in question (a few short sentences).
  • Purpose  - The abstract should also set out the purpose of your research, in other words, what is not known about the subject and hence what the study intended to examine (or what the paper seeks to present).
  • Methods - The methods section should contain enough information to enable the reader to understand what was done, and how. It should include brief details of the research design, sample size, duration of study, and so on.
  • Results - The results section is the most important part of the abstract. This is because readers who skim an abstract do so to learn about the findings of the study. The results section should therefore contain as much detail about the findings as the journal word count permits.
  • Conclusion - This section should contain the most important take-home message of the study, expressed in a few precisely worded sentences. Usually, the finding highlighted here relates to the primary outcomes of the study. However, other important or unexpected findings should also be mentioned. It is also customary, but not essential, to express an opinion about the theoretical or practical implications of the findings, or the importance of their findings for the field. Thus, the conclusions may contain three elements:
  • The primary take-home message
  • Any additional findings of importance
  • Implications for future studies 

abstract 1

Example Abstract 2: Engineering Development and validation of a three-dimensional finite element model of the pelvic bone.

bone

Abstract from: Dalstra, M., Huiskes, R. and Van Erning, L., 1995. Development and validation of a three-dimensional finite element model of the pelvic bone. Journal of biomechanical engineering, 117(3), pp.272-278.

And finally...  A word on abstract types and styles

Abstract types can differ according to subject discipline. You need to determine therefore which type of abstract you should include with your paper. Here are two of the most common types with examples.

Informative Abstract

The majority of abstracts are informative. While they still do not critique or evaluate a work, they do more than describe it. A good informative abstract acts as a surrogate for the work itself. That is, the researcher presents and explains all the main arguments and the important results and evidence in the paper. An informative abstract includes the information that can be found in a descriptive abstract [purpose, methods, scope] but it also includes the results and conclusions of the research and the recommendations of the author. The length varies according to discipline, but an informative abstract is usually no more than 300 words in length.

Descriptive Abstract A descriptive abstract indicates the type of information found in the work. It makes no judgements about the work, nor does it provide results or conclusions of the research. It does incorporate key words found in the text and may include the purpose, methods, and scope of the research. Essentially, the descriptive abstract only describes the work being summarised. Some researchers consider it an outline of the work, rather than a summary. Descriptive abstracts are usually very short, 100 words or less.

(Adapted from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3136027/ )

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Tips on How To Write an Effective Scientific Abstract

Posted by Rene Tetzner | May 12, 2021 | How To Get Published | 0 |

Tips on How To Write an Effective Scientific Abstract

Tips on How To Write an Effective Scientific Abstract A clear and concise abstract is one of the most essential parts of a scientific research paper, lab report, doctoral thesis, conference presentation or any other kind of serious scientific document. An abstract offers potential readers an informative and engaging preview of the research content, enabling them to find your work and quickly decide whether it is of interest for their research or publishing goals. The power of an excellent abstract to make the right first impression should never be underestimated; nor should the power of a poor abstract to make the wrong impression.

A scientific abstract can therefore be an extremely effective tool for both authors and readers, but abstracts can also be notoriously difficult to write. The abstract for a research paper or longer scientific document is normally between 100 and 400 words in length, with 250–300 words most common for scientific abstracts. Although something so short may seem easy to write, the length of the abstract presents one of the greatest challenges: packing the complexities of advanced scientific research into a few hundred well-chosen and perfectly arranged words is rarely easy. The most effective kind of abstract is carefully organised and formatted according to recognisable patterns; its content is accurate and relevant, its language uncomplicated and precise, and its written style formal and straightforward. These and other concerns when writing a scientific abstract are addressed in the following tips, which offer advice on what to avoid in an abstract as well as what to include.

how to write a scientific report abstract

Half a Dozen Essential Tips for Writing an Effective Scientific Abstract 1. Know what sort of abstract you need to write before you begin.   Scientific publishers, university instructors, conference organisers and funding agencies often have very specific requirements for the length, structure and content of abstracts. By finding the relevant guidelines and following them with precision and consistency, an author increases the chances of serious consideration by a publisher, a good grade from a professor or successful research support from a funding organisation. Ignoring guidelines, on the other hand, can mean compromising a document’s effectiveness. For example, a 250 word abstract might be requested in a publisher’s guidelines simply because no more than 250 words can be accommodated in that publisher’s catalogue or other important databases. If you provide a 400 word abstract instead, and manage to slip it past editorial staff, the most important information in your abstract – your results and conclusions – will likely be cut off and unavailable to potential readers, rendering your abstract far less effective and losing at least part of your audience. The solution is to know and observe the relevant guidelines every time you write a scientific abstract.

2. Design a clear and logical structure for your abstract.   Primary among the requirements found in many guidelines for scientific abstracts are structural matters, and even if there are no guidelines to follow or specific requirements to meet, providing a clear and logical structure for a scientific abstract is always advisable. Ideally, the structure will reflect that of the document that follows, which should itself observe the relevant guidelines for structure. For a scientific research paper the abstract is therefore often divided into several short paragraphs with subheadings that match the headings for the main sections of the paper itself: ‘Background,’ ‘Objectives,’ ‘Study Design,’ ‘Methods & Materials,’ ‘Results,’ ‘Discussion’ and ‘Conclusions’ are common examples. The required formatting for the subheadings and paragraph breaks varies among guidelines, but inserting the headings into the beginning of the paragraphs (as the headings for the numbered tips are inserted here) can be an effective layout. Each of these brief paragraphs would then contain a sentence or two offering what you consider the most significant information for your readers to know about the corresponding section of your paper.

how to write a scientific report abstract

3. Provide relevant and accurate content in your abstract.   A scientific abstract often serves as a kind of substitute for the research document itself – when potential readers are searching for recent studies, when editors are considering manuscripts for publication, when conference organisers are choosing presenters and when funding agencies are sharing information about their projects. All the major evidence and arguments presented in the main document should therefore be mentioned, including details about the most important results, the key interpretations of those results, the methods and limitations of the study, and the primary recommendations and conclusions. Everything you include in your abstract must be necessary, precise and informative, so beware of overburdening your readers (or potential readers) with excessive detail and defeating the purpose of the abstract. If there is simply too much vital information, careful selection will be required to meet length limits, so focussing on any helpful instructions offered in the guidelines and keeping the interests and needs of your anticipated readers in mind can be immensely helpful. In all cases, a scientific abstract should report, not evaluate or add to what can be found in the main document, and all data and other factual information presented in the abstract must agree precisely with the information reported in that main document, so reading back through your work is necessary as you refine your abstract.

4. Write your scientific abstract in a formal and unadorned style.   Occasionally, guidelines for scientific abstracts will request a less formal, point-form style, but abstracts for most publishers and instructors will require complete sentences and language equivalent to that in the research document itself. A style that observes grammatical and orthographical rules and employs effective punctuation will enable the clarity and accuracy necessary for the concise communication of research data and interpretive discussions. Include the keywords that will attract readers, but do not overuse them. The past tense is appropriate because the research has already been conducted and the textual report of it in the form of the paper or other document has already been written. Using the active voice (I investigated the problem…) can be helpful for achieving the concise style most scientific abstracts demand, but do check those guidelines as some scientific journals and instructors prefer the passive voice (The problem was investigated…) and a thoughtful combination of the two is often best. Whatever voice you use, every sentence should bear the maximum amount of information and meaning possible, the use of minor words should be minimised and each main word should be chosen with care. Although it may be tempting to borrow key sentences from the main document and repeat them in the abstract, a more professional and successful strategy is to use those key sentences to construct more condensed sentences for the abstract. Remember that not only the content of an abstract but also the writing itself can earn the interest and confidence of readers, or not, and one obviously wants the former to be true.

5. Avoid freighting your abstract with confusing information.   Although some hardy readers will bluster on even when an abstract is unclear or riddled with errors, most will not. It is obviously essential to avoid errors of every kind – grammar, spelling, punctuation and typing – but certain normal aspects of scientific writing must usually be avoided in most abstracts as well. These include in-text citations of scholarly sources, which should be used only when absolutely necessary, and then the full bibliographical reference must be provided as well, using up a good number of words. In addition, any abbreviations that are not standard or that may not be known to the targeted readers should be avoided, and if an obscure abbreviation is needed, it must be defined on first use. Any specialised terminology or discipline-specific jargon will require definition or explanation as well, and should usually be avoided unless it is especially likely to attract the readers you hope to reach. Tables and figures do not normally appear in scientific abstracts either, and certain guidelines might have additional restrictions, so always check for what you should avoid as well as for what you should include in your abstract.

6. Read, revise and edit your abstract with the utmost care.   No matter how attentive and precise you are as you initially write your scientific abstract, there is simply no substitute for reading, revising and editing your own work. Prose that is free of mistakes and crystal clear in meaning, shorter sentences that nonetheless communicate more information and an accomplished scientific writing style are the possible results of careful attention to your own writing. Asking a colleague, mentor or friend to read your abstract and offer you some input can open the door to a new perspective on your research as well as your writing and ultimately help you refine the prose of your abstract and clarify your meaning for future readers.

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How to Practice Academic Medicine and Publish from Developing Countries? pp 179–184 Cite as

How to Write an Abstract?

  • Samiran Nundy 4 ,
  • Atul Kakar 5 &
  • Zulfiqar A. Bhutta 6  
  • Open Access
  • First Online: 24 October 2021

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An abstract is a crisp, short, powerful, and self-contained summary of a research manuscript used to help the reader swiftly determine the paper’s purpose. Although the abstract is the first paragraph of the manuscript it should be written last when all the other sections have been addressed.

Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose. — Zora Neale Hurston, American Author, Anthropologist and Filmmaker (1891–1960)

Download chapter PDF

1 What is an Abstract?

An abstract is usually a standalone document that informs the reader about the details of the manuscript to follow. It is like a trailer to a movie, if the trailer is good, it stimulates the audience to watch the movie. The abstract should be written from scratch and not ‘cut –and-pasted’ [ 1 ].

2 What is the History of the Abstract?

An abstract, in the form of a single paragraph, was first published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal in 1960 with the idea that the readers may not have enough time to go through the whole paper, and the first abstract with a defined structure was published in 1991 [ 2 ]. The idea sold and now most original articles and reviews are required to have a structured abstract. The abstract attracts the reader to read the full manuscript [ 3 ].

3 What are the Qualities of a Good Abstract?

The quality of information in an abstract can be summarized by four ‘C’s. It should be:

C: Condensed

C: Critical

4 What are the Types of Abstract?

Before writing the abstract, you need to check with the journal website about which type of abstract it requires, with its length and style in the ‘Instructions to Authors’ section.

The abstract types can be divided into:

Descriptive: Usually written for psychology, social science, and humanities papers. It is about 50–100 words long. No conclusions can be drawn from this abstract as it describes the major points in the paper.

Informative: The majority of abstracts for science-related manuscripts are informative and are surrogates for the research done. They are single paragraphs that provide the reader an overview of the research paper and are about 100–150 words in length. Conclusions can be drawn from the abstracts and in the recommendations written in the last line.

Critical: This type of abstract is lengthy and about 400–500 words. In this, the authors’ own research is discussed for reliability, judgement, and validation. A comparison is also made with similar studies done earlier.

Highlighting: This is rarely used in scientific writing. The style of the abstract is to attract more readers. It is not a balanced or complete overview of the article with which it is published.

Structured: A structured abstract contains information under subheadings like background, aims, material and methods, results, conclusion, and recommendations (Fig. 15.1 ). Most leading journals now carry these.

figure 1

Example of a structured abstract (with permission editor CMRP)

5 What is the Purpose of an Abstract?

An abstract is written to educate the reader about the study that follows and provide an overview of the science behind it. If written well it also attracts more readers to the article. It also helps the article getting indexed. The fate of a paper both before and after publication often depends upon its abstract. Most readers decide if a paper is worth reading on the basis of the abstract. Additionally, the selection of papers in systematic reviews is often dependent upon the abstract.

6 What are the Steps of Writing an Abstract?

An abstract should be written last after all the other sections of an article have been addressed. A poor abstract may turn off the reader and they may cause indexing errors as well. The abstract should state the purpose of the study, the methodology used, and summarize the results and important conclusions. It is usually written in the IMRAD format and is called a structured abstract [ 4 , 5 ].

I: The introduction in the opening line should state the problem you are addressing.

M: Methodology—what method was chosen to finish the experiment?

R: Results—state the important findings of your study.

D: Discussion—discuss why your study is important.

Mention the following information:

Important results with the statistical information ( p values, confidence intervals, standard/mean deviation).

Arrange all information in a chronological order.

Do not repeat any information.

The last line should state the recommendations from your study.

The abstract should be written in the past tense.

7 What are the Things to Be Avoided While Writing an Abstract?

Cut and paste information from the main text

Hold back important information

Use abbreviations

Tables or Figures

Generalized statements

Arguments about the study

figure a

8 What are Key Words?

These are important words that are repeated throughout the manuscript and which help in the indexing of a paper. Depending upon the journal 3–10 key words may be required which are indexed with the help of MESH (Medical Subject Heading).

9 How is an Abstract Written for a Conference Different from a Journal Paper?

The basic concept for writing abstracts is the same. However, in a conference abstract occasionally a table or figure is allowed. A word limit is important in both of them. Many of the abstracts which are presented in conferences are never published in fact one study found that only 27% of the abstracts presented in conferences were published in the next five years [ 6 ].

Table 15.1 gives a template for writing an abstract.

10 What are the Important Recommendations of the International Committees of Medical Journal of Editors?

The recommendations are [ 7 ]:

An abstract is required for original articles, metanalysis, and systematic reviews.

A structured abstract is preferred.

The abstract should mention the purpose of the scientific study, how the procedure was carried out, the analysis used, and principal conclusion.

Clinical trials should be reported according to the CONSORT guidelines.

The trials should also mention the funding and the trial number.

The abstract should be accurate as many readers have access only to the abstract.

11 Conclusions

An Abstract should be written last after all the other sections of the manuscript have been completed and with due care and attention to the details.

It should be structured and written in the IMRAD format.

For many readers, the abstract attracts them to go through the complete content of the article.

The abstract is usually followed by key words that help to index the paper.

Andrade C. How to write a good abstract for a scientific paper or conference presentation? Indian J Psychiatry. 2011;53:172–5.

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Preparing a manuscript for submission to a medical journal. Available on http://www.icmje.org/recommendations/browse/manuscript-preparation/preparing-for-submission.html . Accessed 10 May 2020.

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Nundy, S., Kakar, A., Bhutta, Z.A. (2022). How to Write an Abstract?. In: How to Practice Academic Medicine and Publish from Developing Countries?. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-16-5248-6_15

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Report writing: scientific reports.

  • Scientific Reports
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Scientific and lab reports

A good scientific report has a clear organisational structure that is divided into headings and sub-headings. The outline below details typical sections of a standard scientific report.

The structure and scientific conventions you should use in your report will be based on your department or subject field requirements. Therefore, it is always best to check your departmental guidelines or module/assignment instructions first.

Scientific reports often adopt the  IMRaD  format: I ntroduction, M ethods, R esults, and D iscussion.

The summary below outlines the standard components of a scientific report:  

The abstract is a short summary of your project. Here, you should state your research questions and aims and provide a brief description of your methodology. It also includes an overview of your most significant findings. It is best to write this last after finalising the report. 

  • Introduction

This is where you set the scene for your report. The introduction should clearly articulate the purpose and aim (and, possibly, objectives) of the report, along with providing the background context for the report's topic and area of research. A scientific report may have an hypothesis in addition or in stead of aims and objectives. It may also provide any definitions or explanations for the terms used in the report or theoretical underpinnings of the research so that the reader has a clear understanding of what the research is based upon. It may be useful to also indicate any limitations to the scope of the report and identify the parameters of the research.

The methods section includes any information on the methods, tools and equipment used to get the data and evidence for your report. You should justify your method (that is, explain why your method was chosen), acknowledge possible problems encountered during the research, and present the limitations of your methodology.

If you are required to have a separate results and discussion section, then the results section should only include a summary of the findings, rather than an analysis of them - leave the critical analysis of the results for the discussion section. Presenting your results may take the form of graphs, tables, or any necessary diagrams of the gathered data. It is best to present your results in a logical order, making them as clear and understandable as possible through concise titles, brief summaries of the findings, and what the diagrams/charts/graphs or tables are showing to the reader.

This section is where the data gathered and your results are truly put to work. It is the main body of your report in which you should critically analyse what the results mean in relation to the aims and objectives (and/or, in scientific writing, hypotheses) put forth at the beginning of the report. You should follow a logical order, and can structure this section in sub-headings.

The conclusion should not include any new material but instead show a summary of your main arguments and findings. It is a chance to remind the reader of the key points within your report, the significance of the findings and the most central issues or arguments raised from the research. The conclusion may also include recommendations for further research, or how the present research may be carried out more effectively in future.

Similar to your essays, a report still requires a bibliography of all the published resources you have referenced within your report. Check your module handbook for the referencing style you should use as there are different styles depending on your degree. If it is the standard Westminster Harvard Referencing style, then follow these guidelines and remember to be consistent.

how to write a scientific report abstract

Scientific Writing Style

Scientific report/lab writing and essay writing differ in style. Compared to essay writing styles, scientific report writing styles expect the following:

  • A lean and direct approach to the words chosen: do not use words unnecessarily, be concise, and always consider the purpose of each and every word.
  • Each sentence must serve a purpose , so treat each sentence as important in the role it performs within the report.  
  • The focus is on measurement and observation, and conveying the evidence with clarity , we therefore want to avoid using our opinions or suppositions : be objective and avoid the use of superlatives, emotive language, or wishy washy phrases, such as 'somewhat,' 'potentially,' 'possibly,' 'nearly,' and 'may be.' 
  • It is important to not only begin with a question, but also the method by which you will answer that question: pre-plan and be sure of the methods you're using so that your approach is organised and systematic. Your way of answering the question must be reproducible in order to check the validity of the results and conclusions, and produce 'intersubjectively accessible knowledge.
  • It is important to show your evidence , as this is what your conclusions will be based on. Be critical of the evidence, don't just tell the reader, but show the reader what it means by questioning how the evidence supports the answer to the question. 
  • Maintain a rigid structure to your writing that reflects the scientific method that underlines the report: check the specific guidelines of the assignment and thoroughly follow these. If, however, you are not provided with a required structure, consider following the IMRaD structure and adapt where needed.

Recommendation: Check out the further resources for more advice, AND also take a look through scientific articles and research - use your reading effectively ! 

Reading scientific papers is an excellent way of not only developing your knowledge of a subject, but also developing your scientific writing practices and gaining a greater understanding of what is to be expected. When reading, be sure to keep in mind the author's use of language and phrases, ways of presenting and discussing evidence, and ways of organising, structuring, and formatting material, as you may wish to emulate or imitate (NOT plagiarise or copy) the styles you read.

Further Resources

Science Writing Resources for Learning by The University of British Columbia

Scientific Writing Resource by the Duke Graduate School

Scientific Writing by the Royal Literary Fund

Successful Scientific Writing  by Janice R. Matthews, John M. Bowen and Robert W. Matthews

Writing for Science Students (Palgrave Study Skills) by Jennifer Boyle

The Scientist's Guide to Writing: How to Write More Easily and Effectively Throughout Your Scientific Career by Stephen B. Heard

Writing for Biomedical Sciences Students (Macmillan Study Skills)  by Harry Witchel

Successful Scientific Writing: A Step-By-Step Guide for the Biological and Medical Sciences  by Janice R. Matthews

Date Handling and Analysis (Fundamentals of Biomedical Science)  by Andrew Blann

How to Write a Scientific Paper: An Academic Self-Help Guide for PhD Students  by Jari Saramäki

Free and Purchasable Courses:

Writing in the Sciences run by Coursera

Science Writing run by The University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education

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[How to write a scientific abstract]

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Abstract in English, French

The scientific abstract is an essential part of an article. It resumes it clearly and synthetically in few sentences, while captivating the reader. Being the first paragraph, and sometimes the only one to be read, it should be comprehensive and needs to represent the paper as much as possible in order to motivate readers to continue reading if it corresponds to the subject of interest. It is also the only text to be submitted to conferences, and it is important in the process of application for research fundings too. In this article, we propose a practical guide to help you write a structured and accurate scientific abstract, with some practical tips.

L’abstract scientifique est une partie essentielle d’un article. Il doit le résumer en quelques lignes de façon claire et synthétique tout en captivant le lecteur. Etant la première partie de l’article, et parfois la seule partie lue, elle se doit de refléter au mieux le papier, afin que cette dernière soit lue en entier s’il correspond au sujet recherché. Il est également le seul texte soumis pour accéder aux congrès, et il représente un élément essentiel dans l’évaluation des dossiers pour obtenir des bourses ou des financements de recherche. Dans cet article, nous vous proposons un guide pratique pour vous aider à rédiger un abstract scientifique, afin qu’il soit structuré et précis.

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Writing a scientific paper.

  • Writing a lab report
  • INTRODUCTION

Writing a "good" results section

Figures and Captions in Lab Reports

"Results Checklist" from: How to Write a Good Scientific Paper. Chris A. Mack. SPIE. 2018.

Additional tips for results sections.

  • LITERATURE CITED
  • Bibliography of guides to scientific writing and presenting
  • Peer Review
  • Presentations
  • Lab Report Writing Guides on the Web

This is the core of the paper. Don't start the results sections with methods you left out of the Materials and Methods section. You need to give an overall description of the experiments and present the data you found.

  • Factual statements supported by evidence. Short and sweet without excess words
  • Present representative data rather than endlessly repetitive data
  • Discuss variables only if they had an effect (positive or negative)
  • Use meaningful statistics
  • Avoid redundancy. If it is in the tables or captions you may not need to repeat it

A short article by Dr. Brett Couch and Dr. Deena Wassenberg, Biology Program, University of Minnesota

  • Present the results of the paper, in logical order, using tables and graphs as necessary.
  • Explain the results and show how they help to answer the research questions posed in the Introduction. Evidence does not explain itself; the results must be presented and then explained. 
  • Avoid: presenting results that are never discussed;  presenting results in chronological order rather than logical order; ignoring results that do not support the conclusions; 
  • Number tables and figures separately beginning with 1 (i.e. Table 1, Table 2, Figure 1, etc.).
  • Do not attempt to evaluate the results in this section. Report only what you found; hold all discussion of the significance of the results for the Discussion section.
  • It is not necessary to describe every step of your statistical analyses. Scientists understand all about null hypotheses, rejection rules, and so forth and do not need to be reminded of them. Just say something like, "Honeybees did not use the flowers in proportion to their availability (X2 = 7.9, p<0.05, d.f.= 4, chi-square test)." Likewise, cite tables and figures without describing in detail how the data were manipulated. Explanations of this sort should appear in a legend or caption written on the same page as the figure or table.
  • You must refer in the text to each figure or table you include in your paper.
  • Tables generally should report summary-level data, such as means ± standard deviations, rather than all your raw data.  A long list of all your individual observations will mean much less than a few concise, easy-to-read tables or figures that bring out the main findings of your study.  
  • Only use a figure (graph) when the data lend themselves to a good visual representation.  Avoid using figures that show too many variables or trends at once, because they can be hard to understand.

From:  https://writingcenter.gmu.edu/guides/imrad-results-discussion

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  • How to write a lab report

How To Write A Lab Report | Step-by-Step Guide & Examples

Published on May 20, 2021 by Pritha Bhandari . Revised on July 23, 2023.

A lab report conveys the aim, methods, results, and conclusions of a scientific experiment. The main purpose of a lab report is to demonstrate your understanding of the scientific method by performing and evaluating a hands-on lab experiment. This type of assignment is usually shorter than a research paper .

Lab reports are commonly used in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. This article focuses on how to structure and write a lab report.

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Table of contents

Structuring a lab report, introduction, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about lab reports.

The sections of a lab report can vary between scientific fields and course requirements, but they usually contain the purpose, methods, and findings of a lab experiment .

Each section of a lab report has its own purpose.

  • Title: expresses the topic of your study
  • Abstract : summarizes your research aims, methods, results, and conclusions
  • Introduction: establishes the context needed to understand the topic
  • Method: describes the materials and procedures used in the experiment
  • Results: reports all descriptive and inferential statistical analyses
  • Discussion: interprets and evaluates results and identifies limitations
  • Conclusion: sums up the main findings of your experiment
  • References: list of all sources cited using a specific style (e.g. APA )
  • Appendices : contains lengthy materials, procedures, tables or figures

Although most lab reports contain these sections, some sections can be omitted or combined with others. For example, some lab reports contain a brief section on research aims instead of an introduction, and a separate conclusion is not always required.

If you’re not sure, it’s best to check your lab report requirements with your instructor.

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Your title provides the first impression of your lab report – effective titles communicate the topic and/or the findings of your study in specific terms.

Create a title that directly conveys the main focus or purpose of your study. It doesn’t need to be creative or thought-provoking, but it should be informative.

  • The effects of varying nitrogen levels on tomato plant height.
  • Testing the universality of the McGurk effect.
  • Comparing the viscosity of common liquids found in kitchens.

An abstract condenses a lab report into a brief overview of about 150–300 words. It should provide readers with a compact version of the research aims, the methods and materials used, the main results, and the final conclusion.

Think of it as a way of giving readers a preview of your full lab report. Write the abstract last, in the past tense, after you’ve drafted all the other sections of your report, so you’ll be able to succinctly summarize each section.

To write a lab report abstract, use these guiding questions:

  • What is the wider context of your study?
  • What research question were you trying to answer?
  • How did you perform the experiment?
  • What did your results show?
  • How did you interpret your results?
  • What is the importance of your findings?

Nitrogen is a necessary nutrient for high quality plants. Tomatoes, one of the most consumed fruits worldwide, rely on nitrogen for healthy leaves and stems to grow fruit. This experiment tested whether nitrogen levels affected tomato plant height in a controlled setting. It was expected that higher levels of nitrogen fertilizer would yield taller tomato plants.

Levels of nitrogen fertilizer were varied between three groups of tomato plants. The control group did not receive any nitrogen fertilizer, while one experimental group received low levels of nitrogen fertilizer, and a second experimental group received high levels of nitrogen fertilizer. All plants were grown from seeds, and heights were measured 50 days into the experiment.

The effects of nitrogen levels on plant height were tested between groups using an ANOVA. The plants with the highest level of nitrogen fertilizer were the tallest, while the plants with low levels of nitrogen exceeded the control group plants in height. In line with expectations and previous findings, the effects of nitrogen levels on plant height were statistically significant. This study strengthens the importance of nitrogen for tomato plants.

Your lab report introduction should set the scene for your experiment. One way to write your introduction is with a funnel (an inverted triangle) structure:

  • Start with the broad, general research topic
  • Narrow your topic down your specific study focus
  • End with a clear research question

Begin by providing background information on your research topic and explaining why it’s important in a broad real-world or theoretical context. Describe relevant previous research on your topic and note how your study may confirm it or expand it, or fill a gap in the research field.

This lab experiment builds on previous research from Haque, Paul, and Sarker (2011), who demonstrated that tomato plant yield increased at higher levels of nitrogen. However, the present research focuses on plant height as a growth indicator and uses a lab-controlled setting instead.

Next, go into detail on the theoretical basis for your study and describe any directly relevant laws or equations that you’ll be using. State your main research aims and expectations by outlining your hypotheses .

Based on the importance of nitrogen for tomato plants, the primary hypothesis was that the plants with the high levels of nitrogen would grow the tallest. The secondary hypothesis was that plants with low levels of nitrogen would grow taller than plants with no nitrogen.

Your introduction doesn’t need to be long, but you may need to organize it into a few paragraphs or with subheadings such as “Research Context” or “Research Aims.”

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A lab report Method section details the steps you took to gather and analyze data. Give enough detail so that others can follow or evaluate your procedures. Write this section in the past tense. If you need to include any long lists of procedural steps or materials, place them in the Appendices section but refer to them in the text here.

You should describe your experimental design, your subjects, materials, and specific procedures used for data collection and analysis.

Experimental design

Briefly note whether your experiment is a within-subjects  or between-subjects design, and describe how your sample units were assigned to conditions if relevant.

A between-subjects design with three groups of tomato plants was used. The control group did not receive any nitrogen fertilizer. The first experimental group received a low level of nitrogen fertilizer, while the second experimental group received a high level of nitrogen fertilizer.

Describe human subjects in terms of demographic characteristics, and animal or plant subjects in terms of genetic background. Note the total number of subjects as well as the number of subjects per condition or per group. You should also state how you recruited subjects for your study.

List the equipment or materials you used to gather data and state the model names for any specialized equipment.

List of materials

35 Tomato seeds

15 plant pots (15 cm tall)

Light lamps (50,000 lux)

Nitrogen fertilizer

Measuring tape

Describe your experimental settings and conditions in detail. You can provide labelled diagrams or images of the exact set-up necessary for experimental equipment. State how extraneous variables were controlled through restriction or by fixing them at a certain level (e.g., keeping the lab at room temperature).

Light levels were fixed throughout the experiment, and the plants were exposed to 12 hours of light a day. Temperature was restricted to between 23 and 25℃. The pH and carbon levels of the soil were also held constant throughout the experiment as these variables could influence plant height. The plants were grown in rooms free of insects or other pests, and they were spaced out adequately.

Your experimental procedure should describe the exact steps you took to gather data in chronological order. You’ll need to provide enough information so that someone else can replicate your procedure, but you should also be concise. Place detailed information in the appendices where appropriate.

In a lab experiment, you’ll often closely follow a lab manual to gather data. Some instructors will allow you to simply reference the manual and state whether you changed any steps based on practical considerations. Other instructors may want you to rewrite the lab manual procedures as complete sentences in coherent paragraphs, while noting any changes to the steps that you applied in practice.

If you’re performing extensive data analysis, be sure to state your planned analysis methods as well. This includes the types of tests you’ll perform and any programs or software you’ll use for calculations (if relevant).

First, tomato seeds were sown in wooden flats containing soil about 2 cm below the surface. Each seed was kept 3-5 cm apart. The flats were covered to keep the soil moist until germination. The seedlings were removed and transplanted to pots 8 days later, with a maximum of 2 plants to a pot. Each pot was watered once a day to keep the soil moist.

The nitrogen fertilizer treatment was applied to the plant pots 12 days after transplantation. The control group received no treatment, while the first experimental group received a low concentration, and the second experimental group received a high concentration. There were 5 pots in each group, and each plant pot was labelled to indicate the group the plants belonged to.

50 days after the start of the experiment, plant height was measured for all plants. A measuring tape was used to record the length of the plant from ground level to the top of the tallest leaf.

In your results section, you should report the results of any statistical analysis procedures that you undertook. You should clearly state how the results of statistical tests support or refute your initial hypotheses.

The main results to report include:

  • any descriptive statistics
  • statistical test results
  • the significance of the test results
  • estimates of standard error or confidence intervals

The mean heights of the plants in the control group, low nitrogen group, and high nitrogen groups were 20.3, 25.1, and 29.6 cm respectively. A one-way ANOVA was applied to calculate the effect of nitrogen fertilizer level on plant height. The results demonstrated statistically significant ( p = .03) height differences between groups.

Next, post-hoc tests were performed to assess the primary and secondary hypotheses. In support of the primary hypothesis, the high nitrogen group plants were significantly taller than the low nitrogen group and the control group plants. Similarly, the results supported the secondary hypothesis: the low nitrogen plants were taller than the control group plants.

These results can be reported in the text or in tables and figures. Use text for highlighting a few key results, but present large sets of numbers in tables, or show relationships between variables with graphs.

You should also include sample calculations in the Results section for complex experiments. For each sample calculation, provide a brief description of what it does and use clear symbols. Present your raw data in the Appendices section and refer to it to highlight any outliers or trends.

The Discussion section will help demonstrate your understanding of the experimental process and your critical thinking skills.

In this section, you can:

  • Interpret your results
  • Compare your findings with your expectations
  • Identify any sources of experimental error
  • Explain any unexpected results
  • Suggest possible improvements for further studies

Interpreting your results involves clarifying how your results help you answer your main research question. Report whether your results support your hypotheses.

  • Did you measure what you sought out to measure?
  • Were your analysis procedures appropriate for this type of data?

Compare your findings with other research and explain any key differences in findings.

  • Are your results in line with those from previous studies or your classmates’ results? Why or why not?

An effective Discussion section will also highlight the strengths and limitations of a study.

  • Did you have high internal validity or reliability?
  • How did you establish these aspects of your study?

When describing limitations, use specific examples. For example, if random error contributed substantially to the measurements in your study, state the particular sources of error (e.g., imprecise apparatus) and explain ways to improve them.

The results support the hypothesis that nitrogen levels affect plant height, with increasing levels producing taller plants. These statistically significant results are taken together with previous research to support the importance of nitrogen as a nutrient for tomato plant growth.

However, unlike previous studies, this study focused on plant height as an indicator of plant growth in the present experiment. Importantly, plant height may not always reflect plant health or fruit yield, so measuring other indicators would have strengthened the study findings.

Another limitation of the study is the plant height measurement technique, as the measuring tape was not suitable for plants with extreme curvature. Future studies may focus on measuring plant height in different ways.

The main strengths of this study were the controls for extraneous variables, such as pH and carbon levels of the soil. All other factors that could affect plant height were tightly controlled to isolate the effects of nitrogen levels, resulting in high internal validity for this study.

Your conclusion should be the final section of your lab report. Here, you’ll summarize the findings of your experiment, with a brief overview of the strengths and limitations, and implications of your study for further research.

Some lab reports may omit a Conclusion section because it overlaps with the Discussion section, but you should check with your instructor before doing so.

If you want to know more about AI for academic writing, AI tools, or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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A lab report conveys the aim, methods, results, and conclusions of a scientific experiment . Lab reports are commonly assigned in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

The purpose of a lab report is to demonstrate your understanding of the scientific method with a hands-on lab experiment. Course instructors will often provide you with an experimental design and procedure. Your task is to write up how you actually performed the experiment and evaluate the outcome.

In contrast, a research paper requires you to independently develop an original argument. It involves more in-depth research and interpretation of sources and data.

A lab report is usually shorter than a research paper.

The sections of a lab report can vary between scientific fields and course requirements, but it usually contains the following:

  • Abstract: summarizes your research aims, methods, results, and conclusions
  • References: list of all sources cited using a specific style (e.g. APA)
  • Appendices: contains lengthy materials, procedures, tables or figures

The results chapter or section simply and objectively reports what you found, without speculating on why you found these results. The discussion interprets the meaning of the results, puts them in context, and explains why they matter.

In qualitative research , results and discussion are sometimes combined. But in quantitative research , it’s considered important to separate the objective results from your interpretation of them.

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Bhandari, P. (2023, July 23). How To Write A Lab Report | Step-by-Step Guide & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved February 20, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/academic-writing/lab-report/

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COMMENTS

  1. Writing an Abstract for Your Research Paper

    Definition and Purpose of Abstracts An abstract is a short summary of your (published or unpublished) research paper, usually about a paragraph (c. 6-7 sentences, 150-250 words) long. A well-written abstract serves multiple purposes: an abstract lets readers get the gist or essence of your paper or article quickly, in order to decide whether to….

  2. How to Write a Scientific Abstract for Your Research Article

    Pick a scientific article in your field. Read the paper with the abstract covered. Then try to write an abstract based on your reading. Compare your abstract to the author's. Repeat until you feel confident. If you've not yet published a paper, this exercise will help you hone the skills necessary to write a concise and informative abstract.

  3. How to write a good abstract for a scientific paper or conference

    INTRODUCTION. This paper is the third in a series on manuscript writing skills, published in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry.Earlier articles offered suggestions on how to write a good case report,[] and how to read, write, or review a paper on randomized controlled trials.[2,3] The present paper examines how authors may write a good abstract when preparing their manuscript for a scientific ...

  4. How to Write an Abstract

    Step 2: Methods. Next, indicate the research methods that you used to answer your question. This part should be a straightforward description of what you did in one or two sentences. It is usually written in the past simple tense, as it refers to completed actions.

  5. How to Write an Abstract for a Scientific Paper

    Write in the third person. Replace phrases like "I found" or "we examined" with phrases like "it was determined" or "this paper provides" or "the investigators found". Write the abstract and then pare it down to meet the word limit. In some cases, a long abstract will result in automatic rejection for publication or a grade!

  6. How to Write a Scientific Abstract

    How to Write a Scientific Abstract. Scientific publications are an important source of information and knowledge in Academics, Research and development. When articles are submitted for publication, the 1st part that comes across and causes an impact on the minds of the readers is the abstract. It is a concise summary of the paper and must ...

  7. 15 Abstract Examples: A Comprehensive Guide

    This is a typical informative abstract for empirical social science research. After the background statement, the author discusses the problem statement or research question, followed by the results and the conclusions. ... Writing an abstract. "Writing Report Abstracts," (n.d.). Purdue Online Writing Lab. https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl ...

  8. Research Guides: Writing a Scientific Paper: ABSTRACT

    The abstract should be written for the audience of this journal: do not assume too much or too little background with the topic. Ensure that all of the information found in the abstract also can be found in the body of the paper. Ensure that the important information of the paper is found in the abstract. Avoid: using the first paragraph of the ...

  9. How to Write an Abstract

    Focus on key results, conclusions and take home messages. Write your paper first, then create the abstract as a summary. Check the journal requirements before you write your abstract, eg. required subheadings. Include keywords or phrases to help readers search for your work in indexing databases like PubMed or Google Scholar.

  10. How to Write a Comprehensive and Informative Research Abstract

    An abstract should be a stand-alone summary of a research project. 1 Although abstracts are most used to provide an overview of a research project, they may also be used to summarize an implementation project related to practice, policy, or education in nursing. The abstract may be a precursor to a scientific manuscript, chapter, thesis, or ...

  11. How to Write a Scientific Abstract: 12 Steps (with Pictures)

    2. Read your research paper completely. Highlight or underline the important points and copy and paste them into a separate document. After you finish reading your paper, review your underlined material and select sentences that help explain the research topic, research question, methods, results, and conclusion.

  12. How to write an abstract that will be accepted

    An abstract comprises five parts of equal importance: the title, introduction and aims, methods, results, and conclusion. Allow enough time to write each part well. The title should go straight to the point of the study. Make the study sound interesting so that it catches people's attention. The introduction should include a brief background ...

  13. 3. The Abstract

    An abstract summarizes, usually in one paragraph of 300 words or less, the major aspects of the entire paper in a prescribed sequence that includes: 1) the overall purpose of the study and the research problem(s) you investigated; 2) the basic design of the study; 3) major findings or trends found as a result of your analysis; and, 4) a brief summary of your interpretations and conclusions.

  14. Writing an abstract

    Methods - The methods section should contain enough information to enable the reader to understand what was done, and how. It should include brief details of the research design, sample size, duration of study, and so on. Results - The results section is the most important part of the abstract. This is because readers who skim an abstract do so ...

  15. How to Write an Abstract For a Scientific Research Paper

    Here's how you write an abstract for a research paper: 1. Provide Context to your research topic. The first one or two sentences create the setting and provide an introduction to the topic of your study. As a rule of thumb, every reader of the journal should understand this first part of your scientific abstract.

  16. Tips on How To Write an Effective Scientific Abstract

    A scientific abstract can therefore be an extremely effective tool for both authors and readers, but abstracts can also be notoriously difficult to write. The abstract for a research paper or longer scientific document is normally between 100 and 400 words in length, with 250-300 words most common for scientific abstracts.

  17. How to write a good abstract for a scientific paper or conference

    DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.82558. s of scientific papers are sometimes poorly written, often lack important information, and occasionally convey a biased picture. This paper provides detailed suggestions, with examples, for writing the background, methods, results, and conclusions sections of a good abstract. The primary target of t ….

  18. How to Write an Abstract?

    Abstract. An abstract is a crisp, short, powerful, and self-contained summary of a research manuscript used to help the reader swiftly determine the paper's purpose. Although the abstract is the first paragraph of the manuscript it should be written last when all the other sections have been addressed. Research is formalized curiosity.

  19. Scientific Reports

    Scientific report/lab writing and essay writing differ in style. Compared to essay writing styles, scientific report writing styles expect the following: A lean and direct approach to the words chosen: do not use words unnecessarily, be concise, and always consider the purpose of each and every word. Each sentence must serve a purpose, so treat ...

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    Abstract. in English, French. The scientific abstract is an essential part of an article. It resumes it clearly and synthetically in few sentences, while captivating the reader. Being the first paragraph, and sometimes the only one to be read, it should be comprehensive and needs to represent the paper as much as possible in order to motivate ...

  21. How to Write a Scientific Report

    In this post, we'll guide you step-by-step through how to write a scientific report and provide you with an example.

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    Present the results of the paper, in logical order, using tables and graphs as necessary. Explain the results and show how they help to answer the research questions posed in the Introduction. Evidence does not explain itself; the results must be presented and then explained. Avoid: presenting results that are never discussed; presenting ...

  23. How To Write A Lab Report

    Introduction. Your lab report introduction should set the scene for your experiment. One way to write your introduction is with a funnel (an inverted triangle) structure: Start with the broad, general research topic. Narrow your topic down your specific study focus. End with a clear research question.