How to Write an Abstract for Your Scientific Research and Other Papers?

Welcome to our quick guide on how to make a perfect and concise abstract. Learn how to make an abstract by following simple steps, from idea selection to final proofreading.

The abstract is one of the essential parts of any academic text. After the title, it is the next thing anyone interested in the research topic will read. It is usually accompanied by keywords essential for your research to appear in subject searches.


How to make a good abstract in 5 steps

How to make a summary for studying

How to proofread an abstract to get it right

How to make an abstract with examples

How to make a good abstract in 5 steps

Since abstracts can be tedious, it is best to approach them with a clear head and step by step. Before you start with the abstract, you need to be clear on the rules about its length (usually 300 to 750 words) and the number of keywords it should contain (between 3 and 10). Then:

Let a few days go by blank, and without thinking about the text of the TFG, TFM, Thesis, or academic article, you will summarize.

Extract from the text, one by one, the three main ideas and the three secondary ideas we have indicated in this article above.

Let the process rest for a few hours.

Describe each of the ideas in a single sentence. Use a simple and direct style. Reading a paperhelp review about the academic writing rules would be helpful.

Articulate your summary, placing the sentences according to the importance of each of the ideas it contains and using nexuses at the beginning of each sentence to give it continuity and coherence.

Do not get exasperated if you get stuck in any of the steps. Remember that it is always better to simplify, to use simple language.

How to make a summary for studying

In the previous paragraphs, we have focused on how to make summaries to inform others about our work. However, summaries are also essential in academic assignments and study tools.

Making a summary to study or show that we have read and understood a text is very different from making an abstract. If this is your case, you will need to know:

  • The summary should not exceed 15%-30% of the length of the text you are summarizing.
  • If you are making an abstract to study, do not hesitate to use everyday language that will facilitate memorization.
  • Always highlight the words that contain the main ideas. With colors, if it is a study summary or in bold if it is a summary to give to someone else.
  • Use simple sentence structures: subject+verb+predicate.

If the summary you are making is an assignment or a paper to be read by someone else, you should also keep in mind other rules about how to make a summary:

  • Avoid starting sentences with prepositions.
  • Use the third person singular or the impersonal.
  • Do not copy sentences from the text you are summarizing.
  • Avoid listing. For example, if you have a list of colors (blue, green, red, yellow…) refer to them as colors, in general, without naming them one by one.

How to proofread an abstract to get it right

Do you already know how to make a summary, and have you managed to get a draft almost finished? Then, it is time to evaluate if your abstract is:

Attractive: it makes you want to read more.

Systematic: contains EVERYTHING important (answers what, where, and when) but invites you to read to discover the “guts” of the work (how, why, and what for).

Accessible: Anyone who knows nothing about the subject can understand your job.

Spend one last effort to select the keywords. If you have done it right, most of them will be in the title and the rest in the main ideas of the abstract. But if not, don’t worry. Give yourself time to gain perspective and go back one last time to review the title, abstract, and keywords.

How to make an abstract with examples

Not sure how to make an abstract? Stuck and can’t make out the main ideas? Need a starting point to begin your sentences? No problem, here are some connectors that will give you a little boost:

To begin: The text is about, The main purpose of the text is, The purpose of the work is to…..

To add: About, Concerning, Concerning, About, About….

To give continuity: In addition, Additionally, In addition, Next, Also, Likewise, Likewise, Likewise, In (X) place…

To conclude: To finish, Lastly, In the last place, As a conclusion, At the end….

Follow the steps we have given you in our guide on summarizing and allowing your brain time to process the information and distinguish which ideas are most important. After that, everything will run smoothly.

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