Writing an Abstract

Posted by 4 years ago
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Abstracts are crucial components of reports whether they be for research, proposal, or informational reports. The following tutorial provides a brief overview of an abstract and how to construct one.

Types of Abstracts

Abstracts can be categorized into two main areas: description and information.


The purpose of informational abstracts is to communicate to the reader the author's purpose. In other words, it might be the purpose of certain research conducted or why the report itself is important. It is also important to note that these abstracts are usually short--about 1-2 paragraphs


The purpose of description abstracts is to provide a description of what the author is about to read such as the study's method, results, and the author's conclusion. These abstracts are especially short--keep them under 100 words

What Makes a Good Abstract?

An effective abstract should have the following components: * Reflects the report using chronological order * Contains concise, well-constructed paragraphs * Observes traditional report structure (Introduction, body, and conclusion) * A brief, but thorough summary of the report

Recommended Writing Process for Abstracts

There are many different types of approaches, but the following is a useful process for writing an abstract: 1. Read your finished report thoroughly keeping its main purpose in mind. Also take note of important key facts you might want to include in your abstract. 2. Create a rough list of the information you gathered from step 1. However, change the wording so that you are not repeating the same sentences verbatim in your abstract. 3. Form your abstract using the points from step 2. As you create your rough draft, keep in mind the following: - Avoiding weak statements - Eliminating unnecessary wordiness - Using correct grammar and punctuation 4. Proofread once more and create your final draft.