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Abstracts? What are those?

Professors and teachers, either in college or university, often assign their students abstracts, these abstracts are supposed to accompany the papers they have been allotted for the semester. But what is an Abstract?

Essentially, an abstract is a short description of an academic resource, which in this case can be a term paper, essay or any other assignment. The abstract is usually of a written document, and the outlook is kept objective. So now that we know that let's answer the next big question, how to write an abstract?

Why Do We Write Abstracts?

Every form of writing has a purpose, and if it’s fulfilled then the text is an achievement, so knowing for what purpose an abstract is written will help you in writing a perfect one. Writing an abstract, you must keep these key points in mind; you need to justify these requirements. To begin with, the intention of writing an abstract is to provide the readers with valuable information about a paper. When someone reads your abstract, they should know what the hypothesis or central idea of your document is.

Second, help others with their research. When you write an abstract know that your document might be used as a reference, so it's up to you that the abstract you write your article or paper is informative enough to help others evaluate the material they should add to their studies.

And finally, your abstract should allow the readers to get the data of your text without having to read the entire thing; your abstract is supposed to be a collection of all the evidence, information, and records within your actual document.

Not a Summary!

Yes, an abstract is not a summary, many students mix the two up, and they're not to blame. This fact is not that much talked about and most people describe an abstract as if it were a summary, however, it is not. So, facts to keep in mind:

  • It is not a summary of your document.

  • Nor a critique or analysis of a document.

  • Since abstracts are written as descriptions of thesis papers, essays, and other materials, you can only write an abstract for a text that is complete.

  • Therefore, if you are going to write an abstract for a term paper, you need to finish writing the paper before you start working on an abstract.


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How to Write Abstracts?

So now that the pre-writing concepts are set we can move on to the writing aspect of an abstract. While writing an abstract, there are three things that your write-up must reflect.


If you want a good abstract then your need to master this writing skill, an abstract is for sharing the findings of your research or study; therefore, you should only include information from the original text.


It's called an abstract for a reason. If you were supposed to write long paragraphs explaining each and every aspect of your paper, then you wouldn't need an introduction. Get straight to the point, don’t drag your abstract. Use precise language.


Want to write a good abstract? Then keep it simple. Make sure that your abstract does not contain any idioms, always explains all abbreviations you use. You are not writing a poetry essay. Handy tips for writers. Some rules for writing an amazing abstract much easier:

  • Favor using active verbs.
  • Do not mention the author.
  • Always use standard terminology.
  • No referring to the type of paper you are abstracting.
  • Always use complete sentences, avoid sentence fragmentation.
  • Clarify terms or words that the average reader may be inexperienced with.

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Common Types of Abstracts

Among the most commonly used abstract writing forms are the informative and the inductive abstracts.

The Informative Abstract

This abstract is more on the side of facts and figures; you only write an informative abstract for specific documents like an investigation/experiment papers, thesis or surveys. There are four parts to writing an informative abstract, while you write your abstract make sure that you get these right.

  • The Purpose.
  • The Procedure.
  • The Results.
  • And The Conclusion.

For this share of an informative abstract, your abstract must state the reasons and the primary objectives of your experiment or investigation. You can also add the hypothesis of the research in the purpose segment of your informative abstract.


The next step is the procedure or the methodology section of the informative abstract. Your procedure portion is for unfolding the techniques and systems you used during the research. Only necessary details are highlighted in the procedure section of the abstract. Things that you feel are essential for understanding the experiment at hand. While writing the abstract keep a balance between the things you emphasize on throughout. Don’t focus too much on a single aspect of the experiment.

The Results

This section of an informative abstract is for linking all the observations collected during the experiment and tying all the loose ends. Your result within the informative abstract has to be brief and informative. Here you can only include the most significant outcomes of the research.


As you would do while concluding any paper or text, the conclusion of informative abstract states the evaluation of the experiment’s results, as well as asserting the implications of your findings. You can also choose to reveal whether your chosen hypothesis for the experiment was correct or not in the conclusion section.

The Indicative Abstract

Another favorite abstract that is used quite frequently is the indicative abstract. So how is this indicative abstract different from the other formats?

For documents that don't require too much focus on the structure (As the previous documents like thesis papers, research articles, etc.) you use the indicative abstract form. The sort of text you need to write an indicative abstract for include essays, expositions, books, articles, editorials, dissertations and more. Three parts make up an indicative abstract, and if you can nail them, your abstract will shine.

  1. The Scope.
  2. The Arguments.
  3. And The Conclusion.

Here you need to show the extent of the materials within the original text. For example, writing an indicative abstract for an essay on Shakespeare’s tragedies would state that the tragic heroes (Macbeth, Othello, etc.) And their sad demise makes up the focus of the essay.

The Arguments

In this section of your indicative abstract, you need to state the central arguments and counterarguments made within the original dissertation. You need to keep the same sequence of the arguments as in the paper. But, if your essay or dissertation doesn’t have a progression of cases you can simply summarize the analysis or the plot development in its place.


Concluding an indicative abstract you need to state the composition’s central closing argument and its insinuations by its true author, here you can also state plot resolutions if the original work of the fiction genera.

 Bonus Tips!!!

Writing An Abstract For A Paper You Didn’t Write?

Most of the advice from the above passages were for writing an abstract for a self-written assignment, but what if you have to write an abstract for a document you didn't write? Well, here’s what you need to do.


You need to include the bibliography or the reference list of text before the abstract.


While these numbers will help you have a general idea about the word count of various abstracts, knowing what to add and what to leave out, which part to discuss in detail, the arguments and their presentation all of this you will develop through practice. Here is a set of guidelines that can help you write a better abstract. Because how long of a paper or essay you may have to write an abstract for is not set, the following are general guidelines about how long your abstract should be as a finished product:

  • Keep it in 30 words or less if you are writing an abstract for an editorial.
  • Short notes, approximately 100 words or less.
  • Short papers or articles, between 150-200 words.
  • Average length essays, dissertations, or book chapters, 250 words or less.
  • For lengthy documents like a thesis paper or book, 250+ words.