Research paper writing is a skill that gets perfected with regular practice. But it is not a good idea for students to wait for the gradual learning to take place on its own. The faster you learn and understand the process of writing a research paper, the better. Many small parts come together to make a complete research paper. One of them, which plays a very important part in the impression created, is a research paper abstract.
In order to write an effective research paper abstract, you need to first understand its purpose and limitations. You should have a clear knowledge of what should go into it and what shouldn’t. You should also know how to present it in such a way that the essence of your research paper is included in it but the details are not given away.
A research paper abstract is a concentrated form of the content of your research paper. It is usually used for research papers which are very long, in order to help the reader get an idea of what the content is. The audience will be taken through the abstract before the detailed report is revealed to them. Hence the first impression the audience form about your research paper will be based on the abstract.
Research paper abstracts are divided into two types – descriptive and informative abstracts. The descriptive abstract will address the topic, brief about the content but will not mention the conclusion. This type of abstract is meant to give the audience or reader an idea of what you are planning to discuss without revealing the conclusion or your research findings. This type of abstract is usually very short as you are not discussing the conclusion or what led to the conclusion. It is usually managed with less than 100 words.
The informative abstract will talk about the topic, the research and the conclusion, briefly. The main points will all be mentioned without leaving anything to be guessed. This helps the audience to decide whether they want to read or hear the detailed research report. An informative abstract does not leave any space for surprises or disappointments. This type of abstracts are longer and is permitted to be around 10% of the length of your research paper.
The abstract is also meant to tell the audience why they should read your report. It should aim at convincing the audience addressed, the relevance of your topic of discussion and a good reason for them to spare time to listen to the detailed report. According to the type of abstract you choose you can plan your abstract but whichever method you choose, remember to keep it as short and as concise as possible.
The research paper abstract is a summary of the entire contents of a research paper and hence, is expected to fulfill the purpose. Take a look at some samples to get an idea of what it should look like. Research paper writing asks for a lot of patience and effort on your part to make each of its components equally good. A good research paper is one that has fit well into the given guidelines and that is perfect in all aspects.