Anna Fernández Plazas
Anna Fernández Plazas

How to Write an Abstract Step by Step

  • van Anna Fernández Plazas @anna_fernandez

Quickly learn how to write an abstract that grabs attention and clearly summarizes your research.

© Domestika
© Domestika

By following this guide, you'll be able to write an abstract that effectively communicates the essence of your research, making it easier for others to understand and appreciate your work.


Writing an abstract can feel like one of the trickiest parts of completing a research project. It's a brief summary that distills your entire work into a concise, readable format. This guide will walk you through the steps of crafting an abstract that not only grabs attention but also clearly communicates your research's essence.

What is an Abstract?

An abstract is a succinct summary of a larger work, such as a thesis, dissertation, or research paper. It gives readers a quick overview of your research aims, methods, results, and conclusions. Abstracts are typically 100-300 words long and are used to help readers decide whether to read the full document.

Types of Abstracts

- There are several types of abstracts, including:
- Descriptive Abstracts: These provide a brief overview of the work without detailing the results or conclusions.
- Informative Abstracts: These summarize the main points of the research, including the results and conclusions.
- Structured Abstracts: These follow a specific format, often using subheadings like Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion (IMRaD).

© Domestika
© Domestika

How to Write an Abstract

Writing an abstract involves summarizing the key elements of your research. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you craft a clear and concise abstract:

Step 1: Introduction
Start by clearly defining the purpose of your research. What problem does it address? What question does it aim to answer? Use verbs like "investigate," "analyze," or "evaluate" to describe your objective. For example:

"This study investigates the relationship between coffee consumption and productivity."

Step 2: Methods
Next, describe the methods you used to conduct your research. This should be a straightforward summary of your approach, written in the past simple tense. For example:

"Structured interviews were conducted with 25 participants."

© Domestika
© Domestika

Step 3: Results
Summarize the main findings of your research. Highlight the most important results that will help readers understand your conclusions. This section can be written in the present or past simple tense. For example:

"Our analysis showed a strong correlation between coffee consumption and productivity."

Step 4: Discussion
Finally, discuss the main conclusions of your research. What is the answer to your research question? Mention any important limitations and, if relevant, suggest directions for future research. For example:

"We conclude that coffee consumption increases productivity."


Writing an abstract is about distilling your research into its most essential points. By clearly summarizing your purpose, methods, results, and conclusions, you provide readers with a snapshot of your work that can help them decide whether to dive deeper into your paper. Remember to keep it concise, clear, and structured.

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