Tips for Writing an Abstract for a Research Paper

A research paper abstract is a concise summary of the critical elements of a research study. It provides an overview of the research question, methodology, findings, and conclusions and is often the first thing readers see when encountering a research paper.

Writing an abstract for a research paper is essential for capturing readers’ attention and conveying the relevance and significance of your research.

In this article, we will provide tips on how to write an abstract in research papers.

What is the purpose of an abstract?

The purpose of an abstract is to provide a brief and accurate summary of the research paper. It is the researcher’s opportunity to convey the essence of the study, its scope, and its conclusions to readers.

The abstract is usually the first thing readers see, and it plays a crucial role in helping readers decide whether to read the entire paper. A well-written abstract can attract readers’ attention and generate interest in the research study.

How long are abstracts?

The length of an abstract varies depending on the requirements of the target journal or conference. However, most research paper abstracts are between 150 and 300 words. It is essential to check your department’s guidelines before writing an abstract. This ensures that the abstract meets your institution’s length and formatting requirements.

Tips for writing an abstract for a research paper

Here are some quick tips for writing a research paper abstract.

  • Start with a brief introduction: begin by introducing the research question or problem you are investigating. Provide some context to help readers understand the significance of your study.
  • Include your methodology: describe the methodology you used to conduct your research. This should include details on the study design, sample size, data collection methods, and analysis techniques.
  • Summarise your findings: provide a summary of the key findings of your research. Be sure to highlight the most important and interesting results.
  • Emphasise the significance of your research: explain the implications of your findings and why they are essential. This is your opportunity to highlight the originality and significance of your research.
  • Use clear and concise language: use simple language to convey your ideas. Do away with unnecessary superlatives or big words that do not effortlessly convey your significant points.
  • Focus on the main points: stick to the main points and avoid getting off-topic. Always add only valuable information to the abstract, as you have limited words to convey the research information.
  • Use active voice: write in the active voice to make your abstract more engaging and easier to read. This helps to make your abstract more concise and direct.

Research paper abstract example

Here is a sample research abstract

Title: The Effects of Social Media on Adolescent Mental Health: A Longitudinal Study


Adolescents’ increasing use of social media has raised concerns about its impact on mental health. This study aims to investigate the relationship between social media use and adolescent mental health over time.


We conducted a longitudinal study of 500 adolescents aged 13 to 18. Participants completed surveys on social media use and mental health at three-time points over one year.


Our findings suggest that social media use is associated with increased levels of depression and anxiety among adolescents over time. However, the relationship between social media use and mental health is complex. It depends on factors such as the amount of time spent on social media and the types of interactions engaged in.


This study highlights the importance of considering the effects of social media on adolescent mental health. Further research is needed to better understand the mechanisms underlying the relationship between social media use and mental health and to develop interventions to mitigate the adverse effects.


Writing research abstracts is an essential part of the research process. A well-written abstract can capture readers’ attention, convey the research’s relevance and significance, and generate interest in the paper. Stick with these tips, and you’ll be good at writing abstracts in no time.

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