An abstract is a 150-to-250-word paragraph that gives readers a high-level summary of your essay or report's structure. Carole Slade defines an abstract as "a brief overview of the full work." The purpose of an abstract is to describe the work rather than to analyze or defend it. Thus, an abstract should be concise yet still cover all relevant material.
Abstracts are often included in academic papers to give readers a quick look into the work while still giving them sufficient information to make a judgment about its value. For example, when applying for graduate school, students may be asked to submit their abstractions as part of their application packages. These can be written by either the student or a faculty member who has been asked to review the student's work.
The abstract you write will depend on the nature of the paper you are submitting. For example, if it is a research paper, then your abstraction should provide enough information for others to understand the major concepts and findings of the work. If it is a review article or commentary, then you should focus more on explaining the significance and importance of the topic rather than describing the study itself.
In general, writers tend to make two main errors when writing abstracts: going beyond what is reasonable to include essential information and forgetting to mention important aspects of their work.
An abstract is a brief summary of a lengthy piece of writing (such as a dissertation or research paper). The abstract clearly summarises the goals and findings of your study so that readers understand exactly what the paper is about. It should be no more than 200 words.
An abstract may include both formal and informal elements. For example, it might use bolder language or more visual aids to make its point quickly and easily. The abstract should be concise and clear, however, so that readers don't have trouble following the main argument of the paper.
In academic publishing, an abstract is usually placed at the beginning of a journal article or book chapter. This allows readers to decide whether they want to read further before expending time and effort finding out about the topic. If they are not interested in reading the rest of the document, they can click away without having invested time and energy into the project.
The abstract should catch the reader's attention by being interesting and provocative. It should also provide sufficient information for others to decide if the paper is worth reading in its entirety. If you fail to do this, your readers will simply move on to other papers.
Finally, the abstract should give the reader some indication of where she might find the main body of the paper.
Your research aims and problems Your strategies Your main findings or arguments: these are some examples of information you should include in an abstract.
In academic papers, the abstract often includes the title of the paper, the name(s) of the author(s), an indication of whether the paper is theoretical or not, and an overview of the content. Depending on the nature of your work, an abstract may be quite short - around 150 words - but it should still be clear and concise enough for someone who has never heard of the topic before to understand its significance and take an interest in reading the full paper.
Abstracts play an important role in the publishing process. When submitting your work, you will usually be asked to provide a short abstract (often called "keywords" in other disciplines) which ideally describes the focus of the paper and indicates its relationship to previous work. This allows editors to identify works most likely to be relevant to your study, helping them make decisions about where to place your paper. Abstracts are also used by search engines when scanning through many papers to find those that are most relevant to a given query. Thus, they play an important role in ensuring that our work is discovered by the widest possible audience.