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Developing an Abstract

Abstract is an outline / brief summary of the paper and the whole project. The content mirrors closely the elements that comprise the following:

Has an introduction, body and conclusion – highlights major points of the content and answers;

  • Why this work is important?
  • What was the purpose?
  • How one has gone about the project?
  • What has been learned?
  • What it concludes?

It is a well developed paragraph (about 250 words) and should be exact in wording, understandable to a wide audience.

An abstract should:

  • State the objectives and scope of the investigation or activity
  • Describe the methods used, approaches taken, range of operation
  • Summarize the results of the findings

Develop How?

Introduction - Catching the reader’s interest: emphasis, short, clarity, background objectives of present work. The introduction links to conclusion
Material & Methods - not just for scientific investigations but what inputs were required (resources etc.,) and approaches did you take
Results & Findings - present relevant observations and data gathered in the course of the work, describe the results in a logical and chronological order
Discussion - discuss the results, assess meaning, implications, highlight significance - be certain to get the message over but do not restate the results
Conclusion - summarize what has been done so the reader is left in no doubt as to what you did


1. The point of abstract is not to convey the full details and richness of your study. The point of abstract is to convince someone reading the abstract that the study is worth reading.

2. As an author, remember you are not trying to teach the reader all about the subject matter; you are trying to show the reader what it is he or she would get if they were to read the paper.