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How to Compose an Abstract for a Scientific Paper

Are you preparing for a grant proposal or research paper? If yes, then you ought to understand the art of drafting an abstract. We are going to show you the essentials and means of achieving an excellent abstract.

Abstract Defined

We define an abstract as a summary and provide the purpose, methodologies, findings, and conclusions for a given research project or experiment. A typical example will have a word count of up to 200 words.

Writing an Abstract

While it varies, the abstract’s format relies on the purpose. If the aim is for a class assignment or a particular publication, you will have to follow guidelines. When the format is unspecified, you have the liberty of choosing between the two types mention here.

Informational Abstracts

Such abstracts are essential in conveying lab reports or particular experiments.


It resembles a mini paper in which the length can be a paragraph or up to 2 pages. The project’s scope plays a significant role in determining the length.

  • You should achieve a length that is below 10% of the general report length.
  • Provide summaries of the essential items in the report, including objectives, methodologies, observations/findings, recommendations, and conclusions.
  • Do not include references/bibliography and pictorials like tables, charts, and graphs.
  • Mention any variances or discoveries.

An informational abstract follows the following format, where each part has a maximum of 2 sentences.

  1. The purpose or motivation

State the importance of the research topic and why your readers should develop an interest in the experiment/project and its findings.

  1. Problem

Come up with the experiment’s hypothesis and describe the problem/issue you aim to solve.

  1. Methodology

State the method used to investigate the hypothesis or how you tackled the issue.

  1. Results and findings

Clearly state the outcome of the study. Are you in support of the hypothesis or objecting to it? If you solved a problem, how accurate were the results against your expectations? Use precise numbers to quantify.

  1. Conclusion

What is the impact of your findings? Also, explain whether the results/outcome can solve other problems or can enhance knowledge.

Descriptive abstracts

These abstracts provide brief content descriptions of a report. The objective is to alert the reader to the expectations of the extensive paper.


A descriptive abstract is very brief, not more than 100 words.

It gives a snippet of what is present in the main report.

It gives a summary of the purpose and methodology used in the experiment. It avoids mentioning findings and conclusions. You state the reasons for the research and how you carried it out.

Tips for coming up with an excellent abstract

  1. Come up with the report before drafting your abstract. It is much simpler to summarize a report or paper once you complete it.
  2. Compose your abstract in the third person. Avoid first-person. You can say, “it was established” or “the researchers realized.” Do not use such phrases as “I discovered.”
  3. Stay within the word limit. Avoid long abstracts that are subject to rejection.
  4. Use phrases and keywords a person will likely use in search engines when searching your type of work.
  5. Ensure that the information in your abstract is present in the body section of your report.
  6. Proofread the abstract for any grammatical errors, fluff, punctuation, and other minor errors.


It is important to understand the aspect of writing abstracts. They come in handy when doing experiments or research.

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