Tips for writing an abstract

A good abstract explains the importance of the paper in one sentence. It goes on to give a summary of your significant results, preferably supported by numbers with error limits where applicable. The final sentences explain the significant implications of your work. A good abstract is concise, coherent, and quantitative.

  • Length should be 1-2 paragraphs, approximately 400-500 words.
  • Abstracts do not have citations.
  • Information present on title page should not be repeated.
  • Be explicit.
  • Use numbers where applicable.
  • Answers to these questions should be present in the abstract:
  1. What did you do?
  2. Why did you do it? What question(s) were you trying to answer?
  3. How did you do it? State methods.
  4. What did you learn? State significant results.
  5. Why is it important? Highlight at least one significant implication.


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