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How to write and format an APA Abstract (6th edition)
Published on November 6, 2020 by Courtney Gahan .
An APA abstract is a summary of your paper in 150–250 words. It describes the research problem , methods , results and conclusions of your research. For published papers, it also includes a list of keywords.
Write the abstract after you have finished your paper, and place it on a separate page after the title page .
The formatting of the abstract page is the same as the rest of an APA style paper : double-spaced, Times New Roman 12pt font, one-inch margins, and a running head at the top of the page.
Table of contents
Apa format abstract example, how to write an apa abstract, apa abstract keywords.
SCRIBBR APA ABSTRACT EXAMPLE RUNNING HEAD 1
What is the problem? Outline the objective, problem statement, research questions and hypotheses. What has been done? Explain your method. What did you discover? Summarize the key findings and conclusions. What do the findings mean? Summarize the discussion and recommendations. What is the problem? Outline the objective, problem statement, research questions and hypotheses. What has been done? Explain your method. What did you discover? Summarize the key findings and conclusions. What do the findings mean? Summarize the discussion and recommendations. What is the problem? Outline the objective, problem statement, research questions and hypotheses. What has been done? Explain your method. What did you discover? Summarize the key findings and conclusions. What do the findings mean? Summarize the discussion and recommendations. What is the problem? Outline the objective, problem statement, research questions and hypotheses. What has been done? Explain your method. What did you discover? Summarize the key findings and conclusions. What do the findings mean? Summarize the discussion and recommendations. What is the problem? Outline the objective, problem statement, research questions and hypotheses. What has been done? Explain your method. What did you discover? Summarize the key findings and conclusions. What do the findings mean? Summarize the discussion and recommendations.
Keywords : example keyword, example keyword, example keyword
An APA abstract must be formatted as follows:
- Include the running head aligned to the left at the top of the page
- On the first line, write the heading “Abstract” (centered and without any formatting)
- Do not indent any part of the text
- Double space the text
- Use Times New Roman font in 12 pt
- Set one-inch (or 2.54 cm) margins
- If you include a “keywords” section at the end of the abstract, indent the first line and italicize the word “Keywords” while leaving the keywords themselves without any formatting
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Simply answer the following questions and put them together, then voila! You have an abstract for your paper.
- What is the problem? Outline the objective , research questions and/or hypotheses .
- What has been done? Explain your research methods .
- What did you discover? Summarize the key findings and conclusions .
- What do the findings mean? Summarize the discussion and recommendations .
If you need more guidance writing your abstract, read our detailed instructions on what to include and see an abstract example.
How to write an abstract
At the end of the abstract, you can also include a short list of keywords that will be used for indexing if your paper is published on a database. Listing your keywords will help other researchers find your work.
Make sure that your keywords:
- Accurately represent the content
- Are specific to your field
APA abstract keywords example
Here is an example of an APA format paper published as a chapter in a book, where the author has included a set of keywords. The author has chosen the terms listed in the title as keywords as well as several other related keywords that feature in their research.
Book chapter title: Nonparalytic Polio and Post-Polio Syndrome
From: Post-Polio Syndrome: A Guide for Polio Survivors and Their Families (pp. 21-26), Julie K. Silver, Yale University Press (2001)
Keywords: Polio, Paralysis, Symptoms, Postpoliomyelitis syndrome, Medical diagnosis, Legs, Physicians, Strokes, Misdiagnosis
Cite this Scribbr article
If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.
Gahan, C. (2020, November 06). How to write and format an APA Abstract (6th edition). Scribbr. Retrieved November 28, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/apa-style/6th-edition/archived-abstract/
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Writing an Abstract for Your Research Paper
Definition and Purpose of Abstracts
An abstract is a short summary of your (published or unpublished) research paper, usually about a paragraph (c. 6-7 sentences, 150-250 words) long. A well-written abstract serves multiple purposes:
- an abstract lets readers get the gist or essence of your paper or article quickly, in order to decide whether to read the full paper;
- an abstract prepares readers to follow the detailed information, analyses, and arguments in your full paper;
- and, later, an abstract helps readers remember key points from your paper.
It’s also worth remembering that search engines and bibliographic databases use abstracts, as well as the title, to identify key terms for indexing your published paper. So what you include in your abstract and in your title are crucial for helping other researchers find your paper or article.
If you are writing an abstract for a course paper, your professor may give you specific guidelines for what to include and how to organize your abstract. Similarly, academic journals often have specific requirements for abstracts. So in addition to following the advice on this page, you should be sure to look for and follow any guidelines from the course or journal you’re writing for.
The Contents of an Abstract
Abstracts contain most of the following kinds of information in brief form. The body of your paper will, of course, develop and explain these ideas much more fully. As you will see in the samples below, the proportion of your abstract that you devote to each kind of information—and the sequence of that information—will vary, depending on the nature and genre of the paper that you are summarizing in your abstract. And in some cases, some of this information is implied, rather than stated explicitly. The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association , which is widely used in the social sciences, gives specific guidelines for what to include in the abstract for different kinds of papers—for empirical studies, literature reviews or meta-analyses, theoretical papers, methodological papers, and case studies.
Here are the typical kinds of information found in most abstracts:
- the context or background information for your research; the general topic under study; the specific topic of your research
- the central questions or statement of the problem your research addresses
- what’s already known about this question, what previous research has done or shown
- the main reason(s) , the exigency, the rationale , the goals for your research—Why is it important to address these questions? Are you, for example, examining a new topic? Why is that topic worth examining? Are you filling a gap in previous research? Applying new methods to take a fresh look at existing ideas or data? Resolving a dispute within the literature in your field? . . .
- your research and/or analytical methods
- your main findings , results , or arguments
- the significance or implications of your findings or arguments.
Your abstract should be intelligible on its own, without a reader’s having to read your entire paper. And in an abstract, you usually do not cite references—most of your abstract will describe what you have studied in your research and what you have found and what you argue in your paper. In the body of your paper, you will cite the specific literature that informs your research.
When to Write Your Abstract
Although you might be tempted to write your abstract first because it will appear as the very first part of your paper, it’s a good idea to wait to write your abstract until after you’ve drafted your full paper, so that you know what you’re summarizing.
What follows are some sample abstracts in published papers or articles, all written by faculty at UW-Madison who come from a variety of disciplines. We have annotated these samples to help you see the work that these authors are doing within their abstracts.
Choosing Verb Tenses within Your Abstract
The social science sample (Sample 1) below uses the present tense to describe general facts and interpretations that have been and are currently true, including the prevailing explanation for the social phenomenon under study. That abstract also uses the present tense to describe the methods, the findings, the arguments, and the implications of the findings from their new research study. The authors use the past tense to describe previous research.
The humanities sample (Sample 2) below uses the past tense to describe completed events in the past (the texts created in the pulp fiction industry in the 1970s and 80s) and uses the present tense to describe what is happening in those texts, to explain the significance or meaning of those texts, and to describe the arguments presented in the article.
The science samples (Samples 3 and 4) below use the past tense to describe what previous research studies have done and the research the authors have conducted, the methods they have followed, and what they have found. In their rationale or justification for their research (what remains to be done), they use the present tense. They also use the present tense to introduce their study (in Sample 3, “Here we report . . .”) and to explain the significance of their study (In Sample 3, This reprogramming . . . “provides a scalable cell source for. . .”).
Sample Abstract 1
From the social sciences.
Reporting new findings about the reasons for increasing economic homogamy among spouses
Gonalons-Pons, Pilar, and Christine R. Schwartz. “Trends in Economic Homogamy: Changes in Assortative Mating or the Division of Labor in Marriage?” Demography , vol. 54, no. 3, 2017, pp. 985-1005.
Sample Abstract 2
From the humanities.
Analyzing underground pulp fiction publications in Tanzania, this article makes an argument about the cultural significance of those publications
Emily Callaci. “Street Textuality: Socialism, Masculinity, and Urban Belonging in Tanzania’s Pulp Fiction Publishing Industry, 1975-1985.” Comparative Studies in Society and History , vol. 59, no. 1, 2017, pp. 183-210.
Sample Abstract/Summary 3
From the sciences.
Reporting a new method for reprogramming adult mouse fibroblasts into induced cardiac progenitor cells
Lalit, Pratik A., Max R. Salick, Daryl O. Nelson, Jayne M. Squirrell, Christina M. Shafer, Neel G. Patel, Imaan Saeed, Eric G. Schmuck, Yogananda S. Markandeya, Rachel Wong, Martin R. Lea, Kevin W. Eliceiri, Timothy A. Hacker, Wendy C. Crone, Michael Kyba, Daniel J. Garry, Ron Stewart, James A. Thomson, Karen M. Downs, Gary E. Lyons, and Timothy J. Kamp. “Lineage Reprogramming of Fibroblasts into Proliferative Induced Cardiac Progenitor Cells by Defined Factors.” Cell Stem Cell , vol. 18, 2016, pp. 354-367.
Sample Abstract 4, a Structured Abstract
Reporting results about the effectiveness of antibiotic therapy in managing acute bacterial sinusitis, from a rigorously controlled study
Note: This journal requires authors to organize their abstract into four specific sections, with strict word limits. Because the headings for this structured abstract are self-explanatory, we have chosen not to add annotations to this sample abstract.
Wald, Ellen R., David Nash, and Jens Eickhoff. “Effectiveness of Amoxicillin/Clavulanate Potassium in the Treatment of Acute Bacterial Sinusitis in Children.” Pediatrics , vol. 124, no. 1, 2009, pp. 9-15.
“OBJECTIVE: The role of antibiotic therapy in managing acute bacterial sinusitis (ABS) in children is controversial. The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of high-dose amoxicillin/potassium clavulanate in the treatment of children diagnosed with ABS.
METHODS : This was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Children 1 to 10 years of age with a clinical presentation compatible with ABS were eligible for participation. Patients were stratified according to age (<6 or ≥6 years) and clinical severity and randomly assigned to receive either amoxicillin (90 mg/kg) with potassium clavulanate (6.4 mg/kg) or placebo. A symptom survey was performed on days 0, 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 10, 20, and 30. Patients were examined on day 14. Children’s conditions were rated as cured, improved, or failed according to scoring rules.
RESULTS: Two thousand one hundred thirty-five children with respiratory complaints were screened for enrollment; 139 (6.5%) had ABS. Fifty-eight patients were enrolled, and 56 were randomly assigned. The mean age was 6630 months. Fifty (89%) patients presented with persistent symptoms, and 6 (11%) presented with nonpersistent symptoms. In 24 (43%) children, the illness was classified as mild, whereas in the remaining 32 (57%) children it was severe. Of the 28 children who received the antibiotic, 14 (50%) were cured, 4 (14%) were improved, 4(14%) experienced treatment failure, and 6 (21%) withdrew. Of the 28children who received placebo, 4 (14%) were cured, 5 (18%) improved, and 19 (68%) experienced treatment failure. Children receiving the antibiotic were more likely to be cured (50% vs 14%) and less likely to have treatment failure (14% vs 68%) than children receiving the placebo.
CONCLUSIONS : ABS is a common complication of viral upper respiratory infections. Amoxicillin/potassium clavulanate results in significantly more cures and fewer failures than placebo, according to parental report of time to resolution.” (9)
Some Excellent Advice about Writing Abstracts for Basic Science Research Papers, by Professor Adriano Aguzzi from the Institute of Neuropathology at the University of Zurich:
Academic and Professional Writing
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APA Citations (7th ed.)
- General Formatting
- Professional Paper Elements - Title Page
- Student Paper Elements - Title Page
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- In-text Citation Author Rules
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- Personal Communications
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Need more examples of abstracts?
Check out the APA 7th Ed. Manual! It has multiple sample papers, including abstract examples!
Examples start on p. 50 of the manual (available in the reference section, second floor of the library).
Information on the various types of abstracts for different paper styles begins on p. 74.
Often, abstracts are included in professional papers to provide a short summary of a larger work. Abstracts allow the reader to quickly decide if they want to read the larger work.
For some student papers, you may be asked by your instructor to include an abstract. The page will cover how to format an abstract, the qualities of a good abstract, and an example abstract.
Again, please check with your instructor to know if you need to include an abstract with your paper or research project .
Qualities of a Good Abstract
A good abstract is:
- Accurate : Ensure that the abstract reflects the purpose and content of the paper. If the study extends or replicates previous research, cite the relevant work with an author-date citation.
- Nonevaluative : Report rather than evaluate; do not add to or comment on what is in the body of the paper.
- Coherent and readable : Write in clear and deliberate language. Use active rather than passive voice. Use present tense ro describe conclusions or results. Use past tense to describe variables that were manipulated or outcomes measured.
- Concise : Be brief and begin the abstract with the most important points. Include only the four or five most important concepts, findings, or implications.
Formatting for Abstracts
Follow these rules for correct formatting of your abstract:
- Abstracts should appear on their own page after the title page (i.e., page 2)
- Write the second label "Abstract" in bold title case, centered at the top of the page, and place the abstract below the label
- Abstracts are typically limited to no more than 250 words
- Abstracts may appear in paragraph or structured format. Both are written as a single paragraph without indentation. If you are using structured format, labels are inserted to identify various sections (e.g., Objective, Method, Results, Conclusions).
- Include keywords one line below the abstract if requested. Write the label " Keywords:" (in italics), indented 0.5 in. like a regular paragraph, followed by the keywords in lowercase (capitalize proper nouns), separated by commas. Second line (if needed) is not indented.
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How to Write an APA Abstract
Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."
Emily is a board-certified science editor who has worked with top digital publishing brands like Voices for Biodiversity, Study.com, GoodTherapy, Vox, and Verywell.
Verywell / Nusha Ashjaee
- Writing Your Abstract
- How to Use Keywords
An APA abstract is a concise but comprehensive summary of a scientific paper. It is typically a paragraph long, or about 150 to 250 words. The goal of the abstract is to provide the reader with a brief and accurate idea of what a paper is about.
The APA abstract should appear on a separate page immediately after the title page and before the main content of your paper. While professional papers that appear in scientific journals and other publications require an APA abstract, they may not be required for student papers. However, you should always check with your instructor for specific requirements.
What Is APA Format?
APA format is the official style of the American Psychological Association. It is used in writing for psychology and other social sciences. These style guidelines specify different aspects of a document's presentation and layout, including how pages are structured, how references are organized, and how sources are cited.
This article explains how to create an abstract in APA format for your psychology papers or other types of scientific writing. It covers the basic rules you should follow as well as specific guidelines for writing abstracts for experimental reports, literature reviews, and other articles.
What Is an Abstract in APA Format?
In addition to providing guidance for the general style and organization of a paper, APA format also stipulates using an abstract designed to briefly summarize the key details in a paper.
While it is sometimes overlooked or only an afterthought, an abstract is an integral part of any academic or professional paper. The abstract is a critical component of an APA-formatted paper. This brief overview summarizes what your paper contains. It should succinctly and accurately represent what your paper is about and what the reader can expect to find.
Following a few simple guidelines, you can create an abstract following the format. Done well, an abstract generates interest in your work and helps readers learn if the paper will interest them.
APA Format Abstract Basics
The abstract is the second page of a lab report or APA-format paper and should immediately follow the title page . Think of an abstract as a highly condensed summary of your entire paper.
The purpose of your abstract is to provide a brief yet thorough overview of your paper. It should function much like your title page—it should allow the person reading it to quickly determine what your paper is all about. Your abstract is the first thing that most people will read, and it is usually what informs their decision to read the rest of your paper.
The abstract is the single most important paragraph in your entire paper, according to the APA Publication Manual. A good abstract lets the reader know that your paper is worth reading.
According to the official guidelines of the American Psychological Association, an abstract should be brief but packed with information. Each sentence must be written with maximum impact in mind. To keep your abstract short, focus on including just four or five of the essential points, concepts, or findings.
An abstract must also be objective and accurate. The abstract's purpose is to report rather than provide commentary. It should accurately reflect what your paper is about. Only include information that is also included in the body of your paper.
Key Elements of an APA Abstract
Your abstract page should include:
- A running head , which is a shortened version of your title that appears in all caps at the top left of each page of your paper
- A section label , which should be the word "Abstract" centered and bolded at the top of the page
- A page number , which should be the second page of your paper (the title page should be page 1)
- A double-spaced paragraph of about 150 to 250 words
- An indented list of keywords related to your paper's content. Include the label "Keywords:" in italics and list three to five keywords that are separated by commas
How to Write an Abstract in APA Format
Before you write your abstract, you first need to write your paper in its entirety. In order to write a good abstract, you need to have a finished draft of your paper so you can summarize it accurately.
While the abstract will be at the beginning of your paper, it should be the last section you write.
Once you have completed the final draft of your psychology paper , use it as a guide for writing your abstract.
- Begin your abstract on a new page . Place your running head and page number 2 in the top right-hand corner. Center the word "Abstract" at the top of the page.
- Know your target word count . An abstract should be between 150 and 250 words. Exact word counts vary from journal to journal . If you are writing your paper for a psychology course, your professor may have specific word requirements, so be sure to ask. The abstract should be written as only one paragraph with no indentation.
- Structure the abstract in the same order as your paper . Begin with a brief summary of the introduction , and then continue on with a summary of the method , results , and discussion sections of your paper.
- Look at other abstracts in professional journals for examples of how to summarize your paper . Notice the main points that the authors chose to mention in the abstract. Use these examples as a guide when choosing the main ideas in your own paper.
- Write a rough draft of your abstract . Use the format required for your type of paper (see next sections). While you should aim for brevity, be careful not to make your summary too short. Try to write one to two sentences summarizing each section of your paper. Once you have a rough draft, you can edit for length and clarity.
- Ask a friend to read over the abstract . Sometimes, having someone look at your abstract with fresh eyes can provide perspective and help you spot possible typos and other errors.
The abstract is vital to your paper, so it should not be overlooked or treated as an afterthought. Spend time writing this section carefully to ensure maximum readability and clarity.
It is important to remember that while the abstract is the last thing you write, it is often the most read part of your paper.
Experimental Report Abstracts
The format of your abstract also depends on the type of paper you are writing. For example, an abstract summarizing an experimental paper will differ from that of a meta-analysis or case study . For an experimental report, your abstract should:
- Identify the problem . In many cases, you should begin by stating the question you sought to investigate and your hypothesis .
- Describe the participants in the study . State how many participants took part and how they were selected. For example: "In this study, 215 undergraduate student participants were randomly assigned to [the experimental condition] or [the control condition]."
- Describe the study method . For example, identify whether you used a within-subjects, between-subjects, or mixed design.
- Give the basic findings . This is essentially a brief preview of the results of your paper.
- Provide any conclusions or implications of the study . What might your results indicate, and what directions does it point to for future research?
Literature Review Abstracts
If your paper is a meta-analysis or literature review, your abstract should:
- Describe the problem of interest . In other words, what is it that you set out to investigate in your analysis or review?
- Explain the criteria used to select the studies included in the paper . There may be many different studies devoted to your topic. Your analysis or review probably only looks at a portion of these studies. For what reason did you select these specific studies to include in your research?
- Identify the participants in the studies . Inform the reader about who the participants were in the studies. Were they college students? Older adults? How were they selected and assigned?
- Provide the main results . Again, this is essentially a quick peek at what readers will find when they read your results section. Don't try to include everything. Just provide a very brief summary of your main findings.
- Describe any conclusions or implications . What might these results mean and what do they reveal about the body of research that exists on this particular topic?
Lab Reports and Articles
Psychology papers such as lab reports and APA format articles also often require an abstract. In these cases as well, the abstract should include all of the major elements of your paper, including an introduction, hypothesis, methods, results, and discussion.
Remember, although the abstract should be placed at the beginning of your paper (right after the title page), you will write the abstract last after you have completed a final draft of your paper.
To ensure that all of your APA formatting is correct, consider consulting a copy of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association .
Keywords in an APA Abstract
After the paragraph containing the main elements of your abstract, you can also include keywords related to your paper. Such keywords are used when indexing your paper in databases and can help researchers and students locate your paper when searching for information about those topics.
Because keywords help people find your paper, it is essential to choose the right ones. The APA suggests including between three and five keywords.
You can identify keywords by thinking about what your paper is about. For example, if your paper focuses on how social media use is related to depression in teenagers, you might include the keywords: social media, mood, depression, adolescents, social networking sites
A Word From Verywell
The abstract may be very brief, but it is so important that the official APA style manual identifies it as the most important paragraph in your entire paper. Careful attention to detail can ensure that your abstract does a good job representing the contents of your paper. If possible, take your paper to your school's writing lab for assistance.
Nagda S. How to write a scientific abstract. J Indian Prosthodont Soc. 2013;13(3):382–383. doi:10.1007/s13191-013-0299-x
Kumar A. Writing an abstract: Revealing the essence with eloquence . J Indian Soc Periodontol . 2022;26(1):1-2. doi:10.4103/jisp.jisp_634_21
American Psychological Association. APA Style Journal Article Reporting Standards: Reporting Standards for Studies With an Experimental Manipulation .
American Psychological Association. APA Style Journal Article Reporting Standards: Quantitative Meta-Analysis Article Reporting Standards .
Tullu MS. Writing the title and abstract for a research paper: Being concise, precise, and meticulous is the key . Saudi J Anaesth . 2019;13(Suppl 1):S12-S17. doi:10.4103/sja.SJA_685_18
American Psychological Association. Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.). American Psychological Association; 2019.
By Kendra Cherry, MSEd Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."
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The abstract page is the second page of your APA paper. This abstract page is a summary of the major ideas contained in your research paper, readers often base on this to decide whether to read the whole paper. In writing the abstract, use no more than 120 words.
Sample Abstract Page:
Sample APA Format Abstract Page
APA Sample Paper:
For a full APA sample paper, please visit this page: https://academictips.org/mla-format/sample-apa-paper/
– Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th Edition. – Writing the Research Paper, 7th Edition.
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How to write an APA abstract
An APA abstract is a short summary designed to help a reader decide if they are going to read the entire paper. An effective abstract will communicate your hypothesis, method, and results while also creating credibility for yourself as the author. An abstract will also make it easier for new readers to find your work.
In this guide, you will learn how to format an APA abstract. It begins with an overview of the key aspects included with an abstract and ends with a set of real APA abstract examples that you can look at.
The information in this guide comes straight from the source: The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7 th edition. Most of the relevant information comes from Section 2.9.
Here’s a run-through of everything this page includes:
What is an APA abstract page?
How to format an apa abstract, paragraph format vs. structured format, adding a keywords section after your apa abstract, about apa formatting and the apa style guide.
While the abstract page plays an important role in getting the reader interested, it is not a sales pitch. It’s about reporting, not commenting. That means that it should accurately reflect each key aspect of your paper. In other words, it is a concise, comprehensive summary of your paper.
This is where you describe the problem you were exploring, the methods you used to explore it, and the results or conclusions of your exploration. In some cases, you might also be required to state the significance of your conclusions.
Here are some of the key aspects of an APA abstract that might be requested by the publication:
- Basic problem : Why did this work need to be done?
- Clearly-stated hypotheses: What was your hypothesis?
- Methods of investigation: How did you do your research? How did you design your experiment or argument? For scientific papers, include basic sample information.
- Results: What was the result of your study?
- Implications: What is the significance of your findings?
Remember, the specific sections or labels in your abstract might vary based on who you are submitting to.
Qualities of a good abstract
In addition to the formatting requirements, the Publication Manual also provides some guidance on what other qualities make for a good abstract.
Here are the qualities of a good abstract as defined by APA. You can find more information on how to formulate a great abstract in chapter 3.
- Accurate: The most important thing is that your abstract accurately reflects the contents and purpose of your paper. The general rule of thumb for accuracy is, if it doesn’t appear in your paper, it should not appear in the abstract.
- Non-evaluative: The APA instructs us to “Report rather than evaluate” (p.73). It is inappropriate to add any opinions or comments to the abstract.
- Coherent and readable: Your abstract needs to be as clear as possible. Use concise, deliberate language. It helps to use verbs instead of nouns when possible (e.g., “investigated” rather than “an investigation of”).
- Concise: Make sure every sentence is as informative as possible. There should be no “extra” words in an abstract; it’s all about getting the point across as efficiently as possible. Because abstracts are often used for academic search engines, it is good practice to use specific terms that you think people would use to find your paper.
In large part, the abstract page is formatted just like any APA paper. That means that it should be 12pt font and double-spaced the whole way through.
A properly formatted abstract will also be:
- No more than 250 words in length.
- Placed on its own page, immediately following the APA title page .
- Labeled with a bold, center-justified “Abstract” at the top
It is important to note that some publications will have their own instructions on how to format the abstract. In addition, some publications require a statement of significance in addition to the abstract.
If you are submitting your paper to a journal, be sure to check the publication’s author instructions.
The abstract page of an APA paper can be presented in two ways. As the author, you have the option of presenting your abstract in either paragraph format or structured format .
Paragraph format is more common with student papers. This is a single paragraph with no indentation on the first line. The objective, method, results, and conclusions are presented one after another in a simple, narrative manner.
Structured format is similar in formatting with one key difference. This format calls for the insertion of specific labels to identify the different parts of the abstract. In other words, “Objective,” “Method,” “Results,” and “Conclusions” are presented as labels before their corresponding sentences in the abstract.
It’s important to remember that some publications have different labeling requirements. If you’re submitting your paper to a journal, be sure to check the formatting standards.
APA abstract example: Paragraph format
Let’s move on to a specific example of a properly formatted APA abstract written in paragraph format.
The following abstract is from the paper “Movement, wildness, and animal aesthetics” by Tom Greaves. Note how the first line is not indented like a normal paragraph.
The key role that animals play in our aesthetic appreciation of the natural world has only gradually been highlighted in discussions in environmental aesthetics. In this article I make use of the phenomenological notion of ‘perceptual sense’ as developed by Merleau-Ponty to argue that open-ended expressive-responsive movement is the primary aesthetic ground for our appreciation of animals. It is through their movement that the array of qualities we admire in animals are manifest qua animal qualities. Against functionalist and formalist accounts, I defend and develop an account of expressive-responsive movement as the primary perceptual sense of animals. I go on to suggest that the primacy of movement in the aesthetic appreciation of animals is also the primary sense of animal ‘wildness’, and that a key part of the rewilding paradigm should be the development of such appreciation.
In the paragraph above, Greaves uses his first sentence to explain the basic problem, and the next two sentences to describe the method. The fourth sentence presents the results, and the fifth sentence wraps things up with a conclusion.
It’s only five sentences, and it tells the reader everything they need to know about the contents of the paper.
APA abstract example: Structured format
Next up is an example of a properly formatted APA abstract written in structured format. This example uses the same abstract as above, with the addition of identifying labels.
Structured abstracts are only necessary when specifically requested by the class, institution, or journal you are submitting to. For all APA journals, these labels are bold, italicized, and capitalized.
Objective. The key role that animals play in our aesthetic appreciation of the natural world has only gradually been highlighted in discussions in environmental aesthetics. Method. In this article I make use of the phenomenological notion of ‘perceptual sense’ as developed by Merleau-Ponty to argue that open-ended expressive-responsive movement is the primary aesthetic ground for our appreciation of animals. It is through their movement that the array of qualities we admire in animals are manifest qua animal qualities. Results. Against functionalist and formalist accounts, I defend and develop an account of expressive-responsive movement as the primary perceptual sense of animals. Conclusions. I go on to suggest that the primacy of movement in the aesthetic appreciation of animals is also the primary sense of animal ‘wildness’, and that a key part of the rewilding paradigm should be the development of such appreciation.
A paper’s keywords section is intended to help people find your work. These are the acronyms, phrases, or words that describe the most important elements of your paper. Any papers submitted to an APA journal should include three to five keywords.
The keywords section is generally only required for professional papers. However, some professors and universities specifically request that it be included in student papers.
Formatting the keywords section
The keywords are presented on the same page as the abstract, one line below the end of the abstract paragraph. It begins with the label “Keywords:”, and it is italicized and indented 0.5in from the margin.
Next comes a list of the keywords separated by commas. The keywords should be lowercase, unless the keyword is a proper noun. There is no punctuation at the end of a keyword list.
APA abstract with keywords example
Take another look at the abstract example that was provided above. Here is what a set of keywords might look like for that paper, pulling between 3-5 specific terms from the abstract itself.
The keywords are placed one line below the abstract without any additional spaces.
Keywords: animals, animal aesthetics, wildness, rewilding
The information in this guide came from the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7 th ed.). Chapter 2 of this book lays out the basic formatting elements for APA 7, including how to write an APA abstract.
You can also consult chapter 3.3 for more in-depth recommendations on how to formulate your abstract based on what type of paper you are writing.
Published October 27, 2020.
APA Formatting Guide
- Annotated Bibliography
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- Page Numbers
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- Reference Page
- Sample Paper
- APA 7 Updates
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APA Citation Examples
Other Citation Styles
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- APA Resources
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APA (American Psychological Association) style is most commonly used to cite sources within the social sciences. This resource, revised according to the 6th edition, second printing of the APA manual, offers examples for the general format of APA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the reference page. For more information, please consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, (6th ed., 2nd printing).
There are five distinct level headings for research papers.
1. Centered, Boldface, Uppercase and Lowercase Heading
2. Flush left, Boldface, Upper and Lowercase Heading
3. Indented, boldface, lowercase paragraph heading ending with a period.
4. Indented, boldface, italicized, lowercase paragraph heading ending with a period.
5. Indented, italicized, lowercase paragraph heading with a period.
Refer to Table 3.1. p. 62. Publican manual of the American Psychological Association. (2016). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Preparing Research Paper for Submission
Typeface: Times New Roman
Font size: 12 point
Line Spacing: Double-space
Margins: 1 inch at the top, bottom, left, and right of the page
Line length and alignment: Do not adjust lines
Paragraphs and indentations: Every first line of a paragraph and first line in footnotes, if footnotes are included should be a five to seven space or 1/2 inch (tab). Remaining the lines should be uninformed to the left-hand margin. - Exceptions to indentation rule:
- block quotations
- titles and headings
- table titles and notes
- figure captions
Journal Article Reporting Standards
Order of research document , title and title page.
- Running head (an abbreviation of the title, no more than 50 characters including letters, punctuation, and spaces)
- Institution affiliation
- Page number
Table of Contents (separate page numbered 2)
Abstract (separate page numbered 3) .
- A single paragraph 120 to 250 words
- No indentation
- Double spaced
- Keywords (information that you want your audience to know, ex. type of research method you used, where the research was conducted, or any information you that will be referenced frequently)
Introduction (separate page numbered 3)
Method , results , analysis/ discussion , conclusion , references (separate page) .
- Tables (Each on a separate page with captions)
- Figures (separate page)
- Appendices (separate page for each)
**Note, not all professors require all of the pieces of a research paper that is listed here. Requirements set forth by your professor will always supersede instructions provided in these general guidelines.
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How to Write an Abstract APA Format
Saul Mcleod, PhD
BSc (Hons) Psychology, MRes, PhD, University of Manchester
Saul Mcleod, Ph.D., is a qualified psychology teacher with over 18 years experience of working in further and higher education. He has been published in peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Clinical Psychology.
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An APA abstract is a brief, comprehensive summary of the contents of an article, research paper, dissertation, or report.
It is written in accordance with the guidelines of the American Psychological Association (APA), which is a widely used format in social and behavioral sciences.
An APA abstract summarizes, usually in one paragraph of between 150–250 words, the major aspects of a research paper or dissertation in a prescribed sequence that includes:
- The rationale: the overall purpose of the study, providing a clear context for the research undertaken.
- Information regarding the method and participants: including materials/instruments, design, procedure, and data analysis.
- Main findings or trends: effectively highlighting the key outcomes of the hypotheses.
- Interpretations and conclusion(s): solidify the implications of the research.
- Keywords related to the study: assist the paper’s discoverability in academic databases.
The abstract should stand alone, be “self-contained,” and make sense to the reader in isolation from the main article.
The purpose of the abstract is to give the reader a quick overview of the essential information before reading the entire article. The abstract is placed on its own page, directly after the title page and before the main body of the paper.
Although the abstract will appear as the very first part of your paper, it’s good practice to write your abstract after you’ve drafted your full paper, so that you know what you’re summarizing.
Note : This page reflects the latest version of the APA Publication Manual (i.e., APA 7), released in October 2019.
Structure of the Abstract
[NOTE: DO NOT separate the components of the abstract – it should be written as a single paragraph. This section is separated to illustrate the abstract’s structure.]
1) The Rationale
One or two sentences describing the overall purpose of the study and the research problem(s) you investigated. You are basically justifying why this study was conducted.
- What is the importance of the research?
- Why would a reader be interested in the larger work?
- For example, are you filling a gap in previous research or applying new methods to take a fresh look at existing ideas or data?
- Women who are diagnosed with breast cancer can experience an array of psychosocial difficulties; however, social support, particularly from a spouse, has been shown to have a protective function during this time. This study examined the ways in which a woman’s daily mood, pain, and fatigue, and her spouse’s marital satisfaction predict the woman’s report of partner support in the context of breast cancer.
- The current nursing shortage, high hospital nurse job dissatisfaction, and reports of uneven quality of hospital care are not uniquely American phenomena.
- Students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are more likely to exhibit behavioral difficulties than their typically developing peers. The aim of this study was to identify specific risk factors that influence variability in behavior difficulties among individuals with SEND.
2) The Method
Information regarding the participants (number, and population). One or two sentences outlining the method, explaining what was done and how. The method is described in the present tense.
- Pretest data from a larger intervention study and multilevel modeling were used to examine the effects of women’s daily mood, pain, and fatigue and average levels of mood, pain, and fatigue on women’s report of social support received from her partner, as well as how the effects of mood interacted with partners’ marital satisfaction.
- This paper presents reports from 43,000 nurses from more than 700 hospitals in the United States, Canada, England, Scotland, and Germany in 1998–1999.
- The study sample comprised 4,228 students with SEND, aged 5–15, drawn from 305 primary and secondary schools across England. Explanatory variables were measured at the individual and school levels at baseline, along with a teacher-reported measure of behavior difficulties (assessed at baseline and the 18-month follow-up).
3) The Results
One or two sentences indicating the main findings or trends found as a result of your analysis. The results are described in the present or past tense.
- Results show that on days in which women reported higher levels of negative or positive mood, as well as on days they reported more pain and fatigue, they reported receiving more support. Women who, on average, reported higher levels of positive mood tended to report receiving more support than those who, on average, reported lower positive mood. However, average levels of negative mood were not associated with support. Higher average levels of fatigue but not pain were associated with higher support. Finally, women whose husbands reported higher levels of marital satisfaction reported receiving more partner support, but husbands’ marital satisfaction did not moderate the effect of women’s mood on support.
- Nurses in countries with distinctly different healthcare systems report similar shortcomings in their work environments and the quality of hospital care. While the competence of and relation between nurses and physicians appear satisfactory, core problems in work design and workforce management threaten the provision of care.
- Hierarchical linear modeling of data revealed that differences between schools accounted for between 13% (secondary) and 15.4% (primary) of the total variance in the development of students’ behavior difficulties, with the remainder attributable to individual differences. Statistically significant risk markers for these problems across both phases of education were being male, eligibility for free school meals, being identified as a bully, and lower academic achievement. Additional risk markers specific to each phase of education at the individual and school levels are also acknowledged.
4) The Conclusion / Implications
A brief summary of your conclusions and implications of the results, described in the present tense. Explain the results and why the study is important to the reader.
- For example, what changes should be implemented as a result of the findings of the work?
- How does this work add to the body of knowledge on the topic?
Implications of these findings are discussed relative to assisting couples during this difficult time in their lives.
- Resolving these issues, which are amenable to managerial intervention, is essential to preserving patient safety and care of consistently high quality.
- Behavior difficulties are affected by risks across multiple ecological levels. Addressing any one of these potential influences is therefore likely to contribute to the reduction in the problems displayed.
The above examples of abstracts are from the following papers:
Aiken, L. H., Clarke, S. P., Sloane, D. M., Sochalski, J. A., Busse, R., Clarke, H., … & Shamian, J. (2001). Nurses’ reports on hospital care in five countries . Health affairs, 20(3) , 43-53.
Boeding, S. E., Pukay-Martin, N. D., Baucom, D. H., Porter, L. S., Kirby, J. S., Gremore, T. M., & Keefe, F. J. (2014). Couples and breast cancer: Women’s mood and partners’ marital satisfaction predicting support perception . Journal of Family Psychology, 28(5) , 675.
Oldfield, J., Humphrey, N., & Hebron, J. (2017). Risk factors in the development of behavior difficulties among students with special educational needs and disabilities: A multilevel analysis . British journal of educational psychology, 87(2) , 146-169.
APA style suggests including a list of keywords at the end of the abstract. This is particularly common in academic articles and helps other researchers find your work in databases.
Keywords in an abstract should be selected to help other researchers find your work when searching an online database. These keywords should effectively represent the main topics of your study. Here are some tips for choosing keywords:
Core Concepts: Identify the most important ideas or concepts in your paper. These often include your main research topic, the methods you’ve used, or the theories you’re discussing.
Specificity: Your keywords should be specific to your research. For example, suppose your paper is about the effects of climate change on bird migration patterns in a specific region. In that case, your keywords might include “climate change,” “bird migration,” and the region’s name.
Consistency with Paper: Make sure your keywords are consistent with the terms you’ve used in your paper. For example, if you use the term “adolescent” rather than “teen” in your paper, choose “adolescent” as your keyword, not “teen.”
Jargon and Acronyms: Avoid using too much-specialized jargon or acronyms in your keywords, as these might not be understood or used by all researchers in your field.
Synonyms: Consider including synonyms of your keywords to capture as many relevant searches as possible. For example, if your paper discusses “post-traumatic stress disorder,” you might include “PTSD” as a keyword.
Remember, keywords are a tool for others to find your work, so think about what terms other researchers might use when searching for papers on your topic.
The Abstract SHOULD NOT contain:
Lengthy background or contextual information: The abstract should focus on your research and findings, not general topic background.
Undefined jargon, abbreviations, or acronyms: The abstract should be accessible to a wide audience, so avoid highly specialized terms without defining them.
Citations: Abstracts typically do not include citations, as they summarize original research.
Incomplete sentences or bulleted lists: The abstract should be a single, coherent paragraph written in complete sentences.
New information not covered in the paper: The abstract should only summarize the paper’s content.
Subjective comments or value judgments: Stick to objective descriptions of your research.
Excessive details on methods or procedures: Keep descriptions of methods brief and focused on main steps.
Speculative or inconclusive statements: The abstract should state the research’s clear findings, not hypotheses or possible interpretations.
- Any illustration, figure, table, or references to them . All visual aids, data, or extensive details should be included in the main body of your paper, not in the abstract.
- Elliptical or incomplete sentences should be avoided in an abstract . The use of ellipses (…), which could indicate incomplete thoughts or omitted text, is not appropriate in an abstract.
APA Style for Abstracts
An APA abstract must be formatted as follows:
Include the running head aligned to the left at the top of the page (professional papers only) and page number. Note, student papers do not require a running head. On the first line, center the heading “Abstract” and bold (do not underlined or italicize). Do not indent the single abstract paragraph (which begins one line below the section title). Double-space the text. Use Times New Roman font in 12 pt. Set one-inch (or 2.54 cm) margins. If you include a “keywords” section at the end of the abstract, indent the first line and italicize the word “Keywords” while leaving the keywords themselves without any formatting.
Example APA Abstract Page
Download this example as a PDF
- APA 7th Edition Abstract and Keywords Guide
- Example APA Abstract
- How to Write a Good Abstract for a Scientific Paper or Conference Presentation
- How to Write a Lab Report
- Writing an APA paper
How long should an APA abstract be?
An APA abstract should typically be between 150 to 250 words long. However, the exact length may vary depending on specific publication or assignment guidelines. It is crucial that it succinctly summarizes the essential elements of the work, including purpose, methods, findings, and conclusions.
Where does the abstract go in an APA paper?
In an APA formatted paper, the abstract is placed on its own page, directly after the title page and before the main body of the paper. It’s typically the second page of the document. It starts with the word “Abstract” (centered and not in bold) at the top of the page, followed by the text of the abstract itself.
What are the 4 C’s of abstract writing?
The 4 C’s of abstract writing are an approach to help you create a well-structured and informative abstract. They are:
Conciseness: An abstract should briefly summarize the key points of your study. Stick to the word limit (typically between 150-250 words for an APA abstract) and avoid unnecessary details.
Clarity: Your abstract should be easy to understand. Avoid jargon and complex sentences. Clearly explain the purpose, methods, results, and conclusions of your study.
Completeness: Even though it’s brief, the abstract should provide a complete overview of your study, including the purpose, methods, key findings, and your interpretation of the results.
Cohesion: The abstract should flow logically from one point to the next, maintaining a coherent narrative about your study. It’s not just a list of disjointed elements; it’s a brief story of your research from start to finish.
What is the abstract of a psychology paper?
An abstract in a psychology paper serves as a snapshot of the paper, allowing readers to quickly understand the purpose, methodology, results, and implications of the research without reading the entire paper. It is generally between 150-250 words long.
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What are APA Abstracts?
APA Abstracts are a type of Abstract , which is a genre of discourse . Like other abstracts (e.g., MLA Abstracts or Executive Summaries )m, APA Abstracts summarize the critical parts (aka essential parts) of a longer paper.
What makes an APA Abstract unique are the following elements:
- the abstract must be a single-paragraph summary of the paper’s content that is between 150 to 250
- This enables the work to be indexed correctly in the archive and associated with appropriate scholarly conversations.
Key Concepts: Attribution ; Citation ; Discourse Community ; Textual Research
Examples of APA Abstracts
The information provided in the APA abstract is determined by the genre of the paper, the intended audience or community, prevailing conventions, and conventions related to organizing the Archive, humanities’ textual record of knowledge, scholarly conversations, and record of past works on particular topics.
For instance, when investigators used empirical research methods , their abstract will often have one or two sentences for each major section, such as
Or, if the investigators used textual research methods , then their abstract may follow a CARS (Create a Research Space) Model:
- The writer, Speaker, Knowledge Worker . . . will define the ongoing scholarly conversations that inform the topic
- The writer will identify a gap in the literature, an unresolved question.
- Occupy the niche.
Why Do APA Abstracts Matter?
People who are in a hurry (and who isn’t?) tend to decide whether or not they’ll read a document by scanning its abstract. When investigators search the peer-reviewed literature seeking to better understand the current conversations about topics of interest to them, they are likely to scan the abstracts.
Where Do Abstracts Appear in Report Documents?
APA Abstract s are placed after the Title Page before the Introduction .
How to Write an Abstract APA
The bottom line is that good writing, even writing that is extremely technical and invariably full of jargon, is best conveyed as a story. This truism is expecially true for abstracts. After spending years perhaps on an investigation, it can be difficult to distill it into the smallest, most important parts.
So, when writing an abstract, your first consideration should be identifying the simplest narrative, the through line, that will help contextualize your research.
How should the Abstract Page be Formatted?
The abstract’s length should be a minimum of 150 words and a maximum of 250 words; it should be confined within a single paragraph. Unlike in other paragraphs in the paper, the first line of the abstract should not be indented five spaces from the left margin.
Like the rest of the paper, the pages of the abstract should be double-spaced and typed in Times New Roman, 12 pt. The margins are set at 1” on all sides. While the running head is flush with the upper left-hand corner of every page, the page number is flush with the upper right-hand corner of every page. Note that all letters of the running head should be capitalized and should not exceed 50 characters, including punctuation, letters, and spaces.
The title of the abstract is centered at the top of the page; there is no extra space between the title and the paragraph. Avoid formatting the title with bold, italics, underlining, or quotation marks, or mislabeling the abstract with the title of the research paper.
When writing the abstract, note that the APA recommends using two spaces after sentences that end in a period; however, sentences that end in other punctuation marks may be followed by a single space. Additionally, the APA recommends using the active voice and past tense in the abstract, but the present tense may be used to describe conclusions and implications. Acronyms or abbreviated words should be defined in the abstract.
- Academic Essay for Undergraduate Writing Course Fat women feel enormous pressure to be thin. This pressure is exacerbated by media portrayals of fat women that show characters who are unruly, miserable, or comical. The series Shrill (2019-2021) combats fatphobic representations by offering Annie, a fat woman, as a lead character. She is neither a punchline nor a cautionary tale. Shrill elucidates the societal stigmas of being fat without victimizing its main character. In this essay, I offer an autoethnographic critical media analysis of Shrill . I explore the Western Body Positivity movement, the effects of the United States’ hegemonic beauty ideologies, and my experiences as a white, fat woman alongside Shrill . I argue though the representation of Annie is a huge step forward, some narrative arcs remain problematic. The focus on self-love and reliance on a Black character to facilitate that self-love mirror the real-life dependency on and erasure of Black women in the Body Positivity movement.
- Recommendation Report Students struggle with stress and anxiety: they struggle to manage their time to study, complete coursework, and excel (citation; specifics needed here). Thus, we designed a healthy coping mechanism to help USF students deal with depression, anxiety, and stress: dog therapy. This will help combat these difficulties and promote mental health awareness. For our primary research, we made a poll on Instagram where people (mainly college students) responded whether or not they would take advantage of the puppy shelter as a way to ease anxiety and stress. We found that the large majority of people reported that they would benefit from having this resource available on campus. The shelter will also bring job opportunities, volunteer work, experience, and a higher morale for students.
- Product Pitch Millennials’ desire for environmentally-friendly coffee is sweeping the industry, and Coffi™ is perfectly positioned to bring this to the campuses nationwide. “91% of college students say they agree their place of study should actively incorporate and promote sustainable development” (UNESCO 2018). Coffi™ will focus on two different models suited to different customers: an atmosphere where customers can purchase quality coffee and go about their business in peace, and a vending machine model that maximizes product value and convenience. Beyond our goal to create a successful business through incorporation of modern technology, we seek to serve quality products in reusable and biodegradable cups.
- NSF Commercial Potential Abstract The Total Available Market for this product is the 35.4M students in high school and postsecondary education. Assuming 2.5% market share of the target market (2.8M students taking first-year composition) and price-point of $35/year/student by two courses, MyReviewers will generate approximately $4.9M/year in revenue or $19.6M with a 10% market share. Higher revenues are feasible once the software is adopted more broadly in general education and high school English courses. This commercialization effort has the potential to disrupt reductionist assessment practices in education and to address shifting demographic populations so that all students may secure rights to literacy.
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How to Write an Abstract in APA
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A good abstract summarizes the key points of your paper without providing unnecessary detail. The APA style guide  X Trustworthy Source APA Style Definitive source for current APA style writing and citation guidelines Go to source has a specific format for abstract pages, so you should be aware of this format if you are writing an APA paper. Moreover, there are other details to keep in mind concerning how to write an effective abstract. Here's what you should know.
Things You Should Know
- Write and finalize your paper before writing the abstract.
- Center the word "Abstract" at the top of the page, under the header.
- Write a 150-250 word paragraph stating the purpose, methods, scope, results, conclusions, and recommendations included in your paper.
Following the Basic Format
- A shortened version of your paper's title should be aligned to the top left of the page. The character count should not exceed 50 characters, including spaces and punctuation.
- Every letter in the page header should be capitalized.
- The page number should appear in the top right of the page. An APA abstract should be the second page of your paper, so the number "2" should appear in the corner.
- Some professors will also accept Arial font in 10-point or 12-point, but you should check with your professor before deciding to choose it.
- "Double-spaced" means that lines of texts are separated by a blank line.  X Research source
- Aside from the abstract, the entire paper should also be double-spaced.
- The first letter of the word is capitalized, but the rest of the word is in lower-case.
- Do not bold, italicize, or underline the word, and do not use quotation marks. The word should stand alone and in normal font.
- Keep it short. A standard APA abstract is 150 to 250 words long and contained in a single paragraph.
- Indent as though starting a new paragraph.
- Type the word "Keywords" in italics. Capitalize the "K" and follow it with a colon.
- In normal, non-italicized font, follow the colon with three to four keywords describing the paper. These keywords should each appear in the text of the abstract. Separate them with commas.
Writing a Good Abstract
- To reflect the fact that it is a summary, your abstract should use present tense when referring to results and conclusions and past tense when referring to methods and measurements taken. Do not use future tense.
- Reread your essay before writing the abstract to refresh your memory. Pay close attention to the purpose, methods, scope, results, conclusions, and recommendations mentioned in your paper.
- Write a rough draft of your abstract without looking directly at your paper. This will help you to summarize without copying key sentences from your paper.
- An informational abstract states the purpose, methods, scope, results, conclusions, and recommendations included in your report. The abstract should highlight essential points in order to allow the reader to decide whether or not to read the rest of the report. Its total length should be about 10 percent or less of the length of the report.
- Descriptive abstracts include the purpose, methods, and scope defined in the report, but not the results, conclusions, or recommendations. These abstracts are less common to APA style and usually fall under 100 words. The purpose is the introduce the subject to the reader, essentially teasing the reader into reading the report in order to learn the results.
- For instance, ask yourself why you did the study, what you did, how you did it, what you found, and what those findings signify.
- If your paper is about a new method, ask yourself what the advantages of the new method are and how well it works.
- Even if the information is closely tied to information used in the paper, it does not belong in the abstract.
- Note that you can and should use different wording in your abstract. The information should be the same as the information in your paper, but the way that information is phrased should differ.
- Avoid phrases like, "This paper will look at..." Since the abstract is so short, you should cut straight to the facts and details of your paper instead of spending effort explaining their connection to your paper.
- Do not rephrase or repeat the title since the abstract is almost always read along with the title.
- The abstract should be complete on its own since it is often read without the rest of the paper.
- You can and should state your findings, but do not attempt to justify them. The paper itself should be used to justify your findings and provide additional support, not the abstract.
- You should also stick with active verbs more often than passive verbs.
- For instance, the strongest statement for an abstract would be, "research shows." Avoid using phrases like "I researched" or "it was researched."
- Also avoid trade names and symbols.
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- If you are writing a short APA paper for a professor and the instructions do not specifically call for an abstract, ask the professor to verify that he or she actually wants one. While APA style officially promotes the use of abstracts for all papers, many professors will allow or even prefer that you skip the abstract if the assignment only calls for a 1- to 2-page paper. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
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- ↑ https://www.apastyle.org/about-apa-style
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_formatting_and_style_guide/general_format.html
- ↑ https://apastyle.apa.org/instructional-aids/abstract-keywords-guide.pdf
- ↑ https://libguides.css.edu/APA6thEd/APAFormatting
- ↑ https://morningside.libguides.com/APA7/abstracts
- ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/abstracts/
- ↑ https://www.simplypsychology.org/abstract.html
About This Article
To write an abstract in APA format, start by writing your paper first. After your paper is done, go back and reread what you've written to identify your purpose, methods, scope, results, and conclusions. State these clearly in your abstract, starting with a broad declaration of your topic, like "This paper explores the role of gender on career ambitions" and then providing more specific information about what is covered in your paper. As you write, use present tense and avoid using first person pronouns like "I" or "me." To learn how to format your font and headings correctly in APA format, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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13 July 2023
The American Psychological Association (APA) style is comprised of detailed guidelines. Basically, these rules dictate the formatting of the paper and citation method. Moreover, there are core aspects of the style, which all writers must internalize. In particular, a brief APA guide focuses on four fundamental aspects of the style: title page, abstract, in-text citation, and reference list entries.
Firstly, an APA paper has a title page. For example, the title page contains the essay’s title, names of authors, and their institutional affiliations by considering the APA guide. Also, the individual elements of the title page appear on separate lines. In this case, people create a page header on the title page, which consists of a running head and a page number. Besides, the title placed in the running head is usually a shortened. As a result, the standard format of the title page is:
Running head: TITLE OF PAPER 1
Title of the Paper
APA Guide on Abstract
Secondly, the second page of an APA style paper holds the abstract. In this case, the abstract exists on a separate page with the title “Abstract.” Also, the title of the second page is not subjected to additional stylings, such as bolding or italicization. Then, people align the first line of the abstract with the left margin. In this case, an abstract appears as a single paragraph. In turn, there is a 250-word limit imposed on the abstract, covering the APA guide. Besides, the constraining of the abstract’s word count ensures that the author develops a concise summary of the paper. Finally, people put keywords at the end of the abstract. As a result, the format of the second page:
TITLE OF PAPER 2
The text begins here.
Keywords : the first word, the second word
Guide on APA In-Text Citations
Thirdly, parenthetical in-text citations and a reference list are employed for reference purposes in the APA format . For example, a parenthetical in-text citation provides the author’s surname, date of publication, and a page number. Basically, in-text citations inform the reader that an idea is borrowed and present the identity of the sources’ authors. In turn, the following illustrations demonstrate various techniques for incorporating in-text citations in a text.
According to Turner (2019), the . . . completion (p. 27).
Turner (2019) argue that . . . completion (p. 27).
The completion . . . building (Turner, 2019, p. 27).
Finally, people place a reference list on a separate page at the end of the essay with the title “References.” For instance, entries in the APA reference page include all the necessary bibliographical information that a reader requires to locate source materials. As a result, a sample reference list that follows the main requirements of the APA guide is:
Smith, D., & Jones, M. (2019). Contemporary society . New York, NY: Livingstone Publishers.
Holmes, F. (2018). Academic writing. Journal of English Studies, 32 (12), 34-56. doi:1099882/eng23.sss5
World Health Organisation. (2017). Prevalence of malaria. Retrieved from https://who.org/globalthreats_malaria
Summing Up on APA Guide
In conclusion, a proper academic paper should adhere to the APA guide concerning the title page appearance, abstract presentation, citation, and reference. However, this guide is not comprehensive. In this case, the APA citation covers exhaustive explanations.
How To Write An Abstract Page With Example
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Writing An Abstract With An Example
What is an abstract?
An abstract is a concise summary of a research paper or entire thesis.
It is an original work, not an excerpted passage. An abstract must be fully self-contained and make sense by itself, without further reference to outside sources or to the actual paper. It highlights key content areas, your research purpose, the relevance, or importance of your work, and the main outcomes.
An abstract is a well-developed single paragraph of approximately 250 words in length, which is indented and single-spaced. The function of the abstract is to outline briefly all parts of the paper.
Why write an abstract?
Abstracts are important for both selection and indexing purposes.
Selection : Abstracts allow interested readers to decide whether it is relevant to their purposes and whether they need to read the whole paper.
Indexing : Most academic journal databases accessed through the library enable you to search abstracts. This allows for quick retrieval by users. Abstracts must incorporate the key terms that a potential researcher would use to search.
When Is It Necessary To Write Abstracts?
Abstracts are usually required for:
- Submission of articles to journals
- Application for research grants
- Completion and submission of theses
- Submission of proposals for conference papers
What to include in an abstract
The format of your abstract depends on the discipline in which you are working. However, all abstracts generally cover the following five sections:
Reason for writing:
What is the importance of the research? Why would a reader be interested in the larger work?
What problem does this work attempt to solve? What is the scope of the project? What is the main argument, thesis, or claim?
An abstract of a scientific work may include specific models or approaches used in the larger study. Other abstracts may describe the types of evidence used in the research.
An abstract of a scientific work may include specific data that indicates the results of the project. Other abstracts may discuss the findings in a more general way.
How does this work add to the body of knowledge on the topic? Are there any practical or theoretical applications from your findings or implications for future research?
Types Of Abstracts
Abstracts can be informative and descriptive.
Descriptive abstracts describe the work being abstracted. They are more like an outline of the work and are usually very short - 100 words or less.
Informative abstracts act as substitutes for the actual papers as the entire key arguments and conclusions are presented; specifically, the context and importance of the research, reasons for methods, principal results, and conclusions.
Example Of Abstracts
Julie Pham (2001) "Their War: The Perspective of the South Vietnamese Military in Their Own Words”
Despite the vast research by Americans on the Vietnam War, little is known about the perspective of South Vietnamese military, officially called the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces (RVNAF). The overall image that emerges from the literature is negative: lazy, corrupt, unpatriotic, apathetic soldiers with poor fighting spirits. This study recovers some of the South Vietnamese military perspective for an American audience through qualitative interviews with 40 RVNAF veterans now living in San José, Sacramento, and Seattle, home to three of the top five largest Vietnamese American communities in the nation. An analysis of these interviews yields the veterans' own explanations that complicate and sometimes even challenge three widely held assumptions about the South Vietnamese military:
- the RVNAF was rife with corruption at the top ranks, hurting the morale of the lower ranks;
- racial relations between the South Vietnamese military and the Americans were tense and hostile; and
- the RVNAF was apathetic in defending South Vietnam from communism.
The stories add nuance to our understanding of whom the South Vietnamese were in the Vietnam War. This study is part of a growing body of research on non-American perspectives of the war. In using a largely untapped source of Vietnamese history, oral histories with Vietnamese immigrants, this project will contribute to future research on similar.
"Quantifying the Mechanics of a Laryngoscopy"
Laryngoscopy is a medical procedure that provides a secure airway by passing a breathing tube through the mouth and into the lungs of a patient. The ability to perform laryngoscopy is highly dependent on operator skill; experienced physicians have failure rates of 0.1% or less, while less experienced paramedics may have failure rates of 10-33%, which can lead to death or brain injury. Accordingly, there is a need for improved training methods, and virtual reality technology holds promise for this application. The immediate objective of this research project is to measure the mechanics of laryngoscopy, so that an advanced training mannequin can be developed. This summer an instrumented laryngoscope has been developed which uses a 6-axis force/torque sensor and a magnetic position/orientation sensor to quantify the interactions between the laryngoscope and the patient.
Experienced physicians as well as residents in training have used this device on an existing mannequin, and the force and motion trajectories have been visualized in 3D. One objective is to use comparisons between expert and novice users to identify the critical skill components necessary for patients, to identify the mechanical properties of the human anatomy that effect laryngoscopy, and thus enable the development of a realistic training simulator. In the future an advanced training mannequin will be developed whose physical properties will be based on our sensor measurements, and where virtual reality tools will be used to provide training feedback for novice users.
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