An abstract cannot be separated from your paper. Meanwhile, any paper no matter it’s scientific or academic, will need an abstract. By writing an abstract, you let your reader or audience get an overview of your paper. Contemplating where to start when writing an abstract sometimes makes you dizzy. So, here’s how to write an abstract step by step you can follow:
1. Finish The Paper
Since abstract is an overview or a summary of your paper, you must finish it first. Meanwhile, don’t bother to write your abstract before you finish your paper. Maybe you think it’s alright to write your abstract first. But, better to do it later because abstract is also a review of your paper.
2. Review Any Writing Requirement
If your paper is for a specific audience, then so is your abstract. Therefore, reviewing an abstract means you will check the length, style requirement, and your audience. Once you do this, you will be able to identify issues you want to highlight on your abstract.
3. Get to Know the Audience
The function of the abstract is to help your audience to find your paper. Besides, your audience will understand your argument easily by reading your abstract. Also, the abstract allows the audience to decide if your paper is matched to their needs. Pay attention to the accessibility of your abstract.
4. Type of Abstract
Even though the purpose of the abstract is almost the same, there are two types of it. Descriptive and informative. If your paper is more technical then informative abstract suits you. But, if your paper is shorter, then descriptive is the best. Or, if your purpose is to attract an audience, you write it in highlight.
5. Writing Process
An abstract must be crystal clear. Hence, they prefer to use active voice and avoid too much passive sentence construction. Always get to the point right away and use the past tense. Meanwhile, paragraph format should be a single paragraph without indentations. At the top of the page, but the word “Abstract”.
Besides, add the citation of the source you use in your paper. If your paper is to be published, you should maintain the keyword. Make sure they are easy to identify the content. Moreover, you explain your method, purpose, and your result in it. Sometimes, the abstract may include the same structure as your paper.
Since abstract is an overview of your paper, do not write anything that not exists in your paper. Moreover, it will be better if you don’t refer to another paper but yours. Defining terms should be avoided too. Also, you should avoid ineffective sentences as well as incomplete sentences.
7. Check and Review
As always, in the end, check and review your abstract. Make sure your format aligns with your paper. Not to mention unnecessary words or phrases. Be careful about how to write an abstract. Strict to the rule that abstract must be clear and complete in the shortest amount of space.
After all, do not hesitate to consult or discuss your abstract draft with your lecturer. Actually, there is no exact formula on how to write an abstract. There is only a guide. Once you determine what kind of paper you have, your audience and your purpose, writing an abstract will be easy.