How to Write an Abstract for a Research Paper
What is a research paper?
A research paper is an academic work that is written to fulfill the requirements of a given class. The writer is expected to do elaborate research on a particular topic and present the findings. The author should explain the topic, the process followed when doing the research, the results obtained, and how the findings were analyzed and interpreted. The paper should provide new ideas or unique information to the readers in the past. It should also suggest a new way of solving an existing problem.
What is a research paper abstract?
An abstract is a summary of a research paper. It should state the purpose of the study and attract the readers to proceed to the actual content of the paper. Conventionally, the abstract is written after the whole paper has been completed so that no irrelevant information is included. It is not merely a summary of what is contained in the research. It also explains how the whole research process took place and how the conclusion was drawn. Though there are varying opinions on how long an abstract should be, the standard length is up to 250-300 words.
How to write an abstract for a research paper
To write a clear research paper abstract, you should know how to use language concisely and persuasively. You should also pay close attention to the details in your research paper so that you do not ignore any critical information that should be included in the abstract. There are specific components that are contained in all research papers:
- Description of the objective of the study
The author should succinctly explain to the readers the exact problem that is the subject of investigation in the research paper. A reader should get the motive behind the chosen topic. You should convince the reader that the topic is important and that is why you decided to do comprehensive research on it.
- An explanation of the methodology
Your focus must be on the techniques used to research the topic. Mention if you did field work and obtained first-hand information on the subject or you just reviewed existing literature on the subject. There should also be an explanation of the point of view from which you approached the topic. Give a brief description of the sources you used for the research. Give your opinion on the strengths and weaknesses of the arguments in your sources of information.
- Results obtained
Explain the results you obtained in the course of research so that the reader knows that you understand what you did.
As you write an abstract, explain any acronyms used so that the readers can easily follow and comprehend the content that is contained.
Research Paper Abstract Sample
Topic: The impact of traditional healers on the fight against HIV/AIDS and the general health sector practices in Africa
There is an upward surge in HIV/AIDS and other diseases in Africa. Consequently, there is a need to apply a new comprehensive approach to the fight against these ailments. For instance, people should be enlightened on how to protect themselves from contracting the diseases, put down a more elaborate health management infrastructure for those who are already infected and affected. The policies must respect the cultural beliefs held by the locals about health. With evidence obtained from various reports from Government agencies, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and research from other authoritative sources, this paper does a thorough examination of the various policies and measures that have been put in place to improve the healthcare system in Africa. The paper examines the extent to which people in Africa can access modern healthcare facilities and why the majority of the populationuse efficient health resources. The paper further looks at the beliefs that the people hold in regards to modern medicine, the methods to prevent various diseases and the general perception of the healthcare practices among the population. The paper examines how western healthcare practices have been incorporated into the traditional methods of treatment to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS and other diseases in Africa. The paper suggests that the traditional healers should be accepted and given more financial support to improve healthy living in the African continent as a whole. This is because the traditional healers can be easily reached by the locals, they charge less for treatment, and the local people are more comfortable dealing with them since they incorporate their cultural beliefs in the treatment processes.