Writing abstracts

An abstract is a brief preview of the content and argument of an academic paper. The purpose of an abstract is to give other readers a chance to get a sense of your work before reading the full work. It’s a time-saving feature that limits the amount of unnecessary reading by experts who already have immense amounts of reading required of them. Because you are trying to fit as much information into as little space as possible, clarity and economy of language are vital to the success of an abstract.

For advice on writing abstracts in APA style, visit one or more of the following sites:

http://www.vic.uh.edu/ac/style/abstracts.html and http://www.english.uiuc.edu/cws/wworkshop/advice/writing_abstracts.htm are two brief but useful overviews of the elements of a successful APA abstract.

http://leo.stcloudstate.edu/bizwrite/abstracts.html. A more detailed overview of abstracts, complete with an example at the bottom of the page.

http://www.rpi.edu/dept/llc/writecenter/web/abstracts.html is a similar page, with a bibliographic resource cited at the bottom of the page.


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