Answered By: Lynn VanLeer
Last Updated: Nov 12, 2017     Views: 2524

An abstract gives you key information about an article or other resource. It is like a summary but with more detailed and structured information. Abstracts vary in length but are very rarely more than a few paragraphs.


  • provide information such as the scope of the article, research methodology used, theories applied, or surveys and instruments used.

  • can help you determine if the article is relevant to your topic, more so than just the title.

  • appear for most articles, though not every article you find in a Walden database will have an abstract.

  • may also appear at the beginning of an article, before the introduction.

  • may be written by the article's author or the publisher.


Once you've found an article in a Walden database, you often need to click on the article title to read the abstract. 

Here is an example of an abstract for an article in the Walden Library's database, Academic Search Complete:


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