Answered By: Rachel Willard Last Updated: May 02, 2017 Views: 4895
An abstract is "a brief, comprehensive summary of the contents of the article" (American Psychological Association [APA], 2010, p. 25). It usually comes at the very beginning of your work and is separate from your text. This summary is intended to share the topic, argument, and conclusions of a research study or course paper, similar to the text on the back cover of a book. Abstracts are required elements of Walden capstone projects and may be required for certain course assignments.
When composing your abstract, keep in mind that it should be:
- Direct. Do not include too much detail, context, or any in-text or parenthetical citations. Save this content for the body of the paper.
- Concise. Abstracts should be no more than one page in length. For a dissertation, doctoral study, or capstone the abstract may not exceed 250 words.
- Complete. The abstract should give the reader the full scope of the arguments made or conclusions drawn in the paper. You should summarize your paper in the abstract, rather than introducing it.
- For more tips on abstracts, see the Writing Center's webpage on writing abstracts.
- If you are a doctoral capstone student, review the Center for Research Quality's abstract assistance for doctoral studies.
Would you like a current or future assignment to be reviewed by the Writing Center? If so please visit the Writing Center's Paper Review Website and make an appointment with us!
Do you have other general writing questions? E-mail the Writing Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other questions about your doctoral capstone or the Form & Style review? E-mail the Dissertation Editors at email@example.com.
Want to peruse other writing resources? Go to the Writing Center’s homepage.