The abstract is the part of the paper scientists often read when deciding whether they are interested in looking at the rest of the paper. Thus, the information in the abstract should help people decide whether your research sheds any useful light on what they are studying. The abstract summarizes your experiment and consists of 1 or 2 sentences for each of the major sections of the report as follows:

  1. Introduction: rationale, main objectives, and aims of study
  2. Methods: very brief statement of general methods used
  3. Results: summary of main results, patterns, or trends
  4. Discussion: main conclusions

Although the abstract is located just after the title, it is the last section that you write. How can you write it before you have completed all other sections?

Abstract Formatting

  • maximum of 150 words single-spaced (about ½ page)