Types of academic research abstracts

Types of academic research abstracts

Types of academic research abstracts


An abstract summarizes, in a single paragraph of 300 words or less, the major points of the entire paper in a prescribed order, including: 1) the overarching aim of the research and the research problem(s) you investigated; 2) the basic design of the study; 3) key findings or trends achieved as a result of the analysis; and, 4) an overview of your interpretations and conclusions.

For many reasons, the abstract is arguably the most critical part of your article. To begin, the abstract is the very first part that journal editors will read before choosing whether or not to submit your article for consideration. Similarly, after your project is accepted, it is the first part that readers will study; in so many instances, it will be the only part of the manuscript they examine. This is in partly so because majority of literature databases only index abstracts and full-text publications are often limited.

Thus, the abstract becomes a tool for concisely communicating your study while emphasizing its most salient features. The next post discusses how to create an outstanding abstract that will get the most interest for your study.


Types of research abstracts

To begin, you must decide on the kind of abstract that will accompany your article. There are four broad categories.


Critical abstract

Along with summarizing key results and information, a critical abstract makes a judgment or remark on the study’s reliability, validity, or completeness. The researcher assesses the article and often relates it to previous studies on the topic. Due of the extra interpretative comments, critical abstracts are typically 400–500 words in length. These kinds of abstractions are seldom utilized.


Descriptive abstract

A descriptive abstract summarizes the material included inside the work. It makes no judgements on the study and does not provide the research’s findings or conclusions. It does include important phrases from the article and may contain the research’s goal, methodology, and scope. Fundamentally, the descriptive abstract summarizes the work. According to some scholars, it is more of an overview of the study than a synopsis. Typically, descriptive abstracts are extremely brief, no more than 100 words.


Instructive abstract

The bulk of abstracts are educational in nature. While they do not assess or criticize a work, they do more than simply describe it. A well-written instructive abstract serves as a stand-in for the content itself. That is, the researcher presents and discusses all of the paper’s major arguments, as well as significant findings and proof. An informative abstract contains all of the material contained in a descriptive abstract [research aims, methodology, scope, etc.], but adds the research’s findings and conclusions, as well as the author’s suggestions. The length varies by field, but an insightful abstract should not exceed 300 words.


Highlight abstract

A highlight abstract is one which is created especially to draw the reader’s attention to the research. There is no pretense that the article is balanced or comprehensive, and in fact, partial and leading comments may be utilized to pique the reader’s attention. Due to the fact that a highlight abstract could stand alone without the accompanying article, it is not a genuine abstract and is therefore seldom used in academic writing.


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