APA How To Write An Abstract?

What is an Abstract?

The abstract is a short summary of an academic or professional paper. It gives a brief overview of what the paper is about and what readers can expect to find in it. Abstracts are important because they help make your work easier to find in academic databases. They are often indexed alongside keywords. Since the abstract is the first thing readers see, it is crucial that it provides a clear and accurate summary of your paper's contents. In APA format, the abstract is an important part of the paper that accurately represents its main points.


What is the APA format?

The American Psychological Association has an official format for writing called the APA format. It is used to write about psychology and other social sciences. These style guidelines specify the presentation and layout of a document, including how pages are organized, how references are cited, and how references are referenced. The format also specifies the use of an abstract that summarizes the paper's key points.

APA How to write an abstract?

The most common question that arises while writing a research paper in APA format is: How to write an APA abstract? To write an APA abstract, you need to create a separate summary of your research and the results of your research. It's recommended that you write the abstract after you have finished the rest of your paper.

To structure your abstract, you can answer the following questions in one to three sentences each
  • What problems are you studying? Describe objectives, research questions, or hypotheses.
  • What research methods did you use? Explain how you conducted your study.
  • What are the key findings and conclusions? Summarize the main results:
  • What is the significance of the findings? Provide a summary of the discussion and make any recommendations.

By addressing these questions, you can create an effective APA abstract that accurately represents your research.

What are the steps needed to write an abstract in APA format?

First, write your entire paper. While the abstract will be at the beginning of your paper, it should be at the end of the section.

1.Begin the abstract on a new page

In accordance with APA formatting guidelines, the abstract should commence on a new page. The running head and page number should be positioned in the top right-hand corner. At the top of the page, the term "Abstract" needs to be centred.

2. Know your target word count

The abstract typically consists of a single paragraph with no indentation and should be between 150 and 250 words long. However, it is important to note that exact word counts can vary depending on the journal's requirements. If you are writing a paper for a psychology course, it is advisable to check with your professor for any specific word requirements.

3. Structure the abstract in the same order as your paper

Your abstract should tell the reader what your paper is about. Start with the beginning of your paper. Then, in the middle of your paper, talk about how you did your research and what you found out. Finally, talk about what your research means. By doing this, you will provide a good summary of your paper.

4. Examine abstracts from professional journals as examples

To effectively summarize your paper in the abstract, it is helpful to examine abstracts from professional journals as examples. Pay attention to the main points emphasized by the authors in their abstract: These examples can serve as a guide to assist you in selecting the key ideas to include in your own abstract.

5. Write a rough draft of your abstract

To start writing your abstract, follow the way your paper should look (see next section). Make it short, but not too short. Try to write one or two sentences summarizing each part of your paper. Once you have a draft, you can do better by checking the length and making sure it's easy to understand.

6. Ask a friend to read the abstract

It's a good idea to ask a friend to read your abstract. Sometimes, when someone else looks at them, they can give you new ideas and help you find mistakes or errors in your writing.

What makes a good abstract APA?

A good APA abstract is a short summary of your paper that explains what your research is about. It should be between 150 and 250 words long. The abstract tells the reader about the problem you studied, how you did your research, what you found and what conclusions you made. If your paper is published, the abstract also includes a list of important words that you can use to describe the paper. After you finish your paper, write the abstract on a separate page after the title page.

How to format an APA abstract?

Abstract APA format:

Ensure that your abstract is formatted correctly by following these guidelines:

  • The abstract should be on the page after the title page (i.e., page 2).
  • Write the word "Abstract" in bold letters at the top of the page, centred. The abstract comes right after the label.
  • Abstracts should be short, usually no more than 250 words long.
  • The abstract can be written as a single paragraph or with different sections labelled (like Objective, Method, Results, and Conclusions). There should be no indentation in either case.
  • If asked, include keywords in the abstract. Write "Keywords:" (in italics) on one line, and then list the keywords (with proper nouns capitalized) on the next line, separated by commas. The second line will not be indented.


What are the do's and don'ts of writing an abstract?

  • Abstracts should have a word count of 100 to 200 words.
  • The abstract should be written in the past tense with complete sentences, active verbs, and third-person expressions.
  • It is recommended to use standard nomenclature and not abbreviations. There should be no citation to the literature.

What are the '5' moves of the abstract?

According to Hyland (2000), abstracts in published articles are classified into '5' rhetorical moves, namely:

  • Introduction
  • Purpose
  • Method
  • Product
  • Insufficient keywords

What are some common errors students make when writing their abstracts?

1. Unclear purpose
2. Incorrect tense usage
3. Excessive jargon or exaggerated language
4. Missing conclusion statement
5. Conclusion.