An Abstract is a condensed version of the manuscript. For this reason, it needs to make sense, independently of the rest of the manuscript. After the title, the Abstract is sometimes the only section of the manuscript that readers will have immediate access to.
If you want your readers to read cite you (ideally after reading the whole manuscript), you must make a great first impression. You must write a great Abstract!
A good Abstract must be concise and easy to read, and must cover the most important points of the paper. In order to write an Abstract that is informative and engaging, you can use your outline as a guide.
I recommend that you write the Abstract last, because it summarizes the research paper. Once you have finished and revised the whole manuscript, it may help you to extract key sentences from each section and place them in the same order as they appear in the paper. Then all you have to do is edit these sentences to create the Abstract.
Begin the Abstract by stating the research question or objective. Alternatively, you may begin with a single sentence that introduces the research problem (the background).
Continue by declaring either the research question or the objective(s) of the study.
Write one or two sentences describing the methods that you used to answer the research question.
Write a few sentences describing the results that answer the research question.
Write a single sentence that declares the answer to the research question.
Avoid ending the Abstract with vague statements such as “This study will contribute to further research…”, because that only distracts your reader from the important stuff, which is the answer to the research question!
Keep in mind that an effective Abstract should be between 200 and 300 words long. If it's too short, you can go back and elaborate. However, you still should try to use concise language so the Abstract can be easily understood.
Finally read the Abstract imagining that you are another researcher deciding whether to purchase your paper on line. Did you find that the Abstract has the right information to help you make that decision? If you did, you have written an effective Abstract!
A complete guided course that will teach you to efficiently write an academic paper.