An abstract is a mini version of your paper expressed with a minimal number of words. In most cases, places that ask for an abstract such as grant proposals, academic journals, and conference presentations, place strict limits on the number of words that an abstract can use. Here is a useful resource on things to consider when writing an abstract.
Here are two useful resources about writing abstacts:
Writing Report Abstracts by Purdue Online Writing Lab
How to Write an Abstract by Philip Koopman at Carnegie Mellon University
The key points from this site include the following components of a successful abstract.
- Why is this research/paper important?
- What is the primary reason for conducting this research?
- Problem Statement
- What problem(s) is being addressed here?
- What small part of the larger problem will be discussed?
- Research Approach or Methodology
- How did the research unfold?
- What model, analysis, variables, etc., were used?
- Discuss the results that were obtained.
- Were the results statistically significant, important, or no difference shown?
- What are the implications of the study?
- Are the results generalizable to the larger problem or limited to a specific case?
The following abstract has been broken into its different components. Each component has been annotated as to its function.