Scientific Abstract

Scientific Abstract

An abstract is a summary of a professional scientific paper. It appears at the beginning of the paper and includes the following information: a) the problem studied, b) the key findings, and c) their significance. Below are helpful questions to consider when writing an abstract.

Statement of the Problem:

  • Do the first two sentences set the context and engage the reader’s interest?
  • What problem does the summarized paper address?

Summary of Key Findings:

  • Does the abstract include the article’s essential findings? Is there anything extraneous that should be left out? Does the summary lack any key information?
  • Are the results presented in a logical order?
  • Is the abstract unified by clear connections between the results?

Significance and Application:

  • Does the abstract correctly identify and clearly express applications that are appropriate to the paper’s content? What are they?
  • Are these statements clear, precise, and specific?

General Format and Style:

  • Is the abstract a single paragraph?
  • Are most of the sentences simple, declarative statements?
  • Avoid the use of adjectives and adverbs, unless they are quantitative.
  • Avoid vague and general statements that do not convey specific information.
  • Use standard conventions of grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

Reference: Koopman, Philip. "How to Write an Abstract." 

Copyright © 2009 Wheaton College Writing Center