Developing an Abstract for a Scientific Paper: Basic Principles

Any paper that requires genuine research, the use of methodology, data collection and analysis tools, and proper documentation can be referred to as a scientific paper. Surely, all students know how scientific papers are structured, but the initial parts of such papers are often ignored or treated carelessly by students.

As practice shows, this often becomes a big mistake, because teachers pay much attention to the abstract of a scientific paper as the attention-catcher of your work.

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Why are abstracts so important for scientific papers?

Obviously, abstracts are of critical importance for scientific papers. If you want to know why, you need only to take any research paper you can find online. Almost certainly, it is a rather lengthy paper with a lot of numerical data in it, and the first thing you pay attention to while starting to read it is an abstract. If it catches your attention, you read the whole scientific paper; if not, in most cases you would not even proceed reading that paper. So, a good abstract plays a great role in readers’ decisions whether to read your scientific paper or not.

Basic principles to develop a good abstract

Accordingly, scholars have developed a set of principles that will allow you create a proper abstract for your scientific paper. These principles include:

  • Briefly explain what your paper is about;
  • Discuss the importance of your topic and implications of your findings;
  • Do not tell everything, make it interesting for the audience to proceed reading;
  • Remember, an abstract is NOT an introduction, it is a brief summary of what your paper has done, NOT what it is about to do.