Characteristics of a Good Research Paper Abstract

Research Paper Abstract

A research paper abstract is an informative write-up that gives a brief of the entire research project i.e. it states the topic, aims, and objectives of the research, methods, results, and conclusion of the project. All this should be written in a short paragraph of two hundred words. As such, summary skills should be exercised at the highest level.

In addition to giving the reader a brief of what is in a research paper, the abstract is used to index and retrieve articles, books, and journals by information services.

Qualities of a good research paper abstract

When writing an abstract for your research paper, you should keep in mind the following:

Conciseness and specificity-

the abstract should be brief, informative and should only have important information such as the purpose of the research, the results, and the conclusions.


It should be a reflection of the contents of the research paper. it is advisable to compare the contents of the abstract with the outline to ascertain that you have not added new information or have left out important information.

Coherence and readability-

The abstract should be clear and easy to understand. To achieve this, use active voice but do not use personal pronouns, verbs rather than nouns, third person, past tense in reference to specific variables, and present tense to describe results.


The research paper abstract should be a complete write-up on its own. Define acronyms, unique terms, and abbreviations in the abstract.

Tips of writing an abstract

  • Read and re-read the completed research paper noting down important points such as objectives and results
  • Do not repeat the title or introduce new information
  • Do not give citations of references, figures, or tables in the abstract
  • The research paper abstract should not be more than 200 words or 3% of the entire text.