Research Paper: Writing the abstract

The abstract is a crucial component of a research paper as it serves as a concise summary of the entire study. Here’s everything you need to know about abstracts, along with an example:

Purpose of the Abstract

  • The abstract provides a brief overview of the research paper, highlighting the key elements of the study.
  • It helps readers quickly assess the relevance and significance of the research, enabling them to decide whether to read the full paper.
  • Abstracts are often used in databases, conference programs, and academic journals to index and categorize research articles.

Content of the Abstract

  • Research Problem: Clearly state the research question, problem, or objective that the study aims to address.
  • Methodology: Briefly describe the research design, methods, and data analysis techniques used in the study.
  • Key Findings: Summarize the main results or findings of the research, highlighting the most important outcomes.
  • Conclusions: Provide a concise summary of the conclusions drawn from the study and their implications.

Length and Format

Abstracts are typically 150 to 300 words, although specific requirements may vary depending on the publication or conference guidelines. They are usually written in a single paragraph, but some journals may require structured abstracts with separate sections for each element (e.g., background, methods, results, conclusions).


Title: “The Impact of Social Media Use on Adolescent Well-being: A Longitudinal Study”


This longitudinal study investigates the relationship between social media use and adolescent well-being over two years. 500 adolescents aged 13 to 18 were recruited from diverse socio-economic backgrounds. Self-report measures of social media use, psychological well-being, and life satisfaction were collected annually. The results reveal a significant negative correlation between daily social media use and psychological well-being, with higher levels of social media use associated with increased depressive symptoms and lower life satisfaction. However, the relationship was moderated by social support and offline social activities. These findings highlight the complex interplay between social media use and adolescent well-being and underscore the importance of considering individual and contextual factors in understanding this relationship.

In this example, the abstract provides a succinct summary of the research problem, methodology, key findings, and conclusions of the study on the impact of social media use on adolescent well-being. It gives readers a clear understanding of the study’s focus and main findings, prompting further interest in reading the full paper for more detailed information.

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