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Where Can I Get Help Writing My Thesis Online?
You’ve spent years preparing for your master’s degree or PhD. You’ve read, studied and spent hours of time and energy writing papers. Now you’ve arrived at the culmination of all this effort: writing your thesis. There are plenty of compelling stories about the time and energy that students have spent drafting their dissertations and theses.
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How to write and format an APA Abstract (6th edition)
Published on November 6, 2020 by Courtney Gahan .
An APA abstract is a summary of your paper in 150–250 words. It describes the research problem , methods , results and conclusions of your research. For published papers, it also includes a list of keywords.
Write the abstract after you have finished your paper, and place it on a separate page after the title page .
The formatting of the abstract page is the same as the rest of an APA style paper : double-spaced, Times New Roman 12pt font, one-inch margins, and a running head at the top of the page.
Table of contents
Apa format abstract example, how to write an apa abstract, apa abstract keywords.
SCRIBBR APA ABSTRACT EXAMPLE RUNNING HEAD 1
What is the problem? Outline the objective, problem statement, research questions and hypotheses. What has been done? Explain your method. What did you discover? Summarize the key findings and conclusions. What do the findings mean? Summarize the discussion and recommendations. What is the problem? Outline the objective, problem statement, research questions and hypotheses. What has been done? Explain your method. What did you discover? Summarize the key findings and conclusions. What do the findings mean? Summarize the discussion and recommendations. What is the problem? Outline the objective, problem statement, research questions and hypotheses. What has been done? Explain your method. What did you discover? Summarize the key findings and conclusions. What do the findings mean? Summarize the discussion and recommendations. What is the problem? Outline the objective, problem statement, research questions and hypotheses. What has been done? Explain your method. What did you discover? Summarize the key findings and conclusions. What do the findings mean? Summarize the discussion and recommendations. What is the problem? Outline the objective, problem statement, research questions and hypotheses. What has been done? Explain your method. What did you discover? Summarize the key findings and conclusions. What do the findings mean? Summarize the discussion and recommendations.
Keywords : example keyword, example keyword, example keyword
An APA abstract must be formatted as follows:
- Include the running head aligned to the left at the top of the page
- On the first line, write the heading “Abstract” (centered and without any formatting)
- Do not indent any part of the text
- Double space the text
- Use Times New Roman font in 12 pt
- Set one-inch (or 2.54 cm) margins
- If you include a “keywords” section at the end of the abstract, indent the first line and italicize the word “Keywords” while leaving the keywords themselves without any formatting
Simply answer the following questions and put them together, then voila! You have an abstract for your paper.
- What is the problem? Outline the objective , research questions and/or hypotheses .
- What has been done? Explain your research methods .
- What did you discover? Summarize the key findings and conclusions .
- What do the findings mean? Summarize the discussion and recommendations .
If you need more guidance writing your abstract, read our detailed instructions on what to include and see an abstract example.
How to write an abstract
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At the end of the abstract, you can also include a short list of keywords that will be used for indexing if your paper is published on a database. Listing your keywords will help other researchers find your work.
Make sure that your keywords:
- Accurately represent the content
- Are specific to your field
APA abstract keywords example
Here is an example of an APA format paper published as a chapter in a book, where the author has included a set of keywords. The author has chosen the terms listed in the title as keywords as well as several other related keywords that feature in their research.
Book chapter title: Nonparalytic Polio and Post-Polio Syndrome
From: Post-Polio Syndrome: A Guide for Polio Survivors and Their Families (pp. 21-26), Julie K. Silver, Yale University Press (2001)
Keywords: Polio, Paralysis, Symptoms, Postpoliomyelitis syndrome, Medical diagnosis, Legs, Physicians, Strokes, Misdiagnosis
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Gahan, C. (2020, November 06). How to write and format an APA Abstract (6th edition). Scribbr. Retrieved February 27, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/apa-style/6th-edition/archived-abstract/
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How to Write an APA Abstract
Kendra Cherry, MS, is an author and educational consultant focused on helping students learn about psychology.
Emily is a board-certified science editor who has worked with top digital publishing brands like Voices for Biodiversity, Study.com, GoodTherapy, Vox, and Verywell.
Verywell / Nusha Ashjaee
APA format is the official style of the American Psychological Association. It is used in writing for psychology and other social sciences. These style guidelines specify different aspects of a document's presentation and layout, including how pages are structured, how references are organized, and how sources are cited. This format also stipulates the use of an abstract designed to briefly summarize the key details contained in a paper.
While it is sometimes overlooked or only an afterthought, an abstract is an important part of any academic or professional paper. This brief overview serves as a summary of what your paper contains, so it should succinctly and accurately represent what your paper is about and what the reader can expect to find. The abstract is a critical component of an APA-formatted paper.
By following a few simple guidelines, you can create an abstract that follows the format. Done well, an abstract generates interest in your work and helps readers learn if the paper will be of interest to them.
APA Format Abstract Basics
The abstract is the second page of a lab report or APA-format paper and should immediately follow the title page . Think of an abstract as a highly condensed summary of your entire paper.
The purpose of your abstract is to provide a brief yet thorough overview of your paper. It should function much like your title page—it should allow the person reading it to quickly determine what your paper is all about. Your abstract is the first thing that most people will read, and it is usually what informs their decision to read the rest of your paper.
The abstract is the single most important paragraph in your entire paper, according to the APA Publication Manual.
A good abstract lets the reader know that your paper is worth reading. According to the official guidelines of the American Psychological Association, an abstract should be brief, but packed with information. Each sentence must be written with maximum impact in mind. To keep your abstract short, focus on including just four or five of the essential points, concepts, or findings.
An abstract must also be objective and accurate. The abstract's purpose is to report rather than provide commentary. It should accurately reflect what your paper is about. Only include information that is also included in the body of your paper.
How to Write an Abstract in APA Format
First, write your whole paper. While the abstract will be at the beginning of your paper, it should be the last section that you write. Once you have completed the final draft of your psychology paper , use it as a guide for writing your abstract.
- Begin your abstract on a new page . Place your running head and page number 2 in the top right-hand corner. Center the word "Abstract" at the top of the page.
- Know your target word count . An abstract should be between 150 and 250 words. Exact word counts vary from journal to journal . If you are writing your paper for a psychology course, your professor may have specific word requirements, so be sure to ask. The abstract should be written as only one paragraph with no indentation.
- Structure the abstract in the same order as your paper . Begin with a brief summary of the introduction , and then continue on with a summary of the method , results , and discussion sections of your paper.
- Look at other abstracts in professional journals for examples of how to summarize your paper . Notice the main points that the authors chose to mention in the abstract. Use these examples as a guide when choosing the main ideas in your own paper.
- Write a rough draft of your abstract . Use the format required for your type of paper (see next sections). While you should aim for brevity, be careful not to make your summary too short. Try to write one to two sentences summarizing each section of your paper. Once you have a rough draft, you can edit for length and clarity.
- Ask a friend to read over the abstract . Sometimes having someone look at your abstract with fresh eyes can provide perspective and help you spot possible typos and other errors.
Experimental Report Abstracts
The format of your abstract also depends on the type of paper you are writing. For example, an abstract summarizing an experimental paper will differ from that of a meta-analysis or case study . For an experimental report, your abstract should:
- Identify the problem . In many cases, you should begin by stating the question you sought to investigate and your hypothesis .
- Describe the participants in the study . State how many participants took part and how they were selected. For example: "In this study, 215 undergraduate student participants were randomly assigned to [the experimental condition] or [the control condition]."
- Describe the study method . For example, identify whether you used a within-subjects, between-subjects, or mixed design.
- Give the basic findings . This is essentially a brief preview of the results of your paper.
- Provide any conclusions or implications of the study . What might your results indicate, and what directions does it point to for future research?
Literature Review Abstracts
If your paper is a meta-analysis or literature review, your abstract should:
- Describe the problem of interest . In other words, what is it that you set out to investigate in your analysis or review?
- Explain the criteria used to select the studies included in the paper . There may be many different studies devoted to your topic. Your analysis or review probably only looks at a portion of these studies. For what reason did you select these specific studies to include in your research?
- Identify the participants in the studies . Inform the reader about who the participants were in the studies. Were they college students? Older adults? How were they selected and assigned?
- Provide the main results . Again, this is essentially a quick peek at what readers will find when they read your results section. Don't try to include everything. Just provide a very brief summary of your main findings.
- Describe any conclusions or implications . What might these results mean and what do they reveal about the body of research that exists on this particular topic?
Lab Reports and Articles
Psychology papers such as lab reports and APA format articles also often require an abstract. In these cases as well, the abstract should include all of the major elements of your paper, including an introduction, hypothesis, methods, results, and discussion.
Remember, although the abstract should be placed at the beginning of your paper (right after the title page), you will write the abstract last after you have completed a final draft of your paper. In order to ensure that all of your APA formatting is correct, consider consulting a copy of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association .
A Word From Verywell
The abstract may be very brief, but it is so important that the official APA style manual identifies it as the most important paragraph in your entire paper. Careful attention to detail can ensure that your abstract does a good job representing the contents of your paper. If possible, take your paper to your school's writing lab for assistance.
Nagda S. How to write a scientific abstract. J Indian Prosthodont Soc. 2013;13(3):382–383. doi:10.1007/s13191-013-0299-x
American Psychological Association. APA Style Journal Article Reporting Standards: Reporting Standards for Studies With an Experimental Manipulation .
American Psychological Association. APA Style Journal Article Reporting Standards: Quantitative Meta-Analysis Article Reporting Standards .
American Psychological Association. Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.). American Psychological Association; 2019.
By Kendra Cherry Kendra Cherry, MS, is an author and educational consultant focused on helping students learn about psychology.
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How to Write an APA Abstract for a Dissertation or Article
When it comes to writing most academic manuscripts, dissertations, and theses, we end at the beginning: with the abstract. Don’t be fooled by the brevity of this section, though; it contains multitudes, and the entire ecosystem of that piece of writing resides within. Short and mighty, a good abstract packs a punch, and reading and writing abstracts is an essential skill for every scholar to master.
While abstracts are a researcher’s best friend because they allow you to sort through a lot of background material quickly, writing them is another story. Since abstracts are expected to accomplish so much in a small amount of space, they can be complicated to draft and tricky to write. Due to their inherent complexity, it’s a good idea to be prepared and fully understand the purpose and conventions of abstracts before you start writing.
These are a few commonly asked questions about abstracts:
- What is an abstract?
- What is the purpose of an abstract?
- How do I write an abstract in APA?
- What are keywords?
What is an Abstract?
An abstract is a brief summary of a research study that is intended for publication. The briefest section of an academic article, abstracts are generally 150-250 words (more or fewer depending on the publication) plus 5-7 keywords that function as search terms. The abstract is typically the first point of contact that readers have with an article (other than the title of the paper) when searching academic databases and compiling peer-reviewed publications to read about a topic of interest.
What an Abstract is Not
When discussing the conventions that define an abstract, it is equally important to be very clear about what an abstract is not. Many writers are often tempted to craft their abstracts to serve as a preview of coming attractions, designed to whet the audience’s appetite. This is a common, but misguided, instinct; an abstract is not a book jacket, nor is it a movie trailer, and if you write in that direction, your abstract will not fulfill its purpose.
An abstract is a summary. That’s it. I have worked with many graduate students who hesitate to write their abstract as a summary because they “don’t want to give anything away.” I get it. After all of the work that goes into researching, writing, and revising a dissertation or academic article, we want our readers to appreciate every nuance and insight that we painstakingly crafted. We want them to read every word, cover to cover. But that’s not how academic research works.
Purpose of an Abstract
When an academic article or dissertation is published, it enters the conversation and becomes part of the discourse. A well-written abstract is a comprehensive, succinct overview of a qualitative or quantitative research study or critical article, and it is designed to be reviewed quickly as part of a body of research. The reality is that months, or even years, of your research may end up as a footnote in someone else’s.
While I don’t enjoy writing abstracts, as a scholar I appreciate their utility. An abstract is a handy tool for evaluating a large volume of research and winnowing it down to the articles that I actually need to read. If my search in EBSCO or JSTOR turns up 100 articles relevant to my topic, reading the abstracts will help me pare the number of articles I need to examine in depth down to about 10. Abstracts help to make the research process manageable, so writing a good one is a true act of service.
How Do I Write an Abstract?
The structure of your dissertation offers the best formula for composing your abstract. Be sure to include essential information, such as the institution where your research was conducted, the size of your study, and any relevant limitations. Once you’ve established those parameters, outline the objectives of your dissertation using your chapters as a guide:
- Research Question What problem did your study tackle?
- Methods What research methods did you use to conduct your study?
- Findings Did your research result in any notable discoveries?
- Significance Why does this study matter? Does it offer insight into future research that needs to be done?
APA style requires abstracts to be written in past-tense paragraph form, generally with minimal or no citations. Abstracts should be double-spaced with Level I headings in a font consistent with the rest of the manuscript. Before writing your abstract, you may want to look at the abstracts in a few recently-published dissertations by graduates from your department. These will give you templates for structuring your own abstract.
When I am writing an abstract, I usually try to take a narrative approach, guiding the reader from the question that incited the research to the answer that resulted in a thorough but compact paragraph. It may take a few attempts, but you’ll get the hang of it. The most important thing to keep in mind when writing your abstract is to make it a clear and thorough representation of the work that you’ve done.
APA requires keywords at the end of an abstract. They are single words or short phrases that are central to an article or dissertation and often repeated throughout the manuscript. The purpose of keywords is to aid in searches of academic databases. Keywords are the MVP of advanced searches by scholars who are looking for something specific, even if they’re not quite sure what.
For a recent article that I wrote about the role of writing and the humanities in graduate and undergraduate STEM programs, an area of study known as STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts , and math), choosing keywords was a challenge. After all, how do you condense a 30-page article into 5-7 magic words that encapsulate your research? I recommend keeping it simple; I chose: writing, humanities, STEM, STEAM, and higher education.
While there are ironically no shortcuts to the briefest piece of your dissertation or academic article, learning to write a polished and effective abstract is well worth your time. In addition to being a helpful tool for academic research, a well-written abstract also helps to shape your perspective about your research. Your abstract also makes an excellent sound bite for quickly describing all the work you’ve done.
Courtney Watson, Ph.D.
Courtney Watson, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of English at Radford University Carilion, in Roanoke, Virginia. Her areas of expertise include undergraduate and graduate curriculum development for writing courses in the health sciences and American literature with a focus on literary travel, tourism, and heritage economies. Her writing and academic scholarship has been widely published in places that include Studies in American Culture , Dialogue , and The Virginia Quarterly Review . Her research on the integration of humanities into STEM education will be published by Routledge in an upcoming collection. Dr. Watson has also been nominated by the State Council for Higher Education of Virginia’s Outstanding Faculty Rising Star Award, and she is a past winner of the National Society of Arts & Letters Regional Short Story Prize, as well as institutional awards for scholarly research and excellence in teaching. Throughout her career in higher education, Dr. Watson has served in faculty governance and administration as a frequent committee chair and program chair. As a higher education consultant, she has served as a subject matter expert, an evaluator, and a contributor to white papers exploring program development, enrollment research, and educational mergers and acquisitions.
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Home / Guides / Citation Guides / APA Format / How to write an APA abstract
How to write an APA abstract
An APA abstract is a short summary designed to help a reader decide if they are going to read the entire paper. An effective abstract will communicate your hypothesis, method, and results while also creating credibility for yourself as the author. An abstract will also make it easier for new readers to find your work.
In this guide, you will learn how to format an APA abstract. It begins with an overview of the key aspects included with an abstract and ends with a set of real APA abstract examples that you can look at.
The information in this guide comes straight from the source: The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7 th edition. Most of the relevant information comes from Section 2.9.
Here’s a run-through of everything this page includes:
What is an APA abstract page?
How to format an apa abstract, paragraph format vs. structured format, adding a keywords section after your apa abstract, about apa formatting and the apa style guide.
While the abstract page plays an important role in getting the reader interested, it is not a sales pitch. It’s about reporting, not commenting. That means that it should accurately reflect each key aspect of your paper. In other words, it is a concise, comprehensive summary of your paper.
This is where you describe the problem you were exploring, the methods you used to explore it, and the results or conclusions of your exploration. In some cases, you might also be required to state the significance of your conclusions.
Here are some of the key aspects of an APA abstract that might be requested by the publication:
- Basic problem : Why did this work need to be done?
- Clearly-stated hypotheses: What was your hypothesis?
- Methods of investigation: How did you do your research? How did you design your experiment or argument? For scientific papers, include basic sample information.
- Results: What was the result of your study?
- Implications: What is the significance of your findings?
Remember, the specific sections or labels in your abstract might vary based on who you are submitting to.
Qualities of a good abstract
In addition to the formatting requirements, the Publication Manual also provides some guidance on what other qualities make for a good abstract.
Here are the qualities of a good abstract as defined by APA. You can find more information on how to formulate a great abstract in chapter 3.
- Accurate: The most important thing is that your abstract accurately reflects the contents and purpose of your paper. The general rule of thumb for accuracy is, if it doesn’t appear in your paper, it should not appear in the abstract.
- Non-evaluative: The APA instructs us to “Report rather than evaluate” (p.73). It is inappropriate to add any opinions or comments to the abstract.
- Coherent and readable: Your abstract needs to be as clear as possible. Use concise, deliberate language. It helps to use verbs instead of nouns when possible (e.g., “investigated” rather than “an investigation of”).
- Concise: Make sure every sentence is as informative as possible. There should be no “extra” words in an abstract; it’s all about getting the point across as efficiently as possible. Because abstracts are often used for academic search engines, it is good practice to use specific terms that you think people would use to find your paper.
In large part, the abstract page is formatted just like any APA paper. That means that it should be 12pt font and double-spaced the whole way through.
A properly formatted abstract will also be:
- No more than 250 words in length.
- Placed on its own page, immediately following the APA title page .
- Labeled with a bold, center-justified “Abstract” at the top
It is important to note that some publications will have their own instructions on how to format the abstract. In addition, some publications require a statement of significance in addition to the abstract.
If you are submitting your paper to a journal, be sure to check the publication’s author instructions.
The abstract page of an APA paper can be presented in two ways. As the author, you have the option of presenting your abstract in either paragraph format or structured format .
Paragraph format is more common with student papers. This is a single paragraph with no indentation on the first line. The objective, method, results, and conclusions are presented one after another in a simple, narrative manner.
Structured format is similar in formatting with one key difference. This format calls for the insertion of specific labels to identify the different parts of the abstract. In other words, “Objective,” “Method,” “Results,” and “Conclusions” are presented as labels before their corresponding sentences in the abstract.
It’s important to remember that some publications have different labeling requirements. If you’re submitting your paper to a journal, be sure to check the formatting standards.
APA abstract example: Paragraph format
Let’s move on to a specific example of a properly formatted APA abstract written in paragraph format.
The following abstract is from the paper “Movement, wildness, and animal aesthetics” by Tom Greaves. Note how the first line is not indented like a normal paragraph.
The key role that animals play in our aesthetic appreciation of the natural world has only gradually been highlighted in discussions in environmental aesthetics. In this article I make use of the phenomenological notion of ‘perceptual sense’ as developed by Merleau-Ponty to argue that open-ended expressive-responsive movement is the primary aesthetic ground for our appreciation of animals. It is through their movement that the array of qualities we admire in animals are manifest qua animal qualities. Against functionalist and formalist accounts, I defend and develop an account of expressive-responsive movement as the primary perceptual sense of animals. I go on to suggest that the primacy of movement in the aesthetic appreciation of animals is also the primary sense of animal ‘wildness’, and that a key part of the rewilding paradigm should be the development of such appreciation.
In the paragraph above, Greaves uses his first sentence to explain the basic problem, and the next two sentences to describe the method. The fourth sentence presents the results, and the fifth sentence wraps things up with a conclusion.
It’s only five sentences, and it tells the reader everything they need to know about the contents of the paper.
APA abstract example: Structured format
Next up is an example of a properly formatted APA abstract written in structured format. This example uses the same abstract as above, with the addition of identifying labels.
Structured abstracts are only necessary when specifically requested by the class, institution, or journal you are submitting to. For all APA journals, these labels are bold, italicized, and capitalized.
Objective. The key role that animals play in our aesthetic appreciation of the natural world has only gradually been highlighted in discussions in environmental aesthetics. Method. In this article I make use of the phenomenological notion of ‘perceptual sense’ as developed by Merleau-Ponty to argue that open-ended expressive-responsive movement is the primary aesthetic ground for our appreciation of animals. It is through their movement that the array of qualities we admire in animals are manifest qua animal qualities. Results. Against functionalist and formalist accounts, I defend and develop an account of expressive-responsive movement as the primary perceptual sense of animals. Conclusions. I go on to suggest that the primacy of movement in the aesthetic appreciation of animals is also the primary sense of animal ‘wildness’, and that a key part of the rewilding paradigm should be the development of such appreciation.
A paper’s keywords section is intended to help people find your work. These are the acronyms, phrases, or words that describe the most important elements of your paper. Any papers submitted to an APA journal should include three to five keywords.
The keywords section is generally only required for professional papers. However, some professors and universities specifically request that it be included in student papers.
Formatting the keywords section
The keywords are presented on the same page as the abstract, one line below the end of the abstract paragraph. It begins with the label “Keywords:”, and it is italicized and indented 0.5in from the margin.
Next comes a list of the keywords separated by commas. The keywords should be lowercase, unless the keyword is a proper noun. There is no punctuation at the end of a keyword list.
APA abstract with keywords example
Take another look at the abstract example that was provided above. Here is what a set of keywords might look like for that paper, pulling between 3-5 specific terms from the abstract itself.
The keywords are placed one line below the abstract without any additional spaces.
Keywords: animals, animal aesthetics, wildness, rewilding
The information in this guide came from the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7 th ed.). Chapter 2 of this book lays out the basic formatting elements for APA 7, including how to write an APA abstract.
You can also consult chapter 3.3 for more in-depth recommendations on how to formulate your abstract based on what type of paper you are writing.
Published October 27, 2020.
APA Formatting Guide
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- Page Numbers
- Parenthetical Citations
- Reference Page
- Sample Paper
- APA 7 Updates
- View APA Guide
- Book Chapter
- Journal Article
- Magazine Article
- Newspaper Article
- Website (no author)
- View all APA Examples
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You can also watch our APA vidcast series on the Purdue OWL YouTube Channel .
General APA Guidelines
Your essay should be typed and double-spaced on standard-sized paper (8.5" x 11"), with 1" margins on all sides. Include a page header (also known as the “ running head ”) at the top of every page. For a professional paper, this includes your paper title and the page number. For a student paper, this only includes the page number. To create a page header/running head , insert page numbers flush right. Then type "TITLE OF YOUR PAPER" in the header flush left using all capital letters. The running head is a shortened version of your paper's title and cannot exceed 50 characters including spacing and punctuation.
The 7th edition of the APA Publication Manual requires that the chosen font be accessible (i.e., legible) to all readers and that it be used consistently throughout the paper. It acknowledges that many font choices are legitimate, and it advises writers to check with their publishers, instructors, or institutions for guidance in cases of uncertainty.
While the APA Manual does not specify a single font or set of fonts for professional writing, it does recommend a few fonts that are widely available. These include sans serif fonts such as 11-point Calibri, 11-point Arial, and 10-point Lucida Sans Unicode as well as serif fonts such as 12-point Times New Roman, 11-point Georgia, 10-point Computer Modern.
Major Paper Sections
Your essay should include four major sections: the Title Page , Abstract , Main Body , and References .
Note: APA 7 provides slightly different directions for formatting the title pages of professional papers (e.g., those intended for scholarly publication) and student papers (e.g., those turned in for credit in a high school or college course).
The title page should contain the title of the paper, the author's name , and the institutional affiliation . A professional paper should also include the author note . A student paper should also include the course number and name , instructor name , and assignment due date .
Type your title in upper and lowercase letters centered in the upper half of the page. The title should be centered and written in boldface. APA recommends that your title be focused and succinct and that it should not contain abbreviations or words that serve no purpose. Your title may take up one or two lines. All text on the title page, and throughout your paper, should be double-spaced.
Beneath the title, type the author's name : first name, middle initial(s), and last name. Do not use titles (Dr.) or degrees (PhD).
Beneath the author's name, type the institutional affiliation , which should indicate the location where the author(s) conducted the research.
A professional paper should include the author note beneath the institutional affiliation, in the bottom half of the title page. This should be divided up into several paragraphs, with any paragraphs that are not relevant omitted. The first paragraph should include the author’s name, the symbol for the ORCID iD, and the URL for the ORCID iD. Any authors who do not have an ORCID iD should be omitted. The second paragraph should show any change in affiliation or any deaths of the authors. The third paragraph should include any disclosures or acknowledgements, such as study registration, open practices and data sharing, disclosure of related reports and conflicts of interest, and acknowledgement of financial support and other assistance. The fourth paragraph should include contact information for the corresponding author.
A student paper should not include an author note.
Note again that page headers/page numbers (described above for professional and student papers) also appear at the top of the title page. In other words, a professional paper's title page will include the title of the paper flush left in all capitals and the page number flush right, while a student paper will only contain the page number flush right.
Student APA title page
Title page for a student paper in APA 7 style.
Professional paper APA title page
Title page for a professional paper in APA 7 style.
Begin a new page. Your abstract page should already include the page header (described above). On the first line of the abstract page, center and bold the word “Abstract” (no italics, underlining, or quotation marks).
Beginning with the next line, write a concise summary of the key points of your research. (Do not indent.) Your abstract should contain at least your research topic, research questions, participants, methods, results, data analysis, and conclusions. You may also include possible implications of your research and future work you see connected with your findings. Your abstract should be a single paragraph, double-spaced. Your abstract should typically be no more than 250 words.
You may also want to list keywords from your paper in your abstract. To do this, indent as you would if you were starting a new paragraph, type Keywords: (italicized), and then list your keywords. Listing your keywords will help researchers find your work in databases.
Abstracts are common in scholarly journal articles and are not typically required for student papers unless advised by an instructor. If you are unsure whether or not your work requires an abstract, consult your instructor for further guidance.
APA Abstract Page
Abstract page for a student paper in APA 7 style.
Please see our Sample APA Paper resource to see an example of an APA paper. You may also visit our Additional Resources page for more examples of APA papers.
How to Cite the Purdue OWL in APA
The page template for the new OWL site does not include contributors' names or the page's last edited date. However, select pages still include this information.
In the absence of contributor/edit date information, treat the page as a source with a group author and use the abbreviation "n.d." for "no date":
Purdue Online Writing Lab. (n.d.). Title of resource. Purdue Online Writing Lab. http://Web address for OWL resource
Purdue Online Writing Lab. (n.d.). General Writing FAQs. Purdue Online Writing Lab. https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/general_writing_faqs.html
The generic APA citation for OWL pages, which includes author/edit date information, is this:
Contributors' names. (Last edited date). Title of resource . Site Name. http://Web address for OWL resource
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Writing Abstracts for a Literature Review in APA Format
Do you need to know how to write a literature review abstract in APA? You’ve come to the right place. This citation example focuses on abstract writing in an APA format style paper. Learning how to write an abstract in APA is an excellent skill to have, as it helps you develop the ability to summarize the essential points in your paper. In addition to a how-to, you can explore several APA abstract examples including a literature review abstract example.
Types of Research Papers
You may be asked to prepare various kinds of research papers as a student, including:
- Empirical study
A literature review paper is one you’ll be asked to write frequently, as many times, there is not enough time in a class setting to complete extensive research. Therefore, it’s important to know how to create an abstract for your literature review.
What Is an Abstract?
An abstract is a concise summary of the purpose or aim of your research in your APA paper. You’ve probably seen an abstract a time or two when looking at a scholarly journal. These examples of abstracts in APA tell you whether the piece is worth your time to read. Abstracts vary by type but should include:
- research questions, problems, and/or a hypothesis
- research methods
- study results and conclusions
- Recommendations and implications
- critical points of a literature review
The official writing style of the American Psychological Association , APA format is designed for psychology and social science papers. Therefore, abstracts you create in this writing style are for this purpose. Additionally, per the 7th edition of APA writing style, abstracts and keywords are no longer required for student papers, unless required by your teacher.
Abstract Word Limits
The maximum word count for an APA abstract is 250 words. However, your instructor may ask for fewer words or provide you with additional guidance. Some instructors or publications may restrict the word count to 150.
How to Write an Abstract in APA
Since the abstract is a concise summary of your paper, you write it after you have finished your paper. Therefore, you have a clear idea of what to include in this short paragraph. Now, let’s explore the details of how to write and format an abstract for your APA paper.
APA Abstract Format
The abstract page is the second page of your report, right after the title page. This page is numbered 2 on your report.
- On the first line of the page, center the word Abstract in bold. (Do not underline, italicize, or otherwise format the title.)
- On the second line, start your abstract. (Do not indent.)
- Use a readable font like Times New Roman 12-point or Calibri 11-point.
- Write the abstract as a single paragraph.
- Double-space, 1-inch margins on all sides.
Inserting Keywords into an APA Abstract
In today’s digital world, it is vital to think about ways readers can find your work online. Adding keywords at the end of your abstract guides online searches. These keywords need to accurately represent the paper and be specific.
After the abstract paragraph, type Keywords: italicized and indented.
Keywords: digital print, online sources
Abstract Example in APA
This article is an examination of the history of gender demographics in the field of librarianship. The historical development and subsequent “feminization” of librarianship continues to influence the gender wage gap and the disproportionate leadership bias in the field today. This article examines the stereotyping of librarians and the cyclical effect of genderizing the profession. Consideration of current trends and data in librarian demographics demonstrates a consistent decrease in gender diversity, accompanied by a troubling lack of women leaders and executives. Additionally, this article explores options for combating the gender perceptions that negatively impact women in the library and information science fields, including management and negotiation training in graduate programs, increased emphasis on technological skills, and professional organization advocacy.
Keywords : gender, demographics, stereotyping, librarians
How to Write an Abstract for a Literature Review
When writing an abstract for a literature review, you take the same basic approach as you do for a general abstract. However, since you are reviewing other literature on a topic, you have some unique elements, including:
- First, briefly state the research topic and questions.
- Then, using the primary studies in the literature you reviewed, include the participants in the studies and the main results.
- Remember to include the conclusion of your literature review.
- Finally, finish with a sentence about any implications or future research that developed from the research presented in your paper.
Literature Review Abstract Example With Keywords
The future of books and libraries is put into question by the increasing popularity of e-books and the use of computers as text platforms. To anticipate which reading platform—print, e-readers, or computer displays—will dominate in the coming years, recent research and experimental data on the suitability of each reading platform for reading comprehension will be considered, from the perspectives of optical issues, cognition, and metacognition. It will be shown that, while printed books are most conducive to learning from longer, more challenging texts, e-readers and computer displays offer convenience and some distinct advantages to readers in particular situations. This synthesis of current research will be helpful to librarians working in digital and print book purchasing and collection development, as well as those making long-range planning decisions.
Keywords : books, digital books, e-paper, reading comprehension, cognition
Tips for Writing a Literature Review Abstract in APA
Abstracts can be challenging, especially if you are new to the abstract writing game. Get some quick tips to make abstract writing easy.
- Create a rough draft. This ensures you say everything you need to and the fluff can be edited out.
- Check out professional abstracts.
- Get feedback on your abstract.
- Keep it concise. In an abstract, staying in your word count is essential.
Sectioning Your APA Research Paper
In the seventh edition of APA style , a research paper has four sections:
A Crucial Element
Knowing how to write an abstract in APA is a critical part of your school research paper. Thus, you should put a lot of thought into creating your APA abstract and make sure it includes all the required elements. As always, be sure to follow your teacher’s guidance for the length and format of your APA paper and abstract.
Annotated Bibliography Examples
Understanding APA Literature Reviews
FAQ Writing Abstracts for a Literature Review in APA Format
What is an apa abstract example.
An example of an abstract can be found on the second page of an APA paper. The abstract provides a brief break down of the article to help readers to understand how the paper is useful to their research. An abstract example includes a page number, title (Abstract), abstract text, and keywords at the bottom.
How do you write an abstract?
To write an abstract in APA, you want to include the research questions, research methods, types of research included, conclusions, and implications of the research. The abstract is going to be less than 250 words; therefore, it needs to be concise and to the point. To make sure your abstract is concise, you can create a rough draft and edit it down.
How do you write an abstract for APA 7th edition?
To write an abstract in APA 7th edition, you need to include the page number, title abstract in bold, abstract text of fewer than 250 words, and keywords. The abstract text should provide a concise overview of your APA paper, including research questions, hypotheses, study results, and conclusions. Additionally, APA 7 edition student papers do not require an abstract.
What makes a good abstract?
A good abstract in APA is a clear, concise overview of your research paper. It includes the research topic and questions, studies reviewed, conclusions, implications, and research methods. It's less than 250 words and includes keywords at the end.
What are keywords in APA format?
The keywords in an APA format abstract make the abstract easy to search in online databases. Additionally, they provide readers with a quick idea of the general topics covered in the paper. APA abstract keywords are found at the bottom of the paper, and the word "keywords" is indented and in italics.
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APA Citations for a Thesis or Dissertation
How is the reference list arranged in apa, easy apa citation page, citing multiple sources in apa with the same author.
Step-by-Step Instructions for Writing an Abstract in APA Format
By andy xavier.
APA format, which stands for the American Psychological Association format, is a writing format that was developed for researchers and students in psychology as well as other fields in the social sciences . The APA format specifies the guidelines for different aspects of academic writing, including the paper’s presentation, layout, structure, citation, and references.
Therefore, if you are writing a paper in APA format, you may need to include an abstract in APA format as part of your paper. Although the abstract page is optional, it is useful for readers to get a sneak peek into your paper and what it is about. The abstract also serves as a way for prospective readers to judge if your paper is worth reading.
APA format states that the abstract should be written in such a way that it summarizes the key details in the paper while keeping brevity in mind. An abstract is usually a summary of your paper’s overall focus that provides readers with the main point of your paper. The abstract is generally on the second page of an APA paper. (Get an editing service to perfect your writing !)
Basics of Abstract in APA Format
In APA format, the abstract page should follow immediately after the title page . According to the APA format, your abstract should function like your title page, that is, allowing your readers to know what the paper is all about. Therefore, an abstract written in APA format should be:
- Accurate and objective: The abstract should accurately reflect what the paper is about, including only information that can be found in the paper. Also, the abstract is not written to provide commentary; instead, it is written to report what is in the paper.
- Brief and complete: The abstract must be short, focus on only including essential points, concepts, and findings. The sentences must, however, be written to have the maximum impact on the readers.
An abstract in APA format should be between 150-250 words. It should describe the research problem, methods, findings, and conclusion of your research. When writing a paper for publication, it would include a list of keywords.
The formatting of the abstract page is similar to that of the rest of the paper in APA format. That is, it must:
- Have a running head that should be aligned to the top left corner of the page.
- Have a heading titled “Abstract” that should be centered and in bold.
- Not have any part of the text indented.
- Be written in Times New Roman font in 12 pts.
- Have double line spacing
- Have margins of one-inch or 2.54cm
When including the keyword sections in the abstract, the first line is to be indented with the word “keywords” italicized.
Steps to Take When Writing an Abstract in APA Format
You may also want to read Step-by-Step Instructions for Writing an Abstract in Chicago Format!
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An abstract is a brief, one-paragraph summary of your paper – generally 150-250 words. The abstract, like the title, should be able to stand alone and fully explain what your paper is about. A good abstract is accurate, nonevaluative, readable, and concise.
Not all instructors will require you to write an abstract, but if you publish professionally you will likely be asked to write one for any article/paper.
If you include an abstract in your paper, begin it on page two (its own page). Center and capitalize the word ‘Abstract.’ Do not indent the first line of your abstract, it should be written in block format.
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