Here are the steps for writing an abstract:

  1. Usually you will be writing an abstract for your own paper. When writing an abstract, you need to write your paper first. Because it is a summary of your entire paper, it is the last step in the writing process.
  2. Understand the requirements of the abstract. If you are writing for a class, the instructor may have given you a word limit. If you are writing for publication, the journal will give a word limit.
  3. Think about your audience. Who are you writing for? A general audience or professionals in your field?
  4. Usually, scientific abstracts are written in this order: purpose, problem, methods, results, conclusion. However, depending on what type of paper you are writing, these could vary. If you are writing a review article, for example, you would not have methods and results parts.
  5. Make sure your abstract contains the key words of the paper. If you are writing about causes of autism, be sure that the phrase “causes of autism” is found in your abstract.
  6. Avoid being too specific. Remember that an abstract is a summary. Eliminate unncessary details that are covered in the paper itself.