Perfect guide on how to write an APA abstract

Perfect guide on how to write an APA abstract

The present study is focused on exploring the various ways how to write an APA abstract. If you are writing a research paper, you can follow several formats and styles. One such significant format is the APA style you can use to organize your paper and mention the references you have used. You May find it a bit different from other writing styles and guidelines you may have used in the past if you are not familiar with the format.

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While it may take some time for you to understand how to write an APA abstract, it is a very useful skill that can help you well in the process.

To start with the basics, an APA format is the formal sign of the American Psychological Association (APA), which is used for citation purposes in Social sciences, Education, and Psychology. This format first came out in 192 in the Psychological Bulletin. Later, these guidelines were further extended for formatting and citation purposes.

What is the meaning of an abstract in APA style?

An APA abstract is a detailed and comprehensive summary of your paper that briefly describes the research problem, core issues, hypothesis, methods, results, and implications of your research work. It is considered the significant secondary part of your paper, which usually begins on the second page of the research paper. Usually, it is placed on a separate page just after the title page and is to be written after the rest of your paper has been completed. While most professional research papers submitted for publication need an abstract, research papers required by students, typically don’t need an abstract until or unless instructed.

What are the basics for how to write an APA abstract?

Before we move towards how to write an APA abstract and a few examples illustrated, it is important to know the basics of writing an abstract according to the necessary guidelines. Here are a few things to keep in mind while formatting the abstract page of your paper –

  1. The typical length of an abstract should be a minimum of 150 words, which can be extended to 250 in a paragraph.
  2. Similar to the rest pages, make sure to double space the one with the extract, keep it in a font size of 12 pt, and the font used should be Times New Roman. Make sure that none of the letters of the heading exceed the limit of 50 letters.
  3. While the upper running head should be aligned with the left-hand corner on the upper side of every page, the sequence of pages should be mentioned with the right-hand corner towards the upper side on every page.
  4. Keeping the abstract title at the top of the page is important. No extra space should be left between the paragraph and the title. Moreover, you should always avoid formatting the title with bold, aligning, mislabeling, or italics with the title of your research document.
  5. While writing you’re abstract, use double spaces after sentences ending in a period. However, sentences with punctuation marks can also be followed by a single space.
  6. Always use active voice in the abstract with reference to the past tense. However, you can also use present tense to describe conclusions and implications in your document, apart from using acronyms or abbreviated words that should be properly defined.

What are the steps to follow how to write an APA abstract?

Your abstract is the part of your document that informs the reader about the core issue of your research and what your research is about. Therefore, writing the abstract after you have finished the rest of your paper is recommended. Follow the given steps to understand how to write an APA abstract:

  1. Start on a new page and label the page as the second one. Mention the title as an abstract towards the top and align it in the middle.
  2. As mentioned in the above pointers, make sure that the word limit does not exceed 250 words. However, the word count may vary from one subject to another depending on the type of academic paper you are required to present. So, make sure to consult with your professor or guide about the specific requirements before proceeding with your research and presentation work.
  3. As you proceed with your document, make sure to follow the same structure in the order of your paper. For a comprehensive and elaborate research paper, give the summary of the introduction first and then move ahead to the methodologies, results, and implications of your research.
  4. Before you proceed with the next sections, refer to the APA’s official website for the rules of format relevant to the type of paper you are required to write. Write one or two sentences for each section of your paper and edit the length for better clarity once your rough draft is ready on your end.
  5. While you still write your abstract in the end, remember that there should be no mistakes in the document as the reader will go through all the details. Since the elements and format depend on the type of paper, you need to be very careful with the elements you add to your research paper and the details you mention.

If you still face any problems figuring out the ideal method for writing an APA abstract, you may contact our team and let us look at some of the samples for a better idea. Change the format and elements may differ from one type of document to the other; you can refer to the above guidelines for insights on what an abstract should include for each category.

Few examples of experimental report abstracts to understand how to write an APA abstract

The structure of an APA abstract may differ based on paper type. For an experimental report, an APA abstract should include the following pointers –

  1. Identify and discuss the problem you will investigate, along with a relevant hypothesis.
  2. The number of participants in the experiment and the selection criteria considered to include them in the team. The example can look something like this – “300 undergraduate students were randomly selected as the participants for this research study.”
  3. Procedures, techniques, and methodologies used in the research. For example, “In this research work, the main subjects and initial topics were used.”
  4. A brief review of the preliminary findings and conclusion of your paper.
  5. Implications of your study and what they imply about the future research you may carry out.

Literature review abstracts in APA format

Based on a literature review or meta-analysis, a paper that includes an APA abstract should aim at the following –

  1. The reason to investigate the problem in your review or analysis.
  2. Factors considered in selecting the studies for research work.
  3. Informing the readers about the participant through their identification and mentioning why they were selected in the first place.
  4. Offering the readers an inside on the results section and maintaining the summary of your core findings.
  5. Describing the conclusions and what they mean. Providing a brief of what they say about the existing research and implications on the topic.

Example of an APA abstract

For a better understanding of how to write an APA abstract, let’s go through the given an example –

Several research studies have been conducted on people who are not into the habit of reading and how they can develop reading habits (Simons, 2009; Benson, 2011). The research has stated that specified laboratory time for such students is one of the most effective ways to develop reading habits among young people. However, it has also been revealed that encouraging non-readers to explore reading beyond their class hours is challenging due to certain factors (Elton,2001; Greene, 2004). To evaluate these habits and develop a better approach, we surveyed 300 non-readers who are undergraduate students aged between 18 to 21. The results showed that the best solution would be to inculcate it as a habit within classroom hours. Keeping this in mind, we have shared some strategies that mentors and college teachers can use to provide relevant reading material to their students from which they can learn and connect as well.

Keywords: reading habits, non-readers, strategies, reading material.

For a better reference, you can also go through more samples on various academic websites to get a clear picture of how to write an APA abstract. Additionally, you can also refer to the publication manual of the American Psychological Association to ensure compliance with the respective guidelines.

Lastly, to understand how to write an APA abstract, make a note to take assistance and ask for help from your teachers, instructors, and mentors if and whenever you feel stuck with your work. Personal and one on one interaction is probably the best way to seek direction.

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