How to Write an Abstract for a Research Project

How to Write an Abstract for a Research Project

in Guides on April 8, 2020

What is an Abstract

An abstract summarizes in one paragraph 250 words or less the major aspects of an entire research project which includes the topic, objectives, scope, framework, statistical analysis method, findings, and recommendations among others. An abstract is a brief summary of a research article, thesis, review, conference proceeding or any in-depth analysis of a particular subject and is often used to help the reader quickly ascertain the paper’s purpose (Finkelstein, 2004).

A well written abstract gives the reader insights about the research paper.


Abstract Research 

Steps to writing a good Abstract

An abstract contains vital information of the research work in a brief form. In accordance with the steps listed below are typical kinds of information found in most abstract:

Step 1

The general topic under study: the research topic is a subject or issue that a researcher is interested in when conducting a research. The first step of writing an abstract is to include the topic of the research carried out.

Step 2

The objectives of the study: the objectives of the research describe concisely what the research is trying to achieve at the end of the project. Stating the objectives of the research is the next step involved in writing an abstract. There is no fixed amount, the objective of a research may be one or more.

Step 3

The scope of the study: the scope of the study explains the extent to which the research will be explored in the work. It defines clearly the extent of content and parameters within which the study will be operating. The third step is to state the scope of the study, it doesn’t require lengthy explanation. For example for a time series data, the scope can be 1986 to 2020, for a survey methodology, the scope can be a local government area.

Step 4

The theoretical framework used in the study: the theoretical framework is the structure that can hold or support a theory of a research study. The theoretical framework goes in line with the research study been carried out. It is important to state the theoretical framework used in the study.

Step 5

The research design, population of the study, sample size and sampling technique: the design of a study defines the study type, it is the framework of research methods and techniques chosen by a researcher to integrate the different components of the study in a coherent and logical way thereby ensuring that the research problem is addressed effectively. It constitutes the blueprint for the collection measurement and analysis of data.

Population of the study entails a group of individuals taken from the general population who share a common characteristics used for a study. It is generally a large collection of individuals or objects that is the main focus of a research.

Sample size measures the number of observations used in a survey or research. It involves the number of observations drawn from the population of the study.

Sampling technique is a method that allows the researcher to infer information about a population based on results from the sample without having to investigate every individual. It is the selection of sample from a research population to estimate the characteristics of the whole population.

An abstract contain information on the research design, population of the study, sample size and sampling technique so that the reader can have an idea of the methodology of the research. However, data on population of the study, sample size and sampling technique comes in play when the research conducted uses a primary method of data collection.

Step 6

The instrument used for data collection and source of data: instrument is the general term that researchers use for a measurement device. For example questionnaire is an instrument for collection of primary data. Source of data is the primary location from where data comes. When writing an abstract the instrument used in data collection and analysis is stated as well as the source of the data used in the research.

Step 7

The finding(s): Findings of a project is the principal outcomes of a research project, what the project revealed or indicated. Findings of a research is included in the abstract and the findings is gotten after the research project is carried out. The findings of a research should go in line with the objectives of the research such that the motives of carrying out the research is acquired.

Step 8

Recommendation(s): recommendation in research is a critical suggestion regarding the best course of action in a certain situation. It urge specific actions to be taken with regard to policy, practice, theory or subsequent research. After findings in a research recommendation are made which must be in line with findings and objectives of the study. Recommendation(s) is included in the abstract after the findings are stated.

Step 9

General conclusion: the general conclusion, just in a single sentence should be included in the last part of the abstract.

The keywords: keywords are words or phrase that captures the most important aspect of the paper. When listing the keywords, few words or phrase that is used in the research such as the parameters or important word that give a glimpse of the research, could be from the topic or scope.  In APA style article, they appear just under the abstract.

An abstract should be intelligent on its own without the reader having to read the entire paper. An abstract do not need citations nor references.


When to write an Abstract

Most individuals might be tempted to write their abstract first because it appears first in a research work. However it is ideal to write an abstract after the research has been carried out so that the correct details is inputted into the abstract. Since an abstract summarizes the entire project and it is best to include in the abstract the actual findings and recommendations made.


Examples of an Abstract

When primary method of data collection is involved


This research work empirically explored the need for guidance and counselling services among Nigeria University students. The objectives of this study were to ascertain the level of provision of guidance and counselling services among Nigeria Universities, establish the relationship between guidance and counselling and university students’ performance. The scope of the study is all Nigeria universities, the Eric Erikson’s Psychoanalytic theory of development Model was used as a framework. The research design used for this study is survey, the population targeted for this study consists of student and staff of some selected Nigerian universities, a total of 300 student and staff was used as sample size, 300 questionnaires administered to students and staffs and cluster sampling technique was applied. Instrument used for this study is the questionnaire. Data collected were collected from primary sources. From the analysis of the data, the findings shows that the level of provision of guidance and counselling services among Nigeria Universities is minimal, there exist a relationship between guidance and counselling services and student performance. Following the findings, it was recommended that the level of provision of guidance and counselling services among Nigeria Universities should be raised, various strategies that will help raise the level of students performance in schools should be adopted such as provision of guidance and counselling services. The study reliably concludes that improving the level of provision of guidance and counselling service in schools has a positive impact on Nigeria educational system in particular and Nigeria in general.

Keyword: guidance, counselling, guidance and counselling, academic performance, educational system, Nigeria University.

When data is sourced from secondary method


The study explores the impact of globalization and exchange rate on economic growth in Nigeria. Globalization deals with the breakdown of trade barriers and increased integration of World marketwhile exchange rate is the price of one currency vis-à-vis another. The objective of this study was to determine the extent to which globalization and exchange rate has led to the development of the economy of Nigeria. The data used were sourced from the CBN statistical bulletin for the period 1986 to 2018. The endogenous growth model was used as theoretical framework. Three research questions guided the study. The data collected were analyzed using co-integration test, robust least square and vector error correction model. From the analysis of the data, result revealed that globalization and exchange rate has led to the development of the economy of Nigeria, there is strong positive relationship between globalization and exchange rate and GDP growth in Nigeria. Following the findings, it was recommended that government should embark on trade policy measures as well as exchange rate policy measures to balance the external and financial sector. The study reliably concludes that trade and exchange rate policy measures, through import and export channel, have significant influence on the output of the real sector of the Nigerian economy.

Keyword: globalization, exchange rate, economic growth, export.



Finkelstein Jr. Leo (2004). Pocket Book of Technical Writing for Engineers and Scientists (2.ed.). London: McGraw-Hill Education-Europe. ISBN 978-0072468496

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