You’ve done the research, written the paper, and now you have to do the abstract. It’s the last piece of the puzzle—then your academic paper will be complete. All you need are a few abstract examples to show you how to compose your own. Problem is you don’t know where to look!
Consider your problem solved, because here are 15 great abstract examples that will show you a variety of ways you can write yours. So buckle up: it’s about to get abstract in here.
The aim of this abstract is to keep it simple: state the problem, the purpose, what you did, how you did it, and what the outcome was. Simple, not fluffed, just straight and to the point. A good one will look like this:
This study examines the problem of social media usage among businesses attempting to control a customer relations narrative. It aims to identify the main strategies employed by businesses to address the rapidity with which information can spread via social media and potentially threaten the brand image of the business if that information is negative. This cross-sectional study conducted a survey of 125 U.S. businesses. It found that the majority of these firms have virtually no strategy in place for addressing this problem. Recommendations are provided.
Keywords: social media, business, PR, customer relations
If you want to load up your reader with all the info you found during the course of your research, go the information-intensive route. This type of abstract is great if your reader wants to know all the details up front. Here’s what it would look like:
Of the 3,247 feature length films to be released either theatrically or on VOD in 2017, 2,385 of them contained scenes of violence. A 12-month longitudinal analysis of the effect of violence in the media on viewers in urban settings was conducted in order to assess the psychological impact of media scenes of violence on male youths aged 12-18. Variables included were sensitivity to violence, age, grade level, family demographic, religious background, ethnicity, political affiliation (if any), and perceived social network. Multivariate analysis using MANOVA was used to measure outcomes. The survey revealed that male youths between the ages of 12 and 14 were most likely to be fascinated by scenes of violence, while youths between the ages of 15 and 18 were most likely to recreate scenes of violence in confrontational situations in their own lives. Family demographic, religious background and perceived social network were found to have significant input on youths’ psychology.
Keywords: media violence, social effect, media society, teens
Some writers tend to get a little abstract happy and make it longer than it really needs to be—i.e., you could swap it out with chapter 1 of your paper and no one would know the difference. You should try to avoid writing this type of abstract—and just so you know what it looks like and what not to do, here’s an example:
In the country of India, in the state of Tamil Nadu, in the district of Tirunelveli, the country’s greatest number of cows can be found. These cows often wander at will the streets and lanes of the district. The pollution they leave behind can be seen everywhere one looks. This pollution can have significant negative impact on the health of street stall owners who not only have to combat the fumes of autos driving up and down the streets but also the detritus of bovines. The health of street stall owners is a concern of their families and thus is a major concern of the government of Tirunelveli. The government is thus interested in developing a plan that will help health care providers to offer preventive medicine to street stall owners. This study conducts a literature review of how preventive medicine has been used in other nations around the world. It locates themes related to how preventive care is distributed, what methods go into providing a preventive care plan, what information should go into it, and what color the delivery package should be. Some researchers have found that color plays an important part in how information is received. Other studies, however, have shown that color is not a significant factor in the acquisition of knowledge. Further research is needed to clarify this issue.
Keywords: India, Tamil Naud, Tirunelveli, preventive medicine
Some writers go the other way and make the opposite mistake—they write an abstract that literally tells absolutely nothing about the paper that follows. That’s not good! The abstract should serve a purpose—give the highlights and get out. Here’s an example of an abstract that just dawdles and then ditches the reader like a bad date:
Social justice is an important theme found across college campuses today. However, some students feel that their universities should focus more on the value that athletics can bring to communities. These students favor highlighting positive images of culture rather than negative ones. Teachers and students sometimes clash in this manner. People need to have open communication in order for them to feel comfortable with one another.
Keywords: social justice, community life, college, education
You’ve probably noticed that with some publications of academic articles, an abstract will be divided into sections with big bold headings declaring the specific parts of the abstract—such as the Purpose, Methodology, Findings, and Conclusion. This is great for readers, but not every professor is going to like this approach. Make sure you follow the recommended guidelines given to you in class before you go adopting this style—and just in case, here’s what it looks like:
Problem: Librarians struggle to demonstrate equitability and fairness to homeless patrons using library services.
Purpose: This study aimed to find the reasons librarians feel uncomfortable about dealing with homeless patrons.
Methodology: The interview method was used to collect data from 75 librarians working across 12 cities in America. Content analysis was conducted to identify common themes among participants.
Findings: The main factors that cause librarians discomfort when dealing with homeless patrons are: personal bias, feelings of wasting time, and dislike of the appearance and demeanor of the homeless.
Conclusions: Librarians could benefit from training in how to conduct themselves with respect to all patrons in order to better facilitate community growth.
Keywords: librarian, library services, homelessness, homeless patrons
This kind of abstract is so straight and to the point that if you blink, you’ll miss it. It might appeal to some writers who prefer to cram everything into one sentence and be done with it, but we’re not sure how many teachers are going to like this style. Effective if done correctly, but, if not precise, it can be a second cousin of the Abstract that Reveals Nothing. Careful how you do it! Here’s our example:
This qualitative study examined the cause of high rates of nursing turnover in urban areas of the southwest region of the United States and found the main factors to be job dissatisfaction and burnout, which is why more emphasis needs to be placed on providing a quality workplace environment for nurses.
Keywords: nursing, nursing turnover, burnout, job satisfaction
This style of abstract tries to find the right balance between being informative but not too revealing—you don’t want your abstract to seem like it has diarrhea of the mouth. You want to be as descriptive as possible because, well, frankly, your paper is pretty complex and for your abstract to do it justice it’s going to need more than a few words. Go for it—but find the right words so that each one packs just the punch needed to get the point across.
Jazz played an instrumental role in the development of social concepts in the 20th century. This paper provides a phenomenological assessment of the impact of jazz on the lives of baby boomer generation adults, particularly with respect to musicians like Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis. The purpose of this study is to understand in a deep, personal way the effect that jazz had on the formation of the minds and hearts of the baby boomer population currently entering into retirement in today’s society. Understanding this impact can help sociologists to see if there are connections between baby boomers’ association with jazz and today’s youths’ association with contemporary musicians like Justin Bieber, Drake, and Eminem.
Keywords: jazz, American history, music, society
Like the no-nonsense teacher who comes into class, puts her name on the chalkboard, tells you exactly what the course will cover in three sentences and then slaps you with a ten page paper for homework due at the end of the week, the No Nonsense Abstract takes no prisoners and shows no mercy. This one tells it like it is—and if anyone has any problems with that, too bad; no one’s listening.
This paper discusses the impact of loose monetary policy on markets since 2008. Specifically, it examines the role of the Federal Reserve in affecting equities and bond markets through its policy of quantitative easing. Correlation between increase in money supply and rise of company valuations and bond prices is found. The expected result of central bank tightening is discussed with respect to these same markets.
Keywords: monetary policy, quantitative easing, Federal Reserve
Some writers will only subtly hint at what their paper is about in their abstract. This may be intentional or it may be accidental because they’ve saved the abstract for last and now their brains are fried and the only things they can think to say are generalities and vague allusions to the purpose and findings of the study. If done well, the subtle abstract will serve the purpose; if not, it ends up being like the dotard long-lost uncle of the Abstract that Reveals Nothing.
Film adaptations of video games have traditionally left fans uninspired and unimpressed. This paper discusses the reasons that video game adaptations so often fail to score with audiences at the box office. The narrative telling mechanisms of the two mediums are contrasted. Commonalities are identified and differences are discussed. Factors related to film production are taken into account. The overall natures of the two mediums are evaluated and possible solutions to adaptation issues are provided.
Keywords: film, video games, adaptation, narrative, film production
This abstract gets to the point with efficient use of words, the right combination of style and description, and clarity that spells it out for the reader—but in a nice, helpful way that doesn’t make the reader feel like he’s just be trodden into the mud by an elephant.
The problem of quitting smoking has plagued cigarette addicts for decades in spite of all the health warnings provided by health care providers. With introduction of the vaping industry, in which no harmful chemicals found in cigarettes were used in vaping products, it was expected by proponents of the industry that smokers would soon be transferring over to vaping. In the U.S., however, a concerted effort was made by researchers, lobbyists, and politicians to effectively derail the vaping industry’s claims. This study provides a qualitative assessment of the impact of the negative campaign against vaping in the U.S. in the decision making process of smokers with respect to trying vaping products in an effort to quit cigarette usage. The findings of this study show that suspicion of vaping being harmful or ineffective is a concern for traditional tobacco smokers.
Keywords: smoking, cigarettes, vaping, quitting smoking
What makes a strong abstract? This is an abstract that hits all the right notes that your professor will be looking for. As a rule—know what your professor is looking for in an abstract (hint—read the rubric), then hit those points. If we were professors, we’d want yours to look like this:
In 2016, more evangelical Christian Republicans turned out to vote for Donald Trump than for Mitt Romney or George Bush before him. This study examined the reasons evangelicals gave for throwing their support behind a candidate who not only showed zero interest in political correctness but also showed few examples of how he applied everyday principles of Christianity in his own life. The purpose of this research was to find out what made this group vote for Trump—was it the man himself, his message, or the threat of his opponent possibly securing the White House that made this population turn out en masse at election booths across the nation? The findings discuss the integration of political fears, hopes and religious sensibilities in modern American life.
Keywords: 2016 presidential election, trump, evangelicals, Hillary
Another relative of the Abstract that Reveals Nothing, the weak abstract tends to focus too much on only one aspect of the study, is repetitive, and doesn’t bother to mention all parts. Stay away from this one: he’ll get you into all sorts of trouble.
This study used Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory to evaluate the needs of student workers at fast food restaurants. Student workers often have needs that go unobserved by managers. Their needs should receive more attention because so many of their actions are based on the feelings that stem from these needs. More understanding is needed to understand these needs.
Keywords: needs, students, student workers, fast food, Maslow
Like some other big, beautiful things in this great land of ours, this type of abstract can bite off more than it can chew. It means well, but by the end of it, your reader will be thinking that there had to be a better, more effective way to highlight the main points. Big, beautiful abstracts tend to look like this:
The art of negotiation is a timeless ritual that has been seen from ancient times to our very own day. Thucydides demonstrated the art of negotiation in the Melian Dialogue, in which the ancient Athenians offered terms of surrender to the Melians. The Melians declined to accept the terms and a war was fought which resulted in the slaughter of the Melian men, the enslavement of the Melian women and children, and the confiscation of the island of Melos by Athens. Athens appeared to win the day; however, it soon came to a bad end, which was predicted by Melos during the initial negotiation. This paper asks whether a better negotiation tactic might have been employed by both sides in order to create a more effective outcome. It uses this Dialogue as a backdrop for how negotiation strategies might be more effectively conducted today. The idea of principled negotiation is discussed and used to show how a more strategic approach to negotiation can be used by both sides.
Keywords: Melian Dialogue, negotiation, art of the deal
The best abstract is the one that highlights what your paper is about, indicating the key elements and doing it in about 150 words. Like this:
This paper examines the role that cinema played in advancing the message of the Third Reich in the 1930s as well as how the cinema of the Weimar Republic helped to prepare the stage for that message. In doing so, it examines the impact of counter-culture artists, Dada, and Berlin night club life, and contrasts it with the role of nationalism, existential dread, and the sharp reversal of fortune felt by Germans between the wars. Critical theory is used to analyze the ways in which culture, film, politics, power structures, class structure, class uprising, militarism, tradition, counter-culture concepts, art, and social movements intertwine to affect the social consciousness. It focuses extensively on the films of the 1920s and 1930s in Germany as well as on interviews with German actors and directors who experienced life in Germany during both decades to develop a picture of how cinema helped shape a meaningful narrative for this country in the run-up to WW2.
Keywords: ww2, germany, third reich, cinema, film
The worst abstract is one that doesn’t do its job of previewing the document. It’s like a movie trailer that totally gets it all wrong and makes the viewer think the movie will be a grand, sweeping epic full of comedy and drama—when the actual film is a clichéd buddy cop flick. Beware, it might look like this:
Business managers have to be smart when they make decisions about who to hire. However, if they don’t care about what they’re doing because they have no skin in the game, businesses are not going to prosper. That is why it is important that managers be forced to buy stock in their companies. This will help companies’ stock valuations increase. However, the problem for HR is that it still needs workers who are talented. Finding talented workers is a problem that goes beyond management. Businesses need to not only hold managers accountable, they also need to hold potential candidates accountable. Potential candidates should be scouted and recruited the same way athletes are scouted and recruited by colleges and universities. Businesses should also pay candidates more money because they are what make businesses succeed in the long run. This paper is about why businesses fail and what people can do to make them succeed.
Keywords: business, workers, success
We’re sure you’ve found these abstract examples super helpful, and hopefully you had some fun going through them. Now it’s time to get back to work. Knowing what to look out for and what to avoid, you’ll be able to craft the abstract your essay needs and deserves. And, as always, if you find you’d like a little extra help, our writers and editors are standing by to be of assistance. Don’t wait, if you’d like one of our writers to provide you with an excellent model essay uniquely customized to meet your specific needs, place an order today.