Page Header (Running Head)
First, write your 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 paper, use it as a guide for writing your abstract.
Begin your abstract on a new page.
Place your running head and the page number two in the top right-hand corner. You should also center the word Abstract at the top of the page.
Keep it short.
According to the APA style manual, an abstract should be between 150 to 250 words. The abstract should be written as only one paragraph with no indentation. In order to succinctly describe your entire paper, you will need to determine which elements are the most important.
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.
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.
Use this official TCTC Style Guide. It is what instructors go by.
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 condensed summary of your entire paper.
The purpose of your abstract is to provide a brief yet thorough overview of your paper. The APA publication manual suggests that your abstract should function much like your title page – it should allow the person reading it to quickly determine what your paper is all about.
The APA manual also states that the abstract is the single most important paragraph in your entire paper. It is the first thing that most people will read and it is usually what informs their decision to read the rest of your paper. A good abstract lets the reader know that your paper is worth reading.
According to the official guidelines of the American Psychological Association, a good abstract should be:
Here's what section 2.04 of the APA Manual says about what abstracts should be:
A well-prepared abstract enables readers to identify the basic content of a document quickly and accurately, to determine its relevance to their interests, and thus to decide whether they need to read the document in its entirety.
In-text citations in the body of your manuscript point the reader to specific sources listed in your References. They usually include:
Author's name in text
Author has expressed this concern (1995, p.128).
Author's name in parenthetical reference
This concern has been expressed (Baily & Sage, 1988, p.128).
References provide bibliographic information for the sources you used, thereby allowing your reader to identify and locate those materials. To format the page: