An abstract is a brief summary of a longer essay, book chapter, or research report. Its purpose is to inform readers as to the argument your paper sets forth or the conclusion of your research. This article simplifies the process of writing a concise, informative abstract.

Write down the main idea or research problem addressed by your essay.

Reread your essay. As you read, highlight key sentences that support your thesis statement or explain your research methodology.

Write a concise summary of the information conveyed in the key sentences.

Type your draft into a word processing document for ease of editing and to establish a word count.

Revise your draft: trim excess detail, rephrase overly technical language or jargon, and eliminate repetitive word usage. Aim for a draft that meets your word count/optimal length.

Scrutinize your draft again and revise to make connections between sentences smooth and logical.

Edit for spelling, grammar, and format.


  • Do not include any information in your abstract that does not appear in the paper.


  • A good abstract will convey why your research/argument is important, the conclusion you reached, and how you came to this conclusion.

    Decide what you want your reader to remember about the paper; this is the crucial information for your abstract.