The Writing Center @ The University of Wisconsin - Madison

The Abstract

The guidelines below address issues to consider when writing an abstract

What is the report about, in miniature and without specific details?

  • State main objectives. (What did you investigate? Why?)
  • Describe methods. (What did you do?)
  • Summarize the most important results. (What did you find out?)
  • State major conclusions and significance. (What do your results mean? So what?)

What to avoid:

  1. Do not include references to figures, tables, or sources.
  2. Do not include information not in report.

Additional tips:

  1. Find out maximum length (may vary from 50 to 300+ words).
  2. Process: Extract key points from each section. Condense in successive revisions.