Composing An Abstract For An APA Style Research Paper In A Proper Way

A great abstract does not use any unnecessary details but summarizes the key points that you have mentioned in your paper. There are several different writing styles that can be used when writing papers. In most cases your professor will tell you which one they expect you to use. One of the most common of all formats is the American Psychological Association (APA) style. Here is what you need to know about writing a proper APA style abstract:

Basic format

  • There should be a page header at the top of every page, including the abstract. Each letter in the header should be in capitals and the top right is where the page number will go. Since this will follow the title page, it will always be number "2".

  • Unless you have been informed otherwise by your professor, the standard font to use is the 12-point Times New Roman. Certain instructors will also accept 10- or 12-point Arial but you will want to confirm this before handing in your pages.

  • Right below the page header, the word "Abstract" should be centered. It should not be in quotations, underlined, in italics, or done in bold. All of the text which follows should be double-spaced.

  • The line immediately preceding the word listed above is where the text will begin, and it should not be indented. Keep in mind that it should be kept concise and short since the accepted standard is one paragraph (about 150 to 250 words).

  • If it has been requested that you include keywords, the list should be on the line immediately following the paragraph by typing the heading as follows: Keywords: then each of your three or four keywords separated by a comma. They are not to be put in italics and each of them must appear in the actual abstract.

  • Find out from your professor if it needs to be descriptive or informative. However it is written, the page should be able to stand alone.

Write it last

Remember that the purpose of writing an abstract is to summarize the contents of what you have written about in your paper. Once you have finished your writing, then you should complete the paragraph. It is almost impossible to do right at the beginning because you can never be entirely sure what information you may end up including in the pages of your paper.

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