Skip main navigation
We use cookies to give you a better experience, if that’s ok you can close this message and carry on browsing. For more info read our cookies policy.
We use cookies to give you a better experience. Carry on browsing if you're happy with this, or read our cookies policy for more information.

What is an abstract and why is it important?

An abstract is a brief SUMMARY of your work which is capable of being read independently of it. The abstract is important as it is the first thing that your reader will see and they are likely to start forming an opinion of your research project based on your abstract.

An abstract is written after you have finished writing up your research project as it summarises what your project contains.

It should contain:

  • what you set out to do and why (hypothesis and research questions)

  • how you did it (methodology)

  • what you found (results and conclusions)

  • recommendations (whether you have any will depend on the type of research project)

If you are not sure what an abstract should look like, re-visit some of the resources that you have already encountered so far. For some examples, have a look at the journal articles in the online scientific journal PLOS One that we introduced you to in Week 3.

Share this article:

This article is from the free online course:

Developing Your Research Project

University of Southampton

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join:

Contact FutureLearn for Support