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Answered By: Sara Stambaugh, Digital Services Librarian
Last Updated: Mar 07, 2016     Views: 24456

Some writing assignment instructions may indicate that an abstract is required, although a majority of writing assignments do not require one. Consult your instructor to clarify assignment requirements if you are uncertain. 

The purpose of an abstract is to provide a reader with a short summary of a your written work or research paper.  Generally, it is one paragraph ranging from 150 to 250 words.  A well written abstract should be:

  • Nonevaluative
  • Coherent and readable
  • Concise
  • Accurate

An abstract begins on its own page and is placed immediately after the cover page and before the text of the paper.

Below is an example of an abstract.

For more information about abstracts, consult the Abstracts and Appendices page of the APA Guide.