Certain features require a modern browser to function.
Please use a different browser, like Firefox, Chrome, or Safari

APA abstract


Create Citations for Free

An abstract gives a condensed overview of the paper. It is important to ensure that the abstract covers all of the topics discussed in the paper. This will enable the reader to determine if the paper is what they are looking for. The terms used in the abstract should be relevant to the topic to get the attention of the reader. Also, the abstract should be concise and rich in content.

Characteristics of an abstract


  • The abstract should reflect the aim and the work of the paper.
  • It should not state any information not covered in the paper.
  • Use key terms that will make your reader identify your paper during their search.
  • If necessary, it can have in-text citations of other works.


  • The abstract should only report what is stated in the paper; no assessments are included.
  • The abstract should not exaggerate the main theme of the paper.


  • Use active voice.
  • Use present tense for stating conclusions and presenting results.
  • Use past tense for describing the experiments conducted.
  • Language should be neat and clear.

Format of an abstract

  • An abstract appears on the second page of a paper after the title page.
  • The heading should be “Abstract.” Set it in bold and center it at the top of the page.
  • Ensure that your abstract does not exceed 250 words.
  • The text of the abstract appears after the heading without any indentation.
  • An abstract is always given in one paragraph.

Some journals will require structured abstracts with labels such as Aim, Methods, Results, and Conclusion. The labels are set in bold italics, and they all continue in a single paragraph.

Abstract example

The World Trade Organization and Development: How Special Differential Treatment and Declining Policy Space Lead to Development Deadlock by Sheena Santamaria



To account for its diverse membership, the World Trade Organization (WTO) grants special and differential treatment (SDT) to developing countries, providing them flexibility in adopting the institution’s Uruguay Round agreements. Despite SDT, developing countries remain in a stalemate position in which the economic benefits of WTO membership remain intangible despite their efforts to adhere to the rules-based system. The following question then arises: even though developing countries receive SDT, why do they still seem to be sidelined and thus remain developing? This paper aims to explore the tension between the flexibility of SDT and the shrinkage of policy space due to WTO membership, which creates development deadlock for developing countries. To delve into this tension, this paper examines the variations of the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) implementation among the Philippines, Paraguay, and Nigeria. From this examination, the tension between SDT and policy space manifests itself through three key features: (1) the adjustment burden (2) the lack of alternative development policy options (3) developed country agenda-setting. By identifying the tension between SDT’s flexibility and policy space shrinkage and its manifestations, this paper highlights issues in the relationship between developing and developed countries within the scope of the WTO.

Keywords: WTO, development, special and differential treatment, policy space, TRIPS


Abstracts of different types of articles

Empirical article

An empirical article is any of quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods. The abstract of an empirical article has the following components:

  • Problem to be studied
  • Methods employed in the research (e.g., design and data-gathering approach)
  • Data sources or the participants of the study (e.g., people in Chennai, women living in India, and employed women in Australia)
  • Features of the study employed:
    • Design research
    • Strategy
    • Data gathering
    • Sample size
    • Materials
    • Findings or results of the paper

Replication article

The abstract of a replication article has the following components:

  • Replication type reported in the paper (e.g., direct or conceptual)
  • Scope of the replication
  • Replicated study performed
  • Conclusions arrived at in the replication study

Qualitative and quantitative meta-analyses articles

The abstract of a meta-analysis paper has the following components:

  • Problem under study
  • Reasons for including a study
  • Methods employed
  • Results
  • Conclusions
  • Results

Literature review article

Literature review articles are also called narrative literature review articles. The abstract has the following components:

  • Scope of the literature
  • Duration of the study
  • Conclusions

Theoretical article

The abstract of a theoretical article has the following components:

  • Principle of the theory
  • Results

Methodological article

The abstract of a methodological article has the following components:

  • Features and applications of the methods
  • Results

Key takeaways

  • An abstract gives a brief overview of the paper.
  • An abstract covers all important topics discussed in the paper.
  • An abstract appears on the second page of a paper after the title page.
  • An abstract is always given in one paragraph.
  • An abstract should be precise, nonconclusive, and comprehensible.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?