Basic Tips on How to Write an Abstract for an APA Research Paper

Academic papers are composed in accordance to several well-known writing styles. One of them is the APA style. APA means the American Psychological Association. This writing style is mostly used for works in social sciences, and it has very precise guidelines regarding the method of quoting reference information. The main principles of the APA style are available in numerous manuals that can be found in online and offline libraries. Below, you will find some basic tips on how to write an abstract for a research paper that is done in the APA style.

  • Choose standard paper (8.5"х 11") and leave margins of 1" at each side. Type the text with double spacing and choose a clear, easily readable font such as Times New Roman; the APA style guides normally recommend 12pt.
  • At the top of each page, type the running head. It should be typed with all capital letters using the head flush left, while the page numbers are inserted using the head flush right. The running head is a short version of your paper title and should fit into 50 symbols, including spaces and punctuation marks.
  • To create an abstract, start a new page. Type the mentioned running head. In the center of the page, type the word “abstract”. Do not use bold, italic, underlining or quotation marks.
  • Starting with the next line, mention (no indent) the key points of your paper. In this page, you are supposed to mention, at least, the topic of your work, its main questions, methods, results, conclusions, and a couple of words about other participants, assistants, etc. who worked on the subject with you. You can also speak about the possible consequence of your research and future work that you can do using it.
  • Fit the whole text into one paragraph that contains about 150 to 250 words.
  • Think about listing the keywords of your project in the abstract page. If you decide that you need it, go over to a new line as if you were starting a new paragraph, and enter the word “keywords” (italicized). Then, list the keywords. They will help people find your project in a database later.
  • Find a sample of the abstract page in an online or offline database and see how it’s organized properly. Having such a sample in front of your eyes will help you create an exact copy. However, before you start working, make sure that the sample you have found is done in the APA style.