The Qualities of a Good Abstract

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Editor’s Introductory Note

Abstracts are not abstract, this little portion of your research work is an important part. It’s brief & powerful, packing in very few words the major details of your work. 

In this article, the author has successfully explained to us what to look out for in a good abstract. 

Study it, and do not forget to leave a comment in the discussion panel. 

This article is intended to come as a series of discussions. Each quality will be closely looked into, dissected & explained by researchers & writers of varying exposures, experiences & qualifications, do stay tuned. 


An abstract is a summary or overview of the contents of a research article, journal, or report. This gives the reader a hint on what to expect: a brief background study, purpose, and the problem to be solved. This showcases the basic design and methodology used, analyses major findings to interpret, conclusion and recommendation. An abstract must contain some essential features to make it worthy of publication.

Here are some tips to be conscious of while writing your abstract:         

  • The number of words should not be less than 250 and not greater than 450 words depending on the journal guideline and every important point should be emphasized in one or two paragraphs.
  • Past tense should be used in writing an abstract because the research has already been conducted. 
  •  References such as the name of the author(s) and date should not be cited unless the abstract stands alone separated from the main study.
  •  The keywords used should be stated to facilitate online text searching and also used to assign papers to review committees or editors which is very vital if they will be published or not.
  •  Most research makes use of the IMRaD format which is accepted generally; Introduction, Method, Result, and Discussion (IMRaD). 

An abstract is a summary or overview of the content of a research article, journal, or report. This gives the reader a hint on what to expect

These are the major inevitable features in every abstract:

The introduction: Deals with the background information of the previous research done and the reason for the present research in which the researcher’s main objective and aim will be made known.

The method: Defines the process and how the samples and data were collected and utilized.

The result: Shows your findings from the research conducted. For quantitative research, this section contains numbers in percentages or results of statistical tests done. 

Discussion or Conclusion: Is very crucial being that conclusion deduces the relevance of the result to all other research papers. 

Academic writing is a skill that can be learned. 

The more you write, the better you can. Keep writing! 




Institute of Nursing Research, Nigeria Journal Club.


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