Term Paper Tips: How to Write an Abstract

Term papers require abstracts to properly introduce the content of your paper. The requirement will either be an informational or descriptive abstract. An abstract may seem similar to an introduction of a term paper, but its main difference is the length and how little information is offered about the content in the rest of the paper. They have a few differences that are noted below.


  • Informs the reader of the basic contents in the term paper
  • Details are on essential points
  • No mention of any information that is not necessary for the paper
  • Compromises of less than 1/10 of the whole paper
  • Gives enough guidance to the term paper that a reader can decide what they want to read


  • Describes what the report has
  • Does not include any information on the conclusion or results of your research
  • Extremely short, try to only take up one paragraph
  • Introduces readers to the topic of the term paper, as to entice them to continue reading

Take into consideration the specific differences that come with each type of abstract. Because of the differences in each type, the rules will have to be followed carefully to have a successful abstract. An effective abstract should follow the below special tips.

  • Each paragraph needs to be a unified structure of sentences. They must all make sense, be logically and concisely written.
  • In continuation with the unified paragraphs, pay attention to them being short with the maximum word count being 150 words.
  • Follow a chronological order making it easy for your reader to keep up with your abstract and having a clear idea of what order your term paper will follow.
  • This is not the place to have any new information, or content that will not be mentioned in the term paper.
  • Language and vocabulary that a wide audience will be able to understand is necessary to use in your abstract. Avoid extremely specific words that may require a reader to look into a dictionary.

Following the above tips and taking in to consideration the differences between the two types of abstracts will lead to an effective abstract for your term paper. Revise any grammar and punctuation issues, remove any words that may seem redundant, stick to basic information that is not new, and follow the rules that go with informative or descriptive abstracts.