Skip to Content

An abstract serves as a brief overview of the discussion in a text; it also "enables persons interested in the document to retrieve it from abstracting and indexing databases" (American Psychological Association, 2010, p. 25). Depending on the expectations of the document, an abstract is typically 150-250 words long (p. 27).

For more information on writing abstracts, please see the following resources from the University of Maryland, Baltimore Writing Center:

Abstracts (PDF worksheet) 
How to Write an Abstract: Intro: What is an Abstract (YouTube video)
How to Write an Abstract: Content (YouTube video) 
How to Write an Abstract: Writing Style (YouTube video)

For the APA Style perspective on writing abstracts, please see pages 25-27 in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (American Psychological Association, 2010), as well as "Making a Concrete Abstract" and "Brevity Is the Soul of Lingerie (and Abstracts)" from the APA Style Blog.

Finally, if you're writing an abstract for a conference, please see "How to write a conference abstract: A five-part plan for pitching your research at almost anything".

If you have questions about these resources or can't find what you're looking for,please click on the "Ask us" tab on the right side of the screen and type a keyword to search for information.


American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author. 

Sitemap | Privacy Statement | Copyright Statement | Academic Regulations & Policies | Computer Services
©1997-2017 Royal Roads University
2005 Sooke Road, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada V9B 5Y2
Phone: 250-391-2511, Toll-free 1-800-788-8028