Answered By: Vicki Sciuk
Last Updated: Mar 20, 2019     Views: 6

Most scholarly articles contain an ABSTRACT. The abstract is a brief written statement of the main point of a paper, or of the highlights of a study, that is placed at the beginning of a longer report. The abstract summarizes what the article is about for the reader.  

Students usually need to write Abstracts because they are writing a paper in APA style, and their professor requires them to include an Abstract. Because the Abstract is a brief summary of what is in your paper, it should normally be the last thing you write.

Berkeley's Center for Academic Success (CAS) on each campus is where you can always go for help with college writing, including abstracts. But here's how an APA abstract should be set up: 

After the Cover sheet/Title page, begin a new page. That page should already include the page header and page number like your other pages. On the first line of the abstract page, center the word “Abstract” (no bold, formatting, italics, underlining, or quotation marks).

Beginning with the next line, write a concise summary of your paper. Do not indent. Your abstract should be a single paragraph, double-spaced, and between 150 and 250 words. For a Research Methods or Honors course the abstract may contain your research topic, research questions, results, data analysis, and conclusions.¹

Here's a graphic from the CAS's APA Workshop:


The Purdue OWL website contains more information showing how to write abstracts for technical reports:

¹ Purdue Online Writing Lab (n.d.). APA General Format. Retrieved from

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