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Developing an abstract

What is an abstract?

An abstract is an approximately 200-250 word summary of your research. It should be brief, relevant and interesting and is intended to generate interest in your research. If you have not yet carried out the research, you may use the information from your research proposal.

At minimum, your abstract should contain:

 If you have already completed your research  If you have not yet completed your research
 1) What you did  1) What research you intend to carry out
 2) How you did it  2) What method you intend to use and why it is suitable
 3) Why you chose that particular topic to study and its relevance  3) Why you have chosen to undertake this particular research
 4) What was learned from the research  4) Its expected impact, relevance or importance
 5) Future directions  

Note: Your abstract should contain only information that you will be presenting on.

Explore these resources to help you write your abstract (or improve it if you already have a draft written).


We would like to acknowledge the work of Zahra Premji, who created the inaugural version of this guide in 2016

Need assistance?

If you need assistance with your research project, please reach out to your subject librarian. They would be happy to help.

If you are not sure who to chat with, please contact Brian Jackson.