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Writing Abstracts in APA Format

 

Many people use APA style to document research papers. APA requires an abstract that will come after your title page, but before the first page of text. APA abstracts are very easy to write.

What is an Abstract?

An abstract is really just a brief summary of your research paper. In effect, you can assume you are writing a 1/2 page version of the actual research paper. You will summarize all the main points that you made in your research paper. Be careful, though. In your abstract, you do not want to just say, for example, that "This paper will look at the increase in gangs in Victora and will present methods for effectively dealing with this increase." Rather, you would actually mention what the increase is and would very briefly discuss the actual methods for dealing with it that you presented in your paper.

What are the Guidelines for Writing Effective Abstracts?

Remembering several guidelines should help you write effective APA abstracts:

  • Write your abstract last, after you have written the paper.
  • Keep it short--no longer than 1/2 page.
  • Double space your abstract and do not indent the first line of text. You should have 1 paragraph with no indentation.
  • Use all of your own words and do not cite any outside sources.