What is an abstract?

Answered By: Erin Weber
Last Updated: Oct 21, 2019     Views: 5

An abstract is a short summary of an article or presentation. The abstract might address questions such as:

  • What questions were the researchers trying to address?
  • Why is this research important?
  • What conclusions did the researchers come to? 


Always always read the abstract! It will help you decided if the article will be useful to you, and it will help you understand what the point of the article is. It can also help you if you are critiquing an article. Does the paper actually support what the abstract says it does? Are the conclusions valid?


Let us know if you need more help understanding abstracts, finding the full text of an article after you read the abstract, or any other vocabulary questions.

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