An abstract is a concise and accurate summary of a piece of writing. It gives an overview of an academic assignment, a report or research paper. In journals and other publications, it is placed at the beginning of the writing. Conversely, in academic assignments such as final year project topics, abstracts are found on a preliminary page of the project report. This part of an article or report is the first item a reader will read to have an idea of the content of the writing.
Types of Abstracts
Your discipline area determines the type of abstract you will write. However, abstracts are grouped into two:
•        Descriptive Abstract: This type of abstract is used for essays or papers on social sciences, humanities and psychology. It is usually short with a word length of 50-100 words. The major parts of most descriptive abstracts include the purpose, the background and the main information of the essay. The overview of the content is sometimes overlooked.
•        Informative Abstract: Final year project abstract writing in science and engineering reports are classified under this group. Informative abstract is usually about 200 words and includes the purpose of the research, the background, the method used in the research, the results and the conclusion.
How To Write An Abstract It is ideal to write an abstract at the end of a paper or report. This will enable you to write an accurate summary of the report. Writing a good abstract requires you to summarize the whole paper and still include the important information in the content of the paper. The following steps will help you to write an effective abstract.
•        Identify the purpose of the research, the major points of the report and the results obtained in the research.
•        Summarize the information collected in one paragraph and state the method used for the research in the first sentence.
•        Re-read the paragraph to ensure that it is an accurate representation of the information contained in the report.
•        Remove unnecessary words and rewrite the sentences for easy flow.
•        Ensure that the abstract meets the required guidelines for the publication or report.
Features Of A Good Abstract
•        An effective abstract must be a paragraph that highlights the key points of a report or an essay.
•        It describes the scope and content of a publication or an academic writings like the final year project topics.
•        It must be easy to read and concise.
•        It must be easy to understand.
•        It must be written in passive structures.
A well written abstract will increase the chances that a manuscript will be accepted. It can also convince people to read your report. Contrary, a poorly written abstract will prevent a report from being accepted. Thus, reports with such abstracts will not be published. Since, the abstract is the first item a reader or reviewer reads in an essay, a report or journal, it is ideal to write it properly.