Writing A Great Dissertation Abstract In The APA Style: 5 Formatting Rules

APA style is one of the most common writing styles used in English class. In this type of style, students need to pay careful attention to making their bibliography and constructing the abstract. To get a more comprehensive understanding of APA style, students should look up example APA papers and APA writing manuals.


  1. 1. Building the Abstract
  2. One of the most important parts of the paper is the abstract. This section is supposed to be 150 to 250 words. This word length is extremely important because the entire abstract is only supposed to take up one paragraph. If the abstract takes up more space than a single paragraph, the student is not summarizing their writing well enough.


  3. 2. Where Does It Go?
  4. Another important detail to remember is the placement of the abstract. In general, the abstract will be the second page of the entire document. The only page included before it is the title page. When opening the document, the reader should see the title page, the abstract and the rest of the document. Although this section is the second major part of the document, it is often written last. In order to summarize the writer's work and main points, it must be written after the research has reached a conclusion.


  5. 3. Save the Indents
  6. Normally, students have to indent the first sentence of each paragraph with five spaces. Although this is a normal technique to use for the rest of the document, indents are not allowed in the abstract. Instead, the first sentence of the abstract should be completely flush with the margin. Like the rest of the document, the abstract should have a one inch margin on all sides.


  7. 4. Writing Out the Keywords
  8. For other researchers to find the paper, it must be listed by keywords in the abstract. This is generally done by including a short list below the abstract paragraph. Each keyword should be italicized and followed by a color. Keywords should not use periods and they should be indented by five spaces. This section of the paper is extremely important because it is the only way for researchers to know what the paper is about through a basic search of the Internet.


  9. 5. Last Reminders
  10. The abstract should be in Times New Roman, 12 pt. font unless the teacher specifies another type of font. Students should include the title of the abstract at the top of the page and make sure that it is centered. After the title of the abstract, the abstract should immediately begin. It should be written in past tense, but the rest of the paper should generally be written in present tense.

Set goals and reward yourself.

As you work on your project you should have goals in place to motivate you to finish in a timely manner. As you complete parts of your work you are getting closer to finishing your work according to your schedule. Maybe you can entice yourself to finish sooner if something was waiting for you upon completion. Make it something fun and enjoyable. It helps if it is something you may not usually enjoy. Make things interesting to encourage yourself to finish faster. You can at least consider trying to get your work done a week or so before your deadline.

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