Answered By: Katie Hutchison
Last Updated: Sep 22, 2016     Views: 45

There are two types of abstracts: informational and descriptive. 

Informational abstracts 

  • Communicate contents of reports 

  • Include purpose, methods, scope, results, conclusions, and recommendations 

  • Highlight essential points 

  • Are short—from a paragraph to a page or two, depending upon the length of the report (10% or less of the report) 

  • Allow readers to decide whether they want to read the report 

Descriptive abstracts 

  • Tell what the report contains 

  • Include purpose, methods, scope, but NOT results, conclusions, and recommendations 

  • Are always very short— usually under 100 words 

  • Introduce subject to readers, who must then read the report to learn study results 

Here is an extensive explanation and suggestions from the Purdue Owl.

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