APA 6th Edition Abstract

21.05.23 Structure and sections Time to read: 3min

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Writing an APA 6th edition abstract plays an essential role in academic writing and serves as an imperative skill for students, researchers, and professionals in social sciences. An abstract consists of a concise summary of a thesis, dissertation, or research paper. It has the purpose of giving a short overview touching upon the topic, purpose, methods, results, and hurdles of a research study. This article will delve into how to write an effective APA 6th edition abstract.

APA 6th Edition Abstract – In a Nutshell

  • An APA 6th edition abstract defines a brief summary of a thesis, dissertation, or research paper including the purpose, methods, results, and obstacles of a research study.
  • The APA 6th edition abstract is formatted as a block and is not indented.
  • The word count for an APA 6th edition abstract ranges between 150-250 words.
  • Citations, undefined abbreviations, or detailed statistical analyses should not be included in the abstract
  • Emphasize on the significant aspects of your research study and use clear and concise language.

How to write an APA 6th edition abstract

The following 5 steps provide a quick guide to writing an abstract in APA 6th edition style:

  1. Briefly state the topic: The statement should be introduced with a short summary of the research topic.
  2. The research objective: The objective of your research should involve the purpose, research question/hypothesis, and motivation for your research study.
  3. What methods are used: It is important that the abstract includes a summary of the methodology of your research. It typically includes the analysis and data collection of the study.
  4. Report of the results: Summed up, present the key findings of the research in the APA 6th edition abstract.
  5. Obstacles: In the concluding sentences, briefly discuss the uniqueness of your research and what implications occurred throughout the process.1

The following table illustrates what should be included and what should not be included:

What should be included What should not be included
• A concise research topic statement
• The objective of the research
• A brief outline of the methodology
• Highlight the key findings or results
• The significance and implications of the research
• Avoid an elaborated summary of the literature review
• Don’t include references or citations
• Avoid an in-depth summary of raw data or statistics
• Avoid undefined abbreviations and acronyms
• Don’t include graphics, tables, or figures
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Formatting an APA 6th edition abstract

The APA 6th edition abstract follows specific formatting guidelines:2

  • It must be formatted as a single paragraph
  • The paragraph must be justified as a block
  • The headline must state “Abstract” and centered
  • Use double-spacing
  • Don’t use indents
  • Don’t exceed a word count of 250

Example of an APA 6th edition abstract


Following these guidelines will optimize your abstract. The goal of an abstract is to give a clear message of the purpose and importance of your study to the readers. It should represent a short but concise summary of your research. As your abstract is the first part of your paper, it’s vital to make a strong, compelling impression. It should accurately reflect the content of your paper, invite readers to delve deeper into your work, and contribute to the broader discourse in your field of study. Keep refining your abstract until it encapsulates your research concisely while still remaining clear and readable.

Tips for the final format revision of your thesis

Adjusting the format according to your university’s requirements is typically the final step. After several times of proofreading, many become blinkered to their own work and miss formatting mistakes. A 3D Look inside function representing the real-life version that can be edited virtually creates a fresh eye for formatting mistakes and helps you to detect them again.

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The abstract should delve into the topic statement, the purpose of the research, the methodology, and the key findings.

The abstract should be formatted as one justified block, the headline is centered, double-spacing, no indentation, and it should not exceed 250 words.

The abstract communicates the importance and significance of your research to the audience. Therefore, it is important to only include the key components of your research study.


1 Tuskegee University. “American Psychological Association (APA) Citation Style: How to Write an Abstract in APA 6th Edition Format.” February 09, 2023. https://tuskegee.libguides.com/c.php?g=546082&p=7353566.

2 Scott, Brian. “Format the Abstract Page in APA Style, 6th Edition.” Owlcation. April 27, 2022. https://owlcation.com/humanities/Format-the-Abstract-Page-in-APA-Style.