An abstract is "a brief, comprehensive summary of the contents of the paper" (American Psychological Association [APA], 2020, p. 38). This summary is intended to share the topic, argument, and conclusions of a research study, similar to the text on the back cover of a book. An abstract is often the first piece of the study a potential reader will encounter, so it is important to make the abstract clear, concise, and inclusive of the relevant, key information pertaining to the study.
An abstract is a single paragraph preceded by the heading "Abstract," centered and in plain type (unbolded). The abstract should begin on the next line and should not begin with an indented line. The abstract should be double spaced, 12-point type, like all narrative in the capstone.
Walden capstone abstracts should be written in the past tense (as the study is complete) and should not exceed one page in length.
Walden Abstract Formatting Requirements:
Per APA (2020), an abstract should be "dense with information" (p. 73). A good abstract is accurate, nonevaluative, coherent and readable, concise (APA, 2020, pp. 73-74). The specific information included in the Walden capstone abstract may vary by degree type and program. In general, Walden Writing Center editors advise that Walden abstracts include the following types of information:
Note: This is merely a set of suggested items/topics to be mentioned in the abstract, not a set of requirements. This list does not necessarily mean that there must be one sentence on each item. Often, students can combine sentences to improve the flow. Our suggestion is for students to begin writing the abstract by focusing on these ideas and then revising for flow. Additional information can also be added for clarification or further details and explanation, provided that the abstract does not exceed one page.
Additional note: This suggested list is designed for the presentation of a standard research design (execution of original research). Some of the items may not apply to some programs or capstone types. We suggest students include what is relevant and simply skip over items that are not related to the capstone.