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Research Tips and Tricks

This Tips and Tricks research guide provides information on how to perform a search, ranging from how to choose what type of search to make, how to string key words together, and what to do with texts once you've found them.

Reading an Abstract

An abstract comes after the title and before the body of an academic paper. 

The abstract:

  • establishes the paper's topic
  • describes the methodology of the study (if applicable)
  • previews the conclusion(s) of the article 

Read an abstract before you read an academic article! The abstract will tell you if the piece is relevant to your research, so read it carefully. Use the abstract to determine whether you'll invest the time and energy into reading the whole article. 

NOTE: Some databases copy the abstract within the article's entry. In many cases, you can read the abstract without having to view or download the full article. 

After the abstract, you'll often find a list of keywords. In addition to providing more information on the article, keywords can provide you with new search terms for your topic.