Writing an Abstract for Your Research Paper

Definition and Purpose of Abstracts

An abstract is a short summary of your (published or unpublished) research paper, usually about a paragraph (c. 6-7 sentences, 150-250 words) long. A well-written abstract serves multiple purposes:

  • an abstract lets readers get the gist or essence of your paper or article quickly, in order to decide whether to read the full paper;
  • an abstract prepares readers to follow the detailed information, analyses, and arguments in your full paper;
  • and, later, an abstract helps readers remember key points from your paper.

It’s also worth remembering that search engines and bibliographic databases use abstracts, as well as the title, to identify key terms for indexing your published paper. So what you include in your abstract and in your title are crucial for helping other researchers find your paper or article.

If you are writing an abstract for a course paper, your professor may give you specific guidelines for what to include and how to organize your abstract. Similarly, academic journals often have specific requirements for abstracts. So in addition to following the advice on this page, you should be sure to look for and follow any guidelines from the course or journal you’re writing for.

The Contents of an Abstract

Abstracts contain most of the following kinds of information in brief form. The body of your paper will, of course, develop and explain these ideas much more fully. As you will see in the samples below, the proportion of your abstract that you devote to each kind of information—and the sequence of that information—will vary, depending on the nature and genre of the paper that you are summarizing in your abstract. And in some cases, some of this information is implied, rather than stated explicitly. The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association , which is widely used in the social sciences, gives specific guidelines for what to include in the abstract for different kinds of papers—for empirical studies, literature reviews or meta-analyses, theoretical papers, methodological papers, and case studies.

Here are the typical kinds of information found in most abstracts:

  • the context or background information for your research; the general topic under study; the specific topic of your research
  • the central questions or statement of the problem your research addresses
  • what’s already known about this question, what previous research has done or shown
  • the main reason(s) , the exigency, the rationale , the goals for your research—Why is it important to address these questions? Are you, for example, examining a new topic? Why is that topic worth examining? Are you filling a gap in previous research? Applying new methods to take a fresh look at existing ideas or data? Resolving a dispute within the literature in your field? . . .
  • your research and/or analytical methods
  • your main findings , results , or arguments
  • the significance or implications of your findings or arguments.

Your abstract should be intelligible on its own, without a reader’s having to read your entire paper. And in an abstract, you usually do not cite references—most of your abstract will describe what you have studied in your research and what you have found and what you argue in your paper. In the body of your paper, you will cite the specific literature that informs your research.

When to Write Your Abstract

Although you might be tempted to write your abstract first because it will appear as the very first part of your paper, it’s a good idea to wait to write your abstract until after you’ve drafted your full paper, so that you know what you’re summarizing.

What follows are some sample abstracts in published papers or articles, all written by faculty at UW-Madison who come from a variety of disciplines. We have annotated these samples to help you see the work that these authors are doing within their abstracts.

Choosing Verb Tenses within Your Abstract

The social science sample (Sample 1) below uses the present tense to describe general facts and interpretations that have been and are currently true, including the prevailing explanation for the social phenomenon under study. That abstract also uses the present tense to describe the methods, the findings, the arguments, and the implications of the findings from their new research study. The authors use the past tense to describe previous research.

The humanities sample (Sample 2) below uses the past tense to describe completed events in the past (the texts created in the pulp fiction industry in the 1970s and 80s) and uses the present tense to describe what is happening in those texts, to explain the significance or meaning of those texts, and to describe the arguments presented in the article.

The science samples (Samples 3 and 4) below use the past tense to describe what previous research studies have done and the research the authors have conducted, the methods they have followed, and what they have found. In their rationale or justification for their research (what remains to be done), they use the present tense. They also use the present tense to introduce their study (in Sample 3, “Here we report . . .”) and to explain the significance of their study (In Sample 3, This reprogramming . . . “provides a scalable cell source for. . .”).

Sample Abstract 1

From the social sciences.

Reporting new findings about the reasons for increasing economic homogamy among spouses

Gonalons-Pons, Pilar, and Christine R. Schwartz. “Trends in Economic Homogamy: Changes in Assortative Mating or the Division of Labor in Marriage?” Demography , vol. 54, no. 3, 2017, pp. 985-1005.

“The growing economic resemblance of spouses has contributed to rising inequality by increasing the number of couples in which there are two high- or two low-earning partners. [Annotation for the previous sentence: The first sentence introduces the topic under study (the “economic resemblance of spouses”). This sentence also implies the question underlying this research study: what are the various causes—and the interrelationships among them—for this trend?] The dominant explanation for this trend is increased assortative mating. Previous research has primarily relied on cross-sectional data and thus has been unable to disentangle changes in assortative mating from changes in the division of spouses’ paid labor—a potentially key mechanism given the dramatic rise in wives’ labor supply. [Annotation for the previous two sentences: These next two sentences explain what previous research has demonstrated. By pointing out the limitations in the methods that were used in previous studies, they also provide a rationale for new research.] We use data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) to decompose the increase in the correlation between spouses’ earnings and its contribution to inequality between 1970 and 2013 into parts due to (a) changes in assortative mating, and (b) changes in the division of paid labor. [Annotation for the previous sentence: The data, research and analytical methods used in this new study.] Contrary to what has often been assumed, the rise of economic homogamy and its contribution to inequality is largely attributable to changes in the division of paid labor rather than changes in sorting on earnings or earnings potential. Our findings indicate that the rise of economic homogamy cannot be explained by hypotheses centered on meeting and matching opportunities, and they show where in this process inequality is generated and where it is not.” (p. 985) [Annotation for the previous two sentences: The major findings from and implications and significance of this study.]

Sample Abstract 2

From the humanities.

Analyzing underground pulp fiction publications in Tanzania, this article makes an argument about the cultural significance of those publications

Emily Callaci. “Street Textuality: Socialism, Masculinity, and Urban Belonging in Tanzania’s Pulp Fiction Publishing Industry, 1975-1985.” Comparative Studies in Society and History , vol. 59, no. 1, 2017, pp. 183-210.

“From the mid-1970s through the mid-1980s, a network of young urban migrant men created an underground pulp fiction publishing industry in the city of Dar es Salaam. [Annotation for the previous sentence: The first sentence introduces the context for this research and announces the topic under study.] As texts that were produced in the underground economy of a city whose trajectory was increasingly charted outside of formalized planning and investment, these novellas reveal more than their narrative content alone. These texts were active components in the urban social worlds of the young men who produced them. They reveal a mode of urbanism otherwise obscured by narratives of decolonization, in which urban belonging was constituted less by national citizenship than by the construction of social networks, economic connections, and the crafting of reputations. This article argues that pulp fiction novellas of socialist era Dar es Salaam are artifacts of emergent forms of male sociability and mobility. In printing fictional stories about urban life on pilfered paper and ink, and distributing their texts through informal channels, these writers not only described urban communities, reputations, and networks, but also actually created them.” (p. 210) [Annotation for the previous sentences: The remaining sentences in this abstract interweave other essential information for an abstract for this article. The implied research questions: What do these texts mean? What is their historical and cultural significance, produced at this time, in this location, by these authors? The argument and the significance of this analysis in microcosm: these texts “reveal a mode or urbanism otherwise obscured . . .”; and “This article argues that pulp fiction novellas. . . .” This section also implies what previous historical research has obscured. And through the details in its argumentative claims, this section of the abstract implies the kinds of methods the author has used to interpret the novellas and the concepts under study (e.g., male sociability and mobility, urban communities, reputations, network. . . ).]

Sample Abstract/Summary 3

From the sciences.

Reporting a new method for reprogramming adult mouse fibroblasts into induced cardiac progenitor cells

Lalit, Pratik A., Max R. Salick, Daryl O. Nelson, Jayne M. Squirrell, Christina M. Shafer, Neel G. Patel, Imaan Saeed, Eric G. Schmuck, Yogananda S. Markandeya, Rachel Wong, Martin R. Lea, Kevin W. Eliceiri, Timothy A. Hacker, Wendy C. Crone, Michael Kyba, Daniel J. Garry, Ron Stewart, James A. Thomson, Karen M. Downs, Gary E. Lyons, and Timothy J. Kamp. “Lineage Reprogramming of Fibroblasts into Proliferative Induced Cardiac Progenitor Cells by Defined Factors.” Cell Stem Cell , vol. 18, 2016, pp. 354-367.

“Several studies have reported reprogramming of fibroblasts into induced cardiomyocytes; however, reprogramming into proliferative induced cardiac progenitor cells (iCPCs) remains to be accomplished. [Annotation for the previous sentence: The first sentence announces the topic under study, summarizes what’s already known or been accomplished in previous research, and signals the rationale and goals are for the new research and the problem that the new research solves: How can researchers reprogram fibroblasts into iCPCs?] Here we report that a combination of 11 or 5 cardiac factors along with canonical Wnt and JAK/STAT signaling reprogrammed adult mouse cardiac, lung, and tail tip fibroblasts into iCPCs. The iCPCs were cardiac mesoderm-restricted progenitors that could be expanded extensively while maintaining multipo-tency to differentiate into cardiomyocytes, smooth muscle cells, and endothelial cells in vitro. Moreover, iCPCs injected into the cardiac crescent of mouse embryos differentiated into cardiomyocytes. iCPCs transplanted into the post-myocardial infarction mouse heart improved survival and differentiated into cardiomyocytes, smooth muscle cells, and endothelial cells. [Annotation for the previous four sentences: The methods the researchers developed to achieve their goal and a description of the results.] Lineage reprogramming of adult somatic cells into iCPCs provides a scalable cell source for drug discovery, disease modeling, and cardiac regenerative therapy.” (p. 354) [Annotation for the previous sentence: The significance or implications—for drug discovery, disease modeling, and therapy—of this reprogramming of adult somatic cells into iCPCs.]

Sample Abstract 4, a Structured Abstract

Reporting results about the effectiveness of antibiotic therapy in managing acute bacterial sinusitis, from a rigorously controlled study

Note: This journal requires authors to organize their abstract into four specific sections, with strict word limits. Because the headings for this structured abstract are self-explanatory, we have chosen not to add annotations to this sample abstract.

Wald, Ellen R., David Nash, and Jens Eickhoff. “Effectiveness of Amoxicillin/Clavulanate Potassium in the Treatment of Acute Bacterial Sinusitis in Children.” Pediatrics , vol. 124, no. 1, 2009, pp. 9-15.

“OBJECTIVE: The role of antibiotic therapy in managing acute bacterial sinusitis (ABS) in children is controversial. The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of high-dose amoxicillin/potassium clavulanate in the treatment of children diagnosed with ABS.

METHODS : This was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Children 1 to 10 years of age with a clinical presentation compatible with ABS were eligible for participation. Patients were stratified according to age (<6 or ≥6 years) and clinical severity and randomly assigned to receive either amoxicillin (90 mg/kg) with potassium clavulanate (6.4 mg/kg) or placebo. A symptom survey was performed on days 0, 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 10, 20, and 30. Patients were examined on day 14. Children’s conditions were rated as cured, improved, or failed according to scoring rules.

RESULTS: Two thousand one hundred thirty-five children with respiratory complaints were screened for enrollment; 139 (6.5%) had ABS. Fifty-eight patients were enrolled, and 56 were randomly assigned. The mean age was 6630 months. Fifty (89%) patients presented with persistent symptoms, and 6 (11%) presented with nonpersistent symptoms. In 24 (43%) children, the illness was classified as mild, whereas in the remaining 32 (57%) children it was severe. Of the 28 children who received the antibiotic, 14 (50%) were cured, 4 (14%) were improved, 4(14%) experienced treatment failure, and 6 (21%) withdrew. Of the 28children who received placebo, 4 (14%) were cured, 5 (18%) improved, and 19 (68%) experienced treatment failure. Children receiving the antibiotic were more likely to be cured (50% vs 14%) and less likely to have treatment failure (14% vs 68%) than children receiving the placebo.

CONCLUSIONS : ABS is a common complication of viral upper respiratory infections. Amoxicillin/potassium clavulanate results in significantly more cures and fewer failures than placebo, according to parental report of time to resolution.” (9)

Some Excellent Advice about Writing Abstracts for Basic Science Research Papers, by Professor Adriano Aguzzi from the Institute of Neuropathology at the University of Zurich:

abstract sentences in english

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20 Abstract Sentence Examples to Help English Language Learners Understand Abstract Nouns

It can be difficult to teach kids about abstract nouns, heck and grammar in general! And even more so if they are English language learners. This post helps to provide a list of abstract sentence examples along with abstract nouns to help students understand this grammatical concept.

abstract sentences in english

There are many ways to teach grammar, but kids will relate to interactive and fun grammar activities a lot more, this is why we need to add as many interactive grammar activities as much as we can!

What are abstract nouns?

Abstract nouns are words that refer to something intangible or difficult to grasp. Abstract nouns can be verbs, adjectives, or other parts of speech. An abstract noun could be a single word, such as “truth” or “beauty.” It could also be a phrase like “the power of love” or “a deadline.”

The most common way to teach abstract nouns is by using concrete examples. For example, if you want to teach the word “honesty,” you would ask students for an example of honesty and then talk about it in detail. Use specific examples of abstract terms, proper nouns, and concrete terms to show the difference between these general ideas.

Nouns are words that name things, people, places and ideas. They are usually the first word of a sentence. Showing learners example sentences is essential.

Concrete nouns are words that represent physical objects. They can be things like a house, a table, or a chair. Some examples of abstract nouns are things like happiness, love, or sadness.

Nouns are the most basic building blocks of all sentences. They are the names of people, places, things, or ideas. They can be concrete or abstract. For example, “dog,” “table,” and “love” are all nouns.

Teaching concrete nouns is an important part of early childhood education because it helps kids learn how to communicate and express their thoughts in a way that everyone understands.

There are different types of nouns. Abstract nouns refer to intangible things such as love or happiness. An abstract idea or abstract concepts we can’t see. Things we cannot see, hear, touch or smell.

Some specific terms for abstract words include

Some examples of abstract nouns include, from nouns: childhood, leadership, membership, ownership, friendship.

From verbs: laughter, knowledge, description, punishment, defence.

From adjectives: height, activity, music, ability.

They’re often used in the literary arts and can help readers to better understand an idea. Abstract nouns can also help writers by adding a layer of creativity and detail to their writing.

It adds a great layer of difficulty when teaching writing with students. Having them use these abstract nouns is equally important, yet essential for them to understand how to write abstract sentences.

Abstract nouns can be difficult for some students because they have a tendency to overuse them while others don’t use them at all, which can make their writing feel flat.

Nouns are the most basic building blocks of all sentences. They are the names of people, places, things, or ideas. They can be concrete or abstract. For example, “dog,” “table,” and “love” are all nouns. .Examples of nouns: The dog is sleeping at the door. I need you to help me with the table. He’s a very good friend of mine.

How to teach all about abstract sentences?

It is easy to teach abstract sentences because they are not as complex as concrete sentences.

Abstract sentences are often not understood by readers. To make them more understandable, we should add context to the sentence.

This is a sentence that has no meaning without context.

A sentence with context:

I was at the store and I saw a woman who looked like she was in need of help.

Abstract sentences are a type of sentence that does not provide the reader with any specific information. This makes it difficult for readers to understand what the sentence is trying to say. They are also difficult for writers to write because they can’t provide any concrete examples of what they are talking about.

The following sentence is an example of an abstract sentence: “I want to be a nurse.”

grammar-cut-and-paste-worksheets-pdf

Don’t forget to check out these super fun winter themed grammar cut and paste printable worksheets !

This sentence does not provide the reader with any information about why the person wants to be a nurse, or what their day-to-day life would look like if they were a nurse. It’s hard for readers to understand what this person wants, and it’s hard for writers to write this kind of sentence because they can’t provide any concrete examples of why someone would want this career choice.

It is not easy to teach abstract sentences to people who are not used to them because they have no idea what an abstract sentence means.

This sentence is an example of an abstract sentence: “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”

This sentence does not make any sense, but it has a very important meaning. This sentence is about how you can use language in different ways and still be understood.

Abstract Sentences Examples and Printables

I like using printables and worksheets in this instance because kdis won’t understand the concept of different types of nouns without seeing actual examples. Complex ideas

like these always need to be addressed in the simplest forms.

Here are some printables and worksheets from ISL Collective with abstract sentence examples:

How to form abstract nouns printable (introduction to abstract nouns – a list with examples from nouns, verbs and adjectives)

List of abstract nouns (a list of extensive abstract nouns when introducing them to your students)

Concrete and abstract nouns (a list of all the various forms of these nouns)

  • Mary isn’t the type of person who gossips.
  • Alex had a fear that he would fall down.
  • Jack doesn’t have any confidence in himself.
  • She bplayed with great brilliance.

More abstract sentence examples:

Certainly! Here are some easy language abstract sentence examples that you can use in a class:

  • Happiness: “Happiness is like sunshine on a rainy day.”
  • Kindness: “Showing kindness is as simple as sharing a smile with a friend.”
  • Courage: “Having courage means facing your fears with a brave heart.”
  • Love: “Love is like a warm hug from someone who cares about you.”
  • Curiosity: “Curiosity is asking lots of questions and wanting to learn new things.”
  • Friendship: “Friendship is having someone to play with and share secrets.”
  • Peace: “Imagine a world where everyone gets along – that’s peace.”
  • Generosity: “Generosity is sharing your toys or helping someone in need.”
  • Joy: “Feeling joy is like being so happy that you want to jump and dance.”
  • Hope: “Hope is like a light that helps us believe good things will happen.”
  • Bravery: “Bravery is doing something even when you’re a little bit scared.”
  • Imagination: “Imagination is like a superpower that helps us create amazing stories in our minds.”
  • Calmness: “Calmness is taking deep breaths to feel peaceful inside.”
  • Respect: “Respect is treating others the way you want to be treated.”
  • Gratitude: “Gratitude is saying ‘thank you’ and appreciating the good things in life.”
  • Perseverance: “Perseverance is not giving up, even when things are tough.”
  • Dreams: “Dreams are like stars in the sky – they guide us to aim high and reach for our goals.”
  • Unity: “Unity is when everyone works together like a team to make things better.”
  • Wonder: “Wonder is that feeling of amazement when you discover something new and exciting.”
  • Compassion: “Compassion is caring for others and helping them when they need it.”

Feel free to use these sentences as starting points for discussions or activities about abstract concepts in the classroom.

I hope this article makes it clearer for you on how to engage your students in learning abstract nouns and sentences!

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24 popular academic phrases to write your abstract (+ real examples)

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A helpful strategy to write an academic abstract is to incorporate key academic phrases commonly used in abstracts of published papers. This way, you can learn from real examples and improve your abstract writing skills.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase using the links below at no additional cost to you . I only recommend products or services that I truly believe can benefit my audience. As always, my opinions are my own.

The different components of academic abstracts

Academic key phrases to highlight a research gap in an abstract, academic key phrases to highlight the relevance of a study in an abstract, academic key phrases to explain the research aim or objectives in an abstract, academic key phrases to describe the research methodology in an abstract, academic key phrases to summarize the results in an abstract, academic key phrases to present research conclusions in an abstract.

Abstracts are brief summaries of conducted studies or research that are used in academic papers, theses, and dissertations. They tend to be around 100-300 words long, and are usually positioned right under the research title and before the introduction.

Writing an abstract can be challenging because abstracts have to contain a lot of information: An abstract has to address all parts of a research, from the introduction, to the methods, results and conclusions.

Nonetheless, guidelines for writing an abstract are pretty simple:

A straightforward process can be followed when writing an abstract since abstracts are generally structured similarly and address several key components.

Academic abstracts typically include five key components:

  • An introduction to the topic , which often highlights its societal relevance or a gap in the existing literature
  • The aim or objective of the research that has been conducted
  • The research methodology , which tends to involve a description of the research design, methods and data
  • The results or key findings of the research
  • The main conclusions of the research, which often highlight its contribution for theory and/or practice

Abstracts can be written in a structured or an unstructured format. Structured abstracts provide clear headings to organize the content, such demonstrated in the following example:

abstract sentences in english

Abstracts that are written in an unstructured format, on the other hand, do not use headings to divide the text. Instead, unstructured abstracts are written in one block or paragraph, which is demonstrated in this example:

abstract sentences in english

Even though unstructured abstracts do not use headings, they still adhere to a specific structure and address all key components that should be included.

So if you want to write your abstract, make sure you take over a firm structure, regardless of whether you opt for a structured or an ‘unstructured’ format.

Existing studies have failed to address…

Example: “ University–industry relations (UIR) are usually analysed by the knowledge transfer channels, but existing studies have failed to address what knowledge content is being transferred – impacting the technology output aimed by the partnership.” ( Dalmarco et al. 2019, p. 1314 )

Yet, it remains unknown how…

Example: “ Yet, it remains unknown how findings from aeolian landscapes translate to aquatic systems and how young clonally expanding plants in hydrodynamically exposed conditions overcome these establishment thresholds by optimizing shoot placement. “ ( Van de Ven, 2022 et al., p. 1339 )

There is, however, still little research on…

Example: “There is, however, still little research on what integrated STEM approaches require from schools and teachers, and on the potential obstacles that may prevent teachers from running this kind of teaching.” ( Bungum and Mogstad, 2022, p. 2 )

abstract sentences in english

If you are looking to elevate your writing and editing skills, I highly recommend enrolling in the course “ Good with Words: Writing and Editing Specialization “, which is a 4 course series offered by the University of Michigan. This comprehensive program is conveniently available as an online course on Coursera, allowing you to learn at your own pace. Plus, upon successful completion, you’ll have the opportunity to earn a valuable certificate to showcase your newfound expertise!

The topic gained considerable attention in the academic literature in…

Example: “ The relationship between BITs and FDI gained considerable attention in the academic literature in the last two decades .” ( Amendolagine and Prota, 2021, p. 173 )

New approaches are needed to address…

Example: “ Accurate computational approaches are needed to address this gap and to enable large-scale structural bioinformatics. ” ( Jumper et al. 2021,p. 583 )

The proposed framework overcomes….

Example: “ The proposed framework overcomes existing definitional fragmentation and raises awareness of the temporal dimension in the conceptualisation of the resilience of firms .” ( Conz and Magnani, 2020, p. 400 )

Understanding… is critical to…

Example: “ Understanding changes in infectiousness during SARS-COV-2 infections is critical to assess the effectiveness of public health measures such as contact tracing. ” ( Hart et al., 2020, p. 1 )

The objective of this study is to…

Example: “The objective of this study is to identify the main clinicopathological characteristics of this tumor in a case series of oral lipomas (OL) in a population from Spain and Brazil.” ( Perez-Sayáns et al., 2019, p. 499 )

The aim is to shed light on…

Example:  “ The aim is to shed light on the factors affecting SLO at national level in Finland and to add to the growing body of research seeking to understand the mining industry’s SLO at national level in diverse social, economic and political settings. ” ( Jartti et al., 2020, p. 97 )

This study aims to answer the following research question:

Example: “ This study aims to answer the following research question: how is the resilience of firms defined in the business and management field? ” ( Conz and Magnani, 2020, p. 400 )

In this study, we develop…

Example: “In this study, we develop the first, to our knowledge, computational approach capable of predicting protein structures to near experimental accuracy in a majority of cases. ” ( Jumper et al. 2021,p. 583 )

This research examines…

Example: “ Grounded in social support theory and the job-demand resource model of job stress, this research examines the role of supervisor support in explaining the degree of perceived uncertainties and emotional exhaustion that employees experience due to the COVID-19 crisis. ” ( Charoensukmongkol and Phungsoonthorn, 2020, p. 1 )

We assess… through using…

Example: “ Exploiting bilateral data on asylum seeking applications for 157 countries over the period 2006–2015, we assess the determinants of refugee flows using a  gravity model  which accounts for endogenous selection in order to examine the causal link between climate, conflict and forced migration.” ( Abel et al., 2019, p. 239 )

Hypotheses were tested through…

Example: “ Hypotheses were tested through multilevel moderated mediation modeling using diary data collected during 14 consecutive workdays with 81 employees (N = 678 data points). ” ( Delanoeije et al., 2019, p. 1843 )

By exploiting a unique sample of…

Example: “ By exploiting a unique sample of foreign affiliates in nineteen Sub-Saharan Africa countries, we show that the presence of a bilateral investment treaty between FDI origin and destination countries is positively related to the propensity of foreign investors to generate linkages to local suppliers. “( Amendolagine and Prota, 2021, p. 172 )

We develop a novel approach…

Example: “ Here, we develop a novel mechanistic approach to infer the infectiousness profile of SARS-COV-2-infected individuals using data from known infector–infectee pairs .” ( Hart et al., 2020, p. 1 )

The conducted experiments demonstrate…

Example : “ The conducted experiments demonstrate a strong influence of the catalyst in use on the one hand on the conversion rate of methane and on the other hand on the properties of the produced carbon.” ( Scheiblehner et al. 2023, p. 6233 )

The analysis revealed that…

Example: “ The analysis revealed that festival activities (program, entertainment, thematic activities) and environment (atmosphere, convenience, facilities) are the most important determinants of satisfaction and loyalty. ” ( Tanford and Jung, 2017, p. 209 )

The findings shed new light on…

Example: “These findings shed new light on how plant traits interact with their environment to shape the landscape and pave the way for improved restoration designs by mimicking the natural shoot organization of establishing vegetation. ” ( Van de Ven, 2022 et al., p. 1339 )

Our results indicate that…

Example: “ Our results indicate that climatic conditions, by affecting drought severity and the likelihood of armed conflict, played a significant role as an explanatory factor for asylum seeking in the period 2011–2015. ” ( Abel et al., 2019, p. 239 )

This research offers significant and timely insight…

Example: “ This research offers significant and timely insight to AI technology and its impact on the future of industry and society in general, whilst recognising the societal and industrial influence on pace and direction of AI development .” ( Dwivedi et al. 2021, p. 2 )

The findings support the use of…

Example: “The findings support the use of legal referral pathways that can limit the negative impacts of carceral system involvement while highlighting the need for better strategies to engage and retain RVIP clients who have no court involvement.” ( Evans et al. 2022, p. 1 )

Further research is needed…

Example: “ Further research is needed to evaluate the positive, neutral, and sometimes negative impact of patient–provider concordance. ” ( Otte, 2022, p. 1 )

We conclude by…

Example: “ How such spaces are developed and sustained remains a central question for future research on games and learning, and we conclude by identifying key areas for further investigation. ” ( Gee and Gee, 2012, p. 129 )

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The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

What this handout is about

This handout provides definitions and examples of the two main types of abstracts: descriptive and informative. It also provides guidelines for constructing an abstract and general tips for you to keep in mind when drafting. Finally, it includes a few examples of abstracts broken down into their component parts.

What is an abstract?

An abstract is a self-contained, short, and powerful statement that describes a larger work. Components vary according to discipline. An abstract of a social science or scientific work may contain the scope, purpose, results, and contents of the work. An abstract of a humanities work may contain the thesis, background, and conclusion of the larger work. An abstract is not a review, nor does it evaluate the work being abstracted. While it contains key words found in the larger work, the abstract is an original document rather than an excerpted passage.

Why write an abstract?

You may write an abstract for various reasons. The two most important are selection and indexing. Abstracts allow readers who may be interested in a longer work to quickly decide whether it is worth their time to read it. Also, many online databases use abstracts to index larger works. Therefore, abstracts should contain keywords and phrases that allow for easy searching.

Say you are beginning a research project on how Brazilian newspapers helped Brazil’s ultra-liberal president Luiz Ignácio da Silva wrest power from the traditional, conservative power base. A good first place to start your research is to search Dissertation Abstracts International for all dissertations that deal with the interaction between newspapers and politics. “Newspapers and politics” returned 569 hits. A more selective search of “newspapers and Brazil” returned 22 hits. That is still a fair number of dissertations. Titles can sometimes help winnow the field, but many titles are not very descriptive. For example, one dissertation is titled “Rhetoric and Riot in Rio de Janeiro.” It is unclear from the title what this dissertation has to do with newspapers in Brazil. One option would be to download or order the entire dissertation on the chance that it might speak specifically to the topic. A better option is to read the abstract. In this case, the abstract reveals the main focus of the dissertation:

This dissertation examines the role of newspaper editors in the political turmoil and strife that characterized late First Empire Rio de Janeiro (1827-1831). Newspaper editors and their journals helped change the political culture of late First Empire Rio de Janeiro by involving the people in the discussion of state. This change in political culture is apparent in Emperor Pedro I’s gradual loss of control over the mechanisms of power. As the newspapers became more numerous and powerful, the Emperor lost his legitimacy in the eyes of the people. To explore the role of the newspapers in the political events of the late First Empire, this dissertation analyzes all available newspapers published in Rio de Janeiro from 1827 to 1831. Newspapers and their editors were leading forces in the effort to remove power from the hands of the ruling elite and place it under the control of the people. In the process, newspapers helped change how politics operated in the constitutional monarchy of Brazil.

From this abstract you now know that although the dissertation has nothing to do with modern Brazilian politics, it does cover the role of newspapers in changing traditional mechanisms of power. After reading the abstract, you can make an informed judgment about whether the dissertation would be worthwhile to read.

Besides selection, the other main purpose of the abstract is for indexing. Most article databases in the online catalog of the library enable you to search abstracts. This allows for quick retrieval by users and limits the extraneous items recalled by a “full-text” search. However, for an abstract to be useful in an online retrieval system, it must incorporate the key terms that a potential researcher would use to search. For example, if you search Dissertation Abstracts International using the keywords “France” “revolution” and “politics,” the search engine would search through all the abstracts in the database that included those three words. Without an abstract, the search engine would be forced to search titles, which, as we have seen, may not be fruitful, or else search the full text. It’s likely that a lot more than 60 dissertations have been written with those three words somewhere in the body of the entire work. By incorporating keywords into the abstract, the author emphasizes the central topics of the work and gives prospective readers enough information to make an informed judgment about the applicability of the work.

When do people write abstracts?

  • when submitting articles to journals, especially online journals
  • when applying for research grants
  • when writing a book proposal
  • when completing the Ph.D. dissertation or M.A. thesis
  • when writing a proposal for a conference paper
  • when writing a proposal for a book chapter

Most often, the author of the entire work (or prospective work) writes the abstract. However, there are professional abstracting services that hire writers to draft abstracts of other people’s work. In a work with multiple authors, the first author usually writes the abstract. Undergraduates are sometimes asked to draft abstracts of books/articles for classmates who have not read the larger work.

Types of abstracts

There are two types of abstracts: descriptive and informative. They have different aims, so as a consequence they have different components and styles. There is also a third type called critical, but it is rarely used. If you want to find out more about writing a critique or a review of a work, see the UNC Writing Center handout on writing a literature review . If you are unsure which type of abstract you should write, ask your instructor (if the abstract is for a class) or read other abstracts in your field or in the journal where you are submitting your article.

Descriptive abstracts

A descriptive abstract indicates the type of information found in the work. It makes no judgments about the work, nor does it provide results or conclusions of the research. It does incorporate key words found in the text and may include the purpose, methods, and scope of the research. Essentially, the descriptive abstract describes the work being abstracted. Some people consider it an outline of the work, rather than a summary. Descriptive abstracts are usually very short—100 words or less.

Informative abstracts

The majority of abstracts are informative. While they still do not critique or evaluate a work, they do more than describe it. A good informative abstract acts as a surrogate for the work itself. That is, the writer presents and explains all the main arguments and the important results and evidence in the complete article/paper/book. An informative abstract includes the information that can be found in a descriptive abstract (purpose, methods, scope) but also includes the results and conclusions of the research and the recommendations of the author. The length varies according to discipline, but an informative abstract is rarely more than 10% of the length of the entire work. In the case of a longer work, it may be much less.

Here are examples of a descriptive and an informative abstract of this handout on abstracts . Descriptive abstract:

The two most common abstract types—descriptive and informative—are described and examples of each are provided.

Informative abstract:

Abstracts present the essential elements of a longer work in a short and powerful statement. The purpose of an abstract is to provide prospective readers the opportunity to judge the relevance of the longer work to their projects. Abstracts also include the key terms found in the longer work and the purpose and methods of the research. Authors abstract various longer works, including book proposals, dissertations, and online journal articles. There are two main types of abstracts: descriptive and informative. A descriptive abstract briefly describes the longer work, while an informative abstract presents all the main arguments and important results. This handout provides examples of various types of abstracts and instructions on how to construct one.

Which type should I use?

Your best bet in this case is to ask your instructor or refer to the instructions provided by the publisher. You can also make a guess based on the length allowed; i.e., 100-120 words = descriptive; 250+ words = informative.

How do I write an abstract?

The format of your abstract will depend on the work being abstracted. An abstract of a scientific research paper will contain elements not found in an abstract of a literature article, and vice versa. However, all abstracts share several mandatory components, and there are also some optional parts that you can decide to include or not. When preparing to draft your abstract, keep the following key process elements in mind:

  • Reason for writing: What is the importance of the research? Why would a reader be interested in the larger work?
  • Problem: What problem does this work attempt to solve? What is the scope of the project? What is the main argument/thesis/claim?
  • Methodology: An abstract of a scientific work may include specific models or approaches used in the larger study. Other abstracts may describe the types of evidence used in the research.
  • Results: Again, an abstract of a scientific work may include specific data that indicates the results of the project. Other abstracts may discuss the findings in a more general way.
  • Implications: What changes should be implemented as a result of the findings of the work? How does this work add to the body of knowledge on the topic?

(This list of elements is adapted with permission from Philip Koopman, “How to Write an Abstract.” )

All abstracts include:

  • A full citation of the source, preceding the abstract.
  • The most important information first.
  • The same type and style of language found in the original, including technical language.
  • Key words and phrases that quickly identify the content and focus of the work.
  • Clear, concise, and powerful language.

Abstracts may include:

  • The thesis of the work, usually in the first sentence.
  • Background information that places the work in the larger body of literature.
  • The same chronological structure as the original work.

How not to write an abstract:

  • Do not refer extensively to other works.
  • Do not add information not contained in the original work.
  • Do not define terms.

If you are abstracting your own writing

When abstracting your own work, it may be difficult to condense a piece of writing that you have agonized over for weeks (or months, or even years) into a 250-word statement. There are some tricks that you could use to make it easier, however.

Reverse outlining:

This technique is commonly used when you are having trouble organizing your own writing. The process involves writing down the main idea of each paragraph on a separate piece of paper– see our short video . For the purposes of writing an abstract, try grouping the main ideas of each section of the paper into a single sentence. Practice grouping ideas using webbing or color coding .

For a scientific paper, you may have sections titled Purpose, Methods, Results, and Discussion. Each one of these sections will be longer than one paragraph, but each is grouped around a central idea. Use reverse outlining to discover the central idea in each section and then distill these ideas into one statement.

Cut and paste:

To create a first draft of an abstract of your own work, you can read through the entire paper and cut and paste sentences that capture key passages. This technique is useful for social science research with findings that cannot be encapsulated by neat numbers or concrete results. A well-written humanities draft will have a clear and direct thesis statement and informative topic sentences for paragraphs or sections. Isolate these sentences in a separate document and work on revising them into a unified paragraph.

If you are abstracting someone else’s writing

When abstracting something you have not written, you cannot summarize key ideas just by cutting and pasting. Instead, you must determine what a prospective reader would want to know about the work. There are a few techniques that will help you in this process:

Identify key terms:

Search through the entire document for key terms that identify the purpose, scope, and methods of the work. Pay close attention to the Introduction (or Purpose) and the Conclusion (or Discussion). These sections should contain all the main ideas and key terms in the paper. When writing the abstract, be sure to incorporate the key terms.

Highlight key phrases and sentences:

Instead of cutting and pasting the actual words, try highlighting sentences or phrases that appear to be central to the work. Then, in a separate document, rewrite the sentences and phrases in your own words.

Don’t look back:

After reading the entire work, put it aside and write a paragraph about the work without referring to it. In the first draft, you may not remember all the key terms or the results, but you will remember what the main point of the work was. Remember not to include any information you did not get from the work being abstracted.

Revise, revise, revise

No matter what type of abstract you are writing, or whether you are abstracting your own work or someone else’s, the most important step in writing an abstract is to revise early and often. When revising, delete all extraneous words and incorporate meaningful and powerful words. The idea is to be as clear and complete as possible in the shortest possible amount of space. The Word Count feature of Microsoft Word can help you keep track of how long your abstract is and help you hit your target length.

Example 1: Humanities abstract

Kenneth Tait Andrews, “‘Freedom is a constant struggle’: The dynamics and consequences of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement, 1960-1984” Ph.D. State University of New York at Stony Brook, 1997 DAI-A 59/02, p. 620, Aug 1998

This dissertation examines the impacts of social movements through a multi-layered study of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement from its peak in the early 1960s through the early 1980s. By examining this historically important case, I clarify the process by which movements transform social structures and the constraints movements face when they try to do so. The time period studied includes the expansion of voting rights and gains in black political power, the desegregation of public schools and the emergence of white-flight academies, and the rise and fall of federal anti-poverty programs. I use two major research strategies: (1) a quantitative analysis of county-level data and (2) three case studies. Data have been collected from archives, interviews, newspapers, and published reports. This dissertation challenges the argument that movements are inconsequential. Some view federal agencies, courts, political parties, or economic elites as the agents driving institutional change, but typically these groups acted in response to the leverage brought to bear by the civil rights movement. The Mississippi movement attempted to forge independent structures for sustaining challenges to local inequities and injustices. By propelling change in an array of local institutions, movement infrastructures had an enduring legacy in Mississippi.

Now let’s break down this abstract into its component parts to see how the author has distilled his entire dissertation into a ~200 word abstract.

What the dissertation does This dissertation examines the impacts of social movements through a multi-layered study of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement from its peak in the early 1960s through the early 1980s. By examining this historically important case, I clarify the process by which movements transform social structures and the constraints movements face when they try to do so.

How the dissertation does it The time period studied in this dissertation includes the expansion of voting rights and gains in black political power, the desegregation of public schools and the emergence of white-flight academies, and the rise and fall of federal anti-poverty programs. I use two major research strategies: (1) a quantitative analysis of county-level data and (2) three case studies.

What materials are used Data have been collected from archives, interviews, newspapers, and published reports.

Conclusion This dissertation challenges the argument that movements are inconsequential. Some view federal agencies, courts, political parties, or economic elites as the agents driving institutional change, but typically these groups acted in response to movement demands and the leverage brought to bear by the civil rights movement. The Mississippi movement attempted to forge independent structures for sustaining challenges to local inequities and injustices. By propelling change in an array of local institutions, movement infrastructures had an enduring legacy in Mississippi.

Keywords social movements Civil Rights Movement Mississippi voting rights desegregation

Example 2: Science Abstract

Luis Lehner, “Gravitational radiation from black hole spacetimes” Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh, 1998 DAI-B 59/06, p. 2797, Dec 1998

The problem of detecting gravitational radiation is receiving considerable attention with the construction of new detectors in the United States, Europe, and Japan. The theoretical modeling of the wave forms that would be produced in particular systems will expedite the search for and analysis of detected signals. The characteristic formulation of GR is implemented to obtain an algorithm capable of evolving black holes in 3D asymptotically flat spacetimes. Using compactification techniques, future null infinity is included in the evolved region, which enables the unambiguous calculation of the radiation produced by some compact source. A module to calculate the waveforms is constructed and included in the evolution algorithm. This code is shown to be second-order convergent and to handle highly non-linear spacetimes. In particular, we have shown that the code can handle spacetimes whose radiation is equivalent to a galaxy converting its whole mass into gravitational radiation in one second. We further use the characteristic formulation to treat the region close to the singularity in black hole spacetimes. The code carefully excises a region surrounding the singularity and accurately evolves generic black hole spacetimes with apparently unlimited stability.

This science abstract covers much of the same ground as the humanities one, but it asks slightly different questions.

Why do this study The problem of detecting gravitational radiation is receiving considerable attention with the construction of new detectors in the United States, Europe, and Japan. The theoretical modeling of the wave forms that would be produced in particular systems will expedite the search and analysis of the detected signals.

What the study does The characteristic formulation of GR is implemented to obtain an algorithm capable of evolving black holes in 3D asymptotically flat spacetimes. Using compactification techniques, future null infinity is included in the evolved region, which enables the unambiguous calculation of the radiation produced by some compact source. A module to calculate the waveforms is constructed and included in the evolution algorithm.

Results This code is shown to be second-order convergent and to handle highly non-linear spacetimes. In particular, we have shown that the code can handle spacetimes whose radiation is equivalent to a galaxy converting its whole mass into gravitational radiation in one second. We further use the characteristic formulation to treat the region close to the singularity in black hole spacetimes. The code carefully excises a region surrounding the singularity and accurately evolves generic black hole spacetimes with apparently unlimited stability.

Keywords gravitational radiation (GR) spacetimes black holes

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Belcher, Wendy Laura. 2009. Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks: A Guide to Academic Publishing Success. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Press.

Koopman, Philip. 1997. “How to Write an Abstract.” Carnegie Mellon University. October 1997. http://users.ece.cmu.edu/~koopman/essays/abstract.html .

Lancaster, F.W. 2003. Indexing And Abstracting in Theory and Practice , 3rd ed. London: Facet Publishing.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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How to Write an Abstract

An abstract of a work, usually of an essay, is a concise summary of its main points. It is meant to concentrate the argument of a work, presenting it as clearly as possible.

The abstract often appears after the title and before the main body of an essay. If you are writing an abstract as part of an assignment, you should check with your instructor about where to place it.

Here are a few guidelines to follow when composing an abstract:

  • In general, avoid too much copying and pasting directly from your essay, especially from the first paragraph. An abstract is often presented directly before an essay, and it will often be the first thing readers consult after your title. You wouldn’t repeat your ideas verbatim in the body of your essay, so why would you do that in an abstract? Consider the abstract part of the work itself. 
  • Start off strong. An abstract should be a mini essay, so it should begin with a clear statement of your argument. This should be the first sentence or two.
  • Abstracts vary in length. But a good rule is to aim for five to seven sentences. The bulk of the abstract will review the evidence for your claim and summarize your findings.
  • Avoid complicated syntax. Long sentences and intricate phrasing have their place in essays, but the abstract should be concise. It is not the place for ambitious grammar.
  • The last sentence or two should point to any conclusions reached and the direction future research might take. Like the first sentence, the last should be provocative and direct. Leave your readers wanting to read your essay.

In what follows, the authors have written an effective abstract that adheres to the basic principles above:

Literary critics have long imagined that T. S. Eliot’s The Sacred Wood (1920) shaped the canon and methods of countless twentieth-century classrooms. This essay turns instead to the classroom that made The Sacred Wood : the Modern English Literature extension school tutorial that Eliot taught to working-class adults between 1916 and 1919. Contextualizing Eliot’s tutorial within the extension school movement shows how the ethos and practices of the Workers’ Educational Association shaped his teaching. Over the course of three years, Eliot and his students reimagined canonical literature as writing by working poets for working people—a model of literary history that fully informed his canon reformation in The Sacred Wood . This example demonstrates how attention to teaching changes the history of English literary study. It further reveals how all kinds of institutions, not just elite universities, have shaped the discipline’s methods and canons. (Buurma and Heffernan)

This abstract uses the first two sentences to establish the essay’s place in its field of study and to suggest how it intervenes in existing scholarship. The syntax is direct and simple. The third sentence begins to outline how the authors will support their argument. They aim to demonstrate the relevance of Eliot’s teaching to his ideas about literature, and so they move next to discuss some of the details of that teaching. Finally, the abstract concludes by telling us about the consequences of this argument. The conclusion both points to new directions for research and tells us why we should read the essay. 

Buurma, Rachel Sagner, and Laura Heffernan. Abstract of “The Classroom in the Canon: T. S. Eliot’s Modern English Literature Extension Course for Working People and  The Sacred Wood. ”  PMLA , vol. 133, no. 2, Mar. 2018, p. 463.

Estate Best 18 July 2021 AT 05:07 AM

Please how will I write an abstract for my own poem collections?

Your e-mail address will not be published

Marc Simoes 01 April 2022 AT 04:04 PM

I am teaching students how to format and write an abstract, but I find no precise guidelines in the MLA Handbook. Should the first word of the abstract body text begin with the word "Abstract" followed by a period or colon and then the abstract content? Should the word "Abstract" be underlined? Over the years, I was taught both of these ways by different instructors, but I haven't found any definitive instructions, and now my students are asking me the correct format. Please help! Thank you!

Joseph Wallace 12 April 2022 AT 01:04 PM

Although publishers like the MLA will use their own house style guidelines for abstracts in published material, there is no one correct way for students to format their abstracts. Instructors should decide what works best for their classes and assignments.

Lorraine Belo 17 April 2022 AT 10:04 PM

Can you write a brief abstract about your MLA writing

Subrata Biswas 13 July 2023 AT 10:07 AM

Generally, the abstract is written in Italics. Is there any rule as such?

Joseph Wallace 31 July 2023 AT 10:07 AM

Thanks for your question. There is no rule saying that abstracts need to be written in italics. Some publications use italics for abstracts and some do not.

Dhan 07 January 2024 AT 12:01 PM

Should I write key words at the end of the abstract of Phd dissertation?

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ABSTRACT in a Sentence Examples: 21 Ways to Use Abstract

sentence with Abstract

Do you ever struggle to grasp the concept of something that is not concrete or easily visualized? This is where abstract ideas come into play. In the world of language and thought, abstract refers to concepts that are theoretical, intangible, or difficult to define precisely.

Abstract language allows us to explore complex ideas, emotions, and philosophies beyond the realm of physical objects or specific actions. Using abstract terms helps convey deeper meanings and evoke thought-provoking responses from the audience. In this guide, we will delve into how to effectively incorporate abstract language into your writing to add layers of complexity and depth.

Table of Contents

7 Examples Of Abstract Used In a Sentence For Kids

  • Abstract shapes have no specific form or color.
  • Let’s use our imagination to draw some abstract art.
  • The clouds in the sky look abstract and interesting.
  • Can you think of any abstract ideas for our project?
  • Abstract patterns can be found in nature.
  • Artists often create abstract paintings that are colorful and unique.
  • It’s fun to explore the world of abstract concepts and ideas.

Examples Of Abstract Used In a Sentence For Kids

14 Sentences with Abstract Examples

  • Abstract thinking is a crucial skill for problem-solving in mathematics.
  • As a college student, it is important to have a clear understanding of abstract concepts in your field of study.
  • The professor’s lecture on abstract art left the students feeling inspired and intrigued.
  • Many students find it challenging to grasp abstract theories in physics without practical examples.
  • Abstract reasoning questions are commonly included in competitive exams like the CAT or GRE.
  • Writing an abstract for a research paper requires summarizing the key findings and implications concisely.
  • The philosophy class delved into the complexities of abstract ideas such as existentialism and metaphysics.
  • Studying abstract algebra can help broaden one’s understanding of mathematical structures.
  • The abstract concept of time dilation in physics can be difficult to comprehend without visual aids.
  • College students often struggle with creating a compelling abstract for their thesis or dissertation.
  • Understanding the abstract principles of economics can help students make informed decisions about financial matters.
  • The abstract nature of certain literary works can lead to various interpretations and discussions in English literature classes.
  • Learning to think abstractly can enhance one’s problem-solving skills and creativity.
  • Participating in abstract reasoning exercises can improve your performance on standardized tests.

Sentences with Abstract Examples

How To Use Abstract in Sentences?

To use Abstract effectively in a sentence, start by understanding that an abstract is a summary of the main points of a written work. When incorporating “abstract” into your writing, follow these steps:

  • Identify the main idea : Begin by determining the main concept or argument of the text you are summarizing.
  • Highlight key points : Pick out the most important details, findings, or arguments from the original work. These key points will form the basis of your abstract.
  • Avoid personal opinions : The abstract should be written in an objective manner, focusing on the facts and content presented in the original work.
  • Use concise language : Keep the abstract brief and to the point. Use clear and concise language to convey the main idea and key points.
  • Write in your own words : Summarize the main points in a way that reflects your understanding of the material. Avoid directly copying sentences or passages from the original work.
  • Check for accuracy : Ensure that the abstract accurately reflects the main points of the original work. Double-check for any errors in content or interpretation.

By following these steps, you can effectively incorporate Abstract in your writing to provide a clear and concise summary of a larger text.

How To Use Abstract in Sentences

In conclusion, sentences with abstract concepts can be complex and challenging to decipher due to their intangible nature. Abstract ideas like love, justice, and freedom are subjective and open to interpretation, making communication about them sometimes vague and ambiguous. These sentences often rely on context, individual perspective, and emotional connection to convey their meaning effectively.

While sentences with abstract concepts may require more thoughtful reflection and deeper contemplation, they can evoke powerful emotions and provoke profound insights. Despite their elusive nature, abstract sentences play a crucial role in literature, philosophy, and art by inviting readers to explore the complexities of human experience and the depths of the human psyche. By engaging with abstract concepts in sentences, individuals can broaden their understanding of the world and enrich their communication skills.

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abstract sentences in english

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Definition of abstract

 (Entry 1 of 3)

Definition of abstract  (Entry 2 of 3)

Definition of abstract  (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

intransitive verb

Did you know?

The Crisscrossing Histories of Abstract and Extract

Abstract is most frequently used as an adjective (“abstract ideas”) and a noun (“an abstract of the article”), but its somewhat less common use as a verb in English helps to clarify its Latin roots. The verb abstract is used to mean “summarize,” as in “abstracting an academic paper.” This meaning is a figurative derivative of the verb’s meanings “to remove” or “to separate.”

We trace the origins of abstract to the combination of the Latin roots ab- , a prefix meaning “from” or “away,” with the verb trahere , meaning “to pull” or “to draw.” The result was the Latin verb abstrahere , which meant “to remove forcibly” or “to drag away.” Its past participle abstractus had the meanings “removed,” “secluded,” “incorporeal,” and, ultimately, “summarized,” meanings which came to English from Medieval Latin.

Interestingly, the word passed from Latin into French with competing spellings as both abstract (closer to the Latin) and abstrait (which reflected the French form of abstrahere , abstraire ), the spelling retained in modern French.

The idea of “removing” or “pulling away” connects abstract to extract , which stems from Latin through the combination of trahere with the prefix ex- , meaning “out of” or “away from.” Extract forms a kind of mirror image of abstract : more common as a verb, but also used as a noun and adjective. The adjective, meaning “derived or descended,” is now obsolete, as is a sense of the noun that overlapped with abstract , “summary.” The words intersected and have separated in modern English, but it’s easy to see that abstract applies to something that has been summarized, and summarized means “extracted from a larger work.”

  • metaphysical
  • theoretical
  • theoretic
  • encapsulation
  • recapitulation
  • resume
  • resumé
  • run-through
  • summarization

Examples of abstract in a Sentence

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'abstract.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Middle English, "withdrawn, removed, abstruse, extracted from a longer work, (of nouns in grammar) not concrete," borrowed from Medieval Latin abstractus "removed, secluded, incorporeal, universal, extracted from a larger work, summarized," going back to Latin, past participle of abstrahere "to remove forcibly, turn aside, divert," from abs- (variant of ab- ab- before c- and t- ) + trahere "to drag, draw, take along" — more at draw entry 1

Middle English, derivative of abstract abstract entry 1 (or borrowed directly from Medieval Latin abstractus )

Middle English abstracten "to draw away, remove," derivative of abstract abstract entry 1 (or borrowed directly from Latin abstractus )

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 4

Phrases Containing abstract

  • abstract algebra
  • abstract expressionism
  • abstract of title
  • in the abstract

Dictionary Entries Near abstract

Cite this entry.

“Abstract.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary , Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abstract. Accessed 20 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

Kids definition of abstract.

Kids Definition of abstract  (Entry 2 of 3)

Kids Definition of abstract  (Entry 3 of 3)

from Latin abstractus "abstract," from earlier abstrahere "to draw away," from abs-, ab- "from, away" and trahere "to draw" — related to attract , trace entry 1 , trace entry 3

Medical Definition

Medical definition of abstract.

 (Entry 1 of 2)

Medical Definition of abstract  (Entry 2 of 2)

Legal Definition

Legal definition of abstract, more from merriam-webster on abstract.

Nglish: Translation of abstract for Spanish Speakers

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Concrete and Abstract Nouns: Definition, Examples, & Exercises

  • The Albert Team
  • Last Updated On: March 1, 2022

concrete abstract nouns examples and exercises

What makes some nouns fall under the category of concrete, while other nouns are categorized  as abstract?

Read on to learn how to tell the difference between concrete and abstract nouns and when to use each type.

When you’re ready, test yourself with a quiz and practice with our high-quality, standards-aligned questions here .

What We Review

The Basics of Concrete and Abstract Nouns

concrete vs. abstract nouns

What is a concrete noun?

A concrete noun identifies something material and non-abstract, such as a chair, a house, or an automobile. Think about everything you can experience with your five senses: smell, touch, sight, hearing, or taste. A strawberry milkshake that tastes sweet and feels cold is an example of a concrete noun .

What is an abstract noun?

An abstract noun identifies something immaterial and abstract, such as rest, dread, or transportation. Think about something you can describe but do not experience with your five senses.

Scoring an ‘A’ on a test or sinking the winning basket in a basketball game is what we would all describe as a win, a victory, or a success. But can you really describe any of these nouns using your senses?

Sure, you might be able to feel the rubber basketball as it leaves your hand and hear it “whoosh” through the net. You may be able to see your score on your test and feel the weight of the paper in your hands, but none of these senses can fully capture the meaning of these abstract nouns .

Abstract Noun Exercises and Review

What is the relationship between concrete and abstract nouns?

Concrete and abstract nouns work together to allow us to communicate effectively.

This list, obviously, does not include all common and proper nouns and is meant to be used as a guide while identifying other nouns.

For example, you may have a friend who shares with you that they feel anxious.

You may not be familiar with this feeling, and you are having trouble understanding what your friend is going through because they used an abstract noun . You can ask your friend to describe what anxiety feels like, and often your friend will then use concrete nouns to help you understand more clearly.

What is the relationship between concrete and abstract nouns?

Your friend explains that his anxiety feels like a giant rock is pushing on his chest, keeping him from moving. His anxiety also feels like he is trying to cross a busy highway, but there are too many cars quickly passing by, making it impossible for him to cross.

Because your friend used concrete nouns such as rock, chest, highway, and cars, you now have a better understanding of what the abstract noun, anxiety, must feel like. Now you know how to help your friend because using these different nouns together helped you both communicate effectively.

How do you use concrete and abstract nouns?

Concrete and abstract nouns can be used together or separately. Authors use concrete nouns to paint vivid physical descriptions of characters and settings.

For example, in The Hobbit , the author, J. R. R. Tolkien, describes the wizard Gandalf as “ an old man with a staff {with} a tall pointed blue hat, a long grey cloak, a silver scarf over a white beard hung down below his waist, and immense black boots ” (Tolkien 17).

How do you use concrete and abstract nouns?

There are several concrete nouns in this sentence that give the reader a picture of what Gandalf might look like. However, to fully understand who Gandalf is apart from just his physical appearance, the author must use abstract nouns as well.

As the story goes on, the reader finds out that some of Gandalf’s strengths are his wisdom and resourcefulness. Both wisdom and resourcefulness are abstract nouns that describe Gandalf further by going beyond Gandalf’s outward appearance.

However, to fully understand these abstract nouns, concrete nouns are needed once again to show the concrete details of how these strengths reveal themselves within the story.

For example, Gandalf’s resourcefulness is shown when he tricks two dangerous trolls into fighting with one another until the sun comes up, which then turns the trolls into stone.

As the trolls argue, Gandalf exclaims, “Dawn take you all, and be stone to you!” (Tolkien 51). When the trolls experience these concrete nouns and see the rising sun turn their bodies into stone, they realize Gandalf’s resourcefulness a little too late.

Return to the Table fo Contents

3 Tips for Understanding Concrete vs. Abstract Nouns

Here are some important tips to help you determine the difference between concrete and abstract nouns:

abstract sentences in english

Tip #1. If you can experience the noun with one of your five senses, it is a concrete noun

  • Remember, concrete nouns identify something material and non-abstract, which means we can see, taste, hear, touch, or smell it.
  • For example, your brother’s stinky shoes are a concrete noun. You can see them, and you can absolutely smell them.

Tips for Understanding Concrete vs. Abstract Nouns

Tip #2. If you cannot experience the noun with one or more of your five senses, it is an abstract noun

  • Remember, abstract nouns identify something immaterial and abstract, which means we cannot see, taste, hear, touch, or smell it.
  • For example, the word love is an abstract noun. No one ever saw love taking a stroll around the neighborhood with their pet Corgi, but most everyone understands what love is, even if we have various definitions of it.

Tips for Understanding Concrete vs. Abstract Nouns

Tip #3. Concrete nouns can help us better understand the meaning of abstract nouns

  • Because we cannot experience abstract nouns with our five senses, it can be difficult to fully understand the meaning of certain abstract nouns.
  • Concrete nouns help us understand the meaning of abstract nouns by comparing something immaterial to something material.
  • For example, the abstract noun bravery can be better understood by comparing this word to the concrete words and actions of Martin Luther King Jr. Martin Luther King Jr. embodies the abstract noun bravery because people saw his march to protect the rights of all people, people heard his voice speak against the injustice happening to people around him, and people knew his ears were always open to the stories of people who looked up to him.
  • While the abstract noun bravery cannot be experienced using our five senses, we can understand its meaning better by using concrete nouns such as march , voice , and ears .

Tips for Understanding Concrete vs. Abstract Nouns

Applying the Basics: Common and Proper Noun Review & Practice

Now that you understand the difference between concrete and abstract nouns, let’s practice identifying both types of nouns. 

The Ultimate List of Concrete and Abstract Nouns 

Refer to the graphic below for an extensive list of example concrete and abstract nouns:

The Ultimate List of Concrete and Abstract Nouns

This list, obviously, does not include all concrete and abstract nouns, and it is meant to be used as a guide while identifying the difference between these two types of nouns.

Concrete Noun Exercises and Review 

Now that you know the difference between concrete and abstract nouns, test your ability to accurately identify concrete nouns.

Concrete Noun Exercises and Review

Select the concrete noun(s) in the sentences below. Remember, these nouns identify something material that can be experienced using one or more of the five senses.

1. The chestnut brown horse galloped across the field , the shimmer of it’s golden mane imitated by the waving grass .

  • In this sentence, horse, field, shimmer, mane , and grass are all concrete nouns because they can be experienced by one or more of the five senses, specifically, sight.

2. The heat of the sun beat down mercilessly on the soccer players , forcing several players to take a break to drink long gulps of cold water .

  • In this sentence , heat, sun, players, gulps, and water are concrete nouns because they can all be seen, tasted, or felt. The noun break is not underlined because it refers to a stop in time and cannot be experienced by one or more of the five senses. Therefore, it is an abstract noun.

3. As she leaned her head outside the window , she could smell the fresh-cut grass and newly-mulched flower beds .

  • In this sentence , head, window, grass, and flower beds are all concrete nouns because they can all be seen or smelled.

4. He adjusted the sound on his airpods so that he could hear the violin more clearly.

  • In this sentence , sound, airpods, and violin are all concrete nouns because they can be perceived with the senses of sight and hearing.

5. The flames crackled and hissed atop the dry brush , spreading frantically across the forest in smoky gusts .

  • In this sentence, flames, brush, forest, and gusts are all concrete nouns. The flames can be seen and heard spreading across the dry branches, and the smoky gusts can be seen, smelled, and even felt as it burns our eyes.

Pro tip : When evaluating whether a noun is concrete, ask yourself, “Can I experience it using one or more of the five senses?”

Abstract Noun Exercises and Review

Now that you know the difference between concrete and abstract nouns, test your ability to accurately identify abstract nouns.

Abstract Noun Exercises and Review

Select the abstract noun(s) in the sentences below. Remember, these nouns identify something immaterial and abstract that cannot be experienced using any of the five senses.

1. His fear consumed him like a hungry beast consumes its prey.

  • In this sentence, fear is the only abstract noun because it is the only noun that cannot be experienced using any of the five senses. Other nouns such as beast and prey can immediately be visualized in our minds, making these nouns concrete.

2. Her unwillingness to reach an agreement stalled the proceedings .

  • In this sentence , unwillingness, agreement, and proceedings are all abstract nouns that express something immaterial and cannot be experienced using any of the five senses.

3. His worry over the Friday night game consumed him and caused his failure on his biology exam.

  • In this sentence , worry and failure are both abstract nouns that identify something immaterial and cannot be experienced using any of the five senses.

4. One of Abraham Lincoln’s goals as president was to end slavery and declare freedom from forced servitude .

  • In this sentence , slavery, freedom, and servitude are all abstract nouns because they all represent something immaterial that cannot be experienced using the five senses.

5. In his sonnets, Shakespeare often wrote about love , comparing his subject to the beauty of the natural world.

  • In this sentence, love and beauty are both abstract nouns that express something immaterial that cannot be experienced using the five senses.

Pro tip : When evaluating whether a noun is abstract, ask yourself, “Can I experience it using one or more of the five senses? If the answer is no, then the noun is abstract.”

For additional practice, check out Concrete and Abstract Nouns content on Albert.

Try for Yourself: Concrete and Abstract Nouns Quiz

abstract sentences in english

Feeling confident in your understanding of concrete and abstract nouns?

Take this short six-question quiz to see what you’ve learned:

1. Does a concrete noun identify something material or immaterial?

  • Answer: Material
  • Correct Explanation: That’s right! A concrete noun identifies something material like a car, a ball, or a dog.
  • Incorrect Explanation: Sorry, that’s not right! Remember, a concrete noun identifies something material that can be experienced by one or more of the five senses.

2. Does an abstract noun identify something material or immaterial?

  • Answer: Immaterial
  • Correct Explanation: That’s right! An abstract noun identifies something abstract or immaterial like justice, freedom, or peace.
  • Incorrect Explanation: Sorry, that’s not right! Remember, an abstract noun identifies something immaterial that cannot be experienced by any of the five senses.

3. In this sentence, are the underlined words concrete or abstract nouns ?

“We will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream ” (King Jr.). 

  • Answer: Concrete
  • Correct Explanation: That’s right! The nouns waters and stream are concrete because they refer to something material that can be both seen and touched.

4. In this sentence, are the underlined words concrete or abstract nouns ?

“We will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream” (King Jr.). 

  • Answer: Abstract
  • Correct Explanation: That’s right! The nouns justice and righteousness are both abstract because they refer to something immaterial that cannot be experienced by any of the five senses.

5. In this sentence, are the underlined words concrete or abstract nouns ?

The love I have for her knows no limit . 

  • Correct Explanation: That’s right! The nouns love and limit are both abstract because they refer to something immaterial that cannot be experienced by any of the five senses.

6. In this sentence, are the underlined words concrete or abstract nouns ?

The excited puppy let out a delighted bark as he played contentedly with his red rubber ball . 

  • Correct Explanation: That’s right! The nouns puppy, bark , and ball are concrete because they refer to something material that can be both seen and touched.
  • Incorrect Explanation: Sorry, that’s not right!  Remember, a concrete noun identifies something material that can be experienced by one or more of the five senses. 

For additional practice with concrete and abstract nouns, check out our practice on Albert: Concrete and Abstract Nouns .

Teacher’s Corner for Concrete and Abstract Nouns

Concrete and abstract nouns are a foundational, third grade grammar skill according to the Common Core State Standards , the Common Core English Language Progressive Skills Chart shows that even elementary-level skills “require continued attention in higher grades as they are applied to increasingly sophisticated writing and speaking.”

Albert’s concrete and abstract nouns practice can be used for more than just homework! Our assessments can be used as pre-and post-tests to measure student progress. Our pre-made quizzes can be used as bell-ringers, exit tickets, and more!

In addition to our pre-made assessments, you can also use our assignments feature to create your own quizzes and assessments.

Summary on Concrete and Abstract Nouns

Concrete nouns identify something material and non-abstract that can be experienced by one or more of the five senses.

Abstract nouns identify something immaterial and abstract that cannot be experienced by any of the five senses.

Concrete and abstract nouns can be used in tandem with one another or separately. Be sure to check out our grammar course for more concrete and abstract noun practice.

You can also access over 3,400 high-quality questions that address nearly every grammatical concept.

Need help preparing for your Grammar exam?

Common and Proper Nouns - Grammar Course

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50 Examples of Abstract Nouns with Sentences in English

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Abstract nouns might sound a bit tricky, but they’re actually quite common in our everyday language. Now, you might be wondering, what exactly are abstract nouns ? Well, let me break it down for you. Abstract nouns are words that represent ideas, concepts, or qualities rather than tangible objects . They’re the things you can’t see or touch, but you can feel or experience . In this blog post, we will look at these in more detail with the help of 50 Examples of Abstract Nouns with Sentences .

For instance, love , happiness , and freedom are all abstract nouns . These are things we understand and feel, but they’re not physical objects we can hold in our hands. Understanding abstract nouns helps us express emotions and concepts in our language more vividly.

Now, let’s jump into 50 examples of abstract nouns to see how they function in everyday communication. The following are the 50 examples of abstract nouns with sentences.

  • Love : Love knows no boundaries.
  • Happiness : Her smile radiates happiness.
  • Freedom : Freedom is a fundamental human right.
  • Peace : We all long for peace in our lives.
  • Courage : It takes courage to face your fears.
  • Justice : Justice must be served for all.
  • Friendship : True friendship lasts a lifetime.
  • Wisdom : With age comes wisdom.
  • Hope : There’s always hope for a brighter tomorrow.
  • Faith : Faith can move mountains.
  • Kindness : Kindness costs nothing but means everything.
  • Patience : Patience is a virtue.
  • Understanding : Understanding leads to empathy.
  • Generosity : His generosity knows no bounds.
  • Compassion : Compassion is the key to a better world.
  • Gratitude : Expressing gratitude can brighten someone’s day.
  • Sincerity : Sincerity is the foundation of trust.
  • Resilience : Resilience always helps us bounce back from adversity.
  • Perseverance : Perseverance is the key to success.
  • Integrity : Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching.
  • Empathy : Empathy allows us to understand others’ feelings.
  • Determination : With determination, anything is possible.
  • Humility : Humility is the mark of a true leader.
  • Optimism : Optimism fuels progress and innovation.
  • Calmness : Maintaining calmness in difficult situations is important.
  • Curiosity : Curiosity fuels learning and growth.
  • Passion : His passion for music is evident in every note.
  • Graciousness : Graciousness in victory reflects true sportsmanship.
  • Tolerance : Tolerance breeds acceptance and understanding.
  • Joy : Her laughter filled the room with joy.
  • Contentment : Contentment comes from appreciating what we already have.
  • Humor : His humor lightened the mood in the room.
  • Modesty : Modesty is a virtue often overlooked.
  • Altruism : Altruism is selfless concern for the well-being of others.
  • Loyalty : Loyalty is the foundation of strong relationships.
  • Empowerment : Empowerment enables individuals to reach their full potential.
  • Inspiration : Her story serves as an inspiration to us all.
  • Innovation : Innovation drives progress and change.
  • Harmony : Living in harmony with nature is essential for our well-being.
  • Solitude : Finding solace in solitude can be rejuvenating.
  • Grace : Her gracefulness captivated everyone in the room.
  • Beauty : Beauty is subjective and lies in the eye of the beholder.
  • Authenticity : Authenticity is being true to oneself.
  • Serenity : The serenity of the sunset brought peace to her soul.
  • Generosity : Generosity is giving everything without expecting anything in return.
  • Leadership : Leadership is about inspiring others to achieve greatness.
  • Ambition : Ambition drives individuals to reach their goals.
  • Trust : Trust is the foundation of any new relationship.
  • Excellence : Striving for excellence leads to personal growth.
  • Communication : Effective communication is the key to successful relationships.

These sentences exemplify how abstract nouns are used in various contexts to convey emotions, ideals, and concepts that shape human experiences.

50 Examples of Abstract Nouns with Sentences

Why Do We Need Sentences with ‘Abstract Nouns’? Sentences with abstract nouns help us articulate complex emotions and concepts that are central to human experience. They enable us to express our thoughts, feelings, and beliefs in a way that resonates with others. Abstract nouns add depth and nuance to our language, allowing for richer communication and understanding between individuals.

Meaning, Concept, and Structure: Understanding the meaning, concept, and structure of abstract nouns is essential for effective communication. The meaning of abstract nouns lies in their representation of intangible ideas or qualities, such as love, courage, or justice. The concept of abstract nouns centers around their ability to convey emotions, beliefs, and ideals that shape human experiences. In terms of structure, abstract nouns can function as subjects, objects, or complements within sentences, adding depth and complexity to our language.

For example:

  • Love ( abstract noun ) conquers all.
  • She possesses great wisdom ( abstract noun ).
  • Justice ( abstract noun ) prevails in the end.

Who Needs to Learn Such Sentences and Why? Anyone who seeks to communicate effectively and express themselves vividly can benefit from learning sentences with abstract nouns . Whether in personal relationships, professional settings, or creative endeavors, understanding how to use abstract nouns enhances one’s ability to convey emotions , ideas, and beliefs with clarity and impact. Moreover, mastering sentences with abstract nouns fosters deeper connections and understanding between individuals, enriching our shared human experience.

In conclusion, the above 50 examples of abstract nouns with sentences  demonstrate the importance and versatility of abstract nouns in our language. From expressing emotions to conveying ideals, abstract nouns enable us to communicate with depth and nuance, enriching our interactions and understanding of the world. By mastering sentences with abstract nouns , we enhance our ability to express ourselves effectively and connect with others on a deeper level. So, next time you’re crafting a sentence, consider the power of abstract nouns in conveying the essence of human experience.

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50 Examples of Abstract Nouns

50 Examples of Abstract Nouns (Sentences of Abstract Nouns)

We have compiled 50 example sentences of abstract nouns for you.

50 Examples of Abstract Nouns

  • Ability: Tom has the ability to run 10 miles per hour.
  • Adoration: She looked at Charles in adoration.
  • Advantage: He could not take advantage of the opportunity.
  • Adventure: Hiking and traveling are the biggest adventures for me.
  • Anger: Bob said loudly, with anger in his voice.
  • Argument: The officer heard his all arguments.
  • Awareness: They launched a campaign about environmental issues to increase public awareness.
  • Beauty: Switzerland is a land of natural beauty.
  • Belief: It is my belief that my project will be successful.
  • Bravery: Tom has been awarded a medal for his bravery.
  • Brilliance: Roberts was respected for his brilliance as a writer.
  • Brutality: He accused the police of brutality.
  • Calm: I feel inner calm after morning walk and yoga.
  • Care: Do you taker care of your parents?
  • Childhood: He spent his childhood in this city.
  • Coldness: It was the coldness of her attitude that shocked me.
  • Comfort: My passive income enabled me to live in comfort.
  • Communication: I am in regular communication with him by phone.
  • Company: Jon is playing a vital role in the company ‘s growth.
  • Confidence: He has confidence in his communication skills.
  • Confusion: He has labeled his folders to avoid confusion.
  • Contentment: Contentment brings peace to your life.
  • Courage: He does not have the courage to speak before the public.
  • Death: No medicine works against death .
  • Deceit: She was accused of deceit.
  • Dedication: He won his promotion with dedication and hard work.
  • Defeat: The defeat in the final demoralized the team.
  • Delay: The delay in the completion of tasks can shake the trust.
  • Dream: Jon had a weird dream .
  • Education: Our new-generation needs education and physical activity.
  • Ego: Don’t oppress others to satisfy your ego.
  • Fact: The fact is, I don’t like my boss.
  • Failure: Failures in life have taught me many lessons.
  • Faith: Tom has faith in his abilities.
  • Fiction: As far as Tom’s work is concerned, it is a kind of fiction .
  • Freedom: Freedom of expression does not mean hurting others.
  • Friendship: Friendship requires trust and love.
  • Goal: Bob is working day and night to achieve his goals.
  • Happiness: Spending time in nature brings happiness.
  • Horror: Do you like horror scenes in movies?
  • Intelligence: Apart from her intelligence , she is very kind to others.
  • Irritation: Air pollution is a constant source of irritation.
  • Joy: A cheerful friend is a joy forever.
  • Kindness: His heart is full of kindness and love.
  • Love: Mother’s love is the purest love in the world.
  • Misery: I lived in misery for many years.
  • Pride: Tom was bursting with pride after completing his education.
  • Satisfaction: Customer satisfaction is key to success in business.
  • Sorrow: I expressed my sorrow at his father’s death.
  • Tiredness: The feeling of tiredness was creeping over his face.

50 Examples of Abstract Nouns

Further Reading

  • 8 Parts of Speech with Examples
  • 11 Types of Nouns Explained with Examples
  • Abstract Nouns for Kids

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abstract sentences in english

English Study Online

Abstract Nouns: List of 165 Important Abstract Nouns from A to Z

By: Author English Study Online

Posted on Last updated: November 3, 2023

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If you’re learning English, you’ve probably come across these tricky little words before. In this article, we’ll be exploring what abstract nouns are, how to use them, and why they’re important in the English language. We’ll be providing examples of abstract nouns and explaining how they differ from concrete nouns. We’ll also be discussing how to recognize abstract nouns in a sentence and how to use them correctly in your writing.

Table of Contents

Abstract Noun Definition

Abstract nouns are intangible concepts or ideas that cannot be experienced with the five senses. They represent things like emotions , ideas, qualities , and states of being . Unlike concrete nouns that refer to physical objects or things that can be perceived by the senses, abstract nouns cannot be seen, touched, heard, smelled, or tasted.

Examples of abstract nouns include love, peace, hope, freedom, happiness, courage, and honesty . These nouns represent concepts that cannot be measured or quantified, but they are essential to human experience and communication. For example, we use abstract nouns like love to express a deep emotional connection to someone or something.

One way to identify abstract nouns is to think about whether you can see, touch, hear, smell, or taste the thing being described. If you cannot, it is likely an abstract noun. For example, the word “ beauty” is an abstract noun because it is a concept that cannot be seen or touched.

It is important to note that abstract nouns can be difficult to define precisely because they represent intangible concepts. However, they are essential to effective communication and can add depth and nuance to our language. By understanding abstract nouns, we can better express ourselves and connect with others on a deeper level.

Abstract Nouns List

Abstract Nouns

Types of Abstract Nouns

As we mentioned earlier, abstract nouns are intangible ideas that cannot be perceived with the five senses. In this section, we will explore some of the different types of abstract nouns.

Emotions are one of the most common types of abstract nouns. They refer to feelings that we experience, such as love, anger, sadness, and happiness . These emotions cannot be seen or touched, but they can be felt and expressed through language and behavior.

Ideas are another type of abstract noun. They refer to concepts and thoughts that exist in our minds, such as freedom, democracy, justice, and equality . These ideas are not physical objects, but they can have a powerful impact on our lives and society.

Qualities are abstract nouns that describe characteristics or attributes of people, things, or ideas. Examples of qualities include honesty, bravery, intelligence, and creativity. These qualities cannot be seen or touched, but they can be demonstrated through actions and behaviors.

Experiences

Experiences are abstract nouns that refer to events or situations that we encounter in our lives. Examples of experiences include success, failure, adventure, and tragedy . These experiences cannot be physically touched or seen, but they can have a profound impact on our lives and shape who we are as individuals.

Abstract Nouns vs. Concrete Nouns

In English, nouns can be divided into two main categories: abstract nouns and concrete nouns . Abstract nouns are used to describe ideas, concepts, and feelings that cannot be perceived through the senses. Concrete nouns, on the other hand, are used to describe physical objects that can be seen, touched, heard, smelled, or tasted.

  • For example, the word “ love ” is an abstract noun because it describes a feeling or emotion that cannot be seen or touched.
  • In contrast, the word “ table ” is a concrete noun because it describes a physical object that can be seen and touched.

It is important to understand the difference between abstract and concrete nouns because they are used differently in sentences. Concrete nouns are often used as the subject or object of a sentence, while abstract nouns are often used to describe a quality or attribute of a concrete noun.

  • For example, in the sentence “ The dog chased the ball ,” “dog” and “ball” are both concrete nouns because they describe physical objects.

In the sentence “The dog showed loyalty to its owner,” “loyalty” is an abstract noun because it describes a quality of the dog’s behavior.

Here are some more examples of abstract and concrete nouns:

List of Common Abstract Nouns

Usage of abstract nouns.

Abstract nouns play a crucial role in both writing and speech. In this section, we will explore the different ways in which abstract nouns can be used effectively.

Abstract nouns are often used in writing to convey emotions and ideas that cannot be easily expressed through concrete nouns. Here are some ways in which abstract nouns can be used effectively in writing:

  • Describing emotions: Abstract nouns such as “love,” “happiness,” and “sadness” can be used to describe emotions in a way that is more impactful than using concrete nouns. For example, instead of saying “She felt a warm feeling in her heart,” we can say “She felt a deep sense of love.”
  • Explaining concepts: Abstract nouns can be used to explain complex concepts in a concise and clear manner. For example, instead of saying “The process of photosynthesis involves the conversion of light energy into chemical energy,” we can say “Photosynthesis is the process by which plants convert light energy into chemical energy.”
  • Creating imagery: Abstract nouns can be used to create vivid imagery in writing. For example, instead of saying “The sunset was beautiful,” we can say “The sky was painted with hues of orange, pink, and purple, creating a breathtaking display of beauty.”

Abstract nouns are also commonly used in speech to convey ideas and emotions. Here are some ways in which abstract nouns can be used effectively in speech:

  • Expressing feelings: Abstract nouns can be used to express feelings and emotions in a way that is more impactful than using concrete nouns. For example, instead of saying “I am happy,” we can say “I am filled with a sense of happiness.”
  • Discussing ideas: Abstract nouns can be used to discuss complex ideas and concepts in a clear and concise manner. For example, instead of saying “The economy is experiencing a period of growth,” we can say “There is a sense of prosperity in the economy.”
  • Creating connections: Abstract nouns can be used to create connections between different ideas and concepts. For example, instead of saying “These two ideas are related,” we can say “There is a strong connection between these two concepts.”

Abstract Nouns List | Infographic

Abstract Nouns

Practice Exercises

Practice exercises are a great way to reinforce your understanding of abstract nouns. In this section, we’ll cover two types of exercises: identifying exercises and usage exercises.

Identifying Exercises

In identifying exercises, you’ll be asked to identify the abstract noun in a sentence. Here are a few examples:

  • The beauty of nature is awe-inspiring.
  • Her kindness towards others is admirable.
  • The concept of time is difficult to grasp.

In each of these sentences, the abstract noun is underlined. Can you identify them? The answers are:

Usage Exercises

Usage exercises are a bit more challenging. In these exercises, you’ll be asked to use abstract nouns in your own sentences. Here are a few examples:

  • Write a sentence using the abstract noun “love”.
  • Write a sentence using the abstract noun “happiness”.
  • Write a sentence using the abstract noun “freedom”.

Here are some possible answers:

  • Our love for each other grows stronger every day.
  • Her happiness was contagious and spread to everyone around her.
  • Freedom is a fundamental right that should be protected at all costs.

Practice exercises are a great way to improve your understanding of abstract nouns. Make sure to keep practicing until you feel confident in your ability to identify and use abstract nouns correctly.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some common examples of abstract nouns in English?

There are many examples of abstract nouns in English, including love, courage, intelligence, creativity, communication, development, importance, and many more. Abstract nouns are words that describe intangible concepts or ideas that cannot be seen, touched, or heard.

How can abstract nouns be formed?

Abstract nouns can be formed in several ways. One common way is to add a suffix to a verb, such as -tion, -ment, -ness, -ity, or -ance. For example, the verb “create” can be turned into the abstract noun “creativity” by adding the suffix -ity. Another way to form abstract nouns is by converting adjectives into abstract nouns, such as “beauty” from “beautiful” or “happiness” from “happy”.

Is the word ’emotion’ considered an abstract noun?

Yes, the word ’emotion’ is considered an abstract noun. Emotion is an intangible concept that cannot be seen or touched. It is a feeling or state of mind that is often associated with specific physical sensations , but is not itself a physical object. Other examples of abstract nouns that are related to emotions include love, happiness, sadness, and anger.

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10 examples of abstract noun sentences.

10 examples of abstract noun sentences in english;

10 examples of abstract noun sentences in english

An  abstract noun  is a word which names something that you cannot see, hear, touch, smell, or taste.

1.We have to get at the truth of the matter.

2.Mary isn’t the type of person who gossips .

3.People lost faith in banks.

4.She will defeat them.

5.I was delighted at the news of her success .

6.They laughed at my idea .

7.Alex had a fear that he would fall down.

8.She tried to restrain her anger .

9.Don’t underestimate your own strength .

10.Samuel has a good side and an evil side.

Here are Common Abstract Nouns;

Awe Beauty Belief Bravery Brutality Calm Chaos Charity Childhood Clarity Coldness Comfort Communication Compassion Confidence Contentment Courage Crime Curiosity Customer service Disturbance Determination Dexterity Dictatorship Disappointment Disbelief Disquiet Disturbance Education Ego Envy Evil Failure Faith Fascination Fear Fragility Freedom Gossip Hate Hatred Hearsay Honour Hope Hurt Idea Infatuation Inflation Insanity Laughter Law Liberty Life Loss Love Luck Luxury Maturity Mercy Music Need Omen Peculiarity Perseverance Power Pride Principle Reality Relaxation Relief Restoration Riches Rumour Sacrifice Speed Uncertainty Unemployment Unreality Victory Wariness Warmth Weakness Wealth Weariness Wisdom

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  1. How to Write an Abstract

    Write clearly and concisely. A good abstract is short but impactful, so make sure every word counts. Each sentence should clearly communicate one main point. To keep your abstract or summary short and clear: Avoid passive sentences: Passive constructions are often unnecessarily long.

  2. Writing an Abstract for Your Research Paper

    Definition and Purpose of Abstracts An abstract is a short summary of your (published or unpublished) research paper, usually about a paragraph (c. 6-7 sentences, 150-250 words) long. A well-written abstract serves multiple purposes: an abstract lets readers get the gist or essence of your paper or article quickly, in order to decide whether to….

  3. 15 Abstract Examples: A Comprehensive Guide

    Informative Abstract Example 1. Emotional intelligence (EQ) has been correlated with leadership effectiveness in organizations. Using a mixed-methods approach, this study assesses the importance of emotional intelligence on academic performance at the high school level. The Emotional Intelligence rating scale was used, as well as semi ...

  4. 20 Abstract Sentence Examples to Help English Language Learners

    Here are some easy language abstract sentence examples that you can use in a class: Happiness: "Happiness is like sunshine on a rainy day.". Kindness: "Showing kindness is as simple as sharing a smile with a friend.". Courage: "Having courage means facing your fears with a brave heart.".

  5. 24 popular academic phrases to write your abstract (+ real examples)

    A helpful strategy to write an academic abstract is to incorporate key academic phrases commonly used in abstracts of published papers. This way, you can learn from real examples and improve your abstract writing skills. Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase

  6. Abstracts

    What this handout is about. This handout provides definitions and examples of the two main types of abstracts: descriptive and informative. It also provides guidelines for constructing an abstract and general tips for you to keep in mind when drafting. Finally, it includes a few examples of abstracts broken down into their component parts.

  7. The Writing Center

    An abstract is a 150- to 250-word paragraph that provides readers with a quick overview of your essay or report and its organization. It should express your thesis (or central idea) and your key points; it should also suggest any implications or applications of the research you discuss in the paper. According to Carole Slade, an abstract is ...

  8. How to Write an Abstract

    An abstract should be a mini essay, so it should begin with a clear statement of your argument. This should be the first sentence or two. Abstracts vary in length. But a good rule is to aim for five to seven sentences. The bulk of the abstract will review the evidence for your claim and summarize your findings. Avoid complicated syntax.

  9. ABSTRACT in a Sentence Examples: 21 Ways to Use Abstract

    Avoid personal opinions: The abstract should be written in an objective manner, focusing on the facts and content presented in the original work. Use concise language: Keep the abstract brief and to the point. Use clear and concise language to convey the main idea and key points. Write in your own words: Summarize the main points in a way that ...

  10. Examples of 'Abstract' in a Sentence

    How to Use abstract in a Sentence abstract 1 of 3 adjective. Definition of abstract. Synonyms for abstract. The word "poem" is concrete, the word "poetry" is abstract. Though that would be an abstract place for a ring of that kind. — Zizi ...

  11. abstract in a sentence

    Examples of abstract in a sentence, how to use it. 99 examples: Each four-part volume contains around 700 abstracts reporting research in some…

  12. Examples of "Abstract" in a Sentence

    48. Abstract expressionism was a New York painting movement of the 1940's with its artistic roots based upon abstract art. 56. 45. Advertisement. The neuter term brahma is used in the Rigveda both in the abstract sense of "devotion, worship," and in the concrete sense of "devotional rite, prayer, hymn."

  13. How To Use "Abstract" In A Sentence: Masterful Usage Tips

    Regarding using abstract in a sentence, it is important to understand its proper usage. Abstract can be employed as both a noun and an adjective, depending on the context. As a noun, it refers to a summary or a condensed version of a larger concept or idea. For example, "The abstract of the research paper provided a concise overview of the ...

  14. Abstract Definition & Meaning

    abstract: [adjective] disassociated from any specific instance. difficult to understand : abstruse. insufficiently factual : formal.

  15. Concrete and Abstract Nouns: Definition, Examples, & Exercises

    Remember, concrete nouns identify something material and non-abstract, which means we can see, taste, hear, touch, or smell it. For example, your brother's stinky shoes are a concrete noun. You can see them, and you can absolutely smell them. Tip #2. If you cannot experience the noun with one or more of your five senses, it is an abstract noun.

  16. Examples of 'ABSTRACT' in a sentence

    THE UNORTHODOX MURDER OF RABBI MOSS. In fact, mathematics could be regarded as a highly abstract, formal language which was merely a part of the universal syntax. Zindell, David. THE BROKEN GOD. No, no, my friend, the only reason for you to betray us would be out of the abstract love of justice. New from Collins. Question:

  17. Abstract Noun

    Revised on April 18, 2023. An abstract noun is a noun that refers to something non-physical—something conceptual that you can't perceive directly with your senses. Examples include "sadness," "analysis," "government," and "adulthood.". Abstract nouns are contrasted with concrete nouns, which are words like "cat," "desk ...

  18. 50 Examples of Abstract Nouns with Sentences in English

    The following are the 50 examples of abstract nouns with sentences. Love: Love knows no boundaries. Happiness: Her smile radiates happiness. Freedom: Freedom is a fundamental human right. Peace: We all long for peace in our lives. Courage: It takes courage to face your fears. Justice: Justice must be served for all.

  19. 50 Examples of Abstract Nouns (Sentences of Abstract Nouns)

    50 Examples of Abstract Nouns. Ability: Tom has the ability to run 10 miles per hour. Adoration: She looked at Charles in adoration. Advantage: He could not take advantage of the opportunity. Adventure: Hiking and traveling are the biggest adventures for me. Anger: Bob said loudly, with anger in his voice.

  20. Abstract Nouns: List of 165 Important Abstract Nouns from A to Z

    Usage exercises are a bit more challenging. In these exercises, you'll be asked to use abstract nouns in your own sentences. Here are a few examples: Write a sentence using the abstract noun "love". Write a sentence using the abstract noun "happiness". Write a sentence using the abstract noun "freedom". Here are some possible answers:

  21. 10 Examples of Abstract Noun Sentences

    10 examples of abstract noun sentences in english; An abstract noun is a word which names something that you cannot see, hear, touch, smell, or taste. 1.We have to get at the truth of the matter. 2.Mary isn't the type of person who gossips. 3.People lost faith in banks. 4.She will defeat them. 5.I was delighted at the news of her success. 6.They laughed at my idea. 7.Alex had a fear that he ...