Use this guideline when you are ready to construct the abstract for your research paper so that the process will be easier for you:
If you have never done an abstract before then looking at examples will help a great deal. By looking at an abstract example you will then be able to picture how your own abstract should look like and thereby have an easier time getting started. Nothing paves the way to easier writing than having a clear idea of what you should be doing.
Since the abstract is a summary it does not have to be very long. Two hundred words is quite sufficient for an abstract, any more than three hundred and you risk giving away the bulk of your paper and making it not worth reading. Length, in the case of an abstract, would be your undoing rather than be your friend.
Here are the things you should cover, briefly, in your abstract. Summarize the purpose, briefly describe any experiment you researched, the results of that experiment and then wrap up with your conclusion or any remaining questions that you have. Do not take any sentences from your paper and put it in your abstract; that action would be detrimental to what your summary is supposed to achieve.
The flow of the abstract is not as necessary as making sure that it is understandable. Keep your abstract concise, do not wander, use the past tense and make sure that your summary can be read separately from your research paper. Keep the information of your experiment and results to a one or two sentences, after all, you want it understandable but do not want to give away the whole plot. Keep consistency between your research paper and abstract, if you change the result of something in your abstract then you must change it in your paper and vice versa.
The abstract tells the reader what the paper is about, not the other way around. While the abstract should be written so it can stand alone, it is, in a sense, a prelude to your paper even though you write it after your essay is done. A person reading your abstract should be able to tell what your paper is about without having to read the research essay.