This information is based on the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition, 2010.
An abstract is a “brief, comprehensive summary of the contents of an article” (p. 25). (In some fields of study this is called an executive summary.) Based on the abstract, readers often decide whether or not to read the entire paper. The abstract must be brief (usually 250 words or fewer), but include all main points of the paper. Its organization generally mirrors the organization of the paper (to check, compare the abstract to the paper headings.)
Active voice: Laboratory technicians tabulated the results of the experiment.
Passive voice: The results of the experiment were tabulated by laboratory technicians.
The nursing profession recognizes the phenomenon of anxiety as a nursing diagnosis and has studied it in
depth. Anxiety is defined as a vague subjective feeling of apprehension stemming from an unknown threat to
an individual. Anxiety is divided into four stages: mild, moderate, severe, and panic. Sister Callista Roy’s theory
of adaptation approaches anxiety holistically, stressing the interconnectedness of the mind, body, and spirit.
Martha Rogers’ theory of energy fields explains anxiety as a phenomenon that is capable of being transmitted
Consult the Publication Manual pp. 26-27 for detailed guidelines on abstracts for specific types of papers: