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Types of academic writing

Learn more about the different types of academic writing students often create during their programs at RRU, such as essays and literature reviews.

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An abstract serves as a brief overview of the discussion in a text; it also "enables persons interested in the document to retrieve it from abstracting and indexing databases" (American Psychological Association, 2020, p. 73). Depending on the expectations of the document, an abstract is typically 150-250 words long (American Psychological Association, 2020, p. 38).

For more information, please see Abstracts (The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill).

For the APA Style (7th ed.) perspective on writing abstracts, please see page 38 and pages 73-75 in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (American Psychological Association, 2020) for information, including how to write abstracts for: 

  • Empirical articles,
  • Replication articles,
  • Quantitative/qualitative meta-analyses,
  • Literature review articles,
  • Theoretical articles, and
  • Methodological articles.

See also the 7th Edition Abstract and Keywords Guide.

Finally, if you're writing an abstract for a conference, please see How to Write a Conference Abstract: A Five-part Plan for Pitching Your Research at Almost Anything.


American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author. 

American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.).