un articolo secondo le norme APA
the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association
(4th ed.) Copyright © 1994
material has been reproduced from the Publication Manual of the
American Psychological Association (4th ed.) Copyright © 1994
by the American Psychological Association. Reproduced with permission.
Further reproduction of this material without the express written
permission of the American Psychological Association is strictly
An abstract is a brief, comprehensive summary of the contents of
the article; it allows readers to survey the contents of an article
quickly and, like a title, is used by abstracting and information
ser-vices to index and retrieve articles. All APA journals except
Contem-porary Psychology require an abstract.
A well-prepared abstract can be the most important paragraph in
your article. "Once printed in the journal, your abstract is just
be-ginning an active and frequently very long life as part of collections
of abstracts" in printed and electronic forms (APA, 1984; see chap.
6 for a description of APA's Psychological Abstracts Information
Ser-vices [PsycINFO]). Most people will have their first
contact with an article by seeing just the abstract, usually on
a computer screen with several other abstracts, as they are doing
a literature search through an electronic abstract-retrieval system.
Readers frequently decide on the basis of the abstract whether to
read the entire article; this is true whether the reader is at a
computer or is thumbing through a journal. The abstract needs to
be dense with information but also readable, well organized, brief,
and self-contained. Also, embedding many key words in your abstract
will enhance the user's ability to find it. A good abstract is
- accurate: Ensure that an abstract correctly reflects the
purpose and content of the manuscript. Do not include in an abstract
information that does not appear in the body of the paper. If the
study extends or replicates previous research, note this in the
abstract, and cite the author (initials and surname) and year. Comparing
an abstract with an outline of the paper's headings is a useful
way to verify the accuracy of an abstract.
- self-contained: Define all abbreviations (except units
of measurement) and acronyms. Spell out names of tests and drugs
(use generic names for drugs). Define unique terms. Paraphrase rather
than quote. Indude names of authors (initials and surnames) and
dates of publication in citations of other publications (and give
a full bibliographic citation in the article's reference list).
Include key words within the abstract for indexing purposes.
- concise and specific: Make each sentence maximally inform-ative,
especially the lead sentence. Be as brief as possible. Abstracts
should not exceed 960 characters and spaces, which is approximately
120 words. Begin the abstract with the most im-portant information
(but do not waste space by repeating the title). This may be the
purpose or thesis, or perhaps the results and conclusions. Include
in the abstract only the four or five most important concepts, findings,
Ways to conserve characters:
- Use digits for all numbers, except those that begin a sentence
(consider recasting a sentence that begins with a r;umber).
- Abbreviate liberally (e.g., use vs. for versus), although all
ab-breviations that need to be explained in the text (see section
3.21) must also be explained on first use in the abstract.
- Use the active voice (but without the personal pronouns I or
- nonevaluative: Report rather than evaluate; do not add
to or comment on what is in the body of the manuscript.
- coherent and readable: Write in clear and vigorous prose.
Use verbs rather than the noun equivalents and the active rather
than the passive voice. Use the present tense to describe results
with continuing applicability or condusions drawn; use the past
tense to describe specific variables manipulated or tests applied.
- abstract. If it exceeds the 160-character limit, the abstractors
will truncate your abstract to fit the database. For information
on how abstracts are used to retrieve articles, consult the PsycINFO
Psycho-logical Abstracts Information Services Users Reference Manual