The abstract holds an odd place in a research paper. It’s not really part of the paper itself. It’s more like the elevator pitch. The abstract is usually the last section that you write, but it’s the first part that people will read. Obviously, you want to write an abstract that entices the reader to keep reading. But what if they don’t read beyond the abstract? I recently asked myself this question, and it has fundamentally changed my perspective of abstracts, both as a reader and as an author.