A simple rule-of-thumb is to imagine that you are another researcher doing a similar study. Then ask yourself: if your abstract was the only part of the paper you could access, would you be happy with the amount of information presented there? Does it tell the whole story about your study? If the answer is "no" then the abstract likely needs to be revised. How to Write a Research Abstract. Office of Undergraduate Research. University of Kentucky; Staiger, David L. Abstracts and the Writing of Abstracts.
Structure and Writing Style I. Types of Abstracts To begin, you need to determine which type of abstract you should include with your paper. There are four general types. The researcher evaluates the paper and often compares it with other works on the same subject.
Critical abstracts are generally words in length due to the additional interpretive commentary. These types of abstracts are used infrequently. Descriptive Abstract A descriptive abstract indicates the type of information found in the work. It makes no judgments about the work, nor does it provide results or conclusions of the research.
It does incorporate key words found in the text and may include the purpose, methods, and scope of the research. Essentially, the descriptive abstract only describes the work being summarized. Some researchers consider it an outline of the work, rather than a summary. Descriptive abstracts are usually very short, words or less. Informative Abstract The majority of abstracts are informative. While they still do not critique or evaluate a work, they do more than describe it. A good informative abstract acts as a surrogate for the work itself.
That is, the researcher presents and explains all the main arguments and the important results and evidence in the paper. An informative abstract includes the information that can be found in a descriptive abstract [purpose, methods, scope] but it also includes the results and conclusions of the research and the recommendations of the author.
The length varies according to discipline, but an informative abstract is usually no more than words in length. In that a highlight abstract cannot stand independent of its associated article, it is not a true abstract and, therefore, rarely used in academic writing.
Writing Style Use the active voice when possible, but note that much of your abstract may require passive sentence constructions. Regardless, write your abstract using concise, but complete, sentences. Get to the point quickly and always use the past tense because you are reporting on a study that has been completed. When we read someone's paper, we first see the abstract when we open it, before we move onto the paper itself. This misleads some students into writing the abstract prior to writing the paper properly.
As we know, we begin the paper with an introduction. But when we write the abstract first, we write there what is supposed to be in the introduction, and then we get stuck not knowing what to write in the introduction. The abstract is also not to be confused with the thesis statement.
These are entirely different things, mainly in their goal. A thesis statement is an integral part of the paper that sets up its main idea or question. An abstract, on the contrary, is technically a separate article that summarizes the whole body of the text, including the outcome. So, keep your audience in mind. Sometimes, your professor will tell you which kind of an abstract should come with your paper, but sometimes this choice will be up to you.
A descriptive abstract is a shorter one, and it is normally applied for shorter papers. It will talk about your work's purpose, goal, and methods. The results are usually not specified in a descriptive abstract. The whole piece usually does not exceed words. An informative abstract, on the other hand, is written for bigger papers.
Here, you take the most important parts of your whole paper, including the results, and condense them into one piece which may be as long as a whole page.
There is actually a third kind of abstract — critical. It has the same goals as a descriptive or informative abstract and is done the same way, but the difference is that here you summarize someone else's work, not yours. You showcase how what relevance other author's work has to your own research, and possibly give some critique. This kind of abstract, however, is seldom assigned to students.
If your paper is about alcohol intoxication, your reader will want to know why it matters, how it relates to you, and what the purpose of your research is. So, when writing your abstract, keep in mind the following questions: What motivated me to take on this topic? How did I research the issue? What have I found out? Why is my research important? Why should others be interested in my research? As you begin to write you abstract, first explain the problem that you are tackling in your paper.
You describe this problem as a specific or general one. Then, you state your main argument. Sometimes, you can combine the problem description with the explanation of your motivation, but this is a rare occasion.
More often than not, you will talk about your motivation separately. After that, you talk about your methods.This summary can start with a restatement of the thesis, the main arguments in the essay, and a conclusion based on the information. To explore the role of the newspapers in the political events of the late First Empire, this dissertation analyzes all available newspapers published in Rio de Janeiro from to The third sentence begins to outline how the authors will support their argument. Are you suggesting amnesty or military crackdown as the panacea to insurgency? Avoid vague, hand-waving results such as "very", "small", or "significant. Conclusions: What are the implications of your answer?
Each of the four questions is answered very briefly in 1 or 2 sentences with much of the details omitted. Newspapers and their editors were leading forces in the effort to remove power from the hands of the ruling elite and place it under the control of the people. Since you have already written your work, writing an abstract should be no big deal. While it contains key words found in the larger work, the abstract is an original document rather than an excerpted passage. Before coming to the Modern Language Association as an assistant editor, he edited articles for Studies in Philology and taught courses on writing and on early modern literature.
When writing an abstract for your essay, there are some key points you need to keep in mind: The abstract should not include any information that is not going to be found in the essay. Ethically, however, the project raises serious questions about the morality of genetic engineering. Writing Center.
Why is my research important? Once you have revised it to your liking it should be placed behind the cover page of the essay. In that a highlight abstract cannot stand independent of its associated article, it is not a true abstract and, therefore, rarely used in academic writing. This example demonstrates how attention to teaching changes the history of English literary study.
University College Writing Centre. Second, what has been the purpose or objective to study business-to-business marketing and what should be the future objective for research? Sometimes, you can combine the problem description with the explanation of your motivation, but this is a rare occasion. Include an explanation of your methods of research.
Writing an Abstract. A good first place to start your research is to search Dissertation Abstracts International for all dissertations that deal with the interaction between newspapers and politics. You may write an abstract for various reasons. Types of abstracts There are two types of abstracts: descriptive and informative. This kind of abstract, however, is seldom assigned to students. Be sure that those exact phrases appear in your abstract, so that they will turn up at the top of a search result listing.