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How to write a good abstract for your research paper?

“Abstracts are important parts of reports and research papers and sometimes academic assignments. The abstract is often the last item that you write, but the first thing people read when they want to have a quick overview of the whole paper.”

“Typically, an informative abstract answers these questions in 100-250 words:

Why did you do this study or project?

What did you do and how?

What did you find?

What do your findings mean?”

These are the basic components of an abstract in any discipline:

“1) Motivation/problem statement: Why do we care about the problem? What practical, scientific, theoretical or artistic gap is your research filling?

2) Methods/procedure/approach: What did you actually do to get your results? (e.g. analyzed 3 novels, completed a series of 5 oil paintings, interviewed 17 students)

3) Results/findings/product: As a result of completing the above procedure, what did you learn/invent/create?

4) Conclusion/implications: What are the larger implications of your findings, especially for the problem/gap identified in step 1?”

You should avoid:

  • “Avoid using the first person “I” or “we.” In addition, whenever possible, choose active verbs instead of passive ones (ex:  use “the study tested” instead of “it was tested by the study” or “I tested in the study”).
  • Don’t procrastinate! It is best to write the abstract immediately after you finish your project while the ideas are still fresh in your mind.
  • DO NOT refer in the abstract to information that is not in the document.”

References

https://www.adelaide.edu.au/writingcentre/learning_guides/learningGuide_writingAnAbstract.pdf

http://hsp.berkeley.edu/sites/default/files/HOW%20TO%20WRITE%20AN%20ABSTRACT.pdf

http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2011/06/20/essential-guide-writing-good-abstracts/

http://writingcenter.unlv.edu/writing/abstract.html