How to Write an Abstract - PDF by thebest11


									                             How to Write an Abstract

Once you have finished your full size report, you’ll want to write an abstract as a preview to
prospective readers. An abstract is a short description of your completed research in order to get the
reader to become interested in your research. There are two different types of abstracts, descriptive and
informative. There are five parts an abstract should include: motivation, problem statement, approach,
results, and conclusions. Abstracts are great for online databases to try and convince the reader to take
the time and study your full report. Furthermore, since online publication databases have grown more
popular over the years due to availability, it’s become very important to create a well-written abstract.

Types of Abstract
A descriptive abstract is shorter than an informative abstract, but should only be used when your report
is very long and you only want to identify what areas are covered in your full report without much
content. On the other hand, an informative abstract will summarize your entire report, including facts
that are found within the paper. It should never be longer than one page, and no longer than 10% of
your full report. Although you’re telling the reader what you did and why, along with your results, you
still want to capture their interest enough that they want to find your full-sized scientific paper.

Motivation (part 1)
To begin writing an informative abstract, you want to remember the point of an abstract is to give the
reader motivation to read your full report. Remember, an abstract is trying to get the reader to leave the
comfort of their home and hunt down a hard copy of your work. The motivation part of your abstract
should show the reader why your work is important, the difficulty, and the impact it could have if
successful. Putting the motivation first is best if your work may not be interesting to one taking a quick

Problem Statement (part 2)
Next is your problem statement. Tell the reader what the problem is you’re trying to solve. If the topic
is currently popular, this can be put before the motivation as people will already have an interest.
Define what the scope of your abstract is and specify if it’s a specific situation or just a general
approach. Initially, the problem statement can get the reader curious enough to find out how you came
about your research and want to know what your results were.

      Visit us online and see how you can improve your writing –
Approach (part 3)
After the problem statement, you will write your approach. Very quickly explain to the reader how you
solved the problem or how you made any progress. Clarify what variables were used in your studies,
mentioning what was controlled, ignored, and measured. Tell readers how much work you put into
conducting the research. For example, mention if you looked at only couple application programs, or if
you looked at hundreds in multiple program languages. In other words, let the reader know the extent
of your research.

Results (part 4)
Now is time to tell your results. If you can, do so in numbers. Better abstracts are those that have
results concluding something is a certain percentage cheaper, smaller, or faster, etc. If the numbers in
your results can be easily misunderstood they can be omitted, but it’s not recommended. Keep the
results simple, by this time the reader should be curious for a more in-depth look at your work and want
to read your whole report.

Conclusions (part 5)
In the conclusions part of your abstract you should explain the implications of your answer. Will your
findings be considered a “win” or go as far as change the world? Also, clarify to your readers if your
results are in general or specific to something. This can be another area where you specify the
importance of your findings. It’s important to write a thorough, but concise conclusion to keep people
interested enough in reading your scientific report.

Abstract Top Tips
Now that you know the steps to writing an abstract, there are certain tips to follow in order to be certain
your abstract will attract readers. Perhaps the most important tip is to not go over the word limit. The
most common length of an abstract is 150-200 words. Some authors may only write one sentence for
each of the steps mentioned above. The body of the abstract should be single spaced and have a title
match to that of your scientific paper. Although you do want to be descriptive in an abstract, you don’t
want to over do it. Only talk about things that are pertinent and will catch readers’ attention.

Another way to get more readers is putting certain phrases in your abstract for online databases to pick
up. First, determine about six different keywords your target audience might use. Include those exact
keywords in your abstract to try and get more readers. You shouldn’t rush through an abstract in only
one draft. Remember its importance and the first draft should only have any statistics and key facts that
you want to include. Lengthy examples and tables shouldn’t be in an abstract. When making any
corrections, ensure the abstract is written in the same voice as your full report.

Think of an abstract as a mini essay and let the final draft read smoothly. A choppy summary won’t
impress any readers into reading your full report. Perhaps having a friend read over your abstract to see
how easy it is to read for somebody other than yourself. You’re trying to “sell” your full scientific
paper and if the abstract is choppy and isn’t easy to read, a friend or family member may pick up on it
easier than you. Have your results be logical and try and make them easy to understand. If a person

      Visit us online and see how you can improve your writing –
reading your abstract has a hard enough time trying to understand it, they won’t want to take the time
and read the longer version. If your first draft is too long, keep eliminating information that isn’t
necessary for an abstract until you get it down to the 200 word limit. If you give the reader too much
information they may feel like they read everything they needed to on the subject and not want to read
your full report.


                                 This article was supplied to you by

           – Proofreading & Editing Specialists

     Visit us online and see how you can improve your writing –

To top