Writing an abstract is amongst the most important skills for researchers who are prepared to share their work.
Whether you’re submitting your scholarly article to a journal or preparing your research abstract for consideration at a conference, mastering how to write a good abstract with the following five rules is likely to make your abstract get noticed through the crowd!
1. Follow the guidelines.
Abstracts for scholarly articles are somewhat different than abstracts for conferences. Additionally, different journals, associations, and fields stick to different guidelines.
Thus, make sure that your abstract includes exactly what is asked for, that the content ties in appropriately, and that you’ve followed any formatting rules.
Be sure to look at the guidelines to find out if the journal or conference has specific expectations when it comes to abstract, such as for example whether or not it must be a abstract that is structured just one paragraph.
A abstract that is structured subheads and separate paragraphs for each elements, such as for instance background, method, results, and conclusions.
2. Be sure the abstract has everything you need—no more, believe it or not.
An abstract should always be between 200 and 250 words total. Readers must be able to quickly grasp your purpose, methods, thesis, and results in the abstract.
You will need to provide all this information in a concise and coherent way. The article that is full-length presentation is actually for providing additional information and answering questions.
For a conference presentation, it would likely additionally be required to narrow in on one particular element of your research, as time may prevent you from covering a more substantial project.
In addition, an abstract usually does not include citations or bibliographic references, descriptions of routine assessments, or information regarding how statistics were formulated.
Note also that though some comments on the background can be included, readers will be most enthusiastic about the particulars of your specific project and your particular results.
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3. Use keywords.
Into the age of electronic database searches, keywords are vital. Keywords must be added in a separate line after your abstract.
As an example, the American Psychological Association recommends using language—everyday that is natural you might think of in relation to your topic—and picking 3 to 5 keywords (McAdoo 2015).
For instance, keywords for a scholarly study on hawks might include: hawks, prey, territory, or behavior.
To learn more about choosing keywords that are appropriate
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4. Report your results and conclusions.
An abstract should report that which you did, not what you intend to do, so avoid language like hope, plan, try, or attempt. Utilize the past tense to indicate that the study had been completed. Your results, thesis, and a brief summary of the conclusions should also be included.
Many readers often don’t read through the abstract, so you want to let them have a snapshot that is clear of only exacltly what the research was about but also what you determined. Be sure to also include the “so what”—the conclusions, potential applications, and just why they matter.
5. Make your title strong.
Your title is the impression—it’s that are first possiblity to draw in your readers, such as for example conference reviewers, colleagues, and scientists outside your field. Before your abstract will likely be read, your title must catch their eye first.
In no more than 12 words, the title should convey something regarding the subject additionally the “hook” of one’s research as concisely and clearly as you are able to. Focus on what you investigated and exactly how.
Don’t repeat your title in your though that is abstract will need the space when it comes to information on your study in your abstract.
Tip: using verbs that are active strengthen a title. A quick search of scientific articles brought up titles with verbs like “mediate,” “enhance,” and “reveal.” Use a thesaurus or style guide to get more ideas for strong verb choices.
Since you need to put so much into a body that is short of, writing an abstract will surely be challenging. As with any writing, it helps to rehearse in addition to to review other examples.
To improve your abstract-writing skills, review abstracts of articles in journals as well as in conference proceedings to have a sense of how researchers in your field approach specific subjects and research.
As with every work, having someone read your projects for feedback is highly desirable before submitting it.
It is possible to submit your abstract at no cost editing by a PhD editor at Falcon Scientific Editing.
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