HOW TO WRITE A RESEARCH ABSTRACT
Research abstracts are used throughout the research community to provide a concise description about a research project. It is typically a short summary of your completed research. If done well, it makes the reader want to learn more about your research. Some students present their research findings at local and national conferences. Research abstracts are usually requested as part of the application process for conference presenters. 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?
However, it's important to note that the weight accorded to the different components can vary by discipline. For models, try to find abstracts of research that is similar to your research.
Qualities of a Good Abstract
Well developed paragraphs are unified, coherent, concise, and able to stand alone Uses an introduction/body/conclusion structure which presents the article, paper, or report's purpose, results, conclusions, and recommendations in that order Follows strictly the chronology of the article, paper, or report Provides logical connections (or transitions) between the information included Adds no new information, but simply summarizes the report
Is understandable to a wide audience
Oftentimes uses passive verbs to downplay the author and emphasize the information Steps to Writing Effective Abstracts
Reread the article, paper, or report with the goal of abstracting in mind....
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