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ABSTRACT WRITING

Contents
 Technical and Non-Technical Writing
 Development of Abstract
 Types of Abstract Writing
 Parts of Abstract Writing
 Properties of Abstract Writing
 Purpose of Abstract
 Style and Qualities of good Abstract

Technical & Non-Technical Writing


Technical Writing:-
“Technical writing is the type of writing where the author is writing about a particular subject
that requires direction, instruction or explanation.”
 Technical writing is written to form or drafting technical communication used in a variety
of technical and occupational fields
 Technical writing is performed by a technical writer and is the process of writing and
sharing information in a professional setting
 Good technical writing is concise, focused, easy to understand, free of errors, and is
audience-based
Non-Technical Writing:-

''Non-technical writing is a type of business writing that is intended to provide general


information that is likely to be helpful to the reader in some manner, but is not concerned with
assembling facts, figures and instructions for the benefit of that reader.''

 It contains only factual information presented objectively.

 All data could be verified and would not change unless new findings are made

 The writing depends on the author's treatment of the subject and by the reader's need for
useful information.
Abstract Writing:-

An abstract is sort of pre-introductory paragraph which provide information about whole


research work in strong sentences.

 The Abstract is simply a short, standalone summary of the work or paper that others can
use as an overview.

 An abstract describes what you do in your essay, whether it’s a scientific experiment or a
literary analysis paper.

 It helps your reader understand the paper and help people searching for this paper decide
whether it suits their purposes prior to reading.

 Although it is placed at the beginning of your paper, immediately following the title page,
the abstract should be the last thing that you write, once you are sure of the conclusions
you will reach.

When is it necessary to write abstracts?

Abstracts are usually required for:

 Submission of articles to journals

 Application for research grants

 Completion and submission of theses

 Submission of proposals for conference papers

Sections of Abstract Writing:-

 Background

 Methods

 Results

Background:-

This section should be the shortest part of the abstract and should very briefly outline the
following information:

 What is already known about the subject, related to the paper in question.

 What is not known about the subject and hence what the study intended to examine.
Methods:-

The methods section is usually the second-longest section in the abstract. It should contain
enough information to enable the reader to understand what was done, and how.

Carelessly methods sections lack information about important issues such as

 Sample size

 Numbers of patients in different groups,

 Doses of medications,

 Duration of the study

Results:-

 The results section is the most important part of the abstract and nothing should
compromise its range and quality.

 The readers who peruse an abstract do so to learn about the findings of the study.

 The results section should therefore be the longest part of the abstract and should contain
as much detail about the findings as the journal word count permits.

Types of Abstract

There are two main types of abstract:

 Descriptive

 Informative abstract.

Descriptive Abstract:-

“If you are writing an abstract for a less-structured document like an essay, editorial, or book,
you will write a descriptive abstract.”

Purpose of descriptive

• To persuade the reader to see the full text.

• To help readers decide if the article is relevant or not.

• To answer a call of paper in a conference.

• To make it possible for your piece of research to appear in online publication database.
Informative Abstract:-

“If you are writing an abstract for a strictly-structured document like an experiment,
investigation, or survey, you will write an informative abstract.”

Analysis of an informative

• Intro to the purpose of paper

This part gives a brief indication of author’sintention or thesis.

• Describe methodology

The author gives information on data procedures ormethods used.

• Summarize the result

The author mentions his observations and findings.

• Presenting conclusion

The state the evaluation or analysis of the experiment results.

Comparison between abstract styles:-

Descriptive Abstract

• 50-100 words

• Before a project is completed.

• Emphasis is placed on the problem and method.

• Describes major points of the project to the reader

• Includes background purpose and focus of the paper or article but never the methods,
results and conclusions if it is a research paper.

• Used for humanities and social sciences papers or psychology essays.

Informative abstract

• About 200 words

• After a project has been completed.

• Emphasis is placed on the results and conclusion of the project.


• Informs the audience of all the essential points of the paper

• Briefly summarizes the background, purpose, focus, methods, results, findings, and
conclusions of the full length paper.

• Used for sciences, engineering or psychology report.

Parts of anabstract

• Title

• Author

• Objective

• Methods

• Results

• Conclusions

1. Title:-
The title of your manuscript is usually the first introduction readers (and reviewers) have to your
work. Therefore, you must select a title that grabs attention, accurately describes the contents of
your manuscript, and makes people want to read further.

An effective title should:

 Convey the main topics of the study


 Highlight the importance of the research
 Be concise
 Attract readers
Writing a good title for your manuscript can be challenging. First, list the topics covered by the
manuscript. Try to put all of the topics together in the title using as few words as possible. A title
that is too long will seem clumsy, annoy readers, and probably not meet journal requirements.

Example:
Does Vaccinating Children and Adolescents with Inactivated Influenza Virus Inhibit the Spread
of Influenza in Unimmunized Residents of Rural Communities?
This title has too many unnecessary words.
Influenza Vaccination of Children: A Randomized Trial
This title doesn’t give enough information about what makes the manuscript interesting.
Effect of Child Influenza Vaccination on Infection Rates in Rural Communities: A Randomized
Trial
This is an effective title. It is short, easy to understand, and conveys the important aspects
of the research.

Think about why your research will be of interest to other scientists. This should be related to the
reason you decided to study the topic. If your title makes this clear, it will likely attract more
readers to your manuscript.
TIP: Write down a few possible titles, and then select the best to refine further. Ask your
colleagues their opinion. Spending the time needed to do this will result in a better title.

Do abstracts vary by discipline (science, humanities, service, art, or performance)?

Abstracts do vary from discipline to discipline, and sometimes within disciplines.

Abstracts in the hard sciences and social sciences often put more emphasis on methods than do
abstracts in the humanities; humanities abstracts often spend much more time explaining their
objective than science abstracts do.

However, even within single disciplines, abstracts often differ. Check with a professor to find
out about the expectations for an abstract in your discipline, and make sure to ask for examples
of abstracts from your field.

What should an abstract include?

Despite the fact that abstracts vary somewhat from discipline to discipline, every abstract should
include four main types of information.

 It should state the main objective and rationale of your project,


 it should outline the methods you used to accomplish your objectives,
 it should list your project’s results or product (or projected or intended results or
product, if your project is not yet complete),
 and it should draw conclusions about the implications of your project.

What should my Objective/Rationale section look like?

What is the problem or main issue? Why did you want to do this project in the first place?

The first few sentences of your abstract should state the problem you set out to solve or the
issue you set out to explore and explain your rationale or motivation for pursuing the project.
The problem or issue might be a research question, a gap in critical attention to a text, a societal
concern, etc. The purpose of your study is to solve this problem and/or add to your discipline’s
understanding of the issue.

Some authors state their thesis or hypothesis in this section of the abstract; others choose to leave
it for the “Conclusions” section.

What should my Methods section look like?

What did you do?

This section of the abstract should explain how you went about solving the problem or exploring
the issue you identified as your main objective.

For a hard science or social science research project, this section should include
a concise description of the process by which you conducted your research. Similarly, for
a service project, it should outline the kinds of service you performed and/or the process you
followed to perform this service. For a humanities project, it should make note of any theoretical
framework or methodological assumptions. For a visual or performing arts project, it should
outline the media you employed and the process you used to develop your project.

What should my Results/Intended Results section look like?

What did you find?

This section of the abstract should list the results or outcomes of the work you have done so
far. If your project is not yet complete, you may still want to include preliminary results or your
hypotheses about what those results will be.

What should my Conclusion section look like?

What did you learn?

The abstract should close with a statement of the project’s implications and contributions to its
field. It should convince readers that the project is interesting, valuable, and worth investigating
further. In the particular case of the Undergraduate Symposium, it should convince readers to
attend your presentation.

How should I choose my title?

You probably already have some idea for a title for your project. Consider your audience; for
most projects, it is best to choose a title that is comprehensible to an audience of intelligent non-
specialists.

Avoid jargon; instead, make sure that you choose terms that will be clear to a wide audience.
What my project isn't finished? What if my results didn’t turn the way I expected?

More often than not, projects are not completely finished by the time presenters need to submit
their abstracts. Your abstract doesn’t need to include final results (though if you have them, by
all means include them!).

If you don’t yet have final results, you can either include any preliminary results that you do
have, or you can briefly mention the results that you expect to obtain.

Similarly, unexpected or negative results occur often. They can still be useful and informative,
and you should include them in your abstract. Talk with your mentor to discuss how such results
are normally handled in your discipline.

In any case, whether you have complete, partial, projected, or unexpected results, keep in mind
that your explanation of those results – their significance – is more important than the raw
results themselves.

How can I fit all of this into just 125 words?

Be straightforward. Don’t worry about making your abstract “flow”. Don’t worry about
writing a long or elaborate introduction or conclusion, and as we suggested above, don’t include
too much background information on your project’s general topic. Instead, focus on what you
have done and will do as you finish your project by providing the information we have suggested
above.

If your abstract is still too long, look for unnecessary adjectives or other modifiers that do not
directly contribute to a reader’s understanding of your project. Look for places where you repeat
yourself, and cut out all unnecessary information.

Properties of Abstract Writing

Omit these things…

Do not refer extensively to other works.Do not add information not contained in the original
work.Do not define terms.Quotations from the original work or from other works. Tables and
maps.

What to include?

• Reason for writing


what is the importance of the research? Why would a reader be interested in the larger
work?
• Problem
what problem does this work attempt to solve? What is the scope of the project? What is the
main argument/thesis/claim?

• Implications:
what changes should be implemented as a result of the findings of the work? How does this
work add to the body of knowledge on the topic?

What to exclude?

Information not contained in the original work. References to other work. Quotations from the
original work or from other works. Lengthy explanations of words and concepts. Unexplained
acronyms or abbreviations. Tables and maps.

Purpose of Abstract writing

Purposes

Help reader decide whether to read the text or not.Why did you do this study or project?What did
you do? What did you find? What do your findings mean? If the paper is about a new method,
the last two questions might be changed to. What are the advantages? How well does it work?

Motivation:-

Why do we care about the problem? What practical, scientific, theoretical or artistic gap is your
research filling?It allows readers to make decisions about your project.

Approach:

Each proposal you write will focus on unique ideas.What have you done to resolve the
problem?What did you actually do to get your results?

Problem:

State the problem behind your work.Combine the issues that your research addresses.What is
your main claim?Why aren’t things working right now?

Results:

As a result of completing the above procedure, what did you learn/invent/create?What are the
general findings?Was your hypothesis or argument supported?What answer did you reach from
your research?
Conclusions:

Finish your summary & give closure to abstract. Address the meanings of your findings as well
as importance of overall paper.

Justify the following: What are the implications of your work?Are your results general or
specific?

Style & Qualities of abstract Writing

A Good Abstract:-

Should leave the reader with a clear understanding of the motivation, problem, approach, results,
and conclusion of the research.Should be easily understandable and organized. Should take no
more than a minute or two to understand.

Features of abstract writing:-

• Accuracy

• Brevity

• Clarity

• Uniqueness

• Authority

• Language

• Formatting

Clarity:-

• Quality of being coherent and intelligent

Accuracy:-

• “A good abstract includesonly information included in the original document”

Uniqueness:-

• “The people who study your abstract must see that your study is interesting and offers
something new”

Authority:- “The abstract should indicate that quality of the paper is very good and everything
which is explained is authentic”
Language:-

• “The author must be used mostly English language but for some countries he must be used
native language like Japan, china.”Modern scientific style prefers the active voice. E.g.
“Gasoline was sweetened by Iron bauxites in air” instead “Iron bauxites sweetened
gasoline in air.”

Limitations of Abstracts:-

• The limitations of the study are those characteristics of design or methodology that impacted
or influenced the interpretation of the findings from your research.

• Always acknowledge a study's limitations.

• Always discuss the limitations of your article.

Common error

• Inconsistency between text and abstract (~50%)

• Reporting data not present in the paper (~30%)

• Both (15%)

How to fix error

• Double check every single piece of data in the abstract against the data in the body of the
article!

Length:

One or maximum two pages used only

Documents Maximum length of abstract

Papers and articles 250 words

Notes and short communications 100 words

Letters to the editor 30 words

Long documents like monographs and 300 words


thesis