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I left the abstract until the last minute and then dashed off a mediocre summary composed of sentences copied from the narrative.Only much later did I understand that the abstract is one of the most important components of a scientific paper. Well, because it is often the only section of a paper that is read and usually determines whether a reader downloads and reads the rest of the paper.
There are four main parts in which you need to answer the following questions: 1.
What problem did you study and why is it important? When describing your results, strive to focus on the main finding(s) and list no more than two or three points.
Here, you want to provide some background to the study, the motivation behind the study, and/or the specific question or hypothesis you addressed. Generally, you want to keep the methods section brief unless it is the focus of the paper. Also, avoid ambiguous or imprecise wording, which is a common mistake found in conference abstracts written before the data have been completely collected or analyzed. In writing this section, however, don’t state sweeping generalizations unsupported by the data or say that insights “will be discussed”.
You may be able to set the stage with only one or two sentences, but sometimes it takes a longer description. Next, you want to give an overview of your methods. If your data are incomplete or still being analyzed, you are not ready to present your paper. What did you conclude based on these findings and what are the broader implications? Another important consideration in preparing an abstract is Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which means including search terms people are likely to use when looking for papers on your topic.
You’ll have to use your best judgment here as to how much to say in this first section. The conclusions section is where you want to drive home the broader implications of your study. In addition to including such terms in the title and keyword field of your paper, you want to repeat those terms contextually throughout the abstract.
Such repetition is used by search engines to rank an online document.Although such abstracts include additional visual components, the same basic guidelines I’ve covered in this post still apply. If you’ve not yet published a paper, this exercise will help you hone the skills necessary to write a concise and informative abstract. Mc Kee is a Scientist Emeritus (retired) with the U. Geological Survey and an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences at Louisiana State University. Geological Survey, she studied the effects of climate change, sea-level rise, and hurricanes on wetlands in the Mississippi River Delta (Louisiana, USA) as well as in other wetlands around the world.All good abstracts recapitulate the paper and contain the four key parts listed above. Then try to write an abstract based on your reading. If you would like to view a presentation that summarizes the points in this post and uses a published abstract to illustrate, see this link. She received both a master’s degree and doctorate in botany and has conducted research in the field of wetland plant ecology for forty years. Her work has been published in over 100 journal articles, book chapters, and technical reports.An abstract is a concise summary of an experiment or research project. The purpose of the abstract is to summarize the research paper by stating the purpose of the research, the experimental method, the findings, and the conclusions.The format you'll use for the abstract depends on its purpose.Writing good abstracts is not an art, but a learned skill. Here is an exercise to help you develop this skill. A strong proponent of science communication, Karen has also produced several peer-reviewed videos that describe her research and why it’s important to society (USGS Multimedia Gallery).She authored the book, The Scientist Videographer, which promotes science communication by teaching scientists and students how to use video to tell their science stories.That was one of my problems when I first began writing technical papers.Like many novices, I treated the abstract as an afterthought.A random example is this abstract on the effect of coffee consumption on Acute Coronary Syndrome.One of the most important parts of a scientific article is the abstract.