Make a First Impression: 6 Tips for Writing a Strong Abstract
The most important part of the paper is the abstract, which is a short reflection of the whole paper. The following discussion reveals how to write an effective abstract that will attract the reader’s attention to the researched topic.
Write the Paper First
Writing the paper first can be an informative guide for writing the abstract, which should be a clear summary of the article. If you still have problems with writing an abstract, go through the article and underline the most important ideas in every section. Then, write an abstract in which you mention every important sentence from all sections of the article.
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Provide Basic Background Information that Leads the Reader to the Goal Statement
The first sentences in the abstract are the most important. They should explain the rationale for choosing the particular topic of the research. These sentences immediately attract the reader’s attention. In addition, the next portion of sentences might describe the need to research the topic due to the lack of information in the previous studies.
Briefly Describe the Methods Section
This is a section, which should reveal the basic design of the research. Abstracts of biological articles usually include information on a cell line, an organism, or a population. Ecological articles usually have abstracts mentioning the location of the study, which plays a major role in shaping the topic. Clinical papers usually have information on the sample size, patient groups, and the duration of the study.
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Properly Describe the Most Important Results of the Study
The primary goal of the reader is to get the necessary information from the abstract regarding the findings of the study. In the abstract, the results section has to be as detailed as only possible.
State the Conclusion Clearly
The last couple of sentences of the abstract should be devoted to the conclusion of the research. It should state the main finding of the research as clearly as possible. The final sentences should mention any theoretical or practical implications of the research and the contribution of the study to the selected field.
Information that Should not Take Place in the Abstract
The abstract must be a summary of the research. It has a strict word count limit and should not contain the following information:
- Long background facts
- Information on the laboratory procedures
- Detailed statistical methods
- Undefined abbreviations
- Results that don’t take place in the main text
Once the abstract is ready, it is necessary to make sure that all the information included in it coordinates with the information following the abstract in the main body of the article or paper.