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To Authors: How to write a great abstract?

What is Abstract?

A lot of researchers need to write abstract for their research papers, in order to get them published through journals or publications, but they don’t know where to start.

Abstract is as a short description of (a research paper, a thesis, research report, etc.) to help the reader clearly understand the purpose, problem, methods, results, and conclusion of the research.

Who Need Abstract?

  • Researchers submitting their articles to be published in journals.
  • Post-graduate Students after completing their Ph.D. dissertation or M.A. thesis.
  • Researchers submitting their papers to participate in a conference.
  • Anyone wants to apply for research grants.

Types of Abstracts

Types of abstracts
Types of abstracts

1. The Descriptive Abstract

Refers to the abstracts that describe the work, without judgments, and are fairly short from 100: 200 words.

Contain information about:

  • Purpose of work
  • Goal of the work
  • Methods of the research
  • Keywords of the work

Doesn’t contain information about:

  • Results
  • Conclusion

2. The Informative Abstract

The most common type of abstracts, as it gives an overview of everything in the research paper, including all the important results. An Informative Abstract length depends on the full research, and usually more than 10% of the Actual work.

Parts of The Informative Abstract:

  • Purpose
  • Case study or problem
  • Methodology
  • Results
  • Conclusions

3.Critical Abstract

This type of abstracts is rarely used, as it provides a judgement  about the research’s validity or reliability, in addition to the description and the main findings of the research.

Parts of the Critical Abstract:

  • Purpose
  • Methodology
  • Critique of the research
  • Results

Before start, keep in mind

Writing a good abstracy
Writing good abstract
  • The purpose of Abstract

It gives us a background on the idea of the research and clarifies the procedures and the definition of the proper statement and aims to clarify the methodology to reach the solution.

You should ask yourself these three questions: What? Why? How? What is the problem? Why are you writing this and why do you care about the problem? And how can you solve the problem?

  • The Guidelines

If an abstract is written for a journal, the author has to keep  the writing style of that specific journal in mind.

  • ABCs of a great abstract

  1. Accuracy: great abstract must include accurate information from the research’s full paper.
  2. Brevity: great abstract gets straight to the point, in a scientific manner.
  3. Clarity: acronyms and abbreviations shouldn’t exist in great abstract without explanation.

Writing an Abstract

How to write an abstract
How to write an abstract

Either your abstract is about a scientific research paper, or a literature article, it will contain major parts, however there are some parts depend on the type of abstract.

Purpose

The author should answer some questions during writing this part:

  • What are the author’s reasons to do this study?
  • What is the importance of this study?
  • What makes this study useful for a reader?

Also, the reasons for writing this must be interesting enough for the author to get the writing motivation as well as to engage the readers .

Problem

In this section, the author should write the problem the research is trying to solve or explain. The following questions may help the author in writing this part.

  • What is the main problem ?
  • How can the author solve the problem?

Methodology

In this part the author may discuss the methods he/she  used in the research, or briefly review the literature. The following questions may help the author in writing this part.

  • What are the main variables in the research?
  • What is the main approach of the research?
  • What is the procedures the author aim to follow to reach the solutions?

Conclusion

The last part of the abstract, in which the author explains the main findings of the research and the added value of the research paper.

Useful Tips

Tips for writing good abstract

Follow the instructions

If you are writing for a journal with a specific style guides, follow the instructions.

Write from scratch

The abstract should be written with new phrases and vocabulary differ from the ones the author’s have already used in the research paper.

Revision

After finishing the abstract, the author should revise it several times and remove any redundant words.

Avoid

  • Using the first person pronouns, because the abstracts is about the research not the author.
  • Including any references in the abstract, however it’s okay to include relevant numerical data.

About Reham Abdelbary

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