Writing a good abstract

Pmc3136027how to write a good abstract for a scientific paper or conference presentationchittaranjan andradedepartment of psychopharmacology, national institute of mental health and neurosciences, bangalore, karnataka, indiaaddress for correspondence: dr. Unported, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly article has been cited by other articles in ctabstracts of scientific papers are sometimes poorly written, often lack important information, and occasionally convey a biased picture. This paper provides detailed suggestions, with examples, for writing the background, methods, results, and conclusions sections of a good abstract. The primary target of this paper is the young researcher; however, authors with all levels of experience may find useful ideas in the ds: abstract, preparing a manuscript, writing skillsintroductionthis paper is the third in a series on manuscript writing skills, published in the indian journal of psychiatry. Earlier articles offered suggestions on how to write a good case report,[1] and how to read, write, or review a paper on randomized controlled trials. 2,3] the present paper examines how authors may write a good abstract when preparing their manuscript for a scientific journal or conference presentation. Although the primary target of this paper is the young researcher, it is likely that authors with all levels of experience will find at least a few ideas that may be useful in their future abstract of a paper is the only part of the paper that is published in conference proceedings. The abstract is the only part of the paper that a potential referee sees when he is invited by an editor to review a manuscript. The abstract is the only part of the paper that readers see when they search through electronic databases such as pubmed. Only a reader with a very specific interest in the subject of the paper, and a need to understand it thoroughly, will read the entire , for the vast majority of readers, the paper does not exist beyond its abstract.

How to write a good abstract

For the referees, and the few readers who wish to read beyond the abstract, the abstract sets the tone for the rest of the paper. It is therefore the duty of the author to ensure that the abstract is properly representative of the entire paper. These are listed in table 1general qualities of a good abstractsections of an abstractalthough some journals still publish abstracts that are written as free-flowing paragraphs, most journals require abstracts to conform to a formal structure within a word count of, usually, 200–250 words. The usual sections defined in a structured abstract are the background, methods, results, and conclusions; other headings with similar meanings may be used (eg, introduction in place of background or findings in place of results). Some journals include additional sections, such as objectives (between background and methods) and limitations (at the end of the abstract). In the rest of this paper, issues related to the contents of each section will be examined in oundthis 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 questionwhat is not known about the subject and hence what the study intended to examine (or what the paper seeks to present). The purpose of the background, as the word itself indicates, is to provide the reader with a background to the study, and hence to smoothly lead into a description of the methods employed in the authors publish papers the abstracts of which contain a lengthy background section. 4–9] readers may wish to compare the content in table 2 with the original abstracts to see how the adaptations possibly improve on the originals. 2examples of the background section of an abstractmethodsthe methods section is usually the second-longest section in the abstract. Table 3 lists important questions to which the methods section should provide brief 3questions regarding which information should ideally be available in the methods section of an abstractcarelessly written methods sections lack information about important issues such as sample size, numbers of patients in different groups, doses of medications, and duration of the study.

10,11] readers are invited to take special note of the first sentence of each example in table 4; each is packed with detail, illustrating how to convey the maximum quantity of information with maximum economy of word 4examples of the methods section of an abstractresultsthe results section is the most important part of the abstract and nothing should compromise its range and quality. This is because 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. For example, it is bad writing to state “response rates differed significantly between diabetic and nondiabetic patients. Examples of acceptably written abstracts are presented in table 6; one of these has been modified from an actual publication. 11] note that the first example is rather narrative in style, whereas the second example is packed with 5information that the results section of the abstract should ideally presenttable 6examples of the results section of an abstractconclusionsthis section should contain the most important take-home message of the study, expressed in a few precisely worded sentences. Hypothetical examples of the conclusions section of an abstract are presented in table 7examples of the conclusions section of an abstractmiscellaneous observationscitation of references anywhere within an abstract is almost invariably inappropriate. Other examples of unnecessary content in an abstract are listed in table 8examples of unnecessary content in a abstractit goes without saying that whatever is present in the abstract must also be present in the text. Likewise, whatever errors should not be made in the text should not appear in the abstract (eg, mistaking association for causality). Already mentioned, the abstract is the only part of the paper that the vast majority of readers see.

However, nowhere in the abstract did the authors mention that these conclusions were based on just 5 cases and 12 controls out of the total sample of 126 cases and 806 controls. There were several other serious limitations that rendered the authors’ conclusions tentative, at best; yet, nowhere in the abstract were these other limitations a parting note: most journals provide clear instructions to authors on the formatting and contents of different parts of the manuscript. Authors should tailor their abstracts to the specific requirements of the journal to which they plan to submit their manuscript. It could also be an excellent idea to model the abstract of the paper, sentence for sentence, on the abstract of an important paper on a similar subject and with similar methodology, published in the same journal for which the manuscript is tessource of support: nil conflict of interest: none nces1. Lithium, trifluperazine, and idiopathic leucopenia: author and reviewer perspectives on how to write a good case report. Reports & report t-specific sional, technical ive workplace tizing your concerns for effective business in business : a design procedure for routine business business ss letters: accentuating the letters: four point action on request cal reports & report g report s, proposals, and technical ty and postmortem on in business ss writing for administrative and clerical staff. How to navigate the new printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice at g report y: this handout discusses how to write good abstracts for reports. It covers informational and descriptive abstracts and gives pointers for butors:dana lynn driscolllast edited: 2013-03-12 09:58: are two types of abstracts: informational and ational icate contents of e purpose, methods, scope, results, conclusions, and ght essential short—from a paragraph to a page or two, depending upon the length of the report (10% or less of the report). Readers to decide whether they want to read the ptive what the report e purpose, methods, scope, but not results, conclusions, and always very short— usually under 100 uce subject to readers, who must then read the report to learn study ies of a good effective one or more well-developed paragraphs, which are unified, coherent, concise, and able to stand an introduction-body-conclusion structure in which the parts of the report are discussed in order: purpose, findings, conclusions, s strictly the chronology of the es logical connections between material no new information but simply summarizes the intelligible to a wide for writing effective report write an effective report abstract, follow these four your report with the purpose of abstracting in mind. Do not summarize information in a new your rough draft t weaknesses in organization and coherence,Drop superfluous information,Add important information originally left out,Eliminate wordiness, t errors in grammar and lly proofread your final the owl you're requesting copies of this the owl you're linking to this ght ©1995-2017 by the writing lab & the owl at purdue and purdue rights reserved.

Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair to write an n, carnegie mellon e on-line search databases typically contain only abstracts, it to write a complete but concise description of your work to ial readers into obtaining a copy of the full paper. This bes how to write a good computer architecture abstract for ence and journal papers. Checklist should increase the chance of people taking the time to read your complete that the use of on-line publication databases is prevalent, writing good abstract has become even more important than it was a decade cts have always served the function of "selling" your work. Instead of merely convincing the reader to keep reading the rest of ed paper, an abstract must convince the reader to leave the comfort of and go hunt down a copy of the article from a library (or worse, after a long wait through inter-library loan). Executive summary" is often the only piece of a report the people who matter; and it should be similar in content if not tone to l paper ist: parts of an e the fact that an abstract is quite brief, it must do almost as as the multi-page paper that follows it. Following as a checklist for your next abstract:Why do we care about the problem and the results? Specifically, most good computer architecture de that something is so many percent faster, cheaper, smaller, ise better than something else. If your abstract runs too long, either be rejected or someone will take a chainsaw to it to get it down to purposes will be better served by doing the difficult task of lf, rather than leaving it to someone else who might be more meeting size restrictions than in representing your efforts in the le manner. An abstract word limit of 150 to 200 words is major restrictions or limitations on the results should be stated, by using "weasel-words" such as "might","could", "may", and "seem". Be sure that those exact phrases appear in your abstract,So that they will turn up at the top of a search result y the context of a paper is set by the publication it appears in (e, ieee computer magazine's articles are generally about logy).

These have two are used to facilitate keyword index searches, which are greatly importance now that on-line abstract text searching is commonly r, they are also used to assign papers to review committees or editors,Which can be extremely important to your fate. So make sure that the pick make assigning your paper to a review category obvious (for example,If there is a list of conference topics, use your chosen topic area as one g an efficient abstract is hard work, but will repay you sed impact on the world by enticing people to read your sure that all the components of a good abstract are included in the lson, herbert, how to write & publish engineering papers s, oryx press, 1990. Copyright 1997, n, carnegie mellon ed system designers may be interested in abstract presents the essential ned in a research report, an article, a book, or other are two types of abstracts:Informational icate contents of e purpose, methods, scope, results,Conclusions, and readers to decide whether they ptive what the report e purpose, methods, scope, but not results,Conclusions, and uce the subject to readers, who read the report to learn study ies of a good effective one or more well-developed paragraphs,Which are unified, coherent, and an introduction-body-conclusion which the parts of the report sed in order: purpose,Findings, conclusions, es logical connections between no new information but simply intelligible to a wide for writing effective style of an abstract should be clear, and the wording should be very direct. Give information exact and an organization scheme that will make the information clear to y, an abstract that puts the thesis first and then provides gs, and supporting data or details is most you are writing an abstract for 's article, remember that your not to evaluate the article but simply to report what is in people search through articles on sciencedirect, they may look at the table of contents of a journal or use the search function to find relevant articles. A good abstract will keep them reading but a bad one could put them off, even if your research is relevant to them, which means you could miss out on a download or even a citation. Here are some notable differences between good and bad abstracts that could help you when writing : too short and readers won’t know enough about your work; too long and it may be rejected by the : depending on the journal’s requirements, 200 words is short enough for readers to scan quickly but long enough to give them enough information to decide to read the : jumping from point to point with no clear flow will confuse your : follow the structure of your paper: summarize the background, motivation, methods, results, conclusion and impact. The content of the abstract should reflect the most important points and main findings presented in your article. This ensures it reflects your work accurately, attracting the right : a badly written abstract will confuse or turn off readers, who will not want to read a badly written : clear, concise, careful writing will help readers understand the information quickly and enjoy reading it. Using a professional editing service, such as elsevier’s english language editing service, can : too much jargon makes an abstract difficult to read and even harder to : an abstract that is accessible to a wider audience – one that contains no jargon – will encourage researchers from other disciplines to read the : a weak – or worse, no – conclusion does not reflect the impact and importance of the : a strong, clear conclusion presented near the end of the abstract shows readers the research in a nutshell, helping them decide to read : too few keywords in the abstract means the article is difficult to find in : optimizing your abstract for search engines by using the most important keywords from your research helps make it discoverable for the right readers. Again, a language service can : a text-only abstract can be lost in a list of graphical : if the journal you want to publish in accepts graphical abstracts, it is a good idea to submit one, making your article more noticeable.

Professional illustration, including through elsevier’s illustration service, can help make it e to elsevier’s webshop blog, where you can find top tips for writing a great scientific paper, find out the latest news and views on academic publishing and get an insight into elsevier’s approach with expert ration writing challenges phd students to write your references quickly and vs.