An abstract is considered to be a brief summary of a large work such as a research paper or dissertation. It is useful in allowing potential readers to easily identify the main idea about your paper and this may decide whether to read it further or not.
The abstracts must consist of:
The abstract is appeared at the beginning of the document but is written at last. It is included on a separate page in a dissertation or thesis just after the title page is written along with the acknowledgient and before the table of content.
The range of words for writing an abstract is 150-300 words. However, the length is based on the requirements of the assignment. Most of the time the students are given a strict word limit.
The portion of abstract must always be included while writing a thesis, research paper, dissertation or article. In every case, the abstract is the latter thing that a student needs to write in the academic paper. The purpose of writing an abstract in a paper is to cover the main aim and outcome of the research being done by the student. The abstract must be such that it is easily comprehensible on its own to the reader who has not yet read the entire content of the paper. One of the easiest approaches to abstract writing is the structure imitation of the larger piece of work. In simple words, the writer can imagine it as a miniature version of the dissertation or the research paper being written. The abstract must cover the following key components:
Topic and aims
The writer can begin writing by defining the main purpose of the research being carried out by him/her. As per the research type, it might be articulated in one of the following ways:
Research probli: includes the theoretical or practical probli solved through research
Objective: what research is trying to accomplish?
Research questions: What is the writer actually trying to find out?
Thesis statient: What is the main idea to argue upon?
The writer may include some of the main contexts based on the academic or social relevance of the topic but there is no requirement of thorough background information. The part of the abstract can either be written in present or past simple tense but it must not refer to the future as the research has already been conducted.
The study on Job Satisfaction will investigate the relationship between employees and the organisation. (wrong)
The study on Job Satisfaction investigates the relationship between the employees and the organisation. (right)
Once the central aims have been established for the paper, the writer must indicate the methods that are to be used in order to achieve the aim of the research. This portion of the dissertation must be described in a straightforward manner of what has been done in the first or two sentences. It has to be written in the simple past tense as it is referred to like the completed action.
The writer is not required to evaluate obstacles or validity in this part as the overall goal is not to provide an account of the strength and weaknesses of the methodology and not to give the reader a swift insight into the overall approach as well as procedures used by the writer.
After this, the main research results are summarised in the present or simple past tense. As per the length and complexity of the research, it will not possible for the writer to conclude the result here. The writer must try to accentuate only the significant findings allowing the reader to comprehend the conclusions.
At last, the main conclusion of the study has to be stated answering the question to the problem for which the research has been done. It must be written in n simple present tenses.
In case, there are some important limitations related to the research, for example, the sample size, methods etc. then the writer should mention this in the abstract briefly. This helps in allowing the reader in assessing the credibility along with the generalisability of the research more accurately.
If the aim of the writer is to elucidate a practical problem, the recommendation might be included in the conclusion for the purpose of implementing. If it is relevant, the writer can concisely suggest any future research.
For the purpose of publishing the paper, the writer can also add a list of keywords at the end of the abstract. The keywords must be referenced as the most essential elements of the research in order to help the potential readers to find the paper at the time of searching for the literature for their own purpose.
The writers may find it challenging to condense the entire dissertation into just a couple of hundred or two hundred words but the abstract will always be the primary thing or sometimes the only thing that will be read by the reader. Therefore, it is vital to get it in the right manner. Following are tips for writing the abstract:
Reverse outline: the abstract must be written in a way that it tells a condensed version of the entire story including the information that can be established in the basic text. The abstract must be re-read in order to ensure it provides a clear summary of the argument.
Read other abstracts: In order to learn the conventions of abstract writing as per the discipline of the writer is to read the work of other people. This will be helpful in understanding the framework for the style and structure of their work.
Write clearly and concisely: An abstract is short but it has to be impactful and hence the writer must ensure that every word counts.
Focus on your own research: The main aim of writing an abstract is to report the original contribution of the research, therefore, discussing other's work must be avoided.
Check for formatting: There are certain formatting requirements and guidelines and the writer needs to check before writing an abstract. This will help in formatting correctly.
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