But with the ubiquity of online publication databases, writing a compelling abstract is even more important today than it was in the days of bound paper manuscripts. Because it is often the ONLY chance you have to convince readers to keep reading, it is important that you spend time and energy crafting an abstract that both faithfully represents the central parts of your study, as well as captivates your audience. Before You Start Writing Your Abstract… Decide which type of abstract you need to write All abstracts are written with the same essential objective:
Top of Page Describe the organism s used in the study. This includes giving the 1 source supplier or where and how the orgranisms were collected2 typical size weight, length, etc3 how they were handled, fed, and housed before the experiment, 4 how they were handled, fed, and housed during the experiment.
In genetics studies include the strains or genetic stocks used. For some studies, age may be an important factor. For example, did you use mouse pups or adults?
Seedlings or mature plants? Describe the site where your field study was conducted. The description must include both physical and biological characteristics of the site pertinant to the study aims.
Include the date s of the study e. Location data must be as precise as possible: When possible, give the actual latitude and longitude position of the site: It is often a good idea to include a map labeled as a Figure showing the study location in relation to some larger more recognizable geographic area.
Someone else should be able to go to the exact location of your study site if they want to repeat or check your work, or just visit your study area.
For laboratory studies you need not report the date and location of the study UNLESS it is necessary information for someone to have who might wish to repeat your work or use the same facility. Most often it is not. If you have performed experiments at a particular location or lab because it is the only place to do it, or one of a few, then you should note that in your methods and identify the lab or facility.
Top of Page Describe your experimental design clearly. Be sure to include the hypotheses you tested, controls, treatments, variables measured, how many replicates you had, what you actually measured, what form the data take, etc. Always identify treatments by the variable or treatment name, NOT by an ambiguous, generic name or number e.
When your paper includes more than one experiment, use subheadings to help organize your presentation by experiment. A general experimental design worksheet is available to help plan your experiments in the core courses.
Describe the procedures for your study in sufficient detail that other scientists could repeat your work to verify your findings.
Foremost in your description should be the "quantitative" aspects of your study - the masses, volumes, incubation times, concentrations, etc. When using standard lab or field methods and instrumentation, it is not always necessary to explain the procedures e.
You may want to identify certain types of equipment by vendor name and brand or category e. It is appropriate to report, parenthetically, the source vendor and catalog number for reagents used, e. Always make sure to describe any modifications you have made of a standard or published method.
Very frequently the experimental design and data collection procedures for an experiment cannot be separated and must be integrated together. If you find yourself repeating lots of information about the experimental design when describing the data collection procedure slikely you can combine them and be more concise.
Of course you did, because that is what all good scientists do, and it is a given that you recorded your measurements and observations.
Describe how the data were summarized and analyzed. Here you will indicate what types of descriptive statistics were used and which analyses usually hypothesis tests were employed to answer each of the questions or hypotheses tested and determine statistical siginifcance.
The information should include: For example, "A Paired t-test was used to compare mean flight duration before and after applying stablizers to the glider's wings. Here is some additional advice on particular problems common to new scientific writers. The Methods section is prone to being wordy or overly detailed.
Avoid repeatedly using a single sentence to relate a single action; this results in very lengthy, wordy passages. A related sequence of actions can be combined into one sentence to improve clarity and readability: This is a very long and wordy description of a common, simple procedure.HOW TO WRITE AN ABSTRACT: Tips and Samples Leah Carroll, Ph.D., Director, Office of Undergraduate Research An abstract is a short summary of your completed research.
This article describes how to write a good computer architecture abstract for both conference and journal papers. Writers should follow a checklist consisting of: motivation, problem statement, approach, results, and . These materials were made possible thanks to the generous support from the Kemper K.
Knapp Bequest Committee. Here are some very successful sample abstracts from a range of different disciplines written by advanced undergraduate students. Speaking as a former journalist, I think writing an effective abstract is akin to creating a good headline for a news article. It needs to give the gist, while still encouraging readers to want to read further.
(Informally Published or Self-archived Work, Manual, p. ) Individual web page. Since web pages and documents are similar to print, references to them include the same elements such as author, date, title, etc.
Note that proper names and acronyms are capitalized. Creating a magazine abstract for the Internet is a simple and effective way of streamlining content.
Select the article you wish to abstract. Pick articles that cover topics familiar to you, as knowing what to expect from an article in terms of content will make summarizing and criticizing the piece a lot easier.