How to write an Abstract?
An abstract is a crucial component of your thesis. It is the first substantive description of your work and appears at the opening of your thesis. Consider an abstract to be your work’s first impression, which makes it crucial because it communicates what your thesis is about and what the reviewers should expect from it.
It’s also worth noting that, in addition to the title, search engines and bibliographic databases use abstracts to find key terms for indexing your published research. As a result, the content of your abstract and title are critical in assisting other researchers in finding your paper or article.
Contents of an Abstract
The majority of the following types of information are contained in abbreviated form in abstracts. Of course, the body of your article will expand on and clarify these concepts in greater depth.
The percentage of your abstract that you allocate to each type of information—and the order in which that information appears—will vary based on the nature and genre of the work that you are describing in your abstract, as shown in the examples below.
And in some circumstances, rather than being expressed openly, some of this information is implied. Here are some of the most common information found in the abstract:
- The context or background material for your research; the broad topic under research; the specific research topic.
- Your research address’s primary questions or explanation of the problem.
- What is previously known about this topic, as well as what past research has been done or demonstrated.
- Why is it vital to address these questions? What is the major reason(s), the urgency, the reasoning, and the goals for your research? Are you researching a new subject, for example? Why is it important to investigate that topic? Are you filling a knowledge void left by prior research? Using new ways to look at old ideas or data in a new light? Resolving a disagreement in your field’s literature?
- Methods of research and/or analysis.
- Your most important facts, conclusions, or arguments.
- The importance or implications of your findings or arguments.
Your abstract should be understandable without the need to read the whole of your paper. In addition, you normally do not mention sources in an abstract; instead, the majority of your abstract will summarize what you studied in your research, what you discovered, and what you argue in your article.
You will cite the specific literature that informs your research in the body of your report.
When to write an Abstract?
After you’ve finished your thesis, create an abstract at the very end. Because it’s a summary of your work, it’s easier to write it after you’ve finished your thesis, rather than before, so you don’t overlook any key details.
Keep in mind that an abstract is a totally independent text. Even if your reader only reads the abstract, he or she should be able to understand your paper.
Difference between an Abstract and Introduction
The key distinction between an abstract and an introduction is that an abstract is a concise description of the complete study—the goal or objective, methodology, results, and conclusions—in that order. It highlights the most important aspects of your work while providing only the most basic background information.
The introduction, on the other hand, just includes a few parts of what is in the abstract. The aims or objective section that opens the abstract will have the fewest words possible, just enough to let the reader know what your research subject is.
How many words should an abstract be of?
An abstract should be between 150 and 300 words in length, but universities and colleges typically have tight word limits, so double-check before you start writing.
Where to include the Abstract?
An abstract should be on a separate page after the title page, acknowledgments, and before the table of contents.
What should you include in your abstract?
Your abstract must contain:
- Your research problem and objectives
- Your methods
- Your key results and arguments
- Your conclusion
How to write an Abstract?
- Begin by writing the research paper’s objectives. What problem is your research addressing, or what research question is it answering? Declare your research aim when you’ve identified the problem. Because your study is already complete, write this section in the present tense or simple past tense, but never in the future tense. For example, instead of saying, “This study will examine the association between social media usage and anxiety,” say, “This study investigates the relationship between social media consumption and anxiety.”
- Following that, describe the research methodologies you employed to support your study question or problem. Because this is a completed action, write it in the simple past tense. Keep it to 2-3 lines and don’t go into detail on the methodology’s strengths and weaknesses.
- After that, provide a summary of the findings. If your results are lengthy, write this in simple present tense and avoid writing everything here. Only include the most important findings in this section.
- Add a brief summary of the conclusion to the end of your abstract. What is the outcome of your research? Make sure that it is written in the present tense.
Tips to write an Abstract
- After each chapter, make a list of keywords and write 1-2 lines. Refine the sentences and link them together when you start writing your abstract at the end of your dissertation. This method will make creating a unified and coherent abstract much easier.
- Other abstract samples, ideally in the same field of study as yours, should be read. These will give you an idea of the structure and style you should use for your abstract.
- Keep it as small as possible. Consider it a typing restriction, and instead of filling it with complex language, write only what matters.
- Reverse the outline. To construct a clear argument, write down the important lines and keywords for each chapter and improve them.
- Read previous abstracts, particularly in your own domain, to get a sense of how yours will look.
Example of an Abstract.
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic had serious implications on more than millions of students around the globe. The complete shift from the traditional method of learning to the online mode of learning has affected the students drastically. A survey was conducted to explore the impacts of online learning on the quality of education of the students. The target age group being, 18-21 years, that is, the undergraduates. The study is quantitative in nature and the data was collected from 50 respondents through an online survey of a particular age group. The paper identifies the impacts of the pandemic on education – pedagogy and technology, the readiness of students to adapt to online learning, the effectiveness of online teaching, and what does the future hold? Further, the survey was conducted to see the impacts and quality of online teaching-learning. We analyzed the data recorded through an online survey to find what do students prefer more – online education or classroom education?
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