When people talk about abstracts, they usually refer to the very brief synopsis of a major academic paper. For scientific researches, an “informative abstract” is usually a requirement. By presenting important information about the experiment or investigation, those doing something similar will know if they ought to delve into your paper or not.
Important Parts of the Informative Abstract
- Purpose: Here, the main objectives of the research are presented, as well as the hypothesis or thesis. By declaring these, the reader will know right away why the paper was done and what it hoped to prove.
- Methodology: This portion of the abstract briefly explains how the hypothesis was tested. Because the methods themselves are quite detailed, provide only enough information to understand what was done. The rest will be found inside the document itself.
- Results: Research often looks into multiple factors, so explaining all of them will go beyond the word count of the abstract. Therefore, you should only highlight the most important findings.
- Conclusion: Similar to the abstract’s results, only the most important implications should be mentioned here. It is expected, however, to inform the reader whether the hypothesis was correct or not.
Other things to consider
Aside from the main portions a reader expects to see, you should also consider these tips:
- Write in the third person
Most academic papers require you to write in the third person. Thus, the same is true for your abstract. So avoid the first person.
- Use keywords
If you want your paper to be searchable online, use SEO keywords just like the many other articles on the web. There are some sites online that give recommendations about common search items. Take a look at what is closest to your work and insert them in the abstract.
It might seem like a hassle at first, but you will appreciate it if other researchers begin citing your work in their studies.
- Avoid including data
The abstract is not long enough to include any figures, so avoid using them if possible. Instead, find a way to summarize your findings so that you do not need the figures.
- Don’t use too many technical terms
Although it is a scientific paper that may be possibly meant for a scientific journal, not everyone who looks at your abstract is an expert in your field. So if your abstract is filled with technical jargon, other specialists might not glance at it because they are much too busy to research what all those terms mean. Rather than technical terms, go for layman’s terms that can still describe what you want to say.
- Proofread your work
Some researchers focus a lot on their actual paper but give minimal time to their abstract. It will be a shame if your paper was well made, but nobody looked at it because of an abstract filled with typos. So proofread your work, especially if you are aiming for it to be published.
Your abstract is the window to your paper. If you want others to be interested in what you spent months or even years researching, do a good job on your abstract.