Abstracts are the place to summarise your research and get the reader excited about it. Writing an engaging abstract is a skill that takes practice, but if you know how to do it you can harness the power of brevity and clarity. In this blog post, I’ll walk you through how to write a good abstract: what goes into one, how it differs from other types of writing and some best practices for making them work well.
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Identify the problem you are addressing.
A good abstract should start with a problem statement. This is your paper’s central idea or focus, which will be explored in more detail later on. You should identify what gap in the literature you are addressing by referencing an existing article or book chapter as part of your literature review section. The rest of this section will help you to write an effective problem statement by explaining what to include and why it’s important:
The problem statement is a critical component of the abstract because it tells the reader what your paper will be about. It needs to be specific, and it should be clear how you will address this problem in your paper. Problem statements usually consist of three parts: an overview of the problem being addressed, a rationale for why there’s an issue or concern, and finally, suggestions on how to resolve it.
The problem statement is not just about the problem itself—it’s about the consequences of that problem. For example, “pressures from environmental groups have led some companies to change their practices” might sound like an issue related to business ethics. Still, if we add context (“because they believe it will help solve climate change issues”) then suddenly this becomes an ethical dilemma.
Determine your audience.
- Determine your audience.
The first step in writing an effective abstract is determining who will be reading it. The abstract’s language, tone, and length should all be tailored to the intended audience. For example, a scientific journal may want a formal style with lots of technical jargon and references, while a popular magazine might want something more casual and accessible.
- Choose the right vocabulary.
When writing an abstract for any purpose (as opposed to an article or book), it’s important not only that you use language that’s easy for readers from various backgrounds but also that you avoid using words they don’t understand unless they’re necessary for conveying meaning.* Write clearly so that people can understand what you mean without having specialised knowledge themselves.*
Get to the point and stay on it.
When you write an abstract, think of it as a summary. You always want to get to the point and stay on it as much as possible. This means using the same structure each time, which is a good idea but only if you create an interesting abstract that people can read and understand. If your paper has more than one purpose—is both descriptive and analytical, for example—you should address both those purposes in the abstract.
As I mentioned before in the essay section of this book: writing is hard work! It takes practice, perseverance, and persistence (and probably coffee). But once you’ve put in all that time, what’s left? The actual writing! When I say “writing” though I don’t mean just putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) but also getting feedback from others about how well or poorly those words are doing their job–in other words…editing!
Make your abstract exciting and readable.
To make your abstract interesting and readable, here are a few things you can do:
- Stay on topic. Use simple language, avoid jargon, and don’t get off-topic.
- Write in a clear, concise style. Avoid using passive voice, which is more formal than active voice. Instead of saying, “The experiment was performed,” say, “We experimented.” It’s easier to read!
You should also use active verbs and keep your sentences short (too long is difficult to digest). This will help you avoid information overload for the reader—they won’t be confused by what they’re reading if everything is clear and concisely written down here!
Keep bullet points short, so readers don’t get bored reading them over again; they should only include one idea per bullet point so that it doesn’t become too overwhelming when reading through all those sections together later on before submitting them online (which means they’re no longer ‘bullets’ anymore) – instead, they would just become boring paragraphs instead of something interesting like bullets should be!!!
You should be aiming to get your reader interested enough in your topic that they want to read more about it. So, if you are writing an abstract for a research paper, dissertation writers UK can help. You can do this by using strong words that evoke emotion or invoking curiosity about how something works or why it is essential.