Finally, it includes a few examples of abstracts broken down into their component parts. What is an abstract? An abstract is a self-contained, short, and powerful statement that describes a larger work. Components vary according to discipline. An abstract of a social science or scientific work may contain the scope, purpose, results, and contents of the work.
An abstract of a humanities work may contain the thesis, background, and conclusion of the larger work. An abstract is not a review, nor does it evaluate the work being abstracted.
While it contains key words found in the larger work, the abstract is an original document rather than an excerpted passage. Why write an abstract? You may write an abstract for various reasons. The two most important are selection and indexing. Abstracts allow readers who may be interested in a longer work to quickly decide whether it is worth their time to read it. Also, many online databases use abstracts to index larger works. Therefore, abstracts should contain keywords and phrases that allow for easy searching.
A good first place to start your research is to search Dissertation Abstracts International for all dissertations that deal with the interaction between newspapers and politics. That is still a fair number of dissertations. Titles can sometimes help winnow the field, but many titles are not very descriptive.
One option would be to download or order the entire dissertation on the chance that it might speak specifically to the topic. A better option is to read the abstract. In this case, the abstract reveals the main focus of the dissertation: This dissertation examines the role of newspaper editors in the political turmoil and strife that characterized late First Empire Rio de Janeiro Newspaper editors and their journals helped change the political culture of late First Empire Rio de Janeiro by involving the people in the discussion of state.
As the newspapers became more numerous and powerful, the Emperor lost his legitimacy in the eyes of the people. To explore the role of the newspapers in the political events of the late First Empire, this dissertation analyzes all available newspapers published in Rio de Janeiro from to Newspapers and their editors were leading forces in the effort to remove power from the hands of the ruling elite and place it under the control of the people.
In the process, newspapers helped change how politics operated in the constitutional monarchy of Brazil. From this abstract you now know that although the dissertation has nothing to do with modern Brazilian politics, it does cover the role of newspapers in changing traditional mechanisms of power. After reading the abstract, you can make an informed judgment about whether the dissertation would be worthwhile to read.
Indexing Besides selection, the other main purpose of the abstract is for indexing. Most article databases in the online catalog of the library enable you to search abstracts.
However, for an abstract to be useful in an online retrieval system, it must incorporate the key terms that a potential researcher would use to search.
Without an abstract, the search engine would be forced to search titles, which, as we have seen, may not be fruitful, or else search the full text. By incorporating keywords into the abstract, the author emphasizes the central topics of the work and gives prospective readers enough information to make an informed judgment about the applicability of the work.
When do people write abstracts? In a work with multiple authors, the first author usually writes the abstract. Types of abstracts There are two types of abstracts: descriptive and informative. They have different aims, so as a consequence they have different components and styles.
There is also a third type called critical, but it is rarely used. If you want to find out more about writing a critique or a review of a work, see the UNC Writing Center handout on writing a literature review. If you are unsure which type of abstract you should write, ask your instructor if the abstract is for a class or read other abstracts in your field or in the journal where you are submitting your article. Descriptive abstracts A descriptive abstract indicates the type of information found in the work.
It makes no judgments about the work, nor does it provide results or conclusions of the research. It does incorporate key words found in the text and may include the purpose, methods, and scope of the research. Essentially, the descriptive abstract describes the work being abstracted. Some people consider it an outline of the work, rather than a summary. Descriptive abstracts are usually very short— words or less.
Informative abstracts The majority of abstracts are informative. While they still do not critique or evaluate a work, they do more than describe it. A good informative abstract acts as a surrogate for the work itself. An informative abstract includes the information that can be found in a descriptive abstract purpose, methods, scope but also includes the results and conclusions of the research and the recommendations of the author.
In the case of a longer work, it may be much less. Here are examples of a descriptive and an informative abstract of this handout on abstracts. Descriptive abstract: The two most common abstract types—descriptive and informative—are described and examples of each are provided.
Informative abstract: Abstracts present the essential elements of a longer work in a short and powerful statement. The purpose of an abstract is to provide prospective readers the opportunity to judge the relevance of the longer work to their projects. Abstracts also include the key terms found in the longer work and the purpose and methods of the research. Authors abstract various longer works, including book proposals, dissertations, and online journal articles.
There are two main types of abstracts: descriptive and informative. A descriptive abstract briefly describes the longer work, while an informative abstract presents all the main arguments and important results.
This handout provides examples of various types of abstracts and instructions on how to construct one. Which type should I use? Your best bet in this case is to ask your instructor or refer to the instructions provided by the publisher. You can also make a guess based on the length allowed; i. How do I write an abstract? Therefore, enough key information [e.
How do you know when you have enough information in your abstract? A simple rule-of-thumb is to imagine that you are another researcher doing a similar study. Then ask yourself: if your abstract was the only part of the paper you could access, would you be happy with the amount of information presented there?
Does it tell the whole story about your study? If the answer is "no" then the abstract likely needs to be revised. How to Write a Research Abstract. Office of Undergraduate Research. University of Kentucky; Staiger, David L. Abstracts and the Writing of Abstracts. Structure and Writing Style I. Types of Abstracts To begin, you need to determine which type of abstract you should include with your paper. There are four general types.
The researcher evaluates the paper and often compares it with other works on the same subject. Critical abstracts are generally words in length due to the additional interpretive commentary. These types of abstracts are used infrequently. Descriptive Abstract A descriptive abstract indicates the type of information found in the work. It makes no judgments about the work, nor does it provide results or conclusions of the research. It does incorporate key words found in the text and may include the purpose, methods, and scope of the research.
Essentially, the descriptive abstract only describes the work being summarized. Some researchers consider it an outline of the work, rather than a summary. Descriptive abstracts are usually very short, words or less.
Informative Abstract The majority of abstracts are informative. While they still do not critique or evaluate a work, they do more than describe it. A good informative abstract acts as a surrogate for the work itself. That is, the researcher presents and explains all the main arguments and the important results and evidence in the paper. An informative abstract includes the information that can be found in a descriptive abstract [purpose, methods, scope] but it also includes the results and conclusions of the research and the recommendations of the author.
The length varies according to discipline, but an informative abstract is usually no more than words in length. In that a highlight abstract cannot stand independent of its associated article, it is not a true abstract and, therefore, rarely used in academic writing. Writing Style Use the active voice when possible, but note that much of your abstract may require passive sentence constructions.Components vary according to discipline. Problem: What problem does this work attempt to solve? Here are examples of a descriptive and an informative abstract of this handout on abstracts.
If you still can't find the article after doing this, contact a librarian or you can request it from our free i nterlibrary loan and document delivery service. Even though this paper is short in length, may be a paragraph, but you will need to dedicate much effort in writing it. With number of citations used as the prevalent metric for impact factor , it has become more important now than ever before, to write a clear, concise and compelling abstract. Although the Levellers were ultimately suppressed, Walwyn's commitment to a tolerant society and a secular state should not be minimized but rather recognized as part of a larger debate about Church-State relations across early modern Europe. What did you do to get your results? In this paper I investigate the case of Edmond in order to understand why it became the first memory site of this kind in United States history.
Clear, concise, and powerful language. And why it is a problem. In this case, the abstract reveals the main focus of the dissertation: This dissertation examines the role of newspaper editors in the political turmoil and strife that characterized late First Empire Rio de Janeiro Each one of these sections will be longer than one paragraph, but each is grouped around a central idea. A good informative abstract acts as a surrogate for the work itself.
Surveying his personal background, published writings, popular involvement in the Leveller movement, and attacks launched by his critics, I hope to suggest that Walwyn's unique contribution to Anglophone political thought was his defense of religious pluralism in the face of violent sectarians who sought to wield control of the Church of England. Bates College; Abstracts. Also, many online databases use abstracts to index larger works. A descriptive abstract briefly describes the longer work, while an informative abstract presents all the main arguments and important results. Here you mention the studies, experiments or methodologies used to understand and derive the results. Formatting Abstracts should be formatted as a single paragraph in a block format and with no paragraph indentations.
It includes recommendations for the content and presentation of the abstract, as well as examples of the best abstracts submitted to the abstract selection committee for the ninth annual North Carolina State University graduate student history conference.