By Richard Nordquist. Grammar & Composition Expert
Richard Nordquist, Ph.D. in English, is professor emeritus of rhetoric and English at Armstrong Atlantic State University and the author of two grammar and composition textbooks for college freshmen, Writing Exercises (Macmillan) and Passages: A Writer’;s Guide (St. Martin’;s Press). Richard has served as the About.com Guide to Grammar Composition since 2006.
Positioned at the head of a paper, the abstract is usually "the first thing that individuals read and, as such, decide whether to continue reading. It is also what is most accessed by search engines and researchers conducting their own literature reviews " (Dan W. Butin, The Education Dissertation. 2010).
See Observations, below.
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From the Latin, "away" + "draw"
- "A good quality abstract should accurately reflect the purpose and content of your project. It is very important to note that an abstract should never contain information that is not included in the body of your project itself."
(Jennifer Evans, Your Psychology Project: The Essential Guide. Sage, 2007)
- "A good abstract will tell you what the key issue that’;s addressed is, it’;ll give you an idea of the methods that have been used and the conclusions that have been arrived at. So that abstract ought to tell someone whether it’;s worth them spending part of their life reading this paper."
(David Gilborn, quoted by Pat Thomson and Barbara Kamler in Writing for Peer Reviewed Journals: Strategies for Getting Published. Routledge, 2013)
- Problem, Solution, Benefit
"Each proposal you write will focus on unique ideas. Therefore, the content of your abstracts will differ. Nonetheless, abstracts should focus on the following: (a) the problem necessitating your proposal, (b) your suggested solution. and (c) the benefits derived when your proposed suggestions are implemented.
"The purpose of the abstract is to provide your readers with an easy-to-understand summary of the entire proposal’;s focus. Your executives want the bottom line, and they want it quickly. They don’;t want to waste time deciphering your high-tech hieroglyphics. Therefore, either avoid all high-tech terminology completely or define your terms parenthetically."
(Sharon J. Gerson and Steven M. Gerson, Technical Writing: Process and Product. Pearson, 2003)
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- Descriptive Abstracts and Informative Abstracts
"Depending on the kind of information they contain, abstracts are often classified as descriptive or informative. A descriptive abstract summarizes the purpose, scope, and methods used to arrive at the reported findings. It is a slightly expanded table of contents in sentence and paragraph form. A descriptive abstract need not be longer than several sentences. An informative abstract is an expanded version of the descriptive abstract. In addition to information about the purpose, scope, and research methods used, the informative abstract summarizes the results, conclusions, and any recommendations. The informative abstract retains the tone and essential scope of the report, omitting its details."
(Gerald J. Alred, Charles T. Brusaw, and Walter E. Oliu, Handbook of Technical Writing. Bedford/St. Martin’;s, 2006)
- Characteristics of an Effective Informative Abstract
"[A]n informative abstract is not an introduction to the topic, and it should not be seen as an introduction to the report.
"Given this, we advocate that a good abstract should (1) give a high-level presentation of the area studied, (2) reason about the importance and why it is an interesting area worthy to be studied, (3) present a high-level description of the approach, and (4) summarise the contribution. An informative abstract should summarise all the major sections of the report, the key concepts, contributions, and conclusions. A typical abstract is about 250-500 words. This is not more than 10-20 sentences, so you will obviously have to choose your words very carefully to cover so much information in such a condensed format."
(M. Berndtsson, et al. Thesis Projects: A Guide for Students in Computer Science and Information Systems. 2nd ed. Springer-Verlag, 2008)
"Today, most scientific journals print a heading abstract with each paper. It generally is printed (and should be submitted) as a single paragraph. Usually, a good abstract is followed by a good paper; a poor abstract is a harbinger of woes to come.
"When writing the abstract, examine every word carefully. If you can tell your story in 100 words, do not use 200. [T]he use of clear, significant words will impress the editors and reviewers (not to mention readers), whereas the use of abstruse, verbose constructions might well contribute to a check in the ’;reject’; box on the review form."
(Robert Day and Barbara Gastel, How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper. 7th ed. Cambridge University Press, 2012)
Also Known As: synopsis, executive summary
Can you make it compelling enough to attract your reader’s mind?
Writing A Thesis Abstract
Tips Revealed To Get You Write An Attention-Grabbing
A thesis abstract is a brief and compact form a thesis giving the important details and introduction to the thesis. A thesis abstract highlights the main points discussed in the thesis. In short, we can say a thesis abstract is a mini-thesis.
How To Write Thesis Abstract?
Writing thesis abstract is a core part of your thesis. So you can’t afford to write it carelessly at all. You should follow the under-mentioned up to the mark guidelines to write a perfect thesis abstract.
7 Vital Writing
Abstract Of Thesis
You need to apply the following tips when you go for writing abstract for thesis.
- First of all, go through your thesis and highlight the objectives, scope, methods, conclusions, and any other important information.
- Write the objectives methods, conclusions, recommendations, prominently discussed in your thesis’s paper.
- Now highlight the outcomes of your thesis.
- Collect all the highlighted sections into one paragraph.
- Rewrite all the information in another way to make it look different.
- Start the first sentence with the phrase this paper or this study.
- Revise your thesis paper to check any errors such as grammar, any left out information, verbosity, and irrelevant information.
Check out your thesis abstract to be sure that you have employed these precautions:
- Thesis is supposed to be written after the completion of thesis. Writing it at early stage might make you miss important details to include.
- Restrict the thesis abstract to two paragraphs.
- Write it in a concise manner that your reader should get a clear idea what should he expect in thesis. Information in your thesis abstract and thesis must match.
- Remove any extra or unnecessary details.
- Write full forms of abbreviations and acronyms when you use it first time.
- Put it in a very simple language since it is to give a quick and clear glimpse of thesis.
- Write the thesis abstract in past tense if you are writing it after completing thesis which is a better way.
- Write in present or future tense if you write it in the beginning.
Sample Thesis Abstract
“The incidence of great fires in the western United States raises questions pertaining to climate change effect of on fire regimes in the past and future. Sagebrush steppe has long been exposed to agriculture, unnecessary cropping and enveloping species. This dying out ecological unit is facing a latest risk of spreading big wildfires and weather change. The purposes of this study were to rebuild the fire history for sagebrush steppe ecosystems across three spatial scales of sagebrush-dominated steppe: a. Idaho National Laboratory, b. Snake River Plain, and c. portions of the Northern Basin and Range to take in the Snake River Plain. This study used geographic information systems (GIS) to associate size and occurrence of fires over 5,000 ha with landscape plant life and climatic variables across manifold spatial and sequential scales. The impact of climate changeability and intense climatic events on fire occurrence and size can differ depending on the spatial and temporal scales over which information is collected and examined. Large fires grew between 1960 – 2003 both in size and number, and increasingly formed a larger percentage of all wildfires over the time period studied. At the broadest spatial scale, the size of large fires was positively associated with average yearly utmost temperature during the year of the fire happening. Fire occurrence and average yearly precipitation one year preceding to the large fire event were also show a relationship. There was also some connection with topographical side. From 1960 to 2003 the area was subject to an increase in maximum temperature and a decrease in precipitation. Increases in large fire occurrence and size are attributed to increase in air temperature and exotic grasses. My results and the projected tendency toward warmer, drier growing seasons and summers suggest that sagebrush steppe systems may carry on to practice an increase in large fires in the future.”
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