writing a scientific abstract
Due to lack of training in scientific writing and sometimes unethical practices, abstracts are often poorly written, lack critical information, and sometimes contain spin. An effective abstract provides brief but adequate information on the purpose, procedure, results and implications of a study. This paper discusses the key components of a good abstract, offers recommendations on reducing spin in abstracts, and analyzes three abstracts written by the author with the goal of helping young researchers write honest and effective abstracts.
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An abstract gives the reader a quick overview of your project and lets them decide if the topic of your research matches their interests. It will usually be the first thing they read about your work, so it is important to get it right to capture their interest. You will be invited to submit abstracts to conferences to allow the conference organizers to decide if the topic of your project is relevant to the conference, in which case you may be invited to present your findings as a poster or an oral presentation. You will also include abstracts as part of manuscripts when you submit your work to journals.
What is an abstract?