Monday, March 22, 2010
While dealing with research paper assignments, you will also learn about an abstract which is one of the components of a research paper document. The purpose of an abstract is to summarize your document for the readers. Research documents are always lengthy and people who are looking for reference material will not be able to read through all the available research papers to find the point they need. Instead they go through the research paper abstract in order to get an idea of what the content is. So, the abstract serves the purpose of helping others know the content of your research paper without going through the whole document.
There are certain things which should be taken care of while preparing an abstract.
1. An abstract is a short document of around 200-350 words, depending upon the length of the research paper. But if it becomes too long, it will not serve the purpose of giving the readers a quick look into the document. And very few people have the patience to go through long abstracts. Hence, keep it short.
2. The abstract should be a summary of your research paper. This necessarily means that it should not contain any information or points that are not a part of the research paper.
3. In the modern world, almost all research documentation is updated on the internet. Most people look for data on the net than spend hours in the library pouring over huge volumes. ‘Keywords’ or the prominent words in your research papers, which is less generalized and more focused, should all be included in the research paper abstract. For example; ‘scientific research’ would be a good keyword but when separated ‘science’ and ‘research’ will be too generalized for people to relate it to your topic.
4. Discuss the research problem or research question. Without knowing the problem, the readers will not understand the thesis.
5. State the thesis clearly. That will give the reader a very good grasp of the contents. Since the thesis is the focus of your research, there is no better point which can tell the reader about what your research paper is about.
6. Discuss the methodology of research. It is necessary to mention the methodology in the research paper abstract because the methodology influences the outcome of the research to a big extent.
7. Hint on the conclusion. Do not give away too much.
While writing an abstract, remember to keep it all precise. There is no need to elaborate on any point as it is just a summary of your research paper document. All the important points in your research paper must be present in the abstract as well. Precise writing skills are absolutely necessary to write an effective and informative abstract.
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