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Writing Abstract for Science Research Paper

Updated on June 26, 2015

One of the important skills that every scientist should know is how to write and publish their research work. A good writing leads to publish in high impact journals. Abstract is an important component of a manuscript. It is a concise summary of the whole research work. The abstracts are presented in many ways and usually every journal provides instructions to write in a particular way. Remember! a good abstract will encourage the reader to read the whole manuscript. This hub provides some helpful tips to write an impressive abstract.

Why is it important to write a good abstract?

In the field of science hundreds of articles are published regularly. Researchers adopt three common simple strategies to narrow down the search of articles they are interested in:

(1) Typing one or more key words in electronic databases such as PUBMED or Google Scholar. This will open up the title of published papers related to key words.

(2) They will click the title merely if it is relevant to their search. This will open the abstract of the article.

(3) In the abstract, they will glance for specific materials. Some scientists may be interested to know about the techniques used throughout the paper. Others may look for experimental design or hypothesis. They will open and read the full article only if they find the contents they are searching for in the abstract.

Therefore, writing a good abstract is essential in the field of science. If the paper serves some significant information to the readers, then they will cite the paper in their publications. Further, the work will be noticed in the field which is important for their career growth. This hub provides some insights to write a good abstract.

Length of the abstract: Before starting to write the abstract refer to the authors’ instruction section of the definite journal to find the length specified.Itvaries and depends on the type of journal you choose to publish it. Some journals may restrict it to around 300 words.

Structure of a scientific abstract: The style of abstract varies with the journals. However, the five components of any scientific abstract: (1) Background and objective (2) Methods (3) Results (4) Conclusion (5) Key words

Background and Objective: The background is composed by defining the general problem in the field. For instance, Diabetics is a major unresolved clinical problem. It should also include major unanswered problems related to the study that you are publishing. Additionally, the impact of the problem on society or to the field of research can also be incorporated. For example, According to National Institute of Health report, about 40% of the population is suffering with diabetics costing around $ 8 million in terms of medication and absence to the work place. The background also includes the main aims for the study. If the study contains two or more objectives state them in chronological order to give a clear picture to the readers.

Methods: Scientists in the field will be curious to know the methods used for investigating the objectives of the study. It is essential to list out all the techniques, procedures, experimental groups, drugs, samples or species used to collect the data for the study. It should be plainly stated how the study was conducted or which techniques are used for the study. For example, Western blot was used to identify the up-regulation of proteins in the samples.

Results: This will be the longest section of the abstract. Here all the findings from the study are discussed briefly. If the datas are analyzed using statistics, include it with the level of significance. Additionally, specific techniques yielding particular results can also be stated. Negative results from the study are also mentioned.

Conclusion: In this section of the abstract state the major discoveries and significance of the study. Discuss how the results of your study will influence the research field. In a couple of sentences, authors can also write about future perspective or opinions about the study problems.

Key words: Publishers recommend to provide around 5-6 key words. Choose the right key words that relates to the study problem. These key words will be the basis in search engine. Remember! Inappropriate key words will increase the chance of your research work going unrecognized.

Additional tips:

  • Read several abstracts in your field of research so that you will get an idea to construct abstract.
  • Most of the research work is published in English. Therefore, proofread, check for spelling error and more importantly use appropriate tense for each of the sections of the abstract.

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    • Bopi-Cheppu profile image
      Author

      Bopi-Cheppu 4 years ago from San Antonio, TX, U.S.A

      Marcy Goodfleisch, Thank you for reading this hub and for your kind comments. You are right, any type of articles need a good abstract to get noticed.

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

      These should be very useful tips for people needing to summarize things into the salient points. I think your suggestions here can also benefit other types of writing, too. Nice hub!!!