Writing the Abstract     RWJF | GRC | CAPS
What you need to say:•   Motivation    Problem•   Approach•   Results•   Conclusions
MotivationWhy should we care?
ProblemWhy aren’t things working right now?
ApproachWhat have you done toresolve the problem?
Results...so how did that allwork out?
ConclusionsWhat do your findingsmean for everyone?
A Good Abstract•   Should leave the reader with a clear understanding of the    motivation, problem, approach, results, an...
The catchDo it in as few words ashumanly possible.
PracticeElevator Pitch: Can yousum up your research inthe time it takes anelevator to get to thethird floor?
Tips•   Avoid unnecessary words.•   “However, the swift    brown fox nevertheless    jumped over the lazy dog”
Mistakes people makeToo long: Way beyond the wordlimit. It’s there for a reason - peopleare much more likely to learn abou...
Mistakes people makeToo much detail: You’re writing awhole paper/poster too. There areother venues to get into the nittygr...
Mistakes people makeToo short: Don’t go too faroverboard in making itsuccinct. You still need tocast your findings in theb...
Mistakes people makeLeaving out importantinformation - An abstract mustgive a clear indication of what is inthe paper.
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Writing the abstract

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Having trouble reducing your paper to a short and clear abstract? Learn exactly what NOT to do and find out what makes a good abstract. This is a presentation developed through the Graduate Resource Center at the University of New Mexico.

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Writing the abstract

  1. 1. Writing the Abstract RWJF | GRC | CAPS
  2. 2. What you need to say:• Motivation Problem• Approach• Results• Conclusions
  3. 3. MotivationWhy should we care?
  4. 4. ProblemWhy aren’t things working right now?
  5. 5. ApproachWhat have you done toresolve the problem?
  6. 6. Results...so how did that allwork out?
  7. 7. ConclusionsWhat do your findingsmean for everyone?
  8. 8. A Good Abstract• Should leave the reader with a clear understanding of the motivation, problem, approach, results, and conclusion of the research Should be easily understandable and organized• Should take no more than a minute or two to understand.
  9. 9. The catchDo it in as few words ashumanly possible.
  10. 10. PracticeElevator Pitch: Can yousum up your research inthe time it takes anelevator to get to thethird floor?
  11. 11. Tips• Avoid unnecessary words.• “However, the swift brown fox nevertheless jumped over the lazy dog”
  12. 12. Mistakes people makeToo long: Way beyond the wordlimit. It’s there for a reason - peopleare much more likely to learn aboutyour research if you can describe itsimply and succinctly.
  13. 13. Mistakes people makeToo much detail: You’re writing awhole paper/poster too. There areother venues to get into the nittygritty. Stick to the broad themes,and mention only one or twospecific results.
  14. 14. Mistakes people makeToo short: Don’t go too faroverboard in making itsuccinct. You still need tocast your findings in thebroader field.
  15. 15. Mistakes people makeLeaving out importantinformation - An abstract mustgive a clear indication of what is inthe paper.

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