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 …

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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  • 1. Writing the Abstract RWJF | GRC | CAPS
  • 2. What you need to say:• Motivation Problem• Approach• Results• Conclusions
  • 3. MotivationWhy should we care?
  • 4. ProblemWhy aren’t things working right now?
  • 5. ApproachWhat have you done toresolve the problem?
  • 6. Results...so how did that allwork out?
  • 7. ConclusionsWhat do your findingsmean for everyone?
  • 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. The catchDo it in as few words ashumanly possible.
  • 10. PracticeElevator Pitch: Can yousum up your research inthe time it takes anelevator to get to thethird floor?
  • 11. Tips• Avoid unnecessary words.• “However, the swift brown fox nevertheless jumped over the lazy dog”
  • 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. 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. Mistakes people makeToo short: Don’t go too faroverboard in making itsuccinct. You still need tocast your findings in thebroader field.
  • 15. Mistakes people makeLeaving out importantinformation - An abstract mustgive a clear indication of what is inthe paper.