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  • Definition of Abstract
    Geology Resources Print Friendly Format About this Guide Contributors Citation Abstracts Definition of Abstract A bstracts like all summaries cover the main points of a piece of writing Unlike executive summaries written for non specialist audiences abstracts use the same level of technical language and expertise found in the article itself And unlike general summaries which can be adapted in many ways to meet various readers and writers needs abstracts

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/page.cfm?pageid=1250&guideid=59 (2015-10-15)
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  • Purposes for Abstracts
    serve five main goals Help readers decide if they should read an entire article Readers use abstracts to see if a piece of writing interests them or relates to a topic they re working on Rather than tracking down hundreds of articles readers rely on abstracts to decide quickly if an article is pertinent Equally important readers use abstracts to help them gauge the sophistication or complexity of a piece of writing If the abstract is too technical or too simplistic readers know that the article will also be too technical or too simplistic Help readers and researchers remember key findings on a topic Even after reading an article readers often keep abstracts to remind them of which sources support conclusions Because abstracts include complete bibliographic citations they are helpful when readers begin writing up their research and citing sources Help readers understand a text by acting as a pre reading outline of key points Like other pre reading strategies reading an abstract before reading an article helps readers anticipate what s coming in the text itself Using an abstract to get an overview of the text makes reading the text easier and more efficient Index articles for quick recovery and cross referencing Even before computers made indexing easier abstracts helped librarians and researchers find information more easily With so many indexes now available electronically abstracts with their keywords are even more important because readers can review hundreds of abstracts quickly to find the ones most useful for their research Moreover cross referencing through abstracts opens up new areas of research that readers might not have known about when they started researching a topic Allow supervisors to review technical work without becoming bogged down in details Although many managers and supervisors will prefer the less technical executive summary some managers

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/page.cfm?pageid=1251&guideid=59 (2015-10-15)
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  • Types of Abstracts
    see two types of abstracts informative and descriptive most writers now provide informative abstracts of their work Descriptive Abstract A descriptive abstract outlines the topics covered in a piece of writing so the reader can decide whether to read the entire document In many ways the descriptive abstract is like a table of contents in paragraph form Unlike reading an informative abstract reading a descriptive abstract cannot substitute for reading the document because it does not capture the content of the piece Nor does a descriptive abstract fulfill the other main goals of abstracts as well as informative abstracts do For all these reasons descriptive abstracts are less and less common Check with your instructor or the editor of the journal to which you are submitting a paper for details on the appropriate type of abstract for your audience Informative Abstract A n informative abstract provides detail about the substance of a piece of writing because readers will sometimes rely on the abstract alone for information Informative abstracts typically follow this format Identifying information bibliographic citation or other identification of the document Concise restatement of the main point including the initial problem or other background Methodology for experimental work and key findings Major conclusions Informative abstracts usually appear in indexes like Dissertation Abstracts International however your instructor may ask you to write one as a cover sheet to a paper as well A More Detailed Comparison of Descriptive vs Informative T he typical distinction between descriptive and informative is that the descriptive abstract is like a table of contents whereas the informative abstract lays out the content of the document To show the differences as clearly as possible we compare a shortened Table of Contents for a 100 page legal argument presented by the FDA and an informative abstract of

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  • Bibliographic Citation or Identification
    so that readers who want to review the entire text can locate it from the information given with the abstract Depending on where your writing is printed and stored you ll need to include different kinds of identifying information with your abstract Bibliographic Citation I f your writing will be printed and disseminated as a book part of a book or an article in a journal or magazine give a full bibliographic citation that includes all the publication information so that readers can find print copies of the article even if your abstract will appear in unrelated electronic databases For example an abstract for a journal article begins with this citation Harris L D Wambeam C A 1996 The Internet Based Composition Classroom A Study in Pedagogy Computers and Composition 13 3 353 372 Organizational Identification I f your abstract is part of a corporate or government document that will not be printed or disseminated outside the organization you need only include your name the title of the document its completion date a project name if you produced the document as part of the work on a larger project and an authorization or organizational number if there is one If your abstract will be circulated outside your organization for instance if you work for a consulting company that writes reports for other companies add to the information above your company or organization name the name of the organization that commissioned the document a contract number if there is one a security classification as appropriate for government documents and key words to help in cataloguing your abstract Internet Citation I f you re publishing your own work on the World Wide Web or if your writing will appear on the Internet as part of a full text electronic database you can

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/page.cfm?pageid=1258&guideid=59 (2015-10-15)
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  • Processes for Writing Abstracts
    lift as much of the abstract from your original paper as possible As you read through your own paper highlight or copy sentences which summarize the entire paper or individual sections or sub points of your main argument Write or copy a sentence that summarizes the main point Add sentences that summarize sections or write new sentences for sections that lack a concise summary sentence If you re writing a descriptive abstract you re ready to begin revising If you re writing an informative abstract look through your paper for details particularly of key findings or major supporting arguments and major conclusions Paste these into your abstract and proceed to editing for consistency and length frequently in the original cuts you will still have more detail than is necessary in an abstract Outlining Method F requently the best place to start writing an abstract is to first make an outline of the paper to serve as a rough draft of your abstract The most efficient way to do this is to write what Kenneth Bruffee calls a descriptive or backwards outline Backwards Outline Instructions Read through each paragraph of your paper and write one phrase or sentence that answers the question what does this paragraph do Take your list of descriptions for each paragraph and look for connections i e do these 3 or 5 paragraphs do something similar What is it When you ve reduced your outline to 4 or 5 accurate generalizations you most likely have a descriptive abstract If you re writing an informative abstract fill in key details about your content Detailed Backwards Outline Because informative abstracts need more detail the regular backwards outline may not be as useful a strategy for this type of abstract Instead do a backwards outline on the left hand side

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/page.cfm?pageid=1259&guideid=59 (2015-10-15)
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  • Key Issues in Preparing Abstracts
    of Abstracts Bibliographic Citation or Identification Processes for Writing Abstracts Key Issues in Preparing Abstracts Concise Accurate Statement of the Main Idea Organization of Subpoints Use of Details Revising and Editing Abstracts in Specific Disciplines Civil Engineering English Neurobiology Geology Resources Print Friendly Format About this Guide Contributors Citation Abstracts Key Issues in Preparing Abstracts Previous Continue Introduction Tweet HELP SITE INDEX ABOUT THIS SITE CONTACT Writing CSU is an

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  • Concise, Accurate Statement of the Main Idea
    and Editing Abstracts in Specific Disciplines Civil Engineering English Neurobiology Geology Resources Print Friendly Format About this Guide Contributors Citation Abstracts Concise Accurate Statement of the Main Idea A bstracts begin with a one sentence summary of the main point of your paper and often introduce the problem the paper explores Especially for papers based on research the first sentence or two of the abstract announces the subject and scope

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/page.cfm?pageid=1261&guideid=59 (2015-10-15)
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  • Organization of Subpoints
    Specific Disciplines Civil Engineering English Neurobiology Geology Resources Print Friendly Format About this Guide Contributors Citation Abstracts Organization of Subpoints A fter a summary of the main topic problem point of your paper or report the abstract provides some detail on how you reached this point The information provided in the abstract should follow the organization of the paper report itself almost like providing an outline for the reader in

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/page.cfm?pageid=1270&guideid=59 (2015-10-15)
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