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WRITING AN

ABSTRACT
•An abstract is a succint summary of a
longer piece of work, usually academic in
nature, which is published in isolation
from the main text and should therefore
stand on its own and be understandable
without reference to the longer piece. It
should report the latter’s essential facts,
and should not exaggerate or contain
material that is not there.
•Abstract is an original work, not an
excerpted passage. It must be fully self-
contained and make sense by itself,
without further reference to the outside
sources or to the actual paper. It highlights
key content areas, your research purpose,
the relevance or importance of yor work,
and the main outcomes.
•Abstract is a well-developed single paragraph
of approximately 250 words in length, which
is indented and single spaced. The function of
the abstract is to outline briefly all parts of the
paper. Although it is placed at the beginning
of your paper, immediately following the title
page, the abstract should be the last thing that
you write, once you are sure of the
conclusions you will reach.
Why write an abstract?
• Abstracts are important for both selection and indexing
purposes.
Selection: Abstracts allow readers who may be interested
in the paper to quickly decide whether it is relevant to
their purposes and whether they need to read the whole
paper.
Indexing: Most academic journal databases accessed
throught the library enable you to search abstracts. This
allows for quick retrieval by users. Abstracts must
incorporate the key terms that a potential researcher
would use to search.
When is it necessary to write abstracts?
Abstracts are usually required for:
Submission of articles to journals
Application for research grants
Completion and submission of theses
Submission of proposals for
conference papers
FORMAT
All abstracts generally cover the following five
sections:
1. Reason for writing: What is the importance
of the research? Why would a reader be
interested in the larger work?
2. Problem: What problem does this work
attempt to solve? What is the scope of the
project? What is the main argument, thesis
or claim?
3. Methodology: An abstract of scientific work
may include specific models or approaches
used in the larger study. Other absracts may
describe the types of evidence used in the
research.
4. Results: An abstract of a scientific work may
include sspecific data that indicates the
results of the project. Other abstracts may
discuss the findings in a more general way.
5. Implications: How does this work add to the
body of knowledge on the topic? Are there any
practical or theoretical applications from your
findings or implications for future research?
HOW TO WRITE A
SCIENTIFIC ABSTRACT
1. Introduction. In one sentence, what is the topic?
Phrase it in a way that your reader will
understand. Assume that the readers are familiar
with the general field of research, so you need to
tell them specifically what topic your thesis
addresses.
2. State the problem you tackle.
What’s the key research question? Your first
sentence introduced the overall topic, so now you
can build on that, and focus on one key question
within that topic. Keep working at this step until
you have a single, concise question.
3. Summarize why nobody else has adequately
answered the research question yet. (1 sentence)
The trick is not to try and cover all the various
ways in which people have tried and failed; the trick
is to explain that there’s this one particular approach
that nobody else tried yet. (It’s the thing that your
research does.) “previous work has failed to
address…”
(explain in a few words what the general message in
the source material is, but expressed in terms of
what’s missing)
4. Explain how you tackled the research question.
(1 sentence)
What is your new big idea? What is the
perspective you have adopted? Or What is your
overall view on the question you introduced in step
2?
5. How did you go about doing the research that
follows from your big idea? (1 sentence)
Did you run experiments? Build a piece of
software? Carry out case studies? This is likely to be
the longest sentence.
6. What is the key impact of your research? (1
sentence)
Here we’re not looking for the result of the
experiment but a summary of the implications.
What does it mean? Why should other people care?
What can they do with your research?
This paper analyzes how novices and experts can safely adapt and transfer
their skills to new technology in the medical domain. To answer this
question, the researchers compared the performance of 12 novices (medical
students) with the performance of 12 laparoscopic surgeons (using a 2D
view) and 4 robotic surgeons, using a new robotic system that allows 2D
and 3D view. The results showed a trivial effect of expertise (surgeons
generally performed better than novices). Results also revealed that experts
have adaptive transfer capacities and are able to transfer their skills
independently of the human-machine system. However, the expert’s
performance may be disturbed by changes in their usual environment.
From a safety perspective, this study emphasizes the need to take into
account the impact of these environmental changes along with the expert’s
adaptive capacities.