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Presentation on theme: "Writing Abstracts Dr. Tamara O’Connor Student Learning Development P: 896-3759 E:"— Presentation transcript:

1 Writing Abstracts Dr. Tamara O’Connor Student Learning Development P: E:

2 General - Abstracts Concise and easy to read! words (JPR = 250 words) Key words Avoid abbreviations or acronyms Don’t repeat title!

3 General Tips - Academic Writing Four principles of academic writing: Clarity Honesty Reality Relevance

4 What’s wrong with this abstract? “In this paper, we will describe some experiments that were conducted to measure the creep strain rate in a stainless steel, and we will discuss the significance of the results.” Taylor, David. (2012). Writing an article for publication.

5 This one is better, but could still be improved – how? “We conducted a series of experiments to measure the creep strain rate in the stainless steel alloy SUS678F. We showed that the creep strain rate is proportional to the applied stress.”

6 “Creep strain rate is an important measure of a material’s high-temperature performance. Creep has been measured in various materials but not in the stainless steel alloy SUS678F. We conducted a series of experiments which showed that the creep strain rate is proportional to the applied stress in this alloy. This strongly suggests that the mechanism of creep in this material is grain boundary diffusion.”

7 Dissemination and promotion Abstracts The abstract helps ‘sell’ your article Editors: are busy! The abstract is their first contact with your paper and can sometimes make a decision at that point whether or not it is suitable for their journal. Readers (online): The abstract is often all a reader will see until they pay for the article. Might not go further if the abstract doesn’t tell them clearly what the paper is about. A good abstract might make them want to read the full-text article. Always ensure that you are clear, honest, concise and have covered all the major points. From Breen (2014)

8 Dissemination and promotion Abstracts A structured abstract – in 250 words or less (no more than 100 in any one section) Purpose – Reasons/aims of paper Design – Methodology/’how it was done’/scope of study Findings – Discussion/results Research limitations/Implications (if applicable) – Exclusions/next steps Practical implications (if applicable) – Applications to practice/’So what?’ Social implications (if applicable) – Impact on society/policy Originality/value – Who would benefit from this and what is new about it?

9 SPSW Technique Situation: Describe the general background/setting in which your research takes place Problem: Describe a problem that the research addresses Solution: What did you do or try to address this problem? Evaluation: How did you evaluate the proposed solution and what were the results?

10 Brown’s 8 Questions 1.Who are the intended readers? List What did you do? (50 words) 3.Why did you do it? (50 words) 4.What happened? (50 words) 5.What do the results mean in theory? (50 words) 6.What do the results mean in practice? (50 words) 7.What is the key benefit for readers? (50 words) 8.What remains unresolved? (no word limit)

11 Ten steps to writing an effective abstract 1.Identify the major objectives and conclusions. 2.Identify phrases with keywords ibn the methods section. 3.Identify the major results from the discussion or results section. 4.Assemble the above information into a single paragraph. 5.State your hypothesis or method used in the first sentence. 6.Omit background information, literature review, and detailed description of methods. 7.Remove extra words and phrases. 8.Revise the paragraph so that the abstract conveys only the essential information. 9.Check to see if it meets the guidelines of the targeted journal. 10.Give the abstract to a colleague (preferably one who is not familiar with your work) and ask him/her whether it makes sense.

12 Writing strategy: Writing to prompts What writing have I done and what would I like to do? Where do my ideas come from? How does what I read compare with my own views? What I want to write about next is… What do I want to write about next?

13 Writing strategy: Freewriting Writing for 5 minutes Without stopping In sentences Private – no external reader No structure needed Topic related to your research or to a prompt Like brainstorming in sentences

14 Sources Breen, E. (2014). A guide to getting published. Accessed from: learning.tcd.ie/assets/PDF/Guide%20to%20getting%20publi shed% pdf. Murray, R. (2002). How to write a thesis. Philadelphia: Open University Press. Taylor, D. (2012). Writing an article for publication. Presented at SLD PhD Skills Development Summer School.


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