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Writing Abstracts Gina Koczberski Research Fellow Humanities Faculty 29 th June, 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Writing Abstracts Gina Koczberski Research Fellow Humanities Faculty 29 th June, 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Writing Abstracts Gina Koczberski Research Fellow Humanities Faculty 29 th June, 2013

2 What is an abstract?

3 A presentation of the essential elements of a longer work in a short and powerful statement (concise summary). A statement of xxx words maximum –the number you are told to write. An abstract presents all the main arguments and important results contained in the longer work (tells the reader what to expect in the written work).

4 Humanities Factpack for HDR students: “After reading the abstract, the reader should be able to understand the research question and objectives, have a sense of the contexts (theoretical, practical) of the research, be able to identify in general terms what methodologies will be used, and have a sense of the project’s significance and its likely outcomes” (2012: 22).

5 When to write an abstract? Before the longer work is produced, as with conference presentation proposals, book/chapter proposals. While the longer work is being produced, as with research grant applications. After the longer work has been produced, as with theses and journal articles.

6 Why write an abstract? To gain an audience (to attract people to your presentation, to read your article etc – especially important with the increase use of on-line search databases.). It is increasingly essential for anyone embarking on an academic career to publish and apply for grants. To gain acceptance (of a conference presentation, a book proposal etc.).

7 How to write an Abstract An abstract should provide answers to the following questions: 1.What was done? (background/context of study). 2.Why was it done? (purpose, aim, argument, problem). 3.How was it done? (methods/approach). 4.What was found (results). 5.What are the implications of the findings? (conclusion, significance, so what?).

8 Numbasa, G & Koczberski G. (2012) Migration, informal urban settlements and non-market land transactions: a case study of Wewak, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea. Australian Geographer 43(2), 143-161. This paper examines the various ways migrant settlers have gained and maintained access to land in the informal urban settlements of Wewak, the provincial capital of East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea (PNG). Urban population growth in PNG and in Pacific Island States more generally, is predicted to grow rapidly over the next two decades. Given the limited availability of formal housing for lower income people, it is likely that many will live in informal urban settlements on land owned by customary landowners. To date, there is very little information on how migrants living in informal settlements obtain and maintain access to land to erect dwellings and pursue livelihoods. Drawing on field research carried out in seven informal settlements in Wewak, the paper describes the historical, trading and/or marital ties between landowners and the original settler community. The discussion focuses on how access rights are maintained and have changed over time as the social and exchange relationships deteriorate between second generation urban migrants and younger generation landowners. The weakening of the social relationships between these two groups undermines the long-term use rights of migrants. By examining the changing tenure security of second generation migrants the paper shows that whilst informal land markets perform an important role in housing provision for the urban poor they often fail to deliver long-term tenure security. The paper finishes with a brief consideration of the implications of the research findings for guiding policies on urban land reform and planning on customary land in PNG. What was done? Why was it done? How was it done? What was found? What are the implications?

9 Shanthy, T. & Thiagarajan, R. (2012) Interactive multimedia instruction versus traditional training programmes: analysis of their effectiveness and perception. The Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension 17(5),459-472. In this article, the practicability of the introduction of computer multimedia as an educational tool was compared with the traditional approach for training sugarcane growers in ratoon management practices in three villages of Tamil Nadu state, India using pre-test and post-test control group experimental design. A CD-ROM was developed as a multimedia resource to support the training process using Macromedia Flash as the authorware. Three modes of message delivery –traditional lecture alone, lecture followed by multimedia and multimedia alone were analysed for their effectiveness in term of knowledge gain, learning index and extent of adoption. The group which was exposed to lecture followed by multimedia had better knowledge gain and learning index. Farmers perceived that the use of different multimedia building blocks made it an interesting and educative tool. The message, when given through lecture alone was perceived as boring and monotonous with limited attention span. The extent of adoption of ratoon management practices was almost on par; however the group which had received instructions through lecture followed by computer multimedia had a better adoption rate. Such a comparative analysis is an opportunity for a better understanding of the role that multimedia could play in technology transfer to farmers. What was done? Why was it done? How was it done? What was found? What are the implications?

10 Other things to consider Title Key words Be concise. Use plain English. Avoid vague statements. Must meet the word count limitations. Don’t include information not discussed in the paper. Usually don’t include references.

11 Exercises: learning to write good abstracts

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