Part Six Practical Writing (II) Unit One Unit One How to Write an Abstract for a Technical Research Paper ?
Study Questions: Study Questions: 1. What is an abstract? 1. What is an abstract? 2. What isn’t it? 2. What isn’t it? 3. What is the structure of an abstract? 3. What is the structure of an abstract? 4. How to write an abstract? 4. How to write an abstract? 5. What purpose does it serve? 5. What purpose does it serve?
A brief guide A brief guide SQ1: What is an abstract? Definition 1 Definition 1 An abstract is a concise and clear summary of your complete research: An abstract is a concise and clear summary of your complete research: ·What you set out to do and why ·What you set out to do and why · How you did it · How you did it · What you found · What you found ·(recommendations) ·(recommendations).... which is capable of being read independently of your paper.
Definition 2 Definition 2 An abstract is a brief summary of a research article, review, or any in-depth analysis of a particular subject or discipline, and is often used to help the reader quickly ascertain the paper’s purpose.
SQ2: What isn’t an abstract? I t is NOT: aaaan introduction – its purpose is to summarize not introduce aaaa plan to which your paper is written – it is written last to summarize what your paper contains. eeeextracts from your paper – it must stand alone.
Example of an introduction: The purpose of this paper is to analyze the UK cellular phones market and to identify the competitive processes which have created a market where, about one million subscribers joined within six years of launch and in which the main operators have achieved consistent profitability. The structure of the paper is as follows: In part 1, we have an introduction to the UK cellular phones market. In part 2, we look at developments in analogue cellular networks across a range of western European countries to…. In part 3, we outline the development of cellular phones in the UK and consider how the regulation of cellular networks has contributed to relatively low prices and to high rates of market penetration. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the UK cellular phones market and to identify the competitive processes which have created a market where, about one million subscribers joined within six years of launch and in which the main operators have achieved consistent profitability. The structure of the paper is as follows: In part 1, we have an introduction to the UK cellular phones market. In part 2, we look at developments in analogue cellular networks across a range of western European countries to…. In part 3, we outline the development of cellular phones in the UK and consider how the regulation of cellular networks has contributed to relatively low prices and to high rates of market penetration.
SQ3: What is the structure of an abstract? Structure of an abstract: the subject matter, the purpose of the study, the way the research is carried out, some findings, the implications, a conclusion.
Abstract-Example 1 Speaking and writing in the university: A Multidimensional Comparison (1) The dozens of studies on academic discourse carried out over the past 20years have mostly focused on written academic prose or on academic lectures. (2) Other registers that may be more important for students adjusting to university life, such as textbooks, have received surprisingly little attention, and spoken registers such as study groups or on-campus service encounters have been virtually ignored. (3) To explain more fully the nature of the tasks that incoming international students encounter, this article undertakes a comprehensive linguistic description of the range of spoken written registers at U.S. universities. (4) Specifically, the article describes a multidimensional analysis of register variation in the TOEFL 2000 Spoken and Written Academic Language Corpus. (5) The analysis shows that spoken registers are fundamentally different from written ones in university contexts, regardless of purpose. (6) The article discusses the implications of these findings for pedagogy and further research.
Questions on the Abstract 1. What is the subject matter/ area the research paper is dealing with? 2. What background information is provided by the author(s)? 3. What is the purpose of the present study? 4. How is the research to be done? 5. What are some of the important findings? 6. What are some of the implications of the study?
Elements of structure in an Abstract The six elements of structure : The six elements of structure : 1. Topic Specification 1. Topic Specification 2. Background Information 2. Background Information 3. Purpose Statement 3. Purpose Statement 4. Methodology and Data 4. Methodology and Data 5. Results/Findings 5. Results/Findings 6. Implications/Conclusions 6. Implications/Conclusions
SQ 4: How to write an abstract ? An abstract should include: What problem are you trying to solve? What is the scope of your work ? What practical, scientific, theoretical or artistic gap is your research filling? Sentence patterns to express the theme of the paper: (a)common words: test, discuss, study, investigate, consider,examine (b)common sentence patterns ： 1) The paper examines … and considers… 本文研究了 …… 并考虑了 …… 2)The authors consider two specific subjects which… 作者考虑了两个 …… 的专门题。 3)This article discusses the reasons for… and offers an insight into… 本文研讨了 …… 的原因并阐明了对 …… 的观点。 4)The influence of…on…is investigated. 研讨了 …… 对 …… 所产生的影响。 5)This paper analyzes some important characteristics of… 本文分析了 …… 的一些重要特征。 Problem statement What is the theme?
An abstract should include: Why did you undertake the study? Why do we care about the problem and the results? Useful sentence patterns to express purposes of the paper: (a) Common words: seek, aim, purpose, aim, objective (b) Common sentence patterns ： 1)This paper seeks to justify…in terms of …: 本文追求的目标是 从 …… 角度来论证 …… 2) One of the purposes of this study is to …: 本研究的一个目 的是 …… 3) The aim of this study is to carry out analysis for …: 本项 研究的目的是对 …… 进行分析。 4) This primary objective of the study was to determine…: 本项研究的主要目标是确定 …… Purpose/Motivation Why? Why?
An abstract should include: How did you go about solving or making progress on the problem? What did you actually do to get your results? Method/ Approach/ procedure How? How?
Sentence patterns to introduce the method of the paper: (a) common words: test, experiment, evaluate, assess, compare, agree with, be based on, use, apply (b) common sentence patterns ： 1) Two basic technologies are used to lay down… 2) Such a statistical method has been applied to … 3) The present work evaluates the properties of … 4) The role of … has been critically assessed by … 5) The experiments on … have been carried out using… 6) The method is based on …
Results and conclusions What you found?. An abstract should include: What are the results of completing the above procedure? What did you find? What are the larger implications of your findings? Are all of the previous results useful? Are your results general or specific to a particular case? What conclusions did you draw ? Is it going to change something?
Sentence patterns to state the results and conclusion: (a) common words: find, give, develop, provide, derive, establish, design, conclude, arrive at (b) common sentence patterns ： 1) The paper provides the quantitative background to … 2) The results found that 85% of respondents used non-standardised assessments... 3) The author has developed two methods of … 4) A theoretical model has been developed to predict … 5) A theoretical treatment of a new model of … is given. 6) Data pertinent to … are given. 7) The paper concludes that … 8) It was concluded that …
Sentence patterns to introduce the content of the paper and opinion of the author (a) Common words: present, describe, illustrate, deal with, support, address, involve, concern, relate to, look at (b) Common sentence patterns ： The author presents a …principle … 作者阐述了一 …… 原则 The paper presents the data in terms of … 本文用 … … 阐述了 … … 的数据 The brief history of … is presented. 本文阐述了 …… 简史。 This paper describes the principles and techniques of… 本文描述了 …… 的 原则和技术。 Performance goals and various approaches to…are briefly described. 简 述了运行目标和达到 …… 的各种途径。 This paper addresses the problem of… ： 本文讨论 …… 问题。 This paper deals with… ： 本文论述了 …… This paper is concerned to assessments of… ： 本文专论如何评估 …… This paper is concerned with the analysis of… ： 本文对 …… 进行了分析。 The article looks at… ： 本文考察了 ……
SQ5: What purpose does it serve? It forms the first "content" page of your graduate dissertation and is therefore the first thing to be read by the assessor and forms the first impression of your work. It may also share one or more of the following: * allow a reader to decide whether or not to read the full text because your research and conclusions have relevance for his/her research. * include keywords essential to your topic which may be searched for in an electronic database * indicate the thoroughness and integrity of your research * with the addition of just a title and your name, be suitable for inclusion in a printed or electronic index where it would identify the potential value of your research to another, or stand as a summary you might submit as a proposal to a conference.
Summary Writing an abstract is a sophisticated skill. To write a good abstract for your papers you should follow a checklist consisting of: problem statement, motivation, approach, results, and conclusions. Make sure that all the components of a good abstract are included in your paper. The two main features of an Abstract are its discourse structure and the language used for condensing the information. The secret of writing a successful Abstract is in giving the most information in the least number of words in a coherent structure. Because Readers want quick information. If it suits them, they will read on for the details.
What is a technical description? The technical description is a verbal representation of a product or process. An effective description transfers a mental image from the writer’s mind to the reader’s. give customers a good idea of its features. provide a framework for further discussion. often found in one section of manual or report.
Types of descriptions Three major types: · Description of external features · Description of procedure · Description of products
Description of external features concerns merely the external features of commodities common in product catalogues and purchase orders identify the goods under question brief and specific
Description of external features For example Trash compactor bags, 31’’ ×50’’tubular, nontransparent, 5- mil thickness The description of lists the specifications of the product: shape (tubular) size (three dimensions: 31” long/wide, 50” wide/long, 5 miles thick) quality (non-transparent)
Description of procedure involve a process, or a procedure Comprarison with a instruction Similarity - involve a process, a sequence of operations. Difference Description - mainly intended to give readers an understanding of the general process. Instruction - instructing people how to work.
Description of procedure For example Procedure for Handling Advance Funds for In- Service Leave The procedure for handling advance funds for in- service leave applies to all employees of the company. Amounts of advance funds are to based on the distance to be traveled. Obtain In-Service Leave From and Request for Advance Funds from your supervisor. Complete In-Service Leave Form by filling in all blanks in he Employee section of the Form. Have your immediate supervisor approve your request by signing on the Supervisor Approval line.
Description of products This type of description gives detailed ‘information on a product, such as its appearance, functions, components, etc. Such descriptions present give an overall picture of a product and thus are used as a part of product featuring. Such type of description should answer the following questions: What is it like? What is it used for? What are the parts of the product? How do the parts fit together? How does it operate? How do you use it?
Sample description of products Heading Solar Cells Overview A solar cell is a device that converts sunlight energy into electrical energy. This conversion does not require moving parts, chemical reactions, or any other intervening steps. The phenomenon that makes this conversion possible is called the photoelectric effect, also known as the photovoltaic effect.
Sample description of products Background Brief history of the solar cell information Charles Fritts created the first true solar cell around 1889 using a selenium cell coated with a nearly transparent layer of gold. His inefficient device converted less than 1% of the absorbed light energy into electrical energy. The challenge in harnessing the electrical energy produced by sunlight is in capturing the free electrons. Semiconductors behave partly as insulators and partly as conductors. Atoms in a semiconductor easily lose one of their electrons, allowing another from a nearby atom to replace it. Semiconductors are significant because the flow of electrons can be controlled. Germanium, copper oxide, and silicon all proved to be materials which can be used to create semiconductors. ……
Sample description of products Parts and How a solar cell works function A solar panel contains two layers of silicon, one exposed to sunlight and the other on the back or dark side of the panel. On the exposed side is a grid of metal for electrical contact, large enough to easily collect the current produced by the cells yet small enough not to obstruct the light hitting the surface. Each rectangular area outlined by electrical contact is a solar cell in the solar panel. A panel can have hundreds of solar cells. Normally, silicon does not have any loosely-bound electrons. A pure silicon crystal has atoms which have 4 electrons. The conductivity of a semiconductor is markedly affected by slight amounts of impurity. When the solar panel is manufactured, impurities are deliberately added to the pure silicon to create two types of silicon.
Sample description of products Uses How solar cells are used today Satellites were one of the early uses for photovoltaic solar cells. The Satellite Power Corporation is one company that offers a source of solar panels for small satellite manufactures. Many people are looking for alternatives to fossil fuels. When we burn fossil fuels like gasoline, diesel, and oil to create energy, we also create byproducts that pollute the air near the ground and damage the upper atmosphere’s protective ozone layer. Energy from photovoltaic solar cell systems (PVs) does not create these harmful byproducts. Sunlight is free and is renewable resource. The automobile is a major contributor to pollution. The Word Solar Challenge is an Australian road race for solar-powered electric cars. The race from Darwin to Adelaide is held every three years since 1987. The text one is scheduled for 1996.sunrayce is an intercollegiate solar road race held biannually. The last one was held in 1995. There is even an international race for high school students, called the Winston Solar Challenge, it is an annual race first held in q985 in Dallas, Texas.
Method of development Depending on the type of description, the method of development differs markedly. In process description, the process is usually divided into distinct stages which are presented step by step. Usually, a chronological order is convenient for the purpose. In product featuring, the descriptions usually follow this sequence; external overview – descriptions of the function and purpose—detailed discussion of components.
Language of description Since descriptions usually concern unfamiliar concepts, you need to make them accessible to the reader. One of the ways is by analogy. simile and metaphor are commonly used in descriptions of new devices or processes. For example, Internet banner advertisement, a fairly new concept, is described by drawing an analogy between it and graphics: Internet banner advertisements are rectangular graphics containing words, pictures, animation (sometimes) and, most importantly, links to an advertiser’s homepages.
Illustrations in descriptions Illustrations in the form of photographs, drawings, and diagrams are very powerful visual aids. Photographs are often used to accompany technical descriptions. By looking at the photographs, readers have a realistic view of the object. Drawings present a three-dimensional view of an object or mechanism. They are effective in highlighting specific aspects of the object or mechanism. Diagrams are often used to show the abstract relationship among the parts of a mechnism Illustrations in the form of photographs, drawings, and diagrams are very powerful visual aids. Photographs are often used to accompany technical descriptions. By looking at the photographs, readers have a realistic view of the object. Drawings present a three-dimensional view of an object or mechanism. They are effective in highlighting specific aspects of the object or mechanism. Diagrams are often used to show the abstract relationship among the parts of a mechnism
Questions for Critical Thinking and Discussion 1. Usually, what information can we learn from a technical description? 2. What are the language features of a technical description?
Exercises 1. Put the sentences back where they belong in the text about wine making: A. They are crushed mechanically. B. The bottled wine is stored in a dark cool place to prevent spoiling. C. When making white wine, the grape skins are taken out of the tanks. D. After fermentation, the wine is put into wooden casks and is left to develop its flavor and fragrance. Wine has been made since ancient times using roughly the same process. The grapes are picked from the vines and delivered to the winery. 1._________ The crushed grapes and their juice are transferred to tanks. When making red wine, the grape skins are put in the tank with the grape juice. 2.__________ The juice ferments and turns into wine. During fermentation, the sugar in the grape juice turns into alcohol and carbon dioxide. 3._________ During this time, the wine is poured from one cask to another to get rid of the solid matter which has sunk to the bottom. The wine is filtered and bottled. 4.___________
Exercises 2. Rearrange the following sentences to form into a paragraph describing a camera: A. The camera is the basic tool for recording light images. B. Cameras are equipped with various devices for controlling the light rays as they enter this opening. C. It is simply a box from which all light is excluded except that which passes through a small opening at the front. D. These light reflections are captured on a sheet of film attached to the back wall E. At the press of a button, a mechanical blade or curtain, called a shutter, opens and closes automatically. F. The lens focuses, or projects, the light rays onto the wall at the back of the camera. G. During the fraction of a second that the shutter is open, the light reflected from the subject toward which the camera is aimed passes into the camera through a piece of optical glass called the lens.
Homework Describe a device you use at school to a reader who knows little about it.