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Advanced Technical Communication

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Presentation on theme: "Advanced Technical Communication"— Presentation transcript:

1 Advanced Technical Communication
Writing an abstract

2 This paper discusses research which was undertaken in the author’s country. A theoretical framework is developed from a literature search and this is used by the authors as the basis of an analytical model. The researchers collected data within this framework and analysed it according to the precepts laid down by earlier researchers in the field. The data is used to demonstrate that our understanding can be significantly increased and this is discussed in the light of previous work. Conclusions are drawn and it is shown that these may be useful for practitioners.

3 What is an abstract? An abstract is a short summary of a larger piece of work, typically a thesis, a research article or a presentation, which gives a more detailed description than is conveyed by just the title. An abstract should be a distillation of the substance of, for example, the article and as such should be able to stand alone and be understood in isolation from the larger work.

4 What is an abstract? It should therefore not be a trailer, containing just selected highlights, designed to solicit an audience, nor simply an introduction which describes what is to follow but does not contain information about the substance of the work.

5 What use are abstracts? The first stage in submitting a paper to a scientific conference is usually to submit an abstract. These are then refereed and this evaluation often determines whether you are invited to give an oral presentation or to present your work as a poster.

6 What use are abstracts? For research papers, the function of an abstract is to enable you to determine if you are interested enough to want to learn more by reading the full article. This was true long before the advent of the Internet and electronic bibliographic databases. The largest journal in the world is Chemical Abstracts published by the American Chemical Society.

7 What use are abstracts? With the explosion of information made available by the world wide web and the concomitant need for electronic searching abstracts provide an essential tool for locating publications about particular topics or containing sought-after data. Hence the more clearly they convey the content of the original publication, the more useful they are in helping the reader decide whether it is worth the effort involved in obtaining and reading the original.

8 Writing an abstract The technique of writing succinct summaries is a valuable skill in nearly all walks of life, for example: Making a business case; Summarizing recommendations; Producing briefings; and Formulating procedures.

9 Writing an abstract - an example
An abstract for a research paper should contain at least a sentence about the following, within the word limit (typically100–300 words): The purpose and scope of the study; Its importance or relevance; The method(s) and design used to carry out the research; The key hypothesis; The most important result(s); The main conclusion(s).

10 Writing an abstract - an example
A good abstract should accurately reflect the content of the paper and include only information contained in the paper. It should also be self-contained, and so should not make use of specialist abbreviation or acronyms. It should also be concise, with every sentence there because it is essential.

11 Writing an abstract - an example
As the abstract is a summary, it should not include any information or interpretation additional to that in the body of the paper. Above all, a good abstract should be clear and easy to read.

12 Writing an abstract - some more hints
Do not write in the first person, avoid the use of ‘we’, ‘the author’, ‘the writer’ and ‘I’. Do not start the abstract with ‘this paper…’ or ‘this report…’. Do not begin sentences with ‘it is suggested that…’ or ‘it is believed that…’, ‘it is felt that…’. These words are unnecessary Avoid ending sentences with ‘…is reported’, ‘…is analysed’ or ‘…is described’, which are not specific enough.

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