Writing an Abstract - From a Research Project to a Journal Article - Conference Proposals and Article Types

Writing for Publication: Transitions and Tools that Support Scholars’ Success - Mary Renck Jalongo, Olivia N. Saracho 2016

Writing an Abstract
From a Research Project to a Journal Article
Conference Proposals and Article Types

Abstracts summarize the study in a word count that typically ranges between 200 and 300 words. The abstract persuades readers to read the complete study. Usually researchers depend on the abstract to identify studies that are related to their research. Therefore, the abstract provides a brief and comprehensive summary that matches the text of the manuscript (Sharp, 2002). Since abstracts summarize the whole study in one paragraph, it is important that the abstract is well-written, which means that the abstract needs to briefly describe all of the sections in the study. Use the information in Activity 7.3 to evaluate an abstract that you have written or to guide you in preparing one.

Activity 7.3: Self-Assessment of the Quantitative Research Abstract

Look at an abstract that you have written or are developing and use these questions to evaluate it (Koopman, 1997). Does the abstract:

· build motivation to read on? state the importance of the study, the problems in this area, and the contributions to the field?

· identify the problem and its scope?

· clarify the approach? Include the critical variables and the procedures used in the study?

· share the key findings? provide answers to the research questions with quantitative data?

· mention conclusions and implications? Describe the nature of the contribution made?

An abstract is self-sufficient and independent of the manuscript. It should assist researchers to immediately determine its relevance to their research. Hence, abstracts offer a concise but complete summary about the study in a well-organized, well-written, and clear style. They summarize the study by communicating its purpose, methodology, major results, and conclusions (Selvanathan, Udani, Udani, & Haylett, 2006).

Key words that define or identify topics in the study are included in the manuscript’s title page (Sharp, 2002); journals typically include them below the abstract. Readers use these key words to determine if the study is related to their research. Remember that the keywords are used for indexing purposes also, so you will want to use terminology that would be used by others when conducting an online search of the literature to make your work more accessible and increase your “academic digital footprint” (Croce, 2013).