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Steps To Write A Good Summary Of A Scientific Article

by REX

We usually hear that an investigation that is not disseminated does not exist. For this reason, one of the most important results of any project is the communication of its results through publications, whether monographs, chapters or scientific articles. But to get your work out to as many people as possible with all that this means for your citation count you need a good business card: the abstract.

A Good Abstract Is An Invitation To Read An Article

Abstracts, along with keywords, are the means by which researchers find your work in online databases: They are the showcase for your article. If the abstract is well written, correctly structured, and provides relevant information, there are more chances that your potential readers will download, read and cite your work. Put yourself in his place! How many times have you downloaded an article whose summary was poor or contained irrelevant information?

When And How To Write The Summary?

The abstract is the first thing readers see and always appears on the first page of your article. But please, don’t let the abstract be the first section you write. On the contrary, write the summary once you have finished the rest of the sections of your work since only then can you correctly synthesize what you have written. If you do it the other way around, you will have to rewrite the summary when you finish your article.

In general, journals ask for abstracts between 150 and 300 words in length. Always check the editorial criteria of the journal with which you want to publish since they contain the maximum length that they consider appropriate for the summaries of each type of article. Other types of communications, such as conference abstract, can be longer up to 1000 words, they are called extended abstracts. However, in a magazine, they will never exceed 500 words.

What Is A Scientific Abstract?

If you want your article to be published, found, read and cited by other researchers, you must write an abstract that is interesting and helps promote your work. But a summary is not simply the trailer of your article; it is not a presentation of those sections that are most interesting to generate curiosity in the readers. Nor is it an outline of the work that you are going to write, in which you briefly present the content that your work is going to have.

A good abstract is a short summary of your work that summarizes the entire content of the article, not just specific sections. When a reader finishes reading a summary, he should have a very clear idea of ​​what he has to expect from the work. Although the information is presented in greater detail in the article, the abstract must concisely collect the research question, the methodology, and the results.

The purpose of the summary is twofold. On the one hand, it allows researchers to look for information on a specific topic to find your work. It informs them of the content, objectives, and results of the research, and, well written, invites them to read the full article.

On the other hand, the abstract plays a fundamental role in the peer review process, typical of any scientific journal. When the editors and reviewers receive your work, the first thing they will read will be abstract and, in many cases, this small text will allow them to decide whether to accept or reject the invitation to review your work.

10 Tips For Writing A Good Resume

Here are 10 tips for writing a good abstract for a scientific article that will help you increase the chances that your work will be published and have a wide audience: Once you’ve finished writing your article, review the magazine’s specifications for the size and structure of your abstract.

Define the sections of your article:

If it is a classic research paper, it will have four: introduction, methodology, results and conclusions. These will be the key elements of your summary and will help you structure the information.

Use a clear and concise style:

Avoiding vague and unnecessary expressions, acronyms and abbreviations except for those of common knowledge that cannot be misunderstood, notes and bibliographic citations. The abstract is read isolated from the text, so it makes no sense to include citations or notes whose reference cannot be consulted.

Write the abstract:

Write the abstract in a formal tone, with short sentences and a consistent style. Use the past tense for the introduction, the methodology and the results, and the present tense for the conclusions. Take care of the tone, always maintaining objectivity, consistency with the article and coherence between its sections.

Summarize the introduction:

Write a first sentence about the general problem and the background of your research; convey to the reader the importance of your study. In a second sentence, indicate its objective, relating it to the research question that your project addresses.

Summarize the methodology:

Indicate the type of study you have carried out and the key steps of the method used to achieve the objective indicated in the introduction. Summarize these steps in a sentence or two; you don’t need to include the specifics of your method. Unless they represent uniqueness in your work, do not add formulas, numbers, percentages, sample sizes, or other specifications.

Summarize the results:

Include in this section the most interesting and innovative findings of your study, but you do not need to add numbers, tables or graphs. Don’t include too many details that could confuse the reader, although you can make a brief interpretation of the meaning of the main result.

Summarize the conclusion:

In the abstract, the discussion and the conclusion can be merged, but be sure to include a clear concluding sentence. Otherwise, readers will assume that there is nothing to conclude in your study. Introduce phrases that seduce the reader, emphasizing the importance of your findings and the practical utility derived from your study.

Make sure that each sentence fulfills its function. You don’t need connectors to join the different sections, but you can help yourself with standard phrases like:

Use keywords:

Not only the 3-7 descriptors that accompany your work, but also in the text of your summary. Potential readers are going to search for keywords of the topics they are researching, so make a good mix and make sure you use relevant words that describe the content of your article well.

Abstract Is One Of The Most Important Elements

The abstract is one of the most important elements of a scientific article, as it allows readers to find your work and decide whether or not to read it. Make sure you collect all the sections of the article, but keep it short and to the point, don’t get lost in the details. Follow the ten tips that we have given you and you will be able to write a clear and attractive summary that will invite you to read the full article.

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