Abstract Examples For A+ Essay
“And add an abstract at the very beginning of your work…” I bet that everyone heard these words at least once in their life. Moreover, this short phrase commonly drives students into a stupor. Well, let me spare you a problem and teach some simple rules to write a good abstract.
Rule 1: Write Your Paper BEFORE Starting an Abstract
Surprisingly, many students start their work on the project with attempts to compose an abstract. Please remember that writing an abstract first is an awkward approach that is commonly a failure.
I can suggest at least two reasons why you should write an abstract AFTER the paper is done.
- Whenever writing an abstract first, you put yourself at a risk of composing a thesis instead. The critical difference between a thesis and an abstract is that the former introduces the main idea of your work, while the latter suggests a review of it.
- After your work is completed, you have a clearer understanding of what should be included in the abstract. So, do not put the cart before the horse by reporting the findings you have not obtained yet.
Rule 2: Make Sure You Understand the Requirements for Writing an Abstract
Your professor will commonly tell you what is expected of a good project abstract. In case you do not have specific instructions, consider observing such requirements:
- An abstract is between 250 and 300 words and summarizes the key aspects of the work.
- The abstract template includes a purpose of the study/research problem, research design/methodology, key findings and interpretation of obtained results.
Every time you doubt whether to include specific information in your abstract, remember this rule-of-thumb:
“Imagine yourself as a researcher planning a similar study. If abstract was the only part of the work available, would the amount of data be sufficient to repeat the study? “
If the abstract tells a complete story about the study, then it is of a high quality. In turn, absence of important elements indicates the need to review what has been written so far and to make adjustments.
Rule 3: Determine the Type of an Abstract to Write
The ability to determine which type of abstract to include is half the success. When writing this, imagine the readers swallowing convulsively while they believe there are dozens of abstract types to learn about.
Fortunately, composing the right abstract is a fairly easy task. Basically, you are to distinguish between two types of abstracts:
Descriptive Abstract Example
The main task behind writing a descriptive abstract is to outline the topic under study. In many respects, descriptive abstract is like an expanded table of contents, a look at which helps the reader to decide whether he/she wants to familiarize with the entire work or not.
The sample below will help you understand how the descriptive abstract looks like:
Summary of the Federal District Court’s Ruling on FDA’s Jurisdiction over, and Regulation of, Cigarettes and Smokeless Tobacco
“On April 25, 1997, Judge William Osteen of the Federal District Court in Greensboro, North Carolina, ruled that FDA has jurisdiction under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to regulate nicotine-containing cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. The Court held that “tobacco products fit within the FDCA’s definitions of drug and device, and that FDA can regulate cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products as drug delivery devices under the combination product and restricted device provisions of the Act.
With respect to the tobacco rule, the Court upheld all restrictions involving youth access and labeling, including two access provisions that went into effect Feb. 28: (1) the prohibition on sales of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products to children and adolescents under 18, and (2) the requirement that retailers check photo identification of customers who are under 27 years of age.
The Court also upheld additional access and labeling restrictions originally scheduled to go into effect Aug. 28, 1997, including a prohibition on self-service displays and the placement of vending machines where children have access to them. The Court also upheld the ban on distribution of free samples, the sale of so-called kiddie packs of less than 20 cigarettes, and the sale of individual cigarettes. However, the Court delayed implementation of the provisions that have not yet gone into effect pending further action by the Court.
The Court invalidated on statutory grounds FDA’s restrictions on the advertising and promotion of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. Judge Osteen found that the statutory provision relied on by FDA, section 520(e) of the Act (21 U.S.C. 360j(e)), does not provide FDA with authority to regulate the advertising and promotion of tobacco products. Specifically, the Court found that the authority in that section to set “such other conditions” on the sale, distribution, or use of a restricted device does not encompass advertising restrictions. Because Judge Osteen based his ruling on the advertising provisions on purely statutory grounds, he declined to consider the First Amendment challenge to those parts of the rule. The government is appealing the advertising portion of the ruling.”
Even a cursory glance is enough to see that the descriptive abstract neither summarizes the key content, nor performs major functions outlined below. This is, obviously, the main reason for which descriptive abstracts are not common in the academic world, and you should consider writing informative abstracts whenever possible.
Informative Abstract Example
Unlike descriptive abstracts, informative abstracts provide key information about a project. Many students and scholars look through an abstract to decide whether they want to read the entire work or not.
So, make sure that your informative abstract includes the following elements:
- Identification of the work (e.g. bibliographic citation)
- Problem statement/background
Now look at the informative abstract sample below and try to detect the above mentioned elements in it:
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Proposed Revision of Special Regulations for the Gray Wolf
“On November 22, 1994, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published special rules to establish nonessential experimental populations of gray wolves (Canis lupus) in Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho. The nonessential experimental population areas include all of Wyoming, most of Idaho, and much of central and southern Montana. A close reading of the special regulations indicates that, unintentionally, the language reads as though wolf control measures apply only outside of the experimental population area. This proposed revision is intended to amend language in the special regulations so that it clearly applies within the Yellowstone nonessential experimental population area and the central Idaho nonessential experimental population area. This proposed change will not affect any of the assumptions and earlier analysis made in the environmental impact statement or other portions of the special rules”
I’m sure it was an easy task, and you are ready to polish your work by using some effective tips for writing an A+ abstract.
Rule 4: Refine an Abstract, and Your Piece of Writing Will Shine!
A good abstract SHOULD NOT include:
1. Passive Voice
Your professor is likely to frown every time you use the passive voice. So, writing “the study investigated the effect…” is often better than “the effect was investigated…”
Still, there is an exception to every rule, and there are cases when the passive voice is an absolutely justified option.
2. Lengthy background information
Please, avoid making your readers tired before they even start reading your work!
Leave your sources at the end of the work.
4. Abbreviations, jargon and confusing terms
Remember that your task is to interest the readers, not to scare them away.
5. Images, illustrations etc
Abstract is hardly the place to show your artistic talents.
Now you can see that writing an abstract can be fun. I hope these tips will help you to come with an A+ abstract, since you deserve it!