Do you know what an abstract is? It is a short description of a written document which is often required of students to be handed in along with other papers. The main purpose of any abstract is to provide relevant information about the document so that readers could get the bare-bones information on the content without reading the text itself. However, abstract is not a summary, it is more a critique and evaluation of an intellectual resource but an objective one.
- accurate: it should contain only information from the original document
- brief: it should highlight the most relevant points and written in precise language
- clear: jargon or colloquialisms are not acceptable. Acronyms should be explained.
Make sure you follow these rules:
- Never refer to the author or name the type of the document
- Use active verbs and complete sentences
- Use as less unknown terminology as you can.
- Explain each unknown word to the average reader in simpler words.
There are two types of abstracts: an informative abstract and an indicative abstract. The first one is usually written for a strictly-structured document, such as survey or an investigation. The second one is written for a less-structured document, such as an essay, editorial, or book).
The main difference between these two types of an abstract lies in the number of the parts. Informative abstract is made up of four parts: purpose, methodology, results and conclusions while an indicative abstract comprises of the scope, arguments used and conclusions.