How to write an abstract?

 Every student from freshman to senior year is assigned to write an abstract several times per semester. However, not all students know about such a kind of  work as an abstract-summary. The article will not only help to understand what it is, but also reveal the peculiarities of writing this type of work.

To date, in educational practice is used several varieties of abstracts, the most popular of them – Abstract-Review and Abstract-Resume. 

Despite the requirement of objective presentation of information, the abstract-review should not turn into a mechanical retelling of the text of the primary . The abstract should highlight what deserves attention because of novelty or practical value. Only such work will be appreciated in the end.

Abstract-Review is written on the basis of several sources of information on a topic. The abstract-summary is a summary of information on the basis of one source. The main condition for this type of work is the absence of subjective thoughts. 

There is also a synonymous name of the abstract-summary – indicative abstract. Sometimes students are misled by the name informative abstract (abstract-abstract). This type differs from the abstract-summary in the fact that in addition to a brief description of the provisions of the primary source contains information about the research methodology, its technical side.

Having learned that in the abstract-summary the essence of one source is briefly stated, students often confuse it with the abstract. Let’s try to lay out what is  and what distinguishes these works.

Common characteristics: refer to secondary documentary sources of information; compression (reduction) of the amount of information in order to quickly familiarize the reader with the content of the source; sifting out the secondary, redundant examples, facts, illustrative material; selected information is presented in a systematic form.

Differences: the purpose of the abstract – to list the main issues or problems of the primary source; the abstract-summary is not limited to listing problems, it briefly dedicates the reader to the essence of each of them; if the abstract is limited to the reference or recommendation function, the abstract is also an independent carrier of scientific information; the volume of the abstract is more than the abstract.


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