As you have probably already noticed, in academia it all comes down to the way research is brought to daylight. A scientist will never be considered a true scientist if he or she is not seen as such by his/her own community. In other words, having good research is hardly enough to be successful in a science career; you have to learn how to share it, as much as you can and as efficiently as you can.
Abstracts are powerful tools to generate interest about your research among your target audience. Apart from providing a complete and general overview of your scientific project, with meaningful statements and an engaging discourse, it is possible to create high levels of expectation in those who you want to impress. If you think your manuscript is lacking this extra linguistic spark to win over more and more interested groups, consider text editing services by Elsevier. Our professionals know how to adapt content to the desired output format, with special focus on the logic and flow of information. This way, you will be able to create a proper impression on your target audience without having to worry that the main scientific message in the manuscript is altered or distorted.
After completely drafted, a scientific manuscript may have several output formats. Generally, a researcher’s first step is to submit their research for publication in a journal of reference in their field of study. In this way they can perpetuate their own work and hope to be referenced in other articles, hopefully in highly ranked publications by renowned experts. Other ways of sharing scientific knowledge can be through public presentations, posters, participations in debates and conferences, etc. Every one of these forms – and many more outlets – will add visibility to your research and ultimately to you, as a scientist.
However, for all of these, you need to persuade someone – it could be a publisher, a sponsor, an event promoter, or a conference organizer – that you and your work bring something new and relevant to this project. That is where an abstract comes into play, and because there are so many ways to present a paper, there are also many ways to let your audience know about what you have to offer.
Writing an Abstract for Research Paper Presentation
All types of abstracts are similar in their structure and main aspects:
- It must be short – Normally abstracts aren’t longer than 250/300 words. Presentation abstracts can be even shorter because a lot of the information will come across orally and through visual aids that cannot be displayed in this type of document. Newcomers often struggle to summarize their papers into a single paragraph, but the one thing you need to keep in mind is to capture the absolute essence of your research and create curiosity and excitement around it.
- It must stand on its own – Most of the time, an abstract is all a conference organizer will read about your research before he or she decides whether your presence adds value to the conference or event. Avoid bringing up other authors, or research that is not your own, and keep focused on the topic you want to explore in your presentation. Also, do not include or mention visual content in your paper.
- Use a well-defined structure – Using a basic but efficient structure will help you keep a well-organized abstract. On the one hand, the reader will feel guided throughout the text; on the other hand, it is also useful for authors to divide information and choose key points, thus keeping their abstracts clear and professional. A possible and frequently used structure could be: Introduction + Title + Problem statement + Approach + Results + Conclusion(s). Note that just like many publishers, conference organizers also have their own submission guidelines. Before sketching your own abstract, check with the organization if you need to follow any special structure.
So, what makes a paper presentation abstract any different?
- A (super) engaging title – An abstract title must be always appealing, but for a conference or event that is even more true. Remember that your audience is making a personal effort – concerning time and money – to attend a certain event. A strong, impactful and engaging title might be just what you need to convince people that it will be worth it to attend your presentation.
- Adjust the scope of your research – Your presentation will be almost certainly included in an event with a broader theme. Make sure you describe your paper from an angle that puts your research in a central and/or relevant position, always taking the conference’s theme into account.
- Pay special attention to context – You will be looking at your audience in the eye. It is important that the people who want to see you can relate their own work with yours. In the case of a conference presentation, or any other public presentation, we recommend that you get to know your audience. If necessary/or possible, narrow the context of your work a little more, in order to come closer to your groups of interest and the global reality surrounding the event.
The importance of an abstract in a research paper
An abstract has two very important functions:
Indexation – The amount of scientific information produced every day is overwhelming. That is why databases all over the world use abstracts to index scientific papers. A well written abstract, and the right selection of keywords, are all you need for your work to be found among millions of others.
Selection – As mentioned before, abstracts are mainly very concise descriptions of a paper. designed to help people make a quick decision if it is of their interest or not. They should be written in direct and clear language, but also be compelling enough to engage possible readers and interested researchers to follow your work.
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