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A central issue is the lack of structure in standard advice on abstract writing, so most authors don’t realize the third sentence should point out the deficiencies of this existing research.To solve this problem, we describe a technique that structures the entire abstract around a set of six sentences, each of which has a specific role, so that by the end of the first four sentences you have introduced the idea fully.How to Write an Abstract The first sentence of an abstract should clearly introduce the topic of the paper so that readers can relate it to other work they are familiar with.
For example, “The importance of epistasis¬—non-additive interactions between alleles—in shaping population fitness has long been a controversial topic, hampered in part by lack of empirical evidence” is an excellent example of an introductory sentence that both states the main topic (the role of epistasis in shaping population fitness) and describes the problem (the lack of empirical evidence in this area).
Thus, it immediately grabs the attention of the reader.
The abstract is perhaps the most important section of your manuscript for several reasons.
First, the abstract is the first section that is read by journal editors when deciding whether to send your manuscript for review.
So here’s a simpler one: (1) In widgetology, it’s long been understood that you have to glomp the widgets before you can squiffle them.
(2) But there is still no known general method to determine when they’ve been sufficiently glomped.
Update : This page gets lots of hits from people googling for “how to write an abstract”.
So I should offer a little more constructive help for anyone still puzzling what the above really means.
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