An abstract is a summary of an article, while the longer Executive Summary has a similar role for reports. The abstract may be the most important part of your article. Most people will not read more than the abstract, so make it a useful summary. Don’t make your abstract an afterthought at the end of a very long process of research, writing and review.
Make your abstract awesome:
- Keep to the specified word length.
- Convey the importance of the topic.
- Have a clear ‘takeaway” message about results.
- Make every word count.
- Define key terms and avoid abbreviations, acronyms and jargon.
As the abstract reflects your results, it should be written in either the present or past tense. Future tense is sometimes used for abstracts written to be accepted for conferences, before the content of the research is finalised.
What do you want readers to remember about your work? Make it easy for readers with an awesome abstract.
See our related blog on Short summaries take time.
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