How to write an effective journal article abstract

Hand extended welcominglyHave you heard the saying “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression”? For most research articles, the abstract is the first – and possibly the last – impression an author has on a potential reader. If ineffective, the researcher will move on to the next abstract in the search results. If effective, your article will be read further, and potentially cited in the new research.

The ability of your abstract to encourage the researcher to read further determines whether you have an opportunity to make an impact with your article. So how do you ensure a quality first impression? [Read more…]

The TAA Blog has a new name: ‘Abstract’

Hello my name isWhat’s a blog without a name? Isn’t it the name that says what the blog is all about? With that in mind we decided “News & How-tos” wasn’t really fitting or explanatory enough for what the TAA blog is all about—we’re so much more than news and how-tos!

To help you better understand our blogging mission and to better fit our academic audience, we’ve renamed it Abstract. Wikipedia defines abstract as “a brief summary of a research article, thesis, review, conference proceeding or any in-depth analysis of a particular subject or discipline, and is often used to help the reader quickly ascertain the paper’s purpose.” It’s perfect. Not only does that fit our academic audience here, but the purpose of our blog, which is to help our readers quickly ascertain the often complex world of textbook and academic writing and publishing.

We hope you love it as much as we do!

5 Tips for writing a journal article abstract

When writing an abstract, consider its aim. An abstract is Writing Anxietyintended to tell the reader the basic, most important aspects of your work so that he or she can decide whether or not to read the rest of the paper.

Those five basic aspects are:

  1. What it is that you’re talking about (the subject matter)
  2. Why he/she should care (why the subject matter is important)
  3. What you found (or hope to find out) about the subject matter (what your research question or intention is)
  4. How you learned (or intend to learn) about the subject matter (the research methodology)
  5. What your conclusions were (when appropriate–conclusions don’t belong in the abstract of a dissertation or thesis proposal)

[Read more…]