Ah . . . the abstract: the oh so academic act of summarizing work that’s often still in progress. Your project’s not finished, you’re still not sure if everything coheres, and the thing’s so deep you wouldn’t dare reduce it to a single paragraph. I know this. I don’t particularly enjoy writing abstracts, either. But abstracts are necessary beasts. Aside from giving your readers a quick snapshot of your project, they also force you to articulate—in a precise fashion and in exact numbers—what, exactly, you are up to. So . . . in response to this prompt, please post an abstract that includes:
The aim of your essay and its motivation/purpose,
Your research question (although it does not need to be articulated as a question),
Your research method (how you are doing what you are doing),
Your results/discovery (what you are learning),
The implications of your results/discovery (or why your project matters, and for whom), and
The trajectory of your essay (what you plan to do with it in the future).
This one should be written entirely in words. Despite Blake’s abstract of humans (pictured above), we’re going with the academic standard here.
Your abstract should:
Be no more than 250 words.
Be one concise and exact paragraph.
Include a title for your essay, three keywords for it, and a one-sentence tagline describing it. (The title, keywords, and tagline are not part of the word limit. See more below.)
Be written for educated, non-expert audiences (e.g., academic types who might not be familiar with our course material) and avoid jargon.
Summarize your work as it stands, instead of becoming an idea hike into unventured regions (that is, avoid speculations).
Mobilize terms and concepts (including your keyword) from the class (again, for educated, non-expert audiences).
Demonstrate, through concise language, how your essay’s motivation, question, method, results, and trajectory are related.
The abstract should appear like so:
Project Title (in quotation marks)
Your Name, Your Major/Program
Tagline (in italics)
The Three Keywords Describing the Project (separated by commas)
Body of Abstract (no more than 250 words, one paragraph)
Your abstract is due—on the class blog—before class on Thursday, May 27th. Your abstract, together with the three keywords and one-sentence tagline, will accompany your final essay.
Want examples? See the class blog for three of them.
Please print your abstract and bring it to Thursday’s class meeting. Double-space, please. (It should probably fit on one page.) If, for Thursday’s class meeting, you have not finished your abstract and printed it, then there’s no need to attend.
Don’t forget! Every entry on the blog should be categorized and include an image and three tags. The category for this entry is “abstract″.
Did you forget how to embed a custom image? Here’s a review of how-to.
See me with questions!