Thursday, April 12, 2012

What is an Abstract

An abstract is how you tell your peers what your research is about and what you think your paper will be about. Imagine you are telling your fellow honors students what you have been researching. Typically, an abstract should do the following:

  1. Introduce your topic (what are you going to do?)
  2. Briefly identify your sources (what are you going to do it with).
  3. Briefly describe your methodology (how are you going to do it).
  4. So What? (why are you doing it?)
Writing an abstract is a process of sharpening your thinking about your research and writing project. Remember, it is common for researchers to alter their point of view in the process of doing the research and writing. You are not required to stick with your abstract. In fact, you will revise the abstract after you write the paper. Your abstract and paper can then become a writing sample for a scholarship award or entrance application. It can also become the first draft of a senior thesis.

Begin your topic sentence with a subject (noun), followed by a verb and a direct object. Any time you are stuck in writing, follow that format. Watch the video below, and you'll see what I mean: