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Abstracting

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by

Ivelina Slavova

on 19 September 2013

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Transcript of Abstracting

Abstracting
Abstracts vs. Summaries
We do NOT write summaries of the articles;
We write brief and informative glimpses that tell what the articles are about;
We do not explain the articles;
We do not necessary summarize all the article's major points;
We do not need to explain what the author thinks;
We need to paraphrase;

The Structure of Abstracts
1. Introductory Sentence
a statement of the article's main focus or idea;
captures the Who, What, Why, and Where of the article;
starts with an introductory phrase:
“The article reports that...”
“The article discusses...”
“A letter to the editor is presented...”
“A review of several books is presented...” etc.
Write for the researcher
The article discusses/ presents/ reports /...../ with particular focus paid to /....../. The author examines /....../ and reviews /....../. Topics include /.../, /..../, and /..../.
What is Abstracting?
Abstracting is the process of compressing an article's main points into an abstract.
An Abstract is:
the
resource
used by researchers for determining if the article focuses on the concepts they are researching;
a glimpse of the main idea that tells what the article is ABOUT;
brief and informative;
The Structure of Abstracts
2. Supporting information
follows the introductory sentence;
is about 2-3 sentences, depending on length requirements;
provides information that expands on the introductory sentence;
highlights important facts or concepts that complement the article’s main focus as defined in the introduction
Abstracts
are written in full sentences;
are written using US English for all non-English articles or to the type of English used in the original article (if in English);
follow proper grammatical conventions;
are written using paraphrasing;
Examples:
"The article discusses how the U.S. state of New Jersey responded to the Hurricane Sandy in 2012."

"The article discusses reasons why corporate mergers, acquisitions or restructuring may fail."

"The article presents an interview with Michael W. Allen who is a software developer, chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) at custom e-learning company Allen Interactions."
Examples:
"The author reviews the preparations made before the storm, the actual landfall of the hurricane as well as the problems that emerged after the flood waters receded. Special focus is paid on the reaction of the specialized rescue units in the state and the local urban search and rescue team, the New Jersey Task Force 1 (NJ-TF1)."

"Special attention is paid to common reasons such as ignoring cultural integration, losing objectivity, inadequate planning, and the lack of adequate training of leaders and supervisors. High expectations are also reviewed as a potential reason why a merger may fall through."
Abstract Length
Abstracts could be:
Short (one sentence) - up to 300 characters and up to three headings;
Regular - between 300-500 characters and 5-8 headings;
Long between 500-800 characters and 6-12 headings;

Abstract length depends on two factors:
what type of article it is;
and what the magazine is “scripted” for;
Scripting
Scripting is a requirement that comes from the client for a particular issue and is usually valid for a whole journal. Scripting helps us decide what abstract we should write (short, regular or long).
Abstract Type
Abstract types are determined by the type of article being abstracted (letter to the editor, interview, book review, etc.);
Different article types require different abstract lengths and required headings;
The most common article type is simply "Article";

Author-Supplied Abstracts (ASAs):
Those are abstracts that have already been written for articles by its author or its publisher

If an ASA already exists, do not write a proprietary abstract. You would only need to assign headings (based on the article, not only on the ASA).
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