Definition of Abstract: Purpose, Types, and Stages of Writing

Definition of Abstract – When working on a thesis or academic article, maybe you will be asked to make an abstract on the first page. Abstract itself is a summary of the contents of the writing that you make. Usually, abstracts will be made in Indonesian as well as English. But keep in mind, even though the abstract is listed at the beginning of a scientific paper, you should need to make an abstract when the scientific work you are going to write has been drafted. So you will really be able to summarize all the contents of scientific work in the abstract.

Because, it can be said that the abstract is an important part of a scientific work. Without an abstract, readers may find it difficult to understand what the contents of the writing are and the intent of the scientific work they are making. The content of the abstract itself is a summary of the entire chapter in several paragraphs, starting from the background, research methods, problem formulation, discussion, and so on.

In this article, we will discuss more fully the meaning of abstract and also the purpose of having an abstract in a scientific work. Listen until it’s finished.

Definition of Abstract

Abstract is a fairly important component in a scientific paper. The existence of this abstract is always located on the first page of scientific writing. The content of the abstract is the entire summary of the research that has been carried out by related parties. It can be said that the abstract is a component that can provide an overall picture of a research that is in the scientific paper to the examiners or to the readers. The abstract will be written in a concise, easy to read, accurate, clear and concise manner. Therefore, the total number of words in an abstract in scientific writing is generally around 250 to 400 words.

Definition of Abstract According to Experts

After understanding the abstract notion in general, it turns out that there are several experts who explain the abstract notion in a scientific paper. The following are some explanations regarding the meaning of abstract according to experts:

1. Definition of Abstract According to Frederick Wilfrid Lancaster

According to Frederick Wilfrid Lancaster, an abstract is a representation that is not only concise, but also very accurate of the contents of the scientific paper. Even though the process of writing an abstract usually uses various kinds of sentences in scientific work, an abstract is a piece of text created by the author himself. However, it should be understood that the abstract is not a direct quote from the author.

2. Definition of Abstract According to Clarence W Rowley

Clarence W Rowley stated that an abstract is a series of presentations of the contents of a scientific paper which is made concisely and accurately in the same style as the original writing.

3. Definition of Abstract According to the International Standard Organization (ISO)

According to him, an abstract is a part of a brief description but still accurate. So that it can represent the contents of a written work without the need for additional interpretation or criticism and no need to see who made the extract from the essay.


The Purpose of Having an Abstract in a Scientific Work

The existence of an abstract in a scientific work is certainly not without reason. There are several purposes that make an abstract must be in scientific writing. For those of you who may not know what the purpose of an abstract is in scientific writing. The following is a full explanation:

1. The first purpose of an abstract is to make it easier for readers to understand the core or essence of a scientific work. In addition, the abstract can also be a consideration for readers, whether they will continue reading the scientific paper or not. In fact, for readers who want to find information or select several scientific papers, reading abstracts is the best option that can be used.
2. An abstract can also be a guide for readers in reading a scientific paper. This is because in the abstract there are several details of information, analysis, and also the author’s arguments regarding the scientific paper.
3. The existence of an abstract can also make it easier for readers to be able to remember important points in scientific writing.

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So, those are some of the purposes of having an abstract in a scientific paper. From this explanation, we can conclude that the existence of an abstract in a scientific work is indeed one of the most important things. One of them is to make it easier for readers to find information in the paper.

Abstract Types

After understanding the meaning of abstract and also its purpose, the next material we will discuss is about abstract types. The abstract itself is differentiated based on the function and orientation of the readers. Meanwhile, the types of abstracts are divided into two, namely indicative abstracts and informative abstracts. To make it clearer, let’s discuss one by one.

1. Indicative Abstract

The first type of abstract is an indicative abstract. Where in this abstract there will be a brief description related to the problem in the report or scientific paper that is being made. With an indicative abstract, it is hoped that it can make the reader understand the content of the information without the need to condense the content. In this indicative abstract it is only necessary to provide an indication of the target scope of the writing.

The existence of this indicative abstract will usually be needed when scientific writing has not yet reached the completion stage, but must immediately include the abstract first. Generally this happens for certain purposes, such as seminars, symposiums, or congresses.

2. Informative Abstract

Next there is an abstract type of information which can also be said to be a miniature report or original scientific paper in which there is complete data and information. In an informative abstract, there will be several important components such as title, purpose, author, intuition, method and report analysis, research results, and conclusions. Furthermore, the information contained in an informative abstract will be presented in full by the author.

Certainly, because of this, it will make it easier for readers to understand the contents of the entire scientific paper through informative abstracts. Although these two types of abstracts are the most common we find today. But if we look deeper, there are still some types of abstracts that we need to understand. The following are several other types of abstracts in a scientific work.

a. Critical Abstract

A critical abstract is an abstract that can provide an overview of findings and key information as well as comments regarding the validity, reliability or completeness of the studio. Researchers will evaluate papers and also often compare them with other scientific papers that carry the same subject. Generally, the creation of this critical abstract will have a word length of 400 to 500 words. This happens because there are additional interpretative comments in the critical abstract. However, this type of abstract is rarely used.

b. Descriptive Abstract

Furthermore, there is a descriptive abstract, where this type of abstract will provide information found in a scientific paper. Not only that, the descriptive abstract also does not make an assessment of the work and also does not provide results or conclusions in a research conducted.

Simply put, this descriptive abstract will only provide an overview of the research in summary form. Some researchers would make a presumption that this type of abstract is an outline of the work rather than a summary. As we discussed earlier, this descriptive abstract is a very short summary of only about 100 words or less.

c. Abstract Highlight (Highlight Abstract)

Then there is also the abstract highlight or highlight type. This type of abstract is generally specifically made to attract the attention of readers to the research that has been done. In this highlight abstract, there is nothing artificial. This is because there are paper images that are balanced or complete. Incomplete and prominent comments can also be used as a trigger for reader interest. Then, this type of abstract cannot stand independently from related scientific writings. This makes this abstract rarely used in academic writing.

Those are some explanations about abstract types that are important for you to understand. Each type of abstract has its own function. Of course, you can create an abstract according to your needs.

Abstract Writing Structure

Although the abstract only has a small number of words. However, within the abstract itself there are also several important structures. Here are some important structures that must be in an abstract, including:

1. General information about the research that has been done
2. Purpose of the research that has been done
3. Reasons for doing the research
4. Research methods used
5. Findings from the research carried out
6. Keywords consisting of three words, or combinations of words

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Those are some of the important structures in abstract writing. After understanding all matters relating to the content of the abstract, the next material we will discuss is the stages of abstract writing. Of course this is very important because we will immediately understand the practice in writing an abstract.

Stages of Abstract Writing

After understanding the structure that is in the writing of the abstract. So next we will understand how the stages in the writing process. There are five stages that we need to do so that the written abstract can be better and can make it easier for readers to understand the intent of the abstract. The following are some of the steps needed in writing an abstract of a scientific paper.

1. Write the Research Background

In the process of writing an abstract, you can explain and explain the background of the research. Give some arguments that can underlie why you are doing this research. Then don’t forget to also teach about hats or issues and problems that will be raised in the research. Also provide an explanation of why you chose that topic.

After that, you can also explain about the unique things that are in the research that has been done. So that the scientific paper research that you do really needs to be done and deserves to be written. In this section, readers will get an overview of the reasons why the authors conducted the research they took.

2. Explaining the Research Methods Used

The method that is in scientific writing is one of the obligations that must exist. Without this research method, a scientific paper that is being written will not have a strong foundation and data can be broken easily by examiners. This research method can be interpreted as a research tool used to solve problems that have been raised in a study.

This method should be included in the abstract of the paper so that it is easier for readers to see an overview of how the author conducted the research. With the research method written in the abstract section, this will allow readers to get an explanation of how the author processes research data. Because, with this, the data processing process can indeed be more easily accounted for.

3. Provide an Explanation Regarding Research Results

After discussing the background and research methods in the abstract, the next step is to explain the explanation of the research results obtained. In the process of writing the results and also the findings of the research that has been done, it will be written briefly so that the reader can more easily understand what was obtained from the research. Then, don’t forget to also provide important information from the research results that have been obtained.

4. Give a Conclusion

Conclusion is a part that you should not miss in the process of writing an abstract. In this concluding section, there will be the author’s interpretation of the research he has done. After completing searching for data, processing the data, and conducting data analysis and finding the results of the research conducted. Then what is the author’s view of all the processes that have been carried out? That view can be written in the conclusion section and this conclusion section will also be written more concisely in the abstract section.

5. Enter Keyword

Finally, write down the required keywords. Keywords will make the abstract part look different from other parts in scientific writing. Later, these keywords will be written at the end of the abstract paragraph. For the process of making these keywords, it can be taken from the important points in the research title.

Those are some explanations about the stages that you can apply in the process of writing an abstract of a scientific paper.

So, the conclusion is that in making an abstract, you also need to pay attention to the abstract writer himself such as the words and also the spacing of the words used. Because, writing an abstract is indeed different from other parts which can use a relatively large number of words. In abstract writing, it will usually be written concisely and only requires around 200 to 400 words.

Then for the spacing used in abstract writing, usually only 1 or single spacing. If in the abstract there are words written in English, then you can change them in italics. But in general, abstracts for scientific papers will usually be written using two language versions, namely Indonesian and English.

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