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Writing abstract . Contents: Structure of a technical papers Writing abstract. Structure of Technical papers. http://myweb.ncku.edu.tw/~msju/mml/techwrt.htm http://www.cs.ccu.edu.tw/~ccc/article/TecWrite.htm http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~hgs/etc/writing-style.html.

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Writing abstract


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slide2
Contents:
  • Structure of a technical papers
  • Writing abstract
structure of technical papers
Structure of Technical papers
  • http://myweb.ncku.edu.tw/~msju/mml/techwrt.htm
  • http://www.cs.ccu.edu.tw/~ccc/article/TecWrite.htm
  • http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~hgs/etc/writing-style.html
slide4
A technical paper should be clear and concise.
  • The goal is to convey ideas and results to the readers in the least possible time and space. Everything about the document should contribute to this goal.
  • The notations and format should be consistent throughout the paper.
structure of a technical paper
Structure of a technical paper

A paper usually consists of the following components:

1) Title—It should be concise and to the point. For example, some publications limit the title to less than ten words.

  • Avoid all but the most readily understood abbreviations.
  • Avoid common phrases like "novel", "performance evaluation" and "architecture", since almost every paper does a performance evaluation of some architecture and it better be novel.
  • Use adjectives that describe the distinctive features of your work, e.g., reliable, scalable, high-performance, robust, low-complexity, or low-cost.
  • If you need inspiration for a paper title, you can consult the Automatic Systems Research Topic or Paper Title Generator.
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2) Abstract—A summary of the paper, including a brief description of the problem, the solution, and conclusions.

Do not cite references in the abstract.

3) Keywords—They should be selected such that a computerized search will be facilitated.

4) Introduction—This should contain the background of the problem, why it is important, and what others have done to solve this problem.

All related existing work should be properly described and referenced.

The proposed solution should be briefly described, with explanations of how it is different from, and superior to, existing solutions.

The last paragraph should be a summary of what will be described in each subsequent section of the paper.

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5) System Model —The proposed model is described. State the model assumptions clearly. Do the assumptions make sense? Use figures to help explain the model.

6) Numerical results —Based on the model, numerical results will be generated. These results should be presented in such a way as to facilitate the readers’ understanding.

Usually, they will be presented in the form of figures or tables.

The parameter values chosen should make sense. All the results should be interpreted.

Details on the simulation time, the computer, and the language used in the simulation should also be included.

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7) Conclusions —This summarizes what have been done and concluded based on the results.

A description of future research should also be included.

8) References —This should contain a list of papers referred to in the paper. If there is a choice, use a reference which is more readily available, i.e., if an author has published a conference version and a journal version of the paper, refer to the journal version.

Research reports, internal memos, private correspondences, and preprints are usually hard to access and should be avoided as much as possible.

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9) Appendix —Those materials which are deemed inessential to the understanding of the paper, but included for the sake of completeness. Sometimes, detailed mathematical proofs are put in the appendix to make the paper more readable.

10) Figures —The figures may be placed immediately after they are referred to in the text, or placed at the end of the paper.

Each figure should be readable without relying on the accompanying description in the text. Thus, all symbols used in the figure should be explained in the figure legend.

In addition, do not make the figures and legends too small.

writing abstract1
Writing abstract
  • http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/writing_center/grabstract.html
  • http://www.languages.ait.ac.th/EL21ABS1.HTM#examined%20for%20all%20systems
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An abstract is a summary of a body of information in a paragraph—100-350 words for a descriptive abstract, 100-250 words an informative abstract. An abstract expresses the main claim and argument of a paper.
  • In most disciplines, it never includes bibliographic citations. An abstract concisely highlights or reviews the major points covered along with the content and scope of the writing.
  • An abstract can also be a useful tool for writers to check that they have a clear grasp of their thesis and argument.
  • An abstract says everything of central importance in a way that gives the reader a clear overview of what is contained in the essay.
essential elements of the abstract are
Essential elements of the abstract are:
  • Background: A simple opening sentence or two placing the work in context.
  • Aims: One or two sentences giving the purpose of the work.
  • Method(s): One or two sentences explaining what was done. (Described at length only if it is unusual)
  • Results: One or two sentences indicating the main findings. (Absolutely essential)
  • Conclusions: One sentence giving the most important consequence of the work. (Telling what the results mean).
qualities of a good abstract
Qualities of a Good Abstract
  • Well developed paragraphs are unified, coherent, concise, and able to stand alone
  • Uses an introduction/body/conclusion structure which presents the article, paper, or report's purpose, results, conclusions, and recommendations in that order
  • Follows strictly the chronology of the article, paper, or report
  • Provides logical connections (or transitions) between the information included
  • Adds no new information, but simply summarizes the report
  • Is understandable to a wide audience
  • Oftentimes uses passive verbs to downplay the author and emphasize the information
voice

Modern scientific style prefers the active voice. Abstracts are often an exception, but only if the passive voice reduces the total number of letters and words.

Voice

"We measured ion concentration in the blood"

or

"Ion concentration in the blood was measured"

don ts
Don’ts
  • Do not commence with "this paper…”, "this report…" or similar. It is better to write about the research than about the paper. Avoid use of "in this paper“, what other paper would you be talking about here?
  • Do not contain references
  • Avoid sentences that end in "…is described", "…is reported", "…is analyzed" or similar.
  • Do not begin sentences with "it is suggested that…” "it is believed that…", "it is felt that…"or similar. In every case, the four words can be omitted without damaging the essential message.
slide16
Do not repeat or rephrase the title.
  • Do not enumerate a list of topics covered; instead, convey the essential information found in your paper.
  • Avoid equations and math. Exceptions: Your paper proposes E = m c 2.
  • Do not refer in the abstract to information that is not in the document.
  • If possible, avoid trade names, acronyms, abbreviations, or symbols. You would need to explain them, and that takes too much room.

The abstract should be about the research,

not about the act of writing.

where to find examples of abstracts
Where to find examples of abstracts:
  • Journal articles.
  • Read the abstract; read the article. Pick the best ones, the examples where the abstract makes the article easier to read, and figure out how they do it.
  • To spot the good ones.
example 1
Example 1

(Here is an abstract from a published paper. It is 220 words long. )

Abstract

  • Major problems of the arid region are transportation of agricultural products and losses due to spoilage of the products, especially in summer. This work presents the performance of a solar drying system consisting of an air heater and a dryer chamber connected to a greenhouse. The drying system is designed to dry a variety of agricultural products. The effect of air mass flow rate on the drying process is studied. Composite pebbles, which are constructed from cement and sand, are used to store energy for night operation. The pebbles are placed at the bottom of the drying chamber and are charged during the drying process itself. A separate test is done using a simulator, a packed bed storage unit, to find the thermal characteristics of the pebbles during charging and discharging modes with time. Accordingly, the packed bed is analyzed using a heat transfer model with finite difference technique described before and during the charging and discharging processes. Graphs are presented that depict the thermal characteristics and performance of the pebble beds and the drying patterns of different agricultural products. The results show that the amount of energy stored in the pebbles depends on the air mass flow rate, the inlet air temperature, and the properties of the storage materials. The composite pebbles can be used efficiently as storing media.
  • Helwa, N. H. and Abdel Rehim, Z. S. (1997). Experimental Study of the Performance of Solar Dryers with Pebble Beds. Energy Sources, 19, 579-591.
example 2
Example 2

(Here is a second abstract from a published paper. It is 162 words long. )

Abstract

  • The long-term performance of various systems was determined and the economic aspects of solar hot water production were investigated in this work. The effect of the collector inclination angle, collector area and storage volume was examined for all systems, and various climatic conditions and their payback period was calculated. It was found that the collector inclination angle does not have a significant effect on system performance. Large collector areas have a diminishing effect on the system’s overall efficiency. The increase in storage volume has a detrimental effect for small daily load volumes, but a beneficial one when there is a large daily consumption. Solar energy was found to be truly competitive when the conventional fuel being substituted is electricity, and it should not replace diesel oil on pure economic grounds. Large daily load volumes and large collector areas are in general associated with shorter payback periods. Overall, the systems are oversized and are economically suitable for large daily hot water load volumes.
  • Haralambopoulos, D., Paparsenost, G. F., and Kovras, H. (1997) Assessing the Economic Aspects of Solar Hot Water Production in Greece. Renewable Energy, 11, 153-167.
web links
Web links
  • http://penscanner.bellus.com.tw/howtothesis-2.html (Technical writing)
  • http://pioneer.netserv.chula.ac.th/~pkanchan/html/eap2.htm (English for Academic Purposes -Science)
  • http://www.cs.washington.edu/homes/mernst/advice/write-technical-paper.html (Writing a technical paper)
  • http://infolab.stanford.edu/~widom/paper-writing.html (tips for writing technical papers)