What is an abstract?

An abstract is usually a 1 page summary of your entire research paper, final year project, dissertation or thesis. The recommended word count for an abstract is between 200-400 words. However, this might vary from university to university, so it’s better you check from your university what is the recommended word count. - Source Academician

Why is it important?

This is the first part of the project that a reader will look at before deciding to read more about your project. In most cases, it accounts for around 10% of the final marks of a final year project, dissertation or thesis; so it is of utmost importance.

When should I write it?

It is best to write your abstract after completing the entire academic work since it summarises everything that the project entails.

What format should I follow?

While there are many ways of writing an abstract, the following guideline is ideal for writing a comprehensive abstract. This is not a rigid format but a suggestion.

Introduction - The first part of an abstract should be an introductory message to capture the attention of the reader, this could be a current trend in your area of research and/or an identified problem in that area. It should be between 50 -100 words

Secondary Research - This is also known as background study, literature review or related work. After the introductory message, a summary of 50-100 words explaining the key findings from the literature should follow suit.

The aim of research and methodology – After summarising the key findings from the secondary research, a 50-150 words summary of the aim of the study should follow with an explanation of the method of conducting the project.

Result/Recommendation – Lastly, a brief discussion of the result of the research, experiment, simulation or artefacts produced should be done as well as the most important or high priority recommendation from the experiment, simulation or artefacts. It should be between 50 to 150 words.

Abstract example (Research based project)

Below is a sample abstract about a project titled “An Investigation into the use of Data Mining tools to aid forensic investigations” following the format described above.

As data increases on a yearly basis coupled with information explosion of the World Wide Web since its inception, the amount of data to process has increased drastically. It is imperative to develop techniques to manage this huge data set to extract meaningful information; this process is popularly known as data mining. Data mining is a technique of extracting valuable and useful information, identifying trends, and hidden relationships from large chunks of data that is previously not known. - INTRODUCTION

Data mining has found application in various industry, e.g. in healthcare, customer service, business analytics, banking, insurance, forensic and so on. As criminal activities continue to increase around the world, especially cyber-crime, there is a need to develop more efficient forensic tools to analyse this ever growing data. Data mining has proved to be useful in this regard. - SECONDARY RESEARCH

This research report aims at investigating how data mining is utilised in the modern world to aid the forensic investigation. The report will also analyse how data mining technique and tools are being utilised globally while also taking into cognisance the type of organisation and individuals utilising these data mining techniques with the sole purpose of identifying trends and providing recommendations for the general forensic community. - AIM OF RESEARCH AND METHODOLOGY

The results indicate that many tools used in the forensics community are difficult to understand; also, the tools are majorly used for incident investigation and not to prevent an incident before they occur. The forensic community needs to develop a framework to prevent crimes before they occur; also, many improvements need to be done especially on the user interface and documentation of the major tools used in the industry. -  RESULT/RECOMMENDATION

Abstract example (Artefact based project)

Below is a sample abstract about a project titled “centralised cloud-based IT healthcare system for Nigeria” with the same format already discussed.

Currently, in Nigeria, there are two primary healthcare system available which are private and public (owned and run by the Government). Unlike the UK public healthcare system (NHS), the Nigerian public healthcare system does not have any centralised IT network to synchronise patient’s medical information. - INTRODUCTION

Therefore, the main challenges faced by the healthcare sector in Nigeria include drug-drug interaction and the recurrence or repeated medical examination and over-the-counter medicines purchase from pharmacists without prescription from the doctors. The principal reasons for these challenges are mostly in circumstances whereby a patient might have to move from one hospital to another and do not carry their medical reports with them when they visit the doctors. The primary cause of these problems is because there is no central IT network system to hold the medical information of patients that the doctors, pharmacist, lab specialist and so on can access when consulting with patients. - SECONDARY RESEARCH

Therefore, this project aims at introducing a centralised healthcare system on the cloud-platform for the private and public hospitals in Nigeria. The system provides access for all doctors in all the hospitals within the country to access previous medical history of their patients and insert the current examination, diagnostic reports and medications. The primary reason for selecting a cloud-based platform for the implementation is that it provides scalability, security and reliability. This report introduces the concept of the centralised cloud-based IT healthcare system for Nigeria with an explanation by creating a basic prototype design developed and hosted on Amazon Web Service (AWS). The complete list of functional and non-functional requirements of the system was derived using the case study method which considered healthcare sectors from the UK, UAE, Ghana and South Africa.  The SWOT and PESTLE analysis was performed to evaluate the concept of a centralised cloud-based IT healthcare system for Nigeria.- AIM OF RESEARCH AND METHODOLOGY

This system also adds other advantages to the country’s healthcare which are:

  • reduction of corruption within the medical sector as the system encourages transparency,
  • identification of doctors’ carelessness in diagnosis and prescriptions that endangered the patients and caused them to take required legal action,
  • the government will be able to identify the list of diseases that are common within the country and,
  • identification of doctors and take legal action against them if they lack the necessary medical qualification to practise as a doctor.


Originally posted here, how to write an abstract 

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