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The abstract is the only text in a research paper to be written without using paragraphs in order to separate major points.Approaches vary widely, however for our studies the following approach can produce an effective introduction.It is not to be a step by step description of everything you did, nor is a methods section a set of instructions. By the way, your notebook should contain all of the information that you need for this section.
Summarize the study, including the following elements in any abstract.
Try to keep the first two items to no more than one sentence each.
An objective of organizing a research paper is to allow people to read your work selectively.
When I research a topic, I may be interested in just the methods, a specific result, the interpretation, or perhaps I just want to see a summary of the paper to determine if it is relevant to my study.
For example, "In order to learn the role of protein synthesis in early development of the sea urchin, newly fertilized embryos were pulse-labeled with tritiated leucine, to provide a time course of changes in synthetic rate, as measured by total counts per minute (cpm)." This sentence provides the overall question, methods, and type of analysis, all in one sentence.
The writer can now go directly to summarizing the results.However, use complete sentences and do not sacrifice readability for brevity.You can keep it concise by wording sentences so that they serve more than one purpose.A major goal of this course is the development of effective technical writing skills.To help you become an accomplished writer, you will prepare several research papers based upon the studies completed in lab.The reader may only be interested in one formula or part of a procedure.Materials and methods may be reported under separate subheadings or can be incorporated together.Our research papers are not typical "lab reports." In a teaching lab a lab report might be nothing more than answers to a set of questions.Such an assignment hardly represents the kind of writing you might be doing in your eventual career.To this end, many journals require the following sections, submitted in the order listed, each section to start on a new page. Some journals call for a combined results and discussion, for example, or include materials and methods after the body of the paper.The well known journal does away with separate sections altogether, except for the abstract.