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Academic Writing

This guide provides guidance, tips, and examples about different types of academic writing like literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, and abstract writing.

Abstract Tips

  • Write your abstract last--though thinking through or sketching an outline might help with the article itself
  • A good abstract should be:  (Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed., p. 25-27)
    • ACCURATE -- be sure to clearly state
      • the purpose of the article 
      • a description of the content in the article.
    • COHERENT -- write in
      • clear, concise language
      • use the active rather than the passive voice (e.g., investigated instead of investigation of).
    • CONCISE -- be brief but
      • make each sentence extremely informative, especially the first sentence.
      • begin with the most important points. An abstract should be dense with information.
  • Regardless of type, most abstracts are follow this format
    • Introduction
      • What problem did you study and why is this important
    • Body
      • What method(s) did you use?
      • What were the main results?
    • Conclusion
      • What conclusions can be made?

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