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The research analyzes the different approaches to reducing traffic congestion in the UK and provides conclusions and recommendations for future implementation.
A descriptive abstract:
outlines the topics covered in a piece of writing so the reader can decide whether to read the entire document
only the main topic, purpose, along with an overview of the contents
Very short--only a sentence or two
is like a table of contents only in paragraph form
does not capture the content of the piece--unlike an informative abstract
does not fulfill the other main goals of abstracts as well as informative abstracts do.
therefore descriptive abstracts are less and less common.
Subjects’ car clocks were set ten minutes fast in order to determine if deliberately setting a clock ahead will reduce lateness. One group of subjects knew their clocks had been set ahead, while a second group of subjects was not informed of the change. Over a four-week period, the subjects who were aware of the clock change regularly arrived on time or late for their scheduled appointments. Over the same period of time, the subjects who were unaware of the clock change tended to arrive early or on time for their appointments. Data suggest that intentionally setting a clock to run fast does not reduce lateness because one accounts for that extra time in his or her schedule.
A technical/scientific abstract would also include key statistical detail.
An informative abstract
provides detail about the substance of a piece of writing
makes clear what the research is about
gives key information from each section of the article or report
indicates how it was carried out
summarizes the main findings and conclusions
Example of format
Identifying information (bibliographic citation or other identification of the document)
Concise restatement of the main point, including the initial problem or other background
Methodology (for experimental work) and key findings
Informative:Based on an exhaustive review of currently
available products, this report concludes that
none of the available grammar-checking software
products provides any useful function to writers.Descriptive: This report provides conclusions and recommendations
on the grammar-checking software that is currently
From Consortium Library of UAA / UAP
Abstracts may also vary depending on the type of study or project being described. A few examples include:
Empirical study -- describes (1) the problem under investigation (2) the participants, identifying characteristics such as age, sex, ethnic group (3) essential features of the study method (4) basic findings (5) conclusions and implications or applications.
Literature review or meta-analysis -- describes (1) the problem under investigation (2) study eligibility criteria (3) types of participants (4) main results, including the most important effect sizes, and any important moderators of these effect sizes (5) conclusions, including limitations (6) implications for theory, policy, and practice.
Theory-oriented paper -- describes (1) how the theory or model works and the principles on which it is based and (2) what phenomena the theory or model accounts for and linkages to empirical results.
Methodological paper -- describes (1) the general class of methods being discussed (2) the essential features of the proposed method (3) the range of application of the proposed method (4) in the case of statistical procedures, some of its essential features such as robustness or power efficiency.
Case study -- describes (1) the subject and relevant characteristics of the individual, group, community, or organization presented (2) the nature of or solution to a problem illustrated by the case example (3) questions raised for additional research or theory.