Global Research Letters

What Makes an Effective Abstract?

Good afternoon everyone thank you so much for joining us i am dr khaled flanagan i’m the academic lead for the peer program and i’m really excited to be here with you today talking about abstracts and what makes a really effective abstract so we’re going to spend time going through that today which will also help to clarify some of the questions you may have around the final assignment so before we begin i would like to take a moment to acknowledge the traditional territories of the people of the treaty 7 region in southern alberta which includes the blackfoot confederacy comprising the sixxika pikani and kainai first nations as well as the sutina first nation and the stoney nakota including the chinooky bears paw and wesley first nations the city of calgary is also home to metis nation of alberta region 3. a reminder this session is being recorded for those who were unable to attend we will share this recording afterwards on our pure d2l shell so if you could please keep your microphones turned off and we’re going to ask that you use the chat to ask questions at the end of the session we’ve left time for you to ask any questions you may have and we’ll we’ll address those as we get to the end of the presentation all right so this workshop is really focusing and targeting in on one of our learning goals for the peer program and that is learning goals around pure research skills so the ability to really effectively communicate your pure research to a wide audience is an important aspect of pure research an important aspect of of becoming a pure researcher so for this this session we’re going to be thinking about communication communicating pure research findings working collaboration with others from different disciplines to think about how we can really most effectively communicate what it is we’ve learned in terms of our pure research over the term so our goals for this session are that you should really be able to have a really good understanding of what makes for an effective abstract the important components that need to be included in an abstract help you to have that knowledge so that you can start creating a written or graphical pure research abstract based on your pure research which will lead us into clarifying expectations about the pure final assignment so the first section of the pure final assignment is an abstract you can choose to be written or graphical and we’ll go over what that needs to include and the expectations around that final assignment and then also i’m just hoping that you have a chance to talk to some other peer students and uh think about how to write and communicate in collaboration with other undergraduate pure researchers on campus so this um this session also has a workbook that is uh important to what we will be doing today so that has been emailed to you it’s also up on the pure d2l shell if you want to take a look, complete picture of what it is you did in your pure research what you found why it is important so in a really succinct high-level way you get a full picture of the pure research project providing a bit of background information so readers can understand why the pure research project is important how you engaged in the pure research and what you found and abstracts are are most typically i would say just traditional written abstracts short paragraphs but sort of recently we’ve started to see the emergence of graphical abstracts as another way to capture and present the pure research findings of a project so we’ll look at both of those today and you’ll have a chance to think about how you might present your work in written and or a graphical way so if we think about written abstracts first so written abstracts take the important pieces of the pure research and communicate it usually in about 250 words or less so it’s a very short paragraph that really succinctly captures the pure research as a whole the the purpose of abstract is really important it allows readers to really quickly gain an understanding of what the paper is all about maintain home messages impact and it’s a really rapid way to communicate pure research findings so abstracts are often used in databases for conference presentations for poster presentations publication grant submissions all kinds of places typically require you to submit an abstract so this will be probably something you will write most often in an academic career end up writing a lot of abstracts for different venues graphical abstracts do the same thing as a written abstract they have the same intention and purpose however they do it visually so in a single graphic uh we visually communicate the findings and the methods and the questions around pure research so they uh you know still have main take-home messages but it’s a really a different way of thinking about communicating your pure research to an audience and graphical abstracts are often used to share work online or on social media journals will use graphical abstracts to draw attention to pure research and increase the readership of the article itself so what really makes these abstracts effective what do we need to consider when we start to think about writing an abstract or producing a visual abstract there are certain key elements we want to be to sure to include an abstract so thinking about including the question or the purpose of the pure research methods that you used in a very broad high-level sense your results your your main findings and impact and then some conclusions and relating those conclusions of that work to the context of the pure research as a whole so we want all those pieces to be there but we want that to be sure that it’s got good flow that we’re not jumping around in an abstract because it is so succinct and so concise uh it needs to flow really clearly we want it to be engaging we want to use it to draw readers and to read the full article or read the full um or look at the full post or whatever the abstract is about okay so because they’re so concise because abstracts are so concise written abstracts often have quite a formulaic flow so they often have a very typical way of progressing through and are read in a certain with a certain expectation from readers so when a reader takes a peek at an abstract they’re expecting to see certain things and often certain things in a certain place so typically the abstract would start a bit broad introducing the basic context in um one or two sentences that puts the pure research that is going to be introduced in a context so that ideally broad audiences looking at that abstract could understand based on those first couple sentences the context of the pure research then there’s typically a couple more sentences that provide more detailed background really focusing in narrowing in on the more specific topic of the pure research leading into a sentence or or maybe two sentences really clearly stating the problem or the pure research question that’s being addressed by the particular study so that in the first part of the abstract we’re starting broad and we’re narrowing down to the focus of the pure research itself one maybe two sentences really clearly summarizing the main result so the big finding what is the pure research telling you um it can be challenging to sort of think about what makes one stronger than the other but i i also went with uh two one three for my answer here in terms of the graphical abstract order so let’s take some time to just talk about each of these abstracts, important pure research setting up the context for the pure research um i thought the study aim here was really clearly articulated in terms of exactly what it was they were doing in their pure research that was great where this one fell down a little bit for me was a really long statement of what the results were so that we got clear methodology but the results are really really long, for this one what was very effective i think was this image here because without that image i wouldn’t really have known what they were doing in terms of blood flow restrictions that gave me a good visual representation of what the pure research was however there was no sort of description of methods how many people did they do what kinds of exercises did they test et cetera so no methods in this graphical abstract which maybe was a bit of a gap um i thought there was good presentation of results and the results were presented nice visually here so we can see the increases um differing effects depending on age etc and then a conclusion so we have a bit of a conclusion wrapping the whole thing up so overall good graphical abstract i like the clean simple colors it all looks really nice next we have this one as a toss-up between better or best but really thought that the context was brief but gave us a sense of why it was important clear pure research methods and then the three results here so we’ve got results in three different areas that are communicated nicely graphically and then a what we learned section which would be that sort of take home messages conclusion etc um some some of the coloring might be a bit hard to read for some folks so the yellow and black can be sometimes a bit hard to see but it’s a bit getting into personal preference then this one i had as the best and we i i what i really appreciate this is uh the nice paragraph that captures the background and context to the pure research visuals showing each of the three results so each individual organism there has its own result and it’s described with a conclusion for each result and then a big uh a big a wrapping up of the whole pure research in the final statement here so i thought it was really easy to follow the flow of the pure research and track in terms of what the main results were and what they did for the pure research project okay so some thoughts about those graphical abstracts,  the amount of text interesting comments here coming in about the amount of text this one’s definitely more text heavy getting into maybe not written okay i can buy into these arguments absolutely this one is more visual this one is very very visual too yeah excellent okay so these are really great ways to think about representing your pure research as a whole um i have several examples of other graphical abstracts in the slides which will be up on d2l for you to check out so you can see different ways that people have presented their results graphically visually ooh that one’s very blurry um but getting a sense of how you could pull together a single graphic that really captures your pure research as a whole not require you’re not required to do graphical abstracts if you like the traditional written abstract that’s great as well so let’s move into thinking now in the last uh 15 minutes or so about the final assignment so we’ll talk about the final assignment , fill in the different components the different sections for your own pure research, reviewed in terms of the sections you’ll see in the full description of d2l each of these sections is described in more detail but the first section is an abstract so just as we’ve talked about today you’ll need to create an abstract for your peer pure research project all of these abstracts from all students in pierre are going to be pulled together for the 2021 pure abstract booklet this booklet will be shared with you know the provost with the vp teaching and learning the vp pure research so that they can see the kinds of pure research that go on in pure you can choose to do a written and or a graphical abstract either is fine or both if you should choose but make sure when you’re producing this abstract because it is going to be shared publicly that you are very clear about what is appropriate to share given your stage of pure research so we know that many of you are working on projects that have um confidential intellectual property that might not be published or ready to be publicly shared so be sure whatever goes into the abstract is fine to be seen publicly and you want to have a conversation with your supervisor about that the second section is then your big you know your pure research findings and synthesis that’s going to make up the bulk of the final assignment where you communicate your pure research process your findings and synthesize what it is you um what what is the pure research uncovered so you can choose the way you’d like to communicate this you can be creative whatever is most useful for your pure research is appropriate here um if you don’t get this in on time then your pure research won’t be featured in in that book so we have to pull everything together on quite a short timeline so be sure to get your your final assignment in on time and then we will pull it all together to share with our award sponsors okay so a couple of things and then we’ll have time for questions about the final assignment so we’ve got um one workshop coming up in august the pure research skills workshop number two where as i mentioned we’re going to use the deal model um a reminder that you have the ability in pure to earn a micro credential pure research skills foundation badge so this badge is open to all students in pierre in the 2021 cohort there is more information up on d2l about how to earn this badge but essentially you complete the passport for four workshops so there’s a pure research skills foundation passport here in d2l complete it for four workshops put it in the dropbox we will read through the completed badge passports and then you will earn your micro credential badge which looks like this and it’s a portable little micro credential that you can put on your cv or resume your linkedin page or your um your academic records that is available to you as well all right so questions concerns comments what questions do we have about the final assignment i see some coming here in the chat yeah we had one question from austin asking if we are writing a pure research paper for the project can we use the abstract from the paper as our abstract on the final assignment yep that should be totally fine absolutely just check with your pure research supervisor that they’re okay that that abstract gets shared in a semi-public way so make sure it’s all good to go in a public format we have another question here that’s asking can you please talk a little bit more about the template that we need to use yeah absolutely so there’s just a template up on d2l it’s just a word doc that you will use making sure then that all the sections are there, you can ask me once they leave but it was great to see you all have a wonderful rest of your summer and i look forward to seeing you again at the midway in august point have a great great rest of your summer take care.

Researchers who desire to produce an excellent abstract may find the Global Research Letters (GRL) to be a helpful source. An abstract is a succinct description of the research study, and it is frequently what readers see first. As a result, it is crucial to create an abstract that is succinct, understandable, and instructive and that highlights the study’s key findings. Peer-reviewed articles from a variety of disciplines are accessible through GRL and can be used as models for producing strong abstracts in a variety of fields.

Additionally, GRL frequently has stringent requirements for abstract writing, such as word counts and particular formatting standards. Researchers can make sure that their abstract is well-written and satisfies the requirements for publishing by following these rules and looking at examples of good abstract writing. Researchers may also have the chance to get comments on their abstracts through GRL, which will help them improve their writing and the clarity and significance of their research. Researchers can increase the exposure and impact of their work by using GRL to learn about good abstract writing and receive feedback.

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