HOW TO WRITE AN OUTSTANDING ABSTRACT FOR RESEARCH PROJECT

The need for final year students and undergraduates to overcome the difficulties they face when writing a standard and outstanding abstract led to the putting together of this piece by mzwriters on how to write an outstanding abstract for your projects.

Writing a good abstract is an important part of your research writing process because being the first part, it must be written to impress your project supervisor and other readers; hence understanding the techniques of writing a straight to the point and good abstract is important to make the desired good grades with your research project.

Now, what is an abstract, an abstract in straightforward terms is a summary of the whole research project, thesis. Dissertation, research journal etc. Abstracts are usually seen in the preliminary part of research paper.
Before venturing into writing a good and excellent abstract, students must first of all know the proper structure of a would-be abstract and things that should not be included when writing a good abstract for your project. This article covers all of these. So have a good time reading!

STRUCTURE OF AN OUTSTANDING ABSTRACT
For the abstracts of your research paper to be outstanding, it must follows the standard structure below:
Background/aims of Study
Research methods
Research Outcomes or Findings or Results
Conclusion and Recommendations
Now, let us examine each of the content one after the other.

BACKGROUND/AIMS OF STUDY
This is the first part of a standard abstract. It describes the main focus of the research. When writing an abstract, the main aim of the study must have been ascertained by the student. This is very important as it tells readers the point of interest. However, when writing the background/aims of your study, you should make it brief and out of the ordinary enough to encourage the readers to read your entire research work. Students must make sure that readers easily get the idea of what the objectives of the research are as well as curiosity that motivated the researcher to develop interest in the study.

RESEARCH METHODS
The research method utilized by the researcher comprises the second part of a standard abstract. Starting with a semi-paragraph or a sentence, you should describe your research methodology. This is where you concisely let your readers see your methods of data collection, research instruments utilized, population, sample size etc. Although in some institution, students are required to describe how the research instruments were validated and distributed (either by face-to-face distribution or email) as part of requirements stated in the research project format for such institutions

RESEARCH OUTCOMES OR FINDINGS OR RESULTS
This third section of a standard abstract is a concise summary of your main results and findings. Results or important findings/outcomes recorded in your research must be summarily described in the abstract.

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
This last section of standard abstracts shows your readers the conclusions, recommendations or suggestions made by the researcher. This is almost the most important section when writing a good abstract because it brings out the main purpose of the research which is solving the identified problems, innovating better ways of carrying out such research in future and contributing to the body of knowledge.

THINGS TO AVOID WHEN WRITING AN ABSTRACT
For student researchers that want to write a good abstract for their research works, the following should be observed and avoided:
Do not use Vague Words and Big Grammar
Don’t forget that the abstract is meant to present the summary of the whole research to the reader in an understandable manner. Complex and vague words/sentences can possibly discourage readers from reading the complete content of your project. The use of keywords at the end of an abstract especially for journals can let your readers know the central subject or idea of the research.
Do not Derail from the Central Subject
When writing a standard abstract, you should go straight to the point. Don’t beat around the bush. Avoid long stories and concept definitions that are irrelevant and can make your research abstract too long and boring. Definitions, concepts and other stories should be left for the main work.

Your Abstracts must not be Lengthy
Abstracts are supposed to be summarized and brief. Avoid writing many pages in the name of Abstract. An outstanding abstract should be on one page. Nevertheless, you can write more id it is directed by your supervisor or is part of your school requirements.

Research Abstracts must not be written when your Study is yet to be completed
This is particularly very important to note as many students write their abstracts before the completion of their research studies, and it is very wrong. There is no way they could have gotten the research results, conclusion and recommendations before data collection analysis and interpretation. A good abstract is intended to be a summary of your whole research work; hence it should be written when the study is completed.

Below is an example of an abstract of a project titled:

THE EFFECT OF MOTIVATION ON EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE, a case study of MZ ventures.

ABSTRACT
The main purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which motivation affects employee performance. This study was conducted using the following objectives; to examine the effect of motivation on employee performance in MZ ventures, to identify the various strategies and tools of employee motivation used in MZ ventures, to find out other factors affecting employee performance other than motivation and to find out the relationship between motivation and employee performance.
The study adopted the descriptive and explanatory design, use of questionnaires and other sources like Library for data collection. Primary and secondary data sources were used. 30 employees of MZ ventures was randomly selected for this study and data collected was analyzed using statistical package which was represented in frequency tables and percentages.
The research findings revealed that both monetary and non-monetary for of reward was used by MZ ventures as motivational tools towards employee performance, but improvement is still needed for increased motivation. Pearson correlation coefficient is 0.611 significant at 0.01 level (2-tailed), 0.00 indicates the significance of interaction between two variables an indication that the significant is under the range of 0.0 and 0.05.
Going by the results above, it indicates that there is a strong relationship between motivation and employee performance. According to the study, motivation contributes 61.1% towards employee performance in MZ ventures. Improvements should be made in the motivation packages by adding bonuses and holidays into the employee package.

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