Nov. 18, 2011

How to Write an Abstract

by NIMBioS

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Writing an abstract is a very specialized skill for communicating the results of a scientific study. The abstract must follow writing conventions, distill the most important information from the research into 150-250 words, and be aware that this single paragraph will be the most widely seen and re-read portion of the entire paper. This slide presentation introduces what an abstract is, why it is important to write it well, general guidelines, and some abstract writing strategies. Although abstract writing is usually begun in college courses, these tips will be useful to anyone interested in learning how to write an abstract.

Worksheets: Writing the Abstract (pdf) (docx)

Materials Needed: Worksheet, pencil, computer


In Biology by Numbers, learn about the ways math can solve biological problems. Produced by the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS). NIMBioS brings together researchers from around the world to collaborate across disciplinary boundaries to investigate solutions to basic and applied problems in the life sciences. NIMBioS is sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture with additional support from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

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