You are probably wondering where the abstract should be placed in your research paper: at the beginning or towards the end?
It is common to include the abstract right at the beginning (cf.
Rossig & Prätsch 2005: 89; Samac, Prenner, & Schwetz 2009: 56).
As we have established, it is a helpful tool for the reader to get an overview of the whole paper as early as possible. So, it would not be logical to put it at the end, right?
If you are presenting at a conference in your field, your audience will likely contain mostly people who will be familiar with the basic concepts you’re working with, field-specific terminology, and the main debates facing your field and informing your research.
This type of audience will probably most interested in clear, specific accounts of the what and the how of your project.Poster sessions have been very common in the sciences for some time, and they have recently become more popular as forums for the presentation of research in other disciplines like the social sciences, service learning, the humanities, and the arts.Poster presentation formats differ from discipline to discipline, but in every case, a poster should clearly articulate what you did, how you did it, why you did it, and what it contributes to your field and the larger field of human knowledge.Therefore, you can only write the abstract after you have written the whole paper.How else would you know enough about your results to give a complete record of your whole work (cf. The question of how to write an abstract is popular not just in an English-speaking context.Often, the student needs to write an abstract in not only German, Spanish, or French (depending on the country you study in) but also English.An English abstract (in addition to, say, a German abstract) is necessary to ensure that a research paper will be accessible to an international market. Also, as Samac, Prenner, and Schwetz point out, an English translation of the German text (if your thesis is in German) must be provided on the very same page to meet international standards (2009: 56).Make sure to read the sample abstracts provided on this page to get a good grasp on the major differences between the abstract and the conclusion. We've designed it so that you can visualise your Ph D on one page and easily see the main components. It asks you a few questions related to each section of your thesis. Note: Academic English is quite a bit different from academic German, Spanish, and other languages.We recommend that you read research papers in English to get a feel for the differences in style and structure (cf. Caution: The abstract is NEVER a conclusion of your research paper and it differs from the conclusion in many aspects.