Guidance notes for Assignment 1: Abstract writing.
You will be given two research articles with the abstracts removed from them. You need to read and summarise both articles in the form of journal article abstracts. These can be found in the assessment tab on the BlackBoard module. An abstract is a summary of a research article which outlines the purpose, method, main findings and conclusions of the study. Abstracts are utilised by researchers and students to identify whether the article is of use before continuing to read the article in its entirety. Therefore it should be concise, accurate and informative.
You will find abstracts on every research journal article you read so there are plenty of examples out there for you to understand the style. There are also step by step guides and additional sources on how to write abstracts in the assessment tab on blackboard.
A good abstract covers the following information:
- Importance of the topic/ research background
- Purpose of the research/ research aim
- Description of the method including data collection method, demographics of participants (e.g. number, age range, gender, ethnicity if provided in the article), data analysis technique
You will need to cover all of these components to submit a complete abstract.
In addition to your two abstracts, you should write a glossary of key research terms you have used in the abstracts you have written. This essentially means providing definitions of the terms in your own words. You can select which terms you feel are most relevant to include in your glossary. The glossary is included in your word count. Your glossary should be cited.
Writing style tips:
The maximum word limit for this assignment is 1000 words. Whilst the usual +10% guidance applies, as in all assignments, remember that a skill we are testing here is your ability to describe research in a concise manner and so you should try to remain within the word count.
You should write your abstracts in appropriate academic style: this means you should use 3rd person, correct research terminology and avoid using colloquial terms and phrases.
There are several styles to write your abstract which you have been given examples of, due to the diversity of the social sciences studied in health you can chose your personal preference for this. Therefore you can use subheadings in your abstracts OR write them as a single piece of prose.
The two abstracts should be of roughly equal length but do not need to be in the same style.
A reference list in Harvard style should be provided. This should include the citations you have used for your glossary terms.