How to write an extended abstract? (the research is about making a prototype)?
I'm in senior high school and currently working an a research paper. The research is about a prototype that we're currently making. I am confused on how to write an extended abstract. I don't really understand how to write "results and discussion" and "conclusion" parts. Since we're making a prototype, shouldn't the results just say that "the prototype worked" or something like that?
- ExpatLv 63 weeks ago
This question is far too broad for this venue to do it justice. I’ll try to give you some assistance, but there’s more to it than I can include here. I’ve taught research writing for the last 20 years to science and engineering students and graduate students, so I speak from experience.
An extended abstract
The difference between an abstract and an extended abstract is primarily the amount of detail. An abstract gives the reader all of the main points of a paper in a single paragraph. Research writing isn’t like writing a novel or mystery story. Readers want to know straight up what did you do, how did you do it and what are your main findings and possibly how your research can be applied or something about its value/novelty, etc. According to Sigplan, “An extended abstract should contain references, comparisons to related work, proofs of key theorems and other details expected in a research paper but not in an abstract. An extended abstract is a research paper whose ideas and significance can be understood in less than an hour.” So an extended abstract is like a mini-research paper.
Writing the Results and Discussion
In this section I find it’s easier for most students and researchers to present the results of the research one at a time or in some form of logical clusters or groups. The results are presented matter of factly. “The data revealed that 82% of the subjects responded positively to the medication.” Results are also often presented in tables, charts, images, etc. This is written like so, “Table one shows the results of the paired t-tests of the students pre and post test scores.” Immediately after presenting the results, you “discuss” them, meaning you interpret the results and draw conclusions (what do the results mean or show?) Never make more of the results than they show. Be careful about suggesting that the results reveal more than they do; often our research results are uncertain, not significant or vague. Too often students will try to make more of their findings than they are worth. For example, a study might include questionnaire data with the question, “How often do you go to the movies?”, as a simple example. Let’s imagine that 40 people answered the questionnaire (20 boys and 20 girls), and the results showed 43% of boys go to the movies once a week, and 40% of girls once a week. It would be exaggerating to suggest that boys go to the movies more than girls, or like movies more than girls (the question wasn’t about if the like movies). The sample size (40 people isn’t a large size) and the results are close. You have to use what’s called “hedging”- this is when you carefully consider the strength of your results. For this example that could be accomplished with, “The results show a slightly higher frequency among the male respondents than the female respondents, but with a larger sample size the results may be different.” One more point about results and discussion. If you include a table or chart, don’t read the table in the text of your paper; direct the reader to the table and then interpret it - help the reader see whatever you want them to see, like patterns or trends in the data. Just don’t read it to them like, “For men, 23% answered once a month and 44% answered every day” etc. Or, The x axis shows the time and the y axis shows the distance” if these points are clearly shown in the table or graph. Understand?
The conclusion is not a long section, and depending on how long your full paper is will determine its suggested length, but probably one or two paragraphs will do. First of all you need to clearly answer the central research question your study aimed to answer. After that, it’s good to include some explanation about the shortcomings of the research, that is -how it could have been better, but then try to make allowances for the shortcoming. Don’t ramble here! One sentence is enough to both mention a shortcoming and excuse it. Example: “It is unfortunate the sample size was not larger, but for the purposes of this study they revealed useful details about the situation”. Second, you should make some suggestion as to the application or usefulness of the research. “These findings could possibly be useful to people in marketing or movie production.” And finally. You can include a suggestion for future research. Research often leads us to new questions, and we often share these thoughts. “Future researchers might consider examining more closely the attitudes of university students toward social media use.”
Hope that helps! Good luck!
- I'm StupidLv 63 weeks ago
Results section: present your finding
Discussion section: explanation and interpretation of results or findings by comparing with the findings in prior studies.
Conclusions section: Summarise the main points of your research. See the conclusion section in the website.