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Abstract - An abstract is NOT another introduction. Its purpose is to enable potential reader determine whether your work is relevant to the work he or she is undertaking. When searching the Index and Abstract data bases of the library to acquire suitable material to start your literature research you will have used abstracts for the same purpose. Most likely you will have wanted the author to keep it concise and to the point. The abstract should consist of the following two or three parts: A short statement of the problem
A brief description of the methods and procedures used in collecting the data A condensed summary of the findings of the study. This is optional and in practice depends on the complexity of the findings. Abstract may be written in structured or unstructured form. In their most basic form, structured abstracts is based on following headings where possible: Aims and objectives; Background, stating what is already known about the topic; Design; Methods; Results; Conclusions, stating what this study adds to the topic. The abstract should accurately reflect the content of the paper. The abstract should not include references or abbreviations. The abstract should be followed by two to six keywords, which accurately identify the paper’s subject, purpose and focus. Abstract should emphasize new and important aspects of the study or observations. Authors must use this document as a basis of their articles. Abstract should not exceed 200 words.
The introduction basically explains to the reader in more detail some or all of the following points: Why you have undertaken the study and written the report
The assumptions which were made in the study
Definitions of relevant terms used in the report
The scope of the investigation, i.e. what is covered and what is not The methods used (often included...
References: Smith (1991b) ..., etc.
(In this case, Smith (1991a) would be the text you referred to first in your report.)
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