Senior Thesis

What is an abstract?

  • A good abstract explains in one line why the paper is important. It then goes on to give a summary of your major results, preferably couched in numbers with error limits. The final sentences explain the major implications of your work. A good abstract is concise, readable, and quantitative.
  • Length should be 1-2 paragraphs, approx. 400 words.
  • Abstracts generally do not have citations.
  • Information in title should not be repeated.
  • Be explicit.
  • Use numbers where appropriate.
  • Answers to these questions should be found in the abstract:
    • What did you do?
    • Why did you do it? What question were you trying to answer?
    • How did you do it? State methods.
    • What did you learn? State major results.
    • Why does it matter? Point out at least one significant implication.

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