Elements of structure in an abstract:
An abstract is a self-contained, short informative or descriptive summary of a longer report or thesis. The format of your abstract will depend on the work being abstracted. An abstract of a scientific research paper will contain elements not found in an abstract of a literature article, and vice versa. However, all abstracts share several mandatory components, and there are also some optional parts that you can decide to include or not. An abstract of a social science or scientific work may contain topic specification, background information, purpose statement, methodology and data, results/findings, and implications/conclusions.
When preparing to draft your abstract, keep the following key process elements in mind.
(1) Reason for writing
What is the importance of the research? Why would a reader be interested in the large work?
What problem does this work attempt to solve? What is the scope of the project? What is the main argument/thesis/claim?
An abstract of a scientific work may include specific models or approaches used in the larger study. Other abstracts may describe the types of evidence used in the research.
An abstract of a scientific work may include specific data that indicates the results of the project. Other abstracts may discuss the findings in a more general way.
What changes should be implemented as a result of the findings of the work? How does this work add to the body of knowledge on the topic?
All abstracts include:
(1) The full citation of the source preceding the abstract;
(2) The most important information first;
(3) The same level of language found in the original, including technical language;
(4) Key words and phrases that quickly identify the content and focus of the work;
(5) Clear, concise, and powerful language.
Abstracts may include:
(1) The thesis of the work in the first sentence;
(2) The background that places the work in the larger body of literature;
(3) The same chronological structure of the original work.