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Structure of Abstracts

Outer context A short introduction to the field or context of the research problem addressed. This places the research topic within the larger scientific context. 1-2 lines - “The shortest introduction possible.”
Research problem / question A short introduction to the research problem. Explain the problem you are addressing, in as simple words as possible. Make sure you describe it at the right level of detail. Not too general - then you are repeating the above point; not too specific - then you leave out some context that is necessary for some of your readership. “The shortest introduction possible” - 1 or 2 lines, 4 at most.
Key Motivation 1 line on why this work was worth doing. (Make sure the justification is scientific, not personal!)
Prior attempts at addressing it If someone has addressed it, give 1 or 2 lines about this.
Why prior attempts are not enough 1 or 2 sentences
Method How did you do perform this work? 2 to 4 sentences.
Results What were your results? 1 to 4 sentences.
(Conclusion) (Sometimes authors choose to include 1 or 2 sentences to emphasize the main message or conclusion of the work described in this paper.)

General Guidelines

Keep it simple! No one ever faulted a scientific paper for being too easy to read or having too simple wording or sentence structure.
Keep it concise The abstract is the most polished part, wording wise, of scientific papers.
As simple as possible but not simpler Make sure it's easy to read but says everything.

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