Abstracts are a major component of all projects, research works and materials in tertiary schools and colleges in Nigeria.
Writing an abstract for every research or project work is so important that it can be regarded as the eyes through which project supervisors go through your project work. The saying that the beginning of everything is so important is true and more so in project or research works. Simply put, an abstract can be defined as a brief summary of a project work, article, paper, review etc. in drafting an abstract, the chapters of your work has to be represented in as brief as possible manner, picking out the salient points in each chapter. During project presentation or defence, the research supervisor first looks at the abstract and from there alone can determine if your work, paper or is interesting enough to go through the work.
Students usually find it difficult writing a standard abstract for their project work. In other to know how to draft a good abstract, students must know how a standard abstract should look like.
A standard abstract must have the following
1. Introduction or background of the study
2. Method of research or research methodology
3. Results and findings
4. Conclusions and recommendation
Introduction or background of the study
This is usually the first section of an abstract; it introduces the topic and aims or objectives of the research and what the study intends to achieve. This part of an abstract is expected to provide an insight into what the study is all about. The introduction of an abstract should be represented in clear and simple English; try as much as possible to avoid ambiguous sentences and always go direct to the point.
Method of research
This follows the introduction in an abstract; it simply means the method of research employed by the researcher, the method of data collection, the population of the study and the means or method the data collected was analyzed.
Results and findings
The results and findings in your study follow the research methodology employed by the researcher. This section should be “brief”. Findings from the research alongside the results gotten from the analysis carried out in your work.
Conclusions and recommendation
This is the final part of a standard abstract which should contain a brief conclusions and your recommendation. This part of an abstract is an important of any abstract as it tells your project supervisor your conclusion and possible recommendation which should match or tally with the purpose of carrying out the research in this first section of the abstract.
Abstracts should be written after carrying out the research as any attempt to write an abstract before the completion of your work may lead to conflicting values and statements with the main body of your project work.
Below is an example of a standard abstract.
“This study examined the impact of budgetary control on the profitability of an organization. Thus, the importance of budgetary control cannot be overemphasized in business organizations as management needs to embark on effective budgeting to effect proper planning and control. In this regard, budgeting can be seen as a process of planning and control. Thus to examine whether budgeting control is profitable in ABC construction company. To achieve this objective, five research questions and a research hypothesis were formulated to guide this study. A standard questionnaire was used as the major instrument for data collection from 40 employees of ABC Construction Company. A sample size of 30 employees were randomly selected using the Taro Yamane’s statistical formular. The data collected from the respondents was analyzed using simple percentages and chi-square statistical tool was employed for testing the research hypothesis. The p-value of 0.001 indicates that ABC construction should make use of budgetary control to avoid lose in business. The study concluded with some recommendations that the management of ABC Construction Company should make use of budgetary control to avoid business loses”.