Focusing Your Research By Writing the Abstract First

Focusing Your Research By Writing the Abstract First

LibParlor Contributor, Allison Hosier, discusses how writing an first that is abstract help clarify what you are writing about.

Allison Hosier is an Information Literacy Librarian during the University at Albany, SUNY. She’s got published and presented on research pertaining to practical applications associated with ACRL Framework for Information Literacy as an element of information literacy instruction. Her research that is current is on examining the metaconcept that research is both a task and a subject of study. Follow her on Twitter at @ahosier.

In 2012, I attended a series of workshops for new faculty on how to write your first article that is peer-reviewed step-by-step. These workshops were loosely according to Writing Your Journal Article in 12 Weeks by Wendy Laura Belcher.

Our first assignment? Write the abstract for the article.

This advice was shocking to me in addition to other new scholars in the space at the time. Write the abstract first? Wasn’t that the part that was designed to come last? Just how can you write the abstract in the event that you don’t even comprehend yet what your article is going to be about?

We have since come to view this as the most useful piece of writing advice I have ever received. To such an extent that I constantly try to spread the word with other scholars that I meet, both new and experienced. Continue reading “Focusing Your Research By Writing the Abstract First”