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What should you include when writing a descriptive abstract?

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Quick Answer

A descriptive abstract should contain a heading, an introduction and a body, preferably on a single page, according to Penn State College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. However, individual educators might prefer different formats for the abstract.

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Full Answer

The heading section of a descriptive abstract should contain a title including the word “abstract,” keywords and bibliographic information, states Penn State College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. Bibliographic information of the author comes next. After the bibliography, list the keywords.

The introduction part should provide a summary of the background information on the topic. The introduction should also contain the statement of purpose.

The body should explain what the reader should expect in each chapter. This part acts as a detailed table of contents for the reader. The reader makes a decision whether or not to go ahead and read the whole document or skip to specific parts of the document. According to the Penn State College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, some professors might expect the author to state his or her opinion at the end of the descriptive abstract. Use bullets to emphasize some key points in this section. Section headings are not necessary unless the abstract is too long.

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