Meh, that will be temporarily treated by Saturday. And your comments were atypically un-ogrish. :tongue:ZapperZ said:Consistent with being the ogre that I am (no smart comment from you, Moonbie dear!), I will say that I'm very weary about what's going on here.
Agreed. Without ever having read the manuscript, I have no idea if our comments are on track at all with what is actually being presented, so we have to limit discussion here to stylistic points and as an exercise for illustration. Andre, don't rely solely on our advice, which is based only on your former version of the abstract. If there is a problem that makes it inconsistent with the text, then our advice is going to be useless for the actual abstract you need to write, but should give you some pointers of how your thoughts can be condensed and organized better into an appropriate format.Initially, the issue what was being addressed for the FORMAT of the abstract. I know that I was addressing just that. Why? Because it is meaningless to address the CONTENT of the abstract without first reading the whole paper AND understanding the main points that are being conveyed. One typically writes the outline of the paper (listing all the important points/figures/data to be highlighted), then the paper, and THEN, at the end, the abstract. One does this while keeping in mind the specific journals one is thinking of submitting. Notice I said JOURNALS, not journal, because often, one has a shortlist of a few journals that one has narrowed down.
Yes, the abstract is always the LAST thing to write. There's no point writing it if you don't know what direction the paper has taken yet.But the point I'm trying to get across is that one very seldom can make content judgement of an abstract to be submitted till one has (i) read the whole paper and (ii) read the FINAL version of the paper.
Agreed. And those would also be the best indicators of the stylistic requirements for the journals in that particular field.There is one thing that I find rather puzzling. In doing something like writing a research paper, one presumably had to do a lot of reading of other previous publications in peer-reviewed, scholarly journals.
I have to disagree to some extent about submitting manuscripts formatted according to the journal typesetting though. Perhaps that is done in physics, but I'd send back a manuscript sent to me in that format. In my field, manuscripts are always double spaced, numbered lines, 1 inch margins, 12 pt font. Reviewers want room to jot notes to themselves as they read. The only thing that needs to conform to the final formatting requirements are figures if the journal doesn't reduce them themselves (those requirements vary considerably from journal to journal).
There is a difference between realizing your format doesn't fit the "norm" and knowing how to write it so it does. I'm not sure what is the case here. If you read a lot of articles, as you must have if you are at the stage of writing up your ideas, then you must see what the style requirements are (and if you aren't sure, pick up the latest issue of that journal and flip through it). But, certainly it's typical for a student to look at their own work and say, "How can I possibly fit all of what I want to say into only 2500 characters?!" First versions of abstracts by a novice writer are either overly long and need a good deal of condensing, or are incredibly brief and lacking in sufficient detail. I've seen both extremes and both are common novice mistakes. However, that is why students don't write papers without an advisor to point out the mistakes and guide them toward the correct path.I am fully aware that anyone starting to write such a thing will need to learn stuff on how to do this and do this well. I am just puzzled why we have to go this far back, considering that there is already many available guidelines, presumably already seen by anyone who has done any considerable "research" work or any literature search on sources. There is seldom a clearer lesson than looking at an EXAMPLE of one.
Oh, and not only do you need to have read papers to write a paper, you need to have read tons of articles before you even choose the project you're going to work on! How do you know what has and hasn't been done for you to find your own work to do if you haven't read a good chunk of literature before starting?