The first shall be last
DOI link for The first shall be last
The first shall be last book
This chapter addresses how to write a strong title and abstract that will attract potential readers, encouraging them to download and read an article. Although these appear first, they cannot be finalized until the rest of the paper is complete. Practical suggestions are given for writing the abstract by rewriting excerpts from the main text. While abstracts in science frequently focus on the Results, the longest division of the article, abstracts in engineering often focus more on the need for and contribution of the research rather than the Process, the longest division. Evaluation of exemplar abstracts, assigning each sentence to the respective divisions, reveals the expected argument structure of abstracts in a field, as well as the number, length, and complexity of sentences. Abstracts for conference papers, theses, and other writing differ from research articles but can be evaluated the same way. Titles frequently include both the specific contribution of the research, which is closely related to the research goal, and the general research topic, and are stronger if presented in this order. The expected length varies greatly by field. Keywords, highlights, acknowledgments, and author information (common in engineering articles but not science) are also discussed.