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The abstract should not create suspense: Making it very clear early on what your results are will help the reader evaluate the relevance of your paper.
When you write your abstract, you have to spill the beans and make it very clear what the reader can expect from your work, particularly as far as the results are concerned.
Keep in mind: Your abstract should not just focus on what you did.
An English abstract (in addition to, say, a German abstract) is necessary to ensure that a research paper will be accessible to an international market. Also, as Samac, Prenner, and Schwetz point out, an English translation of the German text (if your thesis is in German) must be provided on the very same page to meet international standards (2009: 56).
Note: Academic English is quite a bit different from academic German, Spanish, and other languages.
The abstract is perhaps the most important section of your manuscript for several reasons.
First, the abstract is the first section that is read by journal editors when deciding whether to send your manuscript for review.
Make sure to also talk about your results and the conclusions you can now draw. However, do not make the mistake of assuming that an abstract is something rather general. When asked to write an abstract for your bachelor’s or master’s thesis, you are expected to deliver a very precise summary of your whole paper.
That means you have to emphasize the increase in knowledge and the new insights gained (cf. You might have heard the term ‘summary’ referring to an abstract of a research paper (cf. An abstract’s right to exist is founded in its purpose of helping a potential reader to quickly find out if it is worthwhile to read the whole paper (cf. For this reason, an abstract has to offer everything the reader needs in order to evaluate the relevance of a research paper for their own work.
Similarly, once your work is published, it is the first section that is examined by readers; in many cases, it is the only section of the manuscript that they will ever read.
This is in part because most literature databases index only abstracts, and access to full-text articles is often restricted.