Abstracts are perhaps the most important part of a manuscript because they are often the only part that is read and used as an information source. They are also used by readers (consciously or not) to decide whether to read the full article, and editors often use the abstract to determine whether they will send out a manuscript for peer review. The abstract therefore serves not only as an essential information source but also as an advertisement for your manuscript and for you and the other authors.
This is the first of two articles that shows you how to shorten your abstract. This first article describes how to shorten abstracts by eliminating unnecessary content and using plain language. The second article will describe how to use linguistic devices to reduce the word count. The accent of these two articles is on preparing informational and descriptive abstracts for publications, but these considerations also apply to conference abstracts.
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