Contact How to Write an Abstract An abstract condenses a longer piece of writing while highlighting its major points, concisely describing the content and scope of the writing, and reviewing the content in very abbreviated form.
But why write when we can meta-write? ICML deadlines loom only twelve days away. And KDD follows shortly after. Thousands of papers will be submitted to each. But every rose has a thorn. Of the thousands of papers that hit the arXiv in the coming month, many will be unreadable.
Poor writing will damn some to rejection while others will fail to reach their potential impact. These days, as I work with younger students, teaching them how to write clear scientific prose, I find myself repeating these one-liners, and occasionally inventing new ones.
The following list consists of easy-to-memorize dictates, each with a short explanation. Some address language, some address positioning, and others address aesthetics. Most are just heuristics so take each with a grain of salt, especially when they come into conflict.
This can be a living document, if you have some gems, please leave a comment. Think of the abstract as the 2-minute spotlight talk advertising your paper. The points should feel like bullets. Two or three sentences to sell the details, major quantitative result, etc.
Current techniques for learning such mixtures from data are local search heuristics with weak performance guarantees. We present the first provably correct algorithm for learning a mixture of Gaussians. The algorithm is very simple and returns the true centers of the Gaussians to within the precision specified by the user, with high probability.
It runs in time only linear in the dimension of the data and polynomial in the number of Gaussians.
If you have a great quantitative result, stick the number right in the abstract and the introduction. If your paper yields a single equation that can be operationalized, stick it right in the introduction. People should read on because they are interested, not because you are teasing them by withholding information.
The first sentence is the most precious real estate in your introduction. If your paper is completely abstract and has no bearing on the real world, then it should be evaluated as a work of pure mathematics. This is especially true for your own methods.
Organization WordS are not Sentences.
Sentences are not Paragraphs. PAragraphs are not subsections. Sections contain More than one or Zero SubSections. Papers Contain More than One Section.One of the most common questions I get is whether it is acceptable to use “we” or “I” in a scientific paper.
“We” or “I” are first-person pronouns. This presentation is designed to acquaint your students with some guidelines for writing scientific abstracts.
How to Write an Abstract. An abstract condenses a longer piece of writing while highlighting its major points, concisely describing the content and scope of the writing, and reviewing the content in (very) abbreviated form.
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Place with timely delivery and free revisions that suit your needs! Scientific writing, while an indispensable step of the scientific process, is often overlooked in undergraduate courses in favor of maximizing class time devoted to scientific concepts.
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