The question got me thinking; how DO you make an abstract painting that works? Naturally that’s partly down to the beholder, but for me there are definitely things that makes an abstract painting feel more successful.
Does this mean we shouldn't use abstract terms? Nowe need abstract terms. We need totalk about ideas and concepts, and we need terms that represent them. But we mustunderstand how imprecise their meanings are, how easily they can be differentlyunderstood, and how tiring and boring long chains of abstract terms can be. Abstract termsare useful and necessary when we want to name ideas (as we do in thesis statements andsome paragraph topic sentences), but they're not likely to make points clear orinteresting by themselves.
An abstract must be a fully self-contained, capsule description of thepaper. It can't assume (or attempt to provoke) the reader into flipping throughlooking for an explanation of what is meant by some vague statement. It mustmake sense all by itself. Some points to consider include:
Because on-line search databases typically contain only abstracts, it isvital to write a complete but concise description of your work to enticepotential readers into obtaining a copy of the full paper. This articledescribes how to write a good computer architecture abstract for bothconference and journal papers. Writers should follow a checklist consisting of:motivation, problem statement, approach, results, and conclusions. Followingthis checklist should increase the chance of people taking the time to obtainand read your complete paper.