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Why do we care about the problem and the results. If the problem isnt obviously interesting it might be better to put motivation first; but if your work is incremental progress on a problem that is widely recognized as important, then it is probably better to put the problem statement first to indicate which piece of the larger problem you are breaking off to work on. This section should include the importance of your work, the difficulty of the area, and the impact it might have if successful.
What problem are you trying to solve? What is the scope of your work (a generalized approach, or for a specific situation)? Be careful not to use too much jargon. In some cases it is appropriate to put the problem statement before the motivation, but usually this only works if most readers already understand why the problem is important.
How did you go about solving or making progress on the problem? Did you use simulation, analytic models, prototype construction, or analysis of field data for an actual product? What was the extent of your work (did you look at one application program or a hundred programs in twenty different programming languages?) What important variables did you control, ignore, or measure?
What's the answer? Specifically, most good computer architecture papers conclude that something is so many percent faster, cheaper, smaller, or otherwise better than something else. Put the result there, in numbers. Avoid vague, hand-waving results such as "very", "small", or "significant." If you must be vague, you are only given license to do so when you can talk about orders-of-magnitude improvement. There is a tension here in that you should not provide numbers that can be easily misinterpreted, but on the other hand you don't have room for all the caveats.
What are the implications of your answer? Is it going to change the world (unlikely), be a significant "win", be a nice hack, or simply serve as a road sign indicating that this path is a waste of time (all of the previous results are useful). Are your results general, potentially generalizable, or specific to a particular case?
Why write an abstract?
An abstract is a shortened version of the first draft of a paper. It is important for several reasons:
· it provides the first chance for you to announce and cite the preliminary findings of your
· it allows you to communicate your findings to your colleagues and get their feedback;
· it is the starting point for achieving the ultimate aim of a research project, the writing and
publishing of a full paper in peer-reviewed literature.
Some useful tips that will help get your abstract accepted by the ERS
The aim of the ERS Annual Congress is to support exchange of knowledge among the international
respiratory community. Writing an abstract for the ERS Congress is an important way for you to
communicate your scientific research or clinical practice with your peers and colleagues.
The ERS receives several thousands of abstracts every year for presentation at the Congress. Each
of these abstracts is evaluated by three independent reviewers and scored (1-6) on its content and
The following information will give you some practical advice about writing an abstract, which will
then have the best possible chance of being rated highly by the reviewers and selected by the
Programme Committee for the next ERS Annual Congress.
The optimal structure of an abstract
The title should be an accurate promise of the abstract's contents. It should explain as much as
possible about the context and the aims of the study. Ideally, the title should be about 10-12 words
long, and should include the scope of the investigation, the study design and the goal. In general, it
is preferable to make the title a description of what was investigated rather than a statement of the
results or conclusions. The abstract's title should be easy for the reader to understand and should not
include jargon or unfamiliar acronyms or abbreviations. The title should not be in capital letters.
The list of authors should be restricted to those individuals who carried out the study, conceived it,
designed it, gathered the data, analysed the numbers and wrote the abstract. The author who will
present the abstract should be listed first. Every listed author should read and approve the abstract
before it is submitted.
A good abstract should address the five following questions in the relevant sections:
1. "Why did you start?" - Introduction or background
You should summarise, preferably in one sentence, the current knowledge, or state-of-the-art,
specifically in relation to the work you are presenting.
2. "What did you try to do?" - Aims and objectives
Here, you should state the aim of the study, and ideally include a short statement of the study's
hypothesis. A legitimate scientific study is not done "to prove that something is true" but rather "to
find out whether it is true." The difference may seem small, but it makes a huge difference. A
formal hypothesis shows that you were objective.
3. "What did you do?" - Methods
In an abstract, the description of the methods has to be concise, and much of the details of what was
done must be omitted. However, in a few short sentences, you can give the reader a good idea of the
design of the study, the context in which it was done, and the types of patients or measurements that
4. "What did you find?" - Results
It is important to give the main results of the study, not just in subjective terms ("We found device
X to be superior to device Y") but also in the form of some real data. You will need to choose
which findings to report here: it should be the most important data in your study, and the findings
on which your conclusions will be based. Do not include a table or figure unless you need it to
show your results.
5. "What does it mean?" - Conclusions
Here, space limitations generally limit you to a single sentence of why you think your findings are
important, and their potential implications. Keep your conclusions reasonable and supportable by
the findings of your study. Remember that if your study was restricted to certain patients, or a
particular therapy, or a specific device, its results may not extend beyond these restrictions.
Some general advice for writing abstracts
Follow the instructions
However good your study was, it deserves the best possible chance for review and presentation.
This means that you should follow the published guidelines for submission to the ERS Congress.
Use simple sentences
Unless they are basic, universally accepted abbreviations, like ARDS or FEV1, acronyms and
abbreviations should be spelled out the first time they are used in the abstract. Similarly, local
expressions and jargon should be kept out of the abstract. Keep in mind that healthcare practice
varies from country to country.
Ask your colleagues
Before the abstract is submitted, it should be double-checked for accuracy, not only of the data
reported but of the description of the methods and all other details.
Special attention should be paid to tables and figures.
Having one or more colleagues (who were not involved in the study) read the abstract and
offer constructive criticism can be extremely helpful.
Each student is to submit a 2 page abstract plan by 20th September. A group of 20% of the students will be assigned a lecturer and they should submit their abstracts and reports to the lecturer. The lecturer in-charge will approve the plan submitted in the abstract by 28th September. Once it is approved, the students will carry out more detailed work and submit a 15 to 20 page double space typewritten report on historical development, current status and future innovation that are possible on the product of their company. A 15 minute presentation based on the report is scheduled towards the last weeks. The presentation will be for 10 minutes followed by 5 minutes discussion. Groups supervised by respective lecturers to sit through the presentations and participate in the discussion.
The main objective is to thoroughly research on the product of your company. If your employer engages in strictly confidential products, you can choose a similar public domain product. You must provide a sound justification in this regard. The main focus will be on historical development, current status and future innovation that are possible on the product.
The abstract and report only should use information from public domain and should exploit research resources from library using web of science and IEEE explorer in the future innovation section. The report should follow standard format with abstract, introduction, minimum 3 chapters in the body, final conclusion and references. All students must adhere to NUS plagiarism and integrity policy. Do not indiscriminately copy information available on internet. The report will be due on or before 15th November. The front page should clearly indicate your name, matric number and lecturer-in-charge name. You can also submit report in any scheduled lecture.