Writing the Abstract
A guide to writing conclusions in abstracts for Addiction
Addiction publishes abstracts that are clear, accurate and succinct. Each abstract conclusion must provide the main generalisable statement resulting from the study. In other words, abstract conclusions should function as stand-alone statements that report the study’s main findings in terms that are meaningful.
Abstract conclusions should consist of one or two sentences that contain no abbreviations, no items that belong in an earlier section of the abstract and no musings on what future studies might try to determine (though statements that explain how the current research will affect future research are fine). None of the following or similar empty phrases should be used in the abstract conclusions (or in the findings section):
• Our findings support/indicate/suggest/show…
• The results support/indicate/suggest/show…
• This research supports/indicates/suggests/shows…
• The results from this study support/indicate/suggest/show
• We conclude…
• It is argued that…
• More research is needed to…
• Future research/studies should…
To illustrate these guidelines, below are eight abstract conclusions taken from papers accepted for publication. In each case, we edited the original conclusion to provide a better citable statement.
1. ORIGINAL ABSTRACT CONCLUSION
At present, it is not possible to interpret the evidence with any degree of certainty. Future research should consider that the distribution of alcohol consumption data is likely to be skewed and that appropriate measures of central tendency are reported.
The conclusion does not explain what the current study found and talks unnecessarily about what future studies should accomplish. The main findings are probably buried in the results section of the abstract.
Computer-based interventions may reduce alcohol consumption compared with assessment only, but the conclusion remains tentative because of methodological weaknesses in the studies.
2. ORIGINAL ABSTRACT CONCLUSION
We conclude that the public should be informed that the addition of caffeine to alcohol does not appear to enhance driving or sustained attention/reaction time performance relative to alcohol alone.
The conclusion begins with the unnecessary phrase ‘we conclude that’. Removing this phrase provides a shorter, clearer, more easily citable statement.
The addition of caffeine to alcohol does not appear to enhance driving or sustained attention/ reaction time performance relative to alcohol alone.
3. ORIGINAL ABSTRACT CONCLUSION
The rapidly rising densities of private liquor stores in BC during the study period appears to have had a significant local-area effect on rates of alcohol-related death.
The phrase ‘in BC during the study period’ is vague and potentially confusing. Spelling out ‘British Columbia’ and providing the period of study creates a clearer, more useful abstract.
The rapidly rising densities of private liquor stores in British Columbia from 2003 to 2008 appears to have had a significant local-area effect on rates of alcohol-related death.
4. ORIGINAL ABSTRACT CONCLUSION
The major finding in this descriptive study of American Indian smokers is that traditional use of tobacco is not a detriment to quitting, and may in fact be correlated with greater cessation. However, this protective effect appears to diminish considerably if the person smokes traditional tobacco. Significantly more research is needed, both to verify these findings related to the influence of traditional tobacco use and to create more effective, culturally-tailored smoking cessation programs for American Indian smokers.
The conclusion is wordy: the phrase ‘The major finding in this descriptive study’ is unnecessary and the final sentence reflects upon what future studies might achieve. Also, one of the major findings of this study was buried in the results section.
American Indians appear to show low levels of awareness of effective pharmacotherapies to aid smoking cessation but those who use 'traditional tobacco' report somewhat longer periods of abstinence from past quit attempts.
5. ORIGINAL ABSTRACT CONCLUSION
Patterns of alcohol and drug use vary across industry and occupational groups indicating the need for tailored and targeted interventions. Alcohol use at work is widespread, in contrast to the relatively low prevalence of drug use. A substantial proportion of workers who use these substances may under estimate the extent to which their drug and alcohol use may negatively affect workplace safety.
The conclusion does not provide detailed findings. A better conclusion was constructed using data from the findings section.
More than 1 in 20 Australian workers admit to having been intoxicated at work by alcohol and almost 1 in 30 report working while intoxicated by psychoactive drugs. The rates are higher for some industries, such as the hospitality industry, than others.
6. ORIGINAL ABSTRACT CONCLUSION
Pregnant HIV-infected IDUs in Ukraine had worse clinical status, poorer access to PMTCT prophylaxis and HAART, more adverse pregnancy outcomes and higher risk of MTCT than non-IDU women.
The conclusion contains several undefined abbreviations.
Pregnant HIV-infected injecting drug users (IDUs) in Ukraine have worse clinical status, poorer access to prevention of mother-to-child transmission prophylaxis and highly active antiretroviral therapy, more adverse pregnancy outcomes and higher risk of mother-to-child transmission than non-IDU women.
7. ORIGINAL ABSTRACT CONCLUSION
While most menthol smokers said they would not be happy with a ban on menthol cigarettes, more said that they would respond by quitting smoking altogether than seeking out a black market for menthol cigarettes.
The conclusion does not provide a generalizable statement but is instead phrased to reflect the study’s specific findings.
Preliminary evidence suggests that a significant minority of adolescent smokers of menthol cigarettes in the US would try to stop smoking altogether if such cigarettes were banned.
8. ORIGINAL ABSTRACT CONCLUSION
The 1976-1985 birth cohorts for men and the 1981-85 birth cohort for women appear to drink more heavily than earlier or later birth cohorts indicating the need for prevention efforts targeting these groups and the expectation of increased future alcohol-related problems and harms in these cohorts.
The conclusion does not explain that the study was conducted in the United States and ends with general observations better expressed in the body of the paper. Phrasing is also awkward.
In the United States, men born between 1976 and 1985, and women born between 1981 and 1985 appear to have higher alcohol consumption than in earlier or later years.
Any essay about drug abuse is the projection of your personal opinion concerning a particular question. Here you are going to deal with drug abuse – an ominous problem that disturbs people of all ages and triggers not only health problems of the person who is addicted but also social turmoils like the increasing rate of deaths, murders, thefts etc. However, there are other effects of that drug make on people. It is commonly known that there are particular types of medical drugs that can cure severe illnesses and disorders. People subsist on drugs usually to relieve pain when they have cancer and other destructive disorders. As you see, this topic may be treated from several perspectives. That is why when you are assigned with the essay on drugs try to decide which line of reasoning you will choose: for or against, or both. A discursive essay will be even more interesting and thought-provoking than a short paper.
Before starting writing your first sentence, keep in mind which type of paper you are going to complete, to avoid essay editing then. Argumentative essay will provide evidence to support your arguments in favor or against drugs as such. Expository essay on will give you the opportunity to express your attitude towards the topic you have and propose your own argument connected with the topic.
Structure of drug abuse essay
The common structure of an essay is not exquisite and something hard to understand. This assignment is usually not more than one page long and encompasses three to five core parts. The number of paragraphs depends on the type of an essay. If you have more ideas and arguments to promote make the text bigger and include more details but remember it is still an essay and you need to be pretty concise and informative.
Main parts are:
You may find an example of introduction to a drug abuse or other pre-made parts to have a general idea of what you need to complete. Pay attention to key phrases, appropriate vocabulary, cohesive devices to make you text understandable for the audience. Among cohesive devices we may name deixis, repetition, linking phrases, synonyms etc. With all these peculiarities, your work will be of the highest level.
Introduction part is the core of an essay. There are some people that read just an introduction and then decide whether they are engaged with the topic and thesis statement you present. This paragraph may explain the topic you are describing and pondering and provide some background knowledge about the topic. Center of attention should be thesis statement that will contain the idea from the whole essay. Engage your readers by inserting a joke, a rare statistical information or the fact that they probably do not know.
Body paragraph or paragraphs present examples, reasoning, arguments and whatever develops and specifies the topic and your thesis statement. Make your sentences and reasoning sound convincing. A good writer will win over the audience and get their sympathy. Start with less powerful arguments and proceed with the more persuasive ones. Very often you can turn to persuasive devices as referring to the authority, including statistical information, making your voice sound more vivid and more convincing.
“Drugs is a death”
“The uplift that you get after taking drugs is deceitful”
“Think of you in perspective after continuously taking drugs”
“What is the positive way to implement drugs?”