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Why is writing a research report and an abstract part of the research process?

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There are several reasons for writing an abstract:

  1. Reestablish the topic of the research
  2. Give the research problem and/or the main objectives of the research
  3. Indicate the methods used to obtain this research
  4. Present the main findings
  5. Present the main conclusions

With the emphasis on main findings and conclusions, it is essential that the abstract include all key words of the research report as these words will enable databases which other researchers will search.

As for reporting on the research, documentation is important--always!  Here is an example:  Long after Charles Darwin had done his research on natural selection, Darwin read that another man was going to write a report that purported natural selection as a theory.  When Darwin read this, he hurried and had his work on natural selection and the theory of evolution published.  Had he not written these reports of his research that he could access, someone else would have been credited with these famous and controversial theories.

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