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What is an abstract?
An abstract is a concise summary of a completed research project or paper. A well-written abstract will make the reader want to learn more about your research, read your paper, or attend your presentation. Abstracts also serve as a summary of the research so the paper can be categorized and searched by subject and keywords.
How long is an abstract?
Generally, abstracts are limited to 200 to 300 words, but the exact word limit will be stated by the publication, conference, or organization requesting the abstract.
Components of an abstract
- · Motivation or Statement of Problem:
Why do we care about the problem? What practical, theoretical, scientific, or artistic gap is your research filling?
- · Methods or Approach:
What did you actually do to get your results? Did you analyze three plays, interview 125 students, write a memoir, invent a more powerful photovoltaic cell, or translate a book? Did you approach your subject using a specific theoretical framework, technical procedure, or methodology?
- · Results or Product:
As a result of completing the above procedure or investigation, what did you learn, create, or invent?
- · Conclusions or Implications:
What are the larger implications of your findings, especially for the problem or gap identified in Step 1?
Tips for writing an abstract
- It takes lots of revision to write a good abstract! Expect to spend some time preparing your abstract before submitting it.
- Find the main point of your paper or research and phrase it in a way that can be understood by an educated non-expert.
- You may repeat sentences from your paper in your abstract. In some cases, your paper’s introductory paragraphs may be suitable for the abstract, but they will have to be condensed and rewritten to fit the purposes of the abstract.
- Remember to use keywords important to your field of research or to use words that indicate your field (biochemical engineering, for example, or the history of Byzantine art).
- Your abstract should not be so detailed that it requires quotations, citations, or footnotes. Remember, it’s a summary!
- If you are finding it difficult to summarize your paper or research concisely, write several paragraphs initially then cut and condense it to one paragraph.
- If you are finding it difficult to meet the word limit, seek the help of an outsider reader (a friend or writing tutor) to help you cut excess words.
Data flow diagram
A data flow diagram (DFD) is a graphical representation of the "flow" of data through an information system, modeling its process aspects. Often they are a preliminary step used to create an overview of the system which can later be elaborated. DFDs can also be used for the visualization of data processing (structured design).
A DFD shows what kinds of information will be input to and output from the system, where the data will come from and go to, and where the data will be stored. It does not show information about the timing of processes, or information about whether processes will operate in sequence or in parallel (which is shown on a flowchart).
- There are some symbols that are used in the drawing of business process diagrams (data flow diagrams).
- These are now explained, together with the rules that apply to them.
Ø A double square for an external entity
Ø An arrow for movement of data from one point to another
Ø A rectangle with rounded corners for the occurrence of a transforming process
Ø An open-ended rectangle for a data store
Symbols used in DFD:
An example for DFD diagrams
FRONT END & BACK END
Front-end and back-end are terms used to characterize program interfaces and services relative to the initial user of these interfaces and services. (The "user" may be a human being or a program.)
A "front-end" application is one that application users interact with directly. A "back-end" application or program serves indirectly in support of the front-end services, usually by being closer to the required resource or having the capability to communicate with the required resource.
The back-end application may interact directly with the front-end or, perhaps more typically, is a program called from an intermediate program that mediates front-end and back-end activities.
An entity-relationship diagram is a data modeling technique that creates a graphical representation of the entities, and the relationships between entities, within an information system.
The three main components of an ERD are:
· The entity is a person, object, place or event for which data is collected. For example, if you consider the information system for a business, entities would include not only customers, but the customer's address, and orders as well. The entity is represented by a rectangle and labeled with a singular noun.
· The relationship is the interaction between the entities. In the example above, the customer places an order, so the word "places" defines the relationship between that instance of a customer and the order or orders that they place. A relationship may be represented by a diamond shape, or more simply, by the line connecting the entities. In either case, verbs are used to label the relationships.
· The cardinality defines the relationship between the entities in terms of numbers. An entity may be optional: for example, a sales rep could have no customers or could have one or many customers; or mandatory: for example, there must be at least one product listed in an order. There are several different types of cardinal notation; crow's foot notation, used here, is a common one. In crow's foot notation, a single bar indicates one, a double bar indicates one and only one (for example, a single instance of a product can only be stored in one warehouse), a circle indicates zero, and a crow's foot indicates many. The three main cardinal relationships are: one-to-one, expressed as 1:1; one-to-many, expressed as 1:M; and many-to-many, expressed as M:N.
The steps involved in creating an ERD are:
· Identify the entities.
· Determine all significant interactions.
· Analyze the nature of the interactions.
· Draw the ERD.
ELEMENTS IN ER DIAGRAMS
There are three basic elements in an ER Diagram: entity, attribute, relationship. There are more elements which are based on the main elements. They are weak entity, multivalued attribute, derived attribute, weak relationship and recursive relationship. Cardinality and ordinality are two other notations used in ER diagrams to further define relationships.
An entity can be a person, place, event, or object that is relevant to a given system. For example, a school system may include students, teachers, major courses, subjects, fees, and other items. Entities are represented in ER diagrams by a rectangle and named using singular nouns.
A weak entity is an entity that depends on the existence of another entity. In more technical terms it can defined as an entity that cannot be identified by its own attributes. It uses a foreign key combined with its attributed to form the primary key. An entity like order item is a good example for this. The order item will be meaningless without an order so it depends on the existence of order.
An attribute is a property, trait, or characteristic of an entity, relationship, or another attribute. For example, the attribute Inventory Item Name is an attribute of the entity Inventory Item. An entity can have as many attributes as necessary. Meanwhile, attributes can also have their own specific attributes. For example, the attribute “customer address” can have the attributes number, street, city, and state. These are called composite attributes. Note that some top level ER diagrams do not show attributes for the sake of simplicity. In those that do, however, attributes are represented by oval shapes.
Multi valued attribute
If an attribute can have more than one value it is called an multi valued attribute. It is important to note that this is different to an attribute having its own attributes. For example a teacher entity can have multiple subject values.
An attribute based on another attribute. This is found rarely in ER diagrams. For example for a circle the area can be derived from the radius.
A relationship describes how entities interact. For example, the entity “carpenter” may be related to the entity “table” by the relationship “builds” or “makes”. Relationships are represented by diamond shapes and are labeled using verbs.