Of the two examples below, which is the better abstract?
Example 1: For this report I examined the effects of deforestation on the Australian environment and habitat of native animals. Trees are used for heaps of products and therefore we need to cut down trees to make them. Cutting down the trees is bad for the environment and is only getting worse as the years go on. I researched a range of sources to find information about the topic.
Example 2: The purpose of this report was to examine the effects of deforestation on the Australian environment and habitats of native tree-dwelling animals. The report reviewed the development of industrialisation over the past decade and what the plant material taken from forests is used for, such as paper, cardboard, and furniture. Reports and articles were reviewed to gather data, as well as statements from logging companies such as Wespine. It was found that deforestation is negatively impacting the Australian flora and fauna, and is steadily increasing as demand for wood-based products rises. It is recommended that more sustainable practices be conducted such as reforestation (i.e. tree planting) and the rehoming of native fauna.
(i) The first example is not the best example of an abstract for a few reasons. Firstly, it is not an appropriate length and does not include everything that will be covered in the report, such as recommendations for how to combat the issue. Secondly, the language is informal (“heaps of products”) and is written in the first person/active voice. Lastly, the abstract lacks specific detail about what materials are produced from wood and what sources were studied to obtain the report’s information.
(ii) The second example is the better abstract as it is a well-rounded summary of what the report will cover. It states the purpose, the methods of investigation, the findings, and the recommendations. The sentences are written with formal/academic language, in the passive voice, and are past tense where appropriate. This abstract is also a sufficient length of around 100 words, but could include further information on what the impacts on the environment were.