Q: When selecting samples of abstracts, can I simply write 'Abstract from Author' instead of paraphrasing?
I am selecting a few abstracts that serve as a sample to show that autoethnography is an effective method of presenting the human experience coming from the suffering of trauma. Do I need to paraphrase the abstract or does it suffice to write [Abstract from Author]?
Firstly, your area of study (autoethnography) and topic sound quite interesting. (Incidentally, we’ve made some minor edits to your query, only for enhanced clarity; these don’t affect the meaning.)
Also, we wonder if instead of ‘abstracts,’ you mean ‘extracts.’ An extract simply is a portion of text taken from a document. An abstract is a short outline of a study highlighting its key aspects and presented at the beginning of the paper (even before the introduction.). [We received a related query exploring this difference very recently. You may go through it here: Could you advise on how to write the reference for a published paper?]
The thing is, the difference between the two is crucial for your topic, the methodology you have talked about (presenting samples from studies of researchers talking of their life experiences with regard to trauma), and your query.
If you are referring to ‘extracts,’ you don’t need to paraphrase them. In fact, going by the intention of your study, you should probably not paraphrase them – because that may not allow the complete feeling and emotion of each experience to come through. However, you will need to provide references, and in the case of your study, you may need to provide a lot of them.
If you indeed meant ‘abstracts,’ again, you needn’t paraphrase. However, going by the intention of your study, it may not be worthwhile to present abstracts. An abstract is a distillation of the entire study, not allowing the real experience to come through. For the same reason, paraphrasing the abstract will distil the study further.
In both cases, you’ll probably need to present your abstracts/extracts in a table – a fairly long table, from the looks of it – with one column for the author name(s) and year.
Hope that helps.
For more information on citations and references, you may go through the following resources:
- Getting the references right: citing books as a source of information
- Should I use the name of the first author or the corresponding author before "et al." in a reference?
- Should references be included in a plagiarism check?
And if you need help with editing and presenting what looks to be a very intriguing paper, you may utilize any of our variety of editing services.
All the best for your paper!