Enhancing the Writing of Scientific Abstracts: A Twophased Process Using Software Tools and Human Evaluation

Ethel SchusterSandra Maria AluísioValéria D. FeltrimAdalberto Pessoa JúniorOsvaldo N. Oliveira Júnior

In this paper we describe a two-phased process used to enhance the writing of scientific abstracts. The process consists of using a writing tool together with a formal rubric to achieve the overall goal of helping students produce well-written, clear, and publishable abstracts in English. Our work showed that students who must write scientific abstracts can benefit significantly with (1) practice, (2) support writing tools and (3) formal evaluation techniques provided by a strict rubric. The use of such tools can enhance the student’s level of confidence and thus enable them to improve the structure of their abstracts while the use of formal evaluation techniques can provide a unifying mechanism to evaluate a text for the students and for the research advisor. Moreover, in terms of successful writing, the writing tool itself can help extend its knowledge base for uncovered research topics when the rubric is implemented as a computer facility.

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