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Common Assignments: KAM Abstracts

Basics

Abstracts have specific formatting rules that should be followed.  For example, page numbers should not appear on the abstract page, and the abstract should be flush left (rather than indented).  Each abstract should be properly labeled with a heading that is centered and in plain text, and the abstract should be limited to 120 words or fewer.  There should be an abstract for each section, Breadth, Depth, and Application, prior to the main text of the KAM.

In addition to the formatting requirements, each abstract should concisely summarize the subject, methods, purpose, and results of each KAM component. Think of it as being similar to the information on the back of a DVD case that lets you determine whether you want to watch that movie. Your abstract should give your readers a clear idea of what you cover in your KAM component and the conclusions you draw in it. Many students find it helpful to write their abstracts after they write their KAM components; that way, they have a clear idea of what their components include before they summarize them.

Breadth Abstracts

Example #1

In this Breadth section, I explore the concept of the jury system and its historical context, growth, and development.  I examine deliberative democratic theory and decision theory as they relate to the jury system. Further, I analyze how different jury systems across the world are conducted and have changed over time. I then examine the development of both civil and criminal law trial systems, notably in Canada, Germany, France, Australia, Britain, Brazil, India, China, Japan, and the United States. I further examine the effects of the jury system on social change in the administration of justice and public policy making. I conclude that there are genuine reasons for reforming the jury system. (Kennedy Marange, Breadth)

Example #2

In this Breadth essay, I compare and contrast Bandura's model of self-efficacy with Benner's skill-acquisition model for novice registered nurses in emergency departments.  In addition, I discuss the use of Knowles's theory of andragogy as a conceptual framework for these nurses.  I also discuss the relevance of Benner's skill-acquisition stages to the development of emergency-room nurses.  Lastly, I synthesize the theories of Bandura, Benner, and Knowles to develop a specific model and approach to emergency nursing care. (Laura Gallagher, Breadth)

In these abstracts, the students summarize the topics of their Breadth components and list the chief theories that they examine in these portions of their KAMs. Note that these students also include clear purposes for their Breadth sections--in the first example, the student's Breadth lays a theoretical groundwork for reforming the jury system, and in the second example the student uses the theories she read to develop a learning model for emergency-room nurses.

Depth Abstracts

Example #1

The conclusions I made in the Breadth component form the foundation for contemporary research in the Depth component, in which I examine scholarly literature on moral decision making and its effect on the establishment of business legitimacy.  Furthermore, in the Depth component, I compare and contrast the conceptual framework of Bandura, Kohlberg, and Skinner with current literature as they relate to the development of moral reasoning for accounting professionals. I then identify 3 major influences on the decision-making process of accounting professionals. If accounting professionals had a better understanding of these influences, they could more easily avoid the effects of bias in their business decisions. (Delores King, Depth)

Example #2

In the Depth component, I examine current research on social-emotional development and its impact on learning. For this investigation, I examine current scholarly articles on the effects of poverty on emotional development.  Integrating the themes of the Breadth and the current research of the Depth, I have used this section of the KAM to provide educators with knowledge on the influence the environment has on the emotional development of children. Furthermore, educators will be able to identify this influence and will be better able to support the emotional intelligence of their students.  (Anneka Wiggins, Depth)

In these abstracts, each author describes the topic of her Depth component, the methods she uses to explore that topic, and the connection between the ideas in her Breadth and the ideas in her Depth. As with the Breadth abstracts, each author also includes a clear purpose for the Depth component.

Application Abstracts

Example #1

In this application, I use the knowledge gained from the Breadth and Depth components to develop business strategies that entrepreneurs can use to form alliances with the Small Businesses Administration. The goal of this Application is to help entrepreneurs raise capital for their businesses by partnering with the Small Business Administration, which could lead to greater profitability for their businesses.  The Application contains a business plan model that entrepreneurs can incorporate into their own business operations. (Wesley Palmer, Application)

Example #2

For the Application component, I design and implement a new national prevention program for workplace violence involving postal service employees.  In a PowerPoint presentation and an informational paper, I link the theoretical concepts from the Breadth and Depth with the Application objectives to identify and employ techniques and strategies to decrease occupational stress, reduce occupational stressors, and prevent workplace violence. (Gregory Campbell, Application) 

Each student here uses concise language to give readers a clear understanding of his Application component’s design and the way that it could lead to social change. He also specifies how the Application builds on the theories and analysis of his Breadth and Depth sections.