Six Steps to Write an Abstract

1. Introduce the topic

  • Try to communicate what is the specific topic the paper or poster will focus on.
  • Assume the reader is generally familiar with the research area at hand.

2. State the problem addressed by the research

  • What’s the key focus or central question?
  • Build on the first sentence, which introduced the overall topic.
  • If you cannot identify a key focus or central question, then you don’t yet understand what you’re trying to write about it. Take a step back and figure that out before moving to the next step.

3. Summarize why this problem exists

  • Explain how your work is different from what’s been tried before.
  • But avoid re-hashing all the studies that were done before your work.
  • Instead, focus on what was missed by previous research.
  • Phrases such as, “previous work failed to address…….,” or “previous work overlooked………” can be useful.

4. Explain how the research question was addressed

  • How did you analyze your data or information to be able to answer the question stated in #2?
  • Did you run experiments?
  • Did you use statistics?
  • What did you measure?

5. What were the findings of the research conducted?

  • What is your response to the question stated in #2 based on the completed work?
  • What is new about your idea or approach?

6. What is the meaning or impact of your research?

  • Avoid re-stating the outcomes of the research.
  • Instead, explain why should other people care?
  • What can other people do with your research?