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?