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Structure an Abstract

Optimally Structure a Poster Abstract

Your task

Write a poster abstract about your research project. Your abstract should be between 200 – 300 words.

What is an abstract?

An abstract is an overview of your research paper or presentation. It is a one-paragraph summary of all that is contained within, and it needs to be solid enough as a stand-alone piece.

How should I structure my abstract?

Regarding structure, not all abstracts you will read adhere to the same formula. Disciplines vary, as do conference and publication requirements. However, as a general rule, you should have a clear, logical structure that mirrors the shape of your presentation or report.

Open with some general background information to create context. Then state the aims of your research and the methods you used for testing or data collection. Summarise your results – state the outcomes clearly. Finally, indicate what conclusions were reached and how these might impact your broader field of study.

Most good abstracts include the same key information. See below for suggestions of what to include in your abstract:

Title:

  • Make your title a single, concise phrase that indicates both the content and context of your work
  • Look through a relevant publication for examples of the style used within your particular discipline

Background:

  • Give some context of the greater field of study and where your research fits into that
  • Indicate what the problem is and/ or why this research is important

Aims:

  • State the purpose of the research and/or the question(s) you are hoping to resolve with this research

Methods:

  • Summarise the procedures carried out during the research
  • Specifically state what study design was followed
  • Include the measurement techniques that were used
  • State what data analysis techniques were used

Results: 

  • Summarise the findings and results of the data analysis

Conclusions:

  • State what the results mean and any implications for the field of research
  • Indicate any conclusions you came to.

Now look at the next section "Examples of Poster Abstracts" to see how the above information has been incorporated to create an abstract.