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How to write a scientific abstract

What is an abstract?

Broadly, an abstract is a short overview (usually 200-250 words) of a project you have undertaken. The project could have been research, audit or a literature review.

Why should I write one?

An abstract gives the reader a quick overview of your project and lets them decide if the topic of your research matches their interests. It will usually be the first thing they read about your work, so it is important to get it right to capture their interest. You will be invited to submit abstracts to conferences to allow the conference organizers to decide if the topic of your project is relevant to the conference, in which case you may be invited to present your findings as a poster or an oral presentation. You will also include abstracts as part of manuscripts when you submit your work to journals.


This short guide aims to serve as a practical introduction to producing a concise and effective abstract which serves to best communicate the findings of your project to the reader.

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