Preparing abstracts (advice from an expert)


Lauri Linder PhD, APRN, CPON , University of Utah and Primary Children’s Hospital, USA, has produced some materials to help people prepare an abstract. A massive thank you to Lauri for producing these materials.

Presenting the results of research or clinical projects at professional meetings is an important way to advance science and practice. Whether you present your work through a poster or oral presentation, the first step is to summarize your work in an abstract.

An abstract is a short summary of your study or project that is submitted for peer review. The review process determines which abstracts will be selected for presentation. Although the length of the abstract may vary based on the organization (typically 300-500 words), the format is usually similar. The following provides guidance in writing an abstract using the word limit and headings for the annual SIOP congress. The due date for these abstracts is April 19, 2021.

Review the call for abstracts. The call for abstracts for the 2021 SIOP congress can be found at:


Preparing abstracts for professional presentations video

Click below for  a twenty minute video. The slides from the video are also available to download.


2021_Linder_SIOP_POINTE_Abstract Preparation


Strategies for Writing a Successful Abstract

Among the instructions for these abstracts are:

  • Abstracts must be written in English
  • Word limit for the title is 25 words
  • Word limit for the abstract is 300 words
  • Section headings are: Background and aims, Methods, Results, and Conclusions

Here are some tips for each of the sections of the abstract:


The title provides the first impression of the abstract and should let the reviewer know what the abstract is about. A well-written title should include 1) the target population, 2) important variables in the study or project, and 3) the context for the study or project

Background and aims

This part of the abstract should explain the importance of the problem and the reason for doing the study or project. It should end with a statement explaining the purpose of the study or project such as, “The purpose of this project was to …” Try to limit this section to about 3 sentences.


This is one of the most important part of the abstract. This section explains how you carried out your study or project. Use this section to explain the study or project design, the sample and setting, the data that were collected, how the data were collected, and the plan for analyzing the data.


This is the other most important part of the abstract. The results section should summarize the completed analyses and emphasize the major results. If the study or project is still in progress, describe the current status of the project and any preliminary analyses that are available.


This section should only be 1-2 sentences long. Use this section to provide an overall summary of the importance of the study or project. Briefly describe the implications for practice or future research as a result of the study or project.