The purpose of a medical abstract is to provide a concise and useful summary of a longer medical article or study. Anyone reading the abstract should be able to judge whether it is worthwhile to read the entire article. A good abstract will make a reader want to learn more about the research and ideas that are presented in the full article. Write a medical abstract by outlining the objectives of the research study, as well as its rationale and outcomes.
- Understand the basis for the abstract. Be sure you are completely knowledgeable and comfortable with the larger project or paper that the medical abstract is summarizing. Read it a few times, and practice explaining it to others. Avoid any inconsistencies in the medical abstract.
- Formulate the research question. Begin the abstract by asking a significant and relevant medical question. Discuss the motivation for the study or the project with the presentation of the question. Demonstrate why the question needs to be answered, and that it has not yet been addressed by medical science.
- Indicate all of the research methods that were applied. Discuss what procedures and approaches were used to get results. Include the design of the research study, any samples that were analyzed and what measurement tools were utilized. Talk about participants, both study subjects and research partners. This part of the abstract must assure readers that all medical research was gathered and conducted in scientific and balanced ways, and that the analysis makes sense.
- Summarize your findings. State the results of the research. The results should demonstrate a natural progression from the methods used to attain them, and be relevant to the purpose or the research question. Use specific numbers and statistics and keep the findings factual. Support all of the findings with hard data and brief narratives.
- Develop a conclusion. Connect the results of the study to the research question posed. This is a place to discuss whether the original purpose was achieved, and whether your research and findings produced the answer you expected. Summarize any implications your research may have.
- Publish the abstract. Submit the medical abstract to peers for review, and make it available to colleagues as a way to promote the work you completed, as well as the full study or paper.
- Remember to proofread your work. Spelling errors, typos and grammatical mistakes will discredit your hard work and research. It might help to read the abstract out loud to yourself to make sure it sounds right. Also, ask a colleague to read it for you to ensure it is easy to understand and makes sense.
- Evaluate your abstract. When the medical abstract is published, your peers will be looking for originality, scientific merit, clinical significance, and whether it is appropriate for the audience of educated medical staff professionals for which it is intended.