An abstract is a concise summary of a detailed work published separately from the main text. It should, therefore, stand out and be understood without referencing the complete details of the work. A conference abstract is a brief writing, often between two hundred (200) and three hundred (300) words, that serves at least three (03) distinct purposes as explained below. Each conference will have its criteria for the preparation of abstracts. If authors adhere to these rules, their abstracts will have more chances of being accepted.

Choosing the appropriate conference requires careful evaluation of the conference's objectives and intended audience. Global conferences have thousands of delegates and local departmental seminars have twenty-five (25) to thirty (30) attendees. You must determine the optimal method of sharing your work, as bigger is not intrinsically better. Learning who is on the conference committee and their qualifications is beneficial.

Facets of a Conference Abstract:

  1. The primary objective of an abstract is to persuade conference organizers to accept the paper. It informs the organizers of the intended communication and how it relates to the broader theme of the conference.
  2. Secondly, after the acceptance to present a paper or scientific poster at the conference, the abstract will appear in the conference program or conference souvenir/abstract book as an advertisement for a scientific poster presentation. The other primary function of an abstract is to attract the attention of conference attendees. In principle, to win over the conference planners, compose a compelling abstract that speaks directly to the target audience.
  3. Finally, if the conference program or souvenir is published, one's abstract will remain a permanent record long after the conference has ended.

Steps to Consider in Drafting the Conference Abstract:

Step 1: Choose the stream to which the topic aligns the most.

The majority of conference organizing committees divide the topic into streams. Choose the stream that best fits your topic/subject.

Step 2: Determine whether the topic is an empirical study or program/policy-driven.

The following points will help an abstract writer determine the study type:

  • Research-based/Typical Abstract
    • Introduction
    • Methods
    • Results
    • Conclusions and recommendations
  • Issue/Program-based/Non-typical/Review
    • Issues
    • Descriptions
    • Insights acquired
    • Suggestions
  • Less structured and more conversational symposiums and round table discussions.

Step 3: Summarize the essential points using bullet points.

Using bullet points to list the important ideas will help minimize the overall presentation.

Step 4: Transform the points into connecting sentences.

Make sure the sentences in the abstract flow seamlessly into one another.

Step 5: Continue giving a meaningful and attractive title.

The title should help the reviewers hold the presentation into a category, and it might also help conference delegates to find the desired session. Even though the title is too bright, it must describe the relevant topic.

Step 6: Recheck your abstract using the checklist and submit it.

The abstract has been reviewed against the conference submission checklist to ensure no grammatical, spelling, or sentence-structure mistakes and that the insights are correct.

The Conventional Formula for Writing a Conference Abstract

Conference Abstract =

Topic + Title + Motivation + Problem Statement + Approach + Results + Conclusion

Here are a few tips to achieve the ideal formula:

Title: Catchy and capturing the audience/organizers' interest.

Motivation: The thought or perspective is to be presented to the audience.

Problem Statement: Details of the issue.

Purpose: Objective of the work.

Methods: The selected approach should resolve the issue.

Results: Indicative results based on methods and/or techniques used.

Conclusion: A summarized review of the presented work and its future applicability or trends, if any.

Abstract Format:

The format of the abstract will vary dependent on the unique criteria of the conference, but regardless of the kind, all abstracts will have the same key elements. Use the same level of technical jargon when writing the abstract to an identical audience as the presentation. Edit the abstract for grammar, punctuation, typos, etc., to ensure it adheres to the "house style" of the conference.

Take-home Message:

A strong abstract generally suggests a high-quality article, whereas a weaker abstract indicates an unappealing quality. Hence writing an abstract is challenging but essential for a successful conference, publication, and dissemination of scientific findings.

Partnering with a proven Regulatory medical writing services provider can help you with your abstract-writing requirements. Consult Freyr for the best practices in writing compelling abstracts for your conferences/seminars.


Dr. Ramaiah & Dr. Balaji
MPR-MEW-Scientific Writing Services Team


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