Check Yourself

You might think researchers are extremely careful when they write their abstracts. Unfortunately, the data show there’s a lot of room for improvement.

According to an analysis by Tom Lang in his book How to Write, Publish, and Present in the Health Sciences:

As many as 80% of abstracts are missing key information on topics such as:


Study design


Comparison groups

And as many as 65% of abstracts include information that is inconsistent with the full article, misrepresenting everything from the sample size to the results and conclusion.

This is another reason to double and triple check your work. Make sure your abstract agrees with all of the facts in your full report and consider asking a friend or colleague to look at your abstract with “fresh eyes” to make sure you’re not missing something.

Now, let’s move on to writing your introduction.