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How to Write an Abstract: Abstract Submission & Poster Presentation  . Mohammad K. Ismail MD Chief of GI, Methodist University Hospital Program Director GI Fellowship Training University of Tennessee, Memphis. Why Writing is Important.

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how to write an abstract abstract submission poster presentation

How to Write an Abstract: Abstract Submission & Poster Presentation 

Mohammad K. Ismail MD

Chief of GI, Methodist University Hospital

Program Director GI Fellowship Training

University of Tennessee, Memphis

why writing is important
Why Writing is Important

Francis Bacon once said, “reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; but writing an exact man”

why bother to write well
Why bother to write well?

To communicate your work well

reasons for not writing
Reasons for Not Writing
  • Difficulty knowing where to start
  • Not knowing how to start
  • Anxiety about writing skills
  • Lack of confidence
  • Attendees will learn
      • Basic information about various types of publications
      • How to write abstract
      • Submission of Abstract
      • Some Writing Tips
what is an abstract
What is an Abstract
  • An abstract is a very concise statement of the major elements of your research project. It states the purpose, methods, and findings of your research project.
  • An abstract is a condensed version of a full scientific paper.
identify your topic
Identify Your Topic
  • First thing is to identify what are you planning to write
      • Clinical Vignette Abstract
      • Case report
      • Case series
      • Research
  • Do a background Research
background research
Background Research

Search engines such as

  • PubMed or MEDLINE
  • MD Consult
  • Major Database listing available at UT Library website

four c s of abstract writing
Four C's of Abstract Writing
  • Complete — it covers the major parts of the project/case
  • Concise — it contains no excess wordiness or unnecessary information.
  • Clear — it is readable, well organized, and not too jargon-laden.
  • Cohesive — it flows smoothly between the parts.
how to pick a case report
How to Pick a Case Report

Consider presenting a case

-increases awareness of a condition

-unusual presentation of a relatively common condition

-suggests the proper diagnostic strategy

-unusual complication of a disease and its management

-about the message or lesson that the case can deliver

format of case report
Format of Case Report
  • Where are you submitting abstract
  • For the ACP, the rules are available on the electronic abstracts portal


  • Check the details for the forum/meeting you planning to submit
clinical vignette case report abstract
Clinical Vignette (Case Report) Abstract
  • Title and Author Information
  • Introduction
  • Case Description
  • Discussion
title and author information
Title and Author Information
  • Create a winning title
      • Should be convincing
      • Appealing
  • Format for the title
  • Following the title, the names of all authors and their institutional affiliations are listed
southern society meeting
Southern Society Meeting


S Narra MD, M K Ismail MD

University of Tennesee, Memphis and

VA Medical Center Memphis, Tennessee

acp meeting
ACP Meeting

Ergotism Masquerading as Arteritis

Amy Tarnower, Associate, Department of Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing MI.

  • The introduction should provide the subject, purpose, and merit of the case report.
  • Present background information
  • Focused comprehensive literature review that corroborates the author’s claims: prevalence, mortality, "100,000 people each year die of…"

“Fulminant hepatic failure is a rare presentation of Wilson’s disease, which if unrecognized carries a high mortality rate without liver transplantation.”

case description
Case Description
  • Describe in sequence
      • the history
      • physical examination
      • investigative studies
      • the patient's progress and outcome

The discussion should evaluate the patient case for

  • accuracy, validity, and uniqueness
  • compare and contrast the case report

with the published literature

  • why decisions were made and extract the lesson from the case
research abstract
Research Abstract
  • Suggested format
      • Title and Author Information
      • Introduction
      • Methods
      • Results
      • Conclusions
before finalizing
Before Finalizing
  • Get help from a mentor
  • Make revisions based upon the feedback
  • Have others read your draft in order to check for technical errors, such as spelling and grammar mistakes
prior to submission
Prior to Submission

Check Yourself did you :

  • Follow the instructions!!!!
  • Include headings exactly as stated in the instructions/template?
  • Use short, clear sentences; one idea per sentence?
  • Limit your abstract to the word count/character count requirement?
  • Edit, edit, edit
  • Check grammar, syntax and punctuation
acp clinical vignette abstract checklist
ACP Clinical Vignette Abstract Checklist
  • Due date for abstract is ____________.
  • Number of copies needed ____________.
  • Presenting author is listed as first author.
  • Presenting author meets eligibility requirements for the meeting.
  • Author affiliations are listed.
  • Abstract clearly organized into Introduction, Case Description, and Discussion.
  • The “lesson” of the case is presented clearly and concisely.
  • Completed abstract meets word- limit requirements or fits into formatting box.
  • Abstract printed with correct font size and style (if stipulated).
  • Others have reviewed abstract for content, style, grammar, and spelling.
  • Mail abstract to:
  • Electronic submission
you did it submit your abstract
You Did It! Submit Your Abstract
  • Submit your abstract on or before any relevant deadline
  • Mostly online/check on paper submission
  • Payment may be needed for some Abstract Submission
poster presentation
Poster Presentation
  • Once accepted begin preparation early
  • Review with mentor
  • Add References appropriately
  • Submit stuff for printing Abstract for display: check on mounting
  • Take care of meeting registration, stay and travel arrangement
forums for presentation
Forums for Presentation
  • ACP Meeting
  • Southern Society Meeting (SSCI)
  • Specialty Meetings
      • American College of Gastroenterology Meeting
not the end of work
Not the End of Work
  • Poster presentation: Not the end of work
  • Intermediate stage in a yet unfinished


  • Plan to write full manuscript ASAP
      • Choose Proper Journal for the case report
      • Read and follow the “Guidelines for Authors” of the target journal.
      • Set Goals
      • Set Deadlines for yourself
      • Shoot for the Moon
why abstracts not accepted
Why Abstracts Not Accepted

Most common deficiencies encountered (in order of frequency):

  • Poor presentation
  • Weak discussion
  • Lack of originality
  • Poor methods
  • Inappropriate statistical analysis
  • Inadequate results
how to improve
How to Improve
  • Writing is an art, you can learn
  • Read published manuscript and abstract carefully in major journals and focus on detail
  • Practice; practice; practice
  • Get help from your mentors and colleagues
  • Attend classes in writing skills/read books
some writing tips
Some Writing Tips
  • Active voice is preferable to passive voice
      • “We studied 15 patients with ARDS.” is much better than “Fifteen patients with ARDS were studied.”
  • Always use the full term before you refer to it by acronym [for example, Orthotopic Liver Transplantation (OLT)]
  • Write only one thought per sentence.
  • Eliminate unnecessary words
  • Ensure that verb tenses are consistent and correct
closing thoughts
Closing Thoughts
  • Scholarly activities and Publications are a required part of residency training
  • Very Important for residents pursuing academic career
  • Important for academic advancement
  • Faraday once said, “Work; finish; publish”