Guidelines for writing a good abstract:
To the extend the data permit, make the title dynamic and conclusive rather than descriptive. For example "hypoxia inhibits kv 1.5 channels in rat pulmonary Artery smooth muscles" is preferable to "Effects of hypoxia on KV 1.5 channels"
A good abstract should have the following identifiable sections - Introduction, Hypothesis, methods, results, and conclusions
Be sure to mention the abstract category, while selecting the category is often an afterthought, this determines, which team will grade your abstract.
(4) Common Mistakes:
(1) Failure to state the hypothesis. We recommend a formal statement Such as "we assessed the hypothesis that........"
(2) Failure to state a conclusion. We encourage a final sentence that says" in conclusion......."
(3) Failure to state sample size -the reviewers want to assess the quality of the data- they need a mean SEM and a sample size.
(4) Excessive use of abbreviations. All but the most standard abbreviations should be defined and most abstracts should have <3 abbreviations
(5)Traps to Avoid:
(1)Typographical errors are extremely irritating to most reviewers
(2) Don't cite references in the abstract.
(3) Provide some context/ statement of relevance that provides the rationale for your study.
(4) Don't use complex graphics. Simple lines or bar graphics work best. Make sure the font is adequate on each axis to be seen. Check a printed version of the abstract before submitting
(5) Don't leave abstract writing until the 11th hour. This increases stress and leads to errors.
(6) Work that is duplicative is not well received.
(6)How to Avoid Rejections:
Show your abstract to yours mentor prior to submission- Incorporate their suggestions. It's best to take your toughest knocks at home.