Writing an Abstract


The ability to write a clear and effective research abstract is important in numerous academic contexts including proposing conference papers, applying for research grants, summarizing articles and book chapters and preparing your DPhil thesis.

This session, part of our new series of research skills training sessions, will consider what makes a good abstract and how to go about writing one. Practical examples will be considered and there will be opportunities to write and share your own abstracts.

This session is aimed at external postgraduates who are applying for, or are currently enrolled on, a PhD programme.

Programme details

Key learning outcomes

  • Understand the purpose of abstracts and the importance of the audience.
  • Consider the contents and style of a good abstract.
  • Improve your confidence and ability to write your own abstracts.

About our new series of research skills training sessions

The Graduate School in the Department for Continuing Education, University of Oxford, provides a comprehensive researcher training and development programme which is open to all postgraduate students in the University. The programme consists of networking events, seminars and writing groups alongside a wide range of sessions on generic research skills which apply across different academic disciplines.

In line with our mission and values, our goal is to broaden access to such researcher training by enabling and encouraging participation from those outside the University. To assess interest and demand, we are offering an initial suite of three research skills sessions in March and April 2024, at subsidised fee rates, for which we are inviting external applications. Each session is independent of each other and can be applied for separately, although a fee reduction is available for anyone applying for all three sessions. 

Learn more about the other individual sessions on offer as part of this series:


Sarah Frodsham is Co-Director of the Graduate School and Chair of Ethics at the Department of Continuing Education.

Alistair Beecher is Co-Director of the Graduate School and a history tutor at the Department for Continuing Education.

Digital Certification

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be issued with an official digital badge from the Department for Continuing Education, University of Oxford. After the course, you will receive an email with a link and instructions on how to download your digital badge. You will be able to add your badge to your email signature and share it on social media if you choose to do so. 


£50 - if attending all 3 training sessions a discount is available.


Successful applicants will be emailed an invoice for the training session fees. 

Learn more about the other individual sessions:


This session is aimed at postgraduate students who are applying for or are currently enrolled on a PhD programme.

Applicants must submit a current CV which will allow the course tutors to assess your suitability for this training session.

To apply for this session, please select the green 'apply' button at the top of this page.

If you wish to apply for all three research skills training sessions at a discounted rate, find out more here.