Preparation, submission, and presentation of an abstract are important facets of the research process, which benefit the investigator/author in several ways. Writing an abstract consists primarily of answering the questions, "Why did you start?" "What did you do?" "What did you find?" and "What does it mean?" A few practical steps in preparing to write the abstract can facilitate the process. This article discusses those steps and offers suggestions for writing each of an abstract's components (title, author list, introduction, methods, results, and conclusions); considers the advantages and disadvantages of incorporating a table or figure into the abstract; offers several general writing tips; and provides annotated examples of well-prepared abstracts: one from an original study, one from a method/device evaluation, and one from a case report.