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Writing Abstracts for a Conference Submission

Identify a conference that fits your research area and topic. Check the deadlines, criteria for submission and acceptance, location, and funding avenues. Once you have decided on an appropriate conference, prepare your research to meet the submission criteria. For example, your conference might ask you to submit an abstract and provide specific guidelines explaining what the criteria for a successful abstract should be in order for it to be accepted at that conference. The next section below will focus on explaining the function and form of an abstract: What is an abstract, how to write an abstract. It will then provide you with NCUR guidelines for a successful abstract and a range of abstract examples from SU students from different majors.

What is an Abstract

What is an Abstract?

  • In general, an abstract tells the reader what the research contains. Thus a good abstract should include a clear and brief statement on the purpose of the research, the methods employed, the sample, findings or results, conclusions, and recommendations/ or significance for your field.
  • Thus a good abstract is a brief summary (for example, NCUR gives a word limit of 300 words) that introduces the reader to your research study and all its key elements.

Overview: How to Write an Abstract

  1. After completing your research report, start preparing your abstract. Review your report for its main elements: purpose, research questions, methods, findings or results, conclusions or discussion, and recommendations. Limitations and significance can be included if you have space.
  2. Now start to write a rough draft of your abstract. It may be over the word limit at this stage. Once you have a rough draft down, go back and edit your abstract for organization, coherence, focus, flow, redundancy, and typos.
  3. Your final version of the abstract should meet all the required word count and compositional criteria, be tightly edited, clear and focused, and without any grammatical errors.
  4. A good abstract should ultimately reflect all the key elements of your study for the reader and give them a good idea of what you wanted to do, how you did it, what you found, and its significance.

Sample NCUR Poster and Oral Abstracts