Preparing Your Abstract

Preparing Your Abstract


Pick a title that is descriptive and interesting. For example, the use of humor in your title or an interesting association or combination of words may serve to attract attention to your presentation (e.g, "There’s Something Fishy Here: Oceanography Inspires Design").

Shorter titles generally are better than longer ones.

Keep in mind that the title is your first and best chance to interest and inform your audience about your presentation.

Abstract Body

Limit the length of your abstract to 200-250 words. Your abstract should clearly describe your research or scholarly activity. Someone reading your abstract should have a good understanding of the work you conducted and the purpose for conducting the project. Your abstract should include the following:

  • clear identification or explanation of the question or problem you are posing
  • relevant background information to place your question/problem in context
  • methods or approach you used to collect data and/or obtain information
  • any preliminary or final results you have at the time of preparing your abstract
  • any preliminary or final conclusions your have at the time of preparing your abstract
  • a sentence or two that gives your audience a preview of what they can expect when they attend your poster, talk, or paper.

If you have not completed your research/scholarly activity at the time of preparing your abstract (a very common situation), you may want to include any preliminary findings in your abstract. Even if your conclusions change as you gather more data and synthesize your results, including preliminary conclusions in your abstract helps the reader understand some of the implications and significance of your research/scholarly activity.

Undergraduate Research

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