How to write an Abstract for a Conference

Over the past couple of weeks a number of people have got in touch with The Conference Mentor looking for advice on how to write an abstract for a conference. When preparing an abstract for a conference, there are a number of factors you need to take into consideration to increase the chances of acceptance.

First of all, you need to make sure the theme of your paper is relates to the theme of the conference you are submitting to. If your research is not what the conference is looking for, it won’t be accepted.

Guidelines are there for one reason – to be followed. If a conference sets a 400 word limit, then there is no point writing 700 – it won’t be accepted. Simple (but avoidable) situations like this can have a detrimental effect on your submission.

Don’t leave it too late to submit your abstract. As we found out in a previous post, up to 46% of submissions are received in the last two days before the deadline. Ensure you know the deadline day and time, taking into account possible time differences.

Some conferences may ask for a Word document while others will want a pdf, so make sure you know what way the conference is accepting submissions.

There are many resources online that give guidelines on how to write an abstract. Below we have grouped together some that we think are particularly interesting.

Graduate

Source: Ruth Fillery-Travis
This post is written by a graduate student from her experiences of writing abstracts for a conference, giving a good insight on how to structure and what to include in your paragraphs.
http://findsandfeatures.wordpress.com/2011/12/04/how-to-write-an-abstract-for-a-conference-paper/

Scientific

Source: Indian Journal of Psychiatry
This source gives a great insight into the structuring of a scientific paper and identifies important questions that need to be answered in a scientific abstract.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3136027/

Source: Serendipity
This website breaks down how to plan your abstract argument in six easy sentences.
http://www.easterbrook.ca/steve/2010/01/how-to-write-a-scientific-abstract-in-six-easy-steps/

General

Source: ProfHacker
ProfHacker gives helpful tips on the more general elements of writing an abstract, things that may seem obvious but could be easily forgotten about.
http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/the-conference-abstract/23051

Source: University of Adelaide
This source gives a general overview of what should be contained in an abstract and the differences between an abstract and a simple introduction to your research.
http://www.adelaide.edu.au/writingcentre/learning_guides/learningGuide_writingAnAbstract.pdf

Source: University of Melbourne
The University of Melbourne explain the reasoning behind abstract writing and what should be included in your abstract.
http://bit.ly/L1L9Cm

We are always trying to locate new, interesting resources. If you have any resources that you feel may be of interest to us, feel free to email them to peter@exordo.com.

Happy Conferencing!

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