The following text was supplied by Alaska Professional Communicators (AKProCom):

AKProCom Judging Tips for Abstracts and Displays
AKProCom Judges’ Main Goals
How Do We Judge/Evaluate Abstracts?
Common Mistakes Found in Abstracts
How Do We Judge/Evaluate Displays?
Common Mistakes Found in Displays

 AKProCom Judges’ Main Goals
AKProCom judges focus on how well a student communicates. They judge how clearly the student explains or shows what the project is about. AKProCom judges do not analyze the science or the logic of the project.

 How Do We Judge/Evaluate Abstracts?
AKProCom judges look for the following in abstracts:

  • Format: Does your abstract have all the required parts?
  • Syntax: Are your sentences complete and correctly constructed?
  • Clarity: Is your abstract easy to understand?
  • Spelling: Look up words in a reference source if you’re not sure!
  • Mechanics: Grammar, punctuation, and neatness.

See also: Example abstract and Abstract Q&A and Hints

 Common Mistakes Found In Abstracts

The following are common mistakes that AKProCom judges hope not to find in abstracts:

  • Abstract not attached to the ASEF Abstract Contest Entry Form
  • No adult sponsor’s signature on form (this is required)
  • No title
  • “Affect” and “effect” misused
  • Misuse of commas (usually too few)
  • Mixing past and present tense (past is correct)
  • Starting sentences with numerals
  • Subject and verb not in agreement
  • Acronyms not explained the first time they appear [Example: The judges are from the Alaska Professional Communicators (AKProCom). AKProCom can now be used by itself in any following sentences.]
  • Sentences too long and complicated; wordiness, redundancy

 How Do We Judge/Evaluate Displays?
The special category AKProCom display judges are concerned only with how well the display communicates what the student did. Their instructions are not to speak to the students, or if they do, not to let it count in the judging. So we’re not snubbing you, we’re just judging your display alone! (But remember, the main category judges do need to interview you, so wait for them to arrive.)

We look for displays that show the necessary information about the project clearly and effectively.

  • The display design should be clear and effective.
  • The text fonts should be simple and readable from a distance.
  • The colors should be pleasing and effective.

AKProCom judges displays for grades 7-12 only.

See also: Alaska Professional Communicators Display Hints

 Common Mistakes Found in Displays

The following are common mistakes that AKProCom judges hope not to find in displays:

  • No captions for photos
  • Failure to have a focal point that lets people know “where to start looking” at the display
  • No titles for graphs
  • Graph axis or axes not labeled
  • Tables without units of measure specified
  • Not giving credit for borrowed graphics, etc.
  • Too much text in the display; especially, too much small type
  • All capital letters in text blocks (hard to read!)
  • Spelling, grammatical, or punctuation mistakes (especially bad in large type)

Recommended Reading and Viewing:

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