The following information was supplied by Alaska Professional Communicators:
Abstract Q&A and Hints
- What is an abstract?
- Why is an abstract important?
- What should be included in your abstract?
- What should NOT be included in your abstract?
- How long should your abstract be?
- What can submitting an abstract do for YOU?
What Is an abstract?
An abstract is a brief statement of the essential, or most important, thoughts about your project. It should summarize, very clearly and simply, the main points of your experiment. (Please DO NOT submit abstracts for collections, models, displays, or demonstrations; AKProCom judges abstracts for experiments only.)
Why is an abstract important?
Although it is the last part of your project that you do, it may be the FIRST thing that the judges and visitors read when they come to look at your project. Together with your display, it tells them what your project is about.
You want to get the judges’ attention and hold their interest, so they will take the extra time to read your report, study your work more closely, and ask you questions about your project. You may have worked on your experiment for weeks or even months, but other people have only a few minutes to see what you did.
- purpose of the experiment;
- procedures used;
- It also may include any possible research applications (optional).
Only minimal reference to previous work may be included.
An abstract should not include:
- acknowledgments (DO NOT INCLUDE!);
- work or procedures done by the mentor (DO NOT INCLUDE!);
- large amount of reference to previous year or years’ work (DO NOT INCLUDE!).
How long should your abstract be?
Your abstract should be between 100 to 250 words. We encourage you to use a computer and printer to prepare your abstract; however, neat hand printing in blue or black ink on white paper is acceptable.
Alaska Professional Communicators Judging Hints (useful for students and judges)
Hint: The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) also provides information about abstracts. See “How to write an Intel ISEF Abstract” .