Your conference abstract has two purposes. The first is to get your paper accepted to the conference. The second is to inform the potential audience at the conference about your presentation and to make them want to see you present.
Your abstract should be interesting and informative to appeal both to the organizers and the audience at the conference. Try to arouse interest in your research. What is new or different about your work?
A good conference abstract should have a title, a statement of the particular problem or issue it will address, information about the approach taken, the results or findings of the research or study, and indications of the conclusions and implications of the work.
Write your abstract in clear, plain English. Do not use unnecessary jargon or long and complicated sentences. Be clear and direct. Avoid fillers, jargon, idiomatic language, or flowery phrases.
Say exactly what you will do when giving your paper. If you will show a video for example, then say you will show a video. Go step by step through what you will do in your twenty minutes.
Your title needs to grab everyone’s attention, but it should be true to your topic. Most importantly, state your topic clearly and develop interest in it.
The Problem Statement
It would be clear the specific problem that you are trying to solve, or the issue you are researching. What scholarship does this paper engage with? What case studies or central texts does this paper examine?
What is the purpose of your research? Are you explaining a problem? Or solving it? You should also say why your research or study is important. Why should people come to your presentation?
In this part you should explain what methods you have used in the study. What creative approach did you take towards solving the problem or studying the issue? How did you obtain the data for the study? What tools did you use to analyze the data?
In this part you will indicate what data you will present and what are the main findings from this data. Be very clear if you are providing preliminary data; otherwise, people will expect a finished study.
The Conclusions and Implications
In the conclusions section you should state the main conclusion(s) and indicate if this or these solve the problem or if more work is required. What are the implications of your work?
Modern abstracts require keywords. Select the keywords that most appropriately reflect the content of your presentation.
Do not worry about citations in your abstract. There are not enough words to use them. Make sure you keep to the required word limit.
© Robert Buckmaster 2022