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Guidance for writing your abstract

A conference abstract is a short description of your research, designed to sell your ideas to the conference organisers. It’s your chance to share your research in a clear, concise and interesting way and impress the organisers with your ideas, so it’s important to develop a well-written abstract. 

If you’d like to submit your research to the British Conference of Undergraduate Research, the following guidance may help.

What should you include?

  1. Explain the purpose of the project, the question you wanted to answer and why it’s an important issue to tackle.
  2. Set out the approach you took.
  3. Share your findings or the conclusions you reached.
  4. Add in any details that explain why your project is significant or adds new information to your field.

By the time a reviewer has read your abstract, they should be able to know what you chose to study, why it’s important, what your methodology was and what you found out.

What makes a good abstract?

Well-written abstracts are clear, concise and coherent. Writing a short abstract is often harder than writing a full presentation or paper as you have a very short space to convey all your ideas. Don’t be afraid to revise it a few times and cut out unnecessary words or excessive details. It needs to be factual and focused on the information your audience needs to know.

Make sure your abstract is written in plain English. It’s important to remember that your audience won’t necessarily be an expert in your subject, so it’s best to avoid jargon or overly technical language. Your abstract needs to be accessible to anyone who reads it.

Before submitting your abstract

  • Consider asking your supervisor to check your abstract before you submit it
  • Make sure it is no longer than 250 words
  • Make sure it is written in clear English
  • Take the time to proofread it
  • Remember: only one abstract per person can be submitted.