Abstracts, a How To



The title is the first words people will read. Because of this, it should be descriptive and interesting. Humor or a clever choice of words will probably bring the light to your work (e.g, You're Not all Wet, Design Inspired by Oceanography).

In most cases, less is more when it comes to titles. A shorter title is usually better than a long one.

The title may be the only chance you get to catch some interest for your hard work, time, and research, so make it a good one.



Your abstract should clearly describe your research or scholarly activity. Write your abstract for people who have at least a partial understanding of the research that was conducted and the justifications behind it. In your abstract, you may want to include the following:

  • an easy to understand identification or explanation of the inquiry or problem behind your research
  • any important background information needed for the context of your inquiry
  • techniques and procedures utilized for the collection of your data
  • any conclusions, preliminary or final, which reached at the time of abstract preparation
  • a short preview of what your potential audience can anticipate from your poster, talk, or paper.

If you have not completely finished your research/scholarly activity when you are working on your abstract, just include any preliminary findings. Just because your conclusions may change, does not mean they don't help the reader to understand why your research is valuable.

Lastly, try to limit the length of your abstract to 200 words or less.