Abstract Guidelines

 

All participants are required to submit an abstract for their presentation. An abstract is a brief, concise summary of a student’s work. This abstract will appear in the event program, which will be the first glimpse that judges, moderators, and the audience will have of the student’s project.

 

Abstracts for a research project typically include an introduction, research/scholarly methods used, results (even if preliminary), and a conclusion.

  • Introduction: Include the research question/hypothesis and a brief background (if space permits).
  • Methods: Show the validity of the research by describing the design of the project. Include applicable information, such as the setting of the research, number of subjects and how they were selected, and methods used to measure/analyze the data.
  • Results: Summarize the findings.
  • Conclusion: State what can be concluded from the project and the implications of the research.

Abstracts for a creative project generally cover the how, what, and why of the project.
How did the student create the work? What tools or artistic process(es) were used?
What is the method/approach? Is the work abstract/realistic, modeled after the works of other artists?
Why did the student make this particular piece? What helped shape/influence the work?
The Undergraduate Showcase recommends students include each of these categories in their abstract; however, the student should decide how much detail to include in each section based on the project and overall word count limits.

 

Abstracts are meant to be brief; the Undergraduate Showcase suggests that students keep these three “C points” in mind as they craft their abstract:

  • Be clear – The student should use accessible language that is comprehensible to a general audience and avoid overly-specific jargon, as not everyone will have the same background in a particular subject area. Students should also avoid overly complicated sentences in their descriptions/explanations of concepts and ideas.
  • Be concise – Students must adhere to a 250-word limit (abstract text only; name and project title are not included in the word count). These 250 words should pull the reader in, not confuse them with excessive information. The abstract should capture people’s interest; the details of the project can be conveyed during the student’s presentation.
  • Be consistent – This abstract should match the presentation that the student will give during the Undergraduate Showcase.

 

Students must follow the formatting guidelines below when submitting their abstract:

  • Electronic submission via this Microsoft Word template. No pdfs or hardcopies.
    • File name: 17FUSAbstract.LastnameFirstinitial (eg. 17FUSAbstract.WuS.docx)
      For group submissions, use the person’s name who would appear first alphabetically (eg. Michelle Brown, Sylvia Wu –> 17FUSAbstract.BrownM.docx)
    • Send to showcase@hawaii.edu
  • Project title centered at top, following proper title case. Do not bold or italicize.
  • 250 words maximum (name and title are not included in word count).
  • Calibri font, 14-point size.
  • Single-spaced, justified alignment (even on both left and right sides).
  • One line space between paragraphs, no indentation for new paragraphs.
  • Abbreviations/acronyms: at first mention of them in the abstract, spell out fully followed by the abbreviation in parenthesis.
    Example: University of Hawai’i at Mānoa (UHM). Use the abbreviation/acronym in your text thereafter.
  • Scientific names: note proper casing and italicization.
  • Hawaiian/foreign words: include proper diacriticals (Mac or PC).
  • Do not include graphs, keywords, references.

Students should check their spelling and grammar multiple times. The Undergraduate Showcase also recommends that students have an advisor proofread the abstract before submitting it.

Additional guidance for writing an abstract can be found at thisthis, or this webpage. Students may also go to the Event Archives to view previous event programs for sample abstracts.