Guide to Writing an Abstract for the Expo

Abstract Heading Layout

  • Name of Presenter(s)*
  • Name of Faculty Advisor (include institutional affiliation if not NU)
  • Title of Project/Presentation

*Include only undergraduate co-presenters or co-performers. Do NOT include co-authors who will not be co-presenting or co-performing the project at the Expo or the Creative Arts Festival.


Body of the Abstract

An abstract is a concise summary of your completed project that provides a snapshot of it as a whole.  This text will be included in the event program for the Expo and the Creative Arts Festival.

Write the abstract as a single paragraph of 250 words or less. Include:

1.     Motivation/rationale for the project: What did you set out to do, and why?

Why is it important/significant/interesting? What problem does the work attempt to solve, or what intellectual or theoretical gap does it aim to fill?

2.     Methods/procedure/approach: What did you do, and how?

What is the scope of the project?  What models or specific approaches did you use?  What sources of evidence did you rely on?

3.     Results/conclusions:  What did you find/learn/conclude?

An abstract of a scientific project may include specific data.  Other abstracts may discuss the findings in a more general way.

4.     Implications: What does it mean, and how does it relate to what else is known?

How does this work add to the existing body of knowledge?  What are the implications for the problem/issue identified in part 1?


Important Tips

  • Write your abstract for a general (non-specialist) educated audience.
  • Proofread your abstract.  If you are accepted to present your work at the Exposition, the abstract you submit will be published in the printed program.
  • Avoid parenthetical citations and footnotes. Short abstracts do not typically include references, a Works Cited list, or footnotes.
  • Upload your abstract, including the heading, as a .rft, .doc, or .docx file.