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Appalachian Student Research Forum

Office of Research and Sponsored Programs

Abstract Tips

Tips on what NOT to do when writing an Abstract


Here are a few comments from judges about past Forum abstracts, giving some ideas of what not to do:

  • no details given as to what methods were used to get their results

  • too jargon-heavy; use analogy or common comparison to make more understandable

  • need to define abbreviations

  • wordy; should use concise wording and not digress from question/methods/results

  • need to emphasize facts and what actually took place during the research; also, need to remove any speculative statements not founded in data

  • gave good background to show relevance, but much of abstract was background, i.e., not discussing their own work.

  • too much background info - more detail needed on actual study

  • grammatically, abstracts should be written in past impersonal voice (i.e., "it was found", not "we found")

  • this document does not appear to be abstracted content, but merely a list of what will be included in the presentation

  • can't tell what was actually done as part of this study (i.e., what was already done, and what the student/researcher did). Use clear language such as "this study examined such and such by doing such and such"

  • results unclear - more detail is needed

  • results unknown -- it was just stated that they will discuss the results during the presentation

  • needed more written to explain and define study--purpose, relevance. With such heavy jargon, need to describe model, rationale, and design more clearly

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