This is certainly a general guide for crafting stand-out conference paper abstracts.
So you want to answer the phone call for Papers? It includes suggestions for the content and presentation of this abstract, along with types of the best abstracts submitted to your 2012-2013 abstract selection committee for the ninth annual new york State University graduate student history conference.
Typically, an abstract describes the topic you’d like to present during the conference, highlighting your argument, evidence and contribution into the historical literature. It is almost always limited to 250-500 words. The term limit can be challenging: some graduate students do not fret throughout the short limit and hastily write and submit an abstract at the last minute, which regularly hurts their odds of being accepted; other students try to condense the Next Great American Novel into 250 words, and that can be equally damning. Graduate students who approach the abstract early, plan accordingly, and carefully edit are those most often invited to present their research. For those who are intimidated by the project, don’t be – the abstract is a fairly standardized type of writing. Stick to the basic guidelines below and prevent common pitfalls and you’ll greatly boost your abstract.
Diligently follow all abstract style and formatting guidelines. Most CFPs will specify word or page length, as well as perhaps some layout or style guidelines. Some CFPs, however, will list very specific restrictions, including font, font size, spacing, text justification, margins, just how to present quotes, just how to present authors and works, whether to include footnotes or otherwise not. Ensure that you strictly stick to all guidelines, including submission instructions. If a CFP will not provide style that is abstract formatting guidelines, it is generally appropriate to stay around 250 words – abstract committees read many of these things and don’t look fondly on comparatively long abstracts. Make certain you orient your abstract topic to address any specific CFP themes, time periods, methods, and/or buzzwords.
With a 250-500 word limit, write only what is necessary, avoiding wordiness. Use active voice and focus on excessive prepositional phrasing.
Plan your abstract carefully before writing it. A abstract that is good address the next questions: What is the historical question or problem? Contextualize your topic. What exactly is your thesis/argument? It should be original. What exactly is your evidence? State forthrightly that you’re using primary source material. So how exactly does your paper fit into the historiography? What are you doing in the field of study and exactly how does your paper subscribe to it? How does it matter? We understand the subject is very important to you, why should it is vital that you the selection committee that is abstract?
You should be as specific as possible, avoiding overly broad or statements that are overreaching claims. And that is it: don’t get sidetracked by writing a lot of narrative or over explaining. Say what you need to say and nothing more.
Keep your audience in your mind. How background that is much give on a topic will depend on the conference. Is the conference an over-all humanities conference, a general graduate student history conference, or something like that more specific like a 1960s social revolutions conference? Your pitch ought to be worthy of the specificity regarding the conference: the more specific the topic, the less background that is broad have to give and vice versa.
Revise and edit your abstract to ensure its presentation that is final is free. The editing phase can also be the time that is best to see your abstract as a whole and chip away at unnecessary words or phrases. The draft that is final be linear and clear plus it should read smoothly. If you’re tripping over something while reading, the abstract selection committee will as well. Ask another graduate student to read your abstract to ensure its clarity or attend a Graduate Student Writing Group meeting.
Your language should be professional as well as your style should stick to standards that are academic. Contractions might be appealing due to the expressed word limits, nonetheless they should always be avoided. If citation guidelines are not specifically given, it really is appropriate to utilize the author’s name and title of work (in either italics or quotation marks) inside the text rather than use footnotes or in-text citations.
While one question, if really good, can be posed in your abstract, you ought to avoid writing one or more (maybe two, if really really good). That you either answer it or address why the question matters to your conference paper – unless you are posing an obvious rhetorical question, you should never just let a question hang there if you do pose a question or two, make sure. Too many questions takes up way too much space and leaves less room to help you develop your argument, methods, evidence, historiography, etc. quite often, posing way too many questions leaves the abstract committee wondering if you are going to handle one or all in your paper and in case you even know the answers for them. Remember, you aren’t anticipated to have previously written your conference paper, but you are anticipated to own done enough research that you can adequately cover in 15-20 minutes that you are prepared to write about a specific topic. Illustrate that you have done so.
Language that will help you be as specific as you are able to in presenting your argument is very good but don’t get the readers bogged down in jargon. They will be reading lots of abstracts and won’t wish to wade through the unnecessary language. Ensure that it stays simple.
When students repeat claims, they often don’t realize these are typically doing this. Sometimes this happens because students are not yet clear to their argument. Think about it some more and then write. In other cases, students write carelessly plus don’t proofread. Make certain each sentence is unique and therefore it plays a part in the flow of the abstract.
The abstract committee does write my paper for me not need to be reminded associated with the grand sweep of history to be able to contextualize your topic. Place your topic specifically in the historiography.
The samples below represent the five scoring samples that are highest submitted into the selection committee for the ninth annual graduate student history conference, 2012-2013. Two associated with samples below were subsequently selected for publication within the NC State Graduate Journal of History. Outstanding papers presented at the graduate student history conference are suitable for publication by panel commentators. Papers go through a peer review process before publication.