How to Write an Abstract for a Conference

What is an abstract and why is it important?
An abstract is a brief summary of your research or creative project, usually about a paragraph long (250-350 words), and is written when you are ready to present your research or included in a thesis or research publication.

For additional support in writing your abstract, you can contact the Office of URSA at [email protected] or schedule a time to meet with a Writing and Research Consultant at the OSU Writing Center 

Main Components of an Abstract: 


The opening sentences should summarize your topic and describe what researchers already know, with reference to the literature. 


A brief discussion that clearly states the purpose of your research or creative project. This should give general background information on your work and allow people from different fields to understand what you are talking about. Use verbs like investigate, analyze, test, etc. to describe how you began your work. 


In this section you will be discussing the ways in which your research was performed and the type of tools or methodological techniques you used to conduct your research. 


This is where you describe the main findings of your research study and what you have learned. Try to include only the most important findings of your research that will allow the reader to understand your conclusions. If you have not completed the project, talk about your anticipated results and what you expect the outcomes of the study to be. 


This is the final section of your abstract where you summarize the work performed. This is where you also discuss the relevance of your work and how it advances your field and the scientific field in general.


  • Your word count for a conference may be limited, so make your abstract as clear and concise as possible.
  • Organize it by using good transition words found on the lef so the information flows well.
  • Have your abstract proofread and receive feedback from your supervisor, advisor, peers, writing center, or other professors from different disciplines. 
  • Double-check on the guidelines for your abstract and adhere to any formatting or word count requirements.
  • Do not include bibliographic references or footnotes. 
  • Avoid the overuse of technical terms or jargon. 
Feeling stuck? Visit the OSU ScholarsArchive for more abstract examples related to your field
Office of Undergraduate Research