The abstract is the first impression you give at any conference and often the decision to accept your paper will be based on that. So, what are the things you should look out for to create that good first impression?
SingTeach speaks to Dennis Kwek, a member of the organising committee of Redesigning Pedagogy International Conference 2009, for tips on making your abstract stand out.
1. Choose the right title
A good title is brief but comprehensive. It is what other conference participants will look at when they are deciding which session to attend.
2. Tailor your abstract to the conference and its review criteria
Your abstract should address all the key points found in the call for papers. Consider using key words found in the call for papers to link your research to the conference theme. It is also useful to refer to the review criteria as a guide.
3. Be precise and clear
Try to summarise the main ideas of the paper as precisely as you can. An abstract should be a comprehensive summary of the subject matter you wish to present. If you can demonstrate your ability to write clearly and highlight the relevant points within the word limit, the organisers will assume the rest of your paper is equally well-written.
Typographical errors detract from your content and leave the reviewers wondering about the quality for the rest of your paper. Also, if your paper has more than one author, it’s useful to read each other’s sections. Lastly, if English is not your first language, it is wise to get a native speaker to review your abstract.
5. Take note of deadlines
The deadlines for the submission of the abstract and the paper are different and it is vital that you stick to these. If you miss the deadlines, you lower the chances of being accepted.
If you are still unsure or are in need of inspiration, check out the Redesigning Pedagogy 2007 website to see how previous participants have put their abstracts together.