So you want to answer the decision for Papers? It offers strategies for this content and presentation for the abstract, along with samples of the best abstracts submitted to the 2012-2013 selection that is abstract for the ninth annual North Carolina State University graduate student history conference.

Typically, an abstract describes the subject you may like to present during the conference, highlighting your argument, evidence and contribution to the historical literature. It is almost always limited to 250-500 words. The term limit can be challenging: some graduate students usually do not fret on the short limit and hastily write and submit an abstract in the eleventh hour, which regularly hurts their odds of being accepted; other students make an effort to condense the Next Great American Novel into 250 words, which are often equally damning. Graduate students who approach the abstract early, plan accordingly, and carefully edit are the ones most frequently invited to present their research. For those who are intimidated because of the project, don’t be – the abstract is a form that is fairly standardized of. Follow the guidelines that are basic and steer clear of common pitfalls and you’ll greatly boost your abstract.

Diligently follow all style that is abstract formatting guidelines. Most CFPs will specify page or word length, and maybe 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, simple tips to present authors and works, whether or not to include footnotes or otherwise good essay writing sites not. Make certain you strictly adhere to all guidelines, including submission instructions. If a CFP will not provide style that is abstract formatting guidelines, it really is generally appropriate to stay around 250 words – abstract committees read many of these things nor look fondly on comparatively long abstracts. Ensure that you orient your abstract topic to handle any specific CFP themes, time periods, methods, and/or buzzwords.

Be Concise

With a 250-500 word limit, write only what exactly is necessary, avoiding wordiness. Use active voice and focus on excessive phrasing that is prepositional.

Plan your abstract carefully before writing it. A good abstract will address the next questions: What is the historical question or problem? Contextualize your topic. What exactly is your thesis/argument? It must be original. What is your evidence? State forthrightly you are using source material that is primary. How exactly does your paper squeeze into the historiography? What’s happening in neuro-scientific study and exactly how does your paper contribute to it? Why does it matter? We realize the subject is very important to you personally, why should it be important to the abstract selection committee?

You ought to be as specific as you can, avoiding overly broad or statements that are overreaching claims. And that is it: don’t get sidetracked by writing way too much narrative or over explaining. Say what you ought to say and nothing more.

Keep your audience in your mind. How much background you give on an interest is determined by the conference. Could be the conference a broad humanities conference, a graduate that is general history conference, or something like that more specific like a 1960s social revolutions conference? Your pitch must certanly be suitable for the specificity associated with the conference: the more specific the topic, the less broad background you want to give and vice versa.

Revise and edit your abstract to ensure that its final presentation is error free. The editing phase is also the time that is best to see your abstract as a whole and chip away at unnecessary words or phrases. The final draft should be linear and clear also it should read smoothly. If you should be tripping over something while reading, the selection that is abstract will as well. Ask another graduate student to see 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 academic standards. Contractions might be appealing due to the word limits, nevertheless they ought to be avoided. If citation guidelines are not specifically given, it really is appropriate to use the author’s name and title of work (in either italics or quotation marks) inside the text as opposed to use footnotes or in-text citations.

Misusing Questions

While one question, if really good, could be posed in your abstract, you really need 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 for you yourself to build your argument, methods, evidence, historiography, etc. quite often, posing way too many questions leaves the abstract committee wondering if you are planning to handle one or all in your paper of course you even comprehend the answers to them. Remember, you aren’t likely to have previously written your conference paper, however you are expected to have done enough research that you are quite ready to talk about a specific topic that one may adequately cover in 15-20 minutes. Prove that you have done so.

Language that can help you be as specific as you possibly can in presenting your argument is excellent but don’t get the readers bogged down in jargon. They will be reading lots of abstracts and won’t desire to wade through the language that is unnecessary. Ensure that it stays simple.

When students repeat claims, they often don’t realize they are performing this. Sometimes this happens because students are not yet clear to their argument. Think about it some more and then write. Other times, students write carelessly and do not proofread. Be sure each sentence is exclusive and therefore it contributes to the flow of one’s abstract.

The abstract committee does not want to be reminded regarding the grand sweep of history so that you can contextualize your topic. Place your topic specifically within the historiography.

The samples below represent the five highest scoring samples submitted to the selection committee for the ninth annual graduate student history conference, 2012-2013. Two associated with samples below were subsequently selected for publication when you look at the NC State Graduate Journal of History. Outstanding papers presented in the graduate student history conference are recommended for publication by panel commentators. Papers go through a peer review process before publication.