Writing a conference abstract can be a time-consuming and frustrating endeavor. To increase your chance of acceptance, it is essential to effectively communicate your presentation or tutorial abstract in the number of words allotted. An abstract should capture the significance or importance of your topic and what it contributes to the field of study or knowledge base. It is important when writing a presentation or tutorial abstract to keep jargon to a minimum.
The below provides an example structure and guidance for writing an abstract. The use of this structure and guidance is a suggestion only and not a requirement.
The main focus of the first section should be the significance and/or importance of your presentation or tutorial. One option is to begin with a sentence that states the issue, problem, or concern that your presentation or tutorial addresses. This sets the stage for presenting solutions (i.e., best practices, approach, suggestions, metrics, research results). Alternatively, you can open with a sentence stating what the presentation is about and then contextualize it with a general statement about how it connects to an issue, problem, or concern.
This should be the heart of the abstract. State here what your presentation offers as solution to the issue, problem, or concern described in section 1. You might briefly discuss what you are trying to do, how it is being done today, and what is new in your approach. Briefly give details about the presentation.
The focus of this section is the big picture. How do these findings address the issue(s) raised in section 1? What does this imply or contribute to the field of study or knowledge base? This discussion need not be lengthy, but it should convincingly convey that your presentation or tutorial has significant implications.
Best of luck with your abstract submissions!
SEPG North America 2011 Technical Program Co-Chair