Write an abstract

In order to participate in an academic conference you must submit an abstract, a short statement about the work you plan to present. Typically, abstracts run between 150-300 words, offering readers an overview of the argument you are making about a topic and the nature of the research you have conducted. It helps considerably if the abstract you write is based upon a project you have completed though your abstract can in fact be a prospectus for a paper you would like to write or a poster you hope to develop.

As you prepare your abstract, follow any directions posted by the event’s organizers on the conference’s webpage. Take note of any advice provided by conference organizers about what they may be looking for in an abstract. UCUR, for example, recommends the following:
Applicants for UCUR prepare an abstract summarizing the nature of the endeavor and its results and highlighting interesting outcomes. Some institutions use the abstract to judge whether to accept the student to represent the school at UCUR. Please write the abstract for a non-expert but educated person.
How to Format your Abstract

Create a poster

Many students, especially in the sciences, create a poster to present at a conference. Dixie State provides templates that students should use when presenting posters, and many other conferences have specific guideline to follow too. Be sure to check each conference website for details on poster specifications.
DSU Poster Presentation Templates

Two women stand in front of their poster at a UCUR Conference.
Two men stand in front of their poster at a UCUR Conference.

Photo Credit: Rico Del Sesto

Give a talk with visuals

Some students prepare an oral presentation to share their work at academic conferences. Oral presentations may, or may not, include visuals such as PowerPoint slides, a Prezi website, or a Youtube video. Other students, like Humanities majors, may read their academic or creative writing papers without visual aids.
Oral presentation tips