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Abstract Guidelines and Selection Criteria

An abstract is a short statement about your research. It is designed to give the reader a concise and complete understanding of your research problem, methodology and findings. Readers should be able to quickly and accurately identify the basic content of your research.

A model abstract should contain the following elements: 

  1. Clearly state the central research question and/or purpose of the project.
  2. Provide brief, relevant scholarly or research context (no actual citations required) that demonstrate its attempt to make a unique contribution to the area of inquiry.
  3. Provide a brief description of the research methodology.
  4. State conclusions or expected results and the context in which they will be discussed.
  5. Include text only (no images or graphics)
  6. Be well-written and well-organized.

Other formatting guidelines:

  1. References are allowed within abstracts, but not required, and not counted within the maximum word limits.
  2. The form will not process all formatting and special characters (e.g., scientific symbols). Use plain text format for your abstract. There is space in the form to include a link to online documentation, formulas, images, music files, etc. in support of your submission. You may use this space to provide a link to a location to view your abstract in its original form.
  3. Abstracts are usually 200-300 words long with no paragraph breaks. MAXIMUM LENGTH = 300 WORDS!

An abstract template file with title, authors names, affiliation and abstract body can be found by clicking here.

Have the following information available when submitting your abstract:

  1. Name and e-mail address for each faculty mentor and co-author
  2. Presentation type: oral or poster
  3. Field of study (See below for the complete list.)
  4. T-shirt size for all student authors.

All abstracts will undergo a rigorous evaluation by a panel of faculty reviewers. Abstract reviewers will evaluate submissions based on the criteria listed above and will assess overall merit within the context of the specific academic discipline. Guidelines for reviewers and application scoring rubric can be found by clicking here.

Note: The title and author(s) of your abstract will appear EXACTLY as they are entered in the abstract submission form. Please double check punctuation and spelling before submitting.


Poster Guidelines

All presentations will be the form of a poster. Suggested poster size is 3’ x 4’ feet in size. Assemble your poster using a PowerPoint slide (set page size to 3’X 4’). Students are encouraged to submit their poster for printing well in advance of the symposium.

Poster Session Location

The poster session will be held in Hughes Gymnasium. During registration, each student will be assigned a poster number based on the poster category. The student must post his/her poster in the assigned location between 8:00 – 9:00 am on the day of the symposium. The organizers will provide the presenters with poster boards and pins to display their posters. Presenters will put their poster on the board, without covering the poster number.

Poster Sessions

There will be two poster presentation sessions. During Session 1 (9:00 – 11:30 AM), all posters will be judged. Presenters must stand by their poster to answer questions and to provide additional information about the research project. Session 2 (2:45 AM - 5:00 PM), will provide an opportunity for the public to view the posters. We encourage all presenters to be present at their poster to explain their work and receive feedback from attendees.

Postal Removal

All posters must be removed by 5:00 pm, March 5, 2019.  Please contact us if you have additional questions about the poster design or setup.

Oral Presentation Guidelines

Oral presentations are 10 minutes in length with 3 additional minutes allotted to each presenter for questions. This schedule is strictly enforced. Oral presentations are held in technology-enhanced classrooms. The typical presentation rooms have a PC computer, projector, projection screen, sound system, and podium with AV controls and Wireless internet capabilities

Notes to Presenters

  • You may choose to create slides in Google Slides, Microsoft Power Point, Prezi, or other programs.
  • Bring digital presentation materials on a USB flash drive. It is strongly recommended that presenters have backups of their digital presentation materials.
  • If there are any difficulties during the presentation, please inform the moderator who will contact the building monitor and the technical support team.
  • You should arrive at your assigned classroom at least 15 minutes prior to the start of your session to transfer your digital presentation material to the computer and ensure that it opens properly.


Judging Criteria

During the first poster session, a panel of judges will view each poster. Presenters will be expected to explain their research project and elaborate on the content of the poster. Each student will have an approximately 4 minutes to discuss their work. The judging panel will question the presenters about their work. Students will be judged on the quality of their abstract, their ability to explain their poster, and on their ability to satisfactorily answer the questions about their work. Please be aware that the poster design, organization, and ease of reading are important factors in judging your poster. For more information about judging criteria, please click here.