As you know, your conference application needs to include an abstract – which, in a nutshell, summarizes your research project: your focus, method, discussion points and conclusion.
The abstract will be read by the conference organizers who review the proposals. It will also be included in the online conference program, where it will help generate interest in your research and attract an audience to your presentation. This means that your audience may not be specialists in your field, so your writing needs to be clear and concise.
An abstract should generally include:
- What is the problem/background to your research
- Why did you do this study or project
- How did you approach the problem (what did you do? Interviews? A comparative literature review? New creative content? Calculations? A controlled lab experiment?)
- What did you find, or what do you hope to find if it’s ongoing research
- Who cares? What makes this work important or significant? Why should your audience be interested?
- aim for 100 – 250 words. Be concise; people can find out more at your presentation!
- in general, try to avoid I and we (instead, “the study tested…” “the short story illustrates…” etc.)
- get feedback on your abstract before you submit your proposal – both from your faculty supervisor, and from someone outside of your discipline.
A few examples that were accepted for last year’s conference:
1. This Isn’t Home: Reshaping Neekanan (Our Home)
Lucier Laboucan, Kateri
This research project analyzes the current housing crisis found on reserves in Northern Canada using the Fox Lake Indian Reserve as a case study. Poor, decrepit, substandard and overcrowded housing conditions on Canada’s First Nations reserves continue to be a growing social concern, impacting the well-being of First Nations People across Canada. This crisis is often highlighted in the media, in which the conditions are comparable to those in developing countries. The deplorable conditions described may seem unbelievable, however, through the findings in this research, the reality facing First Nations People living on Canada’s Indian Reserves is revealed in the words of community members living on the Fox Lake Indian Reserve. Through a series of interviews with community members, key themes emerged that offer valuable insight into how a revised house design, that better reflects a Peoples’ way of life, can contribute to improved living conditions. The conclusions drawn from the research demonstrate the importance of understanding a Peoples’ culture and letting this understanding guide further practice.
2. Determination and Quantification of Taurine in Energy Drinks through Capillary Electrophoresis
A procedure using capillary electrophoresis (CE) with UV absorption detection was developed to determine taurine concentrations in Red Bull, Monster, and Rockstar energy drinks. The popularity of energy drinks containing taurine has been on a steady rise, since this ingredient is described as an energy booster, and has been linked to increased athletic performance. Taurine is a non-essential, sulphur containing amino acid that is present at high concentrations in humans. It is not incorporated into proteins and is the most abundant free amino acid in the heart, brain, and retina, as well as in skeletal muscle and leukocytes. The goal of this research is to establish optimal CE conditions for taurine detection and the determination of taurine concentrations in three different brands of energy drinks. The current literature describes taurine detection using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), a technique that lacks precision, requires a greater amount of sample for analysis, and is not as cost effective. By comparison, CE is a much more efficient detection and quantification method. In future, this research could lead to analysis of taurine metabolism in biological systems, to examine the potential of this molecule as a possible biomarker for disease.