The Art of the Abstract
CSPS Writing Workshop
13:00-16:00, 17 November 2016
Writing a good abstract for a conference presentation is an important yet underappreciated academic skill. Attending regular conferences is one of the most effective ways to build your professional network and your abstract is both what gets you in the door and encourages people to attend your presentation. The trick is to write a text that is simultaneously compelling enough to spark interest in your topic, clear enough to concisely explain your focus, yet also flexible enough that even if your ideas are still not fully formed or your thinking changes over time it can still accommodate what you will end up presenting. In this workshop we’ll discuss techniques for how to do this well. While this workshop focuses on conference abstracts the material will be useful for thinking about article abstracts as well.
The more specific aim is to prepare participants to write a strong abstract to submit by 15 December for the CSPS conference planned for 28-30 June of next year. So please come to the workshop with a 2 hard copies of a draft – however rough – of what you would like to present (200-300 words) so that we can exchange drafts and help each other strengthen our texts. Even if you are not planning to present at this conference you are still welcome to attend; you can either bring a different abstract to share or just listen and learn. We will also examine examples of existing abstracts – both good and bad – as models for our own efforts.
This workshop is intended to be the first of a series throughout rest of the school year that will focus on different aspects of the academic writing process, with the aim to help you build towards a submit-ready journal article. If we have enough interest we can divide people into cohorts for peer-review of drafts throughout the year. There may be the possibility to get academic credit from attending a certain number of workshops over time. We can discuss and plan all of this at this first workshop.