Skip to main content
Western Colorado's Selective University

What is an Abstract?

An abstract highlights major points of a project's content, and also generally includes the following information: the work's importance and purpose, the methods used, and any results or conclusions. It provides sufficient information for a reader to decide if he or she is interested in learning more about the project.

Successful abstracts may answer some of the following questions:

  • What question is the project attempting to answer?
  • What was the motivation to work on this project?
  • What background information does a reader need to fully understand the work?
  • What points best summarize the research, demonstration, exhibit or performance?
  • What results, conclusions, or final product will the presenter share?
  • What are the larger implications or significance of the project?
  • Who is the intended audience for the project?

Writing Your Student Showcase Abstract

All abstracts give an overview of the project and, in part, serve as a means of communicating why a project will be of interest to the audience. Because the event is open to the entire campus and general public, discipline-specific terms, symbols, and abbreviations should be limited only to that which is meaningful to the project. You should use highly technical language sparingly.

Abstract content may vary by the type of project. For more ideas on what a successful abstract includes, read some examples of previous Showcase abstract examples in various disciplines.

It is expected that your Showcase abstract will be your original work, in collaboration with your co-presenters, if any. Your faculty sponsor may guide you in developing the abstract and answer questions on what to include for a specific discipline. Please ask your faculty sponsor to review your abstract before you complete the application. As the Student Showcase abstracts will be published and distributed on campus, it is important that you carefully check for correct spelling and grammar. You will submit your abstract electronically as part of the online application.

For more information about project requirements by category, including criteria for evaluation (rubrics) see :