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Guide to Writing an Abstract

The first Author for each presentation will need to submit the final abstract that has been approved by the sponsoring faculty and co-Authors. This submission will require the following information:

  1. Main Text of Abstract: A maximum of 150 words, not including the title, names of authors, and affiliations. The text is usually a single paragraph that should include the following basic components:

a) Motivation/problem statement: Why do we care about the problem? What practical, scientific, theoretical or artistic gap accomplishes your research filling? What does your reader need before they can understand why you performed this scholarship/creative activity?

b) Methods/procedure/approach: Provide methods for how you set your goals. How did you perform the study? What methods did you use to achieve your results? (e.g. studied 2 novels, finished a series of 6 oil paintings, surveyed 2 communities) Check that your methods match the upcoming results.

c) Results/findings/products: Choose your most significant findings and describe them. What did you accomplish? What did you learn/invent/create?

d) Conclusion/implications: What are the larger implications of your findings, especially for the problem/gap identified in step 1? Make sure your conclusions are supported by your results.


Example appearance and format of an abstract: 

 Effects of Barley Extract on the Growth of Algae Spirogyra, Synedra, and Ankistrodesmus
Brooke Burmeister
Environmental Science Program, Southwest Minnesota State University


Excessive amounts of algae are a nuisance in lakes. Experiments were conducted to determine the efficacy of barley straw extract in controlling algal growth in three freshwater algae. Spirogyra (filamentous green algae), Synedra (diatom), and Ankistrodesmus (single celled green algae) were exposed to barley straw extract in an environmental chamber for nine days. Algae was exposed in 50 mL test tubes with five replicates of each treatment, five replicates of algae with no barley extract (control) and five tubes barley with no algae. Chlorophyll concentrations were analyzed at the beginning and end of the study to determine effects on the growth of the algae. All three species of algae grew in the unexposed controls, but growth was statistically significantly reduced for all three species when exposed to barley extract (ANOVA, p<0.05). Results indicate that barley could be used as an algistatic agent to control algae growth.


**Submission details for Abstracts:

  • Abstracts may be submitted any time after October 5th
  • Final Due Date: Nov. 8, 2023 by 11:59 pm (No Later)
  • Length of abstract: Maximum of 150 words
  • Abstract Submission Form


For more information regarding the SMSU Undergraduate Research Conference contact:

Dr. Alyssa Anderson
Assistant Professor of Biology
Department of Science, SM 170
Southwest Minnesota State University
1501 State Street * Marshall, MN 56258
Ph: (507) 537-6443* Fax: (507) 537-6151


Department of Science
Southwest Minnesota State University, SM 178
1501 State Street * Marshall, MN 56258
Ph: 507-537-6178 * Fax: 507-537-6151

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