Abstract writingprocess

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Abstract writingprocess

  1. 1. Mastering the AbstractMastering the Abstract Writing ProcessWriting Process John ColeJohn Cole Intel ISEF D & S ChairIntel ISEF D & S Chair
  2. 2. What Is an Abstract?What Is an Abstract? A brief, written explanation of the researchA brief, written explanation of the research project, consisting of a succinct description ofproject, consisting of a succinct description of the project’s purpose, the procedures followed,the project’s purpose, the procedures followed, the data collected, and the conclusions reached.the data collected, and the conclusions reached. A clear and simple summary statement of theA clear and simple summary statement of the main points of the experimentmain points of the experiment A self-contained statement that must makeA self-contained statement that must make sense all by itself.sense all by itself.
  3. 3. ISEF Abstract RulesISEF Abstract Rules Intel ISEF rules require each Finalist to write an abstractIntel ISEF rules require each Finalist to write an abstract of no more than 250 words to be displayed with theof no more than 250 words to be displayed with the project.project. An abstract gives the essence of the project in a brief butAn abstract gives the essence of the project in a brief but complete form to judges and the public viewing thecomplete form to judges and the public viewing the Finalist’s project.Finalist’s project. Once approved, SRC provides the Finalist with twoOnce approved, SRC provides the Finalist with two embossed copies of the abstract, one to display verticallyembossed copies of the abstract, one to display vertically at the project and the other to make copies to handout toat the project and the other to make copies to handout to judges and the public on visitors’ day.judges and the public on visitors’ day.
  4. 4. The abstract must focus on the current year's research and give only minimal reference to previous work. Details and discussions should not be included in the abstract, but may be put in the longer, written research paper (if required), or given on the project exhibit board. Finalists at the Intel ISEF are required to use the on-line system for submitting their abstract. Regional and local fairs use the Official Abstract Form (not necessary for most local fairs). In addition, abstracts must not include acknowledgments (such as referencing mentor or university laboratory).
  5. 5. Provides SRC a quick study of your project as itProvides SRC a quick study of your project as it is an overview of the purpose, means, and resultis an overview of the purpose, means, and result of research.of research. Helps judges (both special and category) discernHelps judges (both special and category) discern quickly whether the project qualifies for specificquickly whether the project qualifies for specific awards and whether the research is significant inawards and whether the research is significant in its specific area.its specific area. Informs visitors to ISEF (students, teachers, andInforms visitors to ISEF (students, teachers, and the public at large) of the nature of the research.the public at large) of the nature of the research. Review of Abstract’s PurposeReview of Abstract’s Purpose
  6. 6. Steps in Developing AbstractSteps in Developing Abstract 1.1. Begin with aBegin with a Research ProjectResearch Project ProspectusProspectus to outline the researchto outline the research project. A prospectus helps theproject. A prospectus helps the researcher identify the nature and scoperesearcher identify the nature and scope of the investigation, research methods,of the investigation, research methods, and anticipated conclusions and/orand anticipated conclusions and/or applications. An example of such aapplications. An example of such a prospectus follows:prospectus follows:
  7. 7. Possible Title: Name: School: Purpose of project / experiment In a sentence of 25 words or fewer, explain the reason for your research project or a hypothesis you have selected to test. Methods of research Explain in a sentence or two how you plan to research your topic. What methods will you use? What resources will you need? Data/Observations Determine what data do you need to collect and what difficulties you may encounter as you research. Conclusions/Applications Explain in a sentence or two what results you anticipate your research will produce. What conclusions or applications do you hope to be able to explain? Sample Research Project Prospectus
  8. 8. 2.2. Once the research is completed and youOnce the research is completed and you are ready to show your project, use anare ready to show your project, use an Abstract Template to write a draft of theAbstract Template to write a draft of the abstract. The following example wasabstract. The following example was created using a table format in a Wordcreated using a table format in a Word document.document.
  9. 9. Sample Abstract TemplateSample Abstract Template Title Name School Purpose of project / experiment: An introductory statement of the reason for investigating the topic of the project. A statement of the problem or hypothesis being studied. Summarize procedures, emphasizing the key points or steps: A summarization of the key points and an overview of how the investigation was conducted. Omit details about the materials used unless it greatly influenced the procedure or had to be developed to do the investigation. An abstract should only include procedures done by the student. Work done by a mentor (such as surgical procedures) or work done prior to student involvement must not be included. Detail succinctly observations/data/results: This section should provide key results that lead directly to the conclusions you have drawn. It should not give too many details about the results nor include charts or graphs. State conclusions/applications.
  10. 10. Explanation of PartsExplanation of Parts Purpose of the ExperimentPurpose of the Experiment An introductory statement of the reason for investigating the topic of the project.An introductory statement of the reason for investigating the topic of the project. A statement of the problem or hypothesis being studied.A statement of the problem or hypothesis being studied. Procedures UsedProcedures Used A summarization of the key points and an overview of how the investigation was conducted.A summarization of the key points and an overview of how the investigation was conducted. An abstract does not give details about the materials used unless it greatly influenced theAn abstract does not give details about the materials used unless it greatly influenced the procedure or had to be developed to do the investigation.procedure or had to be developed to do the investigation. An abstract should only include procedures done by the student. Work done by a mentor (suchAn abstract should only include procedures done by the student. Work done by a mentor (such as surgical procedures) or work done prior to student involvement must not be included.as surgical procedures) or work done prior to student involvement must not be included. Observation/Data/ResultsObservation/Data/Results This section should provide key results that lead directly to the conclusions you have drawn.This section should provide key results that lead directly to the conclusions you have drawn. It should not give too many details about the results nor include tables or graphs.It should not give too many details about the results nor include tables or graphs. ConclusionsConclusions Conclusions from the investigation should be described briefly.Conclusions from the investigation should be described briefly. The summary paragraph should reflect on the process and possibly state some applications andThe summary paragraph should reflect on the process and possibly state some applications and extensions of the investigation.extensions of the investigation. An abstract does not include a bibliography unless specifically required by your local fair. TheAn abstract does not include a bibliography unless specifically required by your local fair. The Intel ISEF requires the bibliography as part of the research plan to be provided on Form 1A.Intel ISEF requires the bibliography as part of the research plan to be provided on Form 1A.
  11. 11. 3.3. Revise and edit the abstract in the template.Revise and edit the abstract in the template. Once you have filled in each section, you canOnce you have filled in each section, you can easily copy and paste the final version into theeasily copy and paste the final version into the abstract form online. Such a procedure avoidsabstract form online. Such a procedure avoids the need to retype the entire abstract, therebythe need to retype the entire abstract, thereby reducing the chance of errors in the finalreducing the chance of errors in the final version.version.
  12. 12. Sample AbstractSample Abstract Effects of Marine Engine Exhaust Water on AlgaeEffects of Marine Engine Exhaust Water on Algae Mary E. JonesMary E. Jones Hometown High School, Hometown, PAHometown High School, Hometown, PA This project in its present form is the result of bioassayThis project in its present form is the result of bioassay experimentation on the effects of two-cycle marine engine exhaustexperimentation on the effects of two-cycle marine engine exhaust water on certain green algae.water on certain green algae. The initial idea was to determine theThe initial idea was to determine the toxicity of outboard engine lubricant. Some success with lubricantstoxicity of outboard engine lubricant. Some success with lubricants eventually led to the formulation of "synthetic" exhaust water which,eventually led to the formulation of "synthetic" exhaust water which, in turn, led to the use of actual two-cycle engine exhaust water asin turn, led to the use of actual two-cycle engine exhaust water as the test substance.the test substance. Toxicity was determined by means of the standard bottle or "batch"Toxicity was determined by means of the standard bottle or "batch" bioassay technique. Scenedesmus quadricauda andbioassay technique. Scenedesmus quadricauda and Ankistrodesmus sp. were used as the test organismsAnkistrodesmus sp. were used as the test organisms.. Toxicity wasToxicity was measured in terms of a decrease in the maximum standing crop.measured in terms of a decrease in the maximum standing crop. The effective concentration - 50% (EC 50) for ScenedesmusThe effective concentration - 50% (EC 50) for Scenedesmus quadricauda was found to be 3.75% exhaust water; forquadricauda was found to be 3.75% exhaust water; for Ankistrodesmus sp. 3.1% exhaust water using the bottle techniqueAnkistrodesmus sp. 3.1% exhaust water using the bottle technique.. Anomalies in growth curves raised the suspicion that evaporationAnomalies in growth curves raised the suspicion that evaporation was affecting the results; therefore, a flow-through system waswas affecting the results; therefore, a flow-through system was improvised utilizing the characteristics of a device called aimprovised utilizing the characteristics of a device called a Biomonitor.Biomonitor. Use of the Biomonitor lessened the influence ofUse of the Biomonitor lessened the influence of evaporation, and the EC 50 was found to be 1.4% exhaust waterevaporation, and the EC 50 was found to be 1.4% exhaust water using Ankistrodesmus sp. as the test organism. Mixed populationsusing Ankistrodesmus sp. as the test organism. Mixed populations of various algae gave an EC 50 of 1.28% exhaust water.of various algae gave an EC 50 of 1.28% exhaust water. The contributions of this project are twofold. First, the toxicity of two-The contributions of this project are twofold. First, the toxicity of two- cycle marine engine exhaust was found to be considerably greatercycle marine engine exhaust was found to be considerably greater than reported in the literature (1.4% vs. 4.2%). Secondly, thethan reported in the literature (1.4% vs. 4.2%). Secondly, the benefits of a flow-through bioassay technique utilizing thebenefits of a flow-through bioassay technique utilizing the Biomonitor was demonstrated.Biomonitor was demonstrated. PurposePurpose MethodsMethods DataData ObservationsObservations ConclusionsConclusions ApplicationsApplications
  13. 13. Other ExamplesOther Examples Persistent Global Activation of thePersistent Global Activation of the AplysiaAplysia Serotonergic System AfterSerotonergic System After Sensitizing StimuliSensitizing Stimuli The marine molluskThe marine mollusk AplysiaAplysia responds to noxious stimulation with aresponds to noxious stimulation with a stereotyped arousal reaction that includes escape locomotion, increasedstereotyped arousal reaction that includes escape locomotion, increased heart rate and sensitization of defensive reflexes. Although previous studiesheart rate and sensitization of defensive reflexes. Although previous studies have shown that serotonin (5-HT) is important for most of these behavioralhave shown that serotonin (5-HT) is important for most of these behavioral responses, it is still unclear how the 5-HT system is activated in response toresponses, it is still unclear how the 5-HT system is activated in response to noxious stimuli. To address this question, I used a specific staining of the 5-noxious stimuli. To address this question, I used a specific staining of the 5- HT neurons in the living central nervous system (CNS) that allowed me to (1)HT neurons in the living central nervous system (CNS) that allowed me to (1) systematically record their electrical activity following a noxious stimulus, andsystematically record their electrical activity following a noxious stimulus, and (2) trace their projections using the neuronal tracer Neurobiotin. I found that(2) trace their projections using the neuronal tracer Neurobiotin. I found that in response to tail-nerve shock, a procedure known to mimic a noxious tailin response to tail-nerve shock, a procedure known to mimic a noxious tail stimulus, the vast majority of 5-HT neurons increased their firing rate forstimulus, the vast majority of 5-HT neurons increased their firing rate for several minutes and became more excitable. 5-HT neurons were found toseveral minutes and became more excitable. 5-HT neurons were found to project toward various peripheral targets such as the gill, heart, body wall,project toward various peripheral targets such as the gill, heart, body wall, tail, siphon, head, and tentacles as well as to other ganglia in the CNS. Thistail, siphon, head, and tentacles as well as to other ganglia in the CNS. This study shows that thestudy shows that the AplysiaAplysia 5-HT system is globally and persistently5-HT system is globally and persistently activated after a noxious stimulus. Such an activation might serve toactivated after a noxious stimulus. Such an activation might serve to synchronize the different aspects of the arousal reaction insynchronize the different aspects of the arousal reaction in AplysiaAplysia..
  14. 14. Writing and RevisingWriting and Revising TipsTips Emphasize these aspects: purpose (hypothesis), methods, scope,Emphasize these aspects: purpose (hypothesis), methods, scope, results, conclusions, and recommendationsresults, conclusions, and recommendations Focus only on the current year's research when it is a continuationFocus only on the current year's research when it is a continuation project.project. Exclude any of the mentor or supervisor’s workExclude any of the mentor or supervisor’s work Omit details and discussionsOmit details and discussions Use the past tense to describeUse the past tense to describe (However, where appropriate use(However, where appropriate use active verbs rather than passive verbs.)active verbs rather than passive verbs.) Use short sentences, but vary sentence structure.Use short sentences, but vary sentence structure. Use complete sentencesUse complete sentences (Do not abbreviate by omitting articles or(Do not abbreviate by omitting articles or other small words in order to save space.)other small words in order to save space.) Avoid jargonAvoid jargon Use appropriate scientific languageUse appropriate scientific language Use concise syntaxUse concise syntax Use correct spelling, grammar, and punctuationUse correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation Simply put, the style of an abstract should always be declarative not discursive.
  15. 15. Revision TechniquesRevision Techniques Addition – adding a word, phrase, or sentenceAddition – adding a word, phrase, or sentence Original:Original: This project is an experimentation of the effects ofThis project is an experimentation of the effects of two-cycle marine engine exhaust water on certain algae.two-cycle marine engine exhaust water on certain algae. Revised:Revised: This project is a bioassay experimentation of theThis project is a bioassay experimentation of the effects of two-cycle marine engine exhaust water on certaineffects of two-cycle marine engine exhaust water on certain green algae.green algae. Deletion – deleting a word, phrase, or sentenceDeletion – deleting a word, phrase, or sentence Original: The researcher has developed an original codeOriginal: The researcher has developed an original code required for successful implementation of the environmentrequired for successful implementation of the environment reconstruction applicationreconstruction application.. Revised: The researcherRevised: The researcher developeddeveloped an original codean original code required for successful implementation of the environmentrequired for successful implementation of the environment reconstruction applicationreconstruction application..
  16. 16. Substitution – substituting one word, phrase, or sentence forSubstitution – substituting one word, phrase, or sentence for anotheranother Original: In the beginning, the idea was to determine theOriginal: In the beginning, the idea was to determine the toxicity of outboard engine lubricant.toxicity of outboard engine lubricant. Revised: TheRevised: The initialinitial idea was to determine the toxicity ofidea was to determine the toxicity of outboard engine lubricant.outboard engine lubricant. Transposition – moving words, phrases, or sentences toTransposition – moving words, phrases, or sentences to another positionanother position Original: Using optical fibers as light guides, a system wasOriginal: Using optical fibers as light guides, a system was created with light guided from a light source to an integratingcreated with light guided from a light source to an integrating chamber, reflected and guided back to a digital camera.chamber, reflected and guided back to a digital camera. Revised: A systemRevised: A system using optical fibers as light guidesusing optical fibers as light guides waswas created with light guided from a light source to an integratingcreated with light guided from a light source to an integrating chamber, reflected, and then guided back to a digital camera.chamber, reflected, and then guided back to a digital camera.
  17. 17. Combination – combining sentences and/or paragraphs,Combination – combining sentences and/or paragraphs, which usually results in the use of multiple revisionwhich usually results in the use of multiple revision techniques and a considerable shortening of the passage.techniques and a considerable shortening of the passage. Original: The project was started with an investigation ofOriginal: The project was started with an investigation of methods in use today and possible alternatives. Twomethods in use today and possible alternatives. Two alternative methods that seemed to be promising werealternative methods that seemed to be promising were chosen — the first method is to kill bacteria with pulsingchosen — the first method is to kill bacteria with pulsing high voltage, and the second is boiling with high efficienthigh voltage, and the second is boiling with high efficient heat exchanging.heat exchanging. Revised: The project iRevised: The project investigatednvestigated two alternative methodstwo alternative methods in use today:in use today: 1) killing1) killing bacteria with pulsing high voltage;bacteria with pulsing high voltage; 2)2) boilingboiling bacteria with abacteria with a high efficient heathigh efficient heat exchangeexchange..
  18. 18. Quiz: What techniques are used inQuiz: What techniques are used in revising this passage?revising this passage? Original:Original: The purpose of my projectThe purpose of my project is to find theis to find the connection between the ratio of radii of anconnection between the ratio of radii of an ellipse andellipse and itsits mechanical advantage onmechanical advantage on specified angle of rotation intervals.specified angle of rotation intervals. Revision:Revision: This project examined the connectionThis project examined the connection between the ratio of radii of an ellipse andbetween the ratio of radii of an ellipse and the mechanical advantage of a specifiedthe mechanical advantage of a specified angle of rotation intervals.angle of rotation intervals.
  19. 19. PERIOD ANALYSIS OF CATACLYSMIC VARIABLE X10PERIOD ANALYSIS OF CATACLYSMIC VARIABLE X10 AND ITS IMPLICATIONS ON THE ORIGIN OF LOW STATESAND ITS IMPLICATIONS ON THE ORIGIN OF LOW STATES Cataclysmic variables are binary systems, each consisting of a white dwarf (the primary)Cataclysmic variables are binary systems, each consisting of a white dwarf (the primary) and a low mass star (the secondary). Usually, matter flows from the secondary onto theand a low mass star (the secondary). Usually, matter flows from the secondary onto the primary, producing X-rays upon impact. However, previous observations have indicatedprimary, producing X-rays upon impact. However, previous observations have indicated that certain cataclysmic variables frequently exhibit low states – a dramatic decrease inthat certain cataclysmic variables frequently exhibit low states – a dramatic decrease in mass transfer (and thus X-ray production) for an extended period of time. Low states canmass transfer (and thus X-ray production) for an extended period of time. Low states can last up to several years, and this phenomenon is currently not well understood. Thislast up to several years, and this phenomenon is currently not well understood. This research is primarily focused on creating a model to elucidate the origin of low statesresearch is primarily focused on creating a model to elucidate the origin of low states using data gathered from X10, a magnetic cataclysmic variable that experienced a lowusing data gathered from X10, a magnetic cataclysmic variable that experienced a low state in year 2005. The model proposed in this study attributes low states to the magneticstate in year 2005. The model proposed in this study attributes low states to the magnetic interactions between the secondary’s starspots and the primary, and its predictions oninteractions between the secondary’s starspots and the primary, and its predictions on which systems should exhibit low states and which ones should not have all beenwhich systems should exhibit low states and which ones should not have all been confirmed by past observations.confirmed by past observations.
  20. 20. THE STRING TOPOLOGY BV ALGEBRA, HOCHSCHILD COHOMOLOGYTHE STRING TOPOLOGY BV ALGEBRA, HOCHSCHILD COHOMOLOGY AND THE GOLDMAN BRACKET ON SURFACESAND THE GOLDMAN BRACKET ON SURFACES This project provides an algebraic description of the String Topology Batalin-VilkoviskyThis project provides an algebraic description of the String Topology Batalin-Vilkovisky algebra for a large class of manifolds. Such a description previously existed only foralgebra for a large class of manifolds. Such a description previously existed only for spheres and projective spaces.spheres and projective spaces. The homology H(LX) of the space of free loops of a closed oriented smooth manifold XThe homology H(LX) of the space of free loops of a closed oriented smooth manifold X has a rich algebraic structure called string topology, discovered by Chas and Sullivan inhas a rich algebraic structure called string topology, discovered by Chas and Sullivan in 1999. In particular, H(LX) is a Batalin-Vilkovisky (BV) algebra. However this structure is1999. In particular, H(LX) is a Batalin-Vilkovisky (BV) algebra. However this structure is hard to compute in algebraic terms.hard to compute in algebraic terms. This project studies string topology in the case when the manifold X is aspherical. In thisThis project studies string topology in the case when the manifold X is aspherical. In this case the Hochschild cohomology Gerstenhaber algebra HH(A) of the group algebra A ofcase the Hochschild cohomology Gerstenhaber algebra HH(A) of the group algebra A of the fundamental group of X has a BV structure. My main result is a theorem establishingthe fundamental group of X has a BV structure. My main result is a theorem establishing a natural isomorphism between the Hochschild cohomology BV algebra HH(A) and thea natural isomorphism between the Hochschild cohomology BV algebra HH(A) and the string topology BV algebra H(LX). In particular, for a closed oriented surface X ofstring topology BV algebra H(LX). In particular, for a closed oriented surface X of hyperbolic type this gives a complete description of the BV algebra operations on H(LX)hyperbolic type this gives a complete description of the BV algebra operations on H(LX) and HH(A) terms of the Goldman bracket of loops on X.and HH(A) terms of the Goldman bracket of loops on X. There are several conjectures connecting the string topology BV algebra with algebraicThere are several conjectures connecting the string topology BV algebra with algebraic structures on the Hochschild cohomology of algebras related to the manifold X. Mystructures on the Hochschild cohomology of algebras related to the manifold X. My theorem is the first such hypothesis that has been proven. The proof is based on atheorem is the first such hypothesis that has been proven. The proof is based on a combination of topological and algebraic constructions allowing to compute and comparecombination of topological and algebraic constructions allowing to compute and compare multiplications and BV operators on both H(LX) and HH(A).multiplications and BV operators on both H(LX) and HH(A).
  21. 21. COMPUTER AIDED INSTRUCTION IN THE MODERN CLASSROOMCOMPUTER AIDED INSTRUCTION IN THE MODERN CLASSROOM Computers have benefited mankind in many areas, and are still left untapped in manyComputers have benefited mankind in many areas, and are still left untapped in many areas. The main aim of this project was to provide a modern, fresh and excitingareas. The main aim of this project was to provide a modern, fresh and exciting environment for education to take place in - utilizing computers as a medium. Althoughenvironment for education to take place in - utilizing computers as a medium. Although not restricted to, one of the concerns and motivations of this project was to make this newnot restricted to, one of the concerns and motivations of this project was to make this new form of education accessible to the underprivileged, both in South Africa andform of education accessible to the underprivileged, both in South Africa and internationally.internationally. A program suite was designed to enhance education in the classroom. VirtuaLAB, aA program suite was designed to enhance education in the classroom. VirtuaLAB, a Virtual Reality (VR) laboratory, provides a 3-Dimensional, fully equipped and extensibleVirtual Reality (VR) laboratory, provides a 3-Dimensional, fully equipped and extensible science laboratory where the students have the freedom to conduct experiments, learnscience laboratory where the students have the freedom to conduct experiments, learn and experience chemistry 'first hand' (similar to modern video games), all providedand experience chemistry 'first hand' (similar to modern video games), all provided through an affordable desktop solution. Testing, both of the students' and teachers' usagethrough an affordable desktop solution. Testing, both of the students' and teachers' usage of the program, as well as research into the affordability and viability of such a proposedof the program, as well as research into the affordability and viability of such a proposed environment was also conducted.environment was also conducted. There are many communities where overpopulation, poverty and lack of resources haveThere are many communities where overpopulation, poverty and lack of resources have made education inaccessible. VirtuaLAB was investigated to determine how it could aidmade education inaccessible. VirtuaLAB was investigated to determine how it could aid such a community practically. Other benefits, such as those to student's progress, resultssuch a community practically. Other benefits, such as those to student's progress, results and attitude towards their education, were examined.and attitude towards their education, were examined. In the broader perspective, VirtuaLAB is one implementation of a Computer AidedIn the broader perspective, VirtuaLAB is one implementation of a Computer Aided Instruction (CAI) environment – using VR to immerse the user in the VirtuaLAB world.Instruction (CAI) environment – using VR to immerse the user in the VirtuaLAB world. The community response alone proved that such new technologies are not only viableThe community response alone proved that such new technologies are not only viable but are also demanded and that endless opportunity waits in this modern technologicalbut are also demanded and that endless opportunity waits in this modern technological future.future.

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