Each student who completes a science fair project must write an abstract to be displayed with the project. An abstract gives the essence of the project in a brief but complete form — it should not exceed 250 words. Judges and the public should have a fairly accurate idea of the project after reading the abstract. 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, or given on the project exhibit board. Note that an abstract does not include acknowledgements (such as referencing mentor or university laboratory) or a bibliography (this should be included in the Form 1A Research Plan Attachment). The following colors in the two abstract examples demonstrate the following concepts:
Purpose of the Experiment (Blue)
• • An introductory statement of the reason for investigating the topic of the project. A statement of the problem or hypothesis being studied.
Procedures Used (Green)
• • • 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 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.
• • 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.
• • Conclusions from the investigation should be described briefly. The summary paragraph should reflect on the process and possibly state some applications and extensions of the investigation.