Tips on…

Writing your conference abstract

When writing your abstract, consider the following:

  • Familiarise yourself with the conference aims to make sure it is the right platform to share your research on. Read the conference website and previous conference proceedings. This will help you to avoid ‘falling at the first hurdle’ and your proposal being rejected;
  • Your title should grab the reader’s attention, but don’t feel you need to make a clever play on words. Often a clear and straightforward statement that tells the reader what to expect has more impact;
  • Make sure that your keywords are relevant, as this will make your paper easier to find in a search;
  • An abstract will normally mirror the structure of a research paper. e.g. introduction, literature review, research design, findings, analysis and conclusions;
  • You should state the problem that you aim to solve in the study/project. This will directly relate to your research question;
  • Clearly state the purpose of your research. Who/what does it apply or relevant to?
  • Briefly outline your methodology. This indicates your research stance and how you will be interpreting your findings;
  • Describe your research method(s), including sampling and data gathering;
  • Highlight the key findings from your study;
  • Finish your abstract with the headline conclusions, which may include alternative perspectives on the research topic, implications for future practice and/or research;

For new researchers, the spoof abstract below illustrates a concise abstract addressing many of the points above…

Springer spaniels’ perspectives on dried dog food: a phenomenological study.


Food is an important part of every dog’s life, particularly the playful and energetic English springer spaniel. Whilst the English Springer Spaniel Club recommend a diet with whole meat protein as the primary ingredient, many owners choose dried food, or kibble, as the primary food source for their family pet. This radical study utilises emerging technologies to observe and interpret canine behaviour as part of a phenomenological study of 10 springer spaniels from family homes in north of La La Land, from a range of socioeconomic status households. This study found that participants feed on a solely dried food diet over the 4-week period began to display lethargic and antisocial behaviours, such as refusing to play with small children and leaving presents on the kitchen floor for their owners to find in the morning. In addition, the human participants reported an increase in noxious gases over the period of the study. The implications of the findings suggest that the springer spaniel’s reputation as ideal family pet may be contingent on their owner’s choice of diet. Further study is required to compare different diets with a larger sample.

Keywords: dried dog food, English springer spaniel, kibble, phenomenology.

When submitting to PATT40

Pupils’ Attitudes Toward Technology (PATT) is an international community researchers whose mission is to generate and share knowledge about design, technology and engineering education. The conference originated in the Netherlands, and meets annually in a different country each year. Conference papers tend to focus on technology education in the compulsory school settings, but also includes initial teacher education and higher education. Read our About PATT and PATT40 Liverpool webpages to find out more, or if you have any questions about the compatibility of your research with PATT reach out to us by email on or on our Enquiries webpage.