Abstract Assignment

ENGL 305

Dr. Fike

 

Here is the sort of format that you should have for the heading of your abstract:

 

ABSTRACT

Title:  "Shakespeare and the Feminine:  A Comparison of Portia, Rosalind, and Cordelia"

Author:  Joe Bleau

Affiliation:  Department of English, Winthrop University

Contact:  bleauj3@winthrop.edu

Reading time:  20 minutes

 

The purpose of this document is to help you understand how to write an abstract suitable for conference presentation.  I would refer you, first of all, to an excellent document that Dr. Koster has developed:  http://faculty.winthrop.edu/kosterj/AbstractTips.pdf.  This document provides much helpful information--have a look at it.

Here is Dr. Smith's helpful five-point summary of what an abstract does. You should use it as an outline for your abstract.

1.  OUTLINE the problem you plan to deal with and suggest its significance. [In CRTW terms, what is the question at issue?]

2.  PRESENT the relevant scholarship that situates your approach to the problem and/or explores the background.  Show how your work will add, develop, or set a new direction.  You may use a phrase like this:  "Very little has been done to explore the critical question raised by Andrea Lundsford in her CCCC 1999 Key Note Address." [In other words, what is the scholarly/critical context?]

3.  PRESENT YOUR THESIS, which reveals your stance either with or against prevailing beliefs and scholarship.

4.  PRESENT YOUR METHODOLOGY.  You will probably use phrases like these:  "Interviews with ninth grade writers will reveal" (English Education), "A case study of one student writer suggests" (Writing Center,), "An examination of feminist critics suggests" (Literature), "A stylistic analysis of the conclusions to these three short stories reveals" (Literature), or "An examination of student writing will argue that" (Composition).

5.  SUMMARIZE YOUR CONCEPTS, IDEAS, AND CONCLUSIONS.

Here are some things that, in my opinion, are most helpful in constructing an abstract:

A quick and easy way to begin writing an abstract is to follow an outline such as the following:

Some of you will write papers that are (nearly) ready for conference presentation.  I encourage you to take the abstract assignment seriously; that way, when a suitable conference comes along, you will have an abstract all ready to submit.

Here is one of my abstracts that is on the short side but does many of the things just outlined.  Note that it conveys the thesis, gives the context in the relevant scholarship, mentions the evidence and main points, and ends with the paper's conclusions.

NOTE:  An abstract should not exceed one single-spaced page, with double spaces in the heading and between paragraphs.

 

ABSTRACT

Title:  “The Trickster’s Inflation:  Falstaff and Biblical Allusion”

Presenter:  Dr. Matthew Fike, Associate Professor

Affiliation:  Department of of English, Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC 29733

Contact:  fikem@winthrop.edu; 803-323-4575

Reading time:  20 minutes maximum

AV needs:  None

 

The purpose of this paper is twofold:  first, to enhance and augment Edith Kern’s very limited statements in “Falstaff—A Trickster Figure” (Upstart Crow 5 [1984]:  135-42); and second, to suggest that the fat knight’s multiple allusions to the story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16 illustrate the dual nature of inflation.  In other words, Falstaff experiences not only megalomania (positive inflation) but also feelings of inferiority (negative inflation).  Shakespeare’s multiple allusions to the parable thus constitute the trickster’s inflation, which may ultimately signal some transformation toward individuation on Falstaff’s part.  A trickster figure like Falstaff can change because when a dire event—banishment, illness, death—jars him, as it were, more widely awake, the unconscious may become conscious.  The result is some degree of individuation whose “aim is not to overcome one’s personal psychology, to become perfect, but to become familiar with it” (Daryl Sharp, C. G. Jung Lexicon:  A Primer of Terms & Concepts).  Or as Paul Radin suggests, the trickster may evolve “from a being psychically undeveloped and a prey to his instincts, to an individual who is at least conscious of what he does and who attempts to become socialized” (The Trickster:  A Study in American Indian Mythology). 

Here it is again:

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE: The purpose of this paper is twofold:  first, to enhance and augment [PREVIOUS CRITICISM] Edith Kern’s very limited statements in “Falstaff—A Trickster Figure” (Upstart Crow 5 [1984]:  135-42); and second, to suggest that the fat knight’s multiple allusions to the story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16 illustrate the dual nature of inflation.  THESIS: In other words, Falstaff experiences not only megalomania (positive inflation) but also feelings of inferiority (negative inflation).  Shakespeare’s multiple allusions to the parable thus constitute the trickster’s inflation, which may ultimately signal some transformation toward individuation on Falstaff’s part.  METHODOLOGY: A trickster figure like Falstaff can change because when a dire event—banishment, illness, death—jars him, as it were, more widely awake, the unconscious may become conscious.  CONCLUSIONS: The result is some degree of individuation whose “aim is not to overcome one’s personal psychology, to become perfect, but to become familiar with it” (Daryl Sharp, C. G. Jung Lexicon:  A Primer of Terms & Concepts).  Or as Paul Radin suggests, the trickster may evolve “from a being psychically undeveloped and a prey to his instincts, to an individual who is at least conscious of what he does and who attempts to become socialized” (The Trickster:  A Study in American Indian Mythology). 

 

http://www.winthrop.edu/uploadedFiles/cas/english/AbstractTips.pdf