• Tips for Writing an Abstract for SharePoint Conference

    Writing SharePoint Conference Abstracts

    Are you a SharePoint expert? Do you have some other area of business expertise worth sharing with enterprise-scale companies? If so, you may have already realized that presenting your own session at SharePoint Conference 2014 would be a great way to establish yourself as an expert in your field while networking with those who share your interests and ambitions. Unfortunately, the time to submit to the 2014 conference is already past.

    The good news is that this will not be the last major SharePoint Conference, and you're in a prime position to start working on ideas for future conventions n this field. The process for doing so usually begins with an abstract of the paper, workshopping topic, or panel discussion you would like to have at the center of your session. This article walks you through how you can effectively write an abstract for future SharePoint conferences.

    Keep It Brief

    The requirements for an abstract will vary depending on the conference, year, and sometimes even the topic. Typically, abstracts will be anywhere from 200 to 500 words in length. Additionally, a summary of the abstract will also be required. These summaries will typically be 50 words or fewer.

    If you have a topic that's too broad or complex to present on, the abstract and summary will help you realize that fact. Within the summary, you should be able to communicate the subject matter and benefit of your presentation.

    Submit Early and Often

    Many conferences have multiple rounds of submissions. By submitting during the first round, you give yourself an opportunity to refine and revise your abstract for re-submission during future rounds.

    Additionally, you can always submit to other SharePoint conferences using the same materials. Do note, however, that different groups have more or less restrictive policies when it comes to re-using papers or materials that have already been published elsewhere.

    Be Active and Direct

    Don't just talk about what you're going to talk about in a nebulous way (e.g., "This paper will discuss the importance of business intelligence and ways that business intelligence can benefit companies"). Rather, talk about what will be said about the topic (e.g., "Embedded business intelligence web parts can improve efficiency, performance, and profitability of the workforce").

    Here's one thing to remember that may help you shape your abstract's structure. The abstract is often used word-for-word in the conference program. In other words, your description should make people understand your point and want to hear more about it.

    Alongside the need for direct discussion of your major ideas, be sure you use an "active voice" in the abstract. Don't know what an active voice is? A sentence written in passive voice has a subject indirectly enacting a verb (e.g., "He was starting to run") while a sentence written in active voice has a subject directly enacting a verb (e.g., "She ran"). The active sentence structure makes your words more lively and, more importantly, helps conserve valuable space in the abstract itself.

    Past SharePoint conference programs and abstracts are available for your perusal, so here's one final tip: Take a look at the abstracts that have gone before you! After all, any abstract that made it to the program also successfully made it through the submission process.

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