Kentucky Academy of Science

Junior Academy Abstract Guidelines

The abstract is a brief summary of your project.  The length is generally one to two paragraphs.  All of the information in your abstract must be found somewhere else in your paper.  So, even though this is the first section of your paper, you will probably write it last.  Like the title, the abstract should be “short and sweet.”  Your abstracts must have less than 250 words so choose your words carefully.  A well-written abstract will include a sentence or two about each of the following:

  • topic (what your research is about)
  • purpose (what questions you hoped to answer by doing your research)
  • hypothesis (your prediction about what your research would reveal)
  • experimental methods (how you tested your hypothesis)
  • results and conclusions (the most important ones, including whether or not your hypothesis was supported)

That’s a lot of information to put in one or two short paragraphs!  Writing a good abstract will take practice.  Find some examples of abstracts in journals or books to see how others have written them.  Ask people to read your abstract and suggest improvements.

Specific formatting requirements for Junior Academy abstracts:

  1. Text of abstracts must be 250 words or less.
  2. Use the same font style and size (10 or 12 point) throughout; do not use bold. Italics should be used only for scientific name of organisms and other expressions that conventionally appear in italic type.
  3. The address should contain the name of the author’s institution, the name of the city,  state  and zip code.
  4. In multi-authored abstracts, the name of the presenter of the paper should be followed by an asterisk.
  5. Use standard, well-known abbreviations when the use of abbreviations is necessary. When using abbreviations for chemical compounds, spell out the name in full at the first mention and follow with the abbreviation in parenthesis; use the abbreviation thereafter. Do not abbreviate compounds in the title of the abstract.
  6. Scientific names of organisms should be in italics (not underlined). Spell out generic names the first time they are used; afterwards these names should be abbreviated to the first letter (plus a period) when followed by a specific epithet unless confusion results with another abbreviated generic name in the abstract
  7. When you submit your abstract, be sure to indicate the section to which your paper belongs


[from Transactions of the Kentucky Academy of  Science, 50(1-2),1989,p. 127, with permission]

Fecundity and spawning substrate preferences of captive Kentucky snubnose darters (Etheostoma rafinesquei), multiple spawners. GORDON K. WEDDLE, Biology Department, Campbellsville College, Campbellsville, KY  42718.
Nine pairs of Kentucky snubnose darters were maintained in captivity in natural habitat for periods of 26-42 d in spring 1988.  Spawned ova (n=4,892) were collected from artificial spawning substrates aligned horizontally, vertically, and at a 45o inclination from vertical.  Seventy per cent of the ova were spawned on vertical substrates, 25% on inclined substrates, and 5% on horizontal substrates.  Females spawned multiple clutches of ova (mean clutch = 47.4 ova; mean interval between clutches = 3.2 d).  Water temperature was directly correlated with clutch (r = 0.47; P < 0.001) and inversely correlated with interval (r = -0.29; P < 0.001). The maximum number of ova spawned by any female was 780 contained in 13 clutches spawned over 42 d.  Fecundity (F) was estimated by calculation; F = (season length / mean clutch interval) x (mean clutch).  Fecundity estimates for 9 captive females (400-1,140) were much larger than published estimates based on counts of mature ova.  Because ripe ova were recruited throughout the season, counts of mature ova probably represented clutch rather than fecundity.  The spawning season (7-8 wk) terminated when maximum water temperature remained consistently above 21.5oC.  Many ova, including ripe ova, were resorbed at the end of the season.  Counts of ova, total or mature, did not yield valid estimates of fecundity for Kentucky snubnose darters.  Whether this is true of other darters is not known.


If you have any questions about the Kentucky Junior Academy of Science, please contact:  Dr. Ruth E. Beattie, Dept. of Biology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506,, 859-257-7647