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What is an abstract?

The purpose of an abstract is to serve as a brief summary of the project which is written after the project has been completed. The maximum word count is 250 words. All Expo projects must have an abstract.

  • Write your abstract in the past tense.
  • The abstract allows the reader to conclude whether the project write-up is worth reading.
  • The abstract appears at the beginning of the report file.

How to write an abstract

The abstract should include the following headings:

Purpose of the Project

  • An introductory statement of the reason for investigating the topic of the project.
  • A statement of the problem or hypothesis or engineering goals being studied.

Procedure or Method:

  • A summary of the key points and an overview of how the investigation was conducted.
  • An abstract gives no details about the materials used unless they greatly influenced the procedure or had to be developed to do the investigation.
  • An abstract should only include reference to method or procedure done by the learner during the project. Work done by a mentor or work done prior to the learner’s involvement must not be included.


  • This section should provide key results that lead directly to the conclusion that has been drawn.
  • It should not give too many details about the results but must include the most important data generated in the investigations.


  • Conclusion(s) from the investigation should be described briefly.
  • An abstract does not include references or acknowledgements.

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