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Writing a Technical Abstract

Moss Drake

Tips on writing a successful abstract from Senior Test Engineer and PNSQC Presenter Rachael Lovallo.

Are you considering submitting a proposal to present at PNSQC’s 40th anniversary conference in 2022? The abstract is your chance to state your case and win over the review committee.


In this post, we break down the meaning and significance of an abstract, where you will encounter it when submitting a proposal for PNSQC, and tips to write one that will earn you an invitation to present your topic at the conference.

Two people high fivingFirst, What is an Abstract?

Merriam-Webster defines “Abstract” as “a summary of points usually presented in skeletal form, or something that summarizes or concentrates the essentials of a larger thing.”

For PNSQC, an abstract represents your single and best chance to sell your idea to the conference submission reviewers.

The topic of your abstract can be anything to do with Quality. Past abstracts have touched on everything from emerging AI technology to DevOps, leadership, methodology, system design, and UI testing. For 2022, the conference theme is The Evolution of Quality, and, while writing the abstract, you should consider how the focus of your topic has evolved over time. 

Tips for Writing a Memorable and Convincing Abstract

Write a Draft

The PNSQC 2022 submission deadline is two weeks away, on May 9, 2022 April 22, 2022, so there is no need to rush. Write it down, then go back to review it a day or two later. Make edits, think of examples to mention, and see if there’s anything you’re missing. Give yourself time and space to perfect your pitch. You might even ask a mentor for review before you officially submit. When it is polished, just copy and paste! 

Learning Objectives First

Did a teacher ever ask you to write an outline for a paper in high school or college? The same concept can apply to your abstract. Writing your three learning objectives first helps you zero in on what you want to share with the Quality community, and can act as an outline for your abstract. 

Give it Structure

Consider structuring your abstract like a mini-essay. Start with a sentence to introduce the topic, move on to a few sentences to flesh out the concept (perhaps leaning heavily on your main 3 learning objectives), then sum it all up in a concluding sentence. 

Submitting the Abstract for a PNSQC Proposal

The process for submitting an abstract proposal is straight-forward:

  • You can click “Submit a Proposal” here, or on PNSQC’s homepage
  • Next, you’ll enter your personal information, choose your submission topic and type, and then state whether you will attend the conference in person or virtually. 
  • On the very next screen, warm up your typing fingers because you’ll be faced with filling in your Title, Abstract, and Learning Objectives. 
  • Copy and Paste your abstract draft, adding an engaging title and the objectives that helped guide your draft.
  • You’re all set!

You now have the information and tools to write a winning abstract. The PNSQC team is excited to see your submissions roll in over the coming weeks.

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