Alana Joli Abbott (alanajoli) wrote,
Alana Joli Abbott

Realizing You Didn't Take All the Right Classes...

It occurs to me today (as I'm preparing to write an abstract for one of jbattis's new anthologies) that I don't recall ever having written an abstract for a paper. This could mean that I just didn't find the experience very memorable, but it could also mean that I never had to write an abstract as an undergrad. I've written "blurbs" and "intros" for books and articles that I've written, but I feel as though an abstract is something bigger, more academic.

So now that I'm looking at writing an actual academic paper (if my abstract is accepted), for the first time since 2000, I'm trying to figure out how to fill this gap in my educated memory. I'm trolling the university sites that proclaim their abstract advice (though the ones on literary papers are fairy scarce). It makes me wonder a bit, with the pop-culture papers that are filling anthologies now (Finding Serenity, Investigating Farscape, or Welcome to Wisteria Lane), is there a pop-culture abstract? Where is the boundary between pop-culture and academia? (Is it actually getting narrower? Or do I just read the blogs of a bunch of hip academics?)

If anyone has additional advice on writing abstracts, I'd love to hear it. (I'm using the Southern California Conference on Undergraduate Research and the UC-Davis sites for examples at the moment.) One of the examples I found is actually about Harry Potter, so I think I'm on the right track. ;)
Tags: writing

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