What is an extended abstract?
September 20, 2009 9:04 PM   Subscribe

What should an extended abstract (in the humanities) look like? This is for philosophy in particular, though I assume it might be a similar style for other disciplines.

I'm responding to a CFP which asks for both an abstract and an "extended abstract." I'm unfamiliar with extended abstracts in the humanities, and most resources online are directed towards science writers.

To be clear, the CFP requests that applicants submit both an abstract (< 100 words) and an extended abstract (1,000-1,500 words). The papers themselves are expected to be under 7,000 words.

What all should be included within an extended abstract? References? What level of detail is usually expected? 1,200 words comes to about 2-1/2 typed single-spaced pages, and I'm well aware this is not a lot of space to go into extensive argumentation.

Any direction anyone can provide would be fantastic. Thanks in advance!
posted by JoshSmith to Education (2 answers total)
Best answer: I just recently sent in an abstract of about 400 words. Since the conference only wanted abstracts, I tried to give a preview of each of my arguments along with some indication of their significance (if it wasn't obvious). I figured if my arguments looked interesting enough, they'd want to see the whole paper to find out how I defend those arguments.

However, this was my first time submitting just an abstract, and I don't know if it's been accepted yet. You will probably get more experienced advice from some of the other Mefi Philosophers here.
posted by chndrcks at 6:20 AM on September 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: 1500 words is about 20% of the overall length of the article. I would assume they want a fairly well-articulated argument, with some examples of the kind of proof/support you're going to have and a sense of the structure of the paper. You should also suggest what conclusions you will draw, and there should be enough argument and support in the abstract to suggest that your conclusions will be well developed in the final paper. That's my guess.

I don't think there would be any problem with contacting the people who put out the call and asking if they want references in the extended abstract. Baring that, I would ask someone publishing in your particular field, preferably someone who is familiar with this particular venue (if that's possible).
posted by carmen at 7:01 AM on September 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

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