Abstract Instructions & Guidelines

Choose a category that you would put your research in (please choose whatever is closest):

  1. Life Sciences & Biology
  2. Physical Sciences & Engineering
  3. Social Sciences
  4. Humanities
  5. Arts
  6. Business or Economics

Give your research or project a TITLE. You are required to provide TWO types of descriptions.  These should be submitted electronically (must be a word doc; do not send PDF) using the appropriate format (see below).  Save as one document with the file named “last_first initial_abstract.”  You may use italics for emphasis or Latin words; otherwise, do not use any additional formatting in your headings or in the document text.

  • Your abstract should be written as if you were writing for a journal or professional article, describing your research to others in your field.  These will be published in a booklet and will be posted on the RCPRS website.  This should be 150-250 words, unless your field has a different standard.  You should consult with your mentor and browse other abstracts to better understand the standards in your discipline.
  • Abstract Format
    • Times Roman 10 pt, single spaced, left justified
    • Student Name
    • College, Major
    • Mentor Name
    • Title of Abstract (use title case)
    • Abstract body (150-250 words MAX) Do NOT write our such things as “student, college, major, mentor name, title of abstract”  But DO include that information.  You should write your mentor’s name as “Dr. (First, Last), Mentor”.  See examples below.
  • A brief summary (a few sentences; 50-75 words) of your research written so that any of your fellow students and others can understand what it is that you have been doing.  These will be provided with the press release and will be printed in the graduation booklet.  (Your description will be cut off after 75 words; most seniors last year were able to keep it close to 50.)

These are TWO SEPARATE DOCUMENTS, written for 2 different publications (the abstracts will be printed in the Senior Expo proceedings, and the summary is for our graduation booklet).

  • Summary Format
    • Times Roman 10 pt, single spaced, left justified
    • Student Name
    • College, Major
    • Mentor Name
    • Title of Abstract (use title case)
    • Summary (75 words MAX)

Sample Abstract
Elissa Driggin
Human Ecology, Nutritional Science
Professors David Levitsky (Cornell University) and Susan Carnell (Columbia University), Mentors
Appetitive Traits from Infancy to Adolescence: Using Behavioral and Neural Measures to Investigate Obesity Risk

Extensive research on obesity and its related complications has shown that both biological and environmental factors influence individual eating behaviors and weight trajectories. As a result, it becomes important to study how both biological and behavioral factors interact within vulnerable populations in order to design intervention techniques that may treat and help prevent the onset of obesity. Appetitive traits such as food cue responsiveness and satiety responsiveness are examples of behavioral measures that may be assessed using techniques such as psychometric questionnaires. Biomarkers such as brain responses to food cues may be measured by techniques such as functional MRI. Certain appetitive traits as well as specific brain responses have been shown to be associated with differences in body weight in certain populations, underscoring their importance as phenotypic markers for obesity. Moreover, these same appetitive traits and brain responses have been associated with risk for obesity in children and adolescents with risk determined by parental BMI. Familial obesity risk, if recognized early on, may provide an important marker for proneness to obesity even before the onset of the disease. Therefore, using familial obesity risk as a marker for individual obesity risk is a technique that warrants further investigation as is revealed by this review.

Sample “layman’s” description

Elissa Driggin
Human Ecology, Nutritional Science
Dr. David Levitsky, Dr. Susan Carnell, Mentors
Appetitive traits from infancy to ado­lescence: Using behavioral and neu­ral measures to investigate obesity risk

My research focuses on behavioral and biological bases of obesity. At Cornell, I have researched sensitivity to food cues among dieters in order to determine if restrained eaters are more sensitive to food cues in the en­vironment as compared to non-dieters. Additionally, my summer research focused on studying behavioral and neural bases of obesity as determined by functional MRI and whether or not these aspects differ among individuals at different risk for obesity.