Some basic information on abstract writing in linguistics:




  • There are usually two types of abstracts: one is 500 worded and the other is two paged, with the second page devoted only to data and references, and usually 12-fonted in Times New Roman.


  • The Linguistic Society of America (LSA) annual meeting always adopts the 500 worded abstract format. Most other major conferences in linguistics such as NELS, WCCFL, CLS, WECOL, adopt the 2 paged format.


  • Good guidelines for writing a 500 worded abstract are found on the LSA website:


This page also contains model abstracts too.


  • As for writing a 2 paged abstract, there isnít any good set of guidelines that are out there. But it cannot be so different from writing a 500 worded abstract. It'd be more or less accuate to say that all you need to do is to expand the abstract a bit.


  • The best way to learn how to write a good abstract is by examining some model abstracts and also by writing one on your own and critically analyzing it.


  • So below are some abstracts that have been written by graduate students in linguistics, both in 500 worded and 2 paged formats. Some of these have been accepted to conferences and some have been rejected. (We thank the contributors who graciously shared their abstracts on the condition of anonymity.)


  • We want you to guess which ones must have been accepted or rejected, and provide reasons for your decision/verdict.


  • 500 worded model abstracts:



  • 2 paged model abstracts:



Note: this website was created by Dr. Min-Joo Kim for the Workshop on Abstract Writing in linguistics held in Spring, 2007 at Texas Tech University, which she co-organized with Dr. Dan Siddiqi.