College of Natural Science & Mathematics

Formal Abstract Guidelines

The Formal Abstract (separate from your scientific paper) is submitted for publication in the ASHSSS program booklet and may be used for other ASHSSS-related purposes.

Your abstract will be PUBLISHED as submitted (check it thoroughly!) and will be accepted only if it conforms to the guidelines described below. DO NOT submit your formal abstract via FAX or photocopy from the original. Submit an original!

The formal abstract must be an original, printed on 8.5” x 11” white paper with a letter quality printer using 12 point font (Times or Times New Roman) and black type. The abstract must be single-spaced and left justified, with 1-inch margins, and must not exceed 200 words. Include one line of space between the heading and the body of the abstract.

The formal abstract should include the following information as a heading. (See also the Formal Abstract Example.)

  • Title (The same as the title of your scientific paper.)
  • Your name
  • The name of your high school, high school city, and state
  • The name of your teacher, sponsor, or mentor and his/her organization. Precede the person’s name with a subheading (i.e. teacher, sponsor, or mentor.)

When you register, in addition to submitting a printed version of your formal abstract, you will also submit an electronic version. (See How to Register for the ASHSSS for details about submitting your formal abstract electronically.) The ASHSSS Director reserves the right to make minor editorial changes to your abstract to ensure that all abstracts look similar.

Formal Abstract Example

Below you will find an example of a completed Formal Abstract.

A Test of the Competitive Exclusion Theory in Two Related Species of Butterflies
Sarah Dioski
Oil City High School, Oil City, PA
Teacher: Mrs. Georgiana Spallanzi, Oil City High School
Mentor: Dr. Joseph Pascale, Oil City University

The food habits of larval butterflies of two related species, Papilio splendens and Papilio blanchii in a zone of overlap near Oil City, PA were examined. The theory of competitive exclusion predicts that food habits of closely related species should not overlap significantly where the differing species occur together. Transects in five different habitats were used to determine food and habitat preferences in wild populations. Captive caterpillars were offered various foods in the laboratory; weight changes of foods and caterpillars were examined daily. Food habits in overlapping habitats were significantly different between the two species (ANOVA p = 0.001). Food habits in non-overlapping habitats were not significantly different (ANOVA p = 0.52). There were no differences in food preferences (ANOVA p = 0.76) or growth rates (ANOVA p = 0.88) from different foods used in laboratory maintained populations. These species are able to coexist because they are not competing for the same and limited food resources in the same area. These results support the theory of competitive exclusion because the two species did not use the same food resources in the same habitats.