Guidelines for Abstracts - Film, Performance, and Visual Arts

Abstracts vary in style and format by field and discipline. Please consult the following questions and categories as guidelines for your given field as you prepare your abstracts (Adapted from SCCUR guidelines).

  • Overview: What type of creative activity did you engage in? What is the format or medium for your work?
  • Subject: What is the subject of your work? Describe the main topics, themes, and ideas that make up your project.
  • Theories and Methodologies: Which theories and methodologies inform your work?
  • Audience: Describe the audience(s) for your work.
  • Meaning: What is the meaning, message, or significance of your project?

In addition to submitting a written abstract, those in the arts must submit a 3 minute video excerpt (performance arts, film) or digital images (visual arts). Students will be prompted to upload these supplemental materials within the application.

Music
Supplemental materials for music students vary according to the type of project. The following materials according to your type of project should be submitted in addition to the written abstract:

  1. Original composition: students must submit a significant portion of the score plus a video excerpt from a performance of the work (3 minute minimum). A full score must be available at the time of the symposium.
  2. Lecture recital: a video excerpt from a performance of the work (3 minute minimum).
  3. Research project: no additional application materials required

The applicant's name, title, composer, and type of musical ensemble must be included in the item description when uploading supplemental materials within the application.

Dance
In addition to the written abstract, students must submit a video excerpt from a performance of the work (3 minute minimum). Name, title, choreographer, and idiom of the piece (modern, ballet, jazz, etc.) must be included in the item description when uploading supplemental materials within the application.

Theatre
In addition to the abstract, students must submit a video excerpt from a performance of the work (3 minute minimum). Name and title of the piece must be included in the item description when uploading supplemental materials within the application.

Drawing, Painting, Ceramics, Digital Media and other Applied Arts
In addition to the written abstract, students must submit digital scans of their work and an artist’s statement. No original work should be submitted. Please include applicant name, title of the work, medium, dimensions, and date for each piece of work in the item description when uploading supplemental materials within the application.

Video and Film
In addition to the written abstract, students must submit a video excerpt or film trailer (3 minute maximum). Students must include their name and the title of the piece when uploading supplemental materials within the application.

Film, Performance, and Visual Arts Abstract Examples

Tips for All Fields:

  • Make sure your abstract is understandable to a wide audience.
  • Consult with your faculty mentor as to whether your abstracts should be written in the first or third person, and what is appropriate for your project.
  • Take time to prepare your abstract. Write drafts and revise in order to capture your project precisely.
  • Create a clear title that incorporates the keywords, key points and findings, and/or main ideas of your project.
  • Review your abstract carefully before submission, checking for errors, typos, and clarity.
  • Seek input from your faculty mentor and be sure to receive your mentor’s approval.