1. Review the “Call for Abstracts” as it contains guidelines to complete your proposal. Reminder: if you do not follow the guidelines, your abstract may not be reviewed.
  2. When writing the abstract, keep it blind by using “this program”, “this hospital”.
  3. Write your content in a Word document first. This will allow you to review for spelling and grammatical errors as well as word count. Then copy and paste your sections into the online form.
  4. Write out the full name of an organization or title before using abbreviations. For example: the Florida Association of Child Life Professionals (FACLP)
  5. Remember that child life specialist and child life are not capitalized unless it starts a sentence.
  6. For example: “Child life is an established profession…”, “the child life specialist began her quest for research topics…”
  7. Incorporate current research into your abstract. Have you read enough on the subject and integrated it into your abstract? Any time a statement is based on documents/resources that are not your own thoughts, they must be referenced properly. References include peer reviewed journals, websites, books etc. that are a source or evidence of the statement you have made. Reminder: Reference list as well as in-text citation must adhere to APA format (see the APA website for more details).
  8. A good title can be creative but does it tell someone what the presentation is about? Be sure your title matches the content of your presentation.
  9. Think of the abstract as a 400 word essay: introduction, middle (facts), conclusion. Have a clear overview. Tell us what you are going to share in your presentation.
  10. You need to be clear and precise. Ask a trusted colleague to read your abstract submission. Are they able to tell you about your presentation? Is it well written? Does it flow from section to section? If not, revise your abstract.
  11. Seek out editing assistance from a well respected and knowledgeable grammar-conscious colleague. Ask a fellow child life specialist, a social worker, research nurse or university contact. Mentorship can be very important to the success of your proposal.
  12. Objectives are behavioral learning objectives for your presentation and need to be measureable. What is the learner (participant) going to learn? “The attendee will learn to identify…” Remember: Objectives must be linked to the content in the rest of your abstract.
  13. Keep the abstract in the third person (do not use “I”, “we”, “our”, etc)
  14. Engage your audience: write with the reviewers and participants in mind
  15. Due to the professionalism of the conference, reviewers take into account: grammar, content, following guidelines, etc.