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Business Writing: How to Write an Abstract

General guide for students and staff who are looking for support with business writing.



This section is currently focused on the Ecocity World Summit. BCIT is the academic lead for this international sustainability conference and therefore we strongly encourage BCIT faculty, students and staff to submit presentation or poster ideas for the conference.

  •     Abstract Submission Deadline: April 1, 2019 (23:59 PST)
  •     Session notifications to all accepted presenters: June 3, 2019
  •     Presenter Confirmation Deadline: June 10, 2019
  •     Presenting Author Registration Deadline: September 1, 2019
  •     Presenting Author and Abstract Title Change Deadline: September 1, 2019
  •     Conference dates October 7-11, 2019

EcoCity Abstract

Tips on how to write an abstract:

The goal of writing a successful abstract is to be concise and stay within the word limit (for EcoCity the maximum is 400 words) while simultaneously convincing the review committee that you have an exciting and relevant topic.  Here are some tips for how to keep on task (written by one of the conference organizers):

  • Write one or two sentences that introduce the context (i.e., what is going on in the world, or in your community, that is creating the challenge you aim to address).
  • Write five sentences that explain what you set out to achieve (purpose) and how you attempted to do it (method).
  • Write three sentences on the findings (what was the outcome of your effort and what did you learn).
  • Write one or two sentences in conclusion (what insights did you learn and what impacts might this have going forward).

Your goal is to demonstrate why your proposal is a great example of a conference theme in action. Try to include wording about how your topic relates to one or more themes as listed below.

Overall conference theme: Socially Just and Ecologically Sustainable Cities.  Within this there are 18 sub-theme categories grouped under the following headings (visit a complete list).

  1. URBAN DESIGN – this track addresses conditions in the built environment including land use considerations to provide “access by proximity” to work, housing, services, and nature. It also addresses “safe and affordable housing,” “green buildings,” and “environmentally friendly transport.”
  2. BIO-GEOPHYSICAL CONDITIONS – this track addresses conditions at the interface between the natural and built environment such as “clean air,” “clean and safe water,” “healthy soil,” “responsible resources/ materials,” “clean and renewable energy,” and “healthy and accessible food.”
  3. SOCIO-CULTURAL FEATURES – this track addresses conditions in society such as “healthy culture,” “community capacity/ governance,” “healthy and equitable economy,” “life long education,” “well being/ quality of life.”
  4. ECOLOGICAL IMPERATIVES – this track addresses conditions in global and local ecosystems such as “healthy biodiversity,” “earth’s carrying capacity,” and “ecological integrity.”



Have questions?  Please contact:

Alison Griffin ( or Sarah Campbell (