Writing abstracts in the humanities and social sciences


This workshop, by Josie Dixon (Lucian Consulting), is a one-day intensive training session on writing research abstracts - a key form of scholarly communication. Essential for gaining acceptance to speak at conferences (and an audience for your presentation), and for attracting readers to your journal articles, they are of critical importance for raising the profile of your research and developing an academic career. This short form of description, representing the essence of a research contribution, places particular demands on academic writing style, in terms of clarity, economy and precision. The workshop is designed to develop the necessary skills within a step-by-step framework, encouraging participants to find clear, concise and powerful ways to summarize their research and make an impact.


  • What are abstracts for? Contexts, functions, characteristics
  • Key elements: quickfire writing exercise to draft an abstract
  • Differing conventions between subject areas
  • Tailoring to the context: conferences and journal articles
  • Revising and editing

Learning outcomes

After having attended this workshop, participants will ...

  • understand the contexts, functions and characteristics of abstracts,
  • be able to use a framework of key elements to produce a first draft efficiently,
  • be able to tailor to the context,
  • have learned to revise and edit, developing critical skills through mutual editing.


An important part of preparing for any further professional step is becoming (more) aware of the competences you have developed and/or want to develop. In the current workshop, the following competences from the UHasselt competency overview are actively dealt with:

  • academic research competences:
    • publication skills
  • interpersonal competences:
    • written communication
  • task-orientedness:
    • precision
    • quality assurance
  • intellectual competences:
    • critical judgment


For whom?

  • PhD students in the humanities and social sciences, 2nd year and beyond
  • 16 places available

When and where?

  • June 15, 2021 - 10:00-16:00
  • This course will be organized digitally


  • Registration closed since May 24, 2021
  • As places are limited, registering does not automatically imply that you will be able to participate. You will be notified by email in due time.
  • Please cancel your registration at least one week in advance in case you cannot make it (cf. cancellation & no-show policy).

Acknowledged as?

  • category 'research management & communication skills' - workshop on general research skills