Abstract as supplement

After months of failure, I’ve clinched a research opportunity! I’m really excited about this and don’t want to rush through in the name of college admissions. I’m expecting to take about two-three months to complete my paper. Will submitting an abstract, however, help my Caltech application overall? I don’t want to brush over the fact that I have indeed participated in research, even though my work is incomplete. Thanks!

I don’t think the abstract will help until you actually obtain some results, but you should definitely mention this research in the activities section.

I think Caltech will be more impressed that you are doing research rather than the results of your research. It’s rare for a high school student to independently do research that impresses them.

@yucca10, I actually do have some results. I won’t go into details, but basically my research is an analysis of existing data, in order to derive a new relationship between two variables. I’ve done this for about 20% of my data, and am fairly confident this relationship will hold for the entirety of it. I plan to include this finding in my abstract.

Analysis of some data set to infer some relationship (correlation?) isn’t going to impress Caltech, because it isn’t considered real science for a school like Caltech. How often do you hear some study proclaim some relationship, but later contradicted by another similar study? To be worthy of research, you need to demonstrate why such a relationship exists scientifically and persuasively, not just statistically. Best of the luck to you.

@1NJParent I agree. Thank you! I am indeed explaining why this relationship exists and how my analysis is relevant as well.

If you have a research mentor who can write a recommendation letter, this may be helpful. If it’s too early in the process for this, you should consider the whole of your application and maybe apply RD instead of EA, when presumably you have completed your research.

@AlwaysMoving Lots and lots of smart highschoolers are doing research nowadays. It’s not enough anymore to impress Caltech.

Nor is research necessary to get into Caltech. Lots of kids get in withit it.