Each Doctorate or graduating student has to submit an abstract. The abstract is a crucial part of several academic papers. It can be part of a conference paper, science journal, or dissertation. Despite the fact that it is only one short paragraph, writing it successfully takes practice and knowledge. Therefore, knowing and mastering how to write a dissertation abstract is crucial.
So, we assume that you have finally completed your thesis or dissertation. Thus, it is now the perfect time to compose your abstract. An abstract is also sometimes called an executive summary.
Since you have arrived here, the odds are you are not certain about what you require to include in your dissertation abstract or how to write it. You do not need to worry. Because we will explain everything in the easiest way possible step by step to help you learn how to write a dissertation abstract.
What is a Dissertation Abstract?
The abstract of a dissertation or thesis is a brief but well-structured overview of the essential aspects and key takeaways of your study or research. The abstract is normally a single paragraph or 300-500 words in length. However, this varies depending on the subject and the university you study in.
Besides, an abstract, as well as an executive summary, are not the same thing in scholarly journals. An abstract often merely describes what the research will be about without, also talking about the results and conclusion. However, an executive summary digs deep into everything including the conclusion and findings. Nonetheless, in the case of a dissertation or thesis, the abstract typically covers both and offers a good summary of the whole project.
Other than that, you should also keep in mind that a dissertation abstract is not the same thing as an introduction. Besides, you need to make sure that your reader knows that your paper is worthy of giving their time.
An excellent dissertation abstract will generally include the following content:
- What is the issue that you are trying to resolve?
- What are the aims and questions of your research?
- How did you do the research?
- What did you find after doing the research?
- What conclusion have you reached?
With that in mind, we will discuss each of the above in detail in this article.
What is the Purpose of Writing a Dissertation Abstract?
A typical dissertation abstract serves the following two purposes:
The initial goal is to notify target readers of the primary concept of your study without requiring them to read the full essay. It must specifically express what your study is about or what you were attempting to discover. Besides, it also tells them what your results were. After all, the abstract is the very first thing readers will look at while determining whether or not to read your dissertation or thesis.
Furthermore, the second goal of an abstract is to provide information to search engines and dissertation libraries when they record and index your dissertation or thesis.
So, the search engines will frequently utilize the phrases and keywords in your abstract in addition to your keyword list to classify your content and make it available to visitors.
Why is Writing a Dissertation Abstract Essential?
Most people do not have enough time to study your entire dissertation or thesis! Besides, I am sure that you all will agree that time is money.
Moreover, whenever you recall back to when you did your literature review, you will know how significant abstracts are. Scholars that do literature reviews on any particular issue confront a mountain of reading. Therefore, they must optimize their technique to save time and energy.
An excellent dissertation abstract provides the reader with a shorter version of your work. This version allows them to determine whether or not to continue reading it in its full.
As a result, your abstract, like a storefront display window, must pitch your research to potential readers. However, you may think you do not plan to publish your dissertation.
Nonetheless, you must present an effective abstract for your readers. One of the factors they consider is your capacity, to sum up, your work clearly. Therefore, it is critical to put time and effort into creating an appealing store window.
Furthermore, a substantial abstract serves an additional role for graduate students. As a recent graduate, your dissertation or thesis is frequently your most important professional achievement. Thus, it demonstrates your area of competence. Therefore, potential employers that are interested in this subject are likely to read simply the abstract rather than the complete paper. Therefore, it must be good enough.
How to Write a Dissertation Abstract
As we have discussed earlier that the purpose of a dissertation abstract is to cover the aim, methodology, results, and implications of your research. Therefore, you need to make sure that the abstract reflects all of these four aspects of your paper. With that in mind, keep on reading to find out how to write a dissertation abstract.
Step 1: Describe the Aim and Value of Your Research
The first thing that you need to do is illustrate the purpose of your research and why it is important. In other words, the first section of your abstract focuses on what your research aims to do and how valuable it is in resolving the issue that you target.
So, while talking about the purpose of your research, you need to explain the following things:
- What are the research goals and questions?
- Why are they essential?
Moreover, you need to make sure that this section of your abstract is clear, concise, and compelling. After all, this is where you can try to hook your reader and make sure that they keep on reading your paper. Thus, if fail to put in enough effort, there is a high probability of losing your reader’s interest just at the beginning of your paper.
In addition, you can also choose to illustrate the social and academic importance of your research topic in this section. However, try not to overwrite it. Besides, if you are using any specialized terms or phrases, consider defining them too.
Step 2: Briefly Outline Your Research Methodology
Once you have successfully illustrated the purpose and importance of your research, you are good to start describing the research methodologies that you have used. In other words, you have to explain how you carried out your research and got the results of your research questions using certain research methodologies and designs.
Moreover, here are some crucial questions that you have to address in this section of your abstract.
- Did you pursue a quantitative or qualitative approach?
- What was your research sample consist of?
- How did you gather your research data?
- What methods did you use to analyze your research data?
Thus, we can conclude that this section of your dissertation abstract requires you to confront the “How” aspect of your research. Besides, it does not have to be lengthy and thorough. After all, the abstract is just a summary of your research paper.
Step 3: Describe Your Research’s Key Findings
Once you have described the goal and methodologies you have used during your research, you are good to start describing the key findings of your research paper. Since you have collected enough data and findings by the end of your research, you can briefly describe them in this section of your dissertation abstract.
Just like the way you have described the above sections, make sure that you follow the same pattern and try to be precise and clear here too. All in all, you have to precisely talk about the most important findings of your research.
Moreover, depending on how complex and long your research paper is, including all the research findings may not be possible. Therefore, the key here is to only describe the most important results of your research.
Step 4: Describe the Implications of Your Research
Have you ever had to opportunity to read the entire paper and still scratch your head because you do not comprehend what all the findings of the research mean? With that in mind, the main purpose of this section is to tell your reader what those findings mean.
So, make sure that you address the following in this part of your abstract.
- What is the effect of your research findings in the field of your research? In simple words, how does your research impact the real world?
- How does your research finding contribute to the existing knowledge? For instance, do they support or contradict the existing knowledge?
- Other than talking about the above two things, you should also give an idea of the future of your research finding.
Actionable Tips on Writing a Good Dissertation Abstract
When writing a dissertation or thesis abstract for your research, the most effective strategy is to place yourself in the shoes of a future reader. Suppose the reader is not a specialist in the field but is curious about the study topic. With that in mind, write for the knowledgeable public rather than the experienced subject specialist.
Furthermore, you can use the following tips to make sure that you write a strong and compelling dissertation abstract.
Keep it Simple
Use language relevant to your subject of study. However, avoid overburdening your dissertation abstract with huge words and terminologies. Because fancy words can only make your content and writing harder to understand. Thus, a good abstract should really be appealing and easily understandable even for someone who has no knowledge about your field.
When writing the abstract for your dissertation or thesis, highlight the most important ideas and arguments of your paper. Besides, try not to worry about giving away too much or too little. Since you are the writer, you must have a clear idea of which idea or argument is crucial.
Reader Sample Abstract
The best way to learn how to write a good dissertation abstract is to read other’s abstracts of your field of study. Because it can help you get a better idea of how abstracts are written in your field. Besides, we assume that you have already read enough journals and articles while writing the literature review of your paper. So, you can get some ideas from the abstracts of those papers.
Keep it Coherent
We believed that compression is vital instead of oversaying or overwriting. After all, you must be capable of communicating all of your ideas to the person reading your paper. Besides that, avoid omitting important information and writing incorrectly.. And always double-check spellings, dates, and figures.
The data that is offered excessively is not something you always require. After going through your dissertation abstract, readers should be encouraged to continue reading. However, if you continually repeat ideas and arguments unnecessarily, readers will soon lose interest.
Do not forget to Add Something You Have Accomplished
After doing your research and writing your dissertation or thesis paper, you must have come to a conclusion or made a point that adds value to the existing knowledge or opposes it. Thus, you should not forget to include this in your dissertation abstract. After all, this is the most important piece of information in your paper.
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