Writing the abstract of a thesis or dissertation is probably one of the most enjoyable aspects of the entire work. However, you’re probably not sure what to write in this section if you’re reading this.
Luckily, you have come to the right post. We’ll cover how to write a scientific abstract and all the questions in between.
The abstract is largely similar to the introductory chapter of your paper, but it covers the entire body of your work. Also, writing a scientific abstract for your work differs from other fields hence, you’ll need some peculiar tips, which we’ll discuss shortly.
What is an abstract for a dissertation or thesis?
The abstract in a dissertation or thesis is a concise but adequately structured summary that provides the most important ideas of your research. The abstract, albeit one paragraph, is usually about 300-500 words long on a page. However, its volume requirements can vary between institutions.
Generally, an abstract succinctly states the purpose of the academic paper without exploring its findings. In contrast, a dissertation abstract often covers both, summarizing the entire project.
Writing a dissertation abstract: the key elements
Learning how to write a thesis abstract requires some subtle but valuable points. Typically, the best dissertation abstracts encompass the following ideas.
- The research purpose: what it’s about and its significance
- The methodology: various processes involved in conducting the research
- The key research findings
- And the consequences of these findings
Let’s talk about the research’s purpose. A dissertation abstract has two primary duties. First, they should show potential readers the main idea and make the work easily identifiable and accessible to users.
Your readers should effortlessly understand the main aim of your dissertation without having to read the entire paper. It should focus on communicating the findings of your research and how they came about in the first place. The abstract should typically help your readers decide whether or not to read your paper.
The abstract should also point them toward your research by using keywords and phrases. These phrases can be used to search for your dissertations and make them easily discoverable on the web.
How to write a dissertation abstract
Earlier, we gave the four vital elements of your research that your abstract should cover. These four elements control the structure of your dissertation and impact how you write your dissertation abstract.
Below are the steps to writing a good dissertation abstract.
1. Examine the value and purpose of your research
You have to start by briefly examining the value and purpose of your research. You do this by describing why you chose the research topic in the first place and its importance in your field. Next, your research questions and aims are briefly stated, with their importance alongside them.
In the opening paragraph, you’ll need to reel in your audience and get them interested in your project.
2. Give a summary of your methodology
In this abstract section, you need to discuss the process of answering your research questions quickly. It expresses the research design and methodology you employed during the research. It would be best if you gave brief descriptions of your:
- Research methods: (qualitative, quantitative, or mixed approach)
- Your research sample
- Source of data
- And analysis processes
3. Present your key findings
Subsequently, you need to highlight the main results of your work and use data to back it up. Although there’s often a temptation to be detailed here, avoid it.
Your primary focus should be on brevity and clarity.
4. Provide the implications of your research
This takes care of the “so what?” question of your research. In this conclusive section of your abstract, you should address the effects of your research results on your study field. You should state if your findings support existing research or break new grounds.
If you’re still in doubt after these steps, examine any sample dissertation abstract online or get some thesis abstract examples from your institution’s library.
Writing a dissertation or thesis abstract can be easy when you understand the critical areas of your research. Remember to answer important questions and keep general brevity in your explanations. An abstract is only one page long, so you must apply extensive summaries.