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Writing an Abstract
What is an abstract.
An abstract is a 150- to 250-word paragraph that provides readers with a quick overview of your essay or report and its organization. It should express your thesis (or central idea) and your key points; it should also suggest any implications or applications of the research you discuss in the paper.
According to Carole Slade, an abstract is “a concise summary of the entire paper.”
The function of an abstract is to describe, not to evaluate or defend, the paper.
The abstract should begin with a brief but precise statement of the problem or issue, followed by a description of the research method and design, the major findings, and the conclusions reached.
The abstract should contain the most important key words referring to method and content: these facilitate access to the abstract by computer search and enable a reader to decide whether to read the entire dissertation.
Note: Your abstract should read like an overview of your paper, not a proposal for what you intended to study or accomplish. Avoid beginning your sentences with phrases like, “This essay will examine...” or “In this research paper I will attempt to prove...”
(The examples above are taken from Form and Style (10th ed.), by Carole Slade; The Scott, Foresman Handbook for Writers (5th ed.); and the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (5th ed.).)
Note: The following are specifications for an abstract in APA style, used in the social sciences, such as psychology or anthropology. If you are in another discipline, check with your professor about the format for the abstract.
Writing an Abstract for an IMRaD Paper
Many papers in the social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering sciences follow IMRaD structure: their main sections are entitled Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion. People use the abstract to decide whether to read the rest of the paper, so the abstract for such a paper is important.
Because the abstract provides the highlights of the paper, you should draft your abstract after you have written a full draft of the paper. Doing so, you can summarize what you’ve already written in the paper as you compose the abstract.
Typically, an abstract for an IMRaD paper or presentation is one or two paragraphs long (120 – 500 words). Abstracts usually spend
25% of their space on the purpose and importance of the research (Introduction)
25% of their space on what you did (Methods)
35% of their space on what you found (Results)
15% of their space on the implications of the research
Try to avoid these common problems in IMRaD abstracts:
1. The abstract provides a statement of what the paper will ask or explore rather than what it found:
X This report examines the causes of oversleeping. (What did it find out about these causes?) √ Individuals oversleep because they go to bed too late, forget to set their alarms, and keep their rooms dark.
2. The abstract provides general categories rather than specific details in the findings:
X The study draws conclusions about which variables are most important in choosing a movie theater. (What, specifically, are these variables?)
√ The study concludes that the most important variables in choosing a movie theater are comfortable seats and high-quality popcorn.
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- How to Write an Abstract | Steps & Examples
How to Write an Abstract | Steps & Examples
Published on 1 March 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on 10 October 2022 by Eoghan Ryan.
An abstract is a short summary of a longer work (such as a dissertation or research paper ). The abstract concisely reports the aims and outcomes of your research, so that readers know exactly what your paper is about.
Although the structure may vary slightly depending on your discipline, your abstract should describe the purpose of your work, the methods you’ve used, and the conclusions you’ve drawn.
One common way to structure your abstract is to use the IMRaD structure. This stands for:
Abstracts are usually around 100–300 words, but there’s often a strict word limit, so make sure to check the relevant requirements.
In a dissertation or thesis , include the abstract on a separate page, after the title page and acknowledgements but before the table of contents .
Table of contents
Abstract example, when to write an abstract, step 1: introduction, step 2: methods, step 3: results, step 4: discussion, tips for writing an abstract, frequently asked questions about abstracts.
Hover over the different parts of the abstract to see how it is constructed.
This paper examines the role of silent movies as a mode of shared experience in the UK during the early twentieth century. At this time, high immigration rates resulted in a significant percentage of non-English-speaking citizens. These immigrants faced numerous economic and social obstacles, including exclusion from public entertainment and modes of discourse (newspapers, theater, radio).
Incorporating evidence from reviews, personal correspondence, and diaries, this study demonstrates that silent films were an affordable and inclusive source of entertainment. It argues for the accessible economic and representational nature of early cinema. These concerns are particularly evident in the low price of admission and in the democratic nature of the actors’ exaggerated gestures, which allowed the plots and action to be easily grasped by a diverse audience despite language barriers.
Keywords: silent movies, immigration, public discourse, entertainment, early cinema, language barriers.
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You will almost always have to include an abstract when:
- Completing a thesis or dissertation
- Submitting a research paper to an academic journal
- Writing a book proposal
- Applying for research grants
It’s easiest to write your abstract last, because it’s a summary of the work you’ve already done. Your abstract should:
- Be a self-contained text, not an excerpt from your paper
- Be fully understandable on its own
- Reflect the structure of your larger work
Start by clearly defining the purpose of your research. What practical or theoretical problem does the research respond to, or what research question did you aim to answer?
You can include some brief context on the social or academic relevance of your topic, but don’t go into detailed background information. If your abstract uses specialised terms that would be unfamiliar to the average academic reader or that have various different meanings, give a concise definition.
After identifying the problem, state the objective of your research. Use verbs like “investigate,” “test,” “analyse,” or “evaluate” to describe exactly what you set out to do.
This part of the abstract can be written in the present or past simple tense but should never refer to the future, as the research is already complete.
- This study will investigate the relationship between coffee consumption and productivity.
- This study investigates the relationship between coffee consumption and productivity.
Next, indicate the research methods that you used to answer your question. This part should be a straightforward description of what you did in one or two sentences. It is usually written in the past simple tense, as it refers to completed actions.
- Structured interviews will be conducted with 25 participants.
- Structured interviews were conducted with 25 participants.
Don’t evaluate validity or obstacles here — the goal is not to give an account of the methodology’s strengths and weaknesses, but to give the reader a quick insight into the overall approach and procedures you used.
Next, summarise the main research results . This part of the abstract can be in the present or past simple tense.
- Our analysis has shown a strong correlation between coffee consumption and productivity.
- Our analysis shows a strong correlation between coffee consumption and productivity.
- Our analysis showed a strong correlation between coffee consumption and productivity.
Depending on how long and complex your research is, you may not be able to include all results here. Try to highlight only the most important findings that will allow the reader to understand your conclusions.
Finally, you should discuss the main conclusions of your research : what is your answer to the problem or question? The reader should finish with a clear understanding of the central point that your research has proved or argued. Conclusions are usually written in the present simple tense.
- We concluded that coffee consumption increases productivity.
- We conclude that coffee consumption increases productivity.
If there are important limitations to your research (for example, related to your sample size or methods), you should mention them briefly in the abstract. This allows the reader to accurately assess the credibility and generalisability of your research.
If your aim was to solve a practical problem, your discussion might include recommendations for implementation. If relevant, you can briefly make suggestions for further research.
If your paper will be published, you might have to add a list of keywords at the end of the abstract. These keywords should reference the most important elements of the research to help potential readers find your paper during their own literature searches.
Be aware that some publication manuals, such as APA Style , have specific formatting requirements for these keywords.
It can be a real challenge to condense your whole work into just a couple of hundred words, but the abstract will be the first (and sometimes only) part that people read, so it’s important to get it right. These strategies can help you get started.
Read other abstracts
The best way to learn the conventions of writing an abstract in your discipline is to read other people’s. You probably already read lots of journal article abstracts while conducting your literature review —try using them as a framework for structure and style.
You can also find lots of dissertation abstract examples in thesis and dissertation databases .
Not all abstracts will contain precisely the same elements. For longer works, you can write your abstract through a process of reverse outlining.
For each chapter or section, list keywords and draft one to two sentences that summarise the central point or argument. This will give you a framework of your abstract’s structure. Next, revise the sentences to make connections and show how the argument develops.
Write clearly and concisely
A good abstract is short but impactful, so make sure every word counts. Each sentence should clearly communicate one main point.
To keep your abstract or summary short and clear:
- Avoid passive sentences: Passive constructions are often unnecessarily long. You can easily make them shorter and clearer by using the active voice.
- Avoid long sentences: Substitute longer expressions for concise expressions or single words (e.g., “In order to” for “To”).
- Avoid obscure jargon: The abstract should be understandable to readers who are not familiar with your topic.
- Avoid repetition and filler words: Replace nouns with pronouns when possible and eliminate unnecessary words.
- Avoid detailed descriptions: An abstract is not expected to provide detailed definitions, background information, or discussions of other scholars’ work. Instead, include this information in the body of your thesis or paper.
If you’re struggling to edit down to the required length, you can get help from expert editors with Scribbr’s professional proofreading services .
Check your formatting
If you are writing a thesis or dissertation or submitting to a journal, there are often specific formatting requirements for the abstract—make sure to check the guidelines and format your work correctly. For APA research papers you can follow the APA abstract format .
The word count is within the required length, or a maximum of one page.
The abstract appears after the title page and acknowledgements and before the table of contents .
I have clearly stated my research problem and objectives.
I have briefly described my methodology .
I have summarized the most important results .
I have stated my main conclusions .
I have mentioned any important limitations and recommendations.
The abstract can be understood by someone without prior knowledge of the topic.
You've written a great abstract! Use the other checklists to continue improving your thesis or dissertation.
An abstract is a concise summary of an academic text (such as a journal article or dissertation ). It serves two main purposes:
- To help potential readers determine the relevance of your paper for their own research.
- To communicate your key findings to those who don’t have time to read the whole paper.
Abstracts are often indexed along with keywords on academic databases, so they make your work more easily findable. Since the abstract is the first thing any reader sees, it’s important that it clearly and accurately summarises the contents of your paper.
An abstract for a thesis or dissertation is usually around 150–300 words. There’s often a strict word limit, so make sure to check your university’s requirements.
The abstract is the very last thing you write. You should only write it after your research is complete, so that you can accurately summarize the entirety of your thesis or paper.
Avoid citing sources in your abstract . There are two reasons for this:
- The abstract should focus on your original research, not on the work of others.
- The abstract should be self-contained and fully understandable without reference to other sources.
There are some circumstances where you might need to mention other sources in an abstract: for example, if your research responds directly to another study or focuses on the work of a single theorist. In general, though, don’t include citations unless absolutely necessary.
The abstract appears on its own page, after the title page and acknowledgements but before the table of contents .
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Scholars often write abstracts for various applications: conference presentations may require an abstract or other short summary for a program; journal articles almost always require abstracts; invited talks and lectures are often advertised using an abstract. While the application may necessarily change the length of the abstract (a conference program may only allow for 50-75 words, for instance), the purpose and structure remains fairly constant.
Abstracts are generally kept brief (approximately 150-200 words). They differ by field, but in general, they need to summarize the article so that readers can decide if it is relevant to their work. The typical abstract includes these elements:
- A statement of the problem and objectives
- A statement of the significance of the work
- A summary of employed methods or your research approach
- A summary of findings or conclusions of the study
- A description of the implications of the findings
Regardless of field, abstract authors should explain the purpose of the work, methods used, the results and the conclusions that can be drawn. However, each field purports slightly different ways to structure the abstract. A reliable strategy is to write the abstract as a condensed version of your article, with 1-2 sentences summarizing each major section. This means that in many of the sciences and a large portion of the humanities, abstracts follow a version of the IMRAD structure: Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion.
Most scientific journals require authors to submit such abstracts. It is generally advisable to write the abstract in the English language. That is because most papers in other languages, especially Asian nations, tend to publish an English abstract with common search engines, such as, the MLA site.
This example abstract follows the IMRAD structure closely. The first two sentences are the introduction and background information. Sentences 3-5 describe the methods used in the study. Sentence 6 summarizes the results, while the last two sentences summarize the discussion and conclusion of the study; they also indicate the significance of the results.
Usability and User-Centered Theory for 21 st Century OWLs — by Dana Lynn Driscoll, H. Allen Brizee, Michael Salvo, and Morgan Sousa from The Handbook of Research on Virtual Workplaces and the New Nature of Business Practices . Eds. Kirk St. Amant and Pavel Zemlansky. Hershey, PA: Idea Group Publishing, 2008.
This article describes results of usability research conducted on the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL). The Purdue OWL is an information-rich educational website that provides free writing resources to users worldwide. Researchers conducted two generations of usability tests. In the first test, participants were asked to navigate the OWL and answer questions. Results of the first test and user-centered scholarship indicated that a more user-centered focus would improve usability. The second test asked participants to answer writing-related questions using both the OWL website and a user-centered OWL prototype. Participants took significantly less time to find information using the prototype and reported a more positive response to the user-centered prototype than the original OWL. Researchers conclude that a user-centered website is more effective and can be a model for information-rich online resources. Researchers also conclude that usability research can be a productive source of ideas, underscoring the need for participatory invention.
What this handout is about
This handout provides definitions and examples of the two main types of abstracts: descriptive and informative. It also provides guidelines for constructing an abstract and general tips for you to keep in mind when drafting. Finally, it includes a few examples of abstracts broken down into their component parts.
What is an abstract?
An abstract is a self-contained, short, and powerful statement that describes a larger work. Components vary according to discipline. An abstract of a social science or scientific work may contain the scope, purpose, results, and contents of the work. An abstract of a humanities work may contain the thesis, background, and conclusion of the larger work. An abstract is not a review, nor does it evaluate the work being abstracted. While it contains key words found in the larger work, the abstract is an original document rather than an excerpted passage.
Why write an abstract?
You may write an abstract for various reasons. The two most important are selection and indexing. Abstracts allow readers who may be interested in a longer work to quickly decide whether it is worth their time to read it. Also, many online databases use abstracts to index larger works. Therefore, abstracts should contain keywords and phrases that allow for easy searching.
Say you are beginning a research project on how Brazilian newspapers helped Brazil’s ultra-liberal president Luiz Ignácio da Silva wrest power from the traditional, conservative power base. A good first place to start your research is to search Dissertation Abstracts International for all dissertations that deal with the interaction between newspapers and politics. “Newspapers and politics” returned 569 hits. A more selective search of “newspapers and Brazil” returned 22 hits. That is still a fair number of dissertations. Titles can sometimes help winnow the field, but many titles are not very descriptive. For example, one dissertation is titled “Rhetoric and Riot in Rio de Janeiro.” It is unclear from the title what this dissertation has to do with newspapers in Brazil. One option would be to download or order the entire dissertation on the chance that it might speak specifically to the topic. A better option is to read the abstract. In this case, the abstract reveals the main focus of the dissertation:
This dissertation examines the role of newspaper editors in the political turmoil and strife that characterized late First Empire Rio de Janeiro (1827-1831). Newspaper editors and their journals helped change the political culture of late First Empire Rio de Janeiro by involving the people in the discussion of state. This change in political culture is apparent in Emperor Pedro I’s gradual loss of control over the mechanisms of power. As the newspapers became more numerous and powerful, the Emperor lost his legitimacy in the eyes of the people. To explore the role of the newspapers in the political events of the late First Empire, this dissertation analyzes all available newspapers published in Rio de Janeiro from 1827 to 1831. Newspapers and their editors were leading forces in the effort to remove power from the hands of the ruling elite and place it under the control of the people. In the process, newspapers helped change how politics operated in the constitutional monarchy of Brazil.
From this abstract you now know that although the dissertation has nothing to do with modern Brazilian politics, it does cover the role of newspapers in changing traditional mechanisms of power. After reading the abstract, you can make an informed judgment about whether the dissertation would be worthwhile to read.
Besides selection, the other main purpose of the abstract is for indexing. Most article databases in the online catalog of the library enable you to search abstracts. This allows for quick retrieval by users and limits the extraneous items recalled by a “full-text” search. However, for an abstract to be useful in an online retrieval system, it must incorporate the key terms that a potential researcher would use to search. For example, if you search Dissertation Abstracts International using the keywords “France” “revolution” and “politics,” the search engine would search through all the abstracts in the database that included those three words. Without an abstract, the search engine would be forced to search titles, which, as we have seen, may not be fruitful, or else search the full text. It’s likely that a lot more than 60 dissertations have been written with those three words somewhere in the body of the entire work. By incorporating keywords into the abstract, the author emphasizes the central topics of the work and gives prospective readers enough information to make an informed judgment about the applicability of the work.
When do people write abstracts?
- when submitting articles to journals, especially online journals
- when applying for research grants
- when writing a book proposal
- when completing the Ph.D. dissertation or M.A. thesis
- when writing a proposal for a conference paper
- when writing a proposal for a book chapter
Most often, the author of the entire work (or prospective work) writes the abstract. However, there are professional abstracting services that hire writers to draft abstracts of other people’s work. In a work with multiple authors, the first author usually writes the abstract. Undergraduates are sometimes asked to draft abstracts of books/articles for classmates who have not read the larger work.
Types of abstracts
There are two types of abstracts: descriptive and informative. They have different aims, so as a consequence they have different components and styles. There is also a third type called critical, but it is rarely used. If you want to find out more about writing a critique or a review of a work, see the UNC Writing Center handout on writing a literature review . If you are unsure which type of abstract you should write, ask your instructor (if the abstract is for a class) or read other abstracts in your field or in the journal where you are submitting your article.
A descriptive abstract indicates the type of information found in the work. It makes no judgments about the work, nor does it provide results or conclusions of the research. It does incorporate key words found in the text and may include the purpose, methods, and scope of the research. Essentially, the descriptive abstract describes the work being abstracted. Some people consider it an outline of the work, rather than a summary. Descriptive abstracts are usually very short—100 words or less.
The majority of abstracts are informative. While they still do not critique or evaluate a work, they do more than describe it. A good informative abstract acts as a surrogate for the work itself. That is, the writer presents and explains all the main arguments and the important results and evidence in the complete article/paper/book. An informative abstract includes the information that can be found in a descriptive abstract (purpose, methods, scope) but also includes the results and conclusions of the research and the recommendations of the author. The length varies according to discipline, but an informative abstract is rarely more than 10% of the length of the entire work. In the case of a longer work, it may be much less.
Here are examples of a descriptive and an informative abstract of this handout on abstracts . Descriptive abstract:
The two most common abstract types—descriptive and informative—are described and examples of each are provided.
Abstracts present the essential elements of a longer work in a short and powerful statement. The purpose of an abstract is to provide prospective readers the opportunity to judge the relevance of the longer work to their projects. Abstracts also include the key terms found in the longer work and the purpose and methods of the research. Authors abstract various longer works, including book proposals, dissertations, and online journal articles. There are two main types of abstracts: descriptive and informative. A descriptive abstract briefly describes the longer work, while an informative abstract presents all the main arguments and important results. This handout provides examples of various types of abstracts and instructions on how to construct one.
Which type should I use?
Your best bet in this case is to ask your instructor or refer to the instructions provided by the publisher. You can also make a guess based on the length allowed; i.e., 100-120 words = descriptive; 250+ words = informative.
How do I write an abstract?
The format of your abstract will depend on the work being abstracted. An abstract of a scientific research paper will contain elements not found in an abstract of a literature article, and vice versa. However, all abstracts share several mandatory components, and there are also some optional parts that you can decide to include or not. When preparing to draft your abstract, keep the following key process elements in mind:
- Reason for writing: What is the importance of the research? Why would a reader be interested in the larger work?
- Problem: What problem does this work attempt to solve? What is the scope of the project? What is the main argument/thesis/claim?
- Methodology: An abstract of a scientific work may include specific models or approaches used in the larger study. Other abstracts may describe the types of evidence used in the research.
- Results: Again, an abstract of a scientific work may include specific data that indicates the results of the project. Other abstracts may discuss the findings in a more general way.
- Implications: What changes should be implemented as a result of the findings of the work? How does this work add to the body of knowledge on the topic?
(This list of elements is adapted with permission from Philip Koopman, “How to Write an Abstract.” )
All abstracts include:
- A full citation of the source, preceding the abstract.
- The most important information first.
- The same type and style of language found in the original, including technical language.
- Key words and phrases that quickly identify the content and focus of the work.
- Clear, concise, and powerful language.
Abstracts may include:
- The thesis of the work, usually in the first sentence.
- Background information that places the work in the larger body of literature.
- The same chronological structure as the original work.
How not to write an abstract:
- Do not refer extensively to other works.
- Do not add information not contained in the original work.
- Do not define terms.
If you are abstracting your own writing
When abstracting your own work, it may be difficult to condense a piece of writing that you have agonized over for weeks (or months, or even years) into a 250-word statement. There are some tricks that you could use to make it easier, however.
This technique is commonly used when you are having trouble organizing your own writing. The process involves writing down the main idea of each paragraph on a separate piece of paper– see our short video . For the purposes of writing an abstract, try grouping the main ideas of each section of the paper into a single sentence. Practice grouping ideas using webbing or color coding .
For a scientific paper, you may have sections titled Purpose, Methods, Results, and Discussion. Each one of these sections will be longer than one paragraph, but each is grouped around a central idea. Use reverse outlining to discover the central idea in each section and then distill these ideas into one statement.
Cut and paste:
To create a first draft of an abstract of your own work, you can read through the entire paper and cut and paste sentences that capture key passages. This technique is useful for social science research with findings that cannot be encapsulated by neat numbers or concrete results. A well-written humanities draft will have a clear and direct thesis statement and informative topic sentences for paragraphs or sections. Isolate these sentences in a separate document and work on revising them into a unified paragraph.
If you are abstracting someone else’s writing
When abstracting something you have not written, you cannot summarize key ideas just by cutting and pasting. Instead, you must determine what a prospective reader would want to know about the work. There are a few techniques that will help you in this process:
Identify key terms:
Search through the entire document for key terms that identify the purpose, scope, and methods of the work. Pay close attention to the Introduction (or Purpose) and the Conclusion (or Discussion). These sections should contain all the main ideas and key terms in the paper. When writing the abstract, be sure to incorporate the key terms.
Highlight key phrases and sentences:
Instead of cutting and pasting the actual words, try highlighting sentences or phrases that appear to be central to the work. Then, in a separate document, rewrite the sentences and phrases in your own words.
Don’t look back:
After reading the entire work, put it aside and write a paragraph about the work without referring to it. In the first draft, you may not remember all the key terms or the results, but you will remember what the main point of the work was. Remember not to include any information you did not get from the work being abstracted.
Revise, revise, revise
No matter what type of abstract you are writing, or whether you are abstracting your own work or someone else’s, the most important step in writing an abstract is to revise early and often. When revising, delete all extraneous words and incorporate meaningful and powerful words. The idea is to be as clear and complete as possible in the shortest possible amount of space. The Word Count feature of Microsoft Word can help you keep track of how long your abstract is and help you hit your target length.
Example 1: Humanities abstract
Kenneth Tait Andrews, “‘Freedom is a constant struggle’: The dynamics and consequences of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement, 1960-1984” Ph.D. State University of New York at Stony Brook, 1997 DAI-A 59/02, p. 620, Aug 1998
This dissertation examines the impacts of social movements through a multi-layered study of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement from its peak in the early 1960s through the early 1980s. By examining this historically important case, I clarify the process by which movements transform social structures and the constraints movements face when they try to do so. The time period studied includes the expansion of voting rights and gains in black political power, the desegregation of public schools and the emergence of white-flight academies, and the rise and fall of federal anti-poverty programs. I use two major research strategies: (1) a quantitative analysis of county-level data and (2) three case studies. Data have been collected from archives, interviews, newspapers, and published reports. This dissertation challenges the argument that movements are inconsequential. Some view federal agencies, courts, political parties, or economic elites as the agents driving institutional change, but typically these groups acted in response to the leverage brought to bear by the civil rights movement. The Mississippi movement attempted to forge independent structures for sustaining challenges to local inequities and injustices. By propelling change in an array of local institutions, movement infrastructures had an enduring legacy in Mississippi.
Now let’s break down this abstract into its component parts to see how the author has distilled his entire dissertation into a ~200 word abstract.
What the dissertation does This dissertation examines the impacts of social movements through a multi-layered study of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement from its peak in the early 1960s through the early 1980s. By examining this historically important case, I clarify the process by which movements transform social structures and the constraints movements face when they try to do so.
How the dissertation does it The time period studied in this dissertation includes the expansion of voting rights and gains in black political power, the desegregation of public schools and the emergence of white-flight academies, and the rise and fall of federal anti-poverty programs. I use two major research strategies: (1) a quantitative analysis of county-level data and (2) three case studies.
What materials are used Data have been collected from archives, interviews, newspapers, and published reports.
Conclusion This dissertation challenges the argument that movements are inconsequential. Some view federal agencies, courts, political parties, or economic elites as the agents driving institutional change, but typically these groups acted in response to movement demands and the leverage brought to bear by the civil rights movement. The Mississippi movement attempted to forge independent structures for sustaining challenges to local inequities and injustices. By propelling change in an array of local institutions, movement infrastructures had an enduring legacy in Mississippi.
Keywords social movements Civil Rights Movement Mississippi voting rights desegregation
Example 2: Science Abstract
Luis Lehner, “Gravitational radiation from black hole spacetimes” Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh, 1998 DAI-B 59/06, p. 2797, Dec 1998
The problem of detecting gravitational radiation is receiving considerable attention with the construction of new detectors in the United States, Europe, and Japan. The theoretical modeling of the wave forms that would be produced in particular systems will expedite the search for and analysis of detected signals. The characteristic formulation of GR is implemented to obtain an algorithm capable of evolving black holes in 3D asymptotically flat spacetimes. Using compactification techniques, future null infinity is included in the evolved region, which enables the unambiguous calculation of the radiation produced by some compact source. A module to calculate the waveforms is constructed and included in the evolution algorithm. This code is shown to be second-order convergent and to handle highly non-linear spacetimes. In particular, we have shown that the code can handle spacetimes whose radiation is equivalent to a galaxy converting its whole mass into gravitational radiation in one second. We further use the characteristic formulation to treat the region close to the singularity in black hole spacetimes. The code carefully excises a region surrounding the singularity and accurately evolves generic black hole spacetimes with apparently unlimited stability.
This science abstract covers much of the same ground as the humanities one, but it asks slightly different questions.
Why do this study The problem of detecting gravitational radiation is receiving considerable attention with the construction of new detectors in the United States, Europe, and Japan. The theoretical modeling of the wave forms that would be produced in particular systems will expedite the search and analysis of the detected signals.
What the study does The characteristic formulation of GR is implemented to obtain an algorithm capable of evolving black holes in 3D asymptotically flat spacetimes. Using compactification techniques, future null infinity is included in the evolved region, which enables the unambiguous calculation of the radiation produced by some compact source. A module to calculate the waveforms is constructed and included in the evolution algorithm.
Results This code is shown to be second-order convergent and to handle highly non-linear spacetimes. In particular, we have shown that the code can handle spacetimes whose radiation is equivalent to a galaxy converting its whole mass into gravitational radiation in one second. We further use the characteristic formulation to treat the region close to the singularity in black hole spacetimes. The code carefully excises a region surrounding the singularity and accurately evolves generic black hole spacetimes with apparently unlimited stability.
Keywords gravitational radiation (GR) spacetimes black holes
We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.
Belcher, Wendy Laura. 2009. Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks: A Guide to Academic Publishing Success. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Press.
Kilborn, Judith. 1998. “Writing Abstracts.” LEO: Literacy Education Online. Last updated October 20, 1998. https://leo.stcloudstate.edu/bizwrite/abstracts.html .
Koopman, Philip. 1997. “How to Write an Abstract.” Carnegie Mellon University. October 1997. http://users.ece.cmu.edu/~koopman/essays/abstract.html .
Lancaster, F.W. 2003. Indexing And Abstracting in Theory and Practice , 3rd ed. London: Facet Publishing.
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The Dissertation Abstract: 101
How to write a clear & concise abstract (with examples).
By: Madeline Fink (MSc) Reviewed By: Derek Jansen (MBA) | June 2020
So, you’ve (finally) finished your thesis or dissertation or thesis. Now it’s time to write up your abstract (sometimes also called the executive summary). If you’re here, chances are you’re not quite sure what you need to cover in this section, or how to go about writing it. Fear not – we’ll explain it all in plain language , step by step , with clear examples .
Overview: The Dissertation/Thesis Abstract
- What exactly is a dissertation (or thesis) abstract
- What’s the purpose and function of the abstract
- Why is the abstract so important
- How to write a high-quality dissertation abstract
- Example/sample of a quality abstract
- Quick tips to write a high-quality dissertation abstract
What is an abstract?
Simply put, the abstract in a dissertation or thesis is a short (but well structured) summary that outlines the most important points of your research (i.e. the key takeaways). The abstract is usually 1 paragraph or about 300-500 words long (about one page), but but this can vary between universities.
A quick note regarding terminology – strictly speaking, an abstract and an executive summary are two different things when it comes to academic publications. Typically, an abstract only states what the research will be about, but doesn’t explore the findings – whereas an executive summary covers both . However, in the context of a dissertation or thesis, the abstract usually covers both, providing a summary of the full project.
In terms of content, a good dissertation abstract usually covers the following points:
- The purpose of the research (what’s it about and why’s that important)
- The methodology (how you carried out the research)
- The key research findings (what answers you found)
- The implications of these findings (what these answers mean)
We’ll explain each of these in more detail a little later in this post. Buckle up.
What’s the purpose of the abstract?
A dissertation abstract has two main functions:
The first purpose is to inform potential readers of the main idea of your research without them having to read your entire piece of work. Specifically, it needs to communicate what your research is about (what were you trying to find out) and what your findings were . When readers are deciding whether to read your dissertation or thesis, the abstract is the first part they’ll consider.
The second purpose of the abstract is to inform search engines and dissertation databases as they index your dissertation or thesis. The keywords and phrases in your abstract (as well as your keyword list) will often be used by these search engines to categorize your work and make it accessible to users.
Simply put, your abstract is your shopfront display window – it’s what passers-by (both human and digital) will look at before deciding to step inside.
Why’s it so important?
The short answer – because most people don’t have time to read your full dissertation or thesis! Time is money, after all…
If you think back to when you undertook your literature review , you’ll quickly realise just how important abstracts are! Researchers reviewing the literature on any given topic face a mountain of reading, so they need to optimise their approach. A good dissertation abstract gives the reader a “TLDR” version of your work – it helps them decide whether to continue to read it in its entirety. So, your abstract, as your shopfront display window, needs to “sell” your research to time-poor readers.
You might be thinking, “but I don’t plan to publish my dissertation”. Even so, you still need to provide an impactful abstract for your markers. Your ability to concisely summarise your work is one of the things they’re assessing, so it’s vital to invest time and effort into crafting an enticing shop window.
A good abstract also has an added purpose for grad students . As a freshly minted graduate, your dissertation or thesis is often your most significant professional accomplishment and highlights where your unique expertise lies. Potential employers who want to know about this expertise are likely to only read the abstract (as opposed to reading your entire document) – so it needs to be good!
Think about it this way – if your thesis or dissertation were a book, then the abstract would be the blurb on the back cover. For better or worse, readers will absolutely judge your book by its cover .
How to write your abstract
As we touched on earlier, your abstract should cover four important aspects of your research: the purpose , methodology , findings , and implications . Therefore, the structure of your dissertation or thesis abstract needs to reflect these four essentials, in the same order. Let’s take a closer look at each of them, step by step:
Step 1: Describe the purpose and value of your research
Here you need to concisely explain the purpose and value of your research. In other words, you need to explain what your research set out to discover and why that’s important. When stating the purpose of research, you need to clearly discuss the following:
- What were your research aims and research questions ?
- Why were these aims and questions important?
It’s essential to make this section extremely clear, concise and convincing . As the opening section, this is where you’ll “hook” your reader (marker) in and get them interested in your project. If you don’t put in the effort here, you’ll likely lose their interest.
Step 2: Briefly outline your study’s methodology
In this part of your abstract, you need to very briefly explain how you went about answering your research questions . In other words, what research design and methodology you adopted in your research. Some important questions to address here include:
- Did you take a qualitative or quantitative approach ?
- Who/what did your sample consist of?
- How did you collect your data?
- How did you analyse your data?
Simply put, this section needs to address the “ how ” of your research. It doesn’t need to be lengthy (this is just a summary, after all), but it should clearly address the four questions above.
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Step 3: Present your key findings
Next, you need to briefly highlight the key findings . Your research likely produced a wealth of data and findings, so there may be a temptation to ramble here. However, this section is just about the key findings – in other words, the answers to the original questions that you set out to address.
Again, brevity and clarity are important here. You need to concisely present the most important findings for your reader.
Step 4: Describe the implications of your research
Have you ever found yourself reading through a large report, struggling to figure out what all the findings mean in terms of the bigger picture? Well, that’s the purpose of the implications section – to highlight the “so what?” of your research.
In this part of your abstract, you should address the following questions:
- What is the impact of your research findings on the industry /field investigated? In other words, what’s the impact on the “real world”.
- What is the impact of your findings on the existing body of knowledge ? For example, do they support the existing research?
- What might your findings mean for future research conducted on your topic?
If you include these four essential ingredients in your dissertation abstract, you’ll be on headed in a good direction.
Example: Dissertation/thesis abstract
Here is an example of an abstract from a master’s thesis, with the purpose , methods , findings , and implications colour coded.
The U.S. citizenship application process is a legal and symbolic journey shaped by many cultural processes. This research project aims to bring to light the experiences of immigrants and citizenship applicants living in Dallas, Texas, to promote a better understanding of Dallas’ increasingly diverse population. Additionally, the purpose of this project is to provide insights to a specific client, the office of Dallas Welcoming Communities and Immigrant Affairs, about Dallas’ lawful permanent residents who are eligible for citizenship and their reasons for pursuing citizenship status . The data for this project was collected through observation at various citizenship workshops and community events, as well as through semi-structured interviews with 14 U.S. citizenship applicants . Reasons for applying for U.S. citizenship discussed in this project include a desire for membership in U.S. society, access to better educational and economic opportunities, improved ease of travel and the desire to vote. Barriers to the citizenship process discussed in this project include the amount of time one must dedicate to the application, lack of clear knowledge about the process and the financial cost of the application. Other themes include the effects of capital on applicant’s experience with the citizenship process, symbolic meanings of citizenship, transnationalism and ideas of deserving and undeserving surrounding the issues of residency and U.S. citizenship. These findings indicate the need for educational resources and mentorship for Dallas-area residents applying for U.S. citizenship, as well as a need for local government programs that foster a sense of community among citizenship applicants and their neighbours.
Practical tips for writing your abstract
When crafting the abstract for your dissertation or thesis, the most powerful technique you can use is to try and put yourself in the shoes of a potential reader. Assume the reader is not an expert in the field, but is interested in the research area. In other words, write for the intelligent layman, not for the seasoned topic expert.
Start by trying to answer the question “why should I read this dissertation?”
Remember the WWHS.
Make sure you include the what , why , how , and so what of your research in your abstract:
- What you studied (who and where are included in this part)
- Why the topic was important
- How you designed your study (i.e. your research methodology)
- So what were the big findings and implications of your research
Keep it simple.
Use terminology appropriate to your field of study, but don’t overload your abstract with big words and jargon that cloud the meaning and make your writing difficult to digest. A good abstract should appeal to all levels of potential readers and should be a (relatively) easy read. Remember, you need to write for the intelligent layman.
When writing your abstract, clearly outline your most important findings and insights and don’t worry about “giving away” too much about your research – there’s no need to withhold information. This is the one way your abstract is not like a blurb on the back of a book – the reader should be able to clearly understand the key takeaways of your thesis or dissertation after reading the abstract. Of course, if they then want more detail, they need to step into the restaurant and try out the menu.
Psst… there’s more (for free)
This post is part of our dissertation mini-course, which covers everything you need to get started with your dissertation, thesis or research project.
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How to Write an Abstract for a Dissertation
Published by Owen Ingram at August 11th, 2021 , Revised On September 20, 2023
Dissertation Abstract – Definition
The abstract is regarded as the foremost component of a dissertation. It will be your first chance to set precise expectations for the supervisor, examiner or graduate committee members. An abstract for a dissertation is the first real significant narrative of your work and is placed at the beginning of the dissertation paper.
Presented in a shortened form, an abstract is a very brief overview of your research .
In this article, we will uncover every piece of information you need to know to write an abstract.
According to the online archives of Simon Fraser University research database, “an abstract is not merely an introduction in the sense of a preface, preamble, or advance organizer that prepares the reader for the thesis. In addition to that function, it must be capable of substituting for the whole thesis when there are insufficient time and space for the full text. ”
Do I Need to Write an Abstract?
You will be required to include an abstract at the beginning of your paper if you are working on your thesis, dissertation, research paper, or publishing a paper in any academic journal.
Even though the abstract appears right at the start of a dissertation paper, it is generally written at last. For it is only after you have compiled all the evidence and data, interpreted every piece of finding, backed your interpretation(s) with enough theoretical evidence and answered your research questions, that you can sum it all up in 150-200 words. The general length of an abstract.
The table of contents is the section that immediately follows an abstract. Here is a guide on how to create a table of contents for the dissertation .
Your abstract should be an entirely autonomous and independent text and never be an extract taken from within the paper’s original content. This also implies, indirectly, that it is unethical in research contexts to copy-paste chunks from within your own research in an abstract.
In particular, an abstract aims to provide an overview of research aim and objectives, methods of research employed, results obtained, findings, most salient interpretation(s), the conclusion and implication(s) of your research. Readers should be able to completely understand all aspects of your research work just by reading your abstract.
Also Read : How to Write Dissertation Discussion Chapter , How to Write a Remarkable Dissertation?
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How to Write a Dissertation Abstract
A dissertation abstract serves as a deal maker or breaker when it comes to making a strong impression on your readers. Your dissertation abstract can either motivate your readers to continue reading or discourage them from moving on to the next chapters .
The abstract of a dissertation needs to be conspicuous, meaningful, interesting and of course, informative. It should contain brief but relevant information from all chapters of your dissertation to provide a brief overview of the research that has been conducted. This would mean its:
- What (topic statement of your research)
- Who (the sample)
- Why (the significance/objectives/aims/questions/hypothesis of your research)
- Where (the background/setting of your research)
- And how (the research design/tools/methods/methodologies etc. of your research)
Here, we have put together some guidelines for students to understand how to write an abstract for a dissertation to make a great first impression on readers.
Key Components of a Dissertation Abstract
The key elements of a dissertation abstract are as follows:
- Background statement/problem statement/thesis statement
- Information regarding research sample
- Methods of research employed
- A brief description of the results obtained and their interpretation (only the most important one(s))
- A summary of conclusion, limitations and future recommendations/implications (only the most salient ones)
1. Background/Problem Statement/Aims and Objectives
The first couple of sentences of your dissertation abstract should provide a summary of the purpose of your research. This can be expressed as follows:
- Background statement – Provide a brief perspective on the theoretical and practical significance of your work.
- The problem statement clearly communicates to the readers why there was a need to research the chosen topic.
- Present an overview of the research’s aim and objectives to establish what your research intended to achieve.
- Thesis statement – what is the main idea of your dissertation paper? What are your claims in reference to the established research questions?
Avoid writing this part of the abstract in future tense because it refers to concluded actions.
- This study will investigate the relationship between coffee consumption and productivity.
- This study investigates the relationship between coffee consumption and productivity.
Also read: How to Get Dissertation Deadline Extension – Some Practical Methods.
This one-to-two lined section will give information about who the sample in your study was; where they are located/residing, etc. The reasons for selecting that group of participants, for instance, is not relevant for mention in an abstract.
3. Research Methods
Briefly specify your dissertation research methodology immediately after stating the purpose and sample of your dissertation paper. Here, you will be expected to summarise how you straightforwardly conducted your research.
Like the first section, a description of research methods should also be written in the simple past tense. There is absolutely no need to highlight the limitations and/or validity of your research methods here.
The goal is to take the readers through the overall approach and process quickly.
4. Research Findings
Provide a brief overview of the major findings of your dissertation study . If you think you undiscovered multiple major findings, only mention the ones that directly answer a research question or two that was/were part of your study to begin with. For instance, if you studied the relation between two variables and your findings indicate it’s a positive correlation, you simply state that finding, not the other, minor ones related to this specific one.
This section is the crux of your abstract, so make sure you demonstrate how your research addressed the research objectives.
Furthermore, due to the word limit (150-200) of the abstract and the complexity of your research, you might not be able to include all results here. If that is the case, have only the most significant results.
This portion should be written in the past simple or present tense. Here is an example:
- Analysis of the responses has shown that there is a strong correlation between consumption and productivity.
- Analysis of the responses shows there is a strong correlation between coffee consumption and productivity.
- Analysis of the responses showed there was a strong correlation between coffee consumption and productivity.
5. Conclusion and Recommendation/Implication
Lastly, the abstract of a dissertation should conclude your dissertation research . The conclusion should clearly report how your study addressed the research problem.
Use this part of the abstract to convince people how your research proved the argument or theory your research was built on and started off with.
Provide recommendations for practical implementation to clearly understand your audience how your work will solve the problem at hand.
Finally, do not forget to mention important research limitations briefly. For example, selecting a smaller sample size due to some constraints would be a limitation worth mentioning. This will add more weight and credibility to your research.
Make use of the present simple test when writing the conclusion.
Some institutions, however, dictate that you write one or two lines about the long- or short-term implications your research might have. This component would be the last one in an abstract, preceded by the conclusive statement.
You might be asked to include important key terms and phrases at the end of the abstract, especially if your paper has been selected for publication in an academic journal.
These keywords help potential readers find your paper in search engines during their desk-based research .
However, it should be noted that some academic journals have their own specific formatting requirements for keywords. It’s recommended that you read the requirements about keywords in their publication manuals to avoid any misunderstanding.
More on Abstract keywords
According to Hartley and Kostoff (2003), following are some different methods for supplying keywords for an abstract:
Researchers “supply them with no restrictions on the numbers allowed; supply up to a fixed number (e.g. six); supply key words as appropriate from a specified list; editors supplement/amend authors’ key words; editors supply key words; editors supply key words from a specified list; referees supply key words from a specified list; keywords are allocated according to the ‘house-rules’ applied to all journals; distributed by a specific publisher; keywords are determined by computer program at proof stage”.
Format of a Dissertation Abstract
The typical size of an abstract for a masters’ dissertation is 300-400 words whereas abstracts for undergraduate dissertation papers are 150-200 words in size.
Since their findings are generally more in number, abstracts for PhD-level dissertation papers are assigned 300-350 words. The dissertation abstract structure should be such that there are one or two sentences assigned to each chapter of the dissertation.
For example, if your dissertation paper has 5 chapters, there should be a minimum of 8-10 sentences in the abstract to provide a reflective summary of each chapter’s information.
As is the case with the dissertation introduction chapter , you will be expected to specify the research questions clearly.
You might need to rearrange them and/or reduce the word count without missing out on any important element, considering there is room for only two to three research questions generally placed at the beginning of the abstract.
Poor dissertation abstracts don’t present the findings of the research. It is important to recognize that the readers of your dissertation paper will be more interested in what findings you came up with as a result of your research and not merely what you did. Use at least 2 to 3 sentences for summarising the results and their interpretation.
Look for the formatting requirements in your dissertation handbook or writing guidelines provided by your school. Make sure to stay within the permissible word limit. An abstract too long or too short will not serve the purpose.
Tips on How to Write the Abstract for Dissertation
Condensing your entire dissertation into just a few sentences can be a daunting task, especially if it’s your first time writing a dissertation abstract.
It is important to get your dissertation abstract right because this part of the dissertation paper is the first real piece of written description that your audience will read. You can even recall some of your own experiences where, due to shortage of time or many deadlines looming above your head, you had to skim and scam the abstract of a research article or journal paper you stumbled across. It probably gave you a good enough idea whether it was worth it to bookmark that paper to read fully later now, didn’t it?
That’s exactly the kind of effect your own abstract should have on its readers, too. It’s meant to give a holistic view of the entire research.
Here are some tips for you to make sure you write this part to the highest possible academic quality:
Also Read: Different Research Methods for Dissertation?
Tip #1: Avoid Citing Publications
Student researchers often get carried away with the research of professional researchers when writing an abstract. Avoid focusing on others’ work and demonstrate how your own research will substantially contribute to your area of study.
Depending on the allowable word limit for the abstract, you might be able to squeeze in a sentence or two about the scholarly background of the research problem you wish to address. Still, there is no need to cite any publications.
Tip #2: Be Concise and to-the-point
Your dissertation abstract should be attention-grabbing, even though you will have only a few hundred words to work with. So. it is crucial to communicate your research work in the most concise manner. Never stuff your dissertation abstract with needless words and avoid vague verbiage that might put your readers off-track.
Need help with writing a killer dissertation abstract? Our writers can write an abstract for a dissertation following your school’s guidelines. Or get help from our expert academics with any part of your dissertation.
Tip # 3: Read Sample Abstracts
Learn the art of writing great dissertation abstract by reading abstract dissertation samples. It would make sense to look at how other people in your academic subject have written their abstracts.
If you have already conducted your dissertation literature review , you might have already read many research paper abstracts – which you could use to get useful insights into how to format your dissertation abstract. Here is an abstract dissertation example to help you get started.
Tip #4: Coverage and Presentation
Remember, an abstract is one single paragraph. There are no breaks in it. It continues as a single body. Furthermore, it is written in a separate page. No other chapter or sub-headings etc. come before or after the abstract on the same page. There are also no headings – such as the topic of your research – above the title ‘Abstract’ on the abstract page. Simply give the heading of ‘Abstract’ and start it off from there. And last but not the least, another important thing to keep in mind is that abstract (pretty much like the rest of your thesis) will be double-spaced.
Tip #5: Language
Other researchers will look for key terms specific to your research field to figure out the purpose and nature of your dissertation paper. Make sure to include relevant terminology necessary for understanding your abstract and thereby determining what the research was about.
Tip #6: Shortening a Lengthy Abstract
It’s natural to sometimes get carried away while writing…even in academic writing. As Trochim and other writers state in their book, Research Methods: The Essential Knowledge Base , “In order to shorten your abstract, you should eliminate nonessential information wherever possible—this includes transitions phrases (e.g., ‘the results demonstrate . . .’).”
A review of groundwater remediation in use today shows that new techniques are required that solve the problems of the pump and treat, containment and in-situ treatment. One such technique is the method that involves the use of permeable treatment walls. These methods use a reactive medium such as iron to remediate contaminated groundwater. several methods of implementing this remediation strategy have been described. These methods include injection and trenching. The use of funnel and gate system via a trench has been examined in detail using a groundwater modelling option of the FLAC program. The modelling involved an analysis of the effect of changing the lengths of the walls and gate, varying the permeability and varying the number of gates. The results showed that increasing the wall length, gate length, and permeability increases the size of the plume captured. An important factor in designing the walls is the residence time of the water in the gate or the contact time of contaminent with reactive media. A sensitivity analysis has been conducted that shows that increasing the size of the capture zone decreases the residence time, which will limit the design. The results of the modellingand sensitivity analysis are presented such that they can be used as an aid to the design of permeable treatment walls.
Still not sure how to write the abstract for a dissertation? Why not get one of our writers to help you with your dissertation abstract?
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Bad Abstract Example
Sometimes, it helps bring a concept home once you see what NOT to do in a certain process. The following is an example of a poorly written abstract. As a challenge to yourself, do you think you can point out the flaws in it after having learned everything mentioned above? Try it out; practice makes perfect, after all.
FAQs About a Dissertation Abstract
Can i use an excerpt from the paper as an abstract.
No, you should not. It is important for an abstract to be an entirely autonomous and independent text and never be an extract taken from within the paper’s original content. Write it in your own words,
What is the purpose of an abstract?
The abstract of your dissertation provides a brief overview of the research conducted and the results obtained.
What should a dissertation abstract contain?
The abstract of your dissertation must give background information, mention the problem statement , research aims , and objectives, sample information, methods of research , the findings , conclusion and recommendations/implications.
Can I cite a reference in the abstract?
No, you must never cite any reference in the abstract.
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APA Abstract (2020) | Formatting, Length, and Keywords
Published on November 6, 2020 by Raimo Streefkerk . Revised on January 3, 2022.
An APA abstract is a comprehensive summary of your paper in which you briefly address the research problem , hypotheses , methods , results , and implications of your research. It’s placed on a separate page right after the title page and is usually no longer than 250 words.
Most professional papers that are submitted for publication require an abstract. Student papers typically don’t need an abstract, unless instructed otherwise.
Table of contents
How to format the abstract, how to write an apa abstract, which keywords to use, frequently asked questions, apa abstract example.
Follow these five steps to format your abstract in APA Style:
- Insert a running head (for a professional paper—not needed for a student paper) and page number.
- Set page margins to 1 inch (2.54 cm).
- Write “Abstract” (bold and centered) at the top of the page.
- Do not indent the first line.
- Double-space the text.
- Use a legible font like Times New Roman (12 pt.).
- Limit the length to 250 words.
- Indent the first line 0.5 inches.
- Write the label “Keywords:” (italicized).
- Write keywords in lowercase letters.
- Separate keywords with commas.
- Do not use a period after the keywords.
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The AI-powered Citation Checker helps you avoid common mistakes such as:
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The abstract is a self-contained piece of text that informs the reader what your research is about. It’s best to write the abstract after you’re finished with the rest of your paper.
The questions below may help structure your abstract. Try answering them in one to three sentences each.
- What is the problem? Outline the objective, research questions , and/or hypotheses .
- What has been done? Explain your research methods .
- What did you discover? Summarize the key findings and conclusions .
- What do the findings mean? Summarize the discussion and recommendations .
Check out our guide on how to write an abstract for more guidance and an annotated example.
Guide: writing an abstract
At the end of the abstract, you may include a few keywords that will be used for indexing if your paper is published on a database. Listing your keywords will help other researchers find your work.
Choosing relevant keywords is essential. Try to identify keywords that address your topic, method, or population. APA recommends including three to five keywords.
An abstract is a concise summary of an academic text (such as a journal article or dissertation ). It serves two main purposes:
- To help potential readers determine the relevance of your paper for their own research.
- To communicate your key findings to those who don’t have time to read the whole paper.
Abstracts are often indexed along with keywords on academic databases, so they make your work more easily findable. Since the abstract is the first thing any reader sees, it’s important that it clearly and accurately summarizes the contents of your paper.
An APA abstract is around 150–250 words long. However, always check your target journal’s guidelines and don’t exceed the specified word count.
In an APA Style paper , the abstract is placed on a separate page after the title page (page 2).
Avoid citing sources in your abstract . There are two reasons for this:
- The abstract should focus on your original research, not on the work of others.
- The abstract should be self-contained and fully understandable without reference to other sources.
There are some circumstances where you might need to mention other sources in an abstract: for example, if your research responds directly to another study or focuses on the work of a single theorist. In general, though, don’t include citations unless absolutely necessary.
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Streefkerk, R. (2022, January 03). APA Abstract (2020) | Formatting, Length, and Keywords. Scribbr. Retrieved November 8, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/apa-style/apa-abstract/
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How to Write an Abstract for a Dissertation that Captivates Readers
Did you know that the first scientific abstracts can be traced back to the 17th century when scholars like Sir Francis Bacon began to condense their research findings into concise summaries? Abstracts have come a long way since then, becoming an essential component of scholarly articles, research papers, and conference presentations. Learning how to write an abstract for a dissertation is a skill that can greatly enhance the visibility and impact of your work.
In this informative article, our dissertation writer will delve into the world of abstracts and uncover their significance in the realm of academic and scientific writing. Discover what an abstract is, why it's essential, and how to craft one effectively. We'll provide you with practical tips and expert guidance to ensure your abstracts not only meet the mark but also captivate your audience. Whether you're a seasoned researcher or just starting out, this article has something valuable to offer.
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Understanding What is a Dissertation Abstract
At its core, a dissertation abstract is a brief but comprehensive overview of the main points, findings, and contributions of a larger piece of work. Its primary goal is to convey the essence of the research in a condensed form.
It typically covers key aspects of the research, such as the problem or question being addressed, the methodology used, the main results or findings, and the broader implications of the work. It's the appetizer before the main course, the map before the journey, and it plays an integral role in helping others decide if your research is worth their time and attention. Let's explore this in more detail:
- Conciseness: A brief summary, typically 150 to 250 words, must adhere to precise and economical writing, where each word carries weight. Authors must distill the core of their research into this restricted word count, making each sentence a vital element.
- Self-Sufficient Synopsis: This self-contained summary offers a comprehensive understanding of the research, even when read independently from the main document. It should encompass key elements such as the research query, methodology, primary findings, and broader implications.
- Impersonality: Abstracts are generally composed in the third person, avoiding personal pronouns. The focus is on the research itself, maintaining objectivity to help readers evaluate the work without authorial bias.
- Transparency and Accessibility: A well-crafted summary should be lucid and approachable to a wide audience. While it may include technical jargon, it should strive for comprehensibility by both experts and non-specialists.
- Precision: Accuracy is paramount in a summary. It's crucial to faithfully represent the research without exaggeration or unsupported claims.
- Framework: Summaries often adhere to a structured format, encompassing sections like an introduction (introducing the research problem), methodology (detailing the research approach), results (highlighting main findings), and conclusion (addressing research implications). The specific format may vary according to publication or conference guidelines.
- Key Terms: Summaries frequently incorporate a list of relevant keywords or phrases. These aid readers and search engines in locating the work efficiently. Selecting appropriate keywords is pivotal for effective indexing and discoverability.
Exploring What's the Purpose of the Dissertation Abstract
Understanding the purpose of an abstract of dissertation is essential for any academic or scientific writer. It serves as the compass that guides the composition of this concise summary. Let's delve into the specific reasons behind the creation of this piece:
- Information Filtering: In today's information-rich age, researchers, students, and professionals often face a deluge of academic papers and articles. Abstracts play a pivotal role in helping individuals sift through this sea of information. They serve as a swift evaluation mechanism, allowing individuals to discern whether a specific research paper focuses on subjects that align with their interests and requirements.
- Decision-Making Tool: These summaries aid decision-making at various stages, helping readers decide whether to invest time in reading the full document. Journal editors and conference organizers use descriptive and informative abstracts to select an entire paper for publication or presentation. Thus, the quality and appeal of an abstract can significantly impact the visibility and recognition of a research contribution.
- Search and Retrieval: Abstracts facilitate the organization, cataloging, and retrieval of academic works in databases and libraries. They are key elements for search engines, enabling precise indexing, categorization, and accessibility. When you search for scholarly articles on a specific topic, the presence of keywords in abstracts greatly influences the results you receive.
- Quick Reference: A descriptive abstract offers a swift reference point for scholars who want to recall the core findings and insights of a particular study. Researchers and students often use abstracts to determine whether a work is worth exploring in-depth for their own research.
- Global Accessibility: In an increasingly globalized academic community, English has become the lingua franca for scholarly communication. Descriptive abstracts provide a bridge for non-English speakers to access research findings, enabling a wider dissemination of knowledge.
Dissertation Abstract Example
In our exploration of dissertation abstract examples, we've crafted a practical sample, which, in this case, would span approximately 100 pages. This abstract of dissertation example showcases the key components of a comprehensive research summary and demonstrates how to effectively condense extensive research into a concise yet informative format.
How to Write a Dissertation Abstract with 4 Key Steps
In the world of academia and research, your dissertation abstract is your first impression, your elevator pitch, and your ticket to engaging your audience. But crafting the one that truly captivates can be an art form in itself. In this guide, we'll unveil the key steps to help you master this art, from deciphering the essential components to weaving a compelling narrative that leaves a lasting impact.
Step 1: Introduction
The introduction in your dissertation abstract is the gateway, the moment you capture your audience's attention and set the tone for what follows. It's where you frame the research question, highlight its relevance, and give your readers a compelling reason to delve further into your work.
Imagine your research paper is about a groundbreaking energy-efficient building material. Instead of a mundane start, consider opening with a captivating question: 'What if we told you that buildings of the future could be constructed with a material that not only slashes energy costs but also helps combat climate change?'
The introduction is your chance to engage, inspire, and intrigue your audience while writing an abstract, prompting them to explore the innovative and significant research that lies ahead.
Step 2: Methods
If you are wondering how to write an abstract for a dissertation, remember to provide a concise but informative glimpse into how you conducted your research in the methods section. This is where you let your readers know the tools and techniques you employed to gather your data or evidence.
For instance, if your research involves using advanced machine learning algorithms to predict financial market trends, you would describe your methods as 'We harnessed cutting-edge machine learning algorithms to analyze market data from the past decade.'
In a scientific paper on the impact of a new teaching approach on student learning, your informative abstract could state, 'Our research involved implementing a novel blended learning model, combining in-person instruction with interactive online modules.'
By offering a brief but explicit insight into your research methods, you allow your audience to grasp the rigor and innovation behind your work, setting the stage for forthcoming results and discussions.
Step 3: Results
In the results section of your dissertation abstract, you showcase the heart of your research – the findings and outcomes. This is where you provide a glimpse of the impact of your work.
Instead of vague terms like 'significant' or 'notable,' be precise and quantitative. For example, if your research has identified a reduction in energy consumption due to a new lighting technology, you might say, 'Our study revealed a remarkable 40% reduction in energy consumption when implementing the innovative LED lighting system.'
Or, for a dissertation topic on the effects of a vaccination program, you could state, 'The vaccination initiative led to a substantial 65% decrease in the incidence of the target disease within the studied population.'
By quantifying your findings and presenting specific measurements or statistics, you make your results more tangible and impactful, allowing your audience to grasp the significance of your research at a glance.
Step 4: Discussion
The discussion section of your dissertation abstract is where you connect the dots, providing insights into the broader implications of your research. It's your opportunity to convey the 'So what?' of your findings.
For example, in a study exploring the environmental impact of urban transportation changes, your abstract could conclude, 'These findings highlight the potential for sustainable urban planning to significantly reduce carbon emissions, offering a blueprint for cities to combat climate change.'
Or, in a study on the psychological effects of art therapy in elderly populations, your discussion might emphasize, 'Our research underscores the value of art therapy as an innovative approach to enhancing the mental well-being of the aging population, with implications for a more holistic and effective approach to senior care.'
In the discussion section, you should address the long-term consequences and the significance of your research, whether it's in terms of policy changes, practical applications, or fundamental shifts in the field. It's where you convey the transformative power of your work and inspire your audience to recognize its value.
3 Useful Strategies for Writing a Dissertation Abstract
In the vast landscape of academic and research publications, a dissertation abstract is often your first and, sometimes, only chance to make an impact. It's the trailer that either entices the audience to watch the full movie or lets them move on. But writing dissertation abstract is not just about summarizing your work; it's about engaging your readers, leaving them curious and eager to explore further.
To help you navigate this intricate process, we gathered three indispensable strategies. These practical approaches are designed to not only make your abstract informative but also to give it a unique edge that will linger in the minds of your audience.
Recall the WWHS Principle
Crafting an effective abstract requires you to recall the WWHS principle: 'What, Why, How, and So What.' These four pillars from our professional essay writing service are the foundation of an abstract that informs, engages, and leaves a lasting impression on your readers.
Articulating the 'What' with Context
- In the 'What' segment, provide a succinct yet comprehensive overview of your research. This is where you outline the central focus of your study, encompassing not only the 'what' but also the 'who' and 'where.' Clarify the subject matter of your research and introduce the key participants or elements involved. Additionally, establish the geographical context by specifying where your research took place. By presenting this contextual information, you paint a vivid picture of the setting and the essential actors within your study.
Significance Unveiled: The 'Why' in Your Research
- Within the 'Why' section, dive into the importance of your research. Explore the motivations that fueled your research journey. What critical questions or knowledge gaps ignited your curiosity and propelled your investigation? Reveal the rationale behind your study, emphasizing its relevance to your field, practical applications, or its role in addressing pressing issues. This portion acts as the driving force behind your research, bridging the objectives of your study with the larger academic or practical context.
Mastering Research Methodology: The 'How' of Your Study
- The 'How' component delves into the mechanics of your research methodology. Succinctly describe the methods you employed, whether it involved a qualitative case study, a quantitative survey, or an experimental design. Offer sufficient detail to grant readers a glimpse into your methodological approach without overwhelming them. This is where you underscore the rigor of your methodology, assuring your audience of the sound foundation of your research.
Discovering Meaning: The 'So What' in Your Findings
- Finally, the 'So What' segment encapsulates the pivotal findings and the broader implications of your research. Even if you prefer the option to buy dissertations , you should remember to highlight the significant discoveries, results, or insights uncovered in your study. Explain the broader implications of these findings and their potential influence in the larger context. How might your research shape future inquiries, contribute to practical applications, or expand the existing knowledge in your field? The 'So What' segment elevates your abstract beyond mere information, transforming it into a source of invaluable knowledge.
Simplicity enhances clarity. It ensures that your abstract can be understood by experts and non-experts alike. Complex language or convoluted sentences can obscure your core message, so using clear and simple language is essential. Furthermore, when you're working with a limited word count, simplicity is your ally. It allows you to convey your message efficiently, ensuring that every word serves a purpose. In contrast, using complex language can quickly eat up your word limit.
An abstract isn't just for the academic community. Policymakers, journalists, and individuals from diverse backgrounds may take an interest in your work. So, simple dissertation abstracts broaden the audience, making the research relevant beyond academia.
Lastly, simplicity helps you distill the essence of scientific journals. It forces you to identify the key findings, implications, and fundamental message. In a world flooded with information, simplicity ensures that your research stands out and effectively informs, engages, and inspires.
Precision is Key
Precision plays a pivotal role in ensuring that your message is not just heard but understood with utmost clarity. It's not about verbosity or complexity; rather, it's the art of choosing the right words and framing your ideas with meticulous accuracy. Precision eliminates ambiguity, allowing your readers to grasp your message precisely as intended. Whether in a dissertation abstract, academic paper, or any form of communication, it is the beacon that guides your audience through the intricate maze of ideas, ensuring that your message lands with the impact it deserves.
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Writing an abstract - a six point checklist (with samples)
Posted in: abstract , dissertations
The abstract is a vital part of any research paper. It is the shop front for your work, and the first stop for your reader. It should provide a clear and succinct summary of your study, and encourage your readers to read more. An effective abstract, therefore should answer the following questions:
- Why did you do this study or project?
- What did you do and how?
- What did you find?
- What do your findings mean?
So here's our run down of the key elements of a well-written abstract.
- Size - A succinct and well written abstract should be between approximately 100- 250 words.
- Background - An effective abstract usually includes some scene-setting information which might include what is already known about the subject, related to the paper in question (a few short sentences).
- Purpose - The abstract should also set out the purpose of your research, in other words, what is not known about the subject and hence what the study intended to examine (or what the paper seeks to present).
- Methods - The methods section should contain enough information to enable the reader to understand what was done, and how. It should include brief details of the research design, sample size, duration of study, and so on.
- Results - The results section is the most important part of the abstract. This is because readers who skim an abstract do so to learn about the findings of the study. The results section should therefore contain as much detail about the findings as the journal word count permits.
- Conclusion - This section should contain the most important take-home message of the study, expressed in a few precisely worded sentences. Usually, the finding highlighted here relates to the primary outcomes of the study. However, other important or unexpected findings should also be mentioned. It is also customary, but not essential, to express an opinion about the theoretical or practical implications of the findings, or the importance of their findings for the field. Thus, the conclusions may contain three elements:
- The primary take-home message
- Any additional findings of importance
- Implications for future studies
Example Abstract 2: Engineering Development and validation of a three-dimensional finite element model of the pelvic bone.
Abstract from: Dalstra, M., Huiskes, R. and Van Erning, L., 1995. Development and validation of a three-dimensional finite element model of the pelvic bone. Journal of biomechanical engineering, 117(3), pp.272-278.
And finally... A word on abstract types and styles
Abstract types can differ according to subject discipline. You need to determine therefore which type of abstract you should include with your paper. Here are two of the most common types with examples.
The majority of abstracts are informative. While they still do not critique or evaluate a work, they do more than describe it. A good informative abstract acts as a surrogate for the work itself. That is, the researcher presents and explains all the main arguments and the important results and evidence in the paper. An informative abstract includes the information that can be found in a descriptive abstract [purpose, methods, scope] but it also includes the results and conclusions of the research and the recommendations of the author. The length varies according to discipline, but an informative abstract is usually no more than 300 words in length.
Descriptive Abstract A descriptive abstract indicates the type of information found in the work. It makes no judgements about the work, nor does it provide results or conclusions of the research. It does incorporate key words found in the text and may include the purpose, methods, and scope of the research. Essentially, the descriptive abstract only describes the work being summarised. Some researchers consider it an outline of the work, rather than a summary. Descriptive abstracts are usually very short, 100 words or less.
(Adapted from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3136027/ )
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How to Write an Abstract for Your Paper
An abstract is a self-contained summary of a larger work, such as research and scientific papers or general academic papers . Usually situated at the beginning of such works, the abstract is meant to “preview” the bigger document. This helps readers and other researchers find what they’re looking for and understand the magnitude of what’s discussed.
Like the trailer for a movie, an abstract can determine whether or not someone becomes interested in your work. Aside from enticing readers, abstracts are also useful organizational tools that help other researchers and academics find papers relevant to their work.
Because of their specific requirements, it’s best to know a little about how to write an abstract before doing it. This guide explains the basics of writing an abstract for beginners, including what to put in them and some expert tips on writing them.
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What’s the purpose of an abstract?
The main purpose of an abstract is to help people decide whether or not to read the entire academic paper. After all, titles can be misleading and don’t get into specifics like methodology or results. Imagine paying for and downloading a hundred-page dissertation on what you believe is relevant to your research on the Caucasus region—only to find out it’s about the other Georgia.
Likewise, abstracts can encourage financial support for grant proposals and fundraising. If you lack the funding for your research, your proposal abstract would outline the costs and benefits of your project. This way, potential investors could make an informed decision, or jump to the relevant section of your proposal to see the details.
Abstracts are also incredibly useful for indexing. They make it easier for researchers to find precisely what they need without wasting time skimming actual papers. And because abstracts sometimes touch on the results of a paper, researchers and students can see right away if the paper can be used as evidence or a citation to support their own theses.
Nowadays, abstracts are also important for search engine optimization (SEO)—namely, for getting digital copies of your paper to appear in search engine results. If someone Googles the words used in your abstract, the link to your paper will appear higher in the search results, making it more likely to get clicks.
How long should an abstract be?
Abstracts are typically 100–250 words and comprise one or two paragraphs . However, more complex papers require more complex abstracts, so you may need to stretch it out to cover everything. It’s not uncommon to see abstracts that fill an entire page, especially in advanced scientific works.
When do you need to write an abstract?
Abstracts are only for lengthy, often complicated texts, as with scientific and research papers. Similar academic papers—including doctorate dissertations, master’s theses, or elaborate literary criticisms —may also demand them as well. If you’re learning how to write a thesis paper for college , you’ll want to know how to write an abstract, too.
Specifically, most scientific journals and grant proposals require an abstract for submissions. Conference papers often involve them as well, as do book proposals and other fundraising endeavors.
However, most writing, in particular casual and creative writing, doesn’t need an abstract.
Types of abstracts
There are two main types of abstracts: informative and descriptive. Most abstracts fall into the informative category, with descriptive abstracts reserved for less formal papers.
Informative abstracts discuss all the need-to-know details of your paper: purpose, method, scope, results, and conclusion. They’re the go-to format for scientific and research papers.
Informative abstracts attempt to outline the entire paper without going into specifics. They’re written for quick reference, favor efficiency over style, and tend to lack personality.
Descriptive abstracts are a little more personable and focus more on enticing readers. They don’t care as much for data and details, and instead read more like overviews that don’t give too much away. Think of descriptive abstracts like synopses on the back of a book.
Because they don’t delve too deep, descriptive abstracts are shorter than informative abstracts, closer to 100 words, and in a single paragraph. In particular, they don’t cover areas like results or conclusions — you have to read the paper to satisfy your curiosity.
Since they’re so informal, descriptive abstracts are more at home in artistic criticisms and entertaining papers than in scientific articles.
What to include in an abstract
As part of a formal document, informative abstracts adhere to more scientific and data-based structures. Like the paper itself, abstracts should include all of the IMRaD elements: Introduction , Methods , Results , and Discussion .
This handy acronym is a great way to remember what parts to include in your abstract. There are some other areas you might need as well, which we also explain at the end.
The beginning of your abstract should provide a broad overview of the entire project, just like the thesis statement. You can also use this section of your abstract to write out your hypothesis or research question.
In the one or two sentences at the top, you want to disclose the purpose of your paper, such as what problem it attempts to solve and why the reader should be interested. You’ll also need to explain the context around it, including any historical references.
This section covers the methodology of your research, or how you collected the data. This is crucial for verifying the credibility of your paper — abstracts with no methodology or suspicious methods won’t be taken seriously by the scientific community.
If you’re using original research, you should disclose which analytical methods you used to collect your data, including descriptions of instruments, software, or participants. If you’re expounding on previous data, this is a good place to cite which data and from where to avoid plagiarism .
For informative abstracts, it’s okay to “give away the ending.” In one or two sentences, summarize the results of your paper and the conclusive outcome. Remember that the goal of most abstracts is to inform, not entice, so mentioning your results here can help others better classify and categorize your paper.
This is often the biggest section of your abstract. It involves most of the concrete details surrounding your paper, so don’t be afraid to give it an extra sentence or two compared to the others.
The discussion section explains the ultimate conclusion and its ramifications. Based on the data and examination, what can we take away from this paper? The discussion section often goes beyond the scope of the project itself, including the implications of the research or what it adds to its field as a whole.
Aside from the IMRaD aspects, your abstract may require some of the following areas:
- Keywords — Like hashtags for research papers, keywords list out the topics discussed in your paper so interested people can find it more easily, especially with online formats. The APA format (explained below) has specific requirements for listing keywords, so double-check there before listing yours.
- Ethical concerns — If your research deals with ethically gray areas, i.e., testing on animals, you may want to point out any concerns here, or issue reassurances.
- Consequences — If your research disproves or challenges a popular theory or belief, it’s good to mention that in the abstract — especially if you have new evidence to back it up.
- Conflicts of Interest/Disclosures — Although different forums have different rules on disclosing conflicts of interests, it’s generally best to mention them in your abstract. For example, maybe you received funding from a biased party.
If you’re ever in doubt about what to include in your abstract, just remember that it should act as a succinct summary of your entire paper. Include all the relevant points, but only the highlights.
In general, abstracts are pretty uniform since they’re exclusive to formal documents. That said, there are a couple of technical formats you should be aware of.
The American Psychological Association (APA) has specific guidelines for their papers in the interest of consistency. Here’s what the 7th edition Publication Manual has to say about formatting abstracts:
- Double-space your text.
- Set page margins at 1 inch (2.54 cm).
- Write the word “Abstract” at the top of the page, centered and in a bold font.
- Don’t indent the first line.
- Keep your abstract under 250 words.
- Include a running header and page numbers on all pages, including the abstract.
Abstract keywords have their own particular guidelines as well:
- Label the section as “ Keywords: ” with italics.
- Indent the first line at 0.5 inches, but leave subsequent lines as is.
- Write your keywords on the same line as the label.
- Use lower-case letters.
- Use commas, but not conjunctions.
Structured abstracts are a relatively new format for scientific papers, originating in the late 1980s. Basically, you just separate your abstract into smaller subsections — typically based on the IMRaD categories — and label them accordingly.
The idea is to enhance scannability; for example, if readers are only interested in the methodology, they can skip right to the methodology. The actual writing of structured abstracts, though, is more-or-less the same as traditional ones.
Unstructured abstracts are still the convention, though, so double-check beforehand to see which one is preferred.
3 expert tips for writing abstracts
1 autonomous works.
Abstracts are meant to be self-contained, autonomous works. They should act as standalone documents, often with a beginning, middle, and end. The thinking is that, even if you never read the actual paper, you’ll still understand the entire scope of the project just from the abstract.
Keep that in mind when you write your abstract: it should be a microcosm of the entire piece, with all the key points, but none of the details.
2 Write the abstract last
Because the abstract comes first, it’s tempting to write it first. However, writing the abstract at the end is more effective since you have a better understanding of what is actually in your paper. You’ll also discover new implications as you write, and perhaps even shift the structure a bit. In any event, you’re better prepared to write the abstract once the main paper is completed.
3 Abstracts are not introductions
A common misconception is to write your abstract like an introduction — after all, it’s the first section of your paper. However, abstracts follow a different set of guidelines, so don’t make this mistake.
Abstracts are summaries, designed to encapsulate the findings of your paper and assist with organization and searchability. A good abstract includes background information and context, not to mention results and conclusions. Abstracts are also self-contained, and can be read independently of the rest of the paper.
Introductions, by contrast, serve to gradually bring the reader up to speed on the topic. Their goals are less clinical and more personable, with room to elaborate and build anticipation. Introductions are also an integral part of the paper, and feel incomplete if read independently.
Give your formal writing the My Fair Lady treatment
Formal papers — the kind that requires abstracts — need formal language. But for most of us, that means changing the way we communicate or even think. You may want to consider the My Fair Lady treatment, which is to say, having a skilled mentor coach what you say.
Grammarly Premium now offers a new Set Goals feature that helps you tailor your language to your audience or intention. All you have to do is set the goals of a particular piece of writing and Grammarly will customize your feedback accordingly. For example, you can select the knowledge level of your readers, the formality of the tone, and the domain or field you’re writing for (i.e., academic, creative, business, etc.). You can even set a tone to sound more analytical or respectful!
Here’s a tip: Grammarly’s Citation Generator ensures your essays have flawless citations and no plagiarism. Try it for citing abstracts in Chicago , MLA , and APA styles.
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How to Write a Dissertation Abstract
Last Updated: March 6, 2020 References
wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. To create this article, volunteer authors worked to edit and improve it over time. This article has been viewed 23,121 times.
An abstract is a small summary of a larger paper. A dissertation is a long research paper with an original argument that you must write to graduate with a Master’s degree or doctorate. An abstract helps give your reader a map of your paper before he or she reads it. It also helps researchers to know if your paper will be helpful to them before they expend time reading it. Therefore, you should try to write as clear an abstract as possible, in simple and concise language.
Including the Necessary Information
- Start with your main thesis at the top.
- Next, read each section of your paper. As you read, write a one-sentence summary of each major chapter or section. Keep them in order on your paper. Regardless of your discipline, take time to point out the key theorists in the discipline you’ll be exploring in your paper.
- Include a summary of your conclusions, as well.
- If you’re writing an abstract for a scientific dissertation, it’s not necessary to include all of your literature review; however, you might include a sentence on how your paper fits into the larger academic discussion.
- Discuss how your research fits into the larger academic discussion.
- Talk about your methodology.
- Include your conclusions.
- Take time to discuss how it could lead to further research.
- Include any major works you’re analyzing. In other words, provide a short discussion of the source material, whether it’s the diaries of a famous historical figure for a history dissertation, a work of literature, a piece of music, or a great work of art.
- Discuss the major theories you’re applying to make your argument.
- Cover your main argument.
- Talk about your conclusions.
- Include any methodology you used to conduct research.
- Provide an overview of any studies you conducted, including participants and the purpose of the study.
- Discuss major theories that you are using for analyzing your work, as well as how your research fits into the larger discussion. Remember to keep it brief.
- Don’t forget to discuss your conclusions, as well as how your research could lead to further research.
- Include major theories you are using to analyze your research.
- Talk about your research methods, especially if you are collecting data.
- Provide specifics if you are looking at a particular company or analyzing a particular model.
- Discuss your overall conclusions.
Writing Your Abstract
- The name of the article you have written.
- Publication information, if there is any.
- Remember, you’re just trying to give your reader an overview of your dissertation, not every detail.
- You should also include the sentence about your conclusion.
- Remember, you are not just summarizing your individual thoughts in your abstract, you are recreating the argument you make in your paper in a shortened form.
- For instance, if you’re an archaeologist, you need to reference your primary materials.
- If you’re a librarian, you should talk about the methods you’ve used to collect your research.
- If you’re a psychologist, talk about the way you conducted your study.
- Only include information that is in the paper; do not bring new ideas into the abstract.
- The way you implement your research in science includes methodology (how you carried out your experiment), but in a humanities paper, you’ll likely be talking about the theories you applied in your research (such as applying Foucault’s theories to a book like Wuthering Heights).
- If you wrote a scientific, sociological, or psychological dissertation (or any other type of dissertation requiring field research), be sure to include information on your methodology. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- If you’re writing an abstract on a literature paper, be sure to include the major works you’re reviewing. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- You can use some technical language if it is a technical paper. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
You Might Also Like
- ↑ http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_abstract.shtml
- ↑ http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/abstracts/
- ↑ http://libguides.usc.edu/content.php?pid=83009&sid=621164
- ↑ http://librarybissell.act.edu/content.php?pid=136789&sid=1171531
- ↑ http://users.ece.cmu.edu/~koopman/essays/abstract.html
- ↑ https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/656/01/
About this article
To write a dissertation abstract, start with a condensed version of your thesis that's no more than 1 sentence long. Then, include sentences about the methodology you used for your research and any major points or theories you analyzed. You should also include a sentence about the conclusions you drew based on your research. In general, try to keep your dissertation abstract between 100 and 200 words. To learn how to use an outline of your dissertation to write your abstract, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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How to Write an Abstract for a Dissertation or Thesis: Guide & Examples
Table of contents
A dissertation abstract is a brief summary of a dissertation, typically between 150-300 words. It is a standalone piece of writing that gives the reader an overview of the main ideas and findings of the dissertation.
Generally, this section should include:
- Research problem and questions
- Research methodology
- Key findings and results
- Original contribution
- Practical or theoretical implications.
You need to write an excellent abstract for a dissertation or thesis, since it's the first thing a comitteee will review. Continue reading through to learn how to write a dissertation abstract. In this article, we will discuss its purpose, length, structure and writing steps. Moreover, for reference purposes, this article will include abstract examples for a dissertation and thesis and offer extra guidance on top of that.
In case you are in a hurry, feel free to buy dissertation from our professional writers. Our experts are qualified and have solid experience in writing Ph.D. academic works.
What Is a Dissertation Abstract?
Dissertation abstracts, by definition, are summaries of a thesis's content, usually between 200 and 300 words, used to inform readers about the contents of the study in a quick way. A thesis or dissertation abstract briefly overviews the entire thesis. Dissertation abstracts are found at the beginning of every study, providing the research recap, results, and conclusions. It usually goes right after your title page and before your dissertation table of contents . An abstract for a dissertation (alternatively called “précis” further in the article) should clearly state the main topic of your paper, its overall purpose, and any important research questions or findings. It should also contain any necessary keywords that direct readers to relevant information. In addition, it addresses any implications for further research that may stem from its field. Writing strong précis requires you to think carefully, as they are the critical components that attract readers to peruse your paper.
Purpose of a Dissertation or Thesis Abstract
The primary purpose of an abstract in a dissertation or thesis is to give readers a basic understanding of the completed work. Also, it should create an interest in the topic to motivate readers to read further. Writing an abstract for a dissertation is essential for many reasons:
- Offers a summary and gives readers an overview of what they should expect from your study.
- Provides an opportunity to showcase the research done, highlighting its importance and impact.
- Identifies any unexplored research gaps to inform future studies and direct the current state of knowledge on the topic.
In general, an abstract of a thesis or a dissertation is a bridge between the research and potential readers.
What Makes a Good Abstract for a Dissertation?
Making a good dissertation abstract requires excellent organization and clarity of thought. Proper specimens must provide convincing arguments supporting your thesis. Writing an effective dissertation abstract requires students to be concise and write engagingly. Below is a list of things that makes it outstanding:
- Maintains clear and concise summary style
- Includes essential keywords for search engine optimization
- Accurately conveys the scope of the thesis
- Strictly adheres to the word count limit specified in your instructions
- Written from a third-person point of view
- Includes objectives, approach, and findings
- Uses simple language without jargon
- Avoids overgeneralized statements or vague claims.
How Long Should a Dissertation Abstract Be?
Abstracts should be long enough to convey the key points of every thesis, yet brief enough to capture readers' attention. A dissertation abstract length should typically be between 200-300 words, i.e., 1 page. But usually, length is indicated in the requirements. Remember that your primary goal here is to provide an engaging and informative thesis summary. Note that following the instructions and templates set forth by your university will ensure your thesis or dissertation abstract meets the writing criteria and adheres to all relevant standards.
Dissertation Abstract Structure
Dissertation abstracts can be organized in different ways and vary slightly depending on your work requirements. However, each abstract of a dissertation should incorporate elements like keywords, methods, results, and conclusions. The structure of a thesis or a dissertation abstract should account for the components included below:
- Title Accurately reflects the topic of your thesis.
- Introduction Provides an overview of your research, its purpose, and any relevant background information.
- Methods/ Approach Gives an outline of the methods used to conduct your research.
- Results Summarizes your findings.
- Conclusions Provides an overview of your research's accomplishments and implications.
- Keywords Includes keywords that accurately describe your thesis.
Below is an example that shows how a dissertation abstract looks, how to structure it and where each part is located. Use this template to organize your own summary.
Things to Consider Before Writing a Dissertation Abstract
There are several things you should do beforehand in order to write a good abstract for a dissertation or thesis. They include:
- Reviewing set requirements and making sure you clearly understand the expectations
- Reading other research works to get an idea of what to include in yours
- Writing a few drafts before submitting your final version, which will ensure that it's in the best state possible.
Write an Abstract for a Dissertation Last
Remember, it's advisable to write an abstract for a thesis paper or dissertation last. Even though it’s always located in the beginning of the work, nevertheless, it should be written last. This way, your summary will be more accurate because the main argument and conclusions are already known when the work is mostly finished - it is incomparably easier to write a dissertation abstract after completing your thesis. Additionally, you should write it last because the contents and scope of the thesis may have changed during the writing process. So, create your dissertation abstract as a last step to help ensure that it precisely reflects the content of your project.
Carefully Read Requirements
Writing dissertation abstracts requires careful attention to details and adherence to writing requirements. Refer to the rubric or guidelines that you were presented with to identify aspects to keep in mind and important elements, such as correct length and writing style, and then make sure to comprehensively include them. Careful consideration of these requirements ensures that your writing meets every criterion and standard provided by your supervisor to increase the chances that your master's thesis is accepted and approved.
Choose the Right Type of Dissertation Abstracts
Before starting to write a dissertation or thesis abstract you should choose the appropriate type. Several options are available, and it is essential to pick one that best suits your dissertation's subject. Depending on their purpose, there exist 3 types of dissertation abstracts:
Informative one offers readers a concise overview of your research, its purpose, and any relevant background information. Additionally, this type includes brief summaries of all results and dissertation conclusions . A descriptive abstract in a dissertation or thesis provides a quick overview of the research, but it doesn't incorporate any evaluation or analysis because it only offers a snapshot of the study and makes no claims.
Critical abstract gives readers an in-depth overview of the research and include an evaluative component. This means that this type also summarizes and analyzes research data, discusses implications, and makes claims about the achievements of your study. In addition, it examines the research data and recounts its implications.
Choose the correct type of dissertation abstract to ensure that it meets your paper’s demands.
How to Write an Abstract for a Dissertation or Thesis?
Writing a good abstract for a dissertation or thesis is essential as it provides a brief overview of the completed research. So, how to write a dissertation abstract? First of all, the right approach is dictated by an institution's specific requirements. However, a basic structure should include the title, an introduction to your topic, research methodology, findings, and conclusions. Composing noteworthy precis allows you to flaunt your capabilities and grants readers a concise glimpse of the research. Doing this can make an immense impact on those reviewing your paper.
1. Identify the Purpose of Your Study
An abstract for thesis paper or dissertation is mainly dependent on the purpose of your study. Students need to identify all goals and objectives of their research before writing their précis - the reason being to ensure that the investigation’s progress and all its consequent findings are described simply and intelligibly. Additionally, one should provide some background information about their study. A short general description helps your reader acknowledge and connect with the research question. But don’t dive too deep into details, since more details are provided when writing a dissertation introduction . Scholars should write every dissertation abstract accurately and in a coherent way to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the area. This is the first section that potential readers will see, and it should serve as a precise overview of an entire document. Therefore, researchers writing abstracts of a thesis or dissertation should do it with great care and attention to details.
2. Discuss Methodology
A writer needs to elaborate on their methodological approach in an abstract of PhD dissertation since it acts as a brief summary of a whole research and should include an explanation of all methods used there. Dissertation and thesis abstracts discuss the research methodology by providing information sufficient enough to understand the underlying research question, data collection methods, and approach employed. Additionally, they should explain the analysis or interpretation of the data. This will help readers to gain a much better understanding of the research process and allow them to evaluate the data quality. Mention whether your methodology is quantitative or qualitative since this information is essential for readers to grasp your study's context and scope. Additionally, comment on the sources used and any other evidence collected. Furthermore, explain why you chose the method in the first place. All in all, addressing methodology is a crucial part of writing abstracts of a thesis or dissertation, as it will allow people to understand exactly how you arrived at your conclusions.
3. Describe the Key Results
Write your abstract for dissertation in a way that includes an overview of the research problem, your proposed solution, and any limitations or constraints you faced. Students need to briefly and clearly describe all key findings from the research. You must ensure that the results mentioned in an abstract of a thesis or dissertation are supported with evidence from body chapters. Write about any crucial trends or patterns that emerged from the study. They should be discussed in detail, as this information can often provide valuable insight into your topic. Be sure to include any correlations or relationships found as a result of the study. Correlation, in this context, refers to any association between two or more variables. Finally, write about any implications or conclusions drawn from your results: this is an essential element when writing an abstract for dissertation since it allows readers to firmly comprehend the study’s significance.
4. Summarize an Abstract for a Dissertation
Knowing how to write an abstract for dissertation is critical in conveying your work to a broad audience. Summarizing can be challenging (since precis is a summary in itself), but it is an essential part of any successful work. So, as a final step, conclude this section with a brief overview of the topic, outline the course of your research and its main results, and answer the paper’s central question. Summarizing an abstract of your dissertation is done to give readers a succinct impression of the entire paper, making an accurate and concise overview of all its key points and consequent conclusions. In every PhD dissertation abstract , wrap up its summary by addressing any unanswered questions and discussing any potential implications of the research.
How to Format an Abstract in Dissertation
Format depends on the style (APA, MLA, Harvard, Chicago), which varies according to your subject's discipline. Style to use is usually mentioned in the instructions, and students should follow them closely to ensure formatting accuracy. These styles have guidelines that inform you about the formatting of titles, headings and subheadings, margins, page numbers, abstracts, and tell what font size and family or line spacing are required. Using a consistent formatting style ensures proper readability and might even influence paper’s overall structure. Another formatting concern to consider when writing dissertation and thesis abstracts is their layout. Most commonly, your paper should have a one-inch margin on all sides with double spacing. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the right guidelines to get the correct information on how to write dissertation abstract in APA format and ensure that it meets formatting standards.
Keywords in a Dissertation Abstract
When writing thesis abstracts, it is essential to include keywords. Keywords are phrases or words that help readers identify main topics of your paper and make it easier for them to find any information they need. Keywords should usually be placed at the end of a dissertation abstract and written in italics. In addition, include keywords that represent your paper's primary research interests and topics. Lastly, use keywords throughout your thesis to ensure that your précis accurately reflect an entire paper's content.
Thesis and Dissertation Abstract Examples
When writing, checking out thesis and dissertation abstracts examples from experts can provide a valuable reference point for structuring and formatting your own précis. When searching for an excellent sample template, engaging the assistance of a professional writer can be highly beneficial. Their expertise and knowledge offer helpful insight into creating an exemplary document that exceeds all expectations. Examples of dissertation abstracts from different topics are commonly available in scholarly journals and websites. We also encourage you to go and search your university or other local library catalogue - multiple useful samples can surely be found there. From our part, we will attach 2 free examples for inspiration.
Dissertation abstract example
Thesis abstract example
Need a custom summary or a whole work? Contact StudyCrumb and get proficient assistance with PhD writing or dissertation proposal help .
Extra Tips on Writing a Dissertation Abstract
Writing a dissertation or PhD thesis abstract is not an easy task. You must ensure that it accurately reflects your paper's content. In this context, we will provide top-class tips on how to write an abstract in a dissertation or thesis for you to succeed. Combined with an example of a dissertation abstract above, you can rest assured that you'll do everything correctly. Below are extra tips on how to write a thesis abstract:
- Keep it concise, not lengthy - around 300 words.
- Focus on the “what”, “why”, “how”, and “so what” of your research.
- Be specific and concrete: avoid generalization.
- Use simple language: précis should be easy to understand for readers unfamiliar with your topic.
- Provide enough relevant information so your readers can grasp a main idea without necessarily reading your paper in its entirety.
- Write and edit your abstract several times until every sentence is clear and concise.
- Verify accuracy: make sure that précis reflect your content precisely.
Bottom Line on How to Write a Dissertation or Thesis Abstract
The bottom line when it comes to how to write a dissertation abstract is that you basically need to mirror your study's essence on a much lower scale. Specifically, students should keep their précis concise, use simple language, include relevant information, and write several drafts. Don't forget to review your précis and make sure they are precise enough. In addition, make sure to include all keywords so readers can find your paper quickly. You are encouraged to examine several sample dissertation abstracts to understand how to write your own.
Are you still struggling with your abstract? Contact our dissertation writing service and our qualified writers will gladly help you with this uneasy task. They will make sure it is delivered strictly on time and meets all requirements!
FAQ About Dissertation Abstract Writing
1. why is a dissertation abstract important.
Dissertation abstracts are important because they give readers a brief overview of your research. They succinctly introduce critical information and study’s key points to help readers decide if reading your thesis is worth their time. During indexing, an abstract allows categorizing and filtering papers through keyword searches. Consequently, this helps readers to easily find your paper when searching for information on a specific topic.
2. When should I write an abstract for a dissertation or thesis?
You are supposed to write a dissertation or thesis abstract after completing research and finishing work on your paper. This way, you can write précis that accurately reflects all necessary information without missing any important details. Writing your thesis précis last also lets you provide the right keywords to help readers find your dissertation.
3. What should a dissertation abstract include?
A dissertation abstract should include a research problem, goals and objectives, methods, results, and study implications. Ensure that you incorporate enough information so readers can get an idea of your thesis's content without reading it through. Use relevant keywords to ensure readers can easily find your paper when searching for information on a specific topic.
4. How to write a strong dissertation abstract?
To write a strong abstract for a dissertation, you should state your research problem, write in an active voice, use simple language, and provide relevant information. Additionally, write and edit your précis several times until it is clear and concise, and verify that it accurately mirrors your paper’s content. Reviewing several samples is also helpful for understanding how to write your own.
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How to Practice Academic Medicine and Publish from Developing Countries? pp 179–184 Cite as
How to Write an Abstract?
- Samiran Nundy 4 ,
- Atul Kakar 5 &
- Zulfiqar A. Bhutta 6
- Open Access
- First Online: 24 October 2021
An abstract is a crisp, short, powerful, and self-contained summary of a research manuscript used to help the reader swiftly determine the paper’s purpose. Although the abstract is the first paragraph of the manuscript it should be written last when all the other sections have been addressed.
Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose. — Zora Neale Hurston, American Author, Anthropologist and Filmmaker (1891–1960)
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1 What is an Abstract?
An abstract is usually a standalone document that informs the reader about the details of the manuscript to follow. It is like a trailer to a movie, if the trailer is good, it stimulates the audience to watch the movie. The abstract should be written from scratch and not ‘cut –and-pasted’ [ 1 ].
2 What is the History of the Abstract?
An abstract, in the form of a single paragraph, was first published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal in 1960 with the idea that the readers may not have enough time to go through the whole paper, and the first abstract with a defined structure was published in 1991 [ 2 ]. The idea sold and now most original articles and reviews are required to have a structured abstract. The abstract attracts the reader to read the full manuscript [ 3 ].
3 What are the Qualities of a Good Abstract?
The quality of information in an abstract can be summarized by four ‘C’s. It should be:
4 What are the Types of Abstract?
Before writing the abstract, you need to check with the journal website about which type of abstract it requires, with its length and style in the ‘Instructions to Authors’ section.
The abstract types can be divided into:
Descriptive: Usually written for psychology, social science, and humanities papers. It is about 50–100 words long. No conclusions can be drawn from this abstract as it describes the major points in the paper.
Informative: The majority of abstracts for science-related manuscripts are informative and are surrogates for the research done. They are single paragraphs that provide the reader an overview of the research paper and are about 100–150 words in length. Conclusions can be drawn from the abstracts and in the recommendations written in the last line.
Critical: This type of abstract is lengthy and about 400–500 words. In this, the authors’ own research is discussed for reliability, judgement, and validation. A comparison is also made with similar studies done earlier.
Highlighting: This is rarely used in scientific writing. The style of the abstract is to attract more readers. It is not a balanced or complete overview of the article with which it is published.
Structured: A structured abstract contains information under subheadings like background, aims, material and methods, results, conclusion, and recommendations (Fig. 15.1 ). Most leading journals now carry these.
Example of a structured abstract (with permission editor CMRP)
5 What is the Purpose of an Abstract?
An abstract is written to educate the reader about the study that follows and provide an overview of the science behind it. If written well it also attracts more readers to the article. It also helps the article getting indexed. The fate of a paper both before and after publication often depends upon its abstract. Most readers decide if a paper is worth reading on the basis of the abstract. Additionally, the selection of papers in systematic reviews is often dependent upon the abstract.
6 What are the Steps of Writing an Abstract?
An abstract should be written last after all the other sections of an article have been addressed. A poor abstract may turn off the reader and they may cause indexing errors as well. The abstract should state the purpose of the study, the methodology used, and summarize the results and important conclusions. It is usually written in the IMRAD format and is called a structured abstract [ 4 , 5 ].
I: The introduction in the opening line should state the problem you are addressing.
M: Methodology—what method was chosen to finish the experiment?
R: Results—state the important findings of your study.
D: Discussion—discuss why your study is important.
Mention the following information:
Important results with the statistical information ( p values, confidence intervals, standard/mean deviation).
Arrange all information in a chronological order.
Do not repeat any information.
The last line should state the recommendations from your study.
The abstract should be written in the past tense.
7 What are the Things to Be Avoided While Writing an Abstract?
Cut and paste information from the main text
Hold back important information
Tables or Figures
Arguments about the study
8 What are Key Words?
These are important words that are repeated throughout the manuscript and which help in the indexing of a paper. Depending upon the journal 3–10 key words may be required which are indexed with the help of MESH (Medical Subject Heading).
9 How is an Abstract Written for a Conference Different from a Journal Paper?
The basic concept for writing abstracts is the same. However, in a conference abstract occasionally a table or figure is allowed. A word limit is important in both of them. Many of the abstracts which are presented in conferences are never published in fact one study found that only 27% of the abstracts presented in conferences were published in the next five years [ 6 ].
Table 15.1 gives a template for writing an abstract.
10 What are the Important Recommendations of the International Committees of Medical Journal of Editors?
The recommendations are [ 7 ]:
An abstract is required for original articles, metanalysis, and systematic reviews.
A structured abstract is preferred.
The abstract should mention the purpose of the scientific study, how the procedure was carried out, the analysis used, and principal conclusion.
Clinical trials should be reported according to the CONSORT guidelines.
The trials should also mention the funding and the trial number.
The abstract should be accurate as many readers have access only to the abstract.
An Abstract should be written last after all the other sections of the manuscript have been completed and with due care and attention to the details.
It should be structured and written in the IMRAD format.
For many readers, the abstract attracts them to go through the complete content of the article.
The abstract is usually followed by key words that help to index the paper.
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Department of Surgical Gastroenterology and Liver Transplantation, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi, India
Department of Internal Medicine, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi, India
Institute for Global Health and Development, The Aga Khan University, South Central Asia, East Africa and United Kingdom, Karachi, Pakistan
Zulfiqar A. Bhutta
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Nundy, S., Kakar, A., Bhutta, Z.A. (2022). How to Write an Abstract?. In: How to Practice Academic Medicine and Publish from Developing Countries?. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-16-5248-6_15
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How To Write A Great Dissertation Abstract
Table of Contents
- 1. What is a dissertation abstract?
- 2. Dissertation abstract sample
- 3. How to write a dissertation abstract
- 3.1. Objective and research problem of the dissertation
- 3.2. Research methods
- 3.3. Results of the study
- 3.4. Conclusion to the study
- 4. Tips for writing a dissertation abstract
- 5. Dissertation abstract checklist
Definition Of A Dissertation Abstract
A dissertation abstract is a crucial part of this complex type of academic paper. Coming at the start of the dissertation, an abstract is a short description (call it summary) of your work that helps to get the reader up to speed on the aim and outcome of the study.
Although the abstract is located at the beginning of the dissertation, you should write it at the very end so that you have the entire report to summarize. So, here are the main things that you need to include in an abstract.
- Dissertation objective and research problem
- Research methods
- Study results
In most cases, the abstract in dissertation is pretty short, about 150-300 words. However, different universities have varying limitations on length, so check the guideline from your department.
Dissertation Abstract Sample
Osho, also known as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, was a significant spiritual leader of the late 20th century. His teachings relied heavily on Buddhism, but were an amalgam of belief systems, philosophy, and spiritual practice. Osho wrote prolifically and focused on assisting his followers in attaining enlightenment through various means, including meditation and physical movement such as spontaneous dance.
When writing an abstract, you start by providing a clear purpose of your study. Here, you need to be as precise as possible and answer the questions: What exact practical and or theoretical problem does your study address? What research questions did you want to answer?
Although he died in 1990, his teachings live on, and his followers can be found world-wide, and at his ashram or university located at Pune, India. Osho endured some negative publicity concerning his ashram in the United States, but was never shown to be complicit in any wrong-doing.
When working on the research problem, it is prudent to appreciate that the research problem comes in Chapter One of the dissertation, right? Therefore, you should craft the abstract as the last item on your dissertation. This means that you will have already formulated the questions, answered them, and made realignments where necessary. With the problem clear, you also need to use the right tenses. Think of the reader as a person you are guiding in the journey through the dissertation. As such, you should ensure that the abstract is done in past or simple tenses. Because the study is already completed, you should not refer to the future.
His teachings have endured, and in addition to providing spiritual uplifting, can be used in the context of encouraging emotional and mental stability. This study will review original writings of Osho, using Chaudhuri’s writings about depression, suffering and death as a framework. Its intent is to provide both academic information and practical guidance.
Once you have presented the aims of the study, you should move on to highlight the methods briefly. The goal is to show the reader what research methods were used to answer the study questions. Try to make this part straightforward because most of the details will be provided in the Methods Chapter. Again, the part is also written in the simple past tense. • Wrong: Observations will be conducted on …. • Right: Observations were done on the …. Note that at this point, you should not start analyzing the validity of the study. Simply offer a quick view of the approach and procedures that were used. After the methods, you should also briefly outline the results that you got during the study. This implies that by the time a reader is through with the abstract, he should be able to know the objectives, study methods, and results. Again, the results should be presented in the past simple or present tense. Note that it might not be possible to capture all the results if your study was very complex or long. So, what should you do in such a situation? Make sure to highlight the most important parts of the results.
Data will be collected using qualitative methods of transcendental phenomenology, combined with content analysis, and subjectively reviewed through participatory epistemology.
Use of tenses
Your abstract, as shown here, should tell the reader what study methods were used during the study. Remember that the study has already been done, therefore, you are reporting, so, you should use past or present tenses.
This study will add to the literature concerning Osho’s many works, with the practical application regarding depression and other emotional issues underlying the review.
Because the abstract is an independent part, it should be complete, which means that it should also have a concluding part. In this part, you should highlight what the conclusion of your – research was. Simply put – what was the answer to the study question of the study? Make sure to present the conclusion in the present simple tense. If there were important limitations that impacted the study findings, ensure to include them here too.
Keywords: Osho, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, Meditation, Enlightenment, Depression, Spirituality
Finally, list the major keywords to be addressed in the further study.
How to Write a Dissertation Abstract
Once done with the dissertation, the abstract should be on its own page, immediately after the dissertation title page, and acknowledgements, but prior to the table of content. So, how do you write an abstract?
To craft a winning abstract, you should start by defining the study purpose. So, tell the reader about the theoretical or practical problem that the study is responding to. Also, indicate the research questions that the study seeks to answer.
Note that when writing the abstract, you can either use past or present tense. See the two examples below, showing two things: how not to write it, and how to write it.
The next item on writing an abstract for a dissertation is indicating the research methods that you used. Indeed, you should make this as straightforward as possible. Note that you should not go into details of analyzing the validity of the study or obstacles. See the examples below:
When it comes to the results, you need to summarize them. You can do this part in the past simple tense or present tense. See the example below:
This is the last section of your dissertation abstract. Here, you need to provide a direct answer to the research question in your study. The goal is to ensure that the reader will clearly understand the core argument in the study. Note that conclusions in abstracts are done in past participle.
If your dissertation will be published, your department might require that you provide a list of keywords at the bottom of the abstract. The keywords reference the most crucial elements of the study to help readers to easily navigate through your paper to search for specific details.
You might want to check other top dissertations to understand how to write a winning dissertation abstract.
Pro Tips for Writing Abstract for Dissertation
At this point, we must indicate that summarizing a whole dissertation using a few paragraphs is not a simple task. But because the abstract is the first thing that readers get when reading your dissertations, it is very important that you get it right. So, here are some useful tips to guide you.
- The abstract of a dissertation should give a summary of the entire dissertation. So, consider summarizing every section of the dissertation, and putting the summaries together to form the abstract.
- Read other dissertation abstract examples to learn how other writers did their abstracts. Take a keen interest in how another top writer summarized his work in the abstract example dissertation. Then, try to make a better abstract for your dissertation.
- Make sure to write concisely. A great abstract should be short and to the point. Therefore, you need to ensure that every word you use when writing a dissertation counts.
- Strictly follow the guidelines provided by your department. In most universities, the guidelines for writing dissertations are provided by individual departments. So, make sure that you understand these formatting guidelines and strictly follow them.
- Work with your supervisor. When writing your dissertation, it is important to involve your supervisor at every stage. Having supervised other dissertations, your supervisor will be able to tell you if you are on the right track or not. If he/she recommends that you make changes, stick to the recommendations.
Dissertation Abstract Checklist
In addition to the above tips and guide, use the checklist below to ensure your dissertation abstract has all the required components. You might also want to check how a different dissertation abstract example brought out the components in the checklist.
Seek help from professional dissertation writers.
The abstract is one of the most important parts of a dissertation because it helps to introduce the whole argument in the dissertation to the reader. Therefore, you have to get it right. Using our guide and expert tips, you can now get started with crafting a winning dissertation abstract. But even with the guide and a good dissertation abstract example, many students still find it a challenge. Well, do not get stuck or stressed about writing a dissertation abstract because help is only a click away. Seek help from professional dissertation writers.
Expert thesis writers have a deep understanding of what is an abstract in a dissertation, and vast experience in similar works. Whether it is your dissertation which was complicated, time is limited, or feel worn out after the lengthy writing process, professional help is all that you need. Well, why risk getting it wrong when expert writing help is easily available?
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How To Write A Dissertation Abstract?
Dissertation-Services.com » Blog » How To Write A Dissertation Abstract?
When writing any kind of paper, be it a thesis, a dissertation, or a research paper, a student always needs to involve an abstract. If you are going to start creating it, but don’t know how to, you will find lots of useful information on this page. First, let’s start with the definition of this term.
What Is a Dissertation Abstract?
A dissertation abstract is a short overview of larger research. It is a brief outline of the whole work, which allows the reader to discover what the paper is about. It is usually written at the very end after completing the whole research. There are 4 essential pieces of information it should contain:
- dissertation issues and aims;
- investigation methods you’ve used;
- main outcomes;
- your summing up;
- suggestions for further research.
Generally, the text should consist of 150-300 words, but usually, there is an exact word number, so mention your university’s requirements. It should be written on a separate page, placed after the title, but before the contents. To write an abstract, it will be beneficial for you to read a few examples of abstracts. The abstract should be placed after the citation, so start writing a citation first. A citation should consist of:
- author’s name;
- dissertation title;
- publication information (if necessary).
How to Start an Abstract?
For students, who have no idea what to start with, we developed a universal instruction. These pieces of advice will help you write it easily and without wasting much time and effort. Let’s get started with creating your perfect abstract.
Step 1. Start Writing a Dissertation Summary
If you haven’t done it yet, it’s a perfect time to start. Creating a summary will make your abstract look well-organized. Here are some pieces of advice for that:
- start with your key dissertation thesis;
- shorten each important chapter or paragraph to one sentence. It may take some time, but the result is worth all the effort;
- summarize your conclusions as well;
- it’s not always necessary to include a literature review; it’s necessary to just write one sentence about how the topic is treated by scientists.
Step 2. Review the Text
Look through your text and make some adjustments to make it look coherent and readable by anyone. Bear in mind that you are not only summing up your thoughts but also writing the justifications you give in your custom dissertation in other words.
Step 3. Make Sure It Contains All the Necessary Points
To do this, you should understand what points should be included according to your field of study. Of course, there are universal ones, but it doesn’t always work out. Each discipline has some specific pieces of information to be involved. Let’s get acquainted with the most popular ones:
- for business and economy, involve information about the companies you used as a research model;
- for humanistic disciplines, including an overview of the scientific investigations you have analyzed in the paper, also add some recommendations for conduction further investigations on the topic;
- for social studies, concentrate on the investigating methods you used and write the scientific background of your issue.
Step 4. Revise
Maximally shorten your text to make it look brief and well-readable. Cut it down up to the required word count. But the word count depends on a certain university, so check it out on the Internet or ask your advisor. It should be laconic, as the reader is going to just get acquainted with the key points of your dissertation, not the whole research. Note! Don’t include any new ideas in the abstract. Make sure it contains only the ideas, which are present in your dissertation.
Step 5. Double-Check
Double-check the abstract for containing all the necessary information from your dissertation. Check it twice to be confident you haven’t missed any crucial points. Remember, they are specified according to the field of study. Your abstract needs to include dissertation aims, how you conducted the investigation, final accomplishments, the perspectives for the further scientific investigations on this topic.
Step 6. Imagine You Are a Reader
Imagine you are not acquainted with the topic at all. Does your abstract provide enough information to understand it? Does it cover all the key points and ideas? Include all the necessary information so that the readers got acquainted with your issue. But it’s unnecessary to overwhelm the reader with the information you provided. Let it be laconic but well-readable for everyone.
Step 7. Format Your Text
Be certain the text you wrote corresponds to the specifications of your dissertation writing format. Use only plain text; it is not allowed to use bullets, footnotes, graphics, etc. in your abstract.
Don’t Use KW
The use of keywords is not allowed in the text. The list of keywords should be placed after it. However, check these requirements on your university’s or journal’s website. Keywords are words, which help people to find your dissertation with the search tools. While choosing the KW for your dissertation, take into account that they should represent the content. They should be easily recognizable and refer to the issue.
Don’t use single adjectives as keywords, it’s not recommended. It is desirable to also write one keyword not mentioned in the dissertation title or abstract. Some publication formatting styles, such as ASA style, provide special requirements for keyword use.
We developed this full guide for students who are seeking professional help in writing an excellent dissertation abstract. We hope with the help of our tips, and each student will be able to write a great one. If you want to read more useful articles, visit our blog page, or you make buy a dissertation today with a discount!
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