How to Write a Dissertation Abstract?
Writing a dissertation abstract requires a significant level of understanding on what an abstract aims at in the first place. The following article will introduce you to abstract writing and reveal some life-saving hacks that will make your dissertation stand out.
Definition, Goals, and Purpose of Dissertation Abstract
A dissertation abstract is the type of essay that is a part of every student’s final thesis. It introduces a dissertation in the first page and provides the reader with a summary of your entire research. A perfect dissertation abstract should give a reader a sufficient but concise overview of your thesis goals, methods, tasks, and results. It should contain all the relevant information and allows the examiner to form clear expectations and get a positive first impression of your dissertation paper.
To put it differently, a dissertation abstract is a brief summary of your dissertation that gives a reader the ability to evaluate your research and browse through its key stages. The most important thing is that your findings should be presented in the most compressed way possible.
Even though writing the abstract is a condition for submitting a dissertation thesis, the former isn’t part of the dissertation itself. Instead, it is a separate one-page text that provides a reader with an overview and allows them to grasp the dissertation by just reading an abstract.
Goals and purpose of a dissertation abstract:
- Introduce your project’s summary in a concise way
- Prove a student’s ability to synthesize research results
- Demonstrate a student’s writing skills
- Evaluate the quality of a dissertation
- Provide a reader with the opportunity to draw conclusions about a dissertation within just a few minutes
- Assess a student’s knowledge in the field of science and their understanding of the subject
Moreover, the role of a dissertation abstract extends beyond just granting you a good grade and some positive feedback. When applying for a job, most students indicate their dissertation topic in a resume and include a link to it. Many employers often get familiar with the dissertation, which is when the abstract comes in handy. It allows a future employer to evaluate the applicant’s research and shape their opinion in about a minute. Therefore, writing a good dissertation abstract contributes a lot to your position in the job market and gives you multiple advantages.
Overall, a dissertation abstract is a paper, the role of which should not be underestimated. In the following sections, we will share some dissertation writing insights and let you know what you can do to bring dissertation abstracts to a new level.
Dissertation Abstract: Is There a Perfect Dissertation Abstract Length?
There are multiple opinions regarding the optimal abstract length. Some people say that it should not exceed one page; others admit that it can extend beyond the 275-words length. Which dissertation abstract length is perfect then? Let’s shed some light on this matter.
The length of a dissertation abstract usually depends on the professor’s and the topic’s requirements. As a rule, it varies from 150 to 600 words. However, it is recommended to fit the abstract on a single page. If you take a look at a couple of random dissertation abstracts, you will notice that the size of each almost never exceeds one page. And even if it exceeds the standard size, it extends to a few words or a maximum of several lines on the second page.
To make sure your dissertation abstract does not turn out to be too long or short, it is always a great idea to consult your professor. Sometimes, the length of an abstract also differs according to the formatting style (MLA, Harvard, APA), so double-checking would be a plus.
What Does a Dissertation Abstract Consist of?
As you have already learned previously, a dissertation abstract is a one-page paper that must follow specific guidelines and structure. If you want to learn how to write an abstract for a dissertation, you need to keep its structure elements in mind:
- Indicate the reason for writing a dissertation. What makes the ongoing research so important, and why does this very topic deserve attention? At this point, your task is to motivate a reader to explore the topic and get familiar with your dissertation.
- Outline the problem. You may proceed with stating the problem that your paper aims to resolve. At this stage, you may formulate a thesis statement and highlight its importance.
- Indicate methods. Since a dissertation is a scientific work, you should use appropriate methods and instruments to carry out the research. Let the reader get to know the techniques you’ve used throughout the paper.
- Present results. Now, you should introduce the key results and make sure that they contribute to solving the problem you mentioned initially.
- Outline implications. Finally, you could mention the possible outcome of applying your dissertation results in practice. How will your findings influence further research? That’s the question you should know the answer to.
Abstract Writing Tips
Search for sample abstracts
Using an abstract example implies a bunch of benefits: it induces idea generation, provides you with an idea for an abstract structure, and accelerates your writing. Thus, once you feel stuck halfway, don’t worry. There are thousands of sample abstracts available online. A good dissertation abstract example is something you might need to look at to get a precise idea of what a synopsis should look like. Moreover, using a sample will give you an idea of things to avoid and points to include while writing your own abstract. There are plenty of dissertation abstracts online which you can easily access and use as a reference, so take your chance.
Pay attention to your results
A common mistake that many students make is that they forget to reveal the results of their research. The reason why it happens so often is straightforward: it is complicated to summarize 100 pages of a paper in a single page. Many people get lost while writing the abstract, and so they occasionally forget about mentioning the most crucial part of their dissertation – research and its results. Here is what to do to make sure you don’t get in a similar situation: tell a reader about your discovery and eloquently present its results. In reality, no one will undervalue your dissertation even if the abstract says too little about research methods or limitations. However, the examiner might probably underestimate your work if you fail to disclose your results in an abstract.
Specify all the research questions
While carrying out the experiments, a student usually keeps critical research questions in mind. To put it differently, the presence of specific research questions is usually what motivates the commencement of research as such. So, to make sure your dissertation stands out and grabs a reader’s attention immediately, indicate research question(s) at the very beginning. Research questions can help a reader shape their expectations and evaluate the results of your research while reading the abstract. Not mentioning the questions at the beginning will not affect your paper grade significantly, although doing so might make it harder for a reader to build logical connections.
Keep an eye on your outline
While writing an abstract, it is essential to make sure that you don’t forget to mention every vital part of a dissertation. An outline can help you with that. By glimpsing at an outline, you will have a clear idea of what to include in the abstract text. Moreover, doing so will give you a chance to monitor how much you’ve already covered in the abstract and provide you with an idea of how to use the rest of the abstract page. One can also keep the dissertation structure in their head, but keeping it in sight will save you time and ease your work.
Check formatting and grammar
Once your dissertation abstract is ready, it is about time to proofread it once or better several times. Although an abstract accounts for only a tiny part of your dissertation, it is in charge of making the first impression. One small grammar mistake will not spoil the examiner’s impression, but it may later find reflection in decreased points. Therefore, checking the format and examining the text for possible typos and grammatical mistakes is fundamental. Thankfully, there are lots of online tools to help you with proofreading and suggest relevant edits. Besides, you can always request an essay writer who can help you polish a great abstract.
Make it informative but keep it concise
If you ask us what a perfect dissertation abstract is, we would say an impactful and short one. Every sentence should carry essential information that reveals the work you’ve done while writing a dissertation. Make sure that you do not include any unrelated or just unnecessary information. It is way better to keep the dissertation abstract short and up to the point than make it longer and full of meaningless sentences. Besides, it is better for you to avoid filler phrases and make sure you write an abstract in a comprehensive voice.
Rewrite your abstract if necessary
The start is always rough, especially when you have no previous experience with writing a dissertation abstract. Even if the first draft of the abstract looks fine, it might require rewriting. You may break the abstract down into multiple sections and analyze each. Does this or that sentence reflect your research results? Does it sound plausible? Should this or that sentence be eliminated? The more you read the abstract, the better you can see its weaknesses and strengths. Just keep this tip in mind, and you will easily become the master of abstract writing with time.
Some Dissertation Abstract Samples to Consider
You can take a look at sample dissertation abstracts below to get a better idea of how to write your own work.
Anne Roy, 2018
‘Women are in charge of their bodies: Abortions should not be banned’
Abortion is a pregnancy termination that implies removing the fetus from the female womb before its birth. Different studies have shown contrasting opinions on the topic of abortions. Some countries allow abortions, while others strictly prohibit them and prevent women from terminating a pregnancy. I believe that strict limitations have no place in modern society and thus should cease to exist. First of all, a woman that decides to end her pregnancy is not necessarily underaged, poor, or underprivileged anyhow. Additionally, many women make such a choice when their health or finincial condition does not allow them to carry a baby in the womb. But some abortion opponents believe that getting rid of a fetus is sinful and inhumane. This study contains extensive research on the topic of abortions and introduces a comparative statistical analysis from countries where abortion is allowed and prohibited.
Sam Clarks, 2020
‘The challenges that people of color have been facing throughout history’
According to the Declaration of Human rights, all people have a right to be treated equally, regardless of their nationality or skin color. Hence, all people of color in the US are born free and equal. But the racial problem has been existing for centuries already. A lot of people of color are discriminated against on a daily basis, regardless of where they are: in the supermarket, at the bar, or at work. But violence has no place to be. Everyone should respect cultural diversity and accept different cultures, not exclusively their own one. Hence, everyone has equal rights globally, and no person should have a privilege because of their skin color. This dissertation presents some historical examples highlighting the cases when black people were treated unequally and when such behavior has never been suppressed.
Alyssa Spencer, 2020
‘Fast fashion: Should people really abandon fast fashion brands?’
The topic of Fast fashion has recently gained an overwhelming amount of attention. More and more people are becoming conscious about the clothes they buy, both from a social and environmental point of view. First, fast fashion destroys the ozone layer of the atmosphere by increasing the number of carbon emissions. Besides, most people who work for fast fashion brands such as Zara and H&M have horrible work conditions and barely make a living for their salary. However, abandoning fast fashion would mean job loss for people who need to feed their families and pay bills. This dissertation will attempt to reveal the ethical side of fast fashion and approach the issue from a societal perspective.