How to Write a Dissertation Abstract
Writing an abstract is a thing you will have to do at least a dozen of times during your career. You will also have to write an abstract for your graduate project or dissertation. The latter is the culmination of your studies. In your dissertation, you report the results of your original study and provide recommendations for future research and practice. In your abstract, you will have to outline the major components of your dissertation in a simple and informative manner.
Part 1: Using the Most Important Information
To write a great abstract, you need to be sure that the most information was included. The best you can do is creating an outline for your project. Once you have one, you will be in a better position to write a wonderful abstract. Below are just some recommendations for creating an outline:
Begin with thesis. Then, review each and every chapter of your dissertation. You will need to write a one-page summary for each chapter, as you are reviewing your graduate project. The sequence of steps will be the same for every project, no matter what discipline or subject you are in. You must also summarize your conclusions. In your abstract, you will have to include at least one sentence for the results of your literature review. It is enough to say what you have found and how these results fit in a larger literature context.
In a scientific dissertation, you will need more time to gather additional information. The amount of this information will vary, depending on your topic. A scientific dissertation abstract will differ from other abstracts, but it will still need to include the following general components:
- A general context of your study and subject; - the methods you used to explore your topic; and – the conclusions you have reached by the end of your project. Make sure that you also include implications for future studies.
In an abstract for a humanities dissertation, you will need to consider the papers and studies you have evaluated in the body of your project. There is no need mentioning every single aspect of your writing. However, it is essential that you include every major work in your paper and mention it in your abstract. Likewise, if you are working on a history dissertation, your abstract will have to refer to the key figures you have analyzed in your work. Then, you will need to include the main argument and specify your conclusions.
In a social science abstract, you will need to focus on the findings of your own study, as well as the extent to which they fit in a broader research context. It is better if you also mention your research method and the most significant studies you have reviewed in the body of your project. In case you have used theories to support your argumentation, these will also need to be mentioned in your abstract. These will need to be followed by the findings and conclusions you have made based on your study results. Be brief and concise. Use factual information.
In a business abstract, describe the business models that have been guiding your original research. Do not forget to include the major theories underlying your project. Do not ignore the methods you have used and the data collection approaches that have informed your study. Be specific. If you have focused on a single company, add relevant information about it. Discuss and analyze your conclusions.
Part 2: Writing an Impressive Abstract
The first thing you need to do when writing an abstract is including a complete citation. It must be positioned above the abstract and include the following elements: your name, article title, and other information, such as date and place of publication.
Then you will need to write a brief version of your dissertation. Begin with the general idea behind your project. Present it in one sentence. Avoid too much detail. A general overview is enough to make your abstract informative. Then use your outline and transform it into an abstract. Follow the outline to write a logical and consistent abstract. Finally, write one sentence for your project conclusion.
Now you can read the abstract and see if everything is in order. Make sure that you have transitions among different elements, which will make your abstract sound smooth and logical. Everything should be in the same order that you used in your project. Do not treat your abstract as a summary. It is definitely more than that. You will have to recreate the whole process of writing your dissertation in just a tiny paragraph or two.
It is also important to include some valuable information related to your profession or discipline. The information you reference or mention in your abstract will depend on the subject and specialization of your dissertation. For example, if you are writing a business paper, then you will have to mention business models and organizational specifics. If you are a physician, you will need to refer to specific cases and methods you have used to collect clinical information.
Finally, you can review and edit your abstract. It must be very concise. However, you should not compromise the quality of your writing for brevity. Although an abstract is just 200 words long, you must make it readable and interesting for your audience. If you see that the abstract is becoming too long, read, reread, and cut it to meet the basic standards of academic formatting and style. No new ideas are allowed. Your abstract must carry only information that can be found in the body of your work.
Check twice before you are sure that this is the abstract of your dreams. It must necessarily include the purpose and idea of your dissertation. Then you will need to specify the problem and issue of analysis, the methods you used to address and explore the issue, your results, and the conclusions you believe can be drawn from your research. You should also add interpretations and implications for future research and practice. Depending on the subject, you will either need to consider other major works in humanities or review the specific details of your scientific methodology.
Do not forget about the reader. Your audience also matters. While writing an abstract, you need to consider the way your readers will feel about your study. You will also have to present your ideas in ways that make it easily understandable to your readers.