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How to Write Dissertation Abstracts | Steps & Examples

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If you are thinking of writing a dissertation, then you definitely have to submit an abstract before that. This abstract helps people to understand what exactly you wrote in your dissertation. While your dissertation is a very in-depth study of a particular topic, the abstract acts as a guide for people to understand what you have mentioned in your paper. 

An abstract is quite smaller in size compared to a dissertation. A dissertation may be of 5000 words, 10,000 words, or even 15,000 words. However, an abstract should not exceed 500 words. Some institutions might even assign a particular word limit to you to write an abstract, so you need to be aware of that first before you start writing. 

What is a Dissertation Abstract?

The abstract of a dissertation acts as a guidebook for your dissertation. It is like a short summary of your whole paper. It’s a super concise summary, usually just a paragraph or two, that incorporates all the key points. It has to grab the reader’s attention and tell them why your research matters, all in a short and sweet way.

The abstract is kind of like that first impression you make on someone. Your writing needs to be clear and engaging and should give them just enough info to pique their interest. The following are a few things that are normally included in an abstract – 

  • What were the research questions that you were trying to look for answers to? What are the important aspects of each research question?
  • What methods did you use to find the answer? Did you interview a bunch of people? What research methodology did you undertake? Did you run fancy experiments?
  • What were your most important findings? Did you prove your hypothesis, or did something unexpected happen? Briefly mention the big takeaways from your research, using a few sentences.
  • So what does it all mean? How does your research contribute to the larger field of knowledge? What research methodology did you undertake? This is your chance to explain why your work matters in the grand scheme of things.

The abstract is your chance to show off the most important parts of your dissertation without getting into all the nitty-gritty details. It’s like a mini-presentation that convinces people that your research is worth checking out.

The abstract might seem small, but it’s a super important part of your thesis or dissertation. It’s your chance to grab people’s attention and tell them why your work is awesome. 

What’s the Purpose of the Dissertation Abstract?

An abstract acts as a guide to the main dissertation. It contains the main important sections of a dissertation but in a very short and concise manner. 

The primary function of an abstract is to inform. It acts as a roadmap, guiding readers through the core aspects of your research. It piques interest by highlighting the central problem you addressed, the methodology you employed, and the key findings you unearthed. This condensed overview allows potential readers, whether fellow researchers, committee members, or even the vaguely curious, to grasp the essence of your work and assess its relevance to their interests.

An abstract acts as a gateway. The abstract serves as a filter, helping readers decide whether your research merits further exploration. If you craft a compelling and informative abstract, you entice your readers to dive deeper into your dissertation, potentially leading to citations, further research collaborations, or simply a broader understanding of your field.

The abstract also serves as a valuable self-assessment tool. The process of condensing your research into a concise summary compels you to identify the most significant aspects of your work. It forces you to refine your message, ensuring clarity and focus. If you find yourself struggling to put your research into a compelling abstract, it might indicate areas where your overall dissertation could benefit from further refinement or a clearer articulation of its core contribution.

The abstract, though small in stature, holds immense weight. It informs, entices, promotes discoverability, and aids self-assessment. By mastering the art of crafting a compelling abstract, you transform it from a mere formality into a powerful tool that effectively communicates the significance and value of your research to the world. It may also help you to get grants for further research. 

Why is the Dissertation and Thesis Abstract So Important

The dissertation or thesis abstract might seem like a tiny thing compared to the massive document it represents. But this little paragraph plays a crucial role in the success of your research. The following are a few reasons why they are super important 

First Impressions Matter –

Use the first one or two sentences to write a hook. It’s the first impression that potential readers will get of your work. A well-written abstract grabs their attention, piques their interest, and convinces them your research is worth delving deeper into.

A Chance to Shine –

Most people won’t have the time or inclination to read your entire dissertation or thesis. The abstract is your golden opportunity to showcase the coolest parts of your research, the groundbreaking findings, and the unique contribution you’ve made to your field.

Spreading the Knowledge –  

Writing a strong abstract can spark interest in your work from other researchers, potentially leading to citations. Your name and your research may also be mentioned in an academic journal or a scientific paper. It may also help in future research work. This not only validates your work but also helps build your reputation as a scholar.

Securing Funding and Opportunities –

If you’re pursuing further research or academic positions, your abstract can be a valuable tool. A well-written one demonstrates your research skills, critical thinking abilities, and the potential impact of your work. This can act as a game-changer when you are applying for research grants, fellowships, or academic jobs.

Sharpening Your Skills –

Crafting a compelling abstract forces you to condense your research into its most essential elements. It helps you solidify your understanding of your work, identify the core takeaways, and refine your communication skills.

In short, the dissertation or thesis abstract is a powerful tool that can elevate your research in numerous ways. It’s your chance to grab the spotlight, share your knowledge with the world, and leave a lasting impact in your field. 

What Should a Dissertation Abstract Include?

Dissertations are the culmination of months, if not years, of research. They’re deep dives into specific topics packed with information and analysis. It may be difficult to go through such a huge thing. That’s where the abstract of your dissertation comes in. It conveys the essence of your research in a clear and compelling way. Here’s what a winning dissertation abstract should include – 

1. The Problem You Solved – Every good story starts with a conflict, and your abstract is no different. Briefly introduce the issue you tackled in your research. Explain why this topic is important and what existing knowledge gap you’re addressing. This sets the stage and grabs the reader’s attention by highlighting the significance of your work.

2. Your Research Journey – You need to shed some light on how you approached this problem. In a sentence or two, mention the methods you used to gather information. Did you conduct surveys and interviews? Analyzed historical data? Give the reader a sense of your research strategy without getting into technical details.

3. The Big Reveal – Now you need to reveal your findings. Briefly summarize the key results of your research. Did you confirm your initial hypothesis, or did something unexpected emerge? 

4. The Impact Factor – Briefly explain the significance of your findings. Provide some background information if required. How does your research contribute to the broader field of knowledge? This is where you showcase the impact of your work and why it matters in the grand scheme of things.

Remember, these are the most important things that you need to include. How you put them together is also very important. Here are some additional tips for crafting a stellar abstract – 

  • Word count is very important. Most abstracts have a word limit, so try to fit your writing within that. Eliminate unnecessary information and focus on conveying the most important points.
  • Avoid jargon and overly complex sentences to maintain clarity. Your goal is for a broad audience to understand the essence of your research.
  • End with a bang! Leave a lasting impression by emphasizing the value of your findings.

How Do You Write a Good Dissertation Abstract?

Crafting a stellar abstract for your dissertation is very important for you. You’ve got limited space to convince someone that your research is fascinating and impactful. Here are a few points on how to write dissertation abstracts. 

Know Your Audience –

The people going through your abstract may be new to this particular field, so avoid super technical jargon and focus on clear, concise language. They should be able to grasp the gist of your work very easily. 

Follow the Structure –

A good abstract typically follows a clear, three-part structure. 

  • Briefly introduce the topic and explain why it’s important. Highlight the existing knowledge gap you’re addressing. This is your chance to grab the reader’s attention and make them curious to learn more.
  • Next, explain how you went about investigating this gap. Briefly mention your research methodology used. Did you conduct surveys? Analyze historical data? Run experiments? Give the reader a sense of your research approach without getting bogged down in specifics.
  • Finally, write down your key arguments. Briefly summarize your main outcomes. Did you confirm your hypothesis, or did something unexpected occur? This is where you showcase the coolest takeaways from your research project.

Maintain Word Limit –

Word count is crucial. Most dissertation abstracts have a strict limit, usually between 250 and 500 words. Eliminate unnecessary words and focus on conveying the most important information.

Clarity –

Avoid jargon and overly complex sentences. Remember, you want a wide audience to understand the essence of your research. Use active voice and straightforward language to make your abstract clear and engaging.

Lasting Impression –

The final part of your abstract is your chance to leave a lasting impression. Explain the significance of your findings and the literature review. How does your research contribute to the broader field? Why should someone care about what you discovered? This is where you showcase the impact of your work.

Proofread –

Once you’ve crafted your masterpiece, go through the entire document for any typos, grammatical errors, or awkward phrasing. A polished abstract reflects your research and professionalism well.

If you follow these points diligently, you will be able to create a very compelling dissertation abstract. 

Thesis and Dissertation Abstract Examples

Let’s go through two different abstract examples. This will help you get a better understanding of how to write a proper dissertation and thesis abstract. 

The Power of Positive Reinforcement in Dog Training (Psychology) 

Traditional dog training often relies on punishment-based methods to correct unwanted behaviours. However, recent studies suggest positive reinforcement techniques might be more effective. This thesis investigated the impact of positive reinforcement training on obedience in shelter dogs compared to traditional punishment-based methods. The study found that dogs trained using positive reinforcement techniques displayed higher levels of obedience and lower stress compared to those trained with punishment. These findings suggest positive reinforcement could be a more humane and effective approach to dog training, promoting better human-animal bonds and reducing shelter dog rehoming rates.

The Subversive Voice in Jane Austen’s Novels (Literature) 

Jane Austen’s novels are often celebrated for their witty social commentary. However, some argue her female characters lack agency. This dissertation examines the use of subversive voice in Austen’s novels, particularly focusing on how her heroines challenge societal expectations. The analysis reveals Austen’s heroines employ subtle forms of resistance, such as irony and wit, to navigate the constraints placed upon them by 19th-century society. This study argues that recognizing the subversive voice in Austen’s novels expands our understanding of her characters and offers a fresh perspective on her critique of societal norms.

Go through these two examples and try to understand how they have been written. This is exactly how you need to craft your thesis or abstract. Remember to include all the key elements – a clear introduction to the topic, a concise explanation of the research methods and findings, and a final statement highlighting the significance of the research.

To Wrap It Up,

A dissertation abstract is a very important piece of academic writing that you need to write after you have completed your entire dissertation. It should mention all your key findings –  the ‘why’, ‘what’ and ‘how’ of your research. Start with an interesting hook to grab your reader’s attention. Remember to keep it concise and do not cross the word limit. Also, use simple language and avoid unnecessary addition of technical jargon. 

Why Choose MyAssignmentHelp for Your Dissertation Writing? 

If you still feel that you cannot understand how to write an abstract, feel free to ask for guidance from our experts at MyAssignmentHelp. If you need any other dissertation help service, or you think you need help with dissertation proposal structure topics, our subject matter experts can also help you out with those. 

Right from setting the online dissertation structure to helping you write a dissertation, from the abstract to offering guidance while you write a dissertation conclusion, we can help you in every step. 

So, wait no more 

Frequently Asked Questions

How to write a good abstract for a dissertation?

Crafting a killer dissertation abstract is all about grabbing the reader’s attention within a short span of time. 

  • Start with a hook where you state why your research matters. 
  • Keep your abstract concise. 
  • Do not write more than 500 words. 
  • Focus on the key elements – why, what and how. 
  • Use simple language and avoid technical jargon. 

What are the five parts of an abstract?

An abstract is like a blueprint for your entire research paper. It is usually around 100 to 300 words, but you can go upto a maximum of 500. First comes the introduction. Then, you need to mention why this research is important and briefly explain your methods. Next, you need to share your key findings. Finally, end it with why your findings matter. 

How long should an abstract be for a 10,000-word dissertation?

Even if your dissertation consists of 10,000 words, the abstract will be small. Most universities expect dissertation abstracts to be around 200-300 words. So, you need to condense your writing and fit it in a few hundred words. Focus on the key stuff – why you did the research, what you did, what you found, and why it’s important.  

How long is a PHD dissertation abstract?

The required length of a dissertation abstract is normally between 200 to 300 words. Now, depending on what university you are studying at, the word limit may go up to 500 words. It is rarely more than that. Within these few words, you need to mention the key points –  why you did the research, what you did, what you found, and why it matters. 

What are the 4 C’s of an abstract?

There are no universally accepted “4 C’s” for abstracts, but here are the ones that are mostly accepted by everyone – 

  1. Clear – Make it easy to understand. No jargon or overly complex sentences.
  2. Concise – Keep it short and sweet, following your word limit.
  3. Compelling – Hook the reader with the significance of your research.
  4. Complete – Cover all the important points – why, what, how, and why it matters.

What not to do when writing an abstract?

Here is a list of the things that you need to avoid doing in order to craft a compelling abstract. 

  • Do not forget to mention your main idea or main ideas at the beginning 
  • Do not use technical jargon and abbreviations 
  • No citations are to be included

You do not need to mention everything, just the key findings.

Hi, I am Mark, a Literature writer by profession. Fueled by a lifelong passion for Literature, story, and creative expression, I went on to get a PhD in creative writing. Over all these years, my passion has helped me manage a publication of my write ups in prominent websites and e-magazines. I have also been working part-time as a writing expert for for 5+ years now. It’s fun to guide students on academic write ups and bag those top grades like a pro. Apart from my professional life, I am a big-time foodie and travel enthusiast in my personal life. So, when I am not working, I am probably travelling places to try regional delicacies and sharing my experiences with people through my blog. 

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