Expert Tips

Tips on writing a dissertation abstract

Where to start

Dissertation generally gives an overview of your project and should also be appealing to the reader to make them continue going through your work. Many students jot an abstract when writing proposals, completing a Ph.D. dissertation, journals, or applying for grants in research. The abstract is at the beginning of a project. It gives the reader a short overview of what to expect in the article.

What it should look like

There exist two main types of abstracts in a dissertation: the descriptive and the informative ones. Descriptive abstract sheds light on the information typically present in the project through the use of phrases and keywords. It mainly focuses on the purpose, scope, and methods used in about 100 words. An informative abstract is usually more detailed in highlighting the critical findings and presenting the main arguments. It is about 250-350 words long. It is, however, advisable to write the abstract last to be sure of the information you are highlighting.

The abstract should be strictly one paragraph in length. It means it has to be structured well and very organized. When you get set to write it, read through your work again, and handle each section individually. Make sure you write down a sentence or two for each section while at the side note shedding light on the main points. When finished, tailor these sentences as a whole and make sure to apply cohesive devices to be precise that each sentence that you have jotted seamlessly flow to the next and so on.

Afterward, go through what you have jotted and question yourself whether the paragraph envelopes all the main points in your work. If you are not sure, go back and review the sections once more and make the necessary corrections. If you feel you have captured the above, check the word count, and make sure it falls within the required range. If it crosses, then you need to chop off words, and you may need to re-read the abstract to cover the points that are there.

An abstract lacks citations because it needs to stand alone. When you use references, it means that you will tailor the abstract to the paper negatively.

Final thoughts

You may need to consider a few points when jotting your abstract in your dissertation paper. You first need to remember that not everyone will understand your abstract and the information contained in it as you do. It is for this reason that you need to make sure you use simple English to make people get the point that you are trying to pass through. Find a balance between your audiences and the information graphics of your demography. If it does not appear in your dissertation, then don’t include it in your abstract. Finally, abstracts get written in passive language. It gets used because the main focus lies on the issues and the findings of the research, rather than people.

Jotting the abstract can be challenging. Practice hitting the nail on the head. Since it comes first, it will act as a very first impression on the reader. It does this as well as offering a summary of the text. Take the time to write the abstract. Make sure you are clear and concise, and you may end up with the best version that everyone is rooting to read.