Remedial instruction on writing a dissertation abstract properly
Your dissertation must include an abstract, this is a very important part of your project because it is the first page that your examiner will read, therefore it is essential that you set the tone properly. The purpose of an abstract is to summarize the entire thesis; it presents all aspects of the project in a very condensed format. The abstract often works together with the title of your dissertation but essentially operates as a standalone text. An abstract does not act as an introduction or a piece of writing that prepares the examiner for the remainder of your work, it should act as an actual substitute for the entire dissertation.
- Structure and Size:
The size of your abstract will depend on your level of study. It can range anywhere between 150 and 350 words.
The structure should be a duplicate of the whole dissertation and it should be representative of all of the major elements of the paper. For example, an abstract for a five chapter dissertation should have one or two sentences summarizing each chapter.
Similar to the actual thesis, you research questions are essential in making sure that the abstract is not only logically structured but that it is also coherent. The research questions form the skeleton to which everything else must conform to. If you have more than three key research questions in your dissertati
on, you might want to think about restructuring the questions by demoting some of them to subsidiary status. One of the most common errors that students make when writing the abstract is that they forget to present the results. The main aim of your dissertation is not to tell your audience how you found your results but to tell them what you found. Details such as an explanation of your research methods is required to back up the statements that you make about your results.
The last part of your abstract should focus on interpreting and summarizing your results.
- Final thought:
If you really want to make sure that you write a good abstract, you should locate a Sample dissertation abstract. You should be able to find a good abstract for dissertation in your college library. Once you have written your abstract, make sure that you get your supervisor to read over it before submitting the final project.