A dissertation abstract has to summarize the goals of a study, its methodology, hypothesis, and findings.
This article will explain how students should write this part of a thesis. Overall, the abstract must be very informative and concise.
It is supposed to give the reader a good idea of what the research was about. You won’t have any difficulties with this task, if you take a look at the tips provided in this article.
Dissertation Abstracts: Their Constituent Parts
Prior to writing a dissertation abstract, one should first understand what people expect to find in this part of the paper. As a rule, people read dissertation abstracts to get the gist of the whole dissertation. They want to see the following things:
- A brief overview of the key questions that a student discussed in the dissertation;
- The main hypothesis or hypotheses that the author advanced and tested;
- The research methodology of the study;
- Sample size. It is particularly important for studies based on quantitative research methods.
- The tools and techniques that were used for the analysis of data, such as ANNOVA or T-test;
- The main findings and their implications.
Dissertation Abstracts: Important Guidelines and Rules
On the whole, there are several useful rules that will help you write this section of your dissertation. You will do well to consider the following recommendations:
- Avoid lyrical digressions because readers will skip over them anyway.
- Remember to use the correct sequence of tenses. For example, if you begin your abstract in the present simple tense, don’t switch to the past simple.
- Write your abstract in clear and concise sentences. The purpose of dissertation abstracts is to inform the readers about the study, not to make them puzzle over complex phrases or constructions.
- Avoid terms or concepts that might be unfamiliar to the reader. Use them only when there is no way of substituting them. Certainly, your professor will definitely understand them, but this abstract can be read by other students who are researching this topic, and they may have difficulties in understanding overcomplicated terms or technical jargon.
- Furthermore, your abstract should not add anything new that isn’t already discussed somewhere in the dissertation. You should focus only on those things which were discussed in your thesis. There is no need for including new conjectures or data in the abstract, because in this way you will only confuse the reader.
Dissertation Abstracts: Looking at the Best Examples
Overall, examples of abstracts of dissertations or research articles can be found easily on the Web, for instance in databases such as ProQuest, SAGE, or JSTOR. If you read these abstracts, you will have a pretty good idea of how this section should look like. So, hopefully, this task won’t be of any difficulty to you.