How to Write an Abstract for Dissertation
A dissertation abstract is a brief overview of what a reader should expect in the dissertation in about 200 words. It is a standalone summary of the whole document which does not contain references or quotes.
Basically, a reader uses the abstract to determine whether the dissertation is worth reading or not. In this section therefore you should endeavor to ‘market’ or ‘sell’ your research paper. It is therefore important to learn how to write an abstract for a dissertation.
There are typically two types of dissertation abstracts used:
- Descriptive abstract tells readers more about what the dissertation contains including objectives, the scope of the paper, and methods. It however does not provide results or conclusions. A descriptive abstract is much shorter than other types of abstracts at approximately 100 words.
- Informative abstract provides specific information about the dissertation purpose, the scope of the research, and methods. It also provides the results, conclusion, and recommendations, unlike the descriptive abstract. As such, it may take a page or two depending on the length of the document and subject. Just like the former, a reader can use this to determine whether to read the dissertation.
An abstract is usually written once the dissertation is complete. Before writing a dissertation abstract, take time to reread the document, to understand the purpose, goals, and objectives of the research. Headings in your dissertation can help you write an abstract.
Before you begin writing an abstract for the dissertation, prepare a rough draft of what you will include. Do not copy-paste; rather provide a rough summary without referring to the document. Revise the draft as you add and subtract information, organize information, include proper punctuation marks, and correct the grammar.
Make your abstract as interesting as possible. If unsure of what you have written, do not hesitate to get professional assistance from your adviser.