Advice on Writing an Abstract for a Dissertation

Tips on Writing an Abstract for a Dissertation

Even though an abstract for a dissertation is usually short – mostly varying from only 150 words up to 350 words - it could be argued this is one of the most essential parts of such an important document. In such a short chapter, an abstract should capture a dissertation’s overall essence. This means giving an overview of the issue being addressed, underlining the importance of the research, describing the strategy behind the research, listing the key findings, and setting out any conclusions you arrive at. The ideal abstract is a chapter that is informative and enables the reader to decide whether or not to continue reading, but still provides them with an understanding of the essence of the work. By the same token, an abstract that is badly-written can be misleading and confusing, causing the reader to think at the outset that the paper is based on something other than is really the case.


When you write a large paper like a dissertation, you need to write a short summary of your work, which is called an abstract. If you need to find out how to write an abstract dissertation, you have found the right place. Abstract helps readers to understand the main points provided in your paper. In addition, it helps them to decide if the paper is worth of reading. Every abstract should contain the following:

  • Purpose, main point, objectives of the paper.
  • Short methodology description.
  • Cover major arguments and findings.
  • Short conclusion.
SEE ALSO: "Introduction Writing"

How to Write an Abstract for a Dissertation

Locate your abstract at the beginning of your paper. However, it is recommended to write it after you finish your paper. You can provide your abstract on a separate page in your thesis or dissertation. It should appear right after the title page. Make sure the table of contents is on the next page after the abstract.

Usually, you need to write minimum 150 and maximum 300 words in your abstract. In order to write good abstract dissertation, it is important to stick to your instructions and paper requirements and not to exceed the set word limit.

Mostly in dissertation writing, the informative style is favored over the descriptive style. However, because this is not a hard and fast rule, it is worth explaining how the two styles of abstract writing differ. So, which style should you choose – the informative or the descriptive style? Since an abstract is such a hugely important part of a dissertation, it is important to understand why this chapter should be well-structured, internally consistent, and effectively weighted between other chapters. As well as outlining what readers expect to find in a dissertation, it is also important to know what they do not expect to see.

While dissertations differ from one to another, there is one reasonably common structure that applies to almost every abstract. In our section on Abstract Structure, we talk you through all the vital components that this chapter should cover - such as an outline of the problem under analysis, why the study is significant, the strategy used to undertake any research, what results were obtained, and what conclusions were reached. Last but not least, there is a great difference between knowing what message it is you want to convey and actually conveying this on paper. We also provide a Useful Phrase section where we offer some helpful phrases you can use and expand on when writing an abstract for your dissertation.

When and How to Write an Abstract Dissertation?

When you are assigned with writing a thesis, long research paper, or dissertation, you will have to provide an abstract. Remember that writing abstract dissertation is the last thing you need to do after paper completion. Abstract is an independent text. You cannot copy information from the main body of your paper. The major objective of your abstract is to make sure that an individual, who has not read your paper, will be willing to understand what it is about from reading an abstract.

One of the most effective ways on how to write an abstract dissertation is to copy the paper organization. You need to perceive it as a smaller version of your work. Usually you need to make sure that your abstract consists of the following major elements.

SEE ALSO: "500 Word Essay"

Selected Topic and Aim

Define the major work purpose. You can do it as follows:

  • Problem statement: Does the work solve a certain problem?
  • Objective: What is the objective of your work?
  • Research question(s): What do you aim to learn?
  • Thesis statement: What are you trying to argue?

You can mention the academic relevance of your paper topic.

Present or past simple tense is recommended when writing an abstract. Remember that it is not recommended to refer to the future.

  • The study will conduct a research related to connection between productivity and coffee drinking.
  • The study conducts a research related to connection between productivity and coffee drinking.

Download PDF Sample.

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