Helpful Hints On How To Compose An Abstract For A Dissertation

An abstract is a single paragraph that summarizes the whole idea of the paper and emphasizes the most important points in short. It is usually the paragraph that engages people to further read the paper, since it should talk about your purpose of writing the paper.

Furthermore, it can also help you when you get stuck in the middle of the paper. Just looking back at the abstract can remind your idea and get you back to the track. That’s why it is considered as one of the most important paragraphs of a formal paper.

If you are required to write a dissertation, then you must have an effective abstract. It is not difficult to acquire a technique of writing a good effective abstract. It only requires attention to details and focus. The following text offers some hints to help you to engage the readers to continue reading your paper.

Size and Structure
  • Consult your tutor for the size, since it varies from institution to institution. However, it usually does not exceed 350 words.

  • Mind the structure of your paper and write a summary sentence for each chapter in the abstract. That means if you have five chapters, you should write five sentences that reflect the main ideas in your chapters, the thesis statement, which should reflect the main idea of the paper, explanation of the results, and of course, don’t forget to start with an introductory sentence that would give good impression to the readers.

  • Keep it straightforward. Do not go into details. Introduce only the main points of the chapters.
  • Avoid writing in first person singular and plural (“I” and “we”).

  • Use active instead of passive sentences.

  • Use reports, not comments.

  • Acronyms, abbreviations, symbols and names should be avoided in abstracts, since they require further explanations within you’re the paragraph, and you don’t want to lose important number of words.
Report the Results
  • Don’t forget that the results of your research paper are the most important. Present them in short.

  • It is important to mention what you did, but more important is to reveal what you discovered by doing that. Also, it is worth mentioning the methods and techniques you used to come to the results.

  • Bear in mind that you should explain the results in about half of your dissertation abstract.

An abstract should be informative, easy-to-read and interesting, in order to keep readers’ attention. When you are finished writing the dissertation abstract, have this check list in front of you and review the whole paragraph to avoid mistakes.