Tips and tricks on how to write a dissertation abstract

If you were asked to summarize a 50-pager document in one paragraph, you would be heading for the doors like any normal student who finds writing an abstract the hardest part of a dissertation. Your concern and fear is completely justified because summarizing that much into such few words needs to be handled with critical care and concentration. Most people confuse an abstract with an introduction. Make no mistake, an introduction is about your title, it background and other research work. An abstract on the other hand is a very strong tool and comes way before an introduction. It is a summary of all the contents of your paper staring off from the introduction all the way down to the recommendations.

Tricks of the trade:

A good abstract should be able to capture the attention of audience at first glance and keep them engaged until the very end.

  1. You all must be concerned about the length of an abstract. Well it should not be more than 350 words. You want to keep it as brief as possible or else you will spoil the mystery.
  2. Note down all the components of your dissertation on a rough paper. Generally, these are research question, introduction, methodology, literature review, analysis, and conclusion.
  3. Start with highlighting the key problem or issue your paper is addressing. For example, “this paper highlights some prominent issues working women in the East have to face on daily basis.” This first sentence of an abstract should be as structured and concise as it can be.
  4. Explain in a line what do you aspire to achieve from this study.
  5. Next, on, specify any prominent methodology you have adopted for your study and how it blends with your entire paper.
  6. Discuss the objectives of your study, and the results of your research. Follow the natural course of things and mention anything that makes your abstract complete.
  7. Do not go into unnecessary details. You have an introduction for that. An abstract is an overall summary of your research while an introduction is usually the historical summary of your topic.
  8. You are done with your abstract.
  9. Like all other pieces of writing, an abstract needs to be reviewed and tailored. Do not be upset if you do not get it right the first time. It might take a few tries before you come up with best version.
  10. Always write an abstract after you have compiled your dissertation and make sure the two are in synergy.