A Comprehensive Tutorial on Writing a Dissertation Abstract

Your dissertation abstract should be a highly condensed written passage that presents the major elements of the work that you have completed. It should be viewed as an opportunity to set the expectations for your work that your reader is going to review. Now that you have an understanding of what this piece of work is, here is a comprehensive tutorial on how to write your dissertation abstract.

Fit the Abstract to the Length

If you are writing an abstract for a master’s, then you may need only 150 words. If it is for a doctoral degree, then you should aim for 280-350 words. If you need further clarification, speak to your professor about what should be included. Keep your length in mind as you plan out what you will include in the abstract.

Specify the Questions Answered in Your Thesis

The first thing that you will mention is the questions that were answered during the course of your work. This provides the basis for your writing, as well as tells the reader your goals. You should have a minimum of one and a maximum of three questions. Present them towards the beginning of your abstract.

Presenting the Results

After you have presented your questions to the reader, it is time to present your results. These should reflect the questions that were posed at the beginning of your abstract. In addition to providing information on what you have discovered, you should mention some of your research methods. The methods that you used to answer the questions posed in your dissertation will provide the credibility to make your writing valid.

Summarization and Interpretation

The summarization and interpretation of your results is going to be the longest part of your abstract. Overall, it should take up at least half of the text. This is where you will go into greater detail about what you have found. However, it still will not be in as much detail as you will provide later in the paper.

Placement and Formatting

Once you have written your dissertation, you will need to correctly format it for your paper. It should stand alone with the thesis title before you present your actual body of work. If you have followed the guidelines, then your abstract will take up a single, double-spaced page before the rest of your writing. Follow the same formatting (regarding margin size, font, etc.) that you will throughout the rest of your paper to keep everything consistent.