Writing a Dissertation Abstract: Term Definition
First and foremost, to write a dissertation abstract, you need to define the task. An abstract is a summary. This is a short piece of paper that focuses on summarizing the information from a larger document. On the other hand, a dissertation is a long and detailed paper with different statements, points, and arguments. An abstract to your dissertation paper is aimed to dive a gist of the work. It helps the reader understand what your research will be about and consider the main points of your work. A well-designed abstract can help the reader see whether the research is of use for him or her. It also helps to know what will be reviewed. For this reason, your task should be to ensure a clear and comprehensible abstract written in simple and understandable language.
Pre-writing Activities: Information Gathering
An outline is a must
When you work with papers and need to summarize something, it may be challenging for you to structure everything correctly. To handle the task and manage all the points in the abstract, you should create an outline. It will serve you as a road map during the whole writing process. It will also help you see the blind spots in your research and the things which are better to improve.
The structure of the outline is simple and consists of a few steps:
- First, you write down the name of your paper.
- Next, you carefully read the whole paper and consider each chapter or section separately. You need to read small parts of the text and make a summary for each of them. It should be a one-sentence summary to cover the main aspects of the passage.
- You should also mention your conclusions in the outline.
- If you write an abstract for a scientific paper, you need to include at least a sentence or two and explain how the work will contribute to a larger academic discussion.
Gather the information
Nevertheless, your abstract is a summary of what you have mentioned in a research paper, and you still need to know what information to highlight. No matter what kind of discipline or subject you deal with, you need to:
- explain what contribution the paper will make into the global scientific world and what value it has for the current developments in the selected field;
- ponder over the methods used in the research and the methodology you prefer;
- never forget to include your vision of the paper and the conclusions based on the research;
- take time and introduce a discussion on how the information presented in your paper can contribute to further research.
These are the basic steps that the author should always remember. You can adjust the information or the main points somehow so that the abstract fits your characteristics. But make sure to always mention the key elements which your abstract cannot lack.
Humanities abstract: necessary information
When you work on the humanities topics, you should consider all the above-mentioned information but also include the info about the major works discussed. So, when you write humanities abstract, you should:
- Give information about the source data. Your abstract will look insufficient if you don’t mention the original works. It could be the communications of famous people or diaries of historical figures. You can also mention the works of literature, some music or artworks. Your task is to highlight the plausibility of your writing.
- To make the abstract sound valid and strong, you need to refer to the theories discussed in the paper. It will help the reader understand the basis of your research and see that the arguments are true.
- Highlight the main argument.
- Don’t forget to include the conclusions.
Information gathering for a social science abstract
This type of research paper will mostly cover the information about the studies you conducted. It will also focus on all the studies you did. Here you should follow almost the same pattern as with the previous dissertation topics. First, you need to say a few words about the methodology. If there was a social experiment, you have to share the findings and tell in more detail about the participants and the purpose of the survey. Here you need to discuss how you used the existing theories and what helped you to conduct the survey or experiment. Don’t forget to mention what conclusions you have made and what difficulties you noticed while researching the issues.
Information gathering for a business abstract
In short, you need to give specific information and discuss the peculiarities of the process. When writing business papers, you have to refer to the companies that you used as a model. Nevertheless, you write about the business you still need to give the reader the information about the theories used in the text. It will help the readers better understand the key idea behind the dissertation paper. You necessarily need to discuss the methods and the ways of data collecting. If you have used a company to exemplify your ideas and thoughts, you need to mention it in the abstract. If there was no particular company to follow its example, you have to analyze in brief the model. In the end, don’t forget to tell me what you have achieved and what information you have managed to conclude.
Start writing your abstract correctly
To make a good first impression, you have to start your paper correctly. Therefore, you need to mention all the important data at the beginning of the document above the abstract. There should be three basic points:
- Your full name.
- The title of the paper you have presented previously.
- If there is any publication information, this is the best place to include it.
Treat this step carefully and pay attention to it. If you don’t mention your name or don’t include enough introductory data, the reader can be confused and lack the important facts.
Develop a thesis
Usually, a thesis consists of no more than one sentence. Therefore, if you create a thesis of 2 or more sentences, you have to shorten it. It can take your time, but it is worth it. In a thesis, you have to tell in brief what your excerpt will be about. This is your introduction, and it has to give the reader at least some understanding of the following text. Sometimes, it is challenging to include all the important information in a sentence. But if you focus on the main idea of your research, you can come up with a complete one-sentence thesis.
Include the outline sentences
The next step would be compiling all the sentences from your outline in one paragraph. Put all the information that you have written before in one place in the right order. Don’t forget to write in the conclusion sentence. This information should be introduced correctly so that the reader isn’t confused.
Tips to Make Your Dissertation Abstract Perfect
Now that you know basic rules on how to write a winning dissertation abstract, we suggest you some additional tips for consideration:
- Read through your text and make sure that the text flows. No one will appreciate reading the paper that lacks natural transitions. Don’t make the sentences too short or long. Change the length of the sentences and try to avoid using complex constructions in a row. Transition words and word constructions will help the sentences become a complete and solid paragraph.
- Think about the information you use and the way you introduce it. Use only those methods that apply to your discipline. If you include redundant information or focus primarily on the secondary aspects, your abstract will be pointless. You have to define the major things to discuss and pay your attention to them.
- Edit the text. Remember to make your text no longer than 200 words or so. To meet the word count, you have to read the abstract one more time. If you see that the limit is exceeded, cut your abstract down. Try to get rid of general information that has no connection with the discipline. You should also avoid using general constructions and unnecessary words. In this case, they only spoil the text. Another tip is to use only the information given in the text. Don’t include new ideas or insights.
- Check the text. When you are done with the writing, it is time to check the text. It often happens that students forget about this part or simply overlook it. But it is a great mistake. Look through the abstract and check whether there are mistakes of different kinds.