Dissertation Abstract Structure: Four Points to Keep in Mind

A dissertation abstract is the first description of your work the reader encounters. If you want to send your paper somewhere to be published, it may function as a separate text to allow the readers to be acquainted with your study. Though the topics differ, abstracts remain the same in structure.

Essential Components of a Dissertation Abstract

To organize the main points properly, try to answer the questions below in several brief sentences:

  1. Why is your research important?
  2. Write the problem you’re deal with, the reason for choosing it, and its context. Point out that though it has been studied before, you still have something to add. The task is to prove that what you’ve done is vital and can be used in practice.

  3. How did you conduct it?
  4. The size of this section depends on the novelty or practical significance of your methods. If they’re the core of the paper or they’re original, focus on them as one of the results of your scientific work. If not, simply describe your research strategy and analytical techniques.

  5. What are your findings?
  6. Determine the major results of your thesis and state them briefly. You shouldn’t include any analysis or data in a dissertation abstract, just write whether you proved your hypothesis and how you developed it. Describe the most important findings, but be sure you don’t overstate them.

  7. What is the future of your findings?
  8. Interpret your findings, so that the reader can understand what you’ve achieved, how your findings can be used, and what can be added to them. Indicate the limits of your research, because it’s better to be humble than to exaggerate since you can’t cover absolutely everything.

Simple Tips to Organize the Main Points

  1. Be concise.
  2. An abstract for a Master’s thesis shouldn’t be more than 150 words; for a Doctoral one the limit is 350 words. It’s extremely hard to fit the requirements, but try to leave only the most important aspects in your abstract.

  3. Keep things in order with the chapters.
  4. Remember that your abstract corresponds with the structure of your work, so dedicate a sentence to each chapter.

  5. Make it logical.
  6. Every sentence should follow the previous one coherently and logically. Your thesis is finished, so you certainly know relations between causes and effects, as well as methods and results obtained.

  7. Concentrate more on the last section.
  8. To attract the readers, leave more space for your own contributions and findings because they’re more important and interesting.

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