Constructing An Effective Dissertation Abstract Outline

What is and abstract?

An abstract is an important component of a dissertation that is usually presented at the beginning. It basically gives a brief overview of what your dissertation is all about. In other words, it is like a summary of everything that your thesis entails. It normally acts as a backup statement for your dissertation title. You should be very careful while composing your abstract such that it may not appear to be an introduction of your thesis. It should be broader than the introduction in the sense that it should be able to condense almost all the details of the dissertation just in a few words.

Structure and size

An abstract just like we mentioned earlier should not be very long. It should be a very brief statement that should not exceed even one paragraph. Higher institutions of learning recommend at least 150 words for undergraduate and master’s students while a Doctoral dissertation abstract will usually contain at least 350 words.

How to come up with an effective dissertation abstract

Clearly define your research questions

Just like in your dissertation, your research questions are very critical in ensuring that there is flow of ideas in a structured manner. This is because the questions act like the skeletons in which all other elements in the dissertation will be built on. The questions should be presented close to the beginning of your abstract. It is also important to note that a good dissertation abstract is built on between one to three research questions. Do not use more than 3 questions to write a dissertation abstract.

Remember to include the results

One big mistake that most students commit is forgetting to present the results. Remember the main objective of your thesis or abstract for that matter is to inform your readers about what you have discovered in the study, not what you did. Almost the last few sentences of your abstract should be dedicated for interpretation and summary of your results. You should be very brief and to the point as you do that.

In general, composing an effective abstract outline should not be something difficult for you. The most important thing that you should understand is that an abstract is an overview of what your dissertation entails. Always try as much as possible to include every important detail of your dissertation in the abstract.

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