BLDE University

Complete Instructions On How To Get A Good Dissertation Abstract

The standard for a good academic paper is almost definitely set by the abstract. The abstract, or executive summary, is the first glimpse of what the dissertation is about. In it, the author relates the major points covered in the dissertation. It is the first impression and as such, should be presented skillfully to ensure comprehensibility of the paper you have written. From the abstract, a fellow scholar or researcher reviewing the literature on the topic of your study should be able to discern whether your paper would be helpful. Here are a few tips to ensure your dissertation abstract makes the best impression on your paper.

  • Write it last
  • Despite the fact that the abstract is the first part of the research paper, the abstract needs to be written last. Since it is a summary of the rest of the paper, it is best to write the abstract after everything else has been written. It will basically write itself since everything you need to say, you have already covered in the content of your paper.

  • Maintain tenses
  • It is important to maintain tense within your abstract. When referring to the work, use past tense with phrases such as “This study focused on…” and “Past studies suggested that…” Conclusions are written in present tense. Use phrases such as “The study recommends…”

  • Keep it short
  • The word short here is relative. Rather than word count, rely on page length. The abstract should be written in a half to three-quarters of a page. The abstract should also not be broken up, write everything into one paragraph. An abstract is meant to be surgical. Do not mince words; get right to the heart of the matter. Flowery language has no place in your abstract.

  • Be light on the jargon
  • Using technical terms in the abstract will force you to explain to them since it will be the first time they appear in the paper. This undermines your objective to keep it short. The simple language will make the abstract easier to understand.

  • Structure
  • The abstract connects the flow of ideas in the research paper. This means that the construction of the abstract needs to follow the construction of the rest of the paper. It should take the reader through each section of the paper in the order with which they eventually appear: Introduction, literature review, methodology, analysis, and conclusion. Each section should be summarized in a sentence or two.