Guidelines on how to write a dissertation abstract

Every dissertation requires a well-written dissertation abstract. This short section of the dissertation process is needed so that those who need to read through a series of academic papers can read a quick summary instead of the entire paper. The abstract will give a quick preview of the entire dissertation so a reader can quickly decide whether the rest of the paper will be worth the time it takes to read it.

Digital Abstracts for Previewing and Organizing

The way that a dissertation abstract is written has changed a bit over time. Before the common use of computers, the dissertation was used as a summary of the paper. It included the contents, purpose, results, and other relevant material to get someone to know about your work. Now, the abstract serves as a useful search engine tool as well as a tool for organizing and categorizing work. The abstract still helps those in academia get a quick preview of dissertations, but the key words and phrases also helps dissertation writers get noticed online.

Planning the Type and Purpose of the Abstract

Writing a dissertation abstract takes some careful planning and organizing. Abstracts tend to have a limited number of required words and your instructor will let you know what that is. You will need to decide whether you want your abstract to be descriptive or informative, so you know the goal of the short piece. An informative abstract will be shorter and will provide quick information about the topic. The descriptive abstract will be up to 250 or more words and it will include much more description about the topic and the dissertation than the informational one does.

Features Needed in Your Abstract

Regardless of your chosen style, there are a few necessities for each abstract. You should be sure to explain the reason you chose to write the dissertation and why the reader should continue on to the main work. You should share the problem that your dissertation studied and the scope of your solution. Always include the methods you used to gather research and solve the problem. Share the results, but do not give away too much information - you still want you reader to have some reason to read. Lastly, you should share the implications of your work and how it will affect the local community, the world at large, or whatever population will be most affected by your ideas. You might even inspire someone to continue your work if you can craft a useful and honest dissertation.

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