The Complete Guide on How to Write a Dissertation Abstract

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The process of completing a dissertation is usually divided into parts, such as research, writing itself, editing, and preparing for the viva voce. However, these stages can also be separated into smaller steps. In this article, we will discuss only a singular factor to writing a dissertation: the dissertation summary, or the abstract, as it is called in scholarly circles.


The process of creating a dissertation is highly complicated, and you can hardly find an article that reveals all the sides of this long process. Therefore, you should get acquainted with recommendations on completing dissertations step by step. This means that you should read this article right when you are about to create an abstract.

The Abstract: Is It an Introduction?

To the disappointment of many teachers, some students think that the abstract is the introduction of their work. In some way, it is an introduction if we think of it from the perspective of its place in the body of work. However, there’s one essential characteristic which distinguishes an introduction and an abstract. An introduction in its traditional meaning means the part which introduces the main goal and the topic of the whole work.

The abstract also does this function but it also goes further and presents the achievements and methods of studies. Actually, an abstract is a highly tuned version of the entire dissertation. So, the abstract is an introduction only in the sense of that it introduces your work. However, its aim is not only to tease and intrigue the reader, but also to briefly reflect all the components of the dissertation.

What to Include in Your Abstract

Though each dissertation has its specific structure, the general structure is similar. Accordingly, we are able to give you basic recommendations on what to include in your dissertation summary:

  • The purpose, the goals, the importance. In your abstract, you need to explain to the audience what the purpose of your research is. Try to do this in one complex sentence or a couple of sentences. You can follow such a scheme: “Because of the [reason for the topic’s popularity], the studies in [your topic] are important for [a certain group of people] and their purpose is to [what is the purpose?]. The main goals of this research are to [do what?]”
  • The milestones of the research, primary methods, and research questions. Here, you are to present the main steps you used to conduct the research and the methods you used. You shouldn’t describe the process of the research in detail. You should present the questions of your investigation in the most laconic way. Afterward, you can write about methods that you decided to use to puzzle out core issues of studies.
  • The results and their meanings. In your dissertation summary, you need to sketch the findings of your research. It should be a concise summary of what you discover when exploring the issue and explain which discoveries meet your expectations and which do not. This part should take almost half of the abstract. It is the most important part which will entice the reader to peruse the entire dissertation.
  • Conclusions. Make an overview of the conclusion you came to from your investigation and name the main issue you had during the research if applicable.

These items are necessary to mention in your abstract. Use this list as a checklist after you complete your dissertation summary.

Points to Consider When Writing an Abstract

We have prepared the short list of recommendations on how to write a dissertation abstract. Make sure that you take all of them into account.

  1. Follow the specified size. Typically, abstracts are extremely short, about 350 words. Therefore, you should consider this to not break the rules. Pay attention to the fact that your abstract mustn’t be longer, though it can be a little shorter. We recommend that you complete your summary from several attempts. First, create it with the length you like and then be merciless while editing, throwing away unnecessary or superfluous sentences and words.
  2. Describe each part in a separate paragraph. What this means is that you need to dedicate each paragraph of the abstract to a certain part of the dissertation. The first paragraph should reveal the goals, the purpose, and the significance of the investigation. The second paragraph should tell about the methods and research issues, and so on and so forth.
  3. Keep the proportions in balance. This is one of the most crucial rules on how to write a dissertation abstract. Each part of your dissertation contains specific amounts of words. Different parts of your work should be reflected proportionally in the abstract.

Simple Steps on How to Write a Dissertation Abstract

You are already aware of what to add in your abstract. Now, it’s time get acquainted with steps on how to write a dissertation abstract.

Step 1: Write a dissertation. The abstract is the overview of your dissertation, not its outline. This means that you need to complete the dissertation first and then create an abstract from it. It’s necessary to take into consideration that the moment you write your abstract, the dissertation should be ready, or at least almost ready.
Step 2: Reread each part of the dissertation and make notes. While rereading your dissertation, make notes on the most essential points of it. Read each of the parts two or three times. You can use one of two approaches. The first is taking notes in the form of short word expressions. The second approach is to write down the most essential sentences.
Step 3: Complete the first draft. At this stage, you shouldn’t worry about the amount of words. You should compound all notes that you did together and see what you’ve got. Make sure that your notes are logically connected with each other.
Step 4: Edit the first draft. At this step, you have to bid farewell to all redundant words and sentences to meet the length requirements. Try to paraphrase your sentences in the way to give clarity. However, you should also make sure that your abstract doesn’t appear as a set of simple sentences which have no connection with each other.

How to Receive Assistance

If you are in a deadlock with any part of your dissertation, you can apply to WriteMyEssayOnline.com. On our website, you are able to receive assistance with your papers from expert writers. All of them have already graduated from educational affiliations and can be good advisors for you. You can ask them to complete a certain sample part of your work or use the editing option.

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