How to Write a Good Dissertation Abstract
Table of Contents
Navigating the process of dissertation writing can be daunting, with the abstract presenting its own unique challenge.
This article will delve into the art of crafting a compelling and effective dissertation abstract. We’ll guide you through key considerations, helpful strategies, and practical tips to ensure your abstract encapsulates the essence of your research and leaves a lasting impression on its readers.
What Is a Dissertation Abstract
The abstract is a legal document, the content of which summarizes the main provisions of a master or doctoral dissertation.
Such work has a small volume (8-15 pages) and is intended for an acquaintance of the scientific community with the applicant’s qualification. Following the existing rules and regulations, the document is sent to various scientific institutions so that all those who wish to know the study’s novelty can get acquainted with it.
Each member of the dissertation council must receive one copy to become familiarized with the subject to be defended.
The abstract will be presented to the council at the defense, so you need to make a serious effort when writing it. These efforts will allow minimizing of questions about the topic during the defense. Our recommendations from this article are intended to help in this. With them, you will improve an already completed document or can write a paper from scratch.
How to Start a Dissertation Abstract
The text must contain the conclusions and main ideas of the dissertation, an indication of the author’s contribution to scientific activity, the level of novelty of his research, and the prospect of the practical application of the applicant’s work. Below you will find information on how to start abstract writing.
- Such papers should be written based on a dissertation, which will be used for the defense. Try to find on the official website of the university an abstract example written in your specialty and accepted by the council, which will review your work too. Looking at the successful example, start making an abstract for your topic.
- This paper is written for a specific specialty. Use precise formulations to ensure that both the dissertation and the abstract meet all requirements.
- Remember that your abstract will be read by at least 40 people, while the full dissertation will be read in detail by a maximum of 5 persons. This means that it is important to prepare the paper with great care and effort to make it brilliant.
How to Structure a Dissertation Abstract
The abstract should be written following such the structure:
- Cover sheet (same as for dissertation, but printed on two sides, on the reverse is a space for signatures);
- Table of contents;
- A brief introductory section which highlights the relevance, the novelty, and the purpose of the topic;
- The main part, which should be short and clear;
- A list of articles that have been published and contain the materials used in the work should be drawn up per the requirements of your institution.
The main task of the dissertation abstract is to highlight the following points:
- Novelty and relevance of the subject under study or scientific problem.
- The direct relationship of the topic to the programs, topics, and plans that exist today.
- Purpose and methodology of scientific research.
- The practical significance of the results obtained.
- Applicant’s contribution to the research.
- Results of the researches.
- List of literature studied.
Based on the main task, the structure of the dissertation abstract consists of the main thesis, which is described following the established norms and rules.
This section provides information on the relevance of scientific research based on existing scientific issues and their coverage in the appropriate literature. Briefly (in several sentences) indicate the purpose and substance of the research. Emphasizing the connection with existing scientific programs, you must mention the role of their authors in a chosen scientific subject.
All dissertation sections must be referenced to each other, and the headings correspond to the assigned tasks. This part explains the nature of the study, specifies methods, and approaches for conducting the research. The conclusions must be drawn following the facts and the reference to new theories and assumptions proposed.
In this part, it is necessary to write conclusions and a list of literature. Tables, diagrams, formulae, and drawings used for illustration in the abstract should also be placed here.
How to End a Dissertation Abstract
This section should contain concise but sufficiently comprehensive information on the outcome of the dissertation. At the same time, it is necessary to show and disclose how the goals set in the topic have been achieved and what tasks have been solved.
The conclusions should belong to the author. They are the subject of the defense and, therefore, should be formulated with special care. The conclusions and recommendations should respond to the goals and objectives set. Also, they follow the structure of the dissertation. As experience shows, the main conclusions and recommendations must contain at least 9–12 positions. This is the quintessence of the dissertation work, the main part of work. General, hardly understandable phrases cannot be used here.
Dissertation Abstract Length
Not only the content and presentation, but also the number of pages in the abstract, are valuable. About their permissible number, you can read on the website of your institution.
Most often, about 15 pages must be prepared for a doctoral dissertation. However, sometimes this length can be reduced to 6–7 pages. However, if the work is prepared in a humanitarian direction, it is possible to increase this size by 1.5 times. Thus, the volume of the dissertation abstract on history can easily be about 25–40 pages.
Dissertation Abstract Example
Examples of abstracts on your topic can be found on the Internet, for example, on the official site of your university or in online scientific libraries. You can also ask the Chair or the Dean for examples of successful essays, or you can request them at a scientific library at your university.
As an example, one may consider such a sample of a candidate’s abstract:
- The Paper begins with the title page.
- General characteristic of scientific work: subject of research, theoretical and methodological basis, empirical basis, scientific novelty.
- The theoretical and practical significance of the work, conclusions.
- Validation of research and use of results.
- How well the problem is studied (scientific works on which the author relied).
Dos and Don’ts of Writing a Dissertation Abstract
When writing the paper, the applicant must consider the following points:
- Scientific style of information presentation.
- Use of concise language.
- Objective presentation of research issues, conclusions, and hypotheses.
- Spread the text evenly over the total length of the document.
- Using abbreviations instead of repetitive terms.
- Shortening common words and keywords.
- Lack of complex sentences and/or heavy meaning constructions.
Here is the list of the most frequent errors:
- Incorrect bibliographic list, or total absence thereof. Such a violation of the rules of abstract writing is not allowed. The list is usually compiled in such a sequence: monographs, brochures, scientific publications on the dissertation subject.
- Irrelevance of the text with the content of the dissertation. It is not permissible to use information that does not rely on the topic.
- Inconsistency of abstract to applicant’s scientific activity.
- Writing a paper without regard to the exact council. It is important that the abstract bears a resemblance to other works successfully defended with this council, and the similarity should relate to the style and structure of the text.
The abstract writing is the final stage before the defense. It should not contain information not available in the dissertation, as this is considered a gross violation. There must be no spelling or typographical errors, conflicting phrases.
Reviewers and opponents will certainly read the paper, and it will be given a lot of attention during the defense. All this requires the most serious approach to its presentation, and the abstract must have a well-defined structure and sequence that must not be disrupted in any way.
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