One of the first words that you will encounter when writing a dissertation is "abstract”.
In its lexical definition, abstract means a concept or idea not associated with any specific instance. It also means a sketchy summary of the main points of an argument or theory. But, what really is an abstract when it comes to dissertations?
The dissertation abstract is actually a summary of the results of your paper. Such summary will let the reader of your work to have a grasp on what it is all about, what have you accomplished, and what is expected from your dissertation.
Your abstract is your invitation to a reader. If it's well done, then the reader will continue to read the succeeding pages of your dissertation. But if it is not, he or she will definitely stop reading. Hence, it is very important that you make a good abstract or else, readers will never have any interest to read your work.
When writing the abstract, make it simple. Do not be too wordy or extravagant with phrases and words. As much as possible, be direct to the point. Stop beating around the bush. It is a well-settled rule that a dissertation abstract shall not be over two pages long. Remember that an abstract is just a summary of your research; it is not an introduction.
In composing your dissertation abstract, include only the most important details. If you will put too much information, it will no longer be an abstract. Create a 400- to 600- word abstract.
A dissertation abstract is limited to a number of words; hence, you have to learn how to write in a short but concise manner. Make sure that when you make your abstract, it will cover all the important areas of your research. How? Simply include the facts and details relevant to your topic.
The structure of your abstract also depends on the type of abstract you are going to write. Will you write a descriptive or an informative abstract? If you are going to write a descriptive abstract, you have to describe what your paper contains-from its purpose, scope, and up to the methods used. On the other hand, if you will compose an informative abstract, you have to include specific details about your dissertation including the results, conclusions, and the recommendations as well.
The dissertation abstract may be one of the shortest parts of dissertations but do not underestimate the influence it can bring to the readers. It is, therefore, best to write a good and well-written abstract so that readers will be attracted to flip the next pages of your paper.