Tried And Tested Advice On How To Create A Phd Dissertation Abstract
An abstract is an important part of your PhD dissertation. In a limited number of words, you should fully reveal the content of your paper and inspire other researchers to read it. Keep in mind the following advice to create an effective abstract for your thesis.
Understanding the Basics
If you understand what an abstract is, it will be easier to craft it. An abstract is a brief summary of a PhD dissertation. It usually goes immediately after a title page. However, abstracts can go separately and be stored in special databases. An abstract for a PhD paper shouldn’t exceed 350 words. It should mirror the content and structure of the project, and this section can easily be called a mini-thesis. Therefore, make sure that each chapter of your paper is presented in your abstract.
Creating the Abstract
Your abstract should consist of four key structural components. Remember to include all of them in your work.
- The background and significance of the research.
- Research methodology.
- Your findings.
In the first few sentences, provide the context of your study. State your research problem and mention your motives for conducting the research. Explain why the study is significant and share your main objectives. Since you are limited in a number of words, highlight only the most important aspects of the subject, like research questions, hypotheses, goals, literature review, and significance of the study. If there are several research questions, restructure them and focus only on the major ones.
Describe the research strategy of your PhD dissertation. What specific methods did you use and what analytical techniques did you apply? Remember to summarize the components of your research strategy succinctly. Explain your choice of research methods.
The main function of your dissertation is to present your findings. Since you are not allowed to present lots of specific data in your abstract, share your findings, not results in this section. Avoid using any analysis as well. What you should do is to give answers to your research questions and hypotheses. Provide the most important findings in your abstract. Summarize and interpret them. Write in simple words to make your explanations understandable even for non-experts.
In the last sentences of your abstract, focus on the conclusions you made in your paper and on theoretical contributions or practical implications of your findings. Don’t summarize previous information from the abstract. Don’t exaggerate the significance of your findings but don’t over-generalize them as well. Be precise.