Vital points to consider while crafting a dissertation abstract
An abstract is a substantive description that comes at the beginning of a dissertation. It sets out what readers should expect in a paper. In other words, it is a synopsis of the entire project presenting the main ideas but in a contracted form. Note that this is a stand-alone section which can be published and is often used to announce examination of a thesis. It is not a simple preparatory part like the preface or preamble but rather a substitution of the entire work. This guide gives some tips for building and structuring a PhD dissertation abstract. Basically, it has 4 components namely:
- Background and significance of the study
- Research strategy components
- Structure and magnitude
In modern academic writing, the maximum word count ranges from 150 – 350 words. In doctorate projects, a single page of 280 words with double-spaced text is preferred. The abstract structure should be a reflection of the entire paper’s structure, with all the major points. If the project is a five-chapter thesis, then each chapter should be summarized by one or two sentences in the abstract.
- Clear research questions
Just like in the dissertation, the research questions are very important because they ensure that the abstract’s structure remains congruent and logic. It is a skeleton on which other items attach to. The research questions, 1-3 of them, should be presented at the very beginning. But when the thesis contains more than 3 research questions, a revision should be considered to reduce them.
- Keep in mind the results
One of the commonest mistakes that students make when writing a dissertation abstract is failure to lay down the findings of the research. Know that the basic function of a dissertation, including the abstract, is to inform the audience what the study is about and what came out of it. It is thus important to explain the discoveries in a coherent manner. Other additional elements like the research methods are also crucial because they act as reinforcements of the results. Basically, the second half section of the abstract should give a summation and interpretation of the findings.
A PhD dissertation abstract should be an accurate synopsis of the entire document. It should include the problem statement, methods used in research, and conclusions. However, tables and figures or other complex illustrations must not be included.
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