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Best “How To” Tips: Write an Abstract for a Dissertation in the UK

How to write an abstract? It’s one of the most common challenges that students face.

It allows the writer to summarize their arguments and major elements of the paper in 1 paragraph. Students write abstracts for various reasons, including indexing and selection. Thus, the readers will make up their minds on whether the dissertation is worth their time.

Also, most online databases make use of abstracts as they index larger works such as dissertations. In this sense, having a concise abstract with the necessary keywords and specific phrases that facilitate searching is important.

But what is an abstract, and how is one written?

While an abstract remains an important part of the dissertation, it can be challenging to write.

If you have already spent weeks working on your project, the chances are that you may feel frustrated when asked to summarize your document into a paragraph,” says Andrews, a psychology professor who has been supervising dissertations.

Don’t panic if you have no clue on how to write an abstract. This article offers insights on it by breaking down the general components.

Defining the Concept

So, what is an abstract?

Before we proceed to look at how to write, it is important to define the concept. An abstract implies a brief summary of a thesis or a research paper. It is the section of your work where you highlight the main elements of your article.

A good abstract ought to be original work, rather than an extract from a section or passage from your dissertation. This section of your article should be able to make sense on its own. It means your readers can tell what the research is about without going through the article.

A good abstract should also highlight your research purpose, the methodology, and the main findings.

An Abstract for a Dissertation: What Is It?

Writing an abstract is only possible if you know what you are working on. When used in the context of a dissertation, it is a short and well-structured summation of the main elements of your research. In most cases, it comes in the form of a single paragraph between 200 and 300 words in length.

The dissertation abstract aims to outline the main components of your paper briefly. It’s often written last after you have reached conclusions.

How to write an abstract for a dissertation?

A good one ought to contain the following information:

  • The objectives of your research;
  • Your research methodology;
  • Your main findings;
  • The implications of your research findings.

How to Write an Amazing Dissertation Abstract

It is time to consider how to write a good abstract. A good trick to follow when creating a dissertation abstract is to write this section of your paper last. Plan the main aspects of your work in 6 sentences, then use them to structure your entire abstract.

The first section is the introduction, where you highlight what is covered in your document. When creating an abstract introduction, offer some interesting background to the reader, but make sure to be precise in your writing.

After that, state the problem covered by your dissertation in one sentence. It is followed by an emphasis on the gap in the literature and why your research is important. A phrase like “previous research has failed to address…” can suffice.

How to write an abstract for a dissertation professionally?

Your text should also highlight how to approach the process of answering your research questions. Present your methodology. After that, highlight your main findings and conclusions.

Remember, a good abstract must:

  • Include one or more logical and brief paragraphs;
  • Summarize the paper and not introduce fresh information;
  • Be free of citations, figures, or tables.

Well-Written Dissertation Abstract Example

Scholars have often postulated a possible relationship between social emotions and temperature perception. They indicate that negative and positive social encounters like feelings of love and rejection can cause feelings of warmth and cold.

This study sought to examine the relationship between emotions and body temperature. Participants were exposed to social-emotional situations, then asked to estimate room temperatures. Those who wrote about love indicated feeling warmer, while those who wrote about rejection indicated feeling colder. Based on these analyses, it can be inferred that feelings of rejection increase a person’s sensitivity to cold.

When Should One Write a Dissertation Abstract?

What is an abstract in a dissertation, and when to write it?

The section should be completely independent of your article. The abstract is the very last part of your project as you write.

It means that your readers should understand the content even without going through the rest of the research report. The easiest way to write your research paper abstract is to follow the structure used in creating the actual report.

In other words, it’s a compressed version of your dissertation.

Step 1: Stating Your Aims

The first stage of how to write an abstract for a dissertation ought to define the objective of your research. For instance, what do you intend to accomplish?

As you write, use verbs such as explore, evaluate, assess, investigate, or examine. You can use Past or Present Simple tense to create this aspect of your abstract. Never write in the Future tense as the research has already been finalized.

Step 2: Describing Your Methodology

The next step on how to write a dissertation abstract is the methodology. Make sure to indicate the methodology used to solve the research question. Present this part as a direct description of what you did. Don’t bother presenting research challenges and validity issues at this point.

Step 3: Summarizing the Results

The step we look at in our tips on how to write is the summary of research results. In this dissertation abstract element, you provide a clear overview of your research outcomes in a sentence or two. It should either be written in Present or Past Simple tense. Highlight only the most significant research findings that give your readers a clear picture of your project.

Fourth Step: Presenting Your Conclusion

The final step in how to write an abstract for a dissertation is the presentation of your main conclusion. What answer do you have for the research question, based on your findings?

Make sure to tell your readers what your study has argued or revealed. Write this element of your dissertation abstract using Past Simple tense.

How to Write an Exceptional Abstract: Important Tips

How to write a quality abstract for your master’s dissertation?

The structure used to write it will depend on the nature of your project. For instance, an abstract created for a report on scientific research will differ in content from one based on a literature review.

Also, understand that the abstract will be the first component of your paper most people get to read. As you write, know that it may determine whether or not they proceed reading your entire document.

Here are some important tips on how to get this aspect of your dissertation right:

Consider Reversing the Outline

What is an abstract in a dissertation, and how to write it?

Go through your paper sections. List the keywords and draft 1-2 sentences that condense the main points for each component. You can then revise the sentences to ensure logical flow and progression of thought. Remember, the reader should find the information you present in the abstract in your actual article.

Avoid Verboseness

Want to learn how to write a dissertation abstract? Learn verbosity.

Verbosity or verboseness means using more words than are necessary. Abstracts often have strict word requirements, and conciseness is critical. Be economical with your use of words as you write while ensuring that your summary of the article is logical. Once you write your dissertation, go through it and eliminate unnecessary words and sentences.

Use the Right Terminology

Dissertation abstracts are important since they aid in selection. Using the right keywords allows users to locate them when searching on online databases. Use the right terminology while ensuring the coherence and logical flow of the text.

Read Well-Written Abstracts

Reading a well-written dissertation abstract example is the easiest way to learn how to create an amazing document. Of course, you may have come across multiple article abstracts in the course of your research. Go through them to learn how to write your own work.

Be Concise and Clear in Your Writing

Brevity is an important element to consider as you write your dissertation abstracts. Make sure that this section of your project is concise but impactful. Each word you choose and every sentence should communicate a clear point. Resist the temptation to use jargon and filler words.

Pay Attention to Formatting

An important aspect of learning how to write an abstract for a dissertation is formatting. Of course, there will be specific formatting requirements for dissertations issued by your department. Read them carefully and make sure to adhere to every requirement.

Pay Attention to Your Research

While you can learn how to write a well-structured abstract by reading samples online, your focus should be on your research. Remember, the objective is to present the unique contributions of the particular study. Don’t waste your valuable time discussing other people’s work here.

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Wondering, “What is an abstract in a dissertation”? The tips highlighted in this article should help you with its notion and how to write a stellar piece.

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