What is the problem? Indicate the objective, problem statement and research questions of your dissertation. If you have used hypotheses in your dissertation, indicate them here.
What has been done? Briefly explains the method and approach of your research.
What has been discovered? Provide a summary of the most important results and your conclusion.
What do your findings mean? Summarize the key points from the discussion and present your recommendations.
• Your name.
• The name of the article you have written.
• Publication information, if there is any.
• Remember, you’re just trying to give your reader an overview of your dissertation, not every detail.
• You should also include the sentence about your conclusion.
• Remember, you are not just summarizing your individual thoughts in your abstract, you are recreating the argument you make in your paper in a shortened form.
• Only include what information you present in your paper; do not bring new ideas into the abstract.
Your dissertation abstract is a highly condensed version of a longer piece of writing that highlights the major points covered. The dissertation abstract concisely describes the content and scope of the writing and reviews the contents in abbreviated form.
The abstract should be the last part of the dissertation that you write. Its usual length is between 200 and 350 words. The abstract is designed to give a ‘snapshot’ of your work. It can be compared to the comments that you will find on the back cover of a novel – in that the summary of the work that it gives is designed to entice people to read the rest of the book. It should not be written in the future tense.
One of the best ways to prepare for writing your own dissertation abstract is to re-read the abstracts of journal articles that you have utilized as part of your secondary research and/or literature review. As you re-read them, ask yourself the following questions:
• What was it about the abstract that made me decide to read the rest of the article?
• How did the abstract tell me that this article would be relevant to my study and research interests?