Importance of a dissertation abstract

The dissertation abstract of your research project needs to be well-organised, as you will have a limited word count to convey important information about the research. Keep in mind that a  poorly researched and uninteresting dissertation project will make it harder to engage the reader. Therefore you will need to prepare as thoroughly as possible to prepare a compelling dissertation abstract. Below we will highlight some of the key ingredients of a compelling abstract.

Important ingredients of an abstract
  • An abstract should be based on a more pertinent research summary. Such a summary includes a short statement along with the study significance and objectives;
  • An abstract should have key theories to underpin the dissertation;
  • An abstract should briefly explain the research methodology that would be applied to collect information;
  • An abstract should summarise the study results and findings; and
  • An abstract should have a principal conclusion. The conclusion should be summarised and phrased in such a manner that the readers can easily comprehend the research.

Of course you do not need to use all of these structural components in your dissertation. It will depend on your particular dissertation type and nature. However, all these components are intended to assist you in summarising the main facets of your dissertation.

Types of abstract

There are two types of dissertation abstracts commonly employed: (1) The descriptive abstract and (2) The informative abstract.

  • The descriptive abstract: This type of dissertation abstract includes the data (facts and information) provided inside the whole dissertation. In this abstract, you will have to explain the entire research work along with the study scope. It also has the research purpose and methodology. Typically, descriptive abstracts do not include the study results and findings.
  • The informative abstract: This type of abstract includes the informative details that will be described in detail later. This abstract is based on the information associated with the study scope, aims and purpose and the research methodology. Besides these, an informative abstract also has a brief summary of results and findings.

A dissertation abstract is an important part of a dissertation and sets an important impression for the rest of your research. Thus this section should be prepared in such a way that it captures the readers mind. It should be comprehensive and everything from the introduction, to conclusion and the chapters should be comprehensible for the supervisor. Remember, key information from all chapters should be briefly explained in the abstract in order for the reader to get immediate insight into the nature and scope of your research project.

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