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How to write an abstract for a dissertation

Writing a dissertation is one of the most difficult and challenging tasks you will have to face throughout your student years, as it is a quintessence of the knowledge and skills you have gained.

It consists of many parts and dissertation proposal abstract can be called a business card of your work, giving the reader a glance at the well written academic paper. The main aim of any abstract is to engage the reader and make him want to continue. So you need to be very careful when choosing proper words and structuring your abstract.

Size and Structure

Every professor or institution has individual requirements when it comes to the size and the structure of a dissertation, so you need to learn them in advance not to rewrite the abstract over and over again.

However, there are a few rules, which can be applied to almost any type of a dissertation abstract. Try to limit it to 150 words if it is a Master’s thesis and to 350 words for a Doctoral dissertation.

The structure should be the same as the structure of your whole work, representing its key elements. This means that your abstract should consist of a brief summary of every chapter.

Study background and significance

Every dissertation abstract should begin with the background of your research, followed by its significance. Luckily, you will know the answers to these questions by the time you will need to complete the abstract.

Try to answer following questions:

  • What is the aim of your dissertation?
  • Why did you choose this topic?
  • Why is the study important?

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Components of your research strategy

There are many research methods, which you can use depending on the subject and the topic of your dissertation. That is why you need to decide whether these methods had a serious impact on the whole work. If the answer is yes, try to include the scope of the study, the research methods, samples and techniques you have used to your abstract.

Major findings

This sentence should concentrate on the general results of your whole work without diving too deep into details. Just tell the reader whether the findings have answered the main question of the dissertation and mark the key results to encourage the reader.


The closing part of your abstract is ‘conclusions’ sentence. It should answer the following questions:

  • What have you learned from your research?
  • What were the results?
  • How can these findings contribute to the matter?

Remember to stay brief, as the abstract section is a summary, not a descriptive chapter.

Dissertation abstract styles

If you want to learn how to write a dissertation abstract, you should not forget about its two main types: descriptive and informative.

Make sure you ask your professor about what type to use, as every establishment and even topic may have different requirements and approach.

Descriptive abstract

You will easily distinguish a descriptive abstract from any other: it is a sort of an outline of your whole work to give a reader a chance to decide whether to go further. It looks like a table of contents, where you briefly summarize every paragraph of your dissertation.

Informative abstract

The informative abstract gives a short summary of the whole work in a clear and brief manner. Usually, it is not more than a couple sentences long.

Don’t Forget the Results

Writing abstract dissertation is a very responsible task, which may influence your final grades and even career, so you need to make sure you do everything you can to complete it as flawless as possible.

However, if you have any doubts, just contact our managers and we will help you improve your abstract or complete it from scratch!

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