Considering the role of abstract in the paper, many experts call it one of the most vital parts of a dissertation. It is the first part of dissertation, which is placed at the beginning of the paper. It contains general information on the dissertation content and serves as a short guide to what is going to be discussed in the paper.
Abstract is used by writers as a summary of a dissertation. It describes the key moments, which will be discussed further with the aim of winning attention of the readers.
Abstract can be used in a paper in different ways. It can be presented as a standalone document. Sometimes, writers can present abstracts in bibliographic listings. In addition, they can be provided as exam announcements. If a reader is looking for some information in a database or library, in most cases the first thing they will do to understand whether the source appropriate or not will be abstract reading.
Abstract is not a simple introduction to the paper. Although it serves as a general outline of what is going to be presented, its function is much deeper. The aim of the abstract is to provide comprehensive, although brief, overview of the dissertation. It is a very useful part of writing as it helps readers understand whether to go on with reading the full text or not.
Structure of the Abstract Chapter
Abstract is a short chapter. Its length should be not more than 150 words for a paper of Master’s level and no longer than 350 words for a dissertation.
Very often, writers are recommended to limit the word count to 300 words (one full double-spaced page), in order to make the chapter visually coherent.
General structure of the abstract should not differ from the structure of the dissertation itself. It should contain the same key elements.
Regardless of the number of chapters in the dissertation (for example, introduction, literature review, methodology and conclusion), make sure you briefly summarize each of them in the abstract.
Problems Statement/Research Question
Regardless of the fact that you use problem statement(s) or research question(s) in your paper all the time, they are very important elements for ensuring that your abstract is coherent and logical. Remember that all your paper should be based on the specific problem or question.
Make sure that problem statement or question should be provided at the beginning of the abstract.
The number of research questions that is considered usual for dissertations is normally limited to three. There are cases when you can use more than three of them, especially in complex research works. However, your task in such case is to divide them into primary and secondary, which are less significant.
Include Findings and Results of Dissertation in Abstract
Many writers tend to forget that abstract is not only about outlining what is going to be discussed in dissertation but also about the final results obtained during the research.
Abstract can be compared to thesis statement considering its function of telling readers about the main goal, as well as about the main outcomes of the research. Telling what you discovered is much more important than simply telling what you did. To make your statement stronger, you can also add some information on methods used to support your research.
Use the final part of your abstract to make a short summary of your dissertation results.