How To Write A Dissertation Abstract?

How To Write A Dissertation Abstract?

What does a Dissertation or Thesis Abstract Include?

  1. An outline of the research problem and the proposed objectives
  2. The research methodology
  3. Key arguments or results
  4. The conclusion of the dissertation

How Long Should an Abstract be?

The length of an abstract for a dissertation might vary from university to university as well as from program to program. Ideally, the length of an abstract is between 300 words to 500 words. It is always a good idea to check the requirements a university or journal might have about the word count of the dissertation abstract before submitting it.

When to Write an Abstract?

An abstract is always included when you are submitting a thesis, research, or a research paper or while sending a research paper to an academic journal.

What Should a Dissertation Abstract Include?

1. Aim of the research:

If the aim or purpose of the research is not clear from the abstract section of your dissertation, it might leave the impression that your research has nothing new to offer. So, the abstract should be able to tell the reader or the examiner about what practical or theoretical problem the research is responding to (in other words, the research question) and what outcomes you expect to derive or what is the new thing that makes your dissertation stand apart.

2. Method of research (the research methodology):

After the objective of the study is stated, we move on to the methods used to conduct the research. This part should be a straightforward description of the kind of research methodology that you have used (quantitative or qualitative) in one or two sentences.

3. Outcomes of the research:

The results or the outcomes section should be included in the concluding paragraph of the abstract. This part summarizes the resolutions offered to the problem statement identified initially in the abstract. The outcome of the study should be indicated in clear terms.

4. The conclusion of the abstract

Particular care should be given to the way you frame the conclusion of your abstract. In this part, the main conclusions of your research should be stated. The conclusion should clearly answer the problem statement that you have proposed initially in your abstract.


Keywords are added at the end of a dissertation or abstract if it is going to be published. The keyword gives the reader an idea about the essential concepts in the dissertation or thesis. They also provide visibility to your paper when others search the related words on a search engine. So, you should make sure that you add only the most important and relevant words related to your dissertation in the keywords’ section.

Example of a Dissertation Abstract

Example of a Dissertation Abstract

How to Structure your Dissertation or Thesis Abstract?

Abstract for the dissertation can be structured in the following way:

  • As the abstract would be around 300–500 words, it is better to divide it into 2–3 paragraphs.
  • More than three paragraphs might not be recommended as the abstract is of very short length.
  • The aim of the research should be mentioned in the first paragraph or the introductory paragraph of the abstract.
  • You should not start writing the abstract by directly stating the aim. Instead, provide background information about your area of research in 2–3 lines.
  • You could even start your abstract by stating the problem statement.
  • The background information on the existing literature would give the reader information about where your dissertation or thesis is situated.
  • The background information or short literature review would be followed by the problem statement or vice versa according to your arguments.
  • The problem statement identifies the gap in the existing literature.
  • Following the problem statement, you should propose what research question you aim to answer.
  • The last paragraph mentions the results or the outcomes/conclusion of the study. You could even make suggestions for future studies in this part.

Tips for writing an abstract

Writing an abstract can be challenging as you need to filter down the most relevant aspects of your dissertation into 300–500 words. This means that you will have to omit a lot of information while providing enough to interest the reader or evaluator. Here are some tips to get started on your abstract:

  • Chapter by chapter method:
  • Read other abstracts:
  • Write many versions of the rough drafts:
  • Make it compact:
  • Keep editing:

Let’s Conclude

So, there you go! We have outlined all the steps and tips we consider necessary before you write your dissertation. We have covered what a dissertation abstract should include, the dissertation abstract structure that you need to keep in mind, and have included tips and an example of a dissertation to help you get to it!




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