How to Write a Dissertation Abstract Guide

How to write a dissertation abstract is a question many students get when it comes to writing dissertations. The most challenging part about abstract writing is that it does not revolve around two or three sections of a relevant dissertation, but represents it all. An abstract can be compared to a detailed book introduction and requires thorough work and patience while writing.

Important Abstract Sections That Must Be Included 

The purpose is in informing your target audience about what objectives, literature, methodology, analytical aspects, and conclusions will be met. While your abstract may differ depending on the university course and methodology chosen, these elements are still essential: 

  • Research Problem And Objectives. It should have an introduction where basic information is provided with a brief explanation regarding why certain research problems have been chosen. It is not necessary to get into details because it would be sufficient to create a thesis statement or make an assumption. It's recommended to focus on a single problem. If this part is ignored, such an abstract example may become too broad. 

  • Summarize The Background And Focus. Ask yourself a question: why is this research necessary and what will it help to accomplish? It should provide a clear reason for the project. It is enough to state why a proposed proposal differs from similar research projects and how it can fill a void by offering new methodology and research methods. Students must summarize information that has been mentioned in your literature review section by summing things up. Explain project objectives and explore related material that supports the dissertation's main thesis. 

  • Methodology. This is where one explains methodology specifics. Tell whether you use qualitative or quantitative research methods. Some dissertation abstracts may include both methods, which is quite frequent for Data Science subjects. Discuss the type of samples and procedures that will be implemented to receive required data. 

  • Key Results of Arguments. It means that one should discuss the list of arguments and objectives that may be achieved as a result of research. This part also represents the conclusion of a dissertation proposal. An abstract is supposed to act as a summary of your planned work. Include only that information that also appears in your dissertation. 

  • Conclusion. This section should be truly short, about 2-3 sentences. It sums up your main idea in different words, just like thesis restatement. 

What Is The Purpose Of An Abstract? 

Not every student today knows how to write a good abstract because people often misinterpret the main purpose. It contains a hook sentence that explains why some research problems are important. It is approached in a clear systematic manner that is well-structured. The dissertation abstract has a clear purpose: to provide a short summary of the entire piece in about 250-300 words in total. It should make it clear that what follows is worth reading and exploring. Discuss your research and findings by shaping text just like bullet points. There should be no extra sentences that sound out of place because it is a mini-version of your dissertation. 

How Long is a Dissertation Abstract? 

Dissertation abstract length usually ranges between 150 and 300 words, yet it can be longer in certain cases or when some dissertation lengths is over 60,000 words. It is typical for humanitarian sciences or Law disciplines where additional legislation is implemented. Remember that a traditional dissertation is usually divided into five chapters, which is why the introduction and conclusion paragraphs are eliminated for our dissertation abstract. It leaves us three paragraphs that provide an explanation regarding how long should an abstract be. All research objectives should be cleverly incorporated in a short form. If more than one idea is discussed in the following dissertation, choose the most important one and state it in a simpler way. 

Abstract Example

The majority of dissertation abstracts revolves around the research problem and objectives, methods, key results, arguments, and a brief conclusion. Wishing to provide you with a dissertation abstract example, we recommend reading the following: 

Belgian scouting organizations face a solid necessity of additional funding. While the majority of them like Chiro and KSA are funded by volunteers and student organizations, it is vital to seek additional resources like fundraising initiatives. This study aims to determine how social media advertising and external funding options can be targeted to increase the situation. It also investigates current Covid-19 restrictions and the challenges of coming back to normal summertime functioning. In this context, external assistance is defined as a method to let sample groups brainstorm various challenges both individually and as a group. 

To test the hypothesis of this problem, both online and private surveys have been implemented to distribute information and questions across several Belgian provinces. The groups of respondents have been divided into two categories (parents and organizers). The question asked was to respond regarding the methods and range of possible fundraising options. Obtained responses have been organized based on the t-test method and medium profitability approach. The results showed little effect than it was assumed: respondents mostly decided against sponsored funding since that would introduce additional liabilities and no freedom to distribute funds on a per-need basis. 

These findings suggest that while it is beneficial to apply external funding to Belgian youth organizations, parents and staff are not yet ready to seek this kind of help yet. On this basis, it is necessary to provide deeper research and see what financial challenges are usually faced by the youth groups and why a fundraising campaign is not always an efficient option. 

An example above shows the problem's introduction, makes a research proposal, explains the methodology, discusses how samples or surveys have been collected. Next, this dissertation abstract sample analyzes what objectives were anticipated by showing how they differed. The conclusion explains general objectives that have been achieved with conclusions involved. 

When to Write An Abstract?

It is often ignored by modern students that try learning how to write an abstract for a dissertation, yet it should be written as the last part of any research. Do so only after some research has been completed. Even though some objectives may still be vague, an abstract summarizes the thesis with the main arguments of a given research. Compose ideas as a general overview of your dissertation by allowing your academic committee to understand what makes it important or what problem has been reviewed. 

Aims of an Abstract

All sample dissertation abstracts that one might encounter online should include a list of aims that state relevant research purposes clearly. Aims involve practical or theoretical issues that relevant research addresses. Offer brief information regarding social or academic importance of a chosen topic. However, keep this information short because your purpose must identify the problem. Do not refer to the future as you compose this section because your research work is supposed to be complete. If some engineering lab works are included, discuss the outcome since details are already included in the upcoming dissertation. Since this section is known as “aims”, discussing outcomes would be sufficient. 


Take another look at our sample dissertation abstract where the methodology has been discussed by offering two social groups with relevant surveys. This approach represents a good mixture of both qualitative and quantitative research methods because there are two groups involved that focus on specific answers where text content prevails. If additional data has been provided, explain your research methods in several sentences. Describe parts of your survey by explaining why it has been efficient. Do not mention obstacles or scientific challenges in this part because it will be done later than your work focuses on this section precisely. Regarding chosen methods, provide your readers with quick information regarding what scientific method has been used by explaining how it has been (or has not been) helpful. Methodology shows how well students understand various scientific approaches that help determine academic objectives. 

Research Results 

Regarding research results, these should be mentioned briefly by stating what has been achieved and how exactly. Think about the most important outcomes that can be included, then consider your work's length. This section’s length will always depend on your research type and subject. It is vital to include those elements that help your readers evaluate whether your thesis has been met. If you cannot cope with this aspect, consider checking the best dissertation service and address every challenge that you may have. Regardless if these are grammar challenges or the inability to identify main research outcomes, turning to professionals who know how to write an abstract will save time and nerves. 

Conclusion Section

Conclusion part talks about what has been achieved by relevant dissertation. One must provide a clear outcome of some central matter that has been approached by your research. Conclusions are mostly written in the present simple tense by helping your audience see that some additional points must be made. What it means is that if there are crucial limitations that have not been implemented or additional data that may add certain bias, it should be discussed briefly. Writing dissertation abstracts, one will learn that it adds to research credibility and helps avoid partial attitudes. If you aim to solve certain problems, provide recommendations for your readers or suggestions for additional academic research work. 

What is a Dissertation Abstract Keywords Section 

If you have searched online databases before, you might have seen keywords that made it possible to seek related research examples. This usually relates to papers that will be published or those that have already been in print. These are placed at the end of your abstract if necessary. While it is not obligatory, consult an academic advisor first. Abstract keywords reference all these important research elements that may help potential readers see why your paper relates to certain topics or academic problems. Remember that not every example of an abstract has the same formatting requirements for keywords because of relevant rules. If you are unsure, consider checking dissertations proofreader services to eliminate possible mistakes and meet the highest academic standards. 

Tips For Writing An Abstract 

Composing an abstract is always challenging, which is why following these three tips are essential: 

  • Check Various Abstracts Online. It helps to look up various topics that are related. Check journal article abstracts, explore scientific databases, and see what information is offered and how exactly. 

  • Consider Reverse Outlining. It’s also known as reverse engineering where you go backward from research outcomes to your introductory parts. Check each chapter and write down all important data that can be helpful.

  • Keep Only Important Information Included. No external references must be implemented because only vital data fits here. 

Dissertation abstract writing is never easy as time issues will always be there. Writing a dissertation abstract, remember that all parts of your initial research must be finished. If you still have work in progress, do not let it bring you down because it is always possible to explore writing services. Focus on abstract composition and let your concerns be handled by specialists 24/7. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Abstracts

When should I write my abstract?

It takes place when writing your dissertation proposal. It is necessary when students come up with a good dissertation idea and discuss their thoughts with an academic advisor or an assigned committee. There are some cases when a dissertation proposal abstract is not necessary, especially when parts of your project have already been accepted by the academic community. 

Can you cite sources in an abstract?

No, it’s recommended to avoid any sources. A successful dissertation abstract must be based upon your original research, not someone else's work. It must be clear enough without referencing any external sources. Include only those research aspects that are related. 

Where does the abstract go in a thesis or dissertation?

Regardless of dissertation or thesis, an abstract page must be placed on a separate page. It is usually placed after the paper's title page and academic acknowledgments. Place it before your table of contents unless specified otherwise.

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