Brief Tutorial On How To Write A Master's Dissertation Abstract


The abstract for your dissertation can seem quite overwhelming at first. If you take the time to study about what is expected in the abstract, it won’t seem as challenging. First of all, read through the following questions and answers to get a better idea of what you need to do.

What is the abstract?

  • An essential part of your dissertation

  • Presented at the beginning

  • Is a summary or description of your project and paper

  • Functions as a stand-alone text

  • Takes the place of your paper for those who don’t have time to read the entire document

What should the size and structure be?

  • For the master’s level, usually 150 words is the maximum. For the doctoral level, 350 words is the standard.

  • The structure should be a mirror of the whole paper

  • Represents all the major elements of the paper

  • One or more sentences should be used to summarize each chapter

What about the results?

  • One common error in writing abstracts is the omission of the results Tell readers what you discovered

  • Back your claims

  • It’s a good rule of thumb to use the last half of your abstract to summarize and interpret results

What are some useful phrases to use within the abstract?

Introductory sentences could include:

  • Examines the role of

  • Investigates the effects of

  • Introduces the concept of

  • Examine the relationship between these two things

  • Propose a model of

Sentences describing the research strategy:

  • In-depth case studies of

  • Several methods to test

  • Comparative analysis of

  • Data was collected from these sources

The major findings section:

  • The findings illustrate that

  • The impact is more complex than previously assumed

  • Suggests the effects of

  • Contrary to our predictions

The conclusion should include phrases such as:

  • The findings support the prediction

  • The conclusion offers insights into

  • The results provide support for the key questions

These phrase ideas will get you started on writing what is expected for each section of your master’s dissertation abstract. You don’t have to use all of them; they are meant to be a guideline. You may alter some of them to read a little differently. These phrases show you what type of information should be included in each section. They also give you a starting point if you aren’t sure how to write it.

It’s best to sit down and just start composing. Let the words freely come onto the page. You can always go back and edit later.

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