When it comes to writing a dissertation abstract, samples are the greatest teachers

It's true in so many aspects of life and particularly in education that good samples or good examples of a particular piece of writing creates a wonderful learning opportunity. We learn by reading the good work of good writers. So if you are to create an abstract for your dissertation, there is no better way of learning the art of good abstract writing than by looking at samples freely available online or possibly even in your school or college library.

You can tell by the comments provided by the examiner that the work you are reading is an example of quality. This is important. Reading dissertation abstracts which are poorly written will not help you improve your homework. So track down some good samples and look them over. And in so doing, what are you looking for?

An abstract is a mini dissertation in itself

The best advice is that you won’t write your dissertation abstract until you have finished your dissertation. How could you? Well in fact there are some people who believe you can write your abstract or at least parts of it as you are writing your actual dissertation. As you make a major point or significant contribution to your dissertation, in a separate file or on a separate piece of paper you make a note of that major item. That will appear in your abstract.

But the things to look out for in writing your abstract are quite simple and include the following.

  • What have you included in your dissertation?
  • Why have you included that information in your dissertation
  • How did you create your dissertation?
  • What have you discovered in writing your dissertation?
  • How important are the findings of your dissertation?

Now as you study the various samples of the various dissertation abstracts, you should do so with this list of questions beside you. You can then construct your own abstract by providing answers to these same questions. Remember the abstract is a mini version of your dissertation but nevertheless it is a work in its own right.

Anyone reading your abstract should have a complete albeit less detailed idea of what your dissertation is all about. The beauty of a good abstract is that it makes you want to read the completed doctorate dissertation. When you write your abstract is up to you. How you write it can be determined by answering the questions above.