Want to learn how to write an abstract for a dissertation?

If so, this article is what you need. We start by defining an abstract and move on to 7 useful tips for writing it well.

To have an excellent idea of what you need to have in the end, check out some examples. Lastly, we have the ultimate checklist for whenever you want to write an abstract.

Abstract for the Dissertation — Definition

Before you learn how to write your abstract, it helps to understand what it is.

So, what is an abstract?

It is a brief of larger writing, for example, a dissertation, thesis, or research piece. The abstract highlights all the essential aspects of your piece and is presented as a stand-alone part.

A great one concisely reveals the objectives and results of your study. It makes the reader comprehend what the writing covers.

When asked to write one, do so after you’ve finished your entire text. This way, it becomes easier to write all the significant bits of your piece in the abstract.

How to write an abstract?

Here are some essential things to include:

  • Research question & objectives;
  • A concise explanation of your methodology;
  • Summary of all paramount claims & discoveries;
  • A brief statement revealing your conclusion on the subject.

Now that you understand what an abstract is, what is the ideal length?

Typically, you will have to write an abstract anywhere between 150 and 300 words. Make a point of checking your academic guides to know the exact required length.

Write your abstract on its own page, after the title and acknowledgment pages but before the table of contents.

Abstract for a Dissertation: What to Include?

What is an abstract in a dissertation?

It’s a short, well-structured write-up that touches on the essential bits of your dissertation. Its goal is to give the readers a fundamental idea of your content without requiring them to go through the entire piece.

When writing an abstract for this academic task, be sure to relay what your study was about, your intent when undertaking it, and the discoveries you made. It should entail the necessary keywords and phrases and reveal how your piece contributes to your educational discipline.

How to Write the Abstract for Your Dissertation

Want to learn how to write an abstract for a dissertation?

The first thing you have to do is think about your educational level. Here is what this means.

For a master’s thesis, you will probably have to write a shorter abstract, say 150 words at most. A Ph.D. dissertation will need an abstract of about 300 words or longer. Regardless, it has to be on a single page.

If you wish to know more about how to write an abstract for a dissertation, check your academic guides or consult your professor. Some of the things you will learn in the process include the font, spacing, contents, etc.

To write an excellent abstract, ensure the structure you adopt reflects your entire dissertation. If your piece has, say, 6 sections, you need to have a sentence dedicated to each in your abstract.

Write all of your research queries at the beginning of the abstract. Aim for, at most, 3 questions. Having them will ensure you craft a consistent piece of text.

Importantly, remember to provide your dissertation discoveries, giving them the most space. Dedicate the last few sentences to explaining and elaborating your outcomes.

Example of a Good Dissertation Abstract

Check out our dissertation abstract example to get an excellent idea of what to achieve when writing yours.

The point is to note all the different important components. These are the problem statement, background, research question, methodology, and conclusions.

Environment-focused non-profit organizations in London presently battle a huge financial constraint. This research intends to uncover how environmental agencies and bodies can identify various financial sources to benefit from donor assistance. Cognizant of the premise that donations and social distance are proportionately linked, random target populations received questionnaires for this study.

Assessment of their actions showed that the larger the distance from the organization, the stronger the donations. The findings show that physical distance from the organization impacts donation probability. In light of this development, this study recommends that environment-focused bodies and agencies factor in the physical distance when planning to roll out donation-appeal initiatives. More studies are required to help such parties understand how they can create more effective donation appeals.

The above dissertation abstract example has all the essential information, from the study’s purpose to the recommendation.

To learn more, feel free to check out other examples from us. Ask us! There is bound to be an example that will work for you.

When to Write a Dissertation Abstract

You do not learn how to write an abstract for a dissertation without understanding when to write it. Generally, it would be ideal if you crafted your abstract at the very end when writing is done.

The text should be self-supporting and crafted from scratch. A great dissertation abstract is easy to comprehend.

The most straightforward way to write it is to reflect the overall structure of your piece. In the end, your dissertation abstract will look like a smaller version of your work.

Elaborate Your Purpose

If you request any professional to teach you how to write an abstract for a dissertation, they will tell you to elaborate on your purpose.

You need to clarify your objective. You must use such words as “to test,” “investigate,” or “assess” to elaborate on what you wish to do. Avoid using the Future tense when writing this section since the study is already finished.

Here is an example:

This study evaluates the connection between alcohol consumption and depression.

Describe the Methods

Explain all the methodologies you used to address your query. This part should usually be a simple explanation of what you undertook in at most a couple of sentences.

Write in the Past tense since you are referring to past actions. Avoid discussing the pros and cons of your methods. Just highlight them.

Summarize the Discoveries

Mention the main discoveries of the research. Here, you are free to use any tense. Remember, you might have so many discoveries, so be sure to focus on the most significant only.


The study revealed a significant link between alcohol abuse and depression.

The study reveals a significant link between alcohol abuse and depression.

Write the Conclusion

You’ve got to know how to write a good abstract, right from the intro to the conclusion. Regarding the latter, close your piece by disclosing your underlying response to the research query.

Write in the Present tense and ensure that what you intended to achieve is showcased. Briefly touch on any problems arising from your study and provide recommendations if possible.

Tips to Help You Write a Great Abstract

If you do not quite know how to write a dissertation abstract, the task becomes quite challenging. Luckily, we’ve rounded up 7 excellent tips to help you manage this task.

Check them out below:

Reverse Outline to Create an Excellent Dissertation Abstract

After finishing your writing, go through the various segments, taking note of the important sections and keywords. After that, take time to refine what you had identified to make them more cohesive and consistent. The point is to create a piece that offers an excellent sneak peek of your overall study.

Refrain from Verbosity

How to write a dissertation abstract professionally?

Know that you should never exceed the word count. Given this, do not fill your work with unnecessary words, phrases, or sentences. Go straight to the point.


What is an abstract in a dissertation, and what terminology to use?

You must write the proper terminology in your abstract. It should be appropriate for your discipline to make it easy for someone to figure out where it lies.

Go Through Other Abstracts

If you wish to master how to write an abstract for a dissertation, ensure you peruse others’ tasks. This way, you will know more about structuring, language style, etc.

Ensure Clarity and Conciseness

An excellent dissertation abstract is brief and compelling. Each paragraph should be clear and relay the fundamental points. Go through your work over again, shortening it as much as possible.

Emphasize Your Research

Focus on the unique ideas that your work brings forth in the dissertation abstract. Don’t dwell on the results of others. Be sure to showcase how your study fits into your discipline as a whole.

Scrutinize the Format

There’re several formatting specifications for crafting these abstracts. Check your academic guides and follow what they demand.

The Ultimate Dissertation Abstract Checklist & Final Thoughts

Now that you comprehend what an abstract is in a dissertation, below are some essentials to check out when you write.

Ensure that you write and fulfill all of these things:

  • Abide by the specified number of words;
  • Put abstract after the title & acknowledgment pages but before the contents;
  • Give the study issue and intent;
  • Elaborate on your methodologies;
  • Reveal the most paramount discoveries;
  • Give your conclusions;
  • Mention major problems and recommendations;
  • Ensure the writing is easy to comprehend.

Are you having trouble writing an abstract for your dissertation? If so, then this guide is sure to help you.

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