Professional Dissertation Help: How To Create An Abstract

An abstract is a descriptive or informative document that contains the key points of a larger work. An abstract’s content depends upon the area the larger work is in: An abstract of a scientific or social sciences work will contain the objectives, scope, purposes, results and conclusion of the larger document, while an abstract of a humanities work will have thesis, arguments, research and conclusion of the larger document. The abstract is a strong, concise, and forceful summary of the work it deals with. The general guidelines of writing an abstract are as follows:

  • Learn whether the abstract is meant to be descriptive or informative. A descriptive abstract is usually shorter (100-150 words) than an informative (200+ words) one.
  • Keep the following process questions in mind:

    1. Why are you writing it?
    2. What is the problem that this work attempts to solve?
    3. Which of the various methodologies (scientific work), or evidence (other works e.g. literature) is used to derive results?
    4. What are the results or findings?
    5. What are the implications of the findings or results?

  • Cite the sources before starting the abstract.
  • The general rule is that you arrange the information in descending order of importance. This means that you should write the most important information first.
  • The language of the abstract should be the same as the language of the original, larger work. Use the same technical terms, phrases, and key points.
  • The abstract should contain the keywords and phrases that give the gist of the larger work. This helps in two ways:

    1. By stating all the keywords, phrases, and focus of the larger document (e.g. dissertation), you allow a reader to quickly determine whether this document is worth reading in detail for him or her. In addition, it allows a researcher to find out if the larger work is in fact what he is looking to read.
    2. In an online library, abstracts are indexed to give quick results. An abstract’s keywords will make it searchable for anyone looking for those keywords. Topics and titles usually do not contain enough information for a reader to determine its relevance. Most readers and researchers will go through online abstracts to find out more about the topic and the larger work.

  • An abstract does not require you to include definitions; too many references to other works or new information that is not part of the larger work are also not called for.

After finishing the abstract, do not just let it lie. Keep rereading, revisiting, and revising it frequently. Edit it to remove unimportant or weak words and replace them with strong and meaningful language.