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Understanding Dissertation Abstracts

03 Mar 2017

In order to understand what a dissertation abstract it is important to know that a dissertation is part of the work been done, however, it is an extended piece separate from the work. An abstract, on the other hand, gives a short review of the research and is basically an encapsulation of the general dissertation. 
The thesis statement of this article is to help you understand the structure of a dissertation abstract, how to write it and where it is used.

The structure 

A dissertation abstract can be best structured by fully understanding the gravity of your research since every section should show the weight of the research work that has been done. He should at least have these four major components which include: The background, the body, the findings and finally the conclusion.

The background gives a brief history of the topic being studied and explains the purpose of the research. In simple terms, it outlines the objectives of the study, for example, one of the statements we are likely to encounter is, the research investigates...

Academic work can begin in various forms i.e. by introducing a hypothesis, by introducing questions, or by introducing the goals. 
The body explains how information was obtained e.g. if questionnaires were used, the people interviewed, places visited, tests were done e.tc. How the data obtained was analyzed and measured should be clearly illustrated in the body.

The findings are the most important part since they address the results of the study and how the information obtained has enabled achievement of objectives.
In conclusion, the way forward is the topic discussion in this section since it duels on the motion of, “Now that we have learned… we should….”

How to write it

Firstly, to write a good dissertation abstract the structure explained above should be adhered to in order to answer the questions of what was done?

  • Why was it done?
  • How was it done?
  • What were the findings?
  • And What is the way forward?

The writing process has the following techniques reverse outlining, “cut and paste' and identifying keywords.
Revise outlining involves writing down the ideas of the study on a separate notebook and later skimming them to one statement.

Cut and paste involve reading through the research and then you cut and paste the statements of interests. This statement will then be isolated separately for future review.
Identifying keywords in the research that show the purpose of the work is important in writing the abstract.

Where it is used

Dissertation abstracts are used in various events, such as: Applying for research grants, writing a proposal for a conference paper, when typing a book proposal, when completing the Ph.D. proposal or M.A. thesis and also submitting articles to journals.

Conclusion

A dissertation abstract is very easy to type if one follows the structure by understanding the reason for writing, the problem, the methodology, results and finally implications.

It is important to note that he should not contain information that is not in the original work.

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