• Doctoral dissertation abstracts: mastering separate parts of your paper

    An abstract is a short and straight to the point summary of a larger piece, presumably in this case of the dissertation paper. An abstract usually contains the purpose, thesis, theoretical background, and the results of the research study. It is important to note that it is not a review. Continue reading to learn more about the ins and outs of mastering a doctoral dissertation paper.

    Basic Guidelines

    A dissertation abstract should be a brief paragraph that introduces your reader to the thesis and purpose of your dissertation paper. It should be between 250-300 words. Introduce the overall area of study and make your general argument within the first two sentences. Do not state any quotes or data in the abstract. Some people follow the seven sentence structure which is a good rule to follow. It allows the reader to scan the dissertation ideals quickly to get an overview of what to expect within the dissertation paper.


    Anytime you are conducting research, you must note a problem. Within your abstract make sure that you are noting the topic of discussion. Make sure that you write as objectively as possible and that you keep your opinions non-judgmental.


    This is a great place to use your problem solving skills. You will clearly state how the problem can be solved.


    Keep the listing of your results to a minimum. Most scholars recommend stating no more than two of your nest results. Do not worry if the results are not in your favor. It’s been reported that even if results do not support the method, it does not sway readers away.


    State the main conclusion. This should be summed up in one sentence. Do not go into drastic details. It will be tempting to completely explain your theories and beliefs, but leave the reader wanting more; so they will continue reading.

    It is important to be straight to the point when writing your abstract, but you do not want to make it dull. You still want the abstract to set the tone of the entire paper; therefore, you want to ensure that you draw the reader in. If you decide to write an abstract that will possibly become published in the future, the abstract can be used as an index, which simply means this is what people will read before they choose your book. Keeping these facts in mind while writing will make your dissertation phenomenal.