How to Write Abstract For Thesis
You can write an abstract by giving a short summary of every essential section in your thesis. An abstract helps writers report aims, results, findings, and conclusions of a research. Other readers might initially struggle to understand the contents of your research without an abstract.
How to structure an abstract differs greatly among institutions and departments; however, you can follow a general template to ace this section. Let’s see the best way to write an abstract for your thesis and score good grades during assessment with ease.
How to Write an Abstract for Your Thesis
Step 1: Introduce Your Thesis
Begin by introducing readers to the reason behind conducting your research. You can directly state the practical problems you aim to solve in this section. Next, clearly state the research objectives of your thesis in concise terms. Do not explain anything unrelated to your research objectives
Step 2: State Methods
Next, outline the methods you used in collection and analysis of data for your thesis. You should not explain anything about the methods in this section; simply state the method and their usefulness to your thesis.
Step 3: Outline Results
After stating methods, briefly describe results observed after your analysis. You can state the accepted hypothesis based on results if such information is in your research.
Step 4: Summarize Your Discussion
Finally, summarize your discussion of results to include information drawn from the findings, a conclusion, recommendations, and suggestions for further research.
Step 5: Add keywords
You can add keywords immediately under the abstract paragraph. Three to seven keywords should be enough regardless of your abstract’s length.
When Should You Write an Abstract?
An abstract isn’t necessary in all kinds of academic essays. You’ll likely not need to write an abstract when answering a Q&A or in similar class tests. However, an abstract is a vital part of several essays, let’s see when you should be expected to write one:
- When you’re submitting a research paper proposal to an academic journal publisher
- During the writing of research proposals for a book
- When you’re writing a dissertation or thesis
- During your application for a research grant
- When you’re writing a proposal topic for your seminar presentation, etc.
You don’t have to write an abstract at the beginning of any of these essays; it might be impossible due to lack of information. Hence, you need to write your abstract at the tail end of your research, preferably at the proofreading stages.
Your abstract shows a detailed summary of your entire work and should possess the following features:
- It should stand alone – readers should find your abstract easy to understand without looking through other sections of your text
- Not filled with excerpts from your essay – an abstract shouldn’t be a copy-paste from several sections of your thesis; it should contain vital details about your essay expressed in clear terms
- Fully represent vital parts of your essay – your abstract shouldn’t leave out important details from any chapter in your essay; should deliver all vital points in a concise, understandable fashion
Tips to Write a Killer Abstract for Your Thesis
Read abstracts from other theses
There is no better way to gain insight about writing the perfect thesis than good old research. You need to check through the abstract pages of other authors and see how they structured this section. Good abstracts on theses follow the same template and it is easy to replicate when you get your hands on a reliable copy.
Summarize vital points in clear outlines
Your abstract should not contain any sentence without a purpose. All sections of your abstract should convey an idea important to the development of your thesis. It should follow the progression of your research essay and always highlight how the thesis came to be.
Using too many words will not add value to your abstract; it’s better to express all information in simple and easy-to-read terms. Concise abstracts are much easier to read than lengthy pieces, especially if you have several points to address in your research.
Use active voice throughout
Your abstract should convey 100% of its ideas in active voice. Passive voice in an abstract might indicate a lack of understanding of research problems after documenting results. Your readers need to see all information you plan to pass across in present tense throughout your essay, starting from the abstract.
Don’t use filler words or repeat sentences
The use of filler words is common when a writer doesn’t know what to add to a paragraph or entire passage. Repeating ideas in different words also falls into this category. Refrain from repeating sentences or using filler words anywhere in your abstract.
An abstract should be a summary of ideas in your topic, so you should never attempt to explain everything in this section. Vital information just enough to make readers understand the aim, results, and conclusion of your research should be enough.
Different writing styles have their separate formats to follow when writing abstracts. Check the guidelines of your writing style to know the most suitable method to present your abstract.
1. Can you cite a source in your abstract?
Citing sources in an abstract is wrong. The abstract should totally represent your aims and conclusions and not support any idea other than yours.
2. How long should an abstract be in a thesis?
An abstract should be within 200–350 words and usually isn’t longer than one standard page. Check your school’s guidelines for more information about the length of an abstract.
3. Where should the abstract be in a thesis?
The abstract usually comes after a thesis title page and before or after its table of contents. Check your school’s guidelines for proper placement, as the location of abstracts differ among institutions.
Resist the temptation to use words that might have vague meaning to the context of your research in an abstract. Your abstract should be as easy-to-read as possible, so try not to use jargons too.
Readers might become uninterested in whatever problems your research aims to solve if you use words they will struggle to comprehend. Write your abstract in clear terms, and you’ll get full scores without hassle.