8 Tips for Writing Your Dissertation Abstract

February 2021 by


Working on your dissertations main body is difficult enough, let alone all of the other parts that need to be checked off too. One of the most crucial parts of a dissertation is your abstract. This is how people will decide if it’s relevant for them to read or not, so you want a really clear explanation. If you’re struggling with how to write a dissertation abstract, then we’ve got plenty of tips to help you!

What is a dissertation abstract?

If you’re going to write a dissertation abstract, then you’ll obviously need a clear understanding of what it aims to do! An abstract is basically a small piece of text that summarises the aims and outcomes of your research project. In your abstract, you want to clearly outline what you have done, so the reader knows what you will be covering in the main body.

Writing your dissertation abstract

Start with your aims & objectives

When you start your dissertation abstract, you firstly want to mention the reason for your research. What is your purpose and what question(s) have you been aiming to answer? You want the reader to know clearly what your research project is about and why it’s relevant. It’s important to leave this piece of writing till the end, as after all you won’t actually know the outcome until you’ve finished!

Explain your methodology

Methodology is a slightly more complicated word for a system of methods. In this part, you want to tell the reader what methods you have used to answer your question and conduct your research. It doesn’t need to be too long and complicated, just state exactly what you decided to do in short sentences. Remember this is only a summary so you don’t need to delve in too deep just yet! It’s also important not to go into how well the methods worked just yet as that will come later – hold on!

Outline your findings

In this part, you want to tell the reader what you’ve found out from your methods. So, what did you find? Did your project successfully meet its objective(s)? If you find you don’t have room to write about everything you found here, just choose the largest overarching themes. The conclusion will outline these in more detail anyway!

Finish with a strong conclusion

Here is where you’re going to conclude everything you’ve discovered. What was the final outcome for your research question? Did it match your hypothesis? You can also mention any limitations of your research here, it’s always good to highlight these to recognise where it could be further developed.

Emphasise its significance

When potential readers look through the abstract of your dissertation, it’s to decide whether or not the topic interests them. That’s why you really need to sell the idea of your dissertation in your abstract to keep them interested. When you talk about what you’re researching, you want to emphasise why it’s significant and how it adds to current literature. This will highlight its relevance!


Speaking of keeping interest, your abstract should be no longer than one page. It should be very matter of fact and include everything it needs but nothing more. Your abstract isn’t a place to include too much detail so make sure it’s concise, they can find out further detail in the main body. That being said, it’s important you don’t miss any important steps out such as concluding or showing your findings. You don’t want to lose any easy marks here!

Look at other examples

Looking at other dissertation abstract examples can be very helpful to get a clearer idea on the piece you need to create. You can see the way they’ve broken it down and formatted it to inspire your own. There are many examples easily accessible online, check out your university library too as there’s usually some there. Sometimes seeing an example piece is all you need to help you understand how to apply the knowledge, so its good to seek one out!

Write with a confident tone

One important technique to create a good dissertation abstract is to write both professionally and confidently. You want to sound sure of what you’re writing so it’s good to avoid using phrases such as ‘I think’, try to remove your personal perspective and stay focused on using academic language. Writing with confidence and authority in your abstract will immediately sound more convincing.

If you’re getting ready to write your abstract, then hopefully these tips will help you to get started. Remember, write it last so you don’t have to keep changing it as your dissertation takes its shape. If you need any help, check out our dissertation writing services. Let us know if you have any other tips in the comment section below!



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