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Essential Rules For Writing Proper Ph.D. Dissertation Abstracts

A dissertation abstract is essentially a short and concise, but commanding statement that describes the longer work of your actual thesis. It is not a review or an evaluation of your thesis, but rather a descriptive summary of the main points you have included in your dissertation. It is a separate document from your thesis and should be treated as such.

Granted, it can be challenging to summarize your entire thesis into so few words, but as it must be done nonetheless, here are few rules to follow that will make composing it a lot easier. Pay close attention to these rules as if you don’t follow them that could lead to your abstract being written incorrectly.

Essential rules for properly written abstracts

  • A complete source citation should be at the beginning of the abstract.
  • Your abstract should present the most important and vital information first, immediately following the source citation.
  • Make sure you use the same style and type of language that you used in writing your thesis. This is very important.
  • Use key phrases and words that bring the content and focus of your work clearly to the reader’s mind. As the abstract is a short document, you do not have a lot of time or space for elaborate wording.
  • Use clear language that is straight and to the point. Do not be vague or conceptual.
  • Only use the same material that has already been used in your actual dissertation. You can absolutely not add any new material. This is a strict technical writing rule and should not be ignored.
  • The abstract should not feature any tables or figures. This is another absolute technical writing rule.
  • Do not simply copy and paste from your thesis. Summarize by rewording it to encapsulate the main and vital points.
  • Your abstract should only be written after your thesis is completed. If you write it before, you will only have to rewrite it in the end, so don’t waste your time.

There are a few other things that can improve your abstract, if should you choose to include them. Among these are:

  • Information about background research that lends clarity to where your work stands among other already published works.
  • A structure that is chronologically similar to your thesis.

If you make sure to adhere strictly to these essential rules, you can ensure that your dissertation abstract will be a strong and concisely written paper that will be to your credit.

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