The Appetizer of Your Dissertation or Thesis Feast

Before you write a dissertation abstract of your thesis or dissertation, you need to consider your very first thoughts about how you wanted to conduct your research paper. If you have already written Chapter I of your research paper, read through it to get a feel for the most basic yet organized skeleton you have so far. The abstract follows shortly after your dissertation title page and is the “quick pitch” to inform readers about the framework and summary of your research. When you write a dissertation abstract it should consist of only one or two pages of double-spaced font of the same size and style as the rest of your paper. Despite the short length of the abstract, you need to answer several questions in the abstract. After reading the abstract, readers should know what your questions were going into the dissertation or thesis, what your hypotheses regarding these questions were, what philosophical frameworks you are using to guide your study, what scientific methods you used to collect data, and whether your analysis is qualitative or quantitative. Before you write a dissertation abstract, read the title of your thesis and dissertation, and consider all the questions that someone with no knowledge of your research might have about your research topic. Better yet, talk with a colleague or professor who doesn’t know much about your project. This should help you note some things that readers would want answered in your abstract. Most importantly, you want to include a summary of your results when you write a dissertation abstract. Inform readers what you have accomplished without making them read through your entire work. If you want your thesis or dissertation to ultimately be published as a manuscript, then you should write a dissertation abstract that will appeal to both experienced colleagues and casual readers. Also, remember to include key terms in your abstract so that your work will be easily found in journals and databases. Finally, toward the end of your abstract, you should state the larger goal for your research or how you envision your findings and results improving society.

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