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How To Write A Great Dissertation Abstract

dissertation abstract

Definition Of A Dissertation Abstract

A dissertation abstract is a crucial part of this complex type of academic paper. Coming at the start of the dissertation, an abstract is a short description (call it summary) of your work that helps to get the reader up to speed on the aim and outcome of the study.

Although the abstract is located at the beginning of the dissertation, you should write it at the very end so that you have the entire report to summarize. So, here are the main things that you need to include in an abstract.

  1. Dissertation objective and research problem
  2. Research methods
  3. Study results
  4. Conclusion

In most cases, the abstract in dissertation is pretty short, about 150-300 words. However, different universities have varying limitations on length, so check the guideline from your department.

Dissertation Abstract Sample

Osho, also known as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, was a significant spiritual leader of the late 20th century. His teachings relied heavily on Buddhism, but were an amalgam of belief systems, philosophy, and spiritual practice. Osho wrote prolifically and focused on assisting his followers in attaining enlightenment through various means, including meditation and physical movement such as spontaneous dance.


When writing an abstract, you start by providing a clear purpose of your study. Here, you need to be as precise as possible and answer the questions: What exact practical and or theoretical problem does your study address? What research questions did you want to answer?

Although he died in 1990, his teachings live on, and his followers can be found world-wide, and at his ashram or university located at Pune, India. Osho endured some negative publicity concerning his ashram in the United States, but was never shown to be complicit in any wrong-doing.

Research problem

When working on the research problem, it is prudent to appreciate that the research problem comes in Chapter One of the dissertation, right? Therefore, you should craft the abstract as the last item on your dissertation. This means that you will have already formulated the questions, answered them, and made realignments where necessary.
With the problem clear, you also need to use the right tenses. Think of the reader as a person you are guiding in the journey through the dissertation. As such, you should ensure that the abstract is done in past or simple tenses. Because the study is already completed, you should not refer to the future.

His teachings have endured, and in addition to providing spiritual uplifting, can be used in the context of encouraging emotional and mental stability. This study will review original writings of Osho, using Chaudhuri’s writings about depression, suffering and death as a framework. Its intent is to provide both academic information and practical guidance.


Once you have presented the aims of the study, you should move on to highlight the methods briefly. The goal is to show the reader what research methods were used to answer the study questions. Try to make this part straightforward because most of the details will be provided in the Methods Chapter. Again, the part is also written in the simple past tense.
• Wrong: Observations will be conducted on ….
• Right: Observations were done on the ….
Note that at this point, you should not start analyzing the validity of the study. Simply offer a quick view of the approach and procedures that were used.
After the methods, you should also briefly outline the results that you got during the study. This implies that by the time a reader is through with the abstract, he should be able to know the objectives, study methods, and results. Again, the results should be presented in the past simple or present tense.
Note that it might not be possible to capture all the results if your study was very complex or long. So, what should you do in such a situation? Make sure to highlight the most important parts of the results.

Data will be collected using qualitative methods of transcendental phenomenology, combined with content analysis, and subjectively reviewed through participatory epistemology.

Use of tenses

Your abstract, as shown here, should tell the reader what study methods were used during the study. Remember that the study has already been done, therefore, you are reporting, so, you should use past or present tenses.

This study will add to the literature concerning Osho’s many works, with the practical application regarding depression and other emotional issues underlying the review.


Because the abstract is an independent part, it should be complete, which means that it should also have a concluding part. In this part, you should highlight what the conclusion of your – research was. Simply put – what was the answer to the study question of the study?
Make sure to present the conclusion in the present simple tense. If there were important limitations that impacted the study findings, ensure to include them here too.

Keywords: Osho, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, Meditation, Enlightenment, Depression, Spirituality


Finally, list the major keywords to be addressed in the further study.

How to Write a Dissertation Abstract

Once done with the dissertation, the abstract should be on its own page, immediately after the dissertation title page, and acknowledgements, but prior to the table of content. So, how do you write an abstract?


To craft a winning abstract, you should start by defining the study purpose. So, tell the reader about the theoretical or practical problem that the study is responding to. Also, indicate the research questions that the study seeks to answer.

Note that when writing the abstract, you can either use past or present tense. See the two examples below, showing two things: how not to write it, and how to write it.

 Wrong: This study will evaluate the relationship between use of computer games and violence among teenagers.
 Right: This study investigates the relationship between the use of computer games and violence among teenagers.


The next item on writing an abstract for a dissertation is indicating the research methods that you used. Indeed, you should make this as straightforward as possible. Note that you should not go into details of analyzing the validity of the study or obstacles. See the examples below:

 Wrong: Interviews will be done with 30 participants.
 Right: Interviews were conducted with 25 participants.


When it comes to the results, you need to summarize them. You can do this part in the past simple tense or present tense. See the example below:

 Wrong: Our analysis has shown a great correlation between the use of violent games and violence in teenagers.
 Right: Our analysis demonstrated a strong correlation between the use of violent computer games and violence in teenagers.
 Right: Our analysis shows a strong correlation between the use of violent computer games and violence in teenagers.


This is the last section of your dissertation abstract. Here, you need to provide a direct answer to the research question in your study. The goal is to ensure that the reader will clearly understand the core argument in the study. Note that conclusions in abstracts are done in past participle.

 Wrong: We concluded that violent computer games increase the risk of violence in teenagers.
  Right:We conclude that violent computer games increase the risk of violence in teenagers.


If your dissertation will be published, your department might require that you provide a list of keywords at the bottom of the abstract. The keywords reference the most crucial elements of the study to help readers to easily navigate through your paper to search for specific details.

You might want to check other top dissertations to understand how to write a winning dissertation abstract.

Pro Tips for Writing Abstract for Dissertation

At this point, we must indicate that summarizing a whole dissertation using a few paragraphs is not a simple task. But because the abstract is the first thing that readers get when reading your dissertations, it is very important that you get it right. So, here are some useful tips to guide you.

  • The abstract of a dissertation should give a summary of the entire dissertation. So, consider summarizing every section of the dissertation, and putting the summaries together to form the abstract.

  • Read other dissertation abstract examples to learn how other writers did their abstracts. Take a keen interest in how another top writer summarized his work in the abstract example dissertation. Then, try to make a better abstract for your dissertation.

  • Make sure to write concisely. A great abstract should be short and to the point. Therefore, you need to ensure that every word you use when writing a dissertation counts.

  • Strictly follow the guidelines provided by your department. In most universities, the guidelines for writing dissertations are provided by individual departments. So, make sure that you understand these formatting guidelines and strictly follow them.

  • Work with your supervisor. When writing your dissertation, it is important to involve your supervisor at every stage. Having supervised other dissertations, your supervisor will be able to tell you if you are on the right track or not. If he/she recommends that you make changes, stick to the recommendations.

Dissertation Abstract Checklist

In addition to the above tips and guide, use the checklist below to ensure your dissertation abstract has all the required components. You might also want to check how a different dissertation abstract example brought out the components in the checklist.

Abstract Checklist

Seek Help from Professional Dissertation Writers

The abstract is one of the most important parts of a dissertation because it helps to introduce the whole argument in the dissertation to the reader. Therefore, you have to get it right. Using our guide and expert tips, you can now get started with crafting a winning dissertation abstract. But even with the guide and a good dissertation abstract example, many students still find it a challenge. Well, do not get stuck or stressed about writing a dissertation abstract because help is only a click away. Seek help from professional dissertation writers.

Expert thesis writers have a deep understanding of what is an abstract in a dissertation, and vast experience in similar works. Whether it is your dissertation which was complicated, time is limited, or feel worn out after the lengthy writing process, professional help is all that you need. Well, why risk getting it wrong when expert writing help is easily available?

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