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The Thesis Abstract – Word Economy
It is finished. And you are ready for a big break from research and writing. But before you take that break, there is just one more little task. You just need to take that huge project and thick “book” you have written and reduce it to a one-page summary. And that one-page summary has to be comprehensive enough so that anyone reading will know exactly what you did, why you did it, and what your results were. This may be one of the hardest tasks of all!
What is the Abstract?
You have probably read enough abstracts to understand what they are. And if you have, you know that every abstract has very specific components – four in all – which are the background and purpose of your research, the methodology used, the findings, and, ultimately, the conclusions you reached. Given that you must do all of this in about 250 – 280 words (one page, double-spaced), you will need to confine each component to between 60 – 65 words. A pretty tall order, especially if you have never written an abstract for such a large work before. (And you probably have not). If you find yourself really frustrated with this task, you can always get some help at Essay Republic – help from a Ph.D. writer in your field.
The Four Structural Elements of an Abstract
- Background and Importance of Your Study
The first sentences of your thesis abstract will provide a very brief statement that highlights the background to your study and then the importance of your study to your field. If you have already finished your thesis, you should have a very clear picture of the significance of what you did.
As you speak to the significance of your research, you will also need to put it in context. You should answer these questions:
- What was the reason for your research?
- Why would anyone else find it important?
Remember, this must be done in just a few short, concise sentences.
- Your Methodology
You will be answer quite a number of questions in this section of the abstract, as you summarize your broad research design (qualitative, quantitative), your more specific type of design (experimental/control, case study, ethnography, etc.), the methods (treatment, surveys, observation, etc.), and the analytical techniques your used to reach your conclusions (statistical analysis, content analysis, etc.). These are the questions you must answer:
- What was your research design
- What research methodologies were used
- What was the scope of the research
- What was the treatment if you had experimental and control groups
- What was your sample/population
- What methodologies did you use to analyze your data and reach your conclusions
Fortunately, many of the answers to these questions can be combined in a single sentence, if you use your words wisely.
- Your Findings
This section focuses on your findings. You will not be presenting data here, only the findings from that data. You will be focusing on the answer to your research question and your hypothesis. Here are the questions you will be answering:
- Did your findings answer your research question
- What were your most important findings
- What significance can you attach to your findings
- Are your findings reliable
Above all, do not be vague and do not exaggerate. Nothing is more frustrating for a researcher than to read an abstract, get excited and then access the entire work, only to be disappointed because the abstract promised more than the thesis actually delivered.
- Your Conclusions
This final section focuses on the conclusions you reached as a result of your research and the implications for your field and for future researchers. Here are the questions you will answer:
- What did you learn, and what should others take away from what you learned
- What implications are there based upon your findings
- Are there any generalizations that can be taken from your research findings
- Are there limitations which future researchers should address
Your conclusions must be stated very concisely and very honestly. Again, don’t exaggerate and be honest about the limitations. Don’t make any claims that will not be supported in the text of your thesis. You have contributed something to your field of knowledge – stick to that.
Getting the Help You Need
If you have been working on your abstract and are now on the 5th or 6th version, still not getting it right, you can stop the agony right now by contacting EssayRepublic.com. You can place an order for that abstract, upload all that you have written so far, and get a Ph.D. in your field who can frame your abstract perfectly. You have done the hard work – you have finished that thesis. Now let a abstract specialist finish the job for you!