Hey there, you’re probably at the end of writing your dissertation, right?
Now it’s time to write the abstract, but how do you squeeze your entire research into
a few hundred words?
Keep watching as we go through the steps with an example!
Hi, I’m Jessica from Scribbr, here to help you achieve your academic goals.
An abstract is a short and concise summary of a longer work, such as a dissertation or
It’s usually around 150 to 300 words, but make sure to check the requirements of your
university or journal.
Always include the abstract on a separate page before the main text.
In a dissertation or thesis, it comes after the title page and acknowledgements but before
the table of contents.
In all cases, the abstract is the very last thing you write.
It should be a completely independent, self-contained text, not an excerpt copied from your paper
Here are four things you need to include in your abstract, we will go over them one by
one with an example: Your research problem and objectives
methods key results or arguments
You can start by clearly defining the purpose of your research.
What practical or theoretical problem does the research respond to, or what research
question did you aim to answer?
You can include some brief context on the social or academic relevance of your topic,
but don’t go into detailed background information.
After identifying the problem, state the objective of your research.
Use verbs like investigate, test, analyze or evaluate to describe exactly what you set
out to do.
This part of the abstract can be written in the present or past simple tense, but should
never refer to the future, as the research is already complete.
Next, indicate the research methods that you used to answer your research question.
This part should be a straightforward description of what you did in one or two sentences.
It is usually written in the past simple tense as it refers to completed actions.
Next, summarize the main research results.
This part of the abstract can be in the present or past simple tense.
Depending on how long and complex your research is, you may not be able to include all results
Try to highlight only the most important findings that will allow the reader to understand your
Finally, state the main conclusions of your research: what is your answer to the problem
The reader should finish with a clear understanding of the central point that your research has
proved or argued.
Conclusions are usually written in the present simple tense.
If there are important limitations to your research (for example, related to your sample
size or methods), you should mention them briefly in the abstract.
This allows the reader to accurately assess the credibility and generalizability of your
If your paper will be published, you might have to add a list of keywords at the end
of the abstract.
These keywords should reference the most important elements of the research to help potential
readers find your paper during their own literature searches.
Be aware that some publication manuals, such as APA Style, have specific formatting requirements
for these keywords.
Now I’ll leave you with a final tip, proofread and revise!
Make sure to check the guidelines and format your work correctly.
We have an article on formatting an APA style abstract, it’s here!
The readers should know exactly what the paper is about after reading the abstract.
So before you submit the piece of hard work you’ve been working on for months, consider
using a professional proofreading service to get rid of language errors, check your
structure, and improve your academic style.
Now it’s time to wrap that abstract up and relax!
Make sure to drop a like and subscribbr for more academic content every week!
Thanks for watching and I’ll see you in the next one.