Thesis abstracts are standalone texts and are useful all thesis readers and not just examiners. Often when researchers and scholars are looking for worthy content for their Literature Review, they conclude upon reading the abstract whether the entire thesis is worth a read or no. Understanding this, we know that an abstract is a reflection of the entire thesis and has high stakes attached to it.
So, what should a thesis abstract comprise? Few things to specifically take care of are:
- Length: The first and foremost place to confirm the limit of the abstract is the institutional requirement. Check that out as the first thing. On a general opinion, thesis abstract go up to two pages but sometimes people do as well, put them into one page. However, I suggest do not go very long with the abstract argument as it should just give an impression of the thesis and nothing more.
- Structure: You have different ways in which you can structure up your thesis and remember that your thesis should be a mirror to your structure and should give a brief reflection of all the important components of your thesis including the focus of the research, literature, methodology adopted and finally the outcome, results and implications.
- Equally distribution of the words: An abstract has to accommodate a lot of different components of a thesis, as discussed above. However, a lot of researchers do not take care to balance the word distribution effectively and consequently end up using majority of their word count on the problem and research questions. Consequently, the findings and outcome of the research goes unattended. You abstract should be such that it should reveal enough to bring in the attention of the reader and at the same time conceal enough to keep the reader glued to read the thesis.
It was interesting to share my views on the topic and talk about the ways to write an abstract, which otherwise remains a neglected component of the thesis but ironically, it is the reverse.