A dissertation abstract is one of the most misunderstood, highly overlooked, and difficult parts of a report for many learners to conquer. Yet, in reality, a dissertation abstract is relatively easy to write. College students read dissertation abstracts regularly without realizing that they are doing so. As part of the research for many of the articles that a learner will be required to write in college, that student will peruse dozens, maybe hundreds, of abstracts, including dissertation abstracts. Reading these abstracts thoroughly will give students a good idea about what purpose dissertation abstracts serve and how to write them.
A dissertation abstract serves as a short summary of a college report. Although they appear at the beginning of an academic article, dissertation abstracts are usually the last part of the document that is written. This is because it is nearly impossible to write a summary of a document that has not yet been written.
The dissertation abstract is rarely more than one or two paragraphs of text which summarizes the results. It generally also includes the thesis. Dissertation abstracts are found in journals, journal article and dissertation listings, and they are sometimes included in a job applicant's curriculum vitae or resume. The dissertation abstract serves as a brief summary of the report which helps readers and researchers determine if the entire paper is something they need, or want, to read.
Although some college report abstracts can be up to two pages long, the shorter the better. When preparing a dissertation for a journal or for use on a CV, it is advisable to limit the abstract to no more than 500 words. Dissertation abstracts should also make use of keywords. Keywords are words or phrases that a student or researcher might use to search within a database for a dissertation pertinent to their own studies.
For instance, if a university report is about the use of drugs on college campuses, the report abstract should make use of keywords such as "drugs," "college," "drug use," "drugs on campus," and other words and phrases which pertain to the topic. One way a student can make sure that he or she uses the right keywords and keyword phrases is to think about what words and phrases he or she might use to find a similar reference project.
Although, it is difficult to summarize what is often a dissertation of a hundred or more pages into a few short paragraphs, it is important to write a thorough dissertation abstract that is truly representative of the report study. Since dissertation abstracts serve so many important functions, there is no doubt students should pay particular attention to creating the best abstract possible.
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