prompts for thesis

Writing A Doctoral Dissertation Summary: Expert Advice

What is a doctoral dissertation summary?

A doctoral dissertation abstract is the professional representation of the thesis in a specific discipline or subject carried by a postgraduate student in a highly condensed form. It is usually written at the beginning and is most significant part of the thesis presenting a substantial description of the work carried out. It should sound interesting and compel the examiner to go through the entire thesis.

The doctoral abstract summary should serve as a standalone text. An abstract is not just an introduction with preface or preamble instead it is the substitute of the entire thesis where readers go through it in case of insufficient time.

Go through the following guidelines while writing a doctoral dissertation summary.

Size and structure:

  • In case of visual coherence, you should confine it to 280 words or a double spaced page. In Canada the word count of the doctoral dissertation should not be more than 350 words.
  • In case the thesis comprises of five chapters like introduction, literature review, methodology, results and conclusion, you should write one to two sentences on each summarizing each chapter.
  • Frame clear research questions where questions are coherent and logically structured. They should act as a skeleton that sticks other elements.
  • Questions should be presented in the beginning of the thesis abstract.
  • Restructure your research questions if you have more than three questions in your thesis.
  • The doctoral dissertation abstract offers a hint to the reader regarding the argumentative topic in hand.
  • The dissertation summary should initiate with the general area of study carried in which your topic will intervene. Ensure that in the very first two sentences your central argument comes into picture and is discussed.
  • Your abstract should follow a methodological approach that you have employed while analyzing your topic.
  • Offer a strong and succinct description where you inform your readers about the significance of the study carried. Inform them why it is worthwhile and what is so distinctive about the topic.
  • Never quote the names of other scholars while writing the abstract. No excessive detailing should be involved. Prevent listing of the chapters too.

The most common mistakes committed by students

  • Most of them fail to present the result in their abstract.
  • The chief motto of the research is to inform the reader as in what have you discovered as part of the research and not ‘how you did that’.
  • Other information like methods employed is cited just to support your claims as in how you derived the results.

Your focus should have an overview in a concise fashion.

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