To make an early impact when writing a PhD thesis, here's how to ensure your abstract is well formatted, adds value and accurately describes your research.

How to Improve Your Abstract when Writing a PhD Thesis

There can never be too much advice when it comes to writing a PhD thesis. Despite this, many examiners still complain of poorly structured findings, confusing abstracts and misleading titles. This is something that academics must work to avoid if they want their research to be taken seriously.

To help you make an early impact when writing a PhD thesis, the following checklist is a guide to follow to ensure your abstract is not only properly formatted, but also adds value to your overall thesis and accurately describes what you have discovered:

Check The Length Of Your Abstract

One of the first ways to improve your abstract is to have a proper word count. Typically an abstract should be between 175 words to 300 words in length, and no more than two paragraphs long. It should give an overview of the entire PhD thesis structure, and must clearly outline the original contribution of your research. In fact, if you cannot compress your argument into a single statement, then some supervisors suggest that this signifies problems with your method, theory or structure.

Provide Adequate Information On The Elements Of The Abstract

Next, consider how much information the abstract provides about particular elements. For instance, no more than 50 words should be focused on the work of others or previous literature, and your methods should be described in a maximum of 120 words. The new facts you have discovered or conclusions you have come to should make up the majority of your abstract, as long as they fit into your word limit. Avoid any obscurity in this particular element by dedicating your writing to substantial facts about your discovery. Finally, assign at least 30 words to motivate your readers to finish your finalised paper.

Remove Unnecessary Wording

Take precaution not to use unnecessary wording in your abstract. Avoid filler language in all areas and focus on the main idea. Also make sure that the overview of your PhD thesis structure and the description of your research is in the present tense.

Make The First Three Lines Informative

The first three lines should be the most informative part of the abstract, conveying exactly what your research entails. Make sure you clearly communicate the subject of the piece and the usefulness of the research in these first few sentences, enticing the reader to turn the page and discover more.

Check Your Title In Google Scholar

Once the abstract is complete, test it in Google Scholar by typing the entire title in double quotes into the search bar. Note how many results appear. If there are few, you are in good shape. If there are many, you should consider revising the title to make it more unique. If the search shows that you are using terms and phrases that have the same meaning you used, this is another good sign that your abstract is relevant (and will rank high in search engine results if your thesis goes on to be published).

Writing a PhD thesis is an enormous task, and your abstract an important component of it, so do not hesitate to seek assistance from dissertation writing services if you feel it will benefit you. Your abstract should be as inventive and unique as possible, whilst holding true to the research you are providing, so be sure it makes an impact by using it as an opportunity to set accurate expectations.

A note from our Academic Director: Please be aware that word counts may vary depending on your discipline. Do not hold tightly to the suggested word counts above, but use them as a guideline when crafting the elements of your abstract. If in doubt, do contact us!