An abstract thesis is a brief summary of a graduate or an undergraduate thesis, which is a lengthy document based on comprehensive research. It is presented in the beginning of the thesis and provides the reader with an overview of the entire content of the thesis writing.
Writing a thesis abstract is a trying, difficult job. After all the hard work you have put into your thesis writing, the last thing you want to do is to write a poor abstract. The thesis abstract is one of the most important sections of your thesis – it can be a big factor in influencing your reader to go ahead and read your thesis, and in his deciding on its importance and quality.
You should write the abstract thesis last, only after you have completed writing the final draft of your thesis. You should not write it at an earlier stage, because you will then run the risk of it’s not being as accurate as it should be.
A thesis abstract is different from other abstracts the student may have written for journal articles or conference papers, because typically it should not be more than 350 words. This is the maximum word limit required by UMI Publishing, which is an international dissertation and thesis publishing database, and most universities, too, require that their graduate students restrict their abstract thesis to 350 words. This poses a great challenge to the student, because writing a comprehensive summary of a lengthy research work in 350 words is not easy and the writing has to be very concise.
To start with, the student should attempt to write a thorough summary of the thesis he/she has just completed. This would include a discussion of the research question, a fairly detailed outline of the research methodology and a report of the findings and significance of the research project. Essentially, all the important components of the thesis should be presented in brief.
When the first draft of the thesis abstract has been written, the student has to start eliminating all excess words and information from it. Anything that has been repeated or is not essential to the understanding of the thesis should be removed. The student has to critically examine each sentence to determine whether it is indispensable to the full understanding of the entire theses, and in this way, he/she will be able to eliminate a number of sentences.
As for the language of the abstract, each sentence should be rewritten in the most concise and direct way possible. Adjectives that are not absolutely necessary and does not add to the meaning of the content should be removed and lengthy, complex sentences have to be rewritten in simpler structures. The student has to continue doing this until the abstract has been pared down to 350 words.
If the student finds this process to be too difficult to manage, he /she can take the help of a peer, friend or a teacher; a third party writer will find it easier to pare down the text than for the writer to narrow down his own work. Or he/she can also take the help of an online thesis writing service to help him out with this task.
Also, include in your abstract thesis the important words and phrases that are there in the larger document, so that a search engine can locate your thesis more easily.
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