Reading Uni Dissertation
It should be able to stand alone in representing why and how you did what you did, and what the results and implications are.It is often only one page long, and there may be a word limit to adhere to.“I know I’m good at writing so I can leave it to later”.“I want to get everything sorted out in my mind before I start writing or I’ll just end up wasting my time re-writing”.This may be one of the shortest sections of your thesis or dissertation, but it is worthwhile taking great care to write it well.Essentially, the Abstract is a succinct summary of the research.
For example a scientific dissertation would probably have very clear separation between the results and the discussion of those results; whereas a social science dissertation might have an overall chapter called Findings, bringing the results and their discussion together.
It can be best to write the Abstract last, once you are sure what exactly you are summarising.
Alternatively it can be useful to write the abstract earlier on, as an aid to identifying the crucial main thread of your research, its purpose, and its findings, which could then guide the structure of the dissertation.
It will also provide you with a framework to refer back to in your discussion chapter, when you reflect on the extent to which your research has achieved what it set out to do.
In these chapters a straightforward description is required of how you conducted the research.