How to Write an Abstract for a Dissertation

A dissertation abstract serves as a window into your scholarly work, providing readers and potential researchers with a snapshot of your study. Therefore, writing a concise, informative, and compelling abstract is a critical skill for any academic researcher. This guide will explore the key steps for crafting an effective nursing dissertation abstract.

What is a  Dissertation Abstract?

A dissertation abstract is a concise and comprehensive summary of your entire research study presented at the beginning of your dissertation. It typically includes the preface, research question, methodology, key findings, and conclusions, providing readers with an overview of the work without delving into its detailed content.

This brief yet informative summary allows potential readers to quickly identify the purpose and significance of your research and decide whether to read the entire document.

What is the Purpose of an Abstract?

The purpose of an abstract is manifold and serves to benefit both the author and potential readers:

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  • Snapshot of the Research: The abstract offers a quick overview of the entire research, allowing readers to grasp the essence of the dissertation without reading it in full.
  • Aids in Decision-Making: By summarizing the key elements of the research, an abstract helps readers decide whether the dissertation aligns with their interests and is worth reading in detail.
  • Enhances Discoverability: Abstracts are often indexed in academic databases, helping researchers find relevant work during literature searches.
  • Facilitates Understanding: The abstract prepares readers for the content they are about to explore, setting the context and highlighting the central focus of the research.
  • Promotion of Research: Abstracts serve as a tool for researchers to share and promote their work within the academic community and beyond.

How Long Should an Abstract Be?

An abstract should be concise yet comprehensive enough to encapsulate the key elements of a dissertation. Generally, the length of a dissertation abstract should be between 300 to 500 words in length. Within this word limit, it should present the research question, methodology, key findings, and conclusions.

Staying within this range ensures that the abstract is brief enough to be quickly scanned by readers and substantive enough to convey the essential information about the dissertation. 

How Do You Write a Good Dissertation Abstract?

A well-structured dissertation abstract should encapsulate the core aspects of your research. So, what should a dissertation abstract include? Here are the key components that should be included:

Aim of the Research

The aim of the research serves as the compass that directs the course of the study. It is outlined at the beginning of a dissertation abstract to provide readers with a clear understanding of the purpose and objectives of the research. 

In this section, the researcher clearly states the research question or problem being addressed, ensuring that the scope and intention of the study are evident. Crafting a well-defined aim sets the stage for the rest of the abstract, guiding readers through the methodology, findings, and conclusions that follow.

Research Methodology

In a dissertation abstract, the research methodology section describes the approach to exploring the research question or problem. By outlining the research design, methods of data collection, and analysis techniques, this section provides readers with a glimpse into the framework that underpins the study.

For instance, the abstract may mention whether the research employed a qualitative, quantitative, or mixed-methods design. It might briefly touch upon the data collection methods, such as surveys, interviews, experiments, or observations.

Additionally, mentioning the analysis techniques, such as statistical analysis, thematic analysis, or comparative analysis in your discussion can provide insight into how the data was processed and interpreted.

Outcomes of the Research

In the outcomes section of a dissertation abstract, the key findings or results of the study are concisely summarized. This section is vital as it provides readers with an understanding of what was discovered through the research process.

The outcomes are presented in a way that directly addresses the research question or problem stated in the aim. Significant data, patterns, or trends that emerged from the study are highlighted, giving readers a sense of the research’s contributions to the field.

For example, an abstract might mention the discovery of a positive correlation between two variables, the identification of specific themes from qualitative data, or the statistical significance of particular findings.


The conclusion of a dissertation abstract synthesizes the key findings and articulates their broader implications. It explains the research by drawing connections between the results and the initial research question or problem, thereby providing a sense of closure and completeness.

In this section, the researcher discusses how the findings contribute to the existing body of knowledge and highlights any significant breakthroughs or insights that have emerged. The conclusion may also touch upon the practical applications of the research, suggesting how the findings could be implemented or utilized in real-world scenarios.

Moreover, the conclusion often points towards potential avenues for future research, suggesting how subsequent studies could build upon the current findings or explore related questions.

Keywords (if required)

Some institutions or publications may require authors to include a list of keywords as part of the dissertation abstract. Keywords are specific words or phrases that capture the essence of a research study. They play a crucial role in cataloging research in academic databases and ensuring that the work is discoverable by those interested in similar dissertation topics.

By choosing appropriate and relevant keywords, researchers enhance the visibility of their work, making it accessible to a wider audience. These keywords should reflect the core themes, methods, and subject matter of the research.

For instance, if a study explores the impact of mindfulness practices on nursing staff’s mental health, the keywords could include terms like “mindfulness,” “mental health,” “nursing staff,” and “well-being.”

When do You Write an Abstract?

Deciding when to write an abstract while preparing a dissertation or a research paper is important for ensuring that the abstract accurately represents the content of the document. Here are some considerations:

  • After Completing the Research: Writing a dissertation abstract after you have finished your research ensures that you have a complete understanding of your findings and their implications. It allows you to summarize the entire scope of your work.
  • Before Submission: The abstract is usually one of the last sections to be written before submitting a research paper, dissertation or thesis. This is because it needs to encapsulate the final and polished version of your research.
  • Prior to Conference or Journal Submissions: If you are submitting your research to an academic conference or journal, the abstract is typically required as part of the initial submission process. This helps reviewers determine the relevance and potential interest in your work.
  • During Grant Applications: If you are applying for research funding or grants, you may be required to provide an abstract detailing your proposal.

Nursing Dissertation Abstract Examples

Below are two examples of abstracts for hypothetical nursing dissertations. The first is an example of a well-written abstract, while the second demonstrates a less effective approach.

Example of A Good Abstract

Title: The Impact of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction on Job Satisfaction and Burnout Levels Among Nursing Staff


This research explores the efficacy of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) programs in enhancing job satisfaction and reducing burnout among nursing staff in acute care settings. A randomized controlled trial was conducted involving 200 nursing professionals, with participants being evenly divided into a control group and an intervention group undergoing an 8-week MBSR program. The study employed quantitative methods, utilizing the Maslach Burnout Inventory and the Job Satisfaction Survey for data collection. The results indicated a significant reduction in burnout levels and increased job satisfaction among nursing staff who participated in the MBSR program compared to the control group. These findings underscore the potential benefits of incorporating mindfulness practices in healthcare settings to improve the well-being and job satisfaction of nursing professionals. Future research could explore long-term impacts and applicability across different healthcare environments.

Keywords: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, nursing staff, job satisfaction, burnout, acute care settings.

What Makes This a Good Abstract?

The abstract is clear, concise, and provides a complete overview of the research, including the aim, methodology, outcomes, and conclusion. It is written in a formal academic tone and uses precise language.

Example of A Bad Abstract

Title: A Study on Stress and Satisfaction Levels in Nurses


This research is about studying if mindfulness can help nurses in their jobs. We talked to some nurses and asked them about their stress. Some nurses did some mindfulness activities. After the activities, some nurses felt less stressed. We think that mindfulness can maybe help nurses in their work. This study is important because nurses are important.

Keywords: nurses, mindfulness, work, stress.

What Makes This a Bad Abstract?

The abstract is vague, lacks specificity in terms of methodology and findings, and is written in an informal tone. It does not adequately convey the significance of the research or its implications.

Conclusion on How to Write an Abstract for a Dissertation

Writing a nursing dissertation abstract requires a careful distillation of your research into a concise yet informative summary. By ensuring clarity, precision, and relevance, you can craft an abstract that effectively communicates the significance of your work to your readers and peers in the academic community.

Crafting a compelling dissertation abstract is your ticket to drawing readers into your research. Trust our nursing dissertation writing service to craft your paper into a concise and engaging piece. Place your order now and ensure your dissertation captivates your audience.

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