Not many types of papers require an abstract, so it is normal not to be familiar with what it is and how to construct one properly. You may have heard of them before or seen them in books or articles you have read but still not know exactly what it’s for. This article will provide the basic information on what an abstract is and how to put one together for your MBA dissertation.
What is an Abstract?
In short, the abstract summarizes your dissertation. It is often confused with an introduction but don’t fall prey to this because the point of your abstract is to sum up the main points of your paper and all of your research into one small paragraph. It should basically be considered a spoiler alert. The abstract gives people a clear and precise idea of your work. Whether they continue to read your paper or not, they should come away with the main idea and best arguments just from reading the abstract- ideally.
The Purpose of an Abstract
As stated above, you want someone not to have to read your entire paper to come away with your best points and arguments. The abstract is a spoiler but in a good way. If people don’t have time to read your entire paper, this will at least give them the gist of it and let them in on the meat of your project without requiring them to do much reading. Many people use the abstract as a piece to submit in resumes and to send to editors because these people are rarely going to sit down and read a whole dissertation. They want the short version, or they won’t read it.
How it’s done
Once you know what an abstract is and what its purpose is, it is much easier to construct one. Know what the guidelines are for your particular paper. Some have a maximum of 350 words and others allow no more than 150. The next thing you need to do is sum up each chapter or section of your paper. This may still end up being too much but at least it will give you something to work with. Once you have these summaries, you can cut down to the correct word count from there.
Although it really isn’t easy to sum up all of the hard work you have done on your dissertation into one paragraph, it is very important. By providing readers a quality abstract, you will be able to get your information out there to more people.