Dissertation Writing Tip: The Abstract [Video Transcript]

Hello and welcome back!  My name is Dr. Cheryl Lentz, owner of The Refractive Thinker® Press. Today our focus for Tips for Effective Dissertation Writing is on Abstracts.

We begin first with the simple steps first.

What is an Abstract?

According to Wiki Answers (2012):


An abstract, as a noun, can refer to the summarization of an article or a text, as opposed to the full work. For example, online search engines sometimes show the full-text of an article and its abstract.

[Definition from: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_an_abstract#ixzz1tB3TCYBf]

An abstract is very important as this writing fundamental offers an overall, yet brief and concise summary of the entire article or paper on which this writing is based.  This summary is designed to help your reader decide whether to invest their time in reading the entire article.  Because of being a summary, the abstract is written in the past tense.

The 6th version of the APA Manual offers information about the Abstract in Section 2.04 beginning on page 25-27.  An addition to the above definition by the APA Manual (2012) includes that an abstract “allows readers to survey the contents of an article quickly, and like a title, it enables persons interested in the document to retrieve it from abstracting and indexing databases” (p. 25).

Often writers confuse an abstract with an introduction.  These two writing fundamentals are completely different things.  An abstract offers a past tense summary of the overall article, while an introduction provides an overview of what is to come, in the future tense. The purpose of an introduction is (a) introduce your topic and then (b) offer the specific writing objectives for your reader to know exactly what to expect in the paragraphs that follow. Remember that when you write an abstract, this fundamental does NOT substitute as an introduction for your paper.

For more tips on effective academic writing, please visit my blog at http://www.refractivethinker.com/wordpress/.  Thank you for joining me.  My name is Dr. Cheryl Lentz and I hope you find these suggestions within this video helpful. Good luck to you in your academic writing pursuits.  Cheers!

With respect,


Dr. Cheryl Lentz

The Consumer Learner

The Consumer Learner

Chief Refractive Thinker®
The Refractive Thinker® Press, where discriminating scholars publish.

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April 27th, 2012 by admin

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