How To Write A History Dissertation Abstract: 6 Basic Rules
Keep in mind that when you are writing an abstract for your history dissertation you are writing a short, but powerful, description of your longer work. For your history abstract you should include your thesis, some background, and your conclusion. This summary is not intended as a review of the longer work nor should you attempt any form of evaluation; you are creating an original document, possibly containing some keywords from the work you are summarizing.
You may wonder why you need to include an abstract with your dissertation. It is useful a quick reference point for a reader who wishes to read longer papers to find out whether or not the information they require is contained in your work. Many online catalogues will index their collection of dissertations by the abstract so it is vital to get this short piece of work correct. Including keywords in your précis makes it easier to find your document.
It is also good practice for future work; there are a number of reasons why you might write a summary of your work. These include applying for grants, for book proposals, conference papers, and importantly when submitting articles for publication to journals.
Types of abstract
- Descriptive – this type indicates the sort of information that will be found within the longer document. It may contain the purpose, methods and keywords to be found within your work but no mention is made of conclusions. Usually they contain about 100 words or fewer.
- Informative – In this variety the summary explains the thesis, all the main arguments and some results. This can run to as much as 10% of the original document.
How to write an abstract for your history dissertation
- Read the entire long work, in one go.
- Put it aside and write a first draft paragraph without referring back to the main document. This will help you remember what the main point of your paper was about.
- Once that is done, you may refer back to the main document and check for the keywords you may have missed.
- Revise early and often. The main idea of the abstract is to give a clear indication of what the main document contains.
- If you are stuck, try cutting and pasting sentence that catch the essence of key passages in the main document to inspire you.
- Or try reverse outlining where you group the main ideas of each section of your paper into a single sentence.
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