Students that aim for a doctorate or master’s degree in academia sometimes exceed the word limit while writing abstracts for their dissertations because they use too many complex phrases or wording. Attempting to reduce the abstract to a manageable length often presents many challenges, as the original context and logic can easily be lost in the process. The purpose of this article is to provide students with pointers on how to make their abstracts more concise.
Definition: Shortening an abstract
- Shortening an abstract is a brief synopsis of your research paper, whether it has been published or not, often ranging in length from one paragraph (150-250 words).
- You may have uncovered exciting facts in your study, but if your audience has to wade through the whole report to get them, they may never get to them.
- Shortening an abstract serves the purpose of giving readers an overview of your study’s issues and functions as an introduction to your work.
Shortening an abstract: Active sentences
Active voice is encouraged when shortening an abstract in your dissertation. Long sentences are the hallmark of the passive voice. If you have already prepared shortening an abstract, you may be able to save some words by switching from passive to active voice. Some say it’s the finest method for condensing and shortening an abstract. Change the order of the subject and verb such that the issue does the action. Ensure an active verb that does not need an auxiliary verb is utilized as shown in the examples below:
Shortening an abstract: Verb style
Using a noun, which causes sentences to expand, is a common cause why shortening an abstract becomes necessary. Sentences may become complicated when nouns are used excessively. Always substitute nouns with verbs in the phrases as shown below:
Shortening an abstract: Avoid hard to read sentences
Many students like to use flowery language and complicated structures in an abstract. Therefore, cutting out unnecessary words that lengthen sentences may be helpful to shortening an abstract of a dissertation.
- Avoid writing the same words or phrases multiple times
- Reread the abstract aloud once it has been completed
- It will assist you in dealing with repeated phrases and vocabulary
- Ask friends or family members in spotting the recurrence of sentences, words, or phrases
- Also use computer tools verb or sentence repetition may be detected
Shortening an abstract: Detailed descriptions are unnecessary
Too much context regarding how the subject or problem came about should be avoided. There’s no need to use more than a few phrases to summarize the dissertation’s primary issues and themes. This may be an effective method for shortening an abstract.
Typically, shortening an abstract in a thesis or dissertation entails condensing them between 150 and 300. In many cases, a hard work limit must be adhered to, so be sure to verify with your institution’s guidelines.
When shortening an abstract make sure it keeps the following included:
- Brief summary of its objectives and findings to help readers quickly grasp the significance of your work.
- While the exact format may vary from field to field, all abstracts should include a statement of the problem
- Summary of the research conducted
- Short discussion of the results.
Please pay close attention when shortening an abstract, to how well the it captures the essence of your study and its significance to the field as a whole. This is what shortening an abstract brings about, and whether or not you utilize a question is an issue of personal preference and feedback from your trusted advisors.
In the case of shortening an abstract, no matter how well-written, it will be rejected if it is boring, irrelevant, plagiarized, or just plain crazy. Similarly, you have an uphill battle if your thoughts are sharp, innovative, and sensible. Perhaps not even the worst shorten abstract would be enough to guarantee rejection.