How to construct a dissertation summary
Often students who are asked to write a dissertation do not know what a dissertation summary is. Not knowing this may prove fatal to the success of the dissertation. So let us try to define summary and also find out more about the components that make it.
Define summary of a dissertation
Often a summary is also referred to as an abstract. So if you come across this term do not get confused. To a layman a summary can be explained as a snapshot. It is used to present a gist of the dissertation to the readers.
Why a dissertation needs a summary?
Summaries form an integral part of every dissertation. They perform two major functions which are namely drawing readers’ attention to the assignment and providing brief descriptions of the main points of the dissertation.
In this regard it can also be mentioned that summaries are of two types – descriptive and informative.
Components of a summary
Although dissertations are of different types but the structural components that make up the summaries are more or less the same. So knowing the components of a dissertation summary will prove beneficial to you in the long run. The major components include study background and significance, methodological components, findings and conclusions.
Study background and significance
You should explain the background of the dissertation and its significance in the first few sentences of the summary. To do that, you have to go through your dissertation and get its essence.
You may also provide some insight into the problem you are dealing with in the study and mention that in the summary and also the motivation behind it.
A summary is necessarily very short. So in a few sentences try to explain those aspects of the study that will arouse interest in readers.
This part deals with components like research design, types of samples used, the scope of study and analysis techniques used. Depending on the relative importance of these components you have to focus on them and dedicate word counts.
A discussion on the methodological components in the dissertation summary would lead to the findings of the study. You should refrain from using lots of data or analysis but restrict yourself to writing whether your study provided answers to the hypotheses or research questions.
We have reached the final part of the summary. In view of the findings you have discussed just now, focus on the resultant implications. Try to discuss the implications of the findings and also their limitations. Keep this portion concise and do not over-exaggerate.
You may find studying samples of summaries helpful in understanding the different components and how to strike the right chord with the readers.
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