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The Abstract is an important element of the thesis, and will become a document in its own right if the thesis is registered within any database.
The process of having to describe your study in detail, in a logical sequence of written words, will inevitably highlight where more thought is needed, and it may lead to new insight into connections, implications, rationale, relevance, and may lead to new ideas for further research.
Barras (196) suggests that you ‘think of your report as part of your investigation, not as a duty to be undertaken when your work is otherwise complete’, and this Study Guide suggests that: writing is an integral part of the research process.
The good news is that you have already started writing if you have written any of the following in relation to this study: In each case the object of the writing was to communicate to yourself, your supervisors, or to others, something about your work.
In writing your dissertation you will draw on some of this earlier writing to produce a longer and more comprehensive account.
If you used particular equipment, processes, or materials, you will need to be clear and precise in how you describe them.
You must give enough detail for another researcher to replicate your study.This may be one of the shortest sections of your thesis or dissertation, but it is worthwhile taking great care to write it well.Essentially, the Abstract is a succinct summary of the research.This Study Guide addresses the task of writing a dissertation.It aims to help you to feel confident in the construction of this extended piece of writing, and to support you in its successful completion.Any imbalance in space devoted to different sections of content will become apparent.This is a useful check on whether amalgamation of sections, or creation of further sections or sub-sections is needed.You will need to check which style of reporting is preferred in your field.For example a scientific dissertation would probably have very clear separation between the results and the discussion of those results; whereas a social science dissertation might have an overall chapter called Findings, bringing the results and their discussion together.Attending to the very restrictive word / space limit, while at the same including all the relevant material is quite a challenge.It might be useful to look at how others have managed.