Things You Must Avoid When Writing an Abstract

An abstract is a central idea or summary of a dissertation. There should be no mistakes as it is the most crucial part of a dissertation. It is the abstract which gets your reader to stick to your document. The sole purpose of the abstract is to provide the reader with a clear summary of the whole work. Then what’s the point in writing it if there will be mistakes. Thus, you should avoid doing any mistakes in the abstract.

A well written and mistake-free abstract attracts more readers to your study. The real question is, what are those mistakes that you should avoid? This article will discuss all those mistakes. If you’re also writing an abstract for your dissertation, pay attention to this article.

Writing Guidelines – How to Avoid Mistakes

Most of the time, universities provide students with guidelines for structuring their abstracts. First of all, you should head to those instructions. Regarding the mistakes to avoid while writing an abstract, here are the general ones. Before wasting any further time, let’s explore the main topic. A brief description of the mistakes to avoid is as follows;

1. Not Summarising the Entire Project

  • A common mistake that most students make is not summarising the entire project. Writing the introduction is not the abstract of a dissertation. You have to touch every part of the dissertation in the abstract. A typical dissertation comprises four chapters. The chapters usually include an introduction, literature review, methodology, results and discussions, as well as a conclusion. Thus, to write an effective abstract, it should address each section. The format for an abstract is not fixed or universal. You can write it in the form of paragraphs, or by making headings, whatever suits you better.
  • The abstract should not lack crucial information about the findings of the study. If it happens while writing an abstract, you might lose potential viewership. Most readers only read the abstract of dissertations first. Thus, it should contain all the information that a reader is looking for.

2. Including too much Background information

  • You should remember that the abstract is not an introduction to your dissertation. You can take as many pages as you want to introduce your project in the introduction chapter. The mistake you should avoid in writing an abstract is not to consider the abstract a de facto introduction.
  • Some authors don’t write background information. But it is advised that the authors should avoid both; writing too much or too short. Remember, your reader doesn’t know anything about your project.
  • So there should be a summary of all the aspects of your study. Everything should be according to the demand of an abstract. This mistake can lead to a reduction in the viewership of your document. Therefore, while writing an abstract, keep the full check and balance of background information. It should neither be too long nor too short.

3. Writing a False Conclusion

A majority of students should know that the base of the conclusion is the results of their project. It’s important to include the results of your study to back your claim. Otherwise, it will seem like you made your findings based on your preferences. Some of the authors don’t interpret data deliberately. It is a very wrong practice. As mentioned earlier, the summary of each part of the dissertation should appear within its abstract. This is because the reader won’t read your whole document to know the discussion and results. Thus, while writing an abstract, do write the conclusion of your study.

4. Grammatical Errors

  • Grammatical errors, typos, and word omissions are the most common mistakes writers make. While writing an abstract, look for such errors, and make your document free of them. There are plenty of online software available that can do this for you. You can also take the services of dissertation proofreaders for help with this.
  • Both your reader and supervisor won’t read the abstract if it has any grammatical errors. An author should ensure that the abstract is free from such errors. This is necessary because it is the first part of your dissertation. Linguistic errors in the first part will leave a bad impression on your reader. He probably won’t read the whole document and will switch to another one. Hence, there should be zero grammatical errors within the abstract.

Final Thoughts

The conclusion for this is very simple. An author should avoid all the mistakes mentioned above within the abstract of his dissertation. The best person to consult with concerning the abstract is your supervisor. So you should arrange regular meetings with him to assist you with this.


Ardella M Baez is a well-experienced dissertation proposal writing service with a firm grip on complex languages and frameworks. She had graduated from the University of London with an excellent academic record.