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Your abstract is the most important 200 or 300 words you will write. It is how you sell your essay idea to the reader, motivating them to read on… or not! Therefore you need to spend time and effort on getting it right. Before you start, look for models in your discipline in journals you have used in your research or in the work of past students.
Check this to find out where dissertations by past students are kept.
A 4-point structure for your abstract. Write one or two short sentences under each heading, run them together and edit your abstract.
(University of Melbourne, Aus) outlines the purpose and a 5-point structure of an abstract. It includes some tips for writing style too.
(Tufts University, US) Another perspective on what abstracts should contain with examples from dentistry students. This resource is painless and quick!
(Emerald, publisher of databases, journals and books) stresses the importance of keywords in an abstract for a journal article and offers tips on writing abstracts for conference papers. Useful for research students and academics.