Thesis Summary

Last Updated: April 28, 2024

Thesis Summary

Considering that you have finished writing your thesis, it is high time that you started working on your thesis summary or abstract as the last and final part of your research paper before submitting it to your instructor. Writing an abstract is actually the simplest way for your audience, the teachers and the panel of publishers (if you wish for it to be published) to know what your research paper is about without going through the bulk of your paper.

What is an Abstract?

According to an article found in the Simon Fraser University database, the abstract is deemed a critical part of your thesis and it is presented at the beginning of the thesis, as it is a summary of the whole thesis. The thesis summary is a substantive description of your work read by an external examiner by presenting all the major elements of your work in a highly condensed form.

Size and Structure

Normally, a thesis summary would only contain 120 or less (for undergraduate theses), 150 words (for Masters theses) and 350 words (for a doctoral dissertation).

  • For doctoral dissertations, it is best to limit it to only 280 words with a format of one double-spaced page, to preserve visual coherence.
  • The structure of the abstract should mirror the structure of the whole thesis, and should represent all its major elements.
  • For instance, if your thesis has five chapters (rationale, literature review, methodology, results, conclusion), limit each chapter to only a sentence or two for each chapter in order to maximize some parts that need more substantial backing.

Clearly Specify Your Research Questions

  • Research questions are important in making sure that the abstract is coherent and logically structured as they form the backbone to which other elements adhere; they should be presented near the beginning of the abstract.
  • Depending on the length of your research paper, there is only room for one to three questions. If there are more than three major research questions in your thesis, try to rearrange them by reducing some to subsidiary status.

Don’t Forget the Results

  • One of the most common mistakes in writing abstracts is the failure to indicate the results.
  • The primary function of your thesis (and by extension your abstract) is not to tell readers what you did, it is to tell them what you discovered. Other information, such as the account of your research methods, is needed mainly to back the claims you make about your results.
  • The final part of your thesis should be about summarizing your results as well as interpreting them.
  • Although it is sometimes not necessary, you can choose to add keywords below your abstract as the most important terms that can be found in the thesis.

Listed below are some thesis summary examples:

Sample 1

This study aimed to analyze and identify the most frequent news category and rhetoric of the three local English dailies as well as assess whether they align to the readers’ news preference. These factors served as the sources of the data gathered by the researchers: ninety tertiary students, each local publication’s respective editorial board, and banner stories. Findings indicated that even though the editors would usually select their stories based on impact, the
banner story content however focused more on news like crime and politics which are mostly conflict-based issues, instead of human interest stories that readers prefer the most. In conclusion, the respective editorial boards of each publication are not presenting the readers with their main interests in the banner story.
Keywords: banner stories, news values, news categories, gatekeeping/gatekeepers, and readers’ preference

Sample 2

An example of a summary format
The aim or goal or purpose of this graduation thesis (title) is to … (analyse, characterize, compare,
examine, illustrate, present, survey, design, reconstruct) …
The graduation thesis is composed of five chapters, each of them dealing with different aspect of …
Chapter 1 is introductory and (defines, describes, reviews, deals with) … The chapter is subdivided
into two parts. Part 1 describes … and explains … . Part 2 deals with …
Chapter 2 examines … . The chapter consists of three parts. Part 1 focuses on … . Part 2 investigates
… . Part 3 addresses the issue of … .
Chapter 3 is subdivided into two parts and provides an outline of relevant … Part 1 illustrates … .
Part 2 looks at … .
Chapter 4 concentrates on problems resulting from … Part 1 describes …. Part 2 recommends
changes to be made in legislation …
Conclusions are drawn in Chapter 5. The main aim of the graduation thesis has been reached. The
author suggests that …………………… should be changed/introduced/applied.

Sample 3

The aim of this graduation thesis entitled Development of Yamakawa Technologies to Ascertain the Existence of Cheese on the Moon is to test the use of Yamakawa technologies in ascertaining the existence of cheese on the moon. Yamakawa technologies have been successfully used to test the existence of water in Wakanda, but to date no further applications are known. For this reason the author decided to test further applications, with the aim of describing the technology’s suitability for further development. This thesis first examines the testing procedures for the water in Wakanda experiment, and presents the results. In a second stage several adaptations to Yamakawa for the testing of the existence of cheese on the moon are undertaken. Finally the technology is applied to the question of cheese on the moon, within a six-week testing phase. At the end of each week the testing apparatus is fine tuned, and experiment results are charted every twenty-four hours. The results of the experiment show that Yamakawa technologies are well suited to ascertaining the presence of water in Wakanda, but were unable to be sufficiently modified for the purpose of ascertaining the existence of cheese on the moon. The author recommends further modification to the technology before any other uses are considered.

After writing the said abstract in your research paper, then congratulations! You are now ready to move to the next step of your thesis journey, defending it. Just remember this, always know your thesis by heart. Believe me, if you do, you will not have a hard time and eventually, you will learn to enjoy it too. Good luck!

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