50-word PhD Abstract Guidelines

PhD abstract guidelines

 

1.     Word count: The abstract must be 50 words or fewer. Abstracts longer than 50 words will be returned to you for revision.

2.     Tense: Write in past tense. This research is already done and you are reporting on the conclusions. An exception might be stating the problem the research addressed. Example:

Air inversion, a challenge in arctic open-pit mines, contributes to health problems and is influenced by aerodynamic and thermodynamic processes. A 3-dimensional Eulerian CFD model was developed to study heat and pollutant transport in an arctic open-pit mine under inversion. Natural ventilation alone did not suffice to mitigate the problem.

3.     Voice: Write in third person. Passive construction is OK in this context.

4.     Clarity: Use simple declarative sentences to summarize the research. Avoid phrases such as:

The overall goal of this research was to…

This study explores…

This research investigated the challenges…

This study evaluated…

Instead use sentences such as these:

Narrative strategies available to biography were explored through the life of Margaret Keenan Harrais — teacher, educational administrator, judge and activist.

Climate fluctuations drove major migrations in the history of the boreal forest.

A central question in the study of vertebrate development is how genes direct the creation of the organs of the vertebrate embryo during development.

5.     Do not use the name of the researcher in the abstract since the author of the dissertation is clearly identified elsewhere.

 

An example of an abstract revised to follow these guidelines:

Original:

I investigated genetic differentiation between highland and lowland populations of Crested Duck (Lophonetta specularioides) using molecular markers, evaluated morphological differences between the two subspecies to better understand the forces shaping morphology in the different environments, and provided information on the taxonomic relationships and natural history of the Crested Duck.

 

Revised:

An investigation of genetic differentiation between highland and lowland populations of Crested Duck (Lophonetta specularioides) used molecular markers to evaluate morphological differences between the two subspecies to better understand the forces shaping morphology in different environments, and provided information on the taxonomic relationships and natural history of the Crested Duck.

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