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.
Although this is the first piece of writing the reader comes to, it is often best to leave its preparation to last as, until then, you will not be absolutely sure what you are introducing.
The introduction has two main roles: This can lead logically into a clear statement of the research question(s) or problem(s) you will be addressing.
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.
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.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.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.It should be able to stand alone in representing why and how you did what you did, and what the results and implications are.It is often only one page long, and there may be a word limit to adhere to.It is certainly an academic exercise, but perhaps not too different from the concise explanations of your research you may have had to give to relatives and neighbours over the last few years, in terms of its brevity, accessibility, and comprehensiveness.This is your opportunity to mention individuals who have been particularly helpful.Before embarking on any substantial writing for your dissertation you will need to check the exact requirements regarding: There are some conventions that guide the structuring of dissertations in different disciplines.You should check departmental and course regulations. The title itself is an important opportunity to tell the potential reader what your research is about.