Guidelines for Writing Abstracts in English

As part of your dissertation in year 5, you are expected to write an abstract in English. This is a short text (approximately 150 - 350 words long) that summarizes your thesis. It usually includes the following information:

  1. A statement of your subject.
  2. A description of how you have approached and treated it.
  3. Basic conclusions (if any) and perhaps...
  4. other questions that have been raised but not answered yet.
  5. Optionally, some abstracts end with a list of key words. This step is almost obsolete today because Google and other data-mining software do a good job indexing significant terms and are constantly getting better with new semantic AI (Artificial Intelligence) algorithms.
The purpose of an abstract is to give other students and researchers a clear, concise idea of the subject area and content of your dissertation. It helps them decide quickly on the relevance of your work to their own investigations.

Abstract-o-matic Writing Method


Archive of ENSA abstracts.

Examples of abstracts.

Index of PhD dissertations published in the USA and Canada (subject and title).

Useful words and expressions for abstracts.

Further Help

If you are stuck, write your abstract in French then use Google to translate. Send me a copy of both versions plus a light version (export pdf for web) of your dissertation.
Workshop sessions are held every Friday afternoon. Please reserve one by sending me an email or message or request another day and time.

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