How to summarise your thesis

The summary (abstract) of your thesis makes it immediately clear what your thesis is about and what you are researching. It is intended to attract the attention of your readers, so that they become interested in your thesis and want to read the rest of your thesis. For this reason, the most important aspects of your research should be described in the summary. The summary can be seen as your thesis in miniature. The summary is a systematic representation of the content of your thesis and should not be longer than 1 A4. It is not the intention that you write it down point by point, but that it becomes a coherent whole in flowing sentences. You write the summary in the past tense! The research has already been carried out by then.

A number of example sentences that you could use:

  • In this research an attempt has been made to obtain an answer to ……………………..
  • In this study we looked at the influence of / the effect of / the relationship between ……
  • From the results it appeared that ….
  • In this study it has been investigated whether……………………………………………… A distinction was made between…………………………
  • It can be concluded that ……………… provides support for ……………………………..
  • A possible comment on the investigation is that……………………
  • The main purpose of this study was………………..
  • This study aims to investigate…………………………….

The summary comes after the title and precedes the table of contents. You start by describing the subject of your thesis. Then you describe the reason, the relevance and the purpose of your research (thesis). Afterwards, you will indicate what kind of research it is (e.g. a literature study) and describe the (research) method you have used and the working method. Also describe the target group your research has focused on and the variables you have researched. You can also indicate what your expectations are of the outcome of the research.

When you present the results in the summary, you only describe the most important results. So, for example, the results that corresponded with your expectations and the results that you did not expect. Finally, the last thing you describe is what your most important conclusion is. You mention the conclusion(s) in a short and powerful way. In addition, you can also (if present) tell if there are any comments and if there are any recommendations for further research. Below is an example of a good summary.

Tip: Even better to capture your audience is a video abstract for your research. They will remember you better and your research becomes more clear and personal. Check out Abstract Tube for all video abstracts of researches and upload your own!

https://abstract.tube/