When writing an abstract, consider its aim. An abstract is intended to tell the reader the basic, most important aspects of your work so that he or she can decide whether or not to read the rest of the paper.
Those five basic aspects are:
- What it is that you’re talking about (the subject matter)
- Why he/she should care (why the subject matter is important)
- What you found (or hope to find out) about the subject matter (what your research question or intention is)
- How you learned (or intend to learn) about the subject matter (the research methodology)
- What your conclusions were (when appropriate–conclusions don’t belong in the abstract of a dissertation or thesis proposal)