Writing for an Audience Who is your audience?
The usability of dissertation abstracts depends largely on their content. Many journals within the medical community have settled on a seven sentence structure, which is also gaining acceptance in the social sciences, education and business. In it, the purpose of the study and methodological choices are outlined succinctly, allowing the reader or researcher to quickly scan and evaluate a number of studies to easily choose ones that meet their particular demands. The structure contains variations on the following seven sentence stems: "The purpose of this study is...." "The scope of this study...." "The methodology...." "The Findings..." "Conclusions reached are ..." "Limitations of this study include...." "This study contributes...." Abstracts of dissertation proposals contain the same seven concepts, substituting data collection and analysis in place of findings and conclusions. Abstracts are limited in the United States by the UMI to 350 words.