Instructions for the (Bachelor’s) Thesis: Abstract

1. Write your abstract in English from the very beginning. Do not translate the Finnish original into English.
Kirjoita abstrakti alun alkaen englanniksi. Älä käännä suomenkielistä tiivistelmää englanniksi.

opinnäytetyö -  thesis
tiivistelmä - abstract
liite - appendix, pl. appendices; enclosure

2. Give your thesis a title in English.
Anna opinnäytetyöllesi englanninkielinen nimi.

  • Write the title in the space reserved for it in the abstract form.
  • The words in the title are written with a capital initial letter. However, remember that articles, prepositions as well as words like and and or within the title are written with a small initial letter.
    - When the Client Behaves Aggressively

    However, if the title consists of two parts, it is recommended that the latter half is written without capital letters.
    - When the Client Behaves Aggressively- a leaflet for emergency room nurses
  • titles at the School of Health and Sports often contain sayings which are highly culture-specific. Be careful when trying to translate the sayings into English. It is better to look for English sayings or proverbs in the Internet.
  • Avoid writing the entire title in capital letters. Capital letters emphasise the title excessively, and it does not look very good on the paper either.

3. Outline your abstract.
Kirjoita abstraktisi runko.

An abstract should briefly:

  1. purpose/ objective (aim; goal) (tutkimuksen tarkoitus/ tavoite) Re-establish the topic of the thesis. Give the research problem (research tasks) and/or main objective of the research (this usually comes first).
  2. methods (tutkimusmenetelmät) Indicate the methodology used.
  3. results (tutkimustulokset) Present the main findings.
  4. conclusions (johtopäätelmät) (not always necessary) Present the main conclusions and future applications.

4. Remember to use paragraphs.
Muista kappalejako.

  • A new issue is introduced in a new paragraph.
  • However, paragraphs should contain more than just one sentence.

5. Use the passive voice.
Käytä passiivia.

  • The passive voice enables you to present your thesis in an impersonal manner and also to shift the emphasis from actions to results or impact.
  • However difficult it is, do not use the pronouns I or we.

The material was collected by interviewing one elderly person.
As a result, a kit was made for maternity clinics in Kajaani.

6. Use participial phrases.
Käytä partisiippirakenteita (preesens ja perfekti).

  • Participial phrases make your writing more compact and also provide lingual alternatives for subordinate clauses of a certain type.

    Parents’ active role and their needs should be considered when developing family training.

    The aim of this thesis was to discuss what matters must be considered when taking care of an adolescent in the adult psychiatric ward.

7. Consider definite and indefinite articles in particular.
Tarkista epämääräisten ja määräisten artikkelien käyttö.

  • The most common error in abstracts is the missing definite article.

    The number of elderly people is increasing.
  • Pay particular attention to genitive structures. Use the of-genitive.

    The thesis was presented to students in the School of Health and Sports at Kajaani Polytechnic.
    The ability of the elderly to function is …
  • Also note that in some cases you do not need any specific genitive structure.
    the pain clinic staff = the staff at the pain clinic
  • Review your grammar.

8. Check the congruence.
Tarkista kongruenssi.

  • Pay particular attention to whether the subject of a sentence is in singularis or pluralis as this affects the choice of the verb form.

    The objective of this thesis was to find out how satisfied the clients of occupational health care were with the services provided.

    The data was analysed with by applying Colaizzi’s phenomenological method.

9. Mind the close synonyms.
Välta “melkein” synonyymejä.

  • a synonym is a word that means exactly the same. Read articles and Internet sites related to your field of study in English.
  • Thesaurus dictionaries are a good help here.

10. Check the correct spelling of words, especially compound words. Tarkista oikeinkirjoitus. Kiinnitä erityistä huomiota yhdyssanojen oikeinkirjoitukseen.

  • Check the special terminology.
    e.g. physical – mental (never! psychic)
  • Avoid unnecessary words.
  • Use dictionaries and spelling programmes.
  • Choose either British or American English, not both.
  • Avoid syllabication (tavutus).

11. Review the verb tenses.
Tarkista verbien aikamuodot.

  • Make a distinction between the simple and continuous tenses.
    Age structure in Finland is changing rapidly.
  • Use the past tense when talking about the purpose, methods and results of your thesis.

    The objective of this thesis was to find out how satisfied the clients of occupational health care were with the services provided.
    The material was collected by interviewing one elderly person.
    The results showed that fairy tales are only part of the child’s care.
  • The present tense is used when describing something created by the author, and when referring to written documents or general truths.
    More attention has been paid to the psychiatric care of children.

12. Express yourself shortly.
Käytä lyhyitä ilmaisuja.

  • However, you should not sound too monotonous.

13. Check the punctuation.
Tarkista välimerkkien käyttö.

14. Do not use the shortened forms of words.
Älä käytä lyhennettyjä muotoja sanoista.

  • Shortened words (e.g. I’m, he’d, doesn’t, won’t) are colloquial and should not be used in abstracts. Therefore, write these expressions fully (I am, he had/ would, does not, will not).

    The patient did not respond to the treatment.

15. Proofread. Oikolue.

16. Remember that writing an abstract is a process.
Muista, että abstraktin kirjoittaminen on prosessi.

  • Writing an abstract is a process, which takes also from an experienced write more than just one session to write. The process consists of several phases, which clarify the thought process related to writing.

    These phases are:
    • preparation: Plan your writing. Organise your material so that you know what you are going to write about, in what order and what you are going to say.
    • outlining: Write your ideas down, which helps you think about what you are going to say. At this point you can ignore the language and concentrate on what you are going to say.
    • feedback: Ask your friend to read your abstract to see if you have included all the essential points in it.
    • editing: Read the abstract and now concentrate on the grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc. Consider whether any paragraphs or sentences can be cut out.
    • proofreading: Leave your abstract to the teacher who proofreads it and, if necessary, marks the points that need to be revised.
    • release: Your abstract is published along with your final year paper.
    • assessment


  • Write and rewrite! Keep writing! Good writing takes practice. The only person who can make you a better writer is you. So work at it, show your work to other people, and rewrite, rewrite, rewrite.
  • There are plenty of writing handbooks and guides available. They can give lots of useful hints and tips, but if the methods they suggest do not work for you then use a different method: there is no one way to write. Of course, the way you write depends very much on what suits you, and what suits the particular piece of writing you are working on.