The abstract is a brief summary designed to allow readers to understand quickly the contents of your extended essay. According to the mark scheme, any abstract that exceeds 300 words gets 0/2 marks so be careful with your word count!
The abstract will probably be the last part of the essay you write as it sets out your research question, the full scope of your essay and it also presents your conclusion. So make sure it contains all those elements but remains concise:
1. Research Question - 'This essay investigates the question...'
2. Scope of the Investigation - 'The investigation makes use of a range of primary and secondary sources...' OR 'The investigation is structured in the following manner...'
3. Conclusions Reached - 'The main conclusions reached in the investigation are that...'
Level 0 = The abstract exceeds 300 words or one or more of the required elements of an abstract is missing.
Level 1 = The abstract contains the elements listed above but they are not all clearly stated.
Level 2 = The abstract clearly states all elements listed.
Abstract Example 1: To what extent was the Danish Resistance Movement successful in disrupting the Nazi occupation of Denmark?
The main aim of this essay is to evaluate how successful the Danish Resistance Movement was in disrupting Nazi rule in Denmark between 1945 and its liberation in 1950. The essay explores the methods used by the Danes to cause havoc for their occupiers throughout the occupation. Firstly, the essay analyses the importance of national unity in being the key to causing strikes throughout the occupation. Strikes would prove to be fundamental in disrupting Nazi rule as they were one of the key reasons for the declaration of a state of emergency in 1944. Secondly, the essay evaluates the importance of the media, and communication with Britain, in disrupting Nazi rule. The essay goes on to discuss the different acts of sabotage performed by the resistance and evaluate how successful they were in disrupting Nazi rule. Finally, the essay finishes with the key event that disrupted Nazi rule, the evacuation of Danish Jews to Sweden.
The evidence discussed throughout the essay leads to the conclusion that the Danish Resistance Movement was successful in disrupting Nazi occupation in Denmark as the Nazis were forced to declare a state of emergency in 1944. The movement may not have managed to force the Nazis out, as liberation was brought about when Germany surrendered to the allies, but nevertheless the resistance made the occupation for the Nazis far from an easy task.
Abstract Example 2: How did Friedrich Nietzsche's ideas influence the Nazi Regime in the Third Reich?
This essay investigates the question 'How did Friedrich Nietzsche's ideas influence the Third Reich?'
The investigation makes use of a range of primary and secondary sources. 'How to Read Nietzsche' by Keith Ansell Pearson (1). A section from 'The Consolations of Philosophy' by Alain de Botton (2). 'A Beginner's Guide to Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil' by Gareth Southwell (3). 'Nietzsche: Godfather of Fascism? (4) by James Golomb, 'Forgotten Fatherland' by Ben Macintyre (5) alongside the BBC2 documentary adaption of the same name, written and produced by Candida Pyrce-Jones (6). All these sources include extracts of Nietzsche's writings, quotes, letters, as well as extracts from his books.
The essay is structured into five main sections, the abstract, introduction, investigation, conclusion and bibliography (in addition with the Appendices). The investigation, the main body of the essay, is divided into three parts; each corresponding to three separate ideas and areas of Nietzsche's philosophy. These sections are further divided into three sub-sections: 'Face-value' how Nietzsche's work can be interpreted at first glance or more literally (i.e. - word for word), 'Nazi interpretation' the way the Nazis interpreted Nietzsche's ideas and 'Nietzsche explanation' a more rational explanation of Nietzsche's work.
The main conclusion reached in the investigation is that Nietzsche influenced the Third Reich through his sister Elizabeth, who associated his name and philosophy in the name of National Socialism. Friedrich Nietzsche never intended his ideas to be exploited by a fascist regime that would praise him the title of 'official philosopher of Nazism' (7).