guidelines where I'm at is 300 words. At the moment mine is 326 so I need to trim it a bit. As far as I know it shouldn't go over one page. I have my thesis in 1.5 spacing and it fits - 3 paras and a couple of lines to spare. btw mine is a social science thesis
My uni guidelines stated "it should not usually be longer than 1 page". there was a guy submitting at the same as me who had a two page abstract and the administrator commented on it. He just said "my supervisor told me to do that" and they accepted it.
I just checked and my abstract is 415 words. I had to change my layout slightly to fit it onto one page (I had 20 pt spacing between paragraphs in the main thesis and 10 pts for the abstract).
My abstract was 299 words long, and with the spacing I had to use that only just fitted in 1 page. 500 words sounds way too much, even if you did it as as single spacing. It's going to feel like a lot for the examiners to read. You probably need to trim much more. What are the most important things you need to say.
Check with the University and someone who has recently submitted. I believed until a few months before submission that there were no restrictions on length of abstract (as the University guidelines said nothing). It was only when I came to fill an "intention to submit" form that this wasn't the case. It had to fit into a certain space on a form, if I remember correctly this corresponded to about a page of A4 when formatted appropriately for the thesis.
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