After you have finished writing the main body of your dissertation or thesis, you must worry about coming to your conclusions. The final chapter of your thesis or dissertation is the conclusion. It should be brief and exciting, providing a clear idea of your key results and the solution to the research problem.
Follow the guidelines your university provides, but if you have yet to receive any guidelines, use your discretion.
You should include all the answers to your main research questions. Try to summarise and reflect on how you conducted the research. Demonstrate what new insights you have brought to your field or research and make recommendations to future researchers.
Difference Between the Discussion and the Conclusion Chapters
Although your conclusion and discussion part share certain similarities, they are different.
The conclusion needs to be more concise and simplified than your discussion. Focus on creating general statements that concisely express the most significant findings of your research rather than reiterating material from your literature review, going into depth about specific research findings, or interpreting your data.
Generally speaking, your conclusion should offer only some information, interpretations, or arguments. Discussion sections and conclusions may occasionally be merged, particularly in shorter research papers and journal articles; however, it’s advised to divide your discussion section from the last chapter of your dissertation, which concludes your study and provides the reader with a summary of your work.
Other dissertation blogs: Dissertation discussion section, Dissertation glossary, Thesis or dissertation introduction
What Should be the Length of the Conclusion Chapter?
The length will differ depending on whether you are writing a thesis or a dissertation. A conclusion typically accounts for 5 to 7% of your paper’s words.
An empirical scientific study will frequently have a brief conclusion summarising the essential findings and offering suggestions for additional investigation. On the other hand, a humanities topic or systematic review may need ample room to wrap up its analysis and connect all the earlier paragraphs coherently.
Answer the Research Questions
The primary question that your thesis or dissertation attempted to answer should come first in your conclusion. Make sure to develop a clear, succinct response because this is your last opportunity to demonstrate that you have accomplished what you set out to do. List only some of the outcomes you have previously discussed.
Just combine them into a unique last point for the reader. Reformulating your objectives and questions into a comprehensive summary of what you did and how you accomplished it will help you avoid repeating yourself.
Summary and Reflection of the Research
Your conclusion is an opportunity to remind your reader of the rationale behind your method, the findings you anticipated, and the degree to which your predictions were met.
Instead of simply summarising each portion that came before, think about writing more reflectively in this area to prevent redundancy. Think about highlighting the success of your methods or any novel insights or random questions that emerged during the process.
If you still need to discuss any research limitations, you may also explain them now. However, please don’t dwell on them for too long; concentrate on your work’s strengths.
The discussion portion of your paper may have already had some recommendations for additional research. However, the conclusion is a beautiful chance to delve into more detail and analyse the ramifications of your results theoretically and practically.
Be careful not to discredit your work while offering additional research suggestions. Additionally, while additional research may support, expand, or enlarge your conclusions, it should be optional for your argument to seem complete. Your work should be able to stand on its own.
Both excessive self-criticism and overstating the practical relevance of your research should be avoided. It’s often preferable to phrase recommendations as “shoulds” rather than “musts” if they are intended to be applied to business, policy, or other practical applications. Overall, academic research enlightens, explains, and explores; it does not serve to demand.
Your Contribution to the Research Area
Make sure the reader has a clear understanding of the impact your study has had on the state of your field.
To do this, some techniques are as follows:
- Returning to your original problem statement, describe how your study contributes to resolving it.
- Bringing up the literature review while demonstrating how you have filled a knowledge gap
- Describing how your findings support or refute an established hypothesis or premise
Again, in your conclusion, avoid merely restating what you’ve already addressed in the debate. Instead, highlight the key ideas and briefly summarise them while placing your project in a larger context.
Wrap it up
It’s almost over! Following the completion of your conclusion, you should take the following procedures to complete your thesis or dissertation:
procedures to complete thesis or dissertation
- Writing your abstract next while the research is still fresh in your memory is an excellent approach.
- Next, check that your reference list is accurate and properly formatted.
- You can make a table of contents and title page after including appendices.
- Finally, reread the entire essay to ensure your thesis is well-written and has no grammatical mistakes.
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Some Useful Tips
- Your topic may only sometimes call for a comprehensive conclusion. Keep in mind that not all tasks call for discussion. Verify the standards within your department. If you need clarification, ask your tutor.
- Even if you do not require a specific conclusion, keep in mind that every work must be completed and brought to a conclusion in some way.
- Consider the remaining portions of your assignment, and remember to balance it. The conclusion should be clear and described concisely.
- It is unnecessary to reiterate anything you have already said; doing so would be repetitive and uninteresting.
- Expressing your perspective, in conclusion, is acceptable, but do it tactfully and avoid sounding haughty or dictatorial. It is clear from your discussion what your position is. Therefore, there is no need to sum up by saying, “In conclusion, I think Hamlet is a superb play.” Make sure your discussion of the subject reflects your excitement for it. Be careful not to use the conclusion as an excuse to launch into a broad, unfocused “rant.”
- Use tenses with caution. The present perfect, followed by the simple past, is typically used in the conclusion (e.g., The purpose of this dissertation has been to…)
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