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How to Write a Dissertation Conclusion

A great dissertation should end with a great conclusion. It would be a mistake for you to think that a conclusion has little meaning and does not get much attention from readers. In truth, it is a lot more likely that readers will pay closer attention to the conclusion of a paper than to any of the other main parts. Consequently, those who do not want or cannot be bothered to read a full dissertation or have not grasped the key point of your work are almost sure to want to read the conclusion to try and understand what your research and findings mean. It is for this reason it is vital to write your closing paragraph or chapter in the proper manner.     

A concluding paragraph is where you give your dissertation that final touch. It follows your results or findings, discussion, and your recommendation chapters. It needs to show you fully understand your area of study. Here, you need to be prepared to recap on the results or findings of your research work and remind readers why these are important. The conclusion is not the same thing as a literature review or the chapter setting out your results. Instead, it draws together the most important points of the work you have done, indicates any limitations, and suggests any areas that merit further research. Indeed, any recommendations you make may prove to be the most important element of your concluding chapter. You will need to recall the most and least important aspects of your work. You should show you are aware that your work is not entirely perfect. It is important you acknowledge any limitations and the problems these cause while letting readers know how it might be possible to overcome these in future works.

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Top Tips on Writing a Conclusion for a Dissertation

  • An effective dissertation conclusion does not need to be overly long. You should, however, use the space you have in a prudent manner. Inform your readers. Avoid redundancy. Make sure your claims are well founded and rational.   
  • While you are writing your concluding chapter, you should sum-up the research work you did in a consistent and accurate manner. You can then move on to set out your recommendations and discuss any implications for the future.
  • A good conclusion will additionally contain sound facts and evidence to support any assumptions. Avoid irrelevant information or anything that does not fit in with the objectives of your work.  
  • To make sure your conclusion is a success, it should be structured around your central hypotheses and research question(s).

  • The conclusion to a dissertation is one final opportunity for you to express your unique thoughts and reflect on the research you did. Do not miss this chance! It may be that you want to emphasize how important your work is, set out any concerns you have, rationalize any specific points, or draw attention to how appropriate, valid, or general the findings of your study are. Aim for accuracy and precision in any points you are reflecting on and do not go beyond the boundaries of the formality that is expected in an academic paper.   
  • A conclusion chapter usually follows the finding or results chapter and the discussion chapter in a dissertation. Therefore, it may be a good idea to draw equal attention to the qualitative elements and the quantitative elements of the research work you did.
  • New sources or information should not be introduced in the concluding chapter. Instead, you should limit yourself to items that were already covered in earlier parts of your paper.

The importance of a conclusion cannot be emphasized enough. This chapter is a unique opportunity to bring everything you found out during your study back to the attention of your readers and to emphasize the best aspects of the design of your research. So, by now, you should be in a position to tackle this task and your ability to write a dissertation, and its concluding chapter, should be greatly enhanced.

Dissertation Conclusion Writing: The Basics

Dissertation conclusion is the very last chapter of any dissertation, and it provides closure to the completely voluminous paper. This part summarizes the key ideas of the study, reflects on the findings’ significance, and points the direction for further research on the topic. Clearly, this section should not be underestimated, as it is often decisive for the reader’s final impression about the dissertation.

Even though conclusion can contain some elements of discussion, it is much more concise and aimed at summarizing. It does not mention any new facts and does not attempt to interpret any of the findings discovered in the course of the study. In contrast, it refers to the ideas and arguments that have already been mentioned and repeats the thesis statement or hypothesis, showing in from a new perspective of the newly gained knowledge.

Conclusion Volume

As a rule, conclusion constitutes about 6-8% of the total dissertation’s word count. Its volume can vary depending on the study’s topic and type. For instance, an experiment-based research usually contains many numbers and accurate data, which suggests less discussion and more analytical operations, while a dissertation on sociology or psychology requires more interpretations and detailed discussions.

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Address the research question

The whole dissertation is built around some hypothesis or research question, and all of its chapters attempt to prove a theory or answer the question. Thus, in the last chapter, it is important to analyze whether the dissertation succeeded in finding the answers to the initial research question. This should be done in a concise way: simply make a statement regarding the research question and how well you managed to address it with your study.

Examples

An experiment-based dissertation that addresses a problem that exists in reality may have the following beginning of their conclusion:

Our study attempted to develop the fundraising methods that would work for non-profit charity companies. Having analyzed the quantitative and qualitative data related to donations after different campaigns, we can state that in order to create a successful campaign, it is extremely significant to calculate such factors as social distance and temporal distance. The study findings have shown that the donations are higher in conditions of larger social distance and smaller temporal distance.

A dissertation that addresses a certain theory or hypothesis and uses the existing literature sources as a main source of information, the conclusion beginning may be the following:

The interpretation of data related to the level of migration and its correlation with UK border policy has indicated the connection between the media sources of information and the policies introduced.

Pay attention to how the research objectives are presented in the second excerpt. They are not just repeated, but formulated in a different way, which helps to avoid repetition.

Summarize the Study

The closing part of the dissertation is the place where you should repeat why the study was initiated in the first place. Check the beginning of your paper, see the introduction, methodology, and research objectives, and briefly summarize what you were trying to find out with your study and which way you wanted to do it.

One of the ways to handle conclusion writing is go through your paper chapter by chapter and summarize each section in 1-2 sentences. However, remember to avoid repetitive sentences. In order to make your language more diverse and well structured, add your own interpretations of the chapters and discuss them briefly. Also, your conclusion should point out the limitations of the research in an objective manner.

Examples

  • Although X limits the accuracy of our findings, it shows Y from a new perspective.
  • Our study gives new details about X, but it places Y under question.

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Give Recommendations

Recommendations for other researchers are usually given in the Discussion chapter of the dissertation, but it is advisable to mention them briefly in the dissertation conclusion too.

Examples

  • As our study has shown, these factors should be considered in further experiments…
  • For a more in-depth understanding of the process, the future researchers should focus on…
  • More research is required for finding out the reasons of such…

Focus on Your Contributions

After reading your conclusion, everyone should feel that your dissertation is a solid and meaningful piece of writing that is important for the given academic field. In order to show how your work has contributed to the topic, try doing the things below:

  • Repeat the thesis statement and show how your study managed to address it;
  • Go back to the analyzed studies and point out the gaps in research your dissertation managed to cover.
  • Show how the results of your research match the existing context of the topic.

The significant point to remember here is to avoid repetition of the things that have already been said. Include only the key ideas in your conclusion.

Finish Your Dissertation

Once the conclusion is ready, it is time to deal with the minor sections of your dissertation. For instance, you could take on writing the abstract right away, using the freshly reviewed thesis content as a guide. Then, deal with the list of references, sticking to the required citation style. Later, compose the table of contents and the title page for your dissertation. As soon as all the sections are in place, you need to proofread the full paper to make sure that it contains no errors of any kind. Remember that you can apply to Prime-Essay.net for help at any moment of your work.

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