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.
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.