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How to Write a Dissertation Conclusion

Such a solid scientific work as a dissertation should definitely have a solid dissertation conclusion. To get acquainted with the dissertation, the reader may jump from reading abstract right to the conclusion skipping the middle sections. This will give one the idea of the main findings and their importance. Thus, it is a big mistake to treat the conclusion as a less prioritized part of your work, compared to such sections as methodology and results. Of course, in a document that defines your ‘academic destiny’ and influences your career all sections are equally important. Still, this article aims to explain how to write dissertation conclusion correctly.     

In a dissertation paper, the conclusion is literally the culmination of the work. Thus, it presents the researcher’s findings, their meaning and importance as well as the limitations and possible ways to continue this work. It is extremely important to present the main findings accurately and correctly. In the same way, it is prudent to indicate some possible drawbacks of your research: no one is perfect. It should be noted that recommendations provided in conclusion are equally important thus, you should not forget about them. Please, note that your conclusion should not coincide with the section titled “results” as these are two different sections. A quick reminder regarding the structure of this academic paper: an abstract that is a brief summary of your research, an introduction that ends with a thesis statement, followed by a literature review, then a methodology section, and then a section presenting results. Finally, you should present your discussion and conclusion section. Below, we provide some recommendations and ideas that may help you to write the final part to your dissertation paper.

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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 the last 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 a chapter on findings or results and a 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 this section cannot be overemphasized. 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 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 entire paper.

Even though the conclusion can contain some elements of discussion, it is much more concise and aimed at summarizing all the information. 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 it 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 its 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.

For a dissertation that addresses a certain theory or hypothesis and uses the existing literature 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 the way 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 statements. 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 repeating what has already been said. Include only the key ideas in your conclusion.

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Finish Your Dissertation

Once the conclusion is ready, it is time to work on 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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