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Include Conclusion Chapter Dissertation

The thesis is a valuable component of every student’s portfolio. It represents the hard work and the dedication to a student’s life.

“Thesis is like a mirror. It shows what you have accomplished in your college.”

A thesis generally has some certain chapters that include Introduction, Literature Review, Methodology, Analysis, Results and Conclusion. Thesis writing is quite a long and difficult task. However, an even more difficult task is writing the last chapter of the thesis on the conclusion.

Need for Conclusion in a Thesis

“One worthwhile task carried to a successful conclusion is better than 50 half-finished tasks”

After writing a long thesis, most people feel that they are not left with anything to say. The lack of words and the puzzled thoughts made them conclude a 140-160 pages thesis in a paragraph or two.

Imagine two paragraphs to conclude 80,000 words!

Always remember that an introduction and the conclusion can be the hardest to write, but trust me, they are worth investing your time in. The conclusion is something that a reader remembers the best. It often becomes hard for a reader to jot down all the important points of your thesis, in this case, a complete and meaningful conclusion take care to convey your study properly to the reader. Make sure that your conclusion should be the catchiest element of your thesis.

A conclusion portrays the perfect picture of your thesis topic and it also delivers an idea whether the purpose of your thesis is achieved or not. It is a well-written chapter that summarizes and analyzes each of the thesis chapters.

Learn how to Conclude your Thesis

Often it becomes hard to find words for that last piece of writing and in the excitement of finishing the thesis people relax and write whatever they want in the final conclusion. This not only marks them down but also affects the image they have created by their report, in the mind of the reader.

If you are writing the conclusion chapter of your thesis, you need to ensure that your conclusion actually does conclude your overall thesis, and does not go out of the track to discuss something that is irrelevant and not related to your research questions.

Writing a conclusion for the Thesis is quite different from writing a conclusion for your regular articles or essays. In a thesis, the conclusion writing plays a major role because it is much lengthier than an essay and to hold the reader’s attention needs a perfect ending. To write a conclusion for thesis there are some different approaches. You need to keep in mind that the conclusion here can be a game changer.

Here, we will discuss some techniques, elements and different ways that will make your conclusion more alluring and effective.

DISCUSS THE MAIN FINDINGS

Each chapter of your thesis has something new and you have already discussed that new at the end of every chapter. You have already presented various specific conclusions that came from the in-depth study of each chapter.

In this last and final conclusion, you have to organize everything into a series so that it links with the aim of the thesis and should also focus on the ways in which this study can contribute to the knowledge of that particular field of study. Talk about the literature you have studied, discuss how your main findings from that literature are contradicted and justified by your research.

Try to keep the new findings in a greater relative importance and relates them to the issues in the world.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE

A thesis is worthless if it doesn’t have any possibilities in the future. A portion of the conclusion on the need for future research is likely to attract more readers than a final verdict on the topic. Suggesting possibilities that can be developed from your work could add an extra point to your conclusion.

Your conclusion should raise new queries and open up new questions that can be answered in the future. Your conclusion writing should focus on the recommendation of the useful ways to extend the scope of your work in the future.

SUMMARIZE IT

Remember the conclusion is your last chance to show the reader the strength of your 5-year study and the intense research. There are many chances that the reader has not gone through many of your chapters, he might have skipped something very important by mistake or might be he has intentionally turned over your not so appealing thesis.

To make reader appreciate your every little effort, write down main points of your text in the last conclusion. Make sure not to copy exactly what you have written before. Here you have to write the key to every previous chapter. The summary should include the analysis of all the chapters and brief of facts and figures that were not included in the main text.

PERSONAL OPINION

You are the Newton here, the real hero. You have come up with something that was not known before. You have opened up some new chapters of a discipline. Here, you are the creator; your opinion really does matters for the reader. The reader wants to know the creative mind of this ocean of knowledge.

Make the proper use of this section. Use this chapter to pen down your thoughts, your knowledge and your opinions about the topic. Discuss your theories, prove them with your own examples, talk about your observations, give your suggestions on the implications of your study for future, and talk about the scope of a thesis.

However, also keep in mind that it is not your high school exam. You will be not marked on the basis of the sheets you have used. Try to cover everything on your mind but remember you are writing the conclusion, don’t make it unnecessarily lengthy and tedious. Take it as an opportunity and try not to sound too authoritarian.

ACCEPT THE LIMITATIONS

You are not perfect and neither can your research be. There is always a room for improvement. Yes, I agree that you have really worked hard. You have found out something that was hidden under the bundles of pages and you have done that exceptionally well. The report in your hand is the result of your continuous hard work and contains an in-depth study of a very tiny aspect of a particular field.

However, you need to accept that it is somehow limited.  Your conclusion should appreciate that your thesis to has limitations and there may be a possible scope to add more content and research to it. But don’t forget that you have invested your valuable time in it, it is better not to be too negative about your work.

PROVIDE ANSWERS

The reader has given a portion of his time to your thesis; make sure to end it with no queries in his mind. Repeat your research problems and questions in your conclusion, evaluate them and try to provide a balanced answer for it.

The best way to write conclusion is to find the answer to your own research question. It may sound stupid to you, but believe me, it reflects your intellectual side to the reader. Try to focus on the word ‘balance’. Your answer should balance and must provide evidence or facts to justify it.

DON’T INTRODUCE ANYTHING NEW

Don’t try to be a genius!

Writing too much and going out of the track is a genius trait, but you have to keep the very first line of this paragraph in your mind. The basic idea of a conclusion is, to sum up, things that you have already said before. There is no need to introduce new concepts and ideas in the conclusion. This will not only divert the reader’s mind from the main object but also create a chaos in his mind.

ACTIVATE YOUR GRAMMAR GENE

Don’t let silly mistakes ruin your work. You can’t deny the fact that good grammar and excellent vocabulary can change everything. In conclusion writing, you should be careful with your tenses. Try to avoid Present Continuous and Past Perfect while writing your conclusion. Make sure to use more of Present Perfect and Simple Past.

DON’T REPEAT

There is a reason why thesis has been divided into various sections. Divide your content according to the portions and limit it to that particular section only. Don’t make your conclusion boring by going over everything again and again.

MAKE USE OF YOUR CREATIVE WRITING SKILLS

You know the analysis, literature, background and discussion chapters of a thesis are mostly dull and dry. However, a conclusion can be a platform for you to showcase your creative writing skills. Try to make your conclusion a two-way communication so that the readers can connect themselves to it.

AVOID CLICHES

While writing the conclusion for your PhD. thesis, you should avoid using clichés like “In conclusion” or “in summary”. It sounds quite unnatural and is too straightforward. A strong conclusion doesn’t need any label or a tag.

You can start your sentences by using phrases like “We can see”, “It is clear” or “To review”. This will make your thesis more professional.

CLOSE WITH LOGIC

If you have shown multiple sides of a social problem or an issue in your thesis, make use of the conclusion to form a logical opinion without taking any side and back up your opinion by the evidence you have collected.

NO APOLOGIES

Do not use sentences like “I may not be an expert”, “It is just a suggestion” or “I may be wrong, but”.  These types of sentences de-emphasize your work and discoveries. You may not be an expert in other fields of study, but in your thesis, you surely are an expert.

 

Things to Remember While Writing The Thesis Conclusion

With learning the new ways of writing the conclusion, you should also remember some basic points to reach the conclusion.

Hold the Reader

Be it introduction or the conclusion, the ultimate goal is to hold the reader’s attention towards it. In a longer piece of writing, it becomes quite difficult to grab the attention of a reader as often reading a thesis become quite monotonous.

To keep the interest of the reader, it becomes important to add something interesting at the end of every chapter. With having an overall conclusion for your thesis, a conclusion of each chapter is also necessary to remind the reader of what you have done in that particular chapter.

Another way to grab the attention is to build a bridge linking one chapter to another. A phrase like ‘we will discuss this in next chapter’ keeps the reader more attentive for the coming chapters.

Too much of Conclusion

Yes, I do agree that conclusion is the key player in any thesis, but don’t use the word ‘conclusion’ everywhere in your report. Restrict yourself using this word in the last chapter only. Too much of conclusion leads to distraction and kills the curiosity of the reader.

Conclusion on your Thesis Conclusion

Every thesis has a different topic and a different style of writing. Some have discussion chapter and some have not. The only thing that remains common in every thesis is the importance of a conclusion.

“For a writer, there is nothing more amusing than reading a thesis with a powerful and meaningful ending”

The conclusion should focus on the importance of the thesis statement, complete the thesis to make a better sense, and hold the reader till the last word. It plays a vital role as it provides answers to the thesis problems and gives a direction for the future research.

Once you have completed the main body of your dissertation or thesis, you then need to worry about drawing your conclusions, and the additional pages, such as whether to include a table of contents.

Your university may have guidelines but, otherwise, you will have to use your own judgement.

This page gives some advice about what is often included and why.

Writing your Conclusion

You may have been permitted, and have chosen, to include your conclusions in the discussion section, see our page on Results and Discussion for some ideas about why you might choose to do this.

However, it is normal practice to include a short section at the end of your dissertation that draws out your conclusions.

This section will need to have several elements, including:

  • A brief summary, just a few paragraphs, of your key findings, related back to what you expected to see (essential);
  • The conclusions which you have drawn from your research (essential);
  • Why your research is important for researchers and practitioners (essential);
  • Recommendations for future research (strongly recommended, verging on essential);
  • Recommendations for practitioners (strongly recommended in management and business courses and some other areas, so check with your supervisor whether this will be expected); and
  • A final paragraph rounding off your dissertation or thesis.

Your conclusion does not need to be very long; no more than five pages is usually sufficient, although detailed recommendations for practice may require more space.


Other Elements for Inclusion

Title Page

Your university will almost certainly have formal guidelines on the format for the title page, which may need to be submitted separately for blind marking purposes.

As a general rule, the title page should contain the title of the thesis or dissertation, your name, your course, your supervisor and the date of submission or completion.

Abstract

This is a one page summary of your dissertation or thesis, effectively an executive summary.

Not every university requires a formal abstract, especially for undergraduate or master's theses, so check carefully. If one is required, it may be either structured or unstructured.

A structured abstract has subheadings, which should follow the same format as your dissertation itself (usually Literature, Methods, Results and Discussion). There will probably also be a word limit for the abstract.

If an abstract is required, it may be published separately from your thesis, as a way of indexing it. It will therefore be assessed both as a part of your thesis, and as a stand-alone document that will tell other researchers whether your dissertation will be useful in their studies. It is generally best to write the abstract last, when you are sure of the thread of your argument, and the most important areas to highlight.

Table of Contents

You should include a table of contents, which should include all headings and subheadings.

It is probably best to use the standard software tools to create and update this automatically, as it leads to fewer problems later on. If you’re not sure how to do this, use the Help function in the software, or Google it.

The time spent learning how to do it accurately will be more than saved later on when you don’t have to update it manually.

Table of Figures

You only really need to include this if you have a lot of figures. As with your table of contents, it’s best to use the tools available in the software to create this, so that it will update automatically even if you move a table or figure later.

Acknowledgements

This section is used to ensure that you do not inadvertently fall foul of any ‘taking help’ guidance.

Use it to thank:

  • Anyone who provided you with information, or who gave you their time as part of your research, for example, interviewees, or those who returned questionnaires;
  • Any person or body who has provided you with funding or financial support that has enabled you to carry out your research;
  • Anyone who has helped you with the writing, including anyone who has read and commented on a draft such as your supervisor, a proof-reader or a language editor, whether paid or unpaid;
  • Anyone to whom you are particularly grateful, like your spouse or family for tolerating your absence from family occasions for years during your studies.

Appendices

You should not use appendices as a general ‘dumping ground’ for stuff you found interesting, but couldn’t manage to shoehorn in anywhere else, or which you wanted to include but couldn’t within the word count.

Appendices should be used for relevant information only, such as copies of your questionnaires or interview outlines, letters asking people to participate or additional proofs.

You can be reasonably confident that nobody will read them in any detail, so don’t bother to use an appendix to explain why your argument is correct. Anything that you want to be read should be included in the main body of your text.


Finishing Off...

Check, Check and Check Again

Every university’s requirements are slightly different in terms of format, what sections need to be included and so on.

Make sure that you check what you have done against your university’s guidelines and that it conforms exactly.

If in doubt, check with the administrative staff dealing with submissions or with your supervisor. You really do not want to be penalised for an error of formatting.

Finally…

Make sure that you put your dissertation together in a single document, and read it over as a whole before submitting it.

It is also a good idea to get somebody else to proofread your work to check for any mistakes that you may have missed.

Collating your dissertation may introduce errors of formatting or style, or you may notice duplication between chapters that you had previously missed.

Allow sufficient time for collating and final checks, and also for any formal binding required by the university, to avoid any last minute panics.

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