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How to Create an Effective Thesis Statement in 5 Easy Steps
Creating a thesis statement can be a daunting task. It’s one of the most important sentences in your paper, and it needs to be done right. But don’t worry — with these five easy steps, you’ll be able to create an effective thesis statement in no time.
Step 1: Brainstorm Ideas
The first step is to brainstorm ideas for your paper. Think about what you want to say and write down any ideas that come to mind. This will help you narrow down your focus and make it easier to create your thesis statement.
Step 2: Research Your Topic
Once you have some ideas, it’s time to do some research on your topic. Look for sources that support your ideas and provide evidence for the points you want to make. This will help you refine your argument and make it more convincing.
Step 3: Formulate Your Argument
Now that you have done some research, it’s time to formulate your argument. Take the points you want to make and put them into one or two sentences that clearly state what your paper is about. This will be the basis of your thesis statement.
Step 4: Refine Your Thesis Statement
Once you have formulated your argument, it’s time to refine your thesis statement. Make sure that it is clear, concise, and specific. It should also be arguable so that readers can disagree with it if they choose.
Step 5: Test Your Thesis Statement
The last step is to test your thesis statement. Does it accurately reflect the points you want to make? Is it clear and concise? Does it make an arguable point? If not, go back and refine it until it meets all of these criteria.
Creating an effective thesis statement doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With these five easy steps, you can create a strong thesis statement in no time at all.
This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.
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How to Write a Thesis or Dissertation Conclusion
Published on September 6, 2022 by Tegan George and Shona McCombes. Revised on November 20, 2023.
The conclusion is the very last part of your thesis or dissertation . It should be concise and engaging, leaving your reader with a clear understanding of your main findings, as well as the answer to your research question .
In it, you should:
- Clearly state the answer to your main research question
- Summarize and reflect on your research process
- Make recommendations for future work on your thesis or dissertation topic
- Show what new knowledge you have contributed to your field
- Wrap up your thesis or dissertation
Table of contents
Discussion vs. conclusion, how long should your conclusion be, step 1: answer your research question, step 2: summarize and reflect on your research, step 3: make future recommendations, step 4: emphasize your contributions to your field, step 5: wrap up your thesis or dissertation, full conclusion example, conclusion checklist, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about conclusion sections.
While your conclusion contains similar elements to your discussion section , they are not the same thing.
Your conclusion should be shorter and more general than your discussion. Instead of repeating literature from your literature review , discussing specific research results , or interpreting your data in detail, concentrate on making broad statements that sum up the most important insights of your research.
As a rule of thumb, your conclusion should not introduce new data, interpretations, or arguments.
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Depending on whether you are writing a thesis or dissertation, your length will vary. Generally, a conclusion should make up around 5–7% of your overall word count.
An empirical scientific study will often have a short conclusion, concisely stating the main findings and recommendations for future research. A humanities dissertation topic or systematic review , on the other hand, might require more space to conclude its analysis, tying all the previous sections together in an overall argument.
Your conclusion should begin with the main question that your thesis or dissertation aimed to address. This is your final chance to show that you’ve done what you set out to do, so make sure to formulate a clear, concise answer.
- Don’t repeat a list of all the results that you already discussed
- Do synthesize them into a final takeaway that the reader will remember.
An empirical thesis or dissertation conclusion may begin like this:
A case study –based thesis or dissertation conclusion may begin like this:
In the second example, the research aim is not directly restated, but rather added implicitly to the statement. To avoid repeating yourself, it is helpful to reformulate your aims and questions into an overall statement of what you did and how you did it.
Your conclusion is an opportunity to remind your reader why you took the approach you did, what you expected to find, and how well the results matched your expectations.
To avoid repetition , consider writing more reflectively here, rather than just writing a summary of each preceding section. Consider mentioning the effectiveness of your methodology , or perhaps any new questions or unexpected insights that arose in the process.
You can also mention any limitations of your research, but only if you haven’t already included these in the discussion. Don’t dwell on them at length, though—focus on the positives of your work.
- While x limits the generalizability of the results, this approach provides new insight into y .
- This research clearly illustrates x , but it also raises the question of y .
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You may already have made a few recommendations for future research in your discussion section, but the conclusion is a good place to elaborate and look ahead, considering the implications of your findings in both theoretical and practical terms.
- Based on these conclusions, practitioners should consider …
- To better understand the implications of these results, future studies could address …
- Further research is needed to determine the causes of/effects of/relationship between …
When making recommendations for further research, be sure not to undermine your own work. Relatedly, while future studies might confirm, build on, or enrich your conclusions, they shouldn’t be required for your argument to feel complete. Your work should stand alone on its own merits.
Just as you should avoid too much self-criticism, you should also avoid exaggerating the applicability of your research. If you’re making recommendations for policy, business, or other practical implementations, it’s generally best to frame them as “shoulds” rather than “musts.” All in all, the purpose of academic research is to inform, explain, and explore—not to demand.
Make sure your reader is left with a strong impression of what your research has contributed to the state of your field.
Some strategies to achieve this include:
- Returning to your problem statement to explain how your research helps solve the problem
- Referring back to the literature review and showing how you have addressed a gap in knowledge
- Discussing how your findings confirm or challenge an existing theory or assumption
Again, avoid simply repeating what you’ve already covered in the discussion in your conclusion. Instead, pick out the most important points and sum them up succinctly, situating your project in a broader context.
The end is near! Once you’ve finished writing your conclusion, it’s time to wrap up your thesis or dissertation with a few final steps:
- It’s a good idea to write your abstract next, while the research is still fresh in your mind.
- Next, make sure your reference list is complete and correctly formatted. To speed up the process, you can use our free APA citation generator .
- Once you’ve added any appendices , you can create a table of contents and title page .
- Finally, read through the whole document again to make sure your thesis is clearly written and free from language errors. You can proofread it yourself , ask a friend, or consider Scribbr’s proofreading and editing service .
Here is an example of how you can write your conclusion section. Notice how it includes everything mentioned above:
The current research aimed to identify acoustic speech characteristics which mark the beginning of an exacerbation in COPD patients.
The central questions for this research were as follows: 1. Which acoustic measures extracted from read speech differ between COPD speakers in stable condition and healthy speakers? 2. In what ways does the speech of COPD patients during an exacerbation differ from speech of COPD patients during stable periods?
All recordings were aligned using a script. Subsequently, they were manually annotated to indicate respiratory actions such as inhaling and exhaling. The recordings of 9 stable COPD patients reading aloud were then compared with the recordings of 5 healthy control subjects reading aloud. The results showed a significant effect of condition on the number of in- and exhalations per syllable, the number of non-linguistic in- and exhalations per syllable, and the ratio of voiced and silence intervals. The number of in- and exhalations per syllable and the number of non-linguistic in- and exhalations per syllable were higher for COPD patients than for healthy controls, which confirmed both hypotheses.
However, the higher ratio of voiced and silence intervals for COPD patients compared to healthy controls was not in line with the hypotheses. This unpredicted result might have been caused by the different reading materials or recording procedures for both groups, or by a difference in reading skills. Moreover, there was a trend regarding the effect of condition on the number of syllables per breath group. The number of syllables per breath group was higher for healthy controls than for COPD patients, which was in line with the hypothesis. There was no effect of condition on pitch, intensity, center of gravity, pitch variability, speaking rate, or articulation rate.
This research has shown that the speech of COPD patients in exacerbation differs from the speech of COPD patients in stable condition. This might have potential for the detection of exacerbations. However, sustained vowels rarely occur in spontaneous speech. Therefore, the last two outcome measures might have greater potential for the detection of beginning exacerbations, but further research on the different outcome measures and their potential for the detection of exacerbations is needed due to the limitations of the current study.
I have clearly and concisely answered the main research question .
I have summarized my overall argument or key takeaways.
I have mentioned any important limitations of the research.
I have given relevant recommendations .
I have clearly explained what my research has contributed to my field.
I have not introduced any new data or arguments.
You've written a great conclusion! Use the other checklists to further improve your dissertation.
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In a thesis or dissertation, the discussion is an in-depth exploration of the results, going into detail about the meaning of your findings and citing relevant sources to put them in context.
The conclusion is more shorter and more general: it concisely answers your main research question and makes recommendations based on your overall findings.
While it may be tempting to present new arguments or evidence in your thesis or disseration conclusion , especially if you have a particularly striking argument you’d like to finish your analysis with, you shouldn’t. Theses and dissertations follow a more formal structure than this.
All your findings and arguments should be presented in the body of the text (more specifically in the discussion section and results section .) The conclusion is meant to summarize and reflect on the evidence and arguments you have already presented, not introduce new ones.
For a stronger dissertation conclusion , avoid including:
- Important evidence or analysis that wasn’t mentioned in the discussion section and results section
- Generic concluding phrases (e.g. “In conclusion …”)
- Weak statements that undermine your argument (e.g., “There are good points on both sides of this issue.”)
Your conclusion should leave the reader with a strong, decisive impression of your work.
The conclusion of your thesis or dissertation shouldn’t take up more than 5–7% of your overall word count.
The conclusion of your thesis or dissertation should include the following:
- A restatement of your research question
- A summary of your key arguments and/or results
- A short discussion of the implications of your research
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How To Write The Conclusion Chapter
The what, why & how explained simply (with examples).
By: Jenna Crossley (PhD Cand). Reviewed By: Dr. Eunice Rautenbach | September 2021
So, you’ve wrapped up your results and discussion chapters, and you’re finally on the home stretch – the conclusion chapter . In this post, we’ll discuss everything you need to know to craft a high-quality conclusion chapter for your dissertation or thesis project.
Overview: Dissertation Conclusion Chapter
- What the thesis/dissertation conclusion chapter is
- What to include in your conclusion chapter
- How to structure and write up your conclusion chapter
- A few tips to help you ace the chapter
What exactly is the conclusion chapter?
The conclusion chapter is typically the final major chapter of a dissertation or thesis. As such, it serves as a concluding summary of your research findings and wraps up the document. While some publications such as journal articles and research reports combine the discussion and conclusion sections, these are typically separate chapters in a dissertation or thesis. As always, be sure to check what your university’s structural preference is before you start writing up these chapters.
So, what’s the difference between the discussion and the conclusion chapter?
Well, the two chapters are quite similar , as they both discuss the key findings of the study. However, the conclusion chapter is typically more general and high-level in nature. In your discussion chapter, you’ll typically discuss the intricate details of your study, but in your conclusion chapter, you’ll take a broader perspective, reporting on the main research outcomes and how these addressed your research aim (or aims) .
A core function of the conclusion chapter is to synthesise all major points covered in your study and to tell the reader what they should take away from your work. Basically, you need to tell them what you found , why it’s valuable , how it can be applied , and what further research can be done.
Whatever you do, don’t just copy and paste what you’ve written in your discussion chapter! The conclusion chapter should not be a simple rehash of the discussion chapter. While the two chapters are similar, they have distinctly different functions.
What should I include in the conclusion chapter?
To understand what needs to go into your conclusion chapter, it’s useful to understand what the chapter needs to achieve. In general, a good dissertation conclusion chapter should achieve the following:
- Summarise the key findings of the study
- Explicitly answer the research question(s) and address the research aims
- Inform the reader of the study’s main contributions
- Discuss any limitations or weaknesses of the study
- Present recommendations for future research
Therefore, your conclusion chapter needs to cover these core components. Importantly, you need to be careful not to include any new findings or data points. Your conclusion chapter should be based purely on data and analysis findings that you’ve already presented in the earlier chapters. If there’s a new point you want to introduce, you’ll need to go back to your results and discussion chapters to weave the foundation in there.
In many cases, readers will jump from the introduction chapter directly to the conclusions chapter to get a quick overview of the study’s purpose and key findings. Therefore, when you write up your conclusion chapter, it’s useful to assume that the reader hasn’t consumed the inner chapters of your dissertation or thesis. In other words, craft your conclusion chapter such that there’s a strong connection and smooth flow between the introduction and conclusion chapters, even though they’re on opposite ends of your document.
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How to write the conclusion chapter
Now that you have a clearer view of what the conclusion chapter is about, let’s break down the structure of this chapter so that you can get writing. Keep in mind that this is merely a typical structure – it’s not set in stone or universal. Some universities will prefer that you cover some of these points in the discussion chapter , or that you cover the points at different levels in different chapters.
Step 1: Craft a brief introduction section
As with all chapters in your dissertation or thesis, the conclusions chapter needs to start with a brief introduction. In this introductory section, you’ll want to tell the reader what they can expect to find in the chapter, and in what order . Here’s an example of what this might look like:
This chapter will conclude the study by summarising the key research findings in relation to the research aims and questions and discussing the value and contribution thereof. It will also review the limitations of the study and propose opportunities for future research.
Importantly, the objective here is just to give the reader a taste of what’s to come (a roadmap of sorts), not a summary of the chapter. So, keep it short and sweet – a paragraph or two should be ample.
Step 2: Discuss the overall findings in relation to the research aims
The next step in writing your conclusions chapter is to discuss the overall findings of your study , as they relate to the research aims and research questions . You would have likely covered similar ground in the discussion chapter, so it’s important to zoom out a little bit here and focus on the broader findings – specifically, how these help address the research aims .
In practical terms, it’s useful to start this section by reminding your reader of your research aims and research questions, so that the findings are well contextualised. In this section, phrases such as, “This study aimed to…” and “the results indicate that…” will likely come in handy. For example, you could say something like the following:
This study aimed to investigate the feeding habits of the naked mole-rat. The results indicate that naked mole rats feed on underground roots and tubers. Further findings show that these creatures eat only a part of the plant, leaving essential parts to ensure long-term food stability.
Be careful not to make overly bold claims here. Avoid claims such as “this study proves that” or “the findings disprove existing the existing theory”. It’s seldom the case that a single study can prove or disprove something. Typically, this is achieved by a broader body of research, not a single study – especially not a dissertation or thesis which will inherently have significant and limitations. We’ll discuss those limitations a little later.
Step 3: Discuss how your study contributes to the field
Next, you’ll need to discuss how your research has contributed to the field – both in terms of theory and practice . This involves talking about what you achieved in your study, highlighting why this is important and valuable, and how it can be used or applied.
In this section you’ll want to:
- Mention any research outputs created as a result of your study (e.g., articles, publications, etc.)
- Inform the reader on just how your research solves your research problem , and why that matters
- Reflect on gaps in the existing research and discuss how your study contributes towards addressing these gaps
- Discuss your study in relation to relevant theories . For example, does it confirm these theories or constructively challenge them?
- Discuss how your research findings can be applied in the real world . For example, what specific actions can practitioners take, based on your findings?
Be careful to strike a careful balance between being firm but humble in your arguments here. It’s unlikely that your one study will fundamentally change paradigms or shake up the discipline, so making claims to this effect will be frowned upon . At the same time though, you need to present your arguments with confidence, firmly asserting the contribution your research has made, however small that contribution may be. Simply put, you need to keep it balanced .
Step 4: Reflect on the limitations of your study
Now that you’ve pumped your research up, the next step is to critically reflect on the limitations and potential shortcomings of your study. You may have already covered this in the discussion chapter, depending on your university’s structural preferences, so be careful not to repeat yourself unnecessarily.
There are many potential limitations that can apply to any given study. Some common ones include:
- Sampling issues that reduce the generalisability of the findings (e.g., non-probability sampling )
- Insufficient sample size (e.g., not getting enough survey responses ) or limited data access
- Low-resolution data collection or analysis techniques
- Researcher bias or lack of experience
- Lack of access to research equipment
- Time constraints that limit the methodology (e.g. cross-sectional vs longitudinal time horizon)
- Budget constraints that limit various aspects of the study
Discussing the limitations of your research may feel self-defeating (no one wants to highlight their weaknesses, right), but it’s a critical component of high-quality research. It’s important to appreciate that all studies have limitations (even well-funded studies by expert researchers) – therefore acknowledging these limitations adds credibility to your research by showing that you understand the limitations of your research design .
That being said, keep an eye on your wording and make sure that you don’t undermine your research . It’s important to strike a balance between recognising the limitations, but also highlighting the value of your research despite those limitations. Show the reader that you understand the limitations, that these were justified given your constraints, and that you know how they can be improved upon – this will get you marks.
Next, you’ll need to make recommendations for future studies. This will largely be built on the limitations you just discussed. For example, if one of your study’s weaknesses was related to a specific data collection or analysis method, you can make a recommendation that future researchers undertake similar research using a more sophisticated method.
Another potential source of future research recommendations is any data points or analysis findings that were interesting or surprising , but not directly related to your study’s research aims and research questions. So, if you observed anything that “stood out” in your analysis, but you didn’t explore it in your discussion (due to a lack of relevance to your research aims), you can earmark that for further exploration in this section.
Essentially, this section is an opportunity to outline how other researchers can build on your study to take the research further and help develop the body of knowledge. So, think carefully about the new questions that your study has raised, and clearly outline these for future researchers to pick up on.
Step 6: Wrap up with a closing summary
Quick tips for a top-notch conclusion chapter
Now that we’ve covered the what , why and how of the conclusion chapter, here are some quick tips and suggestions to help you craft a rock-solid conclusion.
- Don’t ramble . The conclusion chapter usually consumes 5-7% of the total word count (although this will vary between universities), so you need to be concise. Edit this chapter thoroughly with a focus on brevity and clarity.
- Be very careful about the claims you make in terms of your study’s contribution. Nothing will make the marker’s eyes roll back faster than exaggerated or unfounded claims. Be humble but firm in your claim-making.
- Use clear and simple language that can be easily understood by an intelligent layman. Remember that not every reader will be an expert in your field, so it’s important to make your writing accessible. Bear in mind that no one knows your research better than you do, so it’s important to spell things out clearly for readers.
Hopefully, this post has given you some direction and confidence to take on the conclusion chapter of your dissertation or thesis with confidence. If you’re still feeling a little shaky and need a helping hand, consider booking a free initial consultation with a friendly Grad Coach to discuss how we can help you with hands-on, private coaching.
Psst… there’s more (for free)
This post is part of our dissertation mini-course, which covers everything you need to get started with your dissertation, thesis or research project.
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How to Write a Dissertation or Thesis Conclusion: Guide & Examples
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A dissertation conclusion serves as the final chapter and is often the last thing the reader will see. It should provide a concise summary of the research project, including the research questions or hypotheses, the methods used to conduct the research, and the key findings and conclusions. The conclusion section should also discuss the implications of the research, including its significance for the field and any practical applications of the findings.
Are you a PhD, doctorate, or bachelor student looking forward to writing your dissertation/thesis conclusion and don't know where to start? Stop worrying — help is here. Continue reading this blog post to gain an idea on how to write a conclusion for a thesis or dissertation. In this article, we will discuss what a dissertation conclusion is, its length, and what it should include. Our dissertation services also provided examples, and explained some typical mistakes you have to avoid.
What Is a Dissertation Conclusion?
So, what is a thesis conclusion? It is a concluding chapter in a dissertation or thesis paper. It is the last section of an academic work, carefully written to summarize the information discussed in a document and offer readers insight into what the research has achieved. Your dissertation or thesis conclusion should be well-drafted as it is a reference point that people will remember most. The purpose of dissertation conclusion is to give those reading a sense of closure and reiterate any critical issues discussed. Each conclusion for dissertation should be concise, clear, and definitive. Also, its aim is to offer recommendations for further investigation as well as give readers an understanding of the dissertation discussion chapter .
Thesis or Dissertation Conclusion Length
The conclusion of a thesis or a dissertation is a long chapter — not one single sentence but a whole page or more. Generally, it should be 5–7% of the overall word count. The length of a thesis or dissertation conclusion chapter depends on several factors, such as your academic field, research topic , and stated number of pages. However, it can vary depending on other circumstances. Indeed, you should always refer to each set of your university guidelines for writing conclusions. It's important to note that this section ought not to introduce any new information and be a summary of the research findings. Also, every dissertation conclusion must not be too long as it can distract from other aspects of your thesis. Make sure that you provide a balanced summary and avoid repeating yourself. Lastly, it has to be long enough to discuss its implications for future studies.
What to Include in the Conclusion of a Dissertation or Thesis?
Writing a thesis conclusion can be challenging, but every student needs to understand how to create it, as this is one of the most critical parts of your Ph.D. work. Below is the list of things every dissertation conclusion structure should include:
- Summary of the major findings of your research Summarize the main points discussed in your work.
- Implications of your research Discuss your study's implications for future research and academic fields. Doing this here is essential to indicate an author's transparency and willingness to accept the flaws of their report.
- Recommendations for further study Provide suggestions for the next investigation if needed.
- Reviewing any limitations and weaknesses of the research process and findings It is an integral part of dissertation conclusions as it allows authors to reflect on the process.
- Evaluation or analysis of your findings Analyze your research findings and provide an assessment.
- Conclusion statement Provide a specific conclusion that summarizes your thesis or dissertation.
Hopefully, these tips on writing a conclusion chapter for your thesis or dissertation will help you finish your work confidently. All these components should be present when writing a conclusion for thesis or dissertation. Additionally, ensure that you do not repeat yourself. Lastly, keep your length appropriate and based on your university guidelines.
How to Write a Dissertation Conclusion Chapter?
When writing this chapter, you should ensure its content is clear and concise. Equipping yourself with some knowledge of how to write a conclusion for a dissertation or thesis is imperative, as it will help you keep your piece organized, logical, and interesting. This chapter is the last part of your work that your professors or readers will read, and it should make a lasting impression on them. Below is a step-by-step instruction on how to write a dissertation conclusion section.
1. Restate Your Research Question and Answer It
While writing a dissertation conclusion, your first step is to restate the research question offered in your dissertation introduction and reveal the answer. It is essential to do this in your conclusion in thesis or dissertation because it helps readers be aware of every primary point you were trying to achieve in writing. In addition, restating available research questions in your conclusion in a dissertation or thesis will also make people understand the significance of your inquiry. In other words, it should remind people of the original purpose of writing. Provide further insights into a topic when answering each research question. In addition, responses must be related to your dissertation results section and offer evidence for any conclusions you made in your study. When writing a dissertation conclusion chapter, you ought to be able to give a meaningful response to the study question that adds value to your work. Keeping replies short, concise, and clear will help you to avoid writing irrelevant content. Below is an example of how to start a dissertation conclusion:
In conclusion, this research has successfully answered the primary research question: how does gender discrimination impact job satisfaction in the workplace? The study determined that gender discrimination directly impacts job satisfaction and can make employees feel demoralized, undervalued, and frustrated. Furthermore, employers must create policies and initiatives promoting workplace inclusion and equality. It can help employees feel valued, respected, and satisfied.
2. Summarize Key Points
The next element in your conclusion section is summarizing the main points of your dissertation. In this section, students need to reflect on their study and mention critical findings and the methodology's effectiveness. Straightforwardly compose your summary and ensure you use your own words to write a conclusion in a dissertation. Avoid copying and pasting sentences from other parts of your work to evade plagiarism and repetition. In concluding a dissertation, each written summary should include findings, results, data, and additional relevant literature. The following is an example of how to summarize a dissertation:
The study aimed to research the effects of gender discrimination on job satisfaction in the workplace. A survey was conducted on 106 participants across different industries using qualitative and quantitative research methods, allowing data collection from employees. Findings revealed that gender discrimination has a direct impact and can lead to feeling demoralized, undervalued, and frustrated. On the other hand, the research found that inclusivity and equality initiatives can help employees feel better about their job roles. Therefore, it is essential that organizations take adequate steps to create a more inclusive and equitable workstation.
3. Explain Why Your Study Is Valuable
After summarizing your key points, the next step to writing a dissertation conclusion is to explain why your research was valuable. Here you should provide readers with an additional perspective of the study to better understand the importance of your study. When it's time to write a conclusion to a thesis paper or dissertation, you must explain what makes it worthwhile to any academic or scientific community. It can include topics such as answering a critical research question, using unique methods to explore an issue, or discovering something new about an existing topic. You should note that you have to provide further recommendations to help improve the research. Composing a dissertation conclusion shows how your work has impacted the field of study, either in progress or resolving an existing problem. It is essential to demonstrate how your study contributes to future studies and influences society or policymaking. Doing this is crucial in your dissertation conclusion chapter as it shows readers the importance of research in that field and validates what you have achieved throughout your investigation. Also, explaining some study implications to society will help people understand why this topic is valuable and relevant. Below you can find an example of how to write contributions in a dissertation conclusion:
The research discussed in this work demonstrates that gender discrimination directly impacts job satisfaction in the workplace. The results of this study have several implications for society, most notably for employers, to create policies and initiatives to promote workplace inclusion. In addition, it's valuable to organizations to help them make more equitable and inclusive offices, to academics to inform their research on diversity and inclusivity, and to policymakers to develop initiatives to reduce gender discrimination in places of work. The research provides valuable insight to inform future studies on this topic and serves to highlight the need to create policies to protect employees from gender discrimination better.
If you experience difficulties with any section of your PhD work, don’t hesitate to ask our professional academic writers for thesis help.
4. Mention the Limitations of Your Study
When writing a thesis or dissertation conclusion, mentioning your study's limitations is imperative. It includes discussing any issues you encountered in collecting data, constraints that limited your research, and specific parameters. Citing these shortcomings can help provide insight into why certain elements may not be included in your work and explain any discrepancies your readers might have noticed and, hence, missing in your conclusion chapter. Additionally, writing about any drawbacks can deliver an opportunity to offer further suggestions for future studies and make recommendations on how best to address these uncovered issues. In concluding a dissertation, constraints should not be seen as unfavorable but rather as an additional chance to deliver more understanding of your investigation. Limitations in a thesis conclusion example can look as follows:
The study is subject to some limitations, such as small sample size and limited scope of data collection. Moreover, due to time constraints, this research did not address some potential implications of gender discrimination in other areas, such as pay, career development, and career advancement. Future studies could further explore these topics in more depth to gain a more comprehensive understanding of their effects on job satisfaction.
When writing about identified limitations of the research, you demonstrate to readers that you considered critical shortcomings and that you are aware of available potential issues. That will provide insight into addressing these limitations and help display your researching and writing credibility.
5. Offer Recommendations Based on Implications
Including recommendations is an integral part of writing every conclusion of a dissertation. In this section, you can provide insight into how to address any issues you have uncovered in your study and make suggestions for future research. When including recommendations, you should first give an overview of the implications of your research and then link it to how you may deal with them. A bachelor conclusion ought to consist of advice for students to guide their future writing. Offer insights for further investigation based on data results and analysis of literature review . Below is an example of how to write dissertation conclusion recommendations:
The research discussed in this study provides several implications for employers, academics, and policymakers. For employers, the results of this study suggest that they should create policies and initiatives to promote workplace inclusion and diversity. Academics can use these findings to inform their research on gender discrimination in the workplace, and policymakers can develop initiatives to reduce it. Furthermore, future studies should explore other potential implications of gender discrimination in the workplace, such as pay, career development, and career advancement. Doing so would provide a more comprehensive understanding of the issue and potential solutions.
6. Conclude Your Dissertation with a Summary
The end of conclusion final chapter will close with a summary of the study. Wrapping up your dissertation or thesis conclusions is an excellent way to leave long-lasting impressions on your readers and ensure they remember all critical points of your research. You should summarize key points from previous sections and how they contribute to your overall context. When writing the conclusion chapter of a dissertation, the summary should be brief but comprehensive. Moreover, these findings can offer an innovative perspective on how to conclude a thesis or a dissertation. It provides comprehensive insights into outcomes and their relevance in today's world. Here is how to wrap up a conclusion of a dissertation example:
Overall, the findings from this research suggest that gender discrimination in the workplace has adverse effects on job satisfaction. Such discrimination often takes the form of unequal pay, career development opportunities, and access to promotions. Employers should take action to create policies that promote workplace inclusion and diversity to address this problem. Additionally, academics and policymakers should further explore the implications of gender discrimination in the workplace and develop initiatives to reduce it. The research provides a valuable starting point for understanding this complex issue and offers insight into potential solutions.
Thesis & Dissertation Conclusion Examples
Before writing a thesis or dissertation conclusion, you are encouraged to check at least two examples. These instances can provide insights on effectively linking your key findings with possible implications for future studies. In addition, you may use these examples as guides to writing your dissertation conclusions. Attached below is a thesis conclusion example sample.
Thesis paper conclusion example
Dissertation conclusion example
Mistakes to Avoid When Writing Dissertation Conclusions
Mistakes are inevitable when writing conclusions in a dissertation, but you can avoid them through careful proofreading and editing. Including new information or data in your dissertation or thesis conclusion chapter is one such mistake. The chapter should only incorporate information or data already mentioned and discussed in other preceding body paragraphs. How not to write a dissertation conclusion can be seen in complex language, lengthy sentences, and confusing grammar. In addition, one should evade making unsubstantiated claims or generalizations not supported by research findings. Shun writing phrases or any argument considered jargon. Lastly, ensuring that the conclusion chapter in a dissertation answers the research question and that you have provided sufficient evidence to support your conclusions is essential. Therefore, we simply recommend that you review and proofread it before submission. Following these tips mentioned above and examples of dissertation or thesis conclusions should help you write effectively.
Dissertation/ Thesis Dissertation Conclusion Writing Checklist
Writing a conclusion to a thesis paper or dissertation can be daunting because there is a lot of pressure to ensure you wrap up all the key points and tie together any loose ends. Checklists are helpful guides. The reason is that they provide practical tips on how to write dissertation conclusions by breaking each writing process down into manageable steps. Below is a checklist of important things you should keep in mind and follow when writing any conclusion:
Final Thoughts on Dissertation Conclusion
The article discussed how to write the conclusion of a dissertation or thesis writing. It has outlined some critical steps and provided a checklist that you can use as a practical guide. Reasonable inferences require clear objectives, knowing the appropriate structure, addressing any limitations within your work, summarizing key points, providing recommendations for further research, and citing sources appropriately. Also, we offered some samples of how to write a thesis conclusion example. Following these steps will ensure that you conclude your dissertation or thesis writing successfully. Finally, proofread and edit your writing to provide high-quality outcome. All these tips will help you in writing a thesis or dissertation conclusion chapter that is effective and comprehensive.
Keep in mind that our expert writers are always here to support you! They can assist in preparing any section of your study. While we are assisting you with writing, you are relaxing your mind or focusing on other important tasks!
FAQ About How to Write a Conclusion to a Thesis or Dissertation
1. how to write a good thesis conclusion.
When writing every thesis conclusion, it's essential to focus on summarizing the key points, providing implications to that broader field, addressing any limitations, and making recommendations for further study. Additionally, it should be concise, clear, logical, and coherent. Finally, it's crucial to proofread and edit it to ensure its high quality.
2. How to start a dissertation conclusion?
Beginning each dissertation's concluding chapter is best done by restating the research question, as it provides the link between your introduction, research objectives, and conclusion. That allows an individual to transition smoothly into summarizing all main points from the discussion. For you to start a dissertation conclusion chapter effectively, it is essential to understand the purpose of writing it in the first place.
4. What is the difference between discussion and conclusion?
The difference between a discussion and a conclusion is in the depth of exploration. A discussion is a detailed assessment of the results, while a conclusion is shorter and more general. The discussion section will usually include a detailed analysis of the data collected, while the conclusion section will often provide an overview of the key points and implications. Additionally, this part will offer recommendations for further research.
3. Can I add new data in a conclusion of the dissertation?
No, including new data in the conclusion of a dissertation is not advisable. This section should summarize the research objectives, findings, and implications. Adding new data would not be appropriate as it may create confusion or inconsistency throughout your research. Conversely, it is prudent to summarize every content your work addresses.
5. How to end a thesis or a dissertation?
The end of a dissertation or a thesis should be memorable and end on a high note. One way to accomplish this is by including something unforgettable, such as a question, warning, or call to action. It will give every reader something to think about and engage in further discussion.
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- checkbox There is a summary of the research objectives and findings.
- checkbox I have covered research implications for a broader field.
- checkbox I have offered study limitations and how to address them in future exploration.
- checkbox I have provided recommendations for further research and applications of the findings.
- checkbox I have made a summary of all main points from the discussion section.
- checkbox I have explained why I chose that particular field for examination.
- checkbox My main conclusions are stated.
- checkbox I have proofread and edited my work after completion.
Writing a Conclusion
Writing a conclusion is an important part of any piece of writing. It is often possible to get a good overview of an assignment by looking briefly at the conclusion. However, writing a conclusion can be quite difficult. This is because it can often be hard to find something interesting or useful to say in the conclusion. Conclusions should be attractive and interesting but often they are rather dull and "formula written".
Although formulae for writing conclusions are tempting to use, it is always best to avoid set phrases such as "Therefore, let us conclude that..." which are clichés, and do not help to end your work in the best light.
Helpful information, advice and materials for writing conclusions
1. What are the typical ingredients in a conclusion?
2. What are the differences between writing conclusions to essays and to dissertations/theses?
3. See a sample conclusion
4. Try a practice activity
5. Check out further advice on writing conclusions
6. Download a checklist to help you edit your written work
What are the typical 'ingredients' of a conclusion?
Trzeciak and Mackay (1994) ( Study skills for academic writing. New York: Prentice Hall ) observe a number of useful "ingredients" that form part of a conclusion. Again (as with introductions) it will not always be necessary or desirable to include all the elements they mention. However, you will probably want to use some of these in some combination, in order to conclude your work.
- A summary of the main part of the text
- A deduction made on the basis of the main body
- Your personal opinion on what has been discussed
- A statement about the limitations of the work
- A comment about the future based on what has been discussed
- The implications of the work for future research
- Important facts and figures not mentioned in the main body
Pallant (2009) sees five basic ingredients of a conclusion as follows, though these will not always be used in the same conclusion:
- A summary of the main points (being careful not to repeat exactly what you have written before)
- Concluding statements
These recommendations probably apply more to discussion essays than they do to other kinds of assessed writing at university. For example, if you are writing a business plan or discussing a law scenario, or answering an examination question, you may not need the above elements, unless the question specifically asks you for them or unless it is known that it is expected of you in the discipline you are working in.
However, you will generally need a final section to indicate that you are 'rounding off' the discusion. Always be very careful to check what the conventions are in the discipline you are working in, and ideally, it is best to look at examples of past students' work so that you can see what you are aiming for.
What are the differences between writing conclusions to essays and to dissertations/theses?
When writing longer pieces of work, it is still very important to observe some of the principles above. For instance, you will still want to ensure that your conclusion really does conclude , and does not just go off at a tangent to discuss something that is unrelated to the thesis. Some people believe (mistakenly) that a conclusion is the place for you to relax and 'say whatever you want'. This is incorrect. If you do this, you will be likely to be marked down.
There are also likely to be some key differences in your approach when writing conclusions. Certainly, conclusions will be even more important in a dissertation or thesis, purely because of the length of the piece. Among the differences you will notice are the following:
- As well as having an overall conclusion to your dissertation or thesis, each chapter should also have a conclusion (as well as an introduction). The reason for this is that in a longer piece of writing, it becomes more important to remind the reader of what you have done and why you have done it, before you move onto the next stage.
- The conclusion of a dissertation or thesis is not an opportunity to engage in a personal 'rant'. You must draw out key aspects of the literature you have studied, along with your recommendations , and say how they are justified or contradicted by your research.
- It is a good idea in a chapter conclusion to remind the reader what happened in the chapter (e.g. In this chapter, the literature relating to the teaching of vocabulary was considered.). After this, you need to build a bridge linking this chapter with the next one. (e.g. This will be further discussed in the next chapter.)
- In a dissertation or thesis, there is likely to be a longer section on the limitations of your research . Important though this is, however, you also need to be sure to sell your research in the conclusion - so it is best not to be too negative or over-modest about your achievements at this point. The key to many dissertations and theses is the need to emphasise the contribution that it makes to research.
- In a dissertation or thesis, it is more likely that you will have a section on the need for future research . In an MA or MSc dissertation you may like to suggest something that could be developed from your work as a PhD thesis. In a PhD thesis you may like to indicate some potential for post-doctoral work.
Further advice on writing conclusions
When writing an assignment, be careful of the following points:
- The topic you are writing about may not always require a full conclusion (this is particularly the case if your work is heavily analytical or mathematical, or not very discursive.) Remember not all assignments require discussion. Check what the expectations are in your own department. Ask your tutor if you are not sure.
- Even if you do not need a full conclusion, remember that any assignment nearly always needs to be rounded off in some way and brought to an end. Consider this: will the reader know that you have finished your work? (Or will they just think that you have run out of time - or energy)?
- Keep in mind the balance of your assignment. The conclusion should be clear and relatively brief.
- In discussion-type assignments, it is often a better idea to raise questions and problems in the conclusion than to provide over-simplified/ naive answers to the assignment title. Examiners will usually be very wary of essays, theses or dissertations that presume to solve all the world's problems in a simplistic and trivial way. Remember, life is never that simple. However, remember not to introduce any new material in the conclusion.
- There is no need to go over everything again that you have already mentioned; this would be unnecessarily boring and tedious.
- Make sure that the conclusion is based on what you have said before. It is often tempting to go off at a tangent and to say things that are completely unrelated to the topic. Be wary of this.
- It is permissible to give your opinion in the conclusion but try to do so subtly and try not to sound too pompous or authoritarian . Usually your viewpoint will be obvious from your discussion, so there is no need to conclude with statements such as: In conclusion, I think Hamlet is a great play. Allow your enthusiasm for the topic to show in how you discuss it. Make sure that you do not use the conclusion as an opportunity to engage in an over-generalised an unfocussed 'rant'.
- Be careful with tenses. In a conclusion, you will usually want to use the present perfect (e.g. The aim of this dissertation has been to....) followed by the simple past (Chapter 1 provided an overview of...).
- Be very careful about using the word "conclusion" anywhere other than the conclusion itself! This can mislead the reader. If you use the word conclusion several times in an essay, the reader will give up trying to work out where the conclusion really is.
Writing the Dissertation - Guides for Success: The Conclusion
- Writing the Dissertation Homepage
- Overview and Planning
- The Literature Review
- The Methodology
- The Results and Discussion
- The Conclusion
- The Abstract
- Getting Started
- Annotated Example
- What to Avoid
Overview of writing the dissertation conclusion
The conclusion is the final chapter of the dissertation. It serves to reinforce your main argument and findings, before considering the wider implications of your research. Along with the introduction, it’s often the shortest chapter in a dissertation, but it is a chapter in its own right and should be given due care and attention.
Even so, the conclusion of a dissertation is sometimes hastily thrown together, culminating in a perfunctory and uninspiring end to such a substantial piece of work. Just like how nobody likes a bad ending to a movie, you want your conclusion to be an accurate and positive reflection of your dissertation that leaves your reader with a clear and satisfying end to the work.
Please note: this guide is not specific to any one discipline. The conclusion can vary depending on the nature of the research and the expectations of the school or department, so please adapt the following advice to meet the demands of your project and department. Consult your supervisor for further guidance.
As part of the Writing the Dissertation series, this guide covers the essentials of writing a strong conclusion, giving you the necessary knowledge, tips and guidance needed to leave a positive impression on your markers! Here’s what to expect:
- Getting Started - Defines the overarching purpose of the conclusion.
- Structure - Breaks down the conclusion's 'narrow to broad' structure in two main parts.
- Annotated Example - Provides a sample conclusion with notes to highlight the strategies the writer uses.
- What to Avoid - Covers a few frequent mistakes you'll want to...avoid!
- FAQs - Guidance on first- vs. third-person, use of secondary literature and more.
- Checklist - Includes a summary of key points and a self-evaluation checklist.
Training and tools
- The Academic Skills team has recorded a Writing the Dissertation workshop series to help you with each section of a standard dissertation, including a video on writing the dissertation conclusion (embedded below).
- The dissertation planner tool can help you think through the timeline for planning, research, drafting and editing.
- iSolutions offers training and a Word template to help you digitally format and structure your dissertation.
What is the conclusion?
The conclusion isn’t simply a brief recap of your previous chapters. Instead, the conclusion revisits your primary research purpose – your research question(s) and/or hypotheses – and summarises and synthesises the main research findings, or areas of discussion, to reinforce how your dissertation responds to that purpose: how does it answer question X or prove argument Y to be correct?
The conclusion then moves beyond the immediate confines of your research to engage with the wider impact and relevance of your work. That is to say, you feed the work you have completed back into the wider context to emphasise how your research has advanced our understanding of this area. This is your final opportunity to leave a positive and lasting impression on your reader, so it’s important that your conclusion captures the essential information in your dissertation and emphasises its value in the relevant profession or field of research.
Tip: Imagine that your reader only reads the abstract, the introduction and the conclusion before deciding whether they choose to read the entire dissertation. This should help you to write the conclusion because you need to ensure that your conclusion (and your abstract and introduction) includes the essential information that you want your reader to take away with them. You don’t need excessive detail (see ' What to avoid' for more).
Structuring a conclusion
Whilst the conclusion of a dissertation is a chapter in its own right, it’s important to consider the role that the conclusion plays in the entire structure of your dissertation. You might recognise the shape below – what is sometimes called an ‘hourglass’ structure. This represents a typical structure for an essay or dissertation. Below, we'll explore what this shape suggests about earlier sections of the dissertation as well as the conclusion.
Figure 1: The ‘hourglass’ shape that symbolises the broad-to-narrow, then narrow-to-broad structure of a dissertation, and academic writing in general.
Introduction and literature review
- Broad to narrow – eases the reader into the discussion by introducing them to the broad situation within which your research sits.
- Narrows the focus through the literature review whilst maintaining a direct interest in the wider research context.
- Arrives at a narrow focus towards the end by clearly stating what your focus is, what research problem you are going to address, how you are going to address that problem and what your argument and findings are.
Main body (methodology, results and discussion)
- Narrow focus – provides the finer details of your dissertation by isolating particular aspects to discuss and scrutinise, such as the details of how your study was designed.
- Driven by the results of your study, with secondary material used to contextualise the meaning and significance of your findings.
- Narrow to broad – reinforces your main argument and findings, then...
- Broadens out by considering the wider implications of your work for the relevant profession or field of research.
Tip: Think of the introduction and conclusion chapters as the bookends of your dissertation – they frame the entire dissertation and, in doing so, share a close relationship. That being said, the structure of the introduction is reversed for the conclusion, and vice versa. As evident from the shape, whilst the introduction moves from broad to narrow, the conclusion moves from narrow to broad.
A structure in two main parts
We’re going to break the conclusion down into two main parts:
1) A summary and synthesis of your main findings or discussion points that directly respond to, and address, your research question(s) and/or hypotheses. For this reason, it’s often useful to start by briefly repeating the research problem you’ve addressed. This constitutes the narrow part of the conclusion.
2) Engagement with the impact and relevance of your research to the wider, relevant context . This constitutes the broader part of the conclusion.
Let’s look at both in more detail.
Summary and synthesis
To write an effective conclusion for your dissertation, you need to do more than simply repeat the main points and findings of your research. Instead, you need to summarise and synthesise (definition below) your main findings and points of discussion, forming a cohesive picture for your reader that brings the different elements of your research together. This helps your reader to understand how you have reached a certain answer, or why you think your argument is correct.
Definition: Synthesis means to bring different ideas from different places together to formulate a perspective on something.
It’s often useful to start with a brief recap of the research problem before stating how your dissertation has responded, in some way, to this problem by synthesising the main findings and discussion points. For example:
Despite extensive research on the application of tool X, this dissertation has noted an absence of rigorous research on how this tool can be applied to demographic Y. Considerable research demonstrates the strengths and weaknesses of applying this tool when working with various demographics, particularly A and B, but the different demands associated with demographic Y restrict the suitability of these findings for this age group. In response, this dissertation has…
Following this, you need to outline how your dissertation has responded to this problem by summarising and synthesising your main findings and/or discussion points and reinforcing your main argument. Try summarising every one of your main findings or discussion points – keep it brief (one or two sentences) – and then, where possible, try and condense and connect this information to form a brief portrait of your dissertation. See ' Annotated example' for more on this.
Wider, relevant context
Once you have reinforced your research focus and your argument by summarising and synthesising your main findings, you need to relate your research to a wider, relevant context . This might include:
‘Returning’ to the introduction
As stated earlier, you conclusion shares a close relationship with your introduction with both acting as bookends that frame your entire dissertation – like the first scene and last scene of a film. For this reason, you need to return back to your introduction by revisiting the broad, but relative, themes that opened your dissertation as a way of contextualising your argument and results.
Ask yourself the question, ‘What do we now know that we didn’t at the start?’ The argument and findings won’t be a revelation to your reader, but framing them in this slightly broader context helps to reinforce the significance and contribution of your work. This brings your work ‘full circle’ and creates a neat symmetry to your work – a narrative thread for your reader to follow.
Recommendations for future research
Where necessary, it’s a good idea to include some suggestions for relevant future research that you think will help to further advance our knowledge of the research area. Don’t commit too many words to this. You simply need to state what contributions to the research field might be worth pursuing in the future and how this might further enrich our understanding of the topic. This serves to emphasise that your work is part of an evolving landscape of research, thus engaging with the wider context. This can often feature in the discussion chapter, rather than the conclusion (see our Writing the Results and Discussion guide for more).
Recommendations for practitioners
Depending on the nature of your research, it might be necessary to suggest some recommendations for relevant professionals and industry practitioners based on your findings. Remember these are only recommendations, and they must be consistent with your findings. Briefly mention how each recommendation would serve to address and, potentially, solve a problem faced by professionals. This helps your reader to understand the real-world implications and relevance of your work. Like recommendations for future research, this can often feature in the discussion. Consult your supervisor for discipline-specific guidance.
Tip: The end of your conclusion should provide some sense of closure, but should not signal a definitive end – this is not the end, as such, but rather the end of this very specific piece of research. Imagine that another researcher is going to read your work and develop the ideas you’ve explored further. In this case, the end of your conclusion no longer constitutes the end of this research area – it’s a contribution to a growing field or an ongoing dialogue. Striking the right balance can be tricky, but try to bring your dissertation to a close for your reader without giving the impression that the research area is ‘closed off.’
Take a look at this annotated example to see how the structural components discussed in the 'Structure' tab fit together to form a conclusion. This is only a short example, and your conclusion might be longer and slightly more detailed, but this gives you an idea of the flow and structure.
By focussing on the Arab Spring uprising, this dissertation has demonstrated the ways in which social media animates forms of civil empowerment through collective political action. Whilst other examples could have been used, this dissertation has highlighted how participants in the Arab Spring coordinated a strategic network of communication, drawing on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in both distinct and interrelated ways. By adopting social media in such a way, the Arab Spring not only demonstrates that social media can have a profound impact on forms of civil empowerment, but can also become a powerful political tool when deployed in a strategic and coordinated manner.
As outlined in Chapter 3: Methodology and Chapter 4: Results, this study collected quantitative data, such as the number of likes, retweets and views, to measure the reach of social media interactions on the Arab Spring uprising during a three month period. Qualitative data was also collected through the language and rhetoric employed by citizens posting comments, and the content of videos posted on the social media sites in question. This mixed-methods approach, along with the focus on three social media platforms, provided a triangulation of data that strengthened the depth of the research and allowed for a more nuanced portrait of how social media, when deployed in a coordinated way for a particular event, forms an interconnected network of channels through which information can flow freely. As evidenced by the quantitative data, with posts and retweets reaching their millions, the use of social media had a cumulative power with the Arab Spring by spreading the civil unrest and galvanising support for the cause.
Whilst the Arab Spring only represents one case of the relationship between social media and civil empowerment, this case study shows how the Arab Spring played an influential role in the mobilisation of the hashtag movement and the digitisation of civil activism. This is most clearly exemplified by the Me Too movement, supporting the fight against sexual harassment and assault, and Black Lives Matter, fighting against the racial oppression of black people. In examining the role of social media on these and other such cases of civil activism, perhaps a systematic comparison between social media and traditional forms of media, such as newspapers, would provide further opportunities to assess the relationship between social media and social activism.
Future research should also further explore the tension between social media and political censorship. Indeed, despite social media’s obvious potential as a tool for civil empowerment, Chapter Five: Discussion also pointed to the dangers of how oppressive governments can respond to the apparent threat of civil activism through aggressive forms of censorship. Moving forward, social media platforms must defend the freedom of its users to engage in socially active ways, and understanding the intersection between social media and political censorship is crucial to defending this freedom. Only by preserving this freedom can social media, and the internet in general, continue to realise its primary function as an open sources of communication that evades the restrictive censorship of traditional gatekeepers.
What to avoid
This portion of the guide will cover some common missteps you should try to avoid in writing your conclusion.
The conclusion isn’t the place to repeat detailed statistics or retrace the finer nuances of an argument. You simply need to reinforce the main findings and the essential information in your dissertation. Only you can determine what you think is a necessary level of detail in your conclusion, but look at the following two examples as a guide:
- Excessive: The results showed a considerable increase from Sample A to Sample E. As expected, Sample A started low with only 6 per cent. Sample B then showed an increase of 20 per cent, with Sample C then reaching 36 per cent to show a further increase of 16 per cent. Sample D furthered this trend, reaching 59 per cent. Sample E then reached 82 per cent, showing a 23 per cent increase from the previous sample.
- Improved: The results showed a considerable increase of 76 per cent from Sample A (6 per cent) to Sample E (82 per cent) with samples C to D and samples D to E both showing the largest increase of the study with a 23 per cent rise.
You should avoid presenting any new information, such as primary data or theories, when writing your conclusion. Any primary or secondary material you deem important enough to state in the conclusion (although avoid excessive detail as stated above) should be evident in your results and/or discussion chapters.
Whilst it might seem logical to start your conclusion with ‘In conclusion’, it’s best to avoid this. It’s not strictly wrong to start with ‘In conclusion’, ‘To summarise’, or some other variation of such phrases, but it reflects a somewhat lazy and clichéd approach given its excessive use.
The start of your conclusion should be obvious for two main reasons. Firstly, the chapter heading ‘Conclusion’ serves as a clear indication to your reader! Secondly, your conclusion should signal a rhetorical shift in your writing to a more reflective register. For example:
This dissertation has considered the complex ways in which…
The use of the present perfect tense here signals this shift to a reflective register.
Don’t state your core argument and main observations for the first time in the conclusion chapter. This is sometimes mistakenly employed as a way of maintaining a sense of mystery before the grand reveal at the end – like the dramatic third act of a play or the final twist in a film. Academic writing is not driven by the same intrigue as narrative storytelling. Instead, the ‘end’ or conclusion in a dissertation or written assignment should be clearly signposted early on – the abstract and the introduction – as a way of focusing the reader’s attention.
Q: How long should the conclusion be?
A: Roughly 5-10% of the dissertation’s word count (usually nearer the 5% end). So, for a 10,000 word dissertation, you should aim for anything between 500 words to 1,000. You should, however, be flexible with this. As always, it depends on the nature of your dissertation and the expected conventions in your department or school. It’s always worth seeking advice from your supervisor, but it’s safe to say that – along with the introduction (again dependent on the nature of the dissertation) – it’s often the shortest chapter in the dissertation.
Q: Should the conclusion include references to secondary literature?
A: Yes, but only when necessary. As noted in ' What to avoid' , you shouldn’t be bringing in new data, theories or information, which means you will likely revisit previously discussed work in light of your own findings and argument. Although you have already mentioned and cited the original work, it’s good practice to cite them again. This is also imperative in cases where you have cited more than one piece of work from the same author or authors. So, for example:
These findings support the work of Jones (2010) in which X and Y were both seen to…
Q: Should the conclusion be in the first-person or third?
A: It depends what you’ve been using throughout your dissertation – it’s important to be consistent. Typically, third-person is used in academic writing, although first-person is accepted in some disciplines. For instance, certain genres, such as reflective writing, demand the first-person. Consult your supervisor for further guidance.
The conclusion is your final chance to leave a positive impression on your reader, so it’s important that you conclude in a clear and engaging manner. Rather than simply repeating the main content from your previous chapters, you should be summarising and synthesising your main findings and discussion points and bringing them together to reinforce your central argument and respond to any research questions or hypotheses you have. You should then engage with the wider, relevant context by returning back to where you started in your introductory chapter to answer and consider the question, ‘What do we now know that we didn’t before?’
Here’s a final checklist for writing an effective conclusion. Remember that not all of these points will be relevant for your conclusion, so make sure you cover whatever’s appropriate for your dissertation. The asterisk (*) indicates any content that might not be relevant for your dissertation. To save your own copy of the checklist to edit, please use the Word document, below.
- Conclusion self-evaluation checklist
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How to Write a Dissertation Conclusion
Write a Dissertation Conclusion in Few Steps
After writing a dissertation of more than 10000 words, it is a real challenge to conclude every important aspect of the research in a nutshell. You might get real nightmares while answering the points for - How to write a Dissertation Conclusion?
This article will offer you the right guidelines to write a Dissertation Conclusion. Go through the core points and pitfalls as noted in this article. Follow the examples for a concise, yet concrete dissertation Conclusion.
How to Write a Dissertation Conclusion: Key Points
The Conclusion of your dissertation must make clear declarations about your selection of your Thesis Topic , and your contributions in the respective field of research. In most cases, the readers skip to the Dissertation Conclusion to get a gist of your research work. It is thus important that you leave a strong positive impression on your readers while concluding your dissertation . The key points to be noted while constructing the Dissertation Conclusion are:
- Begin by stating the Research Purpose as mentioned in your First Chapter: Introduction.
- Reply to the identified Research Questions that you have placed in your First Chapter: Introduction .
- Give a clear solution to the Problem Statement as placed in your First Chapter: Introduction .
- Meet the Research Gaps as identified in your Second Chapter: Literature Review .
- Justify the selection of your Third Chapter: Research Methodology , in 2 sentences.
- Discuss your justification for your Fourth Chapter: Research Findings .
- Very precisely add the core points as noted in Chapter Five: Discussion .
- Meet Research Aim & Objectives based on the Research Findings.
Make sure there are no elaborated discussions or repetitions in this Last Chapter for Dissertation Conclusion. While concentrating on - How to write a Dissertation Conclusion- remain well connected to your Thesis Topic and Research Purpose.
Write a Dissertation Conclusion with Purpose
Dissertation Conclusion should always start by stating the purpose of the research. It is in this context that all the other steps for developing the Dissertation Conclusion get interconnected:
The Research Purpose must get justified from every dimension. In the Dissertation Conclusion, you must remain focused on concluding your research by proving that your Research Purpose deserves serious attention. The reader must get inspired by your Dissertation Conclusion. The inspiration should be such that the future research gets more directed towards meeting your Research Purpose from different perspectives.
You must give a systematically arranged summary of your research process. At the same time, express how significantly you have made a valuable contribution in meeting the Research Purpose. The Dissertation Conclusion should be unique and should be the result of an in-depth research process . Enlist all the new knowledge that you have attained through your research and the ways through which the new knowledge adds to the process of resolving the concern. While doing so take care of the length of this chapter.
Length of Dissertation Conclusion
The Conclusion of a Dissertation can be 5% to 10% of the total word count. In general, it should be a summing up, done in a couple of pages. Any kind of practical or empirical research strives to offer a shorter Conclusion than any theoretical or systematically developed review. Inclusion of Recommendations and Future Research in the Dissertation Conclusion is important. The Recommendations must be such that it holds future perspectives of the research process. This can take half of a page.
Always follow the University guidelines to write a Dissertation Conclusion. Sometimes there is the variation of including the Conclusion along with the Discussion Chapter. In such cases, the Dissertation Conclusion occupies only 5% of the total word count.
Examples of Write a Dissertation Conclusion
While trying to get an insight into - How to write a Dissertation Conclusion – start focussing on the Aim of your research and keep on asking – Why you are engaged in this research?
The examples noted below will clarify your perceptions regarding the right way to write a Dissertation Conclusion.
At the beginning your Dissertation Conclusion can be:
As stated above, start your conclusion with a direct reference to your research purpose and relate to resolving the research problem. As an example, let us consider a topic on Evaluative Strategies for Developing Agribusiness in the Urban Areas of Ontario.
Write a Dissertation Conclusion without Drawbacks
Always remember that to write a Dissertation Conclusion, you must be very particular in avoiding any kind of drawback. Consider keeping away from the main drawbacks enlisted below:
- Extensive Elaborations: The Dissertation Conclusion must be crisp and precise. Avoid any kind of unnecessary elaborations. All sorts of debates should be met in the Chapter for Discussion. In the Conclusion Chapter, you need to add justifications related to every aspect of the research process with the Research purpose.
- Avoid Repetitions: Make sure that you construct the Dissertation Conclusion in a very systematic manner. Use an appropriate way to meet the Aims and Objectives of the research. Start from the First Chapter and follow each chapter one after another. You are not supposed to repeat the context all the time.
- Language Clarity: Use short sentences and offer logical connections between one sentence and the other. The points of argument should be placed as per the structure of the research. Avoid using ambiguous sentences and remain clear about your declarations.
Thus, write a Dissertation Conclusion with clarity and systematically justify your derivations. A brief summary of the entire research process and mentioning the key derivations are the basic need of the Dissertation Conclusion. Never compromise with that.
Reference management. Clean and simple.
How to write an excellent thesis conclusion [with examples]
At this point in your writing, you have most likely finished your introduction and the body of your thesis, dissertation, or research paper . While this is a reason to celebrate, you should not underestimate the importance of your conclusion. The conclusion is the last thing that your reader will see, so it should be memorable.
A good conclusion will review the key points of the thesis and explain to the reader why the information is relevant, applicable, or related to the world as a whole. Make sure to dedicate enough of your writing time to the conclusion and do not put it off until the very last minute.
This article provides an effective technique for writing a conclusion adapted from Erika Eby’s The College Student's Guide to Writing a Good Research Paper: 101 Easy Tips & Tricks to Make Your Work Stand Out .
While the thesis introduction starts out with broad statements about the topic, and then narrows it down to the thesis statement , a thesis conclusion does the same in the opposite order.
- Restate the thesis.
- Review or reiterate key points of your work.
- Explain why your work is relevant.
- Include a core take-away message for the reader.
- Restate the thesis
Tip: Don’t just copy and paste your thesis into your conclusion. Restate it in different words.
The best way to start a conclusion is simply by restating the thesis statement. That does not mean just copying and pasting it from the introduction, but putting it into different words.
You will need to change the structure and wording of it to avoid sounding repetitive. Also, be firm in your conclusion just as you were in the introduction. Try to avoid sounding apologetic by using phrases like "This paper has tried to show..."
The conclusion should address all the same parts as the thesis while making it clear that the reader has reached the end. You are telling the reader that your research is finished and what your findings are.
I have argued throughout this work that the point of critical mass for biopolitical immunity occurred during the Romantic period because of that era's unique combination of post-revolutionary politics and innovations in smallpox prevention. In particular, I demonstrated that the French Revolution and the discovery of vaccination in the 1790s triggered a reconsideration of the relationship between bodies and the state.
- Review or reiterate key points of your work
Tip: Try to reiterate points from your introduction in your thesis conclusion.
The next step is to review the main points of the thesis as a whole. Look back at the body of of your project and make a note of the key ideas. You can reword these ideas the same way you reworded your thesis statement and then incorporate that into the conclusion.
You can also repeat striking quotations or statistics, but do not use more than two. As the conclusion represents your own closing thoughts on the topic , it should mainly consist of your own words.
In addition, conclusions can contain recommendations to the reader or relevant questions that further the thesis. You should ask yourself:
- What you would ideally like to see your readers do in reaction to your paper?
- Do you want them to take a certain action or investigate further?
- Is there a bigger issue that your paper wants to draw attention to?
Also, try to reference your introduction in your conclusion. You have already taken a first step by restating your thesis. Now, check whether there are other key words, phrases or ideas that are mentioned in your introduction that fit into your conclusion. Connecting the introduction to the conclusion in this way will help readers feel satisfied.
I explored how Mary Wollstonecraft, in both her fiction and political writings, envisions an ideal medico-political state, and how other writers like William Wordsworth and Mary Shelley increasingly imagined the body politic literally, as an incorporated political collective made up of bodies whose immunity to political and medical ills was essential to a healthy state.
- Explain why your work is relevant
Tip: Make sure to explain why your thesis is relevant to your field of research.
Although you can encourage readers to question their opinions and reflect on your topic, do not leave loose ends. You should provide a sense of resolution and make sure your conclusion wraps up your argument. Make sure you explain why your thesis is relevant to your field of research and how your research intervenes within, or substantially revises, existing scholarly debates.
This project challenged conventional ideas about the relationship among Romanticism, medicine, and politics by reading the unfolding of Romantic literature and biopolitical immunity as mutual, co-productive processes. In doing so, this thesis revises the ways in which biopolitics has been theorized by insisting on the inherent connections between Romantic literature and the forms of biopower that characterize early modernity.
- A take-away for the reader
Tip: If you began your thesis with an anecdote or historical example, you may want to return to that in your conclusion.
End your conclusion with something memorable, such as:
- a call to action
- a recommendation
- a gesture towards future research
- a brief explanation of how the problem or idea you covered remains relevant
Ultimately, you want readers to feel more informed, or ready to act, as they read your conclusion.
Yet, the Romantic period is only the beginning of modern thought on immunity and biopolitics. Victorian writers, doctors, and politicians upheld the Romantic idea that a "healthy state" was a literal condition that could be achieved by combining politics and medicine, but augmented that idea through legislation and widespread public health measures. While many nineteenth-century efforts to improve citizens' health were successful, the fight against disease ultimately changed course in the twentieth century as global immunological threats such as SARS occupied public consciousness. Indeed, as subsequent public health events make apparent, biopolitical immunity persists as a viable concept for thinking about the relationship between medicine and politics in modernity.
- More resources on writing thesis conclusions
Need more advice? Read our 5 additional tips on how to write a good thesis conclusion.
- Frequently Asked Questions about writing an excellent thesis conclusion
The conclusion is the last thing that your reader will see, so it should be memorable. To write a great thesis conclusion you should:
The basic content of a conclusion is to review the main points from the paper. This part represents your own closing thoughts on the topic. It should mainly consist of the outcome of the research in your own words.
The length of the conclusion will depend on the length of the whole thesis. Usually, a conclusion should be around 5-7% of the overall word count.
End your conclusion with something memorable, such as a question, warning, or call to action. Depending on the topic, you can also end with a recommendation.
In Open Access: Theses and Dissertations you can find thousands of completed works. Take a look at any of the theses or dissertations for real-life examples of conclusions that were already approved.
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- Dissertation: The Introduction
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- Dissertation: Results and Discussion
- Dissertation: Conclusions and Extras
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Writing a Dissertation: Conclusion and Other Sections
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Continue to: Assignment Finishing Touches Reflecting on Marked Work
See Also: Writing a Research Proposal | Graduate Employability Skills Transferable Skills | Learning Styles