Dissertation Conclusion: Hints on Writing
This article will discuss writing a dissertation conclusion. In particular, you will better understand the dissertation structure, recognize the differences between an abstract vs conclusion, and cover other important topics such as the conclusion in APA format and the dissertation length. Once you read this, you will be on the road to a successful PhD dissertation paper.
If you have reached your dissertation conclusion, it means you are almost at the finish line! Here are some dissertation conclusion tips that will help you get started. First, before you start planning the conclusion section, you should keep in mind the purpose of the entire doctoral dissertation. Indeed, writing a conclusion for a dissertation requires you to take a step back and think about what inspired you to choose your topic. The conclusion in a dissertation should highlight the significance of your work, particularly the contributions that it will make in your area of research and in academia in general. Making a bulleted list that illustrations your contributions is an effective way to do this.
When writing the conclusion chapter of a dissertation, make sure to include a summary of the key points of each previous chapter. If your goal is to get your dissertation published, the conclusion should be something akin to an executive summary of your project. Not every reader will have the time or interest in reading your paper, so the conclusion gives them a chance to understand the main details. Your conclusion should also include recommendations for further research. This is important for a couple major reasons. First, it demonstrates that you have given the implications of your research a lot of thought, and have suggested ways to apply it to other areas related to your field. Your recommendations can be highly specific or general. Either way, it will help the reader understand the ideas and principles as laid out in your research.
One intriguing thing to remember is that no dissertation is ever truly complete. You might have spent months working on a very comprehensive study and uncovered something groundbreaking, but there will always be further questions worth exploring. There will always be other populations for which the study could be conducted on. This is why it is important to conduct research on something of great substance. It will inspire other researchers and students to take the next step and find their own answers to problems.
Now that you have a good sense regarding the purpose of a dissertation conclusion, let us dig deeper and discuss how to actually write it. There are a few important tips to remember. First, reflect on how the audience will respond to the conclusion. If the reader were to only read the conclusion and nothing more, what would you hope they would learn? How can they help find solutions to the problem through your call to action?
Before you begin the initial process of writing the dissertation conclusion, you should first take notes. In addition, it would be useful to look back at the body of work and proofread it so that you can make improvements not just to the spelling and grammar but in terms of the content itself. Finally, you should write a summary of each chapter. Once you have done these three steps, it will provide you with much-needed structure as you start to write the conclusion.
Next, you should take each of the chapter summaries and incorporate them into your conclusion. However, you don’t want to just copy and paste the content, you will want to rewrite them as well as synthesize the information so that it flows smoothly and coherently. Once you have provided a summary, you will insert sections regarding the practical implications, your contributes, and your suggestions for future research. Finally, you should read the entire draft of your conclusion and determine whether it truly provides the essence of the project.
There are several common mistakes that students make when writing a dissertation. If you can learn to avoid them, your paper will end up looking a whole lot better. First, you should keep in mind that the purpose of a conclusion is not just to fill up pages with words. If you are repeating yourself, it means you are not putting in a full amount of effort. Everything that you write in your conclusion should be deliberate and meaningful. Likewise, another problem is that students write conclusions that are too short. While this obviously beats long conclusions that simply waste the readers’ time, a short conclusion means it is missing important points and arguments. A final issue is that students reach nonsensical conclusions. For instance, they might make a claim out of left field or even something, that runs counter to their own results! Others overstate the importance of their research and conclude that, for instance, every school in the country should implement the paper’s policy recommendations. There is a lot to be said about humility, so while it is good to take pride in your work, never try to suggest that your dissertation will change the world.
How Long Should a Conclusion Be
This section will answer such questions ask, “How long should a conclusion be?” “What is the purpose of a conclusion” and “What are some good ways to start a conclusion?”
When writing a lengthy academic paper, it is important to follow some universal guidelines that would be adhered to in a short essay. For instance, when thinking about what to include in a conclusion, you would want to keep it focused on relevant information and you definitely should not include things that were not previously introduced in the paper. A dissertation or thesis conclusion is not an opportunity to sit back, relax and muse about whatever is on your mind.
On the other hand, there are some important differences in your approach when writing a dissertation conclusion versus other types of papers, simply because the dissertation is so long. Here are some of the biggest differences in the conclusion format of a dissertation:
Aside from having a conclusion to end the dissertation or thesis, each chapter should contain end with its own conclusion (along with an introduction). Why? When reading a lengthy piece of writing, it is important that the audience remember what you have done and for what reason, before proceeding to the next chapter.
Once again, the conclusion structure consists of a summary of the paper, the broader implications of the work, and your recommendations for further research; it is not a chance to go on a tangent. In the conclusion to each chapter, it would not be a bad idea to remind the reader what took place. (For instance, in this chapter, the literature review relating to voting habits was considered). Based on this, you will build a link between this chapter and the one that follows (i.e., this will be discussed in more detail in the next chapter).
Another thing to note is that a dissertation or thesis paper usually contains a longer section on the limitations of your research. While you want to be transparent and realistic about any potential limitations, you also do not want to make any statements that would essentially nullify any of your results. Being negative or overly modest about your achievements will cause the reader to question the purpose of your paper. You want them to recognize that your paper really does contribute to your field of research.
One of the important parts of a conclusion to your dissertation is the section in which you discuss the need for future research. If you are writing a master’s thesis paper, you could consider an idea that would make for a great dissertation topic. Likewise, a PhD dissertation could be used to lay the groundwork for post-doctoral work.
When writing your thesis or dissertation, you should also make sure to note that the topic you are conducting research on might not necessarily require a full conclusion. This is especially true if you focus relies on heavy analysis or math. Also, be aware that not dissertations require a discussion section. If in doubt about the requirements of your dissertation, get in touch with your supervisor to clarify this matter. Another important point is that even if your paper does not require a full conclusion, it does not mean you can just end the paper abruptly and without any warning. The reader will assume that you have just given up or submitted an incomplete paper!
Here are some final tips to remember. First, much like virtually all academic papers, a dissertation conclusion also summarizes the entire research as well as discussing the broader implications for the field or area based on what was discovered in the research. Ideally, those who know how to make a good conclusion understand the importance of blending the information; recognizing the purpose of the research and what the results indicate. These three points really explain the paper beautifully.
Even if you have some experience with writing lengthy papers, nothing compares to the dissertation conclusion. A lot is at stake, especially since it will be the last thing that the dissertation committee reads. Thus, you want to leave them with the best possible impression. Choose your words carefully and write a conclusion that is polished, technically sound and demonstrates confidence in your research.
Remember at the beginning of the dissertation when you introduced a question that you intended to examine? The foundation of your entire research. Well, you are going to want to make sure the conclusion section of your paper answers the question. You should also discuss whether your hypothesis can be accepted or rejected. Furthermore, it would be good to discuss ways in which your solutions might be able to solve problems in related fields. For instance, if you conduct medical research that is able to help women reduce their blood pressure by a certain percentage, perhaps there are ways to apply similar research to men with hypertension. Ultimately, the conclusion should contain a statement that indicates whether your assumptions were correct or, if not, explain why the results were unexpected.
Your conclusion should not introduce any new information that was not previously discussed. In addition, you do not want to include examples or analogies in your conclusion. This will be a huge distraction and will cause the reader to wonder how you managed to graduate beyond 7th grade.
Avoid using the first person. As with most academic papers, you do not want to refer to yourself in your paper. Remember that this is not a personal reflection paper or a platform for expressing your opinions about the matter. The conclusion should merely contain the facts and objective observations.
This section is about conclusions, not results. Do not be confused about what goes in each respective chapter. The results chapter is dry in that it simply informs the reader about the results and the methods used to achieve them, without any commentary or explanation for what the results actually mean (since that information belongs in the discussion chapter). On the other hand, the conclusion section takes all of the information, summarizes them briefly and explains why the research was both relevant and important.
Finally, for the question you have been waiting: How long is a dissertation conclusion? The long and short of it is that there is no standard length. It largely depends on the topic that you wrote about. For example, if you wrote a dissertation about math-related matters, you probably will not have a very long conclusion since you are discussing theoretical issues that contain facts that more or less conclude themselves. By comparison, if you are examining serious problems in society that require solutions, your conclusion will almost certainly be longer since you would also discuss other applications for your research as well as recommendations for improving upon it.
If you follow these suggestions, you will be well on your way to writing a winning dissertation conclusion chapter!