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A PhD Dissertation Conclusion: How to Write It Properly

How to Write a Dissertation Conclusion

Before you reach the point of acquiring a Ph.D., you need to overcome the biggest and the most laborious stage of your scientific journey, which is writing a dissertation in which you not only conduct full-fledged research on a certain topic relevant to your area of expertise but also showcase all the theoretical knowledge and practical skills that you have amassed during the years of your involvement in science. If you have reached the point of writing conclusion for dissertation, this article might be a real boon to you as it lays out how to formulate the last section of your scientific paper properly and make the information presented in previous sections fall into right places so that your message is conveyed accurately.

How to Write a Dissertation Conclusion

When writing conclusions in scientific papers, your primary task lies in answering the research question that you posed at the beginning.

  1. Start with restating your research question and continue elaborating on it adding evidence-based explanations highlighted in the main body of your thesis.
  2. Then proceed with conclusions that you have arrived at due to the results and findings discovered throughout research. Focus on the most important results that contribute to answering your research question.
  3. Eventually, address your research question and explain how and what helped you come to this conclusion. Here, you have to provide a moderate number of details to ensure clarity and easier comprehension. Do not simply pose the question and give a brief answer to it right afterwards; try to make the conclusion more comprehensive by synthesizing all the key points, arguments, and results. Give raw observations without any subjective tone or interpretations.

Run through the following checklist to measure the completeness and accuracy of your dissertation conclusion:

  • You provided an in-depth answer to the research question;
  • You addressed the main problems;
  • You either proved or refuted the hypotheses;
  • You used the appropriate verb tense;
  • You did not interpret any issues subjectively;
  • You did not overwhelm your conclusion with new information;
  • You did not provide any examples;
  • You did not include extra information not pertinent to the research question;
  • You did not copy and paste passages from the previous sections of your Ph.D. thesis;
  • You did not write the conclusion in the first person.

How to Start a Conclusion

Before writing the concluding chapter of a scientific paper, it is advisable that students familiarize themselves with the assessment criteria so that they know what exactly is expected from them. This will help minimize the flaws and avoid further failures. No matter how complex the topic of your dissertation is, always use straightforward language and omit obscure flowery words. The secondary purpose of a dissertation conclusion is to provide an extended outline of the work you have done throughout your research. By doing so, you are helping your readers evaluate the value of your paper among other literature. Additionally, you should outline recommendations for potential research within this section.

Other Essential Dissertation Conclusion Tips

Writing conclusions for your Ph.D. thesis may put you in a deadlock as it is the last chapter that gives an ultimate impression of your work to a reader. This is why you need to channel all your efforts into making this section sensible in terms of style and presentation of the material, as well as comprehensible in terms of language.

Stick to this list of pieces of advice if you want to make your conclusion effective and impressive at the same time:

  • Answering the questions: it is essential that you provide a solution to your research problem statements. Apart from the research question, you also should expound on the secondary problem statements too. This adds to the comprehensiveness of your Ph.D. thesis.
  • Proving hypotheses: in your conclusion, you need to either confirm or debunk the hypothesis that you have formulated at the beginning of your research. Either way, the conclusion should include findings that help to decide whether the hypothesis is plausible or unlikely true; otherwise, the research is meaningless and worthless.
  • Information: your conclusion should not contain any new piece of information as it will puzzle the reader and affect the overall impression of your dissertation.
  • Examples: examples are not welcome in the concluding part since they also baffle the reader and make them deflect from the important things.
  • Do not write in first person: academic style does not approve of using first person whatsoever, because you need to maintain objectivity and neutral tone. A conclusion is supposed to include factual data and information, a summary of the results, and a solution proposal with regard to the problem statements. All these points have to be based on objectivity. Moreover, the conclusion presupposes that you summarize the facts that you have discovered by yourself earlier, so first person is simply unnecessary and unwanted.
  • Do not confuse a conclusion with the result section: these two chapters are absolutely different in terms of purpose and content; thus, you should never copy information in your result section and paste it into the conclusion. While in the result section you simply state what you have discovered and achieved, in your conclusion you need to connect your findings and results with the research question and problem statements.
  • Mind the length of the conclusion: there is an array of research topics you can opt for. However, not all topics are universal in terms of their depth of investigation, and thus the length of the conclusion largely depends on the methodology applied. If the methods are analytical or involve many calculations, there is no need to write much in the conclusion as figures speak for themselves.

If you have managed to follow the above-mentioned steps, the chances are that the conclusion of your dissertation is well-organized and logically formulated.

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