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How to Write a Dissertation Conclusion | Checklist and Examples

Published on 9 September 2022 by Tegan George and Shona McCombes. Revised on 10 October 2022.

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
  • Summarise and reflect on your research process
  • Make recommendations for future work on your topic
  • Show what new knowledge you have contributed to your field
  • Wrap up your thesis or dissertation

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Table of contents

Discussion vs. conclusion, how long should your conclusion be, step 1: answer your research question, step 2: summarise and reflect on your research, step 3: make future recommendations, step 4: emphasise your contributions to your field, step 5: wrap up your thesis or dissertation, full conclusion example, conclusion checklist, 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 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 synthesise 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 generalisability of the results, this approach provides new insight into y .
  • This research clearly illustrates x , but it also raises the question of y .

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:

V. Conclusion

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.

Checklist: Conclusion

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.

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:

  • 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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George, T. & McCombes, S. (2022, October 10). How to Write a Dissertation Conclusion | Checklist and Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved 6 May 2024, from https://www.scribbr.co.uk/thesis-dissertation/conclusion/

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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.  

Discussion chapter vs conclusion chapter

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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what to include in the conclusion of a dissertation

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  limitations . We’ll discuss those limitations a little later.

Dont make overly bold claims in your dissertation conclusion

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 .

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.

You have to justify every choice in your dissertation defence

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.

what to include in the conclusion of a dissertation

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How to write the discussion chapter



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Solomon Abeba

Very helpful guidelines, timely saved. Thanks so much for the tips.

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A very enjoyable, understandable and crisp presentation on how to write a conclusion chapter. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks Jenna.


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How to Write a Dissertation Conclusion – Example & Tips

Published by Jamie Walker at August 13th, 2021 , Revised On August 22, 2023

It is imperative for students to understand how to  write a dissertation  conclusion in order to achieve the highest grade in their dissertation project.

The concluding chapter of the dissertation should be appealing to the readers and give an accurate but concise review of what your research revolves around with special emphasis on the outcomes  and recommendations that you have derived from your research study.

The illustration below provides an insight into  how a first-class dissertation is structured , and we will now look in complete detail over how to manage the conclusion chapter of your dissertation.

The conclusion of a dissertation or thesis generally connects the beginning of your research ( introduction ,  research problem ,  research questions ) to the findings and implications of your research.

You must relate to the major  findings of your research  and answer the research questions that your study raised. There is no need to hesitate to state the limitations of research because it is natural that your research will have some limitations rather than none.

Writing a dissertation conclusion is, perhaps, the most critical aspect of your research work which is why it is vitally important to not miss out on the key elements surrounding a great dissertation conclusion.

Dissertation Conclusion Guidelines

Dissertation conclusion is a core element of your dissertation or thesis paper which is why you will be required to follow a specific set of guidelines in order to showcase the findings of your study in a logical manner.

How to Start a Dissertation Conclusion

Always write your conclusion in clear and simple language.  Before starting to write the conclusion chapter, it is important that students become familiar with the assessment criteria and expected outcomes in order to avoid complexities at a later stage.

The aim of a dissertation conclusion is to provide a brief overview of the main research work so the readers can figure out how your research study will add value to the existing literature.

Moreover, recommendations for future research and practitioners should also be provided in this section.

Difference between Conclusion & Discussion

The contents of the  discussion  and conclusion chapters are similar, and they are typically grouped together in journal articles and scientific papers.

Depending on your academic institute and the subject of your degree program, you could be asked to put discussion and conclusion together under the same chapter in your dissertation or thesis paper.

However, typically in a  dissertation or thesis paper , it is common to have a separate chapter for the conclusion to briefly state answers for all research questions, and summarise and reflect on the research.

The conclusion chapter is considerably shorter in length than the discussion. Here you will be expected to provide general statements to give readers a final impression of your research.

On the other hand, in the discussion chapter of a dissertation , the author states the major findings, and their interpretations and implications.

Do not introduce any new information, arguments, meanings, and interpretations in the conclusion chapter.

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  • Great Research/Sources
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  • Accurate Sources

If not, we can help. Our panel of experts makes sure to keep the 3 pillars of the Dissertation strong.

What to Write in a Conclusion

An important question that one must address before writing a dissertation conclusion is what to write in a conclusion?

In the best case scenario, you will summarise the findings of your entire research in a comprehensive manner, but at the same time ensure that you are not just restating the points covered in the main body.

The purpose here is to present a synthesis of the major points covered which is why it is advised not to include any new ideas relating to your research at this point.

Methodology in a dissertation  can be a taxing and time consuming matter because a large chunk of your research is based on the methods you have adopted.

Essentially, the methodology should relate to the literature you have reviewed and provide academic justification to your  choice of research methods  – be it quantitative, qualitative or a mix of both.

Students must make sure that they shed adequate light on the methodology part in their dissertation conclusion.

It is essential to keep the dissertation conclusion concise and to the point rather than going into unnecessary details which would rather be a part of the main body.

Writing a dissertation conclusion is not a strenuous task if you stick to the fact that your goal here is to provide insight, evaluations and implications of your research study.

Structuring a Dissertation Conclusion

While writing a dissertation conclusion, you must be particular about the fact that it gives reflection of a cohesive argument and supports the points you have covered in the main body.

Your conclusion should depict the importance of why you chose this  specific research topic  and the impact your study will have on the society.

Providing solutions to the problems you have identified and predicting what might happen in the near future leaves a very good impression on the readers, and some of them might well be inclined to consider your argument long after.

When pondering over how to write a dissertation conclusion, it is important to relate your ideas with academics who are closely followed by your supervisor.

Although the dissertation belongs to you and you have the full right to express your own views where appropriate, there is absolutely no harm in slightly aligning your views with other researchers in order to achieve a good score.

Dissertation Conclusion Limitations

Every dissertation is likely to suffer from limitations which is precisely the reason why students must acknowledge and appropriately address them.

Limitations is an integral part of your dissertation conclusion because it will also help your readers to  understand your research design and philosophical approach .

This brief segment reflects upon the importance of the inherent limitations been identified; the reasons behind your choice of methods; and possible ways to counter the limitations.

It is recommended never to hide the limitations associated with your research, because your tutor will probably have years of experience with  different methods of research  and they will figure out these limitations even if you have not specifically discussed them.

Simply highlighting the dissertation limitations is not a very good idea because every research limitation must accompany ways in which it can be combated. Dissertation limitations can be methodological or conceptual.

It is necessary to briefly touch upon both types of limitations so your supervisor can figure out what part of your research was stalled by lack of data, cultural biases, sampling etc.

This section of the dissertation conclusion chapter is generally based on a world count – 200-500 words so it is appropriate to discuss only the most significant limitations of your study.

Dissertation Conclusion Length

Another important question that you might want to address in the final phase of your research work is how long should dissertation conclusion be? The length of a dissertation conclusion is in direct correlation with the length of the full dissertation paper.

On a simple basis the longer or more detailed your research is, the longer the conclusion it will have, and vice versa. The length will often depend on the writer’s personal judgement and making a call on such a matter might well turn out to be the difference between an ordinary and  professional dissertation writer.

The length of a dissertation conclusion chapter is generally 5-7% of the total dissertation word count.

Addressing Research Questions in Dissertation Conclusion

Make sure that you start your conclusion chapter by directly addressing the  research questions  or the  research problem  that your dissertation or thesis intended to address.

Conclusion chapter gives you the final chance to demonstrate to your readers that your research achieved what was aimed at the beginning of the research.

Provide a clear, concise and to the point answer to your research questions. You are not expected to repeat what you have already said in the discussion part of the paper, rather turn readers’ attentions towards a final outcome.

Dissertation Conclusion Example

No matter how much you dig into the details of writing a conclusion for your dissertation, it is always nice to have a look at a full-fledged example for guidance purposes. The graphic below gives a summarised view of what is to be written in a dissertation conclusion.

Here is an example of how to write a dissertation conclusion to help you better understand.

How to Write Dissertation Conclusion Example

Here is a dissertation conclusion example of a dissertation that aimed to test a theoretical argument based on an analysis of a case study; Proposed anaerobic digestion plant in Tripoli.

Chapter 5 – Dissertation Conclusion 5.1 Background This chapter highlights the crux of the study by briefly describing objectives and literature survey. The feasibility of the proposed plant is then discussed, leading to the study’s limitations and difficulties. In the end, some recommendations for future work are provided in brief. Some suggestions to improve and highlight the renewable energy generation techniques are also part of the chapter. 5.2 Literature Review, Survey and Interviews A Valora process AD plant, with a capacity of 0.8 tones of food waste per day, is proposed to be established in the city of Tripoli. This plant can assist the national grid in meeting the rising demands of electricity in Tripoli and on the outskirts. Public opinion about establishing such a plant is taken by conducting a survey. The survey results suggest that the people of Tripoli understand the need for a WTE plant and ensure their cooperation for the separate household food waste if provided with the containers by the municipal authorities. The food waste to energy generation plant provides a solution for both household food waste management in Tripoli and generating an adequate amount of electricity to meet the rising demand. An informal session of interviews has been conducted with the experts from the Energy Agency of Libya. The opinion and observation-based data collection are done in order to opt for the interpretive approach of research adequately. All five respondents recommended the idea of establishing an AD plant in Tripoli-Libya. Their comments and suggestions have also validated the plant location selected in the research as an appropriate location for establishing a plant. The idea of energy generation using sustainable methods is the main point they’ve endorsed. The research provides the solution for both; waste management in Tripoli and the introduction of sustainable energy generation methods in Libya. 5.3 Feasibility of the Proposed System A detailed, feasibly study was conducted, including technical details such as the amount of biogas generation, plant type, equipment sizing, and proposed location for the plant. Initial finances, operation and management costs of the proposed AD plant are estimated in the financial analysis of the proposed plant. Life cycle assessment is compared with food waste management to evaluate the environmental effects of the plant. The analysis suggests that the proposed AD plant is economically, technically and ecologically feasible to establish on 3rd Ring Road in Tripoli. 5.4 Limitations and Difficulties Some of the limitations and difficulties involved in the process of digestion or establishing a digestion plant are listed as follows; 1. Since many WTE technologies are designed to handle mixed-type food waste such as solid waste and municipal waste etc. Running the plant with specifically food waste is difficult as food waste makes comparatively less amount than MSW as a whole. 2. Some other WTE challenges include high capital cost, waste-gas cleanup, regulatory hurdles, and conversion efficiency. 3. Since domestic utilization of generated electricity is a primary objective, and it adds a limitation where even distribution of electricity distribution in domestic buildings is not possible if the plant is located outside the residential area. This issue can be resolved by centralizing a substation for the proper transmission and distribution. 4. Since the accuracy of the estimated analysis depends entirely on the data, and missing fields affect the accuracy of the estimations. 5. Since the survey is conducted among non-technical people and represents their views, no primary data is available that accurately estimates the energy generation from the amount of food or biogas generation. The calculations of estimation of biogas yield and energy generation are based on the equations taken from secondary resources thus can be erroneous. 5.5 Future Work This study is conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of establishing a large-scale plant to provide an alternative and renewable energy solution. The whole idea is applicable and implementable in the proposed area. Instead, in the future, the idea can be evaluated for the individual high-rise buildings to make them self-sufficient in energy demand and supply and to reduce the load on the national electricity grid. A cross-national study involving cost-benefit analysis of family-sized digesters in Tripoli is yet to analyze in order to predict the future of biogas technology in Libya. Information about government subsidies on renewable energy generation plants in Tripoli is important but unknown yet. This study revolves around the utilization of food waste collected from residential buildings only. Although hotels, restaurants, and canteens can also provide a considerably high amount of food waste and it is relatively easy for them to collect it separately. Thus further work can be based on the food waste collection from the food consumption areas. It is important to remember that there is no need to restate the research objectives in conclusion. Your statements should incorporate answers to research questions without you having to repeat those questions. Here is another example of dissertation conclusion.

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Summarising and Reflecting on Research

As mentioned before, the conclusion chapter gives you that final opportunity to restate what your research study intended to achieve, what approach you took in the process, where  findings  you came up as a result of your study, and whether or not they were according to your expectations. In short, a conclusion section needs to provide an overview of the building blocks of your research.

It is common to use a reflective style of writing here, rather than simply restating what you have already written in the previous chapters. This approach will also help you to avoid repetition.

For example, if there were limitations of your chosen research methodology then you might want to briefly state whether or not that could have influenced the results of your research study. You can also highlight any new insights that you recorded during the process.

Focus more on the positives of your study although you will be expected to concisely state the limitations of your research as well.

The research approach employed for this research study provided new insight into B even though it limited the generalizability of findings.

Recommendations for Future in Conclusion Chapter

Although it is common to provide recommendations for future research work in the discussion chapter, it will be a good idea to provide an overview of those endorsements in the conclusion chapter with a focus on the practical and theoretical consequences of your results.

Practitioners should consider A and B based on these conclusions….Further research needs to be conducted for better understanding in regards to the implications of these findings….The effects of the relationship between A and B are still unclear, and so further research must be conducted…

Research pertaining to a dissertation or thesis is usually expected to discover, enlighten, and educate rather than frame the results as essentials for practitioners and policymakers.

Any recommendations related to business, application, and strategy should be presented as propositions to avoid overstating the appositeness of your work.

Never undermine your research work when making propositions for future research. Your work should be recognized as complete, thorough, and reliable without the need for further research to confirm your conclusions.

Stress the Importance of Your Research in Conclusion

You don’t want your readers to leave with the impression that your work did not make a valuable contribution to the existing knowledge in your area of study. Here are some ideas to demonstrate how this is done;

  • Referring back to the problem statement to help readers understand how your work addresses the research problem originally identified.
  • Elaborate how your results validated or tested an existing hypothesis or theory.
  • Stating how your research was able to fill a certain gap in existing knowledge as pointed out in the literature review.

Again, it is recommended to avoid repetition. You do not want to reiterate what you have already discussed in the previous chapter.

Dissertation Conclusion Help from Experts

Writing a dissertation is no mean feat because it requires complete dedication and attention to detail in order to secure a good grade.

Even the very first part of your dissertation – topic selection can become a cumbersome task because of the  need to select a topic with a sufficient amount of literature available on it.

Despite putting in a lot of effort, you might still end up with a grade that is well below your own expectations which is why it is sometimes better off to approach professionals providing dissertation writing services so that the complexities surrounding a top-quality dissertation are handled by people with specialized skill set.

As we approach the conclusion of this piece, it should be clear by now as to what students are expected to do in the final phase of their dissertations. In short, they should have a clear idea about  how to write a dissertation conclusion .

Finally, it is important not to let yourself down by writing a mediocre conclusion and consequently lose crucial marks. The hard part of your dissertation is already completed so it is worthwhile to put in a concentrated effort to end on a high and impress your supervisor.

Struggling with any Chapter of your Dissertation?

Whether it is your dissertation introduction, literature review, methodology, conclusion or any other chapter, our expert dissertation writers can help you succeed. With our dissertation chapter writing service, you can be confident of having your individual chapters completed to your school’s exact guidelines. Click here to learn more about our dissertation chapter writing service. Find out how our dissertation services can help you.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many pages is a dissertation conclusion.

The length of a dissertation conclusion varies but is typically around 1 to 2 pages. It succinctly summarizes key findings, discusses implications, and restates the significance of the study, providing a resolution to the research.

You May Also Like

A literature review is a survey of theses, articles, books and other academic sources. Here are guidelines on how to write dissertation literature review.

When writing your dissertation, an abstract serves as a deal maker or breaker. It can either motivate your readers to continue reading or discourage them.

Here are the steps to make a theoretical framework for dissertation. You can define, discuss and evaluate theories relevant to the research problem.






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The Dos and Don’ts of Writing a Dissertation Conclusion

3-minute read

  • 5th August 2015

After years of hard work, dedicated research and sleepless nights, you’re finally close to finishing your dissertation . You’ve reviewed the literature , gathered and analyzed data, and reflected on the results. Well done.

But what does it all mean? This is where the conclusion becomes crucial, as it allows you to summarize your work and its significance.

It’s therefore important that the conclusion to your dissertation is clear, concise and compelling. Here are a few “dos” and “don’ts” to keep in mind when writing your conclusion!

1. Summarize Your Argument

A good conclusion will briefly restate your hypothesis, key findings and the implications of your research. This will help the reader to follow your argument as a whole, bringing together various elements raised during the discussion.

2. Put Your Work in Context

The conclusion of your dissertation is a good place to restate the significance of your work. This might include how it contributes to existing knowledge in your field or its importance outside of academia.

3. Assess Limitations

No study is perfect, not even yours! Sorry to break the bad news!

On the plus side, you can discuss the limitations of your work at the end of your dissertation. Doing this will demonstrate your understanding of the research process. Issues you may want to consider include sample size and time constraints.

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4. Identify Implications for Future Research

Most dissertation conclusions include suggestions for how your work could inform future research. This could be a refinement of your own investigation, though it might also be a radical new idea suggested by your results!

1. Introduce New Material

Although it’s fine to offer an opinion or reflection at the end of your dissertation, introducing new arguments or evidence at this point is forbidden. If something is important enough to include in the conclusion, it should be part of the main body of your paper.

2. Write Too Much

Your conclusion should include a summary of what precedes it, but it isn’t necessary to go back over everything in depth. Try to make this chapter fairly snappy, relating what you have already read in an easily digestible way.

3. Keep Your Reader in Suspense

Unlike an episode of Game of Thrones , you can’t finish your dissertation on a cliffhanger! In your research, you will have set out to answer certain questions. Make sure that you address these explicitly in your conclusion so that nothing is overlooked.

If you follow these tips you should hopefully find writing that all – important concluding chapter a much simpler process. For more information about writing a dissertation or thesis, read our full dissertation writing guide . But if you need any more support, the experts at Proofed will be happy to look over your work!

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How to write an excellent thesis conclusion [with examples]

Tips for writing thesis conclusion

Restate the thesis

Review or reiterate key points of your work, explain why your work is relevant, a take-away for the reader, more resources on writing thesis conclusions, frequently asked questions about writing an excellent thesis conclusion, related articles.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Need more advice? Read our 5 additional tips on how to write a good 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.

what to include in the conclusion of a dissertation

what to include in the conclusion of a dissertation

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.

Disciplinary differences

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.

Guide contents

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.

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.

Hourglass shape with 'Introduction & Literature Review' on broad to narrow section; 'Methods' and 'Results/Discussion' in narrow section; and 'Conclusion' in narrow to broad bottom.

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.

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.

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.

Annotated example

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.

Excessive detail

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.

New information

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.

'In conclusion...'

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: The Complete Guide

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by  Antony W

July 11, 2022

how to write a dissertation conclusion

You’ve come a long way with your dissertation project, and now it’s time to wrap it up with the conclusion chapter. In this guide, you’ll learn how to write a conclusion for your dissertation or thesis project in the shortest time possible.  

In a dissertation project, the conclusion is the final chapter, which summarizes your study results.

While certain publications, such as journal articles and research papers , combine discussion and conclusion in one chapter, a dissertation or thesis needs to have a conclusion chapter of its own. 

What is the Purpose of the Conclusion Chapter?

The conclusion chapter is generic and high-level in character. It will take a larger view, reflecting on the major research findings. Then, you’ll explain how you used those findings to answer your research question.

The goal of the conclusion chapter is to summarize your study’s important points and to inform the reader of what they should take away from your work. Essentially, you must explain:

  • What you discovered
  • Why what you discovered is useful
  • The possible implementation of your discovery and
  • Possible studies that other researchers should consider conducting

As a guiding rule, don’t copy and paste what you wrote in your discussion chapter into the conclusion chapter.

What Should I Include in the Conclusion Chapter of a Dissertation?

A strong dissertation conclusion chapter should:

  • Summarize the study’s major results
  • Discuss the study’s shortcomings and flaws.
  • Clearly respond to the research question(s) and address the research objectives
  • Inform the reader of the primary contributions of the study.
  • Make recommendations for more research.

Notably, you must avoid including fresh results or data points. Your conclusion chapter should focus on the data and analysis findings offered in the previous chapters.

Perhaps one of the most common practices when it comes to reading a dissertation project is that a reader will go immediately to the conclusions chapter to check the study’s objective and important findings.

As a result, when writing your conclusion chapter, it’s helpful to imagine that the reader hasn’t read your dissertation or thesis’s internal chapters. Your conclusion chapter should show a strong link and a natural flow between the introduction and conclusion chapters.

Get custom dissertation writing help at a cheaper rate and get your long assignment completed in the shortest time possible.

How to Write a Dissertation Conclusion

Now that you have a better understanding of what the conclusion chapter is about, here’s how you can structure and write the introduction chapter from start to finish:

1. Start with a Brief Introduction

In this introduction part, inform the reader about the contents of the chapter and the order in which they’ll discover them.

The purpose here is to offer the reader a taste of what’s to come, not a synopsis of the chapter. Therefore, make it brief and succinct. A paragraph or two should be enough. 

2. Write an Analysis of the Overall Findings of the Study

Explain the study’s overall findings in relation to the research objectives and research questions.

Zoom out a little and focus on the larger findings, especially how they contribute to meeting the study objectives.

Begin by reminding your reader of your study objectives and research questions, since this helps to contextualize the findings. Phrases such as “this research intended to…” and “the results show that…” will almost certainly come in helpful in this area.

Avoid making assertions such as “this study demonstrates that” or “the findings refute the established hypothesis.” It is unlikely for a single research to confirm or deny something. So, do not make unduly strong statements in the end of your dissertation.

3. Explain How Your Research Contributes to the Field of Study

Describe the theoretically and practically affect that your research has had on the area of study.  Here’s where you discus the results of your study, emphasizing their significance and value, and demonstrating how they may be used or used.

  • Mention any research outcomes resulting from your investigation.
  • Inform the reader how your study resolves your research challenge and why this is significant.
  • Discuss your findings in light of relevant ideas. For instance, does it corroborate or constructively challenge these theories?
  • Consider the gaps in existing research and explain how your work helps to close those gaps.

Create a good balance between assertiveness and humility in your arguments here. At the same time, you must deliver your points confidently, stating unequivocally the value of your study, regardless of how modest that value may be.

4. Highlight the Shortcomings of the Study

Depending on your university’s structure preferences, you may have previously addressed this in the discussion chapter, so be cautious not to repeat yourself excessively.

Numerous restrictions may apply to any particular research. Several examples include the following:

  • Issues in sampling that limit the generalizability of the findings
  • Bias on the part of the researcher or a lack of expertise
  • Restricted data access or inadequate sample size
  • Techniques for collecting or analyzing data at a low resolution
  • Budget limits impose restrictions on several parts of the investigation.

While discussing the limits of your study may seem self-defeating, it is a necessary component of high-quality research. It is critical to recognize that all studies have limits and recognizing these limitations lends credibility to your study by demonstrating that you understand the constraints of your research design.

It is important to find a balance between acknowledging the limits of your study and emphasizing its value despite those constraints. Demonstrate to the reader that you understand the limits, that they are justified in light of the constraints, and that you understand how they might be improved.

5.  Give Recommendations for Further Research

Provide recommendations for more research based on the constraints you described.

A good source of future research recommendations may be any data points or analytic findings that were fascinating or unexpected but did not immediately connect to your study’s research objectives and research questions.

The goal here is to discuss how other researchers might build on your findings to advance the field of knowledge and contribute to its development. Therefore, consider the new questions presented by your work carefully and explicitly explain them for future scholars to pursue.

6. Conclude With a Clear and Precise Summary

The concluding summary should act as a fast reference for your readers, recapitulating the points made throughout the conclusion chapter. Ascertain that you do not introduce any new information 

About the author 

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How to Write a Relevant Conclusion for Your Dissertation

Dissertation Conclusion

The last portion of your dissertation is called the conclusion. The objective of the dissertation conclusion is to answer the primary question of the research, provide a summary of the research, make recommendations for possible research on the subject and list the new information that your research contributes to the field.

Although the discussion and the conclusion have similar elements, they are not the same. They may be combined in shorter journal articles and papers. However, in a thesis, both the conclusion and discussion must be included.

While a discussion includes specific interpretations and results, the conclusion makes broader statements to sum up all the important points of your research.

Writing a good conclusion is important to clarify the main discoveries and arguments of your research. Here are some tips on how to conclude a thesis.

Provide Answers to The Primary Question in Your Research

The first step is to understand how to start a conclusion. It must begin with the key question of your dissertation. This allows you to show the results of your work. It must be clear and concise. You do not have to repeat all the results discussed along the thesis. Just combine them into a few words that will become the final takeaway for readers.

For example, the conclusion for a dissertation that aims at making theoretical arguments by analysing case studies, the beginning can be as follows:

“A detailed analysis of the changing representations of the UK border policy and migration over the last ten years, the influence of media discourse in political decision making is highlighted in this dissertation”

Summarise Your Research

The thesis conclusion gives your readers a reminder about why you approached a topic in a certain way. You must summarize the expected results and the actual results that matched these expectations.

The summary should not have too many repetitions. It is not meant to summarize every chapter. Instead, it must reflect your views and ideas that were developed through the course of the thesis. This is also a good opportunity to list any limitations in the research. You can also highlight why your methodology was best suited for the topic discussed.

Here is an example of how to restate thesis in conclusion:

This research evidently shows “X” while raising a few questions about “Y”. In keeping with the example provided above, the summary can begin as follows: “In addition to showcasing the various representations of UK border policy, this thesis also raises questions on the credibility of media exposure in these representations.”

Provide Recommendations

In the discussion of your research, you may have provided possible areas to explore in future research. However, with the conclusion, you can elaborate on these suggestions. Make sure you include the implications of all your findings in the field of study.

These examples will help you understand ways to start a dissertation conclusion recommendation:

“Further research is required to determine the relationship between the changing political views on migration and their effect on global economy”, or, “Based on the conclusions of this research, practitioners may consider studying the relationship between migration and economy”

Make sure that you do not exaggerate how applicable your research is. Instead, provide broader statements to highlight important insights of your thesis. Remember, the conclusion must not include any new interpretations, data or arguments.

Highlight the Contributions of You Research

A good thesis is one that provides some new knowledge to a particular field of study. This gives your readers a very strong impression about the contributions of your thesis. You can highlight the contributions of your research in different ways as mentioned below:

  • Go back to the problem statement and explain how your thesis has helped solve it.
  • Use references from the literature review to showcase how your research has addressed any gaps in information.
  • Write about how the results of your thesis challenges existing assumptions and theories.

You need to make sure that you do not repeat information that has already been covered in the discussion. Choose only the important points and provide a brief overview.

Complete the Dissertation

Once the conclusion is written, there are a few final steps to complete your dissertation:

  • Write the thesis abstract in 200 words or less .
  • Review your reference list and format it as per the writing style. You can also use online reference generators to speed up this process.
  • Create the table of contents and complete the title page .

Make sure you review the document completely to ensure that there are no language errors.

Dissertation Conclusion Checklist

To make sure that you have understood the essence of the conclusion, compare this checklist with any available dissertation conclusion sample:

The research question is answered The argument is summarised There is some reflection on the methods and results Limitations, if any, are highlighted The most relevant recommendations are discussed The important contributions of the thesis are explained clearly There is no inclusion of new data

If you need any thesis writing help or wish to read through example of conclusion in thesis, our experts are always ready to help you. Get in touch with us now to create an impressive conclusion for your thesis.

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Crafting a Dissertation Conclusion: 10 Comprehensive Tips

Table of contents, introduction.

As you start your process of writing a dissertation, the dissertation formatting needs to be kept in mind.Though a conclusion comes at the very end of a dissertation or research paper , it is extremely important. It is supposed to convey what you have deduced from your research. Its crispness needs to include only what is relevant to your problem statement or dissertation questions.

Write an appropriate dissertation conclusion relative to the size of your dissertation or thesis . The length of your conclusion should not be more than 5–7% of your total dissertation word count.

Dissertation Conclusion Tips

Here are a few dissertation conclusion tips to help you write a good conclusion. Make sure to go through them before you begin writing your dissertation conclusion. Make the necessary changes if you have already written a conclusion:

1. Make the conclusion short and impactful

Avoid making the dissertation conclusion too long. Make it precise and to the point. The more objective the conclusion, the better your dissertation will appear.

The purpose of a conclusion is to sum up all that has been learned through the process of writing a dissertation. Just as an introduction would contain the point or purpose of a dissertation or thesis , the conclusion needs to sum up the findings that have become evident from the observations and analysis.

2. Do not include a detailed explanation in your conclusion

While writing a conclusion, remember that the reader is not interested in reading a detailed analysis as your conclusion. You will appear confused about the structure of your own dissertation . So, do not go on and on about the reasons behind your conclusions. You have already stated them earlier in your dissertation.

Your conclusion should make sweeping statements that cover your research well. They need not be followed by explanations, as that would be included in your analysis itself.

3. Use bullet points

You must be familiar with the aesthetic appeal of bullet points to a reader. Instead of long paragraphs, one prefers to read precise points. They are easier to go through over and over again and revise if needed.

They give the impression that the writer has a lucid purpose behind conducting their research and knows what they are doing. Use pointers in your conclusion as well. State your findings step by step, in a logical order. The points should be one-line summaries of your dissertation.

4. State and answer your Research question

As you begin writing your conclusion, try to restate your research question and then move on to answering it. Answers to the research questions addressed in the dissertation need to be stated clearly in the conclusion.

For example, you can begin your conclusion with ‘In this research paper, I tried to find out whether herbivorous animals have a color preference in the leaves they eat’.

Do not bring in new research questions in your conclusion. This will take the reader by surprise and lead to your research paper being all over the place.

5. You are allowed to reflect on your research

Every research paper has positive and/or negative observations and results. You could state whether your research was helpful in answering your research question. The aim you had in mind might have led you to your findings, which could be in your favor or not.

State whether they were good, bad, or ugly. Say whether your research was beneficial to you. Were there any personal conclusions? You might also state any surprising insights you come across in the process of working on your dissertation. While doing so, do not focus on the inclusion of your feelings while working on the dissertation. Eg, this research made me so happy.

6. Check out a few dissertation conclusion examples

Before you start writing your conclusion, read a few dissertation conclusion examples online. You can refer to a few available online or read some research papers to get a clearer idea of dissertation conclusions. You can ask your professor or advisor for a few examples as well, in order to get an idea of what they are expecting from you. The format will guide you as you work on your dissertation.

7. Go through your dissertation

As you begin writing your conclusion, it would be beneficial to go through your dissertation or research paper one more time. Evaluate the contents of your dissertation. You might find useful points to include in your conclusion. Those might have been left out while you were writing the conclusion. However, do not include new information in your conclusion while doing so. All points that you state in your dissertation conclusion should have been previously proven in your research paper or dissertation.

8. Give references

It is crucial to reference other articles related to your dissertation or response paper. It will establish you as a thorough researcher. This can be done throughout the dissertation and in the dissertation conclusion.

Cite sources of information and give credit to whoever has been of help in conducting your research and writing a dissertation. At the same time, you can state the anomalies you found while referencing a paper for your research. Assert how your dissertation disproves a pre-existing hypothesis or says more about a phenomenon mentioned in another research paper.

9. Highlight important phrases

A reader should be able to see your conclusions at a glance. In order to quote your findings, it is important that you highlight the main points that you are making in your dissertation conclusion.

Highlighting will help a reader come back to important points later. They will know what is to be focused on and kept in mind while reading your dissertation. The keywords can be highlighted as well. They will help catalog your dissertation among other research papers that might be related to your field of study. This will help with further referencing.

10. State the importance of your dissertation for future research

The implications of your research paper or dissertation can be numerous. The dissertation can be a significant step in the respective field, which can change humankind’s perspective and method of solving global problems.

The reader should see value in your research paper. They should feel your dissertation is worth thinking about and important enough for you to work on. Personal motivations (the dissertation only being of help to you) to conduct research and analysis might not be enough while stating the implications of your dissertation. In order to convince a reader of the importance of your findings, it is crucial that you believe in your findings and research.

Dissertation Conclusion Checklist

A step-by-step dissertation conclusion checklist for you will be:

  • Have bullet points, not long paragraphs.
  • State your research question and answer clearly.
  • Sum up your research findings in a few words.
  • Reference pre-existing papers.
  • Do not explain points unnecessarily.
  • State your responses to your research and dissertation .
  • Go through your dissertation once again and find out important points; check if you have included them in your conclusion.
  • Highlight the main phrases in your dissertation conclusion.

Dissertation Conclusion Samples

what to include in the conclusion of a dissertation

In essence, as you delve into the intricacies of your dissertation , don’t underestimate the significance of proper formatting. The conclusion, despite its position at the end, carries substantial weight as it encapsulates the derived insights from your research. Crafting an impactful conclusion involves maintaining brevity, utilizing bullet points for clarity, and ensuring it adheres to the recommended word count range.

Additionally, restating and answering your research question, offering reflections on your findings, and highlighting key phrases for emphasis are crucial elements. Drawing inspiration from dissertation conclusion examples, conducting a thorough review of your dissertation, ensuring proper referencing, and emphasizing the research’s future implications are key steps in this process. Consider incorporating the expertise of dissertation editing services platforms like TrueEditors , WriteSmartly , ProofreadingPal, Kibin, as they have skilled dissertation editors who specialize in refining grammar, enhancing structural coherence, and elevating the overall quality of dissertations. Their adept editors bring valuable insights to ensure a polished and professional final product for your academic work. You are good to go!

-Masha Evans

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How to Write a Dissertation Conclusion

If you’re ready to write the conclusion, then, congratulations – the end is in sight! At last, you can begin to focus on the final stages of your dissertation.

Aside from the abstract , the conclusion is the last section of the dissertation that you’ll write. Luckily, it’s also one of the most enjoyable. This is because writing the conclusion gives you a sense of just how far you’ve come.

Now’s the time to tell your reader what you’ve found, but more importantly, why it matters . Indeed, according to Golding (2017) , a good dissertation conclusion should:

“Convince your examiners that your conclusions make a significant, publishable contribution to your field.”

So, when writing your conclusion, keep the words significant , publishable and contribution in mind. These words might seem a little vague, so let’s see how to apply them in practice.

1. How to show significance

In the context of a dissertation, ‘significance’ means – ‘relevance’, ‘importance’, or ‘noteworthiness’. So, ask yourself:

  • How (and why) are my findings important?
  • What is the relevance of my findings?
  • Which of my findings are particularly noteworthy for other researchers in my field?

Often, it’s helpful to begin the conclusion by briefly re-stating your rationale (your reasons for conducting the research in the first place). Then, once you’re reader has been reminded of your rationale, you can then highlight the key findings. This will help to contextualise the significance of your findings.

2. How to produce publishable work

Although you might not necessarily hope to publish your work, aim to produce work ‘of a publishable standard’ whenever possible. This will help you to achieve higher grades. Even if you don’t quite ‘pull it off’, your lecturer will be able to see the extra effort you’ve put in and hopefully reward you accordingly.

To write a dissertation conclusion that is ‘of a publishable standard’ you should:

  • Find out what needs to be included – Conclusion requirements differ depending on the discipline you are studying. This article can advise you how to write a conclusion, but bear in mind that your university’s requirements may differ slightly. Your dissertation handbook should tell you what to include in the conclusion. Failing that, you can ask your tutor for guidance.
  • Check the formatting – You should closely follow any formatting instructions dictated by your faculty or by the referencing style you are using. For example, according to APA style , a conclusion should typically (1) begin on a new page, (2) the title should be centred as a Level 1 heading and (3) the first line of the paragraph should be indented. Getting these small details right shows that you really care about the quality of your work.
  • Proofread for errors – For work to be of a publishable standard, it needs to be largely free from errors. This applies to the whole dissertation, not just the conclusion. Spend time proofreading your conclusion to ensure that it’s clear and compelling.
  • Limitations – Generally speaking, for an article to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, the author must have considered the limitations of his/her chosen methodology. As such, to get a good grade, you too should consider the limitations of your methodology. You should clearly explain how/why this may have impacted the reliability or validity of your findings. E.g. You might say that, since your study was conducted in a laboratory setting, it may have encouraged demand characteristics. In turn, this may have negatively impacted the ecological validity of your study.
  • But don’t be too apologetic! According to Pat Bellanca , professor at Harvard University, you should avoid being overly apologetic in your conclusion. So, although a good conclusion should recognise its limitations, it should also highlight its strengths. This will help you to demonstrate why the limitations of your dissertation did not ultimately undermine its value. E.g. “Although lab-based research can impact the ecological validity of findings, lab-based studies enable researchers to control extraneous variables; something which was particularly important for this project. Moreover, due to the standardised nature of this lab-based experiment, it would be simple for other researchers to replicate….”

3. How to demonstrate your contribution

Finally, a good conclusion tells the reader how the findings contribute to the field. You can highlight your contributions in two important ways:

  • Explain the practical implications – Your conclusion should tell the reader how professionals in your field can use the research to their advantage. Indeed, if your dissertation has highlighted some specific insights that professionals can use to shape their practice, then you may organise these under a subheading called ‘Recommendations’ .
  • Explain the implications for future research – A good conclusion tells the reader how the project can be extended or developed. If you mention future directions, this will demonstrate how your project fits into the ‘bigger picture’ within your research field. This is your last chance to convince the reader of the significance of your dissertation, so don’t scrimp on this section!

The importance of chapter conclusions

We’ve discussed the importance of the dissertation conclusion, but it’s equally important to include a ‘mini-conclusion’ at the end of each chapter. Most, if not all, of your dissertation chapters should include a very short summary paragraph at the end of the chapter.

These ‘mini conclusions’ are really important because they’ll help to ‘signpost’ your reader.

Generally speaking, a mini conclusion should provide a very brief overview of what was discussed in that chapter, and then a sentence or two explaining what’s coming next.

Tips for writing a first-class dissertation conclusion

By now, you should have a good idea of how to write a good dissertation conclusion. However according to academics from our dissertation writing service , if you want your dissertation to stand out, “your conclusions should make a significant, publishable contribution to your field” . With that in mind, let’s finish with some top tips for helping you achieve this:

  • Briefly summarise the journey – A conclusion shouldn’t just be a repetition of what you’ve written in the dissertation. Having said that, it can be helpful to provide the reader with a very brief summary of each stage of the dissertation. This will help the reader look back over the journey they’ve taken with you. This summary should be no more than a short paragraph. If you’ve signposted effectively throughout your dissertation, you’ll be able to cherry-pick these ‘signpost sentences’ and then reword them into a summary paragraph.
  • Say something new (but don’t introduce new theory) – As mentioned, the conclusion shouldn’t just be a repetition of your discussion chapter. Instead, it should provide new insights (such as recommendations for professional practice and suggestions for future research). However, don’t try to bring new theories in here. Most conclusions won’t include any references for this reason.
  • Keep it succinct – In the grand scheme of things, the conclusion is usually quite short. This is because it is a space to tie up loose ends and emphasise significance, rather than introduce new topics. If your conclusion is more than a couple of pages, this suggests that some of the information might be better placed in the discussion chapter. Ask your tutor for specific guidance regarding the length of the conclusion if you are not sure.
  • Plant a seed – A great dissertation conclusion lingers in the reader’s mind long after they’ve finished reading it. To achieve this, try to ‘plant a seed’ in the reader’s mind. Sometimes, this can be achieved by asking a rhetorical question, or by impressing the reader with the potential future implications of your research.

“Examiners favour a thesis that truly engages with the findings.”

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How Do I Write the Conclusion?

Final Conclusions, Putting Your Work in Context and Considering Further Research

  • First Online: 19 October 2023

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  • Sue Reeves   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-3017-0559 3 &
  • Bartek Buczkowski   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-4146-3664 4  

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The conclusion is one of the shortest parts of the dissertation. In this chapter, we focus on the meaning and purpose of the conclusion, its components, and the sources of information that you should use to draw your conclusions. We will also point out the connection between the conclusion and the aim of the study, and things to avoid when writing the conclusion.

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Bunton D (2005) The structure of PhD conclusion chapters. J Engl Acad Purp 4(3):207–224

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Cottrell S (2017) Critical thinking skills: effective analysis, argument and reflection, 3rd edn. Palgrave, London

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McGregor SLT (2018) Understanding and evaluating research: a critical guide. SAGE Publications, Los Angeles, CA

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Reeves, S., Buczkowski, B. (2023). How Do I Write the Conclusion?. In: Mastering Your Dissertation. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-41911-9_10

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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.

Finishing Off...

Check, check and check again.

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

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

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

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

The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


What this handout is about.

This handout will explain the functions of conclusions, offer strategies for writing effective ones, help you evaluate conclusions you’ve drafted, and suggest approaches to avoid.

About conclusions

Introductions and conclusions can be difficult to write, but they’re worth investing time in. They can have a significant influence on a reader’s experience of your paper.

Just as your introduction acts as a bridge that transports your readers from their own lives into the “place” of your analysis, your conclusion can provide a bridge to help your readers make the transition back to their daily lives. Such a conclusion will help them see why all your analysis and information should matter to them after they put the paper down.

Your conclusion is your chance to have the last word on the subject. The conclusion allows you to have the final say on the issues you have raised in your paper, to synthesize your thoughts, to demonstrate the importance of your ideas, and to propel your reader to a new view of the subject. It is also your opportunity to make a good final impression and to end on a positive note.

Your conclusion can go beyond the confines of the assignment. The conclusion pushes beyond the boundaries of the prompt and allows you to consider broader issues, make new connections, and elaborate on the significance of your findings.

Your conclusion should make your readers glad they read your paper. Your conclusion gives your reader something to take away that will help them see things differently or appreciate your topic in personally relevant ways. It can suggest broader implications that will not only interest your reader, but also enrich your reader’s life in some way. It is your gift to the reader.

Strategies for writing an effective conclusion

One or more of the following strategies may help you write an effective conclusion:

  • Play the “So What” Game. If you’re stuck and feel like your conclusion isn’t saying anything new or interesting, ask a friend to read it with you. Whenever you make a statement from your conclusion, ask the friend to say, “So what?” or “Why should anybody care?” Then ponder that question and answer it. Here’s how it might go: You: Basically, I’m just saying that education was important to Douglass. Friend: So what? You: Well, it was important because it was a key to him feeling like a free and equal citizen. Friend: Why should anybody care? You: That’s important because plantation owners tried to keep slaves from being educated so that they could maintain control. When Douglass obtained an education, he undermined that control personally. You can also use this strategy on your own, asking yourself “So What?” as you develop your ideas or your draft.
  • Return to the theme or themes in the introduction. This strategy brings the reader full circle. For example, if you begin by describing a scenario, you can end with the same scenario as proof that your essay is helpful in creating a new understanding. You may also refer to the introductory paragraph by using key words or parallel concepts and images that you also used in the introduction.
  • Synthesize, don’t summarize. Include a brief summary of the paper’s main points, but don’t simply repeat things that were in your paper. Instead, show your reader how the points you made and the support and examples you used fit together. Pull it all together.
  • Include a provocative insight or quotation from the research or reading you did for your paper.
  • Propose a course of action, a solution to an issue, or questions for further study. This can redirect your reader’s thought process and help them to apply your info and ideas to their own life or to see the broader implications.
  • Point to broader implications. For example, if your paper examines the Greensboro sit-ins or another event in the Civil Rights Movement, you could point out its impact on the Civil Rights Movement as a whole. A paper about the style of writer Virginia Woolf could point to her influence on other writers or on later feminists.

Strategies to avoid

  • Beginning with an unnecessary, overused phrase such as “in conclusion,” “in summary,” or “in closing.” Although these phrases can work in speeches, they come across as wooden and trite in writing.
  • Stating the thesis for the very first time in the conclusion.
  • Introducing a new idea or subtopic in your conclusion.
  • Ending with a rephrased thesis statement without any substantive changes.
  • Making sentimental, emotional appeals that are out of character with the rest of an analytical paper.
  • Including evidence (quotations, statistics, etc.) that should be in the body of the paper.

Four kinds of ineffective conclusions

  • The “That’s My Story and I’m Sticking to It” Conclusion. This conclusion just restates the thesis and is usually painfully short. It does not push the ideas forward. People write this kind of conclusion when they can’t think of anything else to say. Example: In conclusion, Frederick Douglass was, as we have seen, a pioneer in American education, proving that education was a major force for social change with regard to slavery.
  • The “Sherlock Holmes” Conclusion. Sometimes writers will state the thesis for the very first time in the conclusion. You might be tempted to use this strategy if you don’t want to give everything away too early in your paper. You may think it would be more dramatic to keep the reader in the dark until the end and then “wow” them with your main idea, as in a Sherlock Holmes mystery. The reader, however, does not expect a mystery, but an analytical discussion of your topic in an academic style, with the main argument (thesis) stated up front. Example: (After a paper that lists numerous incidents from the book but never says what these incidents reveal about Douglass and his views on education): So, as the evidence above demonstrates, Douglass saw education as a way to undermine the slaveholders’ power and also an important step toward freedom.
  • The “America the Beautiful”/”I Am Woman”/”We Shall Overcome” Conclusion. This kind of conclusion usually draws on emotion to make its appeal, but while this emotion and even sentimentality may be very heartfelt, it is usually out of character with the rest of an analytical paper. A more sophisticated commentary, rather than emotional praise, would be a more fitting tribute to the topic. Example: Because of the efforts of fine Americans like Frederick Douglass, countless others have seen the shining beacon of light that is education. His example was a torch that lit the way for others. Frederick Douglass was truly an American hero.
  • The “Grab Bag” Conclusion. This kind of conclusion includes extra information that the writer found or thought of but couldn’t integrate into the main paper. You may find it hard to leave out details that you discovered after hours of research and thought, but adding random facts and bits of evidence at the end of an otherwise-well-organized essay can just create confusion. Example: In addition to being an educational pioneer, Frederick Douglass provides an interesting case study for masculinity in the American South. He also offers historians an interesting glimpse into slave resistance when he confronts Covey, the overseer. His relationships with female relatives reveal the importance of family in the slave community.

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Douglass, Frederick. 1995. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself. New York: Dover.

Hamilton College. n.d. “Conclusions.” Writing Center. Accessed June 14, 2019. https://www.hamilton.edu//academics/centers/writing/writing-resources/conclusions .

Holewa, Randa. 2004. “Strategies for Writing a Conclusion.” LEO: Literacy Education Online. Last updated February 19, 2004. https://leo.stcloudstate.edu/acadwrite/conclude.html.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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Dissertation Writing: How to Write your Conclusion

December 10, 2016 by Dissertation Genius

In this blog post, you’ll learn exactly how to write the last chapter of your doctoral dissertation. In particular, you will get oriented with the overall goals of the conclusion chapter. Then, you’ll be taught on how to go about writing the chapter itself. Finally, you will be given guidance on what things to avoid in the ever-important final chapter of your dissertation.

The Main Goals of your Dissertation Conclusion

Before going into how to actually write the conclusion chapter of your dissertation, it’s important to review its purpose. Regardless of what discipline you are in, there are certain messages you always want your readers to absorb after reading your conclusion chapter. Basically, your conclusion should always: Give a general overview of the important contributions of your work –  Make it absolutely clear for your committee and the general reader the original contributions of your work and where they are situated with respect to the rest of your research field. A good way to do this is to simply display your contributions in a bulleted list.

Summarize the main points of your various chapters – Especially if you aim to get your work published, your conclusion should always strive to be an ‘executive summary’ of your work. Not every reader will be interested in reading your entire work. This way, you will have this chapter ready to give them a brief (yet comprehensive) overview of the dissertation.

Recommendations – You should always include at least a paragraph on the practical implications resulting from your findings. This is extremely valuable for yourself, the committee, and the general reader. You can be rather flexible with your recommendations as long as they are relevant and derived from the findings of your dissertation research. For example, you can list highly-specific recommendations and steps to be followed or you can list more general recommendations guiding the reader towards certain ideas and principles to follow.

Future Work – No matter how much you have done with your dissertation research, it will never truly be finished. There will always be lingering question marks and open ends. By no means does this indicate your work is incomplete On the contrary, no PhD work is ever complete and, in fact, a good dissertation is one that sparks a high level of general interest and motivates further research in a particular discipline.

How to Actually Write the Dissertation Conclusion Chapter

Now that you have a good grasp of what the general outline should be of your conclusion, it is important to look at how to actually write it. The most important principle to keep in mind while writing your dissertation conclusion is reflection . To illustrate:

  • If readers were to go over nothing in your work except your conclusion, what message(s) would you want to leave them with?
  • What would your ‘take-home’ message be to your audience? What idea, question, call-to-action, etc., would you want them to have as they finish reading your work and walk away?

These are what you must constantly ask yourself while you are writing your dissertation conclusion.

Usually, you should start writing your conclusion by first taking notes, and you should do this while proofreading the initial draft of your work . In general, you should use the following approach:

  • Use an approach where you would 1) proofread, 2) take notes, and 3) summarize every single chapter of your work. This will pave the way and give you the structure you need for your dissertation conclusion.
  • After you do this, simply copy & paste these mini chapter summaries and combine them into your conclusion.
  • Now you have the ‘raw material’ and with this, you can start to modify and weave together the main ideas of your general summary.
  • After that, simply add the sections on practical implications, contributions, and future work/research.
  • As a final step, re-read the draft of your conclusion and ask yourself, “Does my conclusion really grasp the essence of my work?”

Pitfalls to Avoid for your Dissertation Conclusion

In general, there are three main pitfalls you should always avoid when writing the conclusion for your dissertation.

Protracted and Rambling Conclusion – A long and protracted conclusion is when you repeat yourself unnecessarily (without adding anything to what you are mentioning) about points you already mentioned in your previous chapters before the conclusion.

Short Conclusion – This is actually an improvement to a long and rambling conclusion, which wastes valuable time on the part of your audience. However, a conclusion that is too short also rambles about facts without coming to a logical conclusion, and does all this using less words and missing vital points/arguments.

Implausible Conclusion – Often times, doctoral students can come to wild conclusions that boggle the mind. They make claims that have absolutely no logical link to the evidence in their research, or that link is very weak. For example, many PhD students (in their very limited small-scale study) make wild assertions that the results of their study should be adopted by public policy-makers, governmental officials, and the like. If you make a list of unsubstantiated claims, you will be wasting a lot of hard work for nothing. Simply stay humble and avoid doing this!

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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 .

Dissertation Conclusion

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.

How to Write a Dissertation Step-by-Step

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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. 


Joe Eckel is an expert on Dissertations writing. He makes sure that each student gets precious insights on composing A-grade academic writing.


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Dissertation methodology

  • 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.



How to Write a Good Thesis Conclusion

George Christofi

Concluding your dissertation often feels like a weighty task. After months of writing, researching, and putting hour after hour into this project, it’s time to close off. Summarising is never an easy task. After all, how do you fit so much research into such a short section? How does one ever write a good thesis conclusion? Luckily, there are some steps we can follow to ensure you do your project justice, while also creating a concise summary of its breadth. 

What do I include in a good thesis conclusion?

When writing your conclusion, you have to remember that your examiner will have just read through your whole project. A conclusion isn’t just about restating what’s come before. Instead, you want to use this section to do three primary things. 

  • Directly answer the question you’ve set out to research with your project
  • Refer back to the literature review and explain how your dissertation fits into this
  • Discuss your findings in comparison to the literature review, suggesting how your dissertation furthers the field or challenges established concepts

These three notions are essential in writing your conclusion. We’ll address these in order, as they naturally move through ideas and come to a clear finish. 

Answer the question

No matter what kind of dissertation you’ve written, be it English Literature or Chemical Engineering, your project started in response to a question or topic you were going to research. The opening of your conclusion should link back to your title question, discussing firmly how you have answered the question. You can take this time to restate some of the conclusions of your research, but try to keep it brief. Again, they’ve just read your whole project, so they’ll know what you’re talking about. This is also a good place to document any limitations of your study. After that, use the opening paragraphs of your conclusion to directly answer your research question. 

Refer back to the literature review

Once you’ve answered the question, you’re all set to bring in other ideas. This is where you can demonstrate how your research fits into the wider field of a topic . Does it challenge any established ideas, or does it further clarify them? You want to acknowledge what has come before, and then show how your research follows on from this. Use this section to mention any vital research that others completed that helped shape your own dissertation. Once you’ve done this, you’re ready for the final section.

How does your research further the field?

Use the closing paragraphs of your conclusion to demonstrate how your project will impact the field of research. It could clarify a concept, introduce a novel opinion, or further established knowledge. Suggest what your project has done and the implications of your work. It’s also a good idea to include some points of departure for your study. Now that your dissertation has proved something, naturally, there will be a next step in research that you can signal someone will need to take. Close your thesis conclusion with a succinct summary of your project. Stick of what you’ve achieved, how it fits in, and what the implications for future research are. Once you’ve finished this final section, well done, you’ve finished! 

How long should a good thesis conclusion be?

Conclusions shouldn’t be particularly lengthy. You’ve already done all the research, stated your key claims, and backed up everything with evidence. A conclusion is about summarising the above, condensing it into a concise format. Typically, a conclusion should be around 5% of your total word count. That’ll give you enough words to answer the question, refer back to the literature review, and demonstrate how your research furthers the field. Be concise! 

What not to include in a good thesis conclusion?

Now you know how to structure your conclusion and what to include, it’s time to turn to things you should try and stay away from. Doing any of these things isn’t necessarily disastrous, but they’ll often lead to creating holes in your argument. An incomplete argument is definitely not what we want to leave our readers with!  Try to avoid:

  • Introducing new research that you have not previously unpacked
  • Presenting more of your own new data
  • Repeating claims from your introduction. You should have now proved or disproved these claims, focus on what you’ve achieved.
  • Bringing up minor parts of your research
  • Undermining yourself – you’ve done an incredible thing, own your research!
  • Banal phrases like ‘To conclude’ or ‘In summary’

Closing Thoughts

That’s everything! You’re now well on your way to writing a good thesis conclusion. If you are stuck on writing your acknowledgements, check out our examples here . If you need any more help with this, be sure to reach out to one of our expert tutors for advice. 

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George Christofi

Written by: George Christofi

George studied undergraduate and masters degrees in Classics and Philosophy at Oxford, as well as spending time at Yale. He specialises in helping students with UK and US university applications, including Oxbridge and the Ivy League. He writes extensively on education including on schools, universities, and pedagogy.

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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  
  • Recommendations
  • Predictions

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.

  back ^

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.


  1. How to Write a Dissertation Conclusion

    Step 3: Make future recommendations. 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. Example: Recommendation sentence.

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    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.

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    How to Write Dissertation Conclusion Example. Here is a dissertation conclusion example of a dissertation that aimed to test a theoretical argument based on an analysis of a case study; Proposed anaerobic digestion plant in Tripoli. Chapter 5 - Dissertation Conclusion. 5.1 Background.

  4. The Dos and Don'ts of Writing a Dissertation Conclusion

    The conclusion of your dissertation is a good place to restate the significance of your work. This might include how it contributes to existing knowledge in your field or its importance outside of academia. 3. Assess Limitations. No study is perfect, not even yours! Sorry to break the bad news!

  5. How to write an excellent thesis conclusion [with examples]

    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. Organize your papers in one place. Try Paperpile.

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    Step 1: Restate the problem. The first task of your conclusion is to remind the reader of your research problem. You will have discussed this problem in depth throughout the body, but now the point is to zoom back out from the details to the bigger picture. While you are restating a problem you've already introduced, you should avoid phrasing ...

  7. Writing the Dissertation

    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 ...

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    A strong dissertation conclusion chapter should: Summarize the study's major results. Discuss the study's shortcomings and flaws. Clearly respond to the research question (s) and address the research objectives. Inform the reader of the primary contributions of the study. Make recommendations for more research.

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    Complete the Dissertation. Once the conclusion is written, there are a few final steps to complete your dissertation: Write the thesis abstract in 200 words or less. Review your reference list and format it as per the writing style. You can also use online reference generators to speed up this process.

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    The conclusion is the very last part of your thesis or dissertation, it should be concise and engaging. In this video, you'll learn how to write a conclusion...

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    1. Make the conclusion short and impactful. Avoid making the dissertation conclusion too long. Make it precise and to the point. The more objective the conclusion, the better your dissertation will appear. The purpose of a conclusion is to sum up all that has been learned through the process of writing a dissertation.

  12. How to Write a Dissertation Conclusion

    For example, according to APA style, a conclusion should typically (1) begin on a new page, (2) the title should be centred as a Level 1 heading and (3) the first line of the paragraph should be indented. Getting these small details right shows that you really care about the quality of your work. Proofread for errors - For work to be of a ...

  13. How Do I Write the Conclusion?

    Abstract. The conclusion is one of the shortest parts of the dissertation. In this chapter, we focus on the meaning and purpose of the conclusion, its components, and the sources of information that you should use to draw your conclusions. We will also point out the connection between the conclusion and the aim of the study, and things to avoid ...

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    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.

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    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 ...

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    The conclusion pushes beyond the boundaries of the prompt and allows you to consider broader issues, make new connections, and elaborate on the significance of your findings. Your conclusion should make your readers glad they read your paper. Your conclusion gives your reader something to take away that will help them see things differently or ...

  17. What should I include in a thesis or dissertation conclusion?

    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.

  18. Dissertation Writing: How to Write your Conclusion

    In general, you should use the following approach: Use an approach where you would 1) proofread, 2) take notes, and 3) summarize every single chapter of your work. This will pave the way and give you the structure you need for your dissertation conclusion. After you do this, simply copy & paste these mini chapter summaries and combine them into ...

  19. Thesis and Dissertation Conclusion Writing Guide & Examples

    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.

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    Write something along the lines of, " In conclusion, the aim of this study was to…. ". 2. Restate your objectives straight after restating the aims. Remind the reader of how you achieved your aims. Write something like, " This was achieved through (then describe your research methodology) ". You could even talk about your aims and ...

  21. How to Write a Good Thesis Conclusion

    A conclusion is about summarising the above, condensing it into a concise format. Typically, a conclusion should be around 5% of your total word count. That'll give you enough words to answer the question, refer back to the literature review, and demonstrate how your research furthers the field. Be concise!

  22. How to Conclude an Essay

    Step 1: Return to your thesis. To begin your conclusion, signal that the essay is coming to an end by returning to your overall argument. Don't just repeat your thesis statement —instead, try to rephrase your argument in a way that shows how it has been developed since the introduction. Example: Returning to the thesis.

  23. 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.