It would be a mistake to assume that your concluding chapter is just a quick summary of everything you have stated in your paper. The conclusion is as important as the rest of your dissertation. Too often it is seen as something to rush through because you have already said all that needs to be said. But a conclusion brings together all your evidence and reminds your reader just what arguments you have made in support of your Thesis. Here you state what deductions you believe should be made from your evidence.
Do not get the idea that it is only the final chapter of your dissertation that requires a neat rounding-off. Each of your chapters needs the ends tied up before you can proceed with your work. The Concluding chapter therefore brings together all the preceding chapter endings to remind the reader what has already been said before you bring it all together and present your final judgement.
Equally important is the need to be interesting. If you write a formulaic ending to your work, your reader may just glaze over and not see the deduction you have made. Write with the passion that carried you through the desire to give up and finally reach this point. Never fear – that is the end in sight.
Elements of a good conclusion
- While it should not be just a summary of the work, your conclusion should contain a section that summarizes your arguments and evidence. Remember to restate in new words – base this section on what has gone before but not everything needs saying again.
- Perhaps include a discussion on your opinion on the matters arising from your research.
- Now is the time to mention the limitations that you feel you labored under.
- Here is also a good place to suggest further research that might be carried out on this subject – students who follow after you may thank you for this as they struggle to light on a topic for their work and your work will be referenced.
- If this is a Master’s dissertation then say how you might expand this research if you continue with a PhD.
- Make sure you have the balance right, in comparison with the rest of your work, the ending should be short.
- And of course you must clearly present the deductions you made about your research.
Just be clear that the end of your work is not the time to wander off in a completely different direction.