How To Write A Dissertation Conclusion
This post is the second of four which address the question of how you achieve flow across a thesis text.
The previous post (here) offered a three-part approach to beginning to write a chapter.
You have to join the beginning with the conclusion as you do in an essay.
You can almost breathe a sigh of relief as the dissertation is nearly finished.
You have to state how your research has filled a gap in the body of research that has come before it and state what unanswered questions there are which arise from your research.
These might form the basis for further research on your part in a Ph D programme, or they might inspire other post-graduate students to take up where your research has left off.
Just because your dissertation is at an end does not mean that it has fulfilled its purpose or that there is nothing new to research in the field. The end may be just the beginning for your career as an academic researcher.
so there is a decision to be made when you get to the second draft about whether a summary at the end of one chapter, and another summary at the start of the next is good for the reader…Chances are they would only skim through the chapters.Most readers do read the concluding chapter; after all why read the entire thesis when the last chapter summarizes the main argument and conclusions.What is the key to the argument you’ve made, the most significant thing(s) that they have to keep in their mind as they go forward?In a thesis, a conclusion is usually fairly brief and to the point. Crunching the conclusion requires some thought – it’s not an afterthought.It is always about your take-home message, if you like.So don’t go on at length in the conclusion – Crunch.Perhaps your research leads you to ask new questions which deserve to be answered by researchers in the future.You pose those questions here for others to try to answer in their research. This is not to cast doubt on your research, but rather to show yourself as an objective expert, who can ask pertinent questions which are still left to be answered in your field.But before we get to that, the next and third post looks at headings and the way to use headings to signal flow, and to check on argument flow.To write a good conclusion you need to go back to your dissertation title and your Introduction.