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 conclusion chapter of 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.
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.
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.
Always write your conclusion in a 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 under this section.
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 programme, 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 conclusion to briefly state answers for all research questions, and summarise and reflect on the research.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 purpose. 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 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 case study; Proposed anaerobic digestion plant in Tripoli.
Chapter 5 - Dissertation Conclusion
This chapter highlights the crux of the study by briefly describing objectives and literature survey. Feasibility of the proposed plant is then discussed which leads to the limitations and difficulties of the study. At the end some recommendations for future work are provided in a brief. Some of the suggestion to improve and highlight the renewable energy generation techniques are also part of the chapter.
5.2 Literature Review, Survey and Interviews
A Valorga process AD plant, with capacity of 0.8 tones 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 results of the survey suggest that the people of Tripoli understand the need of 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 adequate amount of electricity to meet the rising demand.
An informal session of interviews has been conducted with the experts from Energy Agency of Libya. The opinion and observation based data collection in done in order to adequately opt the interpretivist approach of research. All five respondents recommended the idea of establishing an AD plant in Tripoli-Libya.
The plant location selected in the research has also been validated by their comments and suggestion as appropriate location for establishing a plant. The idea of energy generation using sustainable methods is the main point they’ve endorsed. The research provide solution for both; waste management in Tripoli and introduction of sustainable energy generation method in Libya, they said.
5.3 Feasibility of the Proposed System
A detailed feasibly study is conducted including technical details such as amount of biogas generation, plant type, equipment sizing, and proposed location for the plant. Initial finances, operation and management cost of the proposed AD plant are estimated in the financial analysis of the proposed plant.
Life cycle assessment is compared with the 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 to 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, 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 accuracy of the estimated analysis depends entirely on the data, missing fields effect the accuracy of the estimations.
5. Since survey is conducted among non-technical people and represents their views, no amount of primary data is available that accurately estimates the energy generation from 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 nation 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 subsidy 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 the conclusion. Your statements should incorporate answers to research questions without you having to repeat those questions.
Here is another example of dissertation conclusion.
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 wrote 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 a new insight into B even though it limited the generalizability of findings.
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 practical and theoretical consequences of your results.
Practitioners should consider A and B based on these conclusion….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 to educate rather than framing the results as essentials for practitioners and policy makers.
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 recognised as complete, thorough and reliable without the need of further research to confirm your conclusions.
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;
Again, it is recommended to avoid repetition. You do not want to reiterate what you have already discussed in the previous chapter.
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 sufficient amount of literature available on it.
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 an important not let yourself down by writing a mediocre conclusion and consequently lose on 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.