How to Write a Dissertation Conclusion – Example & Tips
Published byat 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.
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 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.
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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.
Addressing Research Questions in Dissertation Conclusion
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Frequently Asked Questions
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.