Magoosh GRE

Writing your PhD Thesis Conclusion

| June 2, 2013

Writing a conclusion is an important part of thesis dissertation writing. Ideally, a good conclusion should be able to provide a good picture of what the thesis is about. The conclusion should also give a clear impression that the purpose of the thesis has been achieved.[1] The conclusion of a research reaffirms the thesis statement, discusses the issues, and reaches a final judgment. However, the conclusion is not just a summary – it is statement based on your reasoning on the evidence you have accumulated. This is where you share with readers the conclusions you have reached from your research.Writing PhD ConclusionIn a nutshell, the conclusion should stress the importance of the thesis statement, give the thesis a sense of completeness, and leave a final impression on the reader.[3] The conclusion is generally the place to explore the implications of your topic or argument.[4] The conclusion chapter seeks to:[5]

  • Tie together, integrate, and synthesize the various issues raised in the discussion sections, while reflecting the introductory thesis statement(s) or objectives
  • Provide answers to the thesis research question(s)
  • Identify the theoretical and policy implications of the study with respect to the overall study area
  • Attempts to carry the examiner or reader to a new level of perception about the thesis
  • Highlight the study limitations
  • Recommend direction and areas for future research

There are many variations and styles on how to write a thesis conclusion. However, there are some common elements of a conclusion:[6]

  • A summary of the main text or main points of the study
  • A deduction made on the basis of the main body (i.e. Concluding statements)
  • The writer’s personal opinion on what has been discussed
  • A statement about the limitations of the work
  • The implication of the work for future research (i.e. Recommendations)
  • Other important facts and figures not mentioned in the main body

Below are some tips that will help in writing a PhD thesis conclusion:

  • In your conclusion, you must extract the key aspects of relevant literature and explain how these are justified or contradicted your research.[7]
  • When discussing the limitations of your research, do not be too negative or over-modest about your achievements. What is most important is to emphasise the contribution that your research project will make.[8]
  • The conclusion should synthesise what has been previously discussed. It must pull together all of the parts of your argument and refer the reader back to the focus that you have outlined in your introduction and to the central topic.[9]
  • Be very systematic, brief, and don’t introduce any new information. The conclusion should add to the overall quality and impact of the research. It should be able to stand on its own and provide a justification and defence of the thesis.[10]

 


[1] Sharpling, G. (2012). Writing a Conclusion. Available: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/al/learning_english/leap/writing/conclusions/. Last accessed 13th Mar 2013.

[2] Development Studies Association. (2012). Writing the Conclusion Chapter: the Good, the Bad, and the Missing. Available: http://www.devstud.org.uk/downloads/4be165997d2ae_Writing_the_Conclusion_Chapter,_the_Good,_the_Bad_and_the_Missing,_Joe_Assan%5B1%5D.pdf. Last accessed 30th Mar 2013.

[3] Literacy Education Online. (2004). Strategies for Writing a Conclusion. Available: http://leo.stcloudstate.edu/acadwrite/conclude.html. Last accessed 30th Mar 2013.

[4] Indian University Bloomington. (2010). Writing Conclusions. Available: http://www.indiana.edu/~wts/pamphlets/conclusions.shtml. Last accessed 30th Mar 2013.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Sharpling, G. (2012). Writing a Conclusion. Available: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/al/learning_english/leap/writing/conclusions/. Last accessed 13th Mar 2013.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Development Studies Association. (2012). Writing the Conclusion Chapter: the Good, the Bad, and the Missing. Available: http://www.devstud.org.uk/downloads/4be165997d2ae_Writing_the_Conclusion_Chapter,_the_Good,_the_Bad_and_the_Missing,_Joe_Assan%5B1%5D.pdf. Last accessed 30th Mar 2013.

[10] Ibid.

Category: Phd Writing