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How to Write the Conclusion Chapter for a Dissertation

In most cases, a conclusion is a brief summing-up of the main points of an entire paper. It is comprised of the final thoughts and ideas you will leave to your readers. Considering they have just read the entire chapter, they will not be eager to read every word again. What is the important thing you would like readers to remember most about your work? What was the key aspect of your argument, the very significant point(s) you want them to retain in their memories for the future? The conclusion to a thesis should mostly be brief and succinct. Some writers use the term ‘crunching’ for this. The process is all about creating a ‘take-away’ thought or idea, and it is something that requires considerable thought, not afterthought. So, “crunch” in your conclusion rather than being long-winded. 

Conclusions also play an important part in helping with flow. When you reach the conclusion, it is essential to go back to the focus you created at the beginning. What was your aim for this particular chapter?

The time has now come to find out if you actually achieved your aims. It could be the case that a new idea or perspective came to mind while you were writing, some wonderful insight that eluded you at the beginning. Should this happen, it is usually a good thing. You simply need to return to your main aim or focus and do a little readjusting. It may, however, be that you veered off-course, so looking again at your key objectives can help you figure out where and how you strayed. In each of these scenarios, your conclusion is being effective for both you and your reader(s). It is ensuring that the beginning and end of your chapter are working in sync. This chapter begins everything and then summarizes the main argument.   

If you use this model, of course, it means that the first draft you write for the next chapter will begin also by linking back to the previous one, giving an indication of what you covered in that chapter. Hence, you will have to decide how to arrange your second draft i.e. whether it is a good idea to provide a summary at the close of one chapter and another at the beginning of the next. However, before discussing this in detail, you will need to consider your use of headings, the flow of your argument, and how you use signals, all of which is covered in another article.

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