Take time to summarize the study with the purpose, methodology, major findings, and additional findings. You can also summarize your conclusions within this chapter, and it is much easier to number and name them so that each conclusion is distinct.

Remember that conclusions are what the results mean in the real world. The study is already done; all of the findings are in. They have been applied to the research questions and/or the hypotheses. Now, as a researcher, look at what was found. What can you say about those findings in the context of the world, the population studied, and the problem? If you’re going to offer conclusions, you discuss the conclusions based on three things:

  1. How the conclusions relate back to the findings or results
  2. The rationale for the conclusion
  3. How the conclusions compare to previous studies

Think of how other studies seem to support or even dispute your conclusions.

Be Brave When You Make Conclusions

Use your conclusions to be bold and discuss surprising or unexpected points. Keep in mind that you are the expert on your own research and you can use this opportunity to reveal innovative insights. Remember that your conclusions must be based on and validated from your findings.

Compare with Other Studies

You can use the discussion portion of chapter five to compare your findings with prior research and theories. You can contrast how your own findings dispute or agree with other studies. You can also integrate the conclusions and discussion sections into one if that better suits you.

Use Citations to Support Conclusions

Always include literature citations when mentioning other theories and studies to support, dispute, or remain neutral to each conclusion. Include as many citations as are necessary.

The Tone and Style of Conclusions

Use declarative sentences to write your conclusions. Take this time to give evidence from your results chapter and provide validity. You can also reference other research studies that support or disagree with your conclusions and speculate about why this is so. If necessary, finish by noting how each conclusion may support or negate a different part of a theory.

You can be sure that this chapter will be scrutinized in great detail by your Committee. Since chapter five is the last one, there is a tendency by students to rush it through to the committee. They just want to be done with the dissertation. If you give this chapter the same time and attention you gave to chapter one, you will put a great capstone on your dissertation.