The time is here – you are finally nearing the end of your doctoral thesis (or dissertation). But before you break out in celebration, there is a significant hurdle left to overcome: writing the thesis conclusion.

If writing a 10,000-word doctoral thesis wasn’t hard enough, deciding how to summarize it all in the conclusion section definitely adds another layer of challenge.

The conclusion impacts the final impression you leave on your readers which is why it’s crucial to draft it in a manner that effectively captures the essence of your research. It should make readers understand the importance of the research and leave a strong impression of the study.

In this article, we will cover how to write a compelling conclusion for your thesis and end it on an impactful note.

8 Best Practices for Writing a Strong Conclusion for a Doctoral Thesis

Let’s face it: by the time we get to the conclusion, we’re exhausted and eager to get done with it. But hey, proper time management and a little more patience in giving the conclusion the due it deserves will go a long way. To help you through it, here are eight best practices for writing a strong conclusion for your doctoral thesis.

1. Revisit the research question

The conclusion represents the culmination of your research study (and doctoral thesis). So, start with providing a concise summary of how your research has addressed the question and whether you have achieved the research objective.

By revising the research question, you remind the reader of the primary focus of your research. It also reminds the reader that your research was guided by specific objectives and provides closure to the study.

2. Summarize the research findings

You’ve written about your research findings in greater detail earlier in the paper but while writing the conclusion, it’s important to summarize the significant findings or research outcomes. Reinforcing this keeps the findings fresh in the minds of readers.

Make sure you don’t repeat all the findings – what’s important is prioritizing the most critical and relevant findings, and highlighting the main patterns and trends that emerged from your research.

Here’s an example summarizing research findings:

"Through our research, we discovered that a combination of mindfulness-based interventions and cognitive-behavioral therapy significantly reduced anxiety symptoms in individuals with generalized anxiety disorder."

3. Tie it back to the thesis statement

Remember the thesis statement you wrote in the introduction? It’s time to tie back to that statement and bring your research full circle while reinforcing the central message of your study.

The idea is to show how your research validated the initial hypothesis. Make sure you explain how your findings provide evidence that supports the thesis statement.

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4. Emphasize research significance

When you emphasize the research significance before ending your doctorial thesis, you showcase the importance of your work and its value in the field of study. This is an effective way to keep readers engaged while demonstrating why they should care about your research findings.

It’s also a good idea to make connections to existing research while discussing how your research contributes to it and fills gaps.

5. Showcase the impact

When you showcase the impact of your research in the conclusion, you validate the time and effort that went into the study.

One of the most effective ways to showcase impact is by demonstrating how your findings can be applied to the real world by addressing issues, improving processes, or offering solutions. Here are some ways to showcase impact in tangible ways:

  • Specify areas where your research can be applied (policy, public health, technology, etc.)
  • Describe the specific benefits of applying your findings
  • Consider the feasibility of applying your research
  • Provide concrete case studies or examples where similar approaches were used
  • Highlight any probable impact it can have on society or the environment

6. Acknowledge the limitations of the research

No research is perfect – and acknowledging the limitations of your research just shows that you’re detail-oriented and want to present a balanced view of the study. Moreover, when you openly address the weaknesses of your study, you provide readers with essential context to interpret your research findings.

Let’s say your research question was “Does a mindfulness-based stress reduction program lead to a significant reduction in perceived stress levels among college students?”

Here’s an example of a paragraph addressing limitations:

Firstly, the study employed a relatively small sample size of 50 participants from a single university. This sample may not fully represent the diverse range of college students, limiting the generalizability of the results to other student populations.

Secondly, the study relied on self-reported measures of stress levels, which are subject to individual perceptions and may not fully capture objective changes in stress.

Lastly, the duration of the intervention was relatively short-term, consisting of an eight-week program. Longer-term follow-up studies are needed to assess the sustainability of the perceived stress reduction effects over time.

7. Use persuasive writing techniques

The conclusion is (most probably) the last thing readers will read in your doctoral thesis. Look at it as your last chance to leave a memorable impact. How do you do that? You write persuasively.

Use assertive and compelling words to convey your ideas with conviction. You need to be confident about your research and avoid statements that make you sound uncertain (eg. perhaps, maybe, it seems, I think, etc.).

The key is to strike a balance between appealing to both logic and emotions. You can begin by summarizing the logical and evidence-based aspects of your research findings. This is where you outline the key data, facts, and analysis to support your conclusion.

Similarly, you can share anecdotes or real-life stories and use rhetorical devices to evoke empathy and engage the reader on a deeper level.

IN SHORT: strive for a balanced approach that combines logos and pathos to end on a powerful note.

8. End with a call-to-action

A call-to-action adds meaning to your doctoral thesis. It’s a persuasive statement that urges readers to take a specific action or implement the recommendations you outlined in the doctoral thesis.

Ending with a call to action enhances the overall impact of your doctoral thesis because it serves as a strong and memorable closing statement. This further shows that your study goes beyond theoretical insights and has real-world implications.

Doctoral thesis conclusion length

When it comes to writing a thesis conclusion, one of the most common questions students have is regarding its length. One thing is certain: the conclusion needs to be concise and to the point. What’s important is providing a cohesive overview without repeating or introducing new information. 

How many pages is a thesis conclusion?

The length of the conclusion largely depends on the overall length of the thesis. The general rule of thumb is that the conclusion needs to be 5% to 10% of the total length of the doctoral thesis.

How long should a conclusion be for a 10,000-word dissertation?

For writing a 10,000-word dissertation, the conclusion can be approximately 500 to 1,000 words or 1 to 2 pages.

Key takeaway

It’s safe to say that through your conclusion if you’re able to leave readers motivated and inspired by your research, you’ve succeeded.

REMEMBER: the conclusion is more than just a summary – it is your final opportunity to showcase the significance of your research. Use it wisely and there will be no stopping you from scoring well.

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Custom Essays:

Crafted from Scratch for You.

Plagiarism Removal:

Ensuring Your Work’s Originality.

Rewriting & Paraphrasing:

Transform Your Draft into Excellence.

Editing & Proofreading:

Perfecting Your Paper’s Grammar, Style, and Format (APA, MLA, etc.).