Strategies for Writing a Conclusion

Strategies for Writing a Conclusion

(from: http://leo.stcloudstate.edu/acadwrite/conclude.html)

Conclusions are often the most difficult part of a disseatation to write, and many writers feel that they have nothing left to say after having written the disseration. A writer needs to keep in mind that the conclusion is often what a reader remembers best. Your conclusion should be the best part of your paper.


A conclusion should

  • · stress the importance of the thesis statement/lead question
  • · give the disseration a sense of completeness, and
  • · leave a final impression on the reader.

Suggestions

  • · Answer the question “So What?”

Show your readers why this research was important. Show them that your dissertation was meaningful and useful.

  • · Synthesise, don’t summarise
    • Don’t simply repeat things that were in your dissertation  They have read it. Show them how the points you made and the support and examples you used were not random, but fit together.
  • · Redirect your readers
    • Give your reader something to think about, perhaps a way to use your paper in the “real” world. If your introduction went from general to specific, make your conclusion go from specific to general. Think globally.
  • · Create a new meaning
    • o You don’t have to give new information to create a new meaning. By demonstrating how your ideas work together, you can create a new picture. Often the sum of the dissertation is worth more than its parts.

Strategies

  • · Echoing the introduction: Echoing your introduction can be a good strategy if it is meant to bring the reader full-circle. If you begin by describing a scenario, you can end with the same scenario as proof that your dissertation was helpful in creating a new understanding.

Example

Introduction

From the parking lot, I could see the towers of the castle of the Magic Kingdom standing stately against the blue sky. To the right, the tall peak of The Matterhorn rose even higher. From the left, I could hear the jungle sounds of Adventureland. As I entered the gate, Main Street stretched before me with its quaint shops evoking an old-fashioned small town so charming it could never have existed. I was entranced. Disneyland may have been built for children, but it brings out the child in adults.

Conclusion

I thought I would spend a few hours at Disneyland, but here I was at 1:00 A.M., closing time, leaving the front gates with the now dark towers of the Magic Kingdom behind me. I could see tired children, toddling along and struggling to keep their eyes open as best they could. Others slept in their parents’ arms as we waited for the parking lot tram that would take us to our cars. My forty-year-old feet ached, and I felt a bit sad to think that in a couple of days I would be leaving California, my vacation over, to go back to my desk. But then I smiled to think that for at least a day I felt ten years old again.


  • · Challenging the reader: By issuing a challenge to your readers, you are helping them to redirect the information in the dissertation, and they may apply it to their own lives.

Example

Though serving on a jury is not only a civic responsibility but also an interesting experience, many people still view jury duty as a chore that interrupts their jobs and the routine of their daily lives. However, juries are part of America’s attempt to be a free and just society. Thus, jury duty challenges us to be interested and responsible citizens.


  • · Looking to the future: Looking to the future can emphasise the importance of your dissertation or redirect the readers’ thought process. It may help them apply the new information to their lives or see things more globally.

Example

Without well-qualified teachers, schools are little more than buildings and equipment. If higher-paying careers continue to attract the best and the brightest students, there will not only be a shortage of teachers, but the teachers available may not have the best qualifications. Our youth will suffer. And when youth suffers, the future suffers.


  • · Posing questions: Posing questions, either to your readers or in general, may help your readers gain a new perspective on the topic, which they may not have held before reading your conclusion. It may also bring your main ideas together to create a new meaning.

Example

Campaign advertisements should help us understand the candidate’s qualifications and positions on the issues. Instead, most tell us what a boob or knave the opposing candidate is, or they present general images of the candidate as a family person or God-fearing American. Do such advertisements contribute to creating an informed electorate or a people who choose political leaders the same way they choose soft drinks and soap?

All the best

Mark

 

///

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: