My questions now: preparing a thesis conclusion

#Becomingeducational Happy New Academic Year!!

Here’s a re-blog for any of our readers who are PhD students…

And in Conclusion…

No, seriously – do not forget that Conclusion – and make sure it tells the Reader (your examiner) that this is a valid, novel contribution to your field of knowledge:

? What is the relationship between the various studies? What is the most important idea to come out of Study 1a and out of 1b? And then what is the overall message from all that information and analysis?
?What did Study 2 then add to our understanding?

? What did we learn from Study 3 to add to that?
?Now that we know all of this, what does the world need to know about this topic overall?

?What is new about this thesis? What do we now know that we didn’t know when you started?

? Why is it important? And what policy recommendations do you want to make now that you know these new things?

? What excites you about what you have learnt during this research? What was surprising? What do you care about, and what do you want others to understand now?

Go on – read the whole blog post – it’s most excellent!

Sandra & Tom

DoctoralWriting SIG

By Cally Guerin

Conclusions continue to be a challenge for thesis writers, not least because they need to bring together a whole range of ideas and step back from the detail to look at the bigger picture of what all these words and findings mean. This is the moment when examiners are assessing whether the whole text has persuaded them that, yes, this thesis makes an original and significant contribution to knowledge in its field and is therefore worth a PhD. Yet, as Trafford, Lesham and Bitzer (2014) point out, a surprising number of theses fail to make a direct statement about the originality of the research and its contribution; in fact, some don’t even have a chapter labelled ‘Conclusion’. While it is still possible to succeed in exhibiting ‘doctorateness’ without fulfilling the standard requirements, my own approach is to make it as easy as possible for readers (here I…

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