Dissertation Conclusion Writing Guide

Author: , Modified: 16 August 2023


A conclusion is the place where you tie all the different parts of your dissertation together to draw conclusions about what the research has shown (hence the name).

It typically makes up about 10% of the total word count (so for a 10,000-word dissertation, a 1,000-word conclusion would be about right).

The conclusion needs to sum up all the most important points of your whole dissertation, so you need to be very selective about the content that goes into it.

You will notice that a conclusion and an introduction have quite a few similarities. Think of your conclusion as a ‘mirror image’ of your introduction – where an introduction talks about what you are going to do, a conclusion talks about what you have done.

The main thing you want to avoid in your conclusion is filling it with brand new information. Its purpose is to sum up everything that has gone before it, so if you are adding in new sources and ideas now, you have not done enough in your main body.

It is easy to forget to reference in the conclusion. This is a common mistake, and it costs marks. The only references in the conclusion should be sources you have already used and analysed in the main body of the dissertation.

Illustration of dissertation conclusion

Specific Sub-sections

Sometimes, your university will ask you to include distinct sections within your conclusion. The most common requests are recommendations and reflective sections.


Many conclusion sections will be expected to contain recommendations. Who these are directed at depends on the subject of your dissertation – it could be a business, a profession or simply other researchers – but regardless, these should be clear and concise, backed up by the data you’ve collected and the gaps in research that you found.

Even if your university has not specifically asked for a recommendations section, it is a good idea to discuss how others could look deeper into the topic in your conclusion, as it shows you have understood the limitations of your research and know how it could be developed later.


Not all conclusions will require a reflective section. It tends to be most common in vocational disciplines (e.g., nursing or education). We do not recommend that you include a reflective section unless your university has specifically asked for it.

If you have been asked to complete a reflection, the main thing to remember is to give equal weight to your own strengths and weaknesses.

Your tutor will not want to hear you state that you are perfect, but nor will they want you to rip your own work apart. They want to see that you can critically identify the good parts of your work and the parts which could be improved.

They will also want you to talk about how and why things happened the way they did.

We can help

If you require assistance to write the conclusion section of your dissertation, you may want to consider our helpful service which is a great way to get a head start on your work.

Dissertation Writing Service Conclusion Example

Checklist: Writing a Dissertation Conclusion


Well done on completing this checklist! You're doing great.

Dissertation Conclusion FAQ's

Question: What should I include in my conclusion, and what should I leave out?
Include a concise summary of your main findings and how they address your research objectives or questions. Restate the significance of your results and their implications. Do not introduce new information or data; focus on bringing together your key findings to provide a logical closing statement. Leave out in-depth discussion, citations, or detailed explanations of methods, as these will be covered in previous sections. Keep the conclusion focused, highlighting the key takeaways and the broader implications of your research.
Question: How do I ensure that my conclusion provides a satisfying end to my dissertation without introducing new material or arguments?
Focus on summarising the key findings, reiterating the main points from your study. After this, bring the narrative back to the significance of your research in relation to the original research questions or objectives. Emphasise the implications of your findings and their potential contributions to the field. As a final element of the conclusion, it can be useful to reflect on the limitations of your dissertation, suggesting potential areas for future research.
Question: What are some common mistakes to avoid when writing the conclusion section?
Some key mistakes to avoid include introducing new information and citations, restating the introduction verbatim (word for word), making ambiguous or unsupported claims, and neglecting to mention the study's implications or limitations.

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