1. Restate findings. Towards the beginning of your concluding chapter it is useful to restate the findings reached from your recently analysed data. These findings should be stated clearly and with complete precision, forming a proper basis for developing a persuasive conclusion to your dissertation.
2. State conclusions. Conclusions too should be stated clearly. Typically your conclusions will differ from the findings of the data in as much as the former relate to a wider picture and not just the samples which directly provided information. Conclusions may relate what emerged from your data to wider trends or situations, making more meaning of what you have found.
3. Provide arguments. All conclusions must be reached only through rigorous and entirely logical argumentation. Do certain findings necessarily prove something else, or do they merely suggest that it is the case? Have you identified causation, or mere correlation? Be precise in your thoughts and precise in your language.
4. Evaluation. Think back over your entire research project and attempt to evaluate the whole endeavour in terms of its relevance, significance, reliability and likely impact on the field. Could things have been done differently? Were problems dealt with effectively? How does it stand up to comparable studies? Think about all these questions.
5. Contextualisation. A thorough consideration of the academic and intellectual context surrounding your research conclusions is the best way to make them as meaningful as possible. It is also a requirement of high achievement that due consideration be given to the relationship between your findings and those of others.
6. Generalisation. How far can your conclusions be reliably applied in other circumstances? Much of your discussion regarding generalisation will recall details of your methodological approach, whose data collections methods and sampling techniques will provide the main clues for addressing this issue.
7. Link back to objectives. It is essential in your concluding chapter that you maintain focus and keep on topic. You will already have made unambiguous statements as to you research objectives, and it is now imperative that you ensure your conclusions match up with these initial questions.
8. Further research. A handy ploy when wrapping up your dissertation is to look a little beyond the stated scope of your work and think to the future. Indicate tentatively where you see potential avenues of future research in related areas, and suggest how your piece may serve as a stepping stone.
9. Loose ends. Before ending your final chapter you should take care to ensure that all strands are brought together, all questions floated have been addressed, and that the expectations that you set up in earlier chapters have been met in an adequate fashion. If certain questions remain difficult to answer, indicate that you acknowledge this.
10. Authority. Tone and writing style should be maintained at a suitable pitch throughout the entire dissertation, but it serves to remember that an assured, authoritative tone in your final remarks will leave the reader with the best possible impression. Finish on a high by leaving no doubts as to your scholarly credibility.