For an author the conclusion is a tricky section to write, be it in a thesis or an article. The two pitfalls that one has to avoid are to repeat what has already been said in the preceding sections and not to respond to the questions “so what ?” and “now what?”. The conclusion section is the place where one must describe what our findings imply for policy and practices at an operational level. At this stage one must not forget either to situate our article in the extant literatures. In conclusion the pillars of the conclusion section should be:
practice and policy implications,
place in the literature ,
weakness and further research to be done.
The two consecutive posts in the blog “patter” on the subject are worth to be read.
Originally posted on patter:
Any of you who watch cooking programmes will know the cheffy talk about mise-en-place. It’s a term used to describe all the various kinds of preparation that need to be done in order to whip up something that can be described as “freshly cooked to order”. In reality many restaurant meals have components that are precooked and cut into the right portion sizes – they need only to be added, heated, stirred and assembled, with a minimum of actual cooking time between order and service. That you don’t have to wait too long for your food is down to lots of mise-en-place.
The notion of mise-en-place is also helpful in thesis writing. There is a lot of preparation than can be done before a draft text is begun. And just as in cooking, the more preparation you do, the quicker and less painful the actual writing time involved.
It is for example very helpful when contemplating writing the thesis to create folders for each chapter, literally or on the computer. In each folder goes a long abstract of no more than a page, together with all of the various bits that you have collected and generated around that specific topic. If these bits are organized/renamed so that they fit the order of the abstract, then you won’t get lost shuffling through various documents, but will be able to work through them as you write – if you need to. Some software now allows for this kind of multiple document organization too.