Concluding your doctoral thesis in one chapter

‘The conclusions chapter is (usually) the most difficult chapter to write.’  This view is widely held by candidates, supervisors and examiners.  The chapter can only be drafted when all of the other chapters have been written and their contribution to the thesis is known and agreed.  Evidence shows that the most frequently occurring problems that candidates, and supervisors, have to address in drafting this chapter include:
• deciding exactly what issues to include;
• arranging the content into the most effective order;
• balancing the word length of the chapter against other chapters;
• presenting the text in a persuasive and attractive manner.
Since the chapter is usually the last piece of significant text that examiners read, it is important that it conveys justifiable and positive impressions about the thesis and its scholarly merit.  If it achieves that aim then examiners - and other readers too - should be impressed by the closure of the thesis.

Our presentation will draw on examples from candidates, supervisors and examiners to illustrate how these problems arose and were resolved.

This session will contain three parts:
Theoretical: presentation on the scope of the final chapter in a doctoral thesis
Practical: Group activity on structuring the conclusion chapter
Putting it all together: a feedback plenary to report on the workshop including questions and answers. 

Professor Dr. Vernon Trafford, Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford, Essex, UK                                
Dr. Shosh  Leshem , Oranim Academic College of Education , Tivon, Israel