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Academic Writing 6. Writing conclusions

2022-03-28 13:54:38 simyang 3

Writing conclusions

Conclusions are shorter sections of academic texts which usually serve two functions. The first is to summarise and bring together the main areas covered in the writing, which might be called ‘looking back’; and the second is to give a final comment or judgement on this. The final comment may also include making suggestions for improvement and speculating on future directions.

In dissertations and research papers, conclusions tend to be more complex and will also include sections on the significance of the findings and recommendations for future work. Conclusions may be optional in research articles where consolidation of the study and general implications are covered in the Discussion section. However, they are usually expected in dissertations and essays.

Restating the aims of the study

This study set out to …
This paper has argued that …
This essay has discussed the reasons for …
In this investigation, the aim was to assess …
The aim of the present research was to examine …
The purpose of the current study was to determine …
The main goal of the current study was to determine …
This project was undertaken to design … and evaluate …
The present study was designed to determine the effect of …
The second aim of this study was to investigate the effects of …

Summarising main research findings

This study has identified …
This study has shown that …
The research has also shown that …
The second major finding was that …
These experiments confirmed that …
X made no significant difference to …
This study has found that generally …
The investigation of X has shown that …
The results of this investigation show that …
X, Y and Z emerged as reliable predictors of …
Multiple regression analysis revealed that the …
The most obvious finding to emerge from this study is that …
The relevance of X is clearly supported by the current findings.
One of the more significant findings to emerge from this study is that …

Suggesting implications for the field of knowledge

In general, therefore, it seems that …
The results of this study indicate that …
These findings suggest that in general …
The findings of this study suggest that …
Taken together, these results suggest that …
An implication of this is the possibility that …
The evidence from this study suggests that …
Overall, this study strengthens the idea that …
The current data highlight the importance of …
The findings of this research provide insights for …
The results of this research support the idea that …
These data suggest that X can be achieved through …
The theoretical implications of these findings are unclear.
The principal theoretical implication of this study is that …
This study has raised important questions about the nature of …
The following conclusions can be drawn from the present study …
Taken together, these findings suggest a role for X in promoting Y.
The findings of this investigation complement those of earlier studies.
These findings have significant implications for the understanding of how …
Although this study focuses on X, the findings may well have a bearing on …

Explaining the significance of the findings or contribution of the study

The findings will be of interest to …
This thesis has provided a deeper insight into …
The findings reported here shed new light on …
The study contributes to our understanding of …
These results add to the rapidly expanding field of …
The contribution of this study has been to confirm …
Before this study, evidence of X was purely anecdotal.
This project is the first comprehensive investigation of …
The insights gained from this study may be of assistance to …
This work contributes to existing knowledge of X by providing …
This is the largest study so far documenting a delayed onset of …
Prior to this study it was difficult to make predictions about how …
The analysis of X undertaken here, has extended our knowledge of …
The empirical findings in this study provide a new understanding of …
This paper contributes to recent historiographical debates concerning …
This approach will prove useful in expanding our understanding of how …
This new understanding should help to improve predictions of the impact of …
This is the first report on X from a nationally representative cohort of patients.
The methods used for this X may be applied to other Xs elsewhere in the world.
The X that we have identified therefore assists in our understanding of the role of …
This is the first study of substantial duration which examines associations between …
The findings from this study make several contributions to the current literature. First,…
These findings contribute in several ways to our understanding of X and provide a basis for …

This study


The present study

lays the groundwork for future research into …
provides the first comprehensive assessment of …
establishes a quantitative framework for detecting …
adds to the growing body of research that indicates …
is the only empirical investigation into the impact of …
has been one of the first attempts to thoroughly examine …
appears to be the first study to compare the experiences of …
has gone some way towards enhancing our understanding of …
has confirmed the findings of Smith et al. (2001) which found that…
Recognising the limitations of the current study

A limitation of this study is that …
Being limited to X, this study lacks …
The small sample size did not allow …
The major limitation of this study is the …
This study was limited by the absence of …
X makes these findings less generalisable to …
Thirdly, the study did not evaluate the use of …
It is unfortunate that the study did not include …
The scope of this study was limited in terms of …
The study is limited by the lack of information on …
The most important limitation lies in the fact that …
The main weakness of this study was the paucity of …
Since the study was limited to X, it was not possible to ..
An additional uncontrolled factor is the possibility that …
It was not possible to assess X; therefore, it is unknown if …
An issue that was not addressed in this study was whether…
The generalisability of these results is subject to certain limitations. For instance, …
One source of weakness in this study which could have affected the measurements of X was …

Acknowledging limitation(s) whilst stating a finding or contribution

Notwithstanding these limitations, the study suggests that …
Whilst this study did not confirm X, it did partially substantiate …
Despite its exploratory nature, this study offers some insight into …
In spite of its limitations, the study certainly adds to our understanding of the …
Notwithstanding the relatively limited sample, this work offers valuable insights into …
Although the current study is based on a small sample of participants, the findings suggest …

Making recommendations for further research work

The question raised by this study is …
The study should be repeated using …
This would be a fruitful area for further work.
Several questions still remain to be answered.
A natural progression of this work is to analyse …
More research using controlled trials is needed to …
More broadly, research is also needed to determine …
A further study could assess the long-term effects of …
What is now needed is a cross-national study involving …
Considerably more work will need to be done to determine …
The precise mechanism of X in insects remains to be elucidated.
These findings provide the following insights for future research: …
Large randomised controlled trials could provide more definitive evidence.
This research has thrown up many questions in need of further investigation.
A greater focus on X could produce interesting findings that account more for …
The issue of X is an intriguing one which could be usefully explored in further research.
If the debate is to be moved forward, a better understanding of X needs to be developed.
I suggest that before X is introduced, a study similar to this one should be carried out on …
More information on X would help us to establish a greater degree of accuracy on this matter.

Furtherwork needs to be done to establish whether …
studies need to be carried out in order to validate …
studies regarding the role of X would be worthwhile.
experimental investigations are needed to estimate …
work is needed to fully understand the implications of …
research is required to establish the therapeutic efficiency of …
modelling work will have to be conducted in order to determine …
investigation and experimentation into X is strongly recommended.
experiments, using a broader range of Xs, could shed more light on …
research in other Xs is, therefore, an essential next step in confirming …
Further researchmight explore …
could usefully explore how …
should focus on determining …
is required to determine whether …
in this field would be of great help in …
should be carried out to establish the …
should be undertaken to explore how …
on these questions would be a useful way of …
needs to examine more closely the links between X and Y.
could also be conducted to determine the effectiveness of …
Setting out recommendations for practice or policy

Other types of X could include: a), b). …
There is, therefore, a definite need for …
Greater efforts are needed to ensure …
Provision of X will enhance Y and reduce Z.
Another important practical implication is that …
Moreover, more X should be made available to …
The challenge now is to fabricate Xs that contain …
Unless governments adopt X, Y will not be attained.
These findings suggest several courses of action for …
A reasonable approach to tackle this issue could be to …
Continued efforts are needed to make X more accessible to …
The findings of this study have a number of practical implications.
There are a number of important changes which need to be made.
Management to enhance bumble-bee populations might involve …
This study suggests that X should be avoided by people who are prone to …
A key policy priority should therefore be to plan for the long-term care of …
This information can be used to develop targetted interventions aimed at …
Taken together, these findings do not support strong recommendations to …
Ensuring appropriate systems, services and support for X should be a priority for …
The findings of this study have a number of important implications for future practice.


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