6 tips on how students write a summary

Regardless of whether you have a bachelor thesis, master thesis or dissertation printed and bound, you must add a summary after the end of your main text. This summary is also known in scientific circles as the result or conclusion of an academic work. These names indicate that this final part is devoted to the results of the research and draws the main conclusions from the main part. If you write a conclusion for your bachelor thesis, master thesis or doctoral thesis, you can also formulate an outlook and point out perspectives.

The final part should always revolve around the topic of the work. These 6 tips help students to draw the conclusion of an academic work:

Treat the research question of the introduction

Before you bind the bachelor’s thesis, deal with your research question in the introduction, the main part and the final part. The open questions at the beginning of your scientific work specify the points that you should answer in the conclusion. This procedure ensures that the student stays on topic.

Briefly describe key messages

What are the key messages of the scientific work? The conclusion should answer the question clearly and concisely. Students who have a dissertation printed and bound should also summarize the results of the work for the reader in a short and understandable manner in the conclusions. New conclusions, which do not appear in the main part, are missing in the conclusion, as are direct and indirect quotes and references.

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Assess the results in relation to the research question

The author demonstrates his scientific skills when he analyzes the results and evaluates them in relation to the research question. It is about taking a critical stance, questioning the consequences and presenting possible sources of error. Students should also consider who this research may be relevant to.

Delimit research field

If you have a scientific paper bound like a master’s thesis, you should classify your topic in a suitable research field. The following questions arise:

  • Which statements of science do your results agree with?
  • Which theses do they contradict?
  • Do the conclusions still leave open questions that could be the subject of future research?

These open points can serve as a starting point for students who formulate the conclusion of a thesis. This gives an outlook for later research.

Argue reasonably and write the final sentence

As a result, it is not a question of just repeating the statements of the main part. Students who have a bachelor’s thesis printed and bound should rather justify their conclusions well. For this they use conjunctions such as because, there and especially as well as through, and indeed to show connections. A well-formulated conclusion ends with a final sentence that offers the reader a concise key message or confronts him with an open question.

Present and past tense

If you write about facts, figures and dates in the final part, the present tense is the right choice. However, if you refer to your research content in the main part, use the simple past. The reference to your own research work succeeds with sentences like “In this bachelor thesis or dissertation it was analyzed how …” or “This analysis showed that …”

Some mistakes that should not occur in the conclusion

For aspiring academics who have a bachelor’s thesis printed and bound, there are not only tips for writing the conclusions, but also some mistakes that you should not make under any circumstances:

  • Mention new facts
  • Other authors cite
  • Reproduce extensive text passages from the main part
  • Evaluate your own research work
  • Subjective formulations such as “unfortunately” or “fortunately” that are judgmental
  • Addressing the reader directly with an appeal to continue the research

It is important that students who print a master’s thesis or have a bachelor’s thesis bound provide good arguments in the end and do not devalue the text with uncertain formulations.

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