Conclusions

Conclusions

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Term2.png CONCLUSIONS
Represent reasoned judgments based on a synthesis of empirical findings or factual statements corresponding to specific circumstances. Conclusions point out the factors of success and failure of the evaluated projects and programmes, with special attention paid to the intended and unintended results and impacts, and more generally to any other strength or weakness. Conclusions draw on data collection and analyses undertaken through a transparent chain of arguments.[1] [2] [3]


Contents

Main parts of conclusion

The constituent parts of a conclusion include:

  • The summary statement.

It corresponds to a short paragraph which reinforces the project’s main idea in a fresh way. It is an effective way to start a conclusion because it helps to stress the ideas already expressed in the body of the project. To write an effective summary statement it is necessary to avoid repeating key words and phrases from the project’s thesis.

  • The closer.

It is also known as the “clincher” and it is a final thought which should create a lasting impression on the target audience. Questions can be used to directly connect with the target audience and motivate them to reflect on the project’s ideas.

Purposes of a conclusion

  • To stress the importance of the project objective(s);
  • To give the project a sense of completeness;
  • To leave a final impression on the target audience;
  • To consider broader issues, make new connections and elaborate on the significance of the project’s findings[4][5]


Toolkit.png Tips for writing effective conclusions

Strategies for writing an effective conclusion

  • Answer the “so what?” question. This strategy allows you to leave the audience with an understanding of why the project’s findings and main ideas are important in a broader context;
  • Return to the main theme(s) in the introduction. This strategy brings the audience a full circle. Do not simply repeat what has already been written before but synthesize it by adding supporting examples.
  • Include a provocative insight or quotation from the research. Posing questions is a good way to actively involve the audience and point to broader implications.

What to avoid

  • Simply repeating concepts that were in your paper;
  • Using the "so-as-you-can-see", "in conclusion”, “in summary” or “to finalize this essay” ending;
  • Stating the project’s main ideas for the very first time in the conclusion. This should have been done before in the introduction.
  • Introducing a new idea or subtopic in your conclusion;
  • Ending with a rephrased thesis statement without any substantive changes;
  • Making sentimental, emotional appeals;
  • Including new evidence such as quotations, examples and statistics that should be in the body of the paper.[6][7][8]

Job Aid

Pdf.png Tips for writing effective conclusions.pdf‎


Link icon.png Web Resources
Find below additional information and resources.
Link Content
Basic Essay Skills: Write a conclusion paragraph (9 min. video) Seven strategies to write a strong closing paragraph that leaves a lasting impression.
Examples of Conclusions (2 pages pdf) Seven examples of closing paragraphs.
Sample Conclusions Interactive test which is part of an online course on technical writing.

References

  1. United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA). Programme Manager's Planning Monitoring & Evaluation Toolkit, 2004.
  2. Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS). Monitoring, Evaluation and Consulting Division, 2006.
  3. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) / Development Assistance Committee (DAC). Glossary of Key Terms in Evaluation and Results Based Management, pp 18. Paris, 2002.
  4. Ten steps for a successful essay
  5. Strategies for Writing a conclusion-Literacy Education Online
  6. CustomWritten.com
  7. A Guide to Write-Denise Conover
  8. The Writing Center-University of North Carolina