Conclusions and Recommendations
In the Conclusions and Recommendations section (typically Chapter V of a thesis), you present your interpretation of the results given in Results Section (Usually Chapter IV). You also draw conclusions from your analysis of those results and then make recommendations based on your analysis. In short, tell your reader what your results mean and what actions should be taken as a result of your findings.
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There are generally three sections in the Conclusions and Recommendations Chapter
Section 1: Conclusions
This section gives you the opportunity to discuss the meaning of your results beyond what they mean statistically; that is, you interpret the findings and indicate what can be concluded from them. In your discussion, indicate whether the results confirm, totally or in part, your original expectations or predictions. For each hypothesis, indicate whether it was supported and why. Discuss any limitations inherent in your research procedures. What implications do these limitations have for the conclusions drawn from the results? You should also discuss the relationship of your results to the original problem description:
- Will any of the alternatives make a difference, help solve the problem, or improve the situation?
- What are the long-term as well as the short-term implications of your findings?
- How do your findings relate to those of other researchers cited in the Literature Review?
In some cases, the findings of several hypotheses may be interrelated. In that situation, you might choose to discuss those findings together and explain the interrelationships.
Section 2: Policy Recommendations
Other recommendations may also be appropriate. When preparing this section, remember that in making your recommendations, you must show how your results support them. Often times, you will want to include a policy recommendation in this section. A recommendation for a policy change should include:
- Specifically stating what should be done, the steps required to implement the policy, and the resources needed;
- Discussion of the benefits to the organization and what problems would be corrected or avoided;
- Discussion of the feasibility of the proposed policy;
- General statement about the nature and timing of an evaluation plan that would be used to determine the effectiveness of the proposed policy.
Section 3: Recommendations for Further Research
In this section, you finally have the opportunity to present and discuss the actions that future researchers should take as a result of your Project. A well-thought-out set of recommendations makes it more likely that the organization will take your recommendations seriously. Ideally you should be able to make a formal recommendation regarding the alternative that is best supported by the study. Present and discuss the kinds of additional research suggested by your Project. If the preferred alternative is implemented, what additional research might be needed?