Tuesday, July 22, 2008

SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

SUMMARY, CONCLUSION, RECOMMENDATIONS

The last chapter of the research report will usually include: summary, conclusion, recommendation and areas for further research. The summary serves the purpose of a synopsis, which many individuals will read first in order to see if the study is worth reading further. The summary, although complete, should be just that - a summary arid not a repetition of sections of the previous chapters. The procedures should be summarized in general terms, with only enough detail given for the reader to obtain a general picture of what was done, yet with sufficient detail so that he will know if he wants to read the entire study.
It should not be a duplicate of the findings as given in that chapter. Summary tables are a convenient, meaningful, efficient way to present findings in this part of the research report, especially in summarizing results of a questionnaire or other survey or descriptive study. The summary of findings, however, must be complete and presented in such a way that the findings lead the reader naturally to the conclusions.
The conclusions the author draws must derive directly from ‘the reported findings. For this reason, the writer must have carefully presented in detail the procedures so that the reader can see that the findings are logical and that, in turn; the conclusions are logically derived from the findings. The number of conclusions depends upon the questions asked in the statement of the problem. Conclusions are not the same as findings and should not, therefore, be a restatement of the findings. This is not to say that findings are not mentioned in the conclusion section. Conclusions should be supported by the findings, but a separate conclusion need not be drawn for each finding. It is the sum of the evidence that leads to the conclusions.
Many, if not all, researchers use the conclusions as a basis for making recommendations regarding the use of the information provided by the study or for discussing the implications. The investigator has an opportunity in this section to discuss the meaning of the findings and how the findings and the conclusions may be used by the reader. The writer can make recommendations for the future in the area of his study, but the recommendations should have as a base the findings of the study. However, the conclusions and the recommendations should not be confused.
Most research studies seem to raise more questions than they answer and these questions lead to recommendations for further study. These may be simply questions and the research idea generated may be simply enumerated, or they may be presented in a discussion if the Ideas lead to a more complex research study. Generally speaking, the recommendations and the implications sections allow the writer some freedom in his writing, allow him to speculate a bit, and allow him to use his creative ability in pinpointing the possible uses of the findings and in raising further questions for investigation.

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