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Writing dissertation chapter 5: the biggest mistake students make, published by steve tippins on june 4, 2020 june 4, 2020.

Last Updated on: 2nd February 2024, 04:50 am

Chapter 5 of your dissertation is different from all of the previous four chapters.

If you’re beginning to write Chapter 5 of your dissertation, you know that most of the writing you’ve done up until now was fairly formulaic. You’ve probably been following templates with strict requirements about what needs to be included in each section and subsection. Even in Chapter 5, many schools will give you a template. But don’t let that fool you.

Regardless of whether you receive a rubric for it, Chapter 5 of your dissertation is unique. 

Your dissertation’s Chapter 5 is where you get to be more individualistic than in any other chapter and really “sing your song.” Why? It’s where you tell the reader what your results mean. Not just what they are, but what they mean. You tell them what they should take away from your study. You describe how your results can help others in the world or in the field. 

The Most Common Mistake Students Make When Writing Chapter 5 of Their Dissertation

close-up shot of a woman writing notes with a cup of cofee

The biggest mistake students make when writing their dissertation’s Chapter 5 is not writing enough. In fact, students often submit an “implications” section that’s only a few paragraphs.

As a committee member , it’s hard to see someone who has spent a year on a research topic and written 100+ pages about it and then get to the implications in Chapter 5 and see two paragraphs. This begs the question, “You mean this is all you have to say?”

Don’t cheat yourself in Chapter 5. Really explain and tell the story of what your results mean.

This is where you get to bring out your intellectual curiosity and help others really understand what you did and why you did it, what it means, and why it’s important. Of course, you’ll need to do this all within the guidelines of what your university will allow you to do. 

Normally Chapter 5 of a dissertation is about 15-20 pages. If it’s under ten pages, you’re really underselling your research. When you get to around 30-40 pages, your committee is going to wonder, “did all this come from your study?” or “couldn’t this have been said more succinctly?” 

Tips for Writing Dissertation Chapter 5

woman with orange sunglasses typing on her laptop next to a big window

Reference the Literature. If you’re stumped for things to write, look at what you said in Chapter 2 and tell the reader what your results mean in relation to what the researchers you quoted in Chapter 2 were talking about.l How you have added knowledge to the field?

recommendation for thesis chapter 5

Consider Your Defense. When you do the defense of your final document, Chapter 5 is where you end up at the end of your presentation. This is the last thing you talk about before you get to questions, and it’s where you may be able to answer questions before they come up. 

Address Your Problem and Purpose. Don’t forget to remind the reader what your problem statement and research questions were at the beginning of Chapter 5. Explain how your results apply to the problem and purpose.

Back Everything Up. Also remember that even though it’s your chance to interpret and even express yourself, you still have to back everything up. Use quotes or data points from your results section and relate it to other research.

Use a Bird’s Eye View. This is where you can use graphics, charts, graphs, or other data that are much broader in scope than you might use elsewhere. In Chapter 4, for example, you’re going to use a graph that specifically relates to a statistical test you did. In Chapter 5, you might use one that’s broader in scope if it fits the flow of what you’re writing.

Tell a story. While other chapters might have been written in more of a compartmentalized style because of their formulaic nature, in Chapter 5 you’re really telling the story of your research. In line with that, the writing will need more of a flow. 

Dissertation Chapter 5 Sample Template With Explanations

woman in all black clothes typing on her laptop


In the introduction, tell the reader what they’re going to learn in Chapter 5. Reiterate the problem and purpose statements and your research questions and, if appropriate, reference the results from Chapter 4.


This is where you tell people here’s what the results of your study mean and why they are important. It also acts as a summary or “summing up” of the data. “These people said this,” or “this statistic was significant.” Make sure to support what you say with the research findings and avoid drawing conclusions that are beyond the scope of the study results.

Then discuss the real-world application of your findings. For example, “This is an approach that could be used by schools to help autistic children have better learning outcomes,” or “this is a technique that investors can use to predict valuable stock market returns.” Again, make sure to stay within the scope of your study.

Place your study in context. Describe how the results respond to the study problem, align with the purpose, demonstrate significance, and contribute to the existing literature described in Chapter 2. 


The recommendations section is where you get to say, “and if you want to take this further, here are some suggestions for ways that this could be broadened or enhanced.” Here are some examples of what these suggestions could look like:

  • Different samples and populations
  • Ways to get at any limitations you reported in your study
  • Different approaches: qualitative if your study was quantitative, or quantitative if yours was qualitative, for example. Describe approaches that would be complementary to your study.
  • Related research that you’re already working on. Sometimes researchers work on multiple complementary projects simultaneously. Occasionally, they’ll include another related study that they’re working on in their recommendations section. This establishes a clear path of knowledge.
  • Practical, real-world suggestions. “Here are some recommendations for how this research could be used in the real world.”

The conclusion of Chapter 5 is where you get to wrap up your story. “And so, boys and girls, this is what all this came down to.” Okay, you might not want to phrase it like that. But that’s essentially what you’re doing.

recommendation for thesis chapter 5

Don’t try to add new information in the conclusion. Remember, it’s like a speech: tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told them. 

Finishing Your Dissertation

Writing Chapter 5 and defending your dissertation is a big step towards getting your degree. Many students benefit from the support of a coach who is an experienced Dissertation Committee Chair at this point. A coach can conduct a mock defense with you in order to prepare you for the types of questions your committee will ask. Having answers to these questions can determine whether or not you pass your defense.

Check out my dissertation coaching services or contact me to book a free 30-minute consultation.

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Steve Tippins

Steve Tippins, PhD, has thrived in academia for over thirty years. He continues to love teaching in addition to coaching recent PhD graduates as well as students writing their dissertations. Learn more about his dissertation coaching and career coaching services. Book a Free Consultation with Steve Tippins

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Thesis Writing: What to Write in Chapter 5

Table of contents, introduction.

This article tells what a budding researcher must include in Chapter 5-the Summary. It also includes the tense of the verb and the semantic markers, which are predominantly used in writing the summary, conclusions, and recommendations.

For others, writing Chapter 5 is the easiest part of thesis writing, but there are groups of students who would like to know more about it. If you are one of them, this article on how to write chapter 5 of your thesis is purposely written for you.

What to Write in Chapter 5

1. write the summary.

Your summary in Chapter 5 may include:

  • objectives of the study.
  • statement of the problem.
  • respondents.
  • sampling procedures.
  • method/s of research employed.
  • statistical treatment/s applied, or hypotheses tested, if there is any; and

If you notice, all the parts mentioned above are already included in your Chapters 1- 4. So, the challenge is on how you are going to write and present it in Chapter 5 briefly.

First, you must go directly to the point of highlighting the main points. There is no need to explain the details thoroughly. You must avoid copying and pasting what you have written in the previous chapters. Just KISS (keep it short and simple)!

Then, write sentences in  simple past  and always use  passive voice  construction rather than the active voice. You must also be familiar with the different  semantic markers .

When I was enrolled in Academic Writing in my master’s degree, I learned that there are semantic markers which can be used in order not to repeat the same words or phrases such as  additionally, also, further, in addition to, moreover, contrary to, with regard to, as regards, however, finally, during the past ___ years, from 1996 to 2006, after 10 years, as shown in, as presented in, consequently, nevertheless, in fact, on the other hand, subsequently and nonetheless.

Next, you may use the following guide questions to check that you have not missed anything in writing the summary:

  • What is the objective of the study?;
  • Who/what is the focus of the study?;
  • Where and when was the investigation conducted?;
  • What method of research was used?;
  • How were the research data gathered?;
  • How were the respondents chosen?;
  • What were the statistical tools applied to treat the collected data?; and
  • Based on the data presented and analyzed, what findings can you summarize?

Finally, organize the summary of the results of your study according to the way the questions are sequenced in the statement of the problem.

2. Write the Conclusion or Conclusions


Once you have written the summary in Chapter 5, draw out a conclusion from each finding or result. It can be done per question, or you may arrange the questions per topic or sub-topic if there is any. But if your research is quantitative, answer the research question directly and tell if the hypothesis is rejected or accepted based on the findings.

As to grammar, make sure that you use the  present tense of the verb  because it comprises a general statement of the theory or the principle newly derived from the present study. So, don’t be confused because, in your summary, you use past tense, while in conclusion; you use the present tense.

3. Write the Recommendations

The recommendations must contain practical suggestions that will improve the situation or solve the problem investigated in the study.

First, it must be logical, specific, attainable, and relevant. Second, it should be addressed to persons, organizations, or agencies directly concerned with the issues or to those who can immediately implement the recommended solutions. Third, present another topic which is very relevant to the present study that can be further investigated by future researchers.

But never recommend anything that is not part of your study or not being mentioned in your findings.

First, it must be logical, specific, attainable, and relevant. Second, it should be addressed to persons, organizations, or agencies directly concerned with the issues or to those who can immediately implement the recommended solutions. Third, present another topic that is very relevant to the present study that can be further investigated by future researchers.

Recommend nothing that is not part of your research or not being mentioned in your findings.

However, there are universities, especially in the Philippines, that require a specific thesis format to be followed by students. Thus, as a student, you must conform to the prescribed form of your college or university.

Nordquist, R. n.d. Imperative Mood. Retrieved July 29, 2014, from https://www.thoughtco.com/imperative-mood-grammar-1691151

© 2014 July 29 M. G. Alvior | Updated 2024 January 10

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About the author, mary g. alvior, phd.

Dr. Mary Gillesania Alvior has PhD in Curriculum Development from West Visayas State University. She earned her Master of Arts in Teaching English from De La Salle University, Manila as Commission on Higher Education (CHED) scholar. As academic advisor, she helps learners succeed in their academic careers by providing them the necessary skills and tips in order to survive in this wobbling financial environment. In 2014, she got involved in the establishment of a language institute in the Middle East, particularly in the use of Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Then she went to Thailand and became a lecturer in the international college and handled English and Graduate Education courses. From 2017 to 2021, she became the Focal Person for the Establishment of a Medical School, Director of Curriculum and Instructional Materials Development Office (CIMDO), Head of BAC Secretariat, Quality Management System (QMS) Leader, and TWG member of the Procurement for Medical Equipment. Currently, she is the coordinator of the Project Management Committee for the Establishment of the Medical School. In spite of numerous tasks, she is into data privacy, quality management system, and space industry.


can you please make a summary about “Centella Asiatica with virgin Coconut Oil as Ointment”?

I am still having problem in organizing my summary and conclusion (my topic is dress code in public schools. to be more specific, at the Voinjama Public School. Can you help me with a sample?

This is very helpful especially the grammar part. It really jumped start my writing effort… really want to finish my study with style.

I just pray you are okay. Thanks for responding to the questions, I have also learnt a lot.

Hello, Daryl. Thank you so much. About your request, I will find time to write about it. I got so busy the past months.

Precise and direct to the point ,, Thanks maam Mary.

Thanks very much for this all importing information on how to write chapter five in thesis writing. It gives me more insight as to how to develop the chapter five perfectly.

Hello maam my PhD research purely a qualitative study on community based organization of slum ..i used 3 tool case study , participant observation and FGDs to analyse role, impact, challenge and aspiration of CBOs . i used tabular form (matrix to analyse ) did not use any software..

PLEASE HELP/GUIDE ME WHAT SHOULD I WRITE in my Chapter 5 .. your help is very much crucial as i have to submit thesis this weekend KULDEEP

I’m so sorry, Kuldeep. I wish you are done with your doctorate research. It is been a year then. I got sick and had a lot of work to do. God bless!

Hello ma’am, can I ask about in what part the recommendation in chapter 1 reflect the recommendation in chapter5? Thanks.

Sorry, Aly. This is very late. Take your statement of the problem. the results for the statement of the problem will be the basis for your recommendation.

You are welcome, Prince. God bless to your research endeavor.

Thank you very much very insightful.

Eric, you are welcome. I wish you are able to finish your work.

how to write a recommendation, my title is common causes of financial problem. Hope you can help me…

Hello, Jolven. Your recommendation must be based on your findings. So, if that is your title, and you found that the common causes are the ——-, then write a recommendation based on the causes.

Thanks a lot, Mimimi.

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Writing Chapter 5: Discussion and Recommendations

Last Updated on December 13, 2020 by Ayla Myrick

Open this chapter by reminding the reader of the purpose of the study.

Methods and Procedures

Summarize the approach.

Major Findings

Summarize the Chapter 4: Results.

Refer to the hypotheses, objectives, or questions. Assess the meaning of the results by evaluating and interpreting. Speculation should be reasonable, firmly justified, and subject to test. This is the hardest part to write because committees may challenge the interpretation of the data in the Defense.  List the primary research questions from Chapter 1 and answer them with the results. Cite several studies from Chapter 2 for comparison and contrast with the results.


The conclusions relate directly to the research questions or objectives. They represent the contribution to the knowledge . They also relate directly to the significance of the study, which is always, in some way, to improve the human condition. These are the major generalizations, the answer to the problem(s) revealed in Chapters 1 and 2. For the first time in the dissertation, the researcher can state a personal opinion when the collected data support it.


These can take two forms: recommendations for further study, or recommendations for change, or both. Each recommendation should trace directly to a conclusion.

These will follow the specific format of an individual style guide, such as APA, Chicago, or other. Every name and year in the body of the text should be repeated in the list of references with no exceptions.

In a qualitative or quantitative, if the study involves an organization, a letter of permission to conduct the study is required from the appropriate administrator at the organization.  In a qualitative study, a letter of invitation and consent form from all adult participants is included, and a letter of permission from parents if minors are involved. Data collection instruments are included.  Some institutions require a vita at the end.

Our consultants can assist students to find the meaning of the information they have collected and to present it in a manner that can be defended.

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Chapter 5: Conclusion, Interpretation and Discussion


The following chapter concludes this report. A summary of the research is presented, and findings of the study are discussed and interpreted. The significance of this research in the immediate context of El Gallo and in the field of low-income housing is examined. Recommendations for further research end the chapter.

The scope of the following conclusions is limited to the context and historical characteristics of El Gallo. Thus, applied to other situations, these conclusions may yield incorrect assumptions. Still, these conclusions are relevant to the process of dwelling evolution in progressive development projects.

5.1 Summary of Research

This study observed the process of dwelling evolution in progressive development projects. The literature review was concentrated on the process of progressive development occurring in planned sponsored projects. It was found that, based on observations of the informal settlement process, progressive development under different contextual conditions was not questioned, and its benefits were taken for granted. Studies in the area were reduced to the period of improvement up to the time when the dwelling was physically consolidated. Longer term evaluation of progressive development projects were not found.

Research was undertaken on a 27-year-old progressive development project in Venezuela. The intention was to observe the process of dwelling evolution and the kind of housing that was being produced under progressive urban development projects on a long-term basis. The case study showed dwellings built with different initial levels of user-participation. Dwelling evolution was observed in a survey sample using parameters relevant to the case study (i.e., area increase, dwelling spatial growth and plot occupation, and changes in the functional structure).

Survey dwellings followed identifiable patterns of evolution in size, spatial structure and use-layout. Patterns were affected by aspects of the surrounding context and by aspects inherent to characteristics of the initial dwelling. Consequently, different dwelling groups showed different processes of progressive development.

5.2 Discussion and Interpretation of Findings.

As progressive developments, dwellings at El Gallo were able to adopt new and diverse roles along their whole process of evolution. In this section, relevant issues of the process of dwelling evolution observed at El Gallo are discussed. The first concerns the role of the non-permanent structure in the context of El Gallo as a sponsored progressive development project. The second comments on the process of dwelling evolution that followed the construction of the permanent structure.

In principle, non-permanent structures at El Gallo were similar to ranchos built in informal settlements. Ranchos at El Gallo served as primary shelters while more basic household priorities were met (i.e., services and infrastructure were provided, sources of income were found and generated, and even a favourable social environment was developed among neighbours). However, the majority of tin shacks were neither considerably increased nor upgraded with better materials even when they were used for long periods of time. This fact, together with the sudden change in the pace of development caused by the construction of a very complete permanent dwelling and subsequent removal of the rancho, had no connection with the gradual process of shack replacement observed in invasion settlements of Ciudad Guayana during this study (Portela, M. 1992). Neither did this process have a relationship with the system of "piecemeal construction" described by several housing researchers as characteristic of low-income dwellers.

The shanties were... housing in process of improvement. In particular the piecemeal system of building afforded great advantages to those who, like most of the poor in developing societies, have great variations in income from month to month (Peattie L. 1982:132).

Under El Gallo conditions of land security, ranchos did not show consolidation, and revealed their transient character because they were eventually substituted by permanent structures. The non-permanent structure revealed the primary household's aspiration for a minimum satisfactory habitable area. However, besides basic shelter during the initial stage, ranchos served to the purposes of capital accumulation that eventually allowed households to buy a basic unit according to official standards, or building a bigger, more complete first permanent structure. The size of ranchos reflected households' aspirations for the permanent dwelling, that is,smaller ranchos were substituted by basic units of the housing programs. Instead larger ranchos were substituted by large self-produced dwellings.

It is difficult to ascertain why ranchos were removed when they could have been kept as part of the dwelling, as in fact did a minority of households (2 cases). Is a fact that the temporary materials of ranchos contributed to their deterioration that ended with the total removal of the rancho. However, an idea that may have contributed to the demolition of the rancho was the household's adoption of the planner's belief that ranchos were a bad but necessary step on the way to obtaining permanent housing. Thus, once the permanent dwelling was built, the price households paid to gain credibility (i.e., that this stage was reached) was the demolition of the rancho itself. This interpretation can be specially true for Ciudad Guayana, where dwellings of certain quality such as those of El Gallo were seen as "casas" or houses. Instead, structures of similar quality in the hills of cities such as Caracas were still considered ranchos. In the long run, informal settlements obtained the largest benefits from this process because they gained far more official tolerance and social credibility (i.e., that shacks were actually temporary means of residence towards good-quality housing).

Those who lived in smaller ranchos improved their spatial conditions by moving to the small basic dwellings. Those who occupied bigger ranchos built bigger dwellings by themselves. Still, some households built their dwellings without going through the rancho stage. Self-produced dwellings followed the formal models either to gain the government's credibility of user commitment to build "good" government-like housing, or because households believed so. Imitation of the formal models, however, varied according to the builder's interpretation. For instance, the pattern of the detached dwelling was adopted, but often one of the side yards was reduced to a physical separation between the dwelling and the plot separation wall. More effective interpretations involved enlarging the front porch or using the central circulation axis to allow easy extension in the future.

The building approach of the permanent structure influenced the process of evolution that followed. Basic units built by the housing agencies had a compact, complete layout with higher standards of construction; however, aspects of the design, such as internal dimensions, were inadequate for household criteria, and the layout was not well adapted. Dwellings built according to provided plans and specificationshad similar problems, but households enlarged spaces and modified layouts when they were building the units. The level of construction standards was also reduced since the lateral façades of some dwellings were unfinished. Dwellings built totally by self-help means were the largest permanent structures. Aspects of the design of the first permanent structure allowed easy extension of the dwelling towards open areas of the plot. More user participation was reflected in straight-forward processes of evolution without internal modifications, and fewer stages to reach the current houseform.

5.3 Significance of the Study

While this study acknowledges again the effectiveness of progressive development in the housing system, it shows how dwelling evolution in progressive development projects can have different characteristics produced by internal and external interventions. Usually, projects are designed and launched to reproduce certain desirable outcomes and meet specific expectations. However, conditions prevailing in these projects and sometimes strategies that are introduced to "improve," "speed up" or make more "efficient" the process of evolution can affect the outcome in many different ways. This study showed how contextual characteristics of El Gallo, as well as the design and level of user participation in the initial permanent dwelling, affected successive stages of progressive development. However, it is important to recognize that are other issues beyond the spatial aspects that are intrinsically related with the evolution of the dwellings and that were not included within the scope of these particular research (i.e., household's changes in income, size, and age or gender structure).

The findings at El Gallo add modestly to the body of knowledge of literature on progressive development. Progressive Urban Development Units, UMUPs , have been the main housing strategy in Ciudad Guayana these last years, and they are likely to keep being used. Simple facts such as knowing the characteristics of the additions and modifications that households make to their dwellings over time can be the basis for more assertive actions supporting or enforcing progressive development activities. Understanding the process of dwelling evolution in low-income developments would be an effective way to help the process that, in the case of Ciudad Guayana, zonings and bylaws have been unable to regulate.

5.4 Recommendations for Further Research

Long term assessments are particularly constrained by the availability and reliability of recorded data. The frequency, and often the methodology, in which censuses and surveys are made do not always suit the purposes of this kind of research. Household interviews are very important, but they may become troubled by informant's limited memories and the continuity of the household in the dwelling. Aerial documentation, if available, represents one of the most reliable sources to observe physical change. Nevertheless, a careful and detailed process of observation of aerial data becomes very time consuming. For similar studies, a first phase in which the housing diversity is identified in the aerial data according to the selected criteria, would allow to reduce the number of detailed survey samples needed, thus considerably reducing the time of data collection.

In the context of Ciudad Guayana, further studies of the non-permanent dwelling in recent UMUPs would reveal new insights into the function of these structures in progressive development projects. This would be essential especially if any kind of initial aid is to be provided. On the other hand, following the growth of progressive developments is necessary if services and infrastructure are, as they are now, the responsibility of the local government. Identifying the producers of physical evolution -- i.e., the drivers and catalysts of change -- would be an important step for further research. An interesting step within this trend could be to ascertain the extent in which other household processes -- family growth, income increase and economic stability, household aging, changes in the household composition (single- to multi- family), etc., affect the process of dwelling evolution.

In the context of low-income housing, the process of progressive development needs further understanding. As in Ciudad Guayana, progressive development is likely to be the main housing strategy for other developing countries in the near future. Local authorities would do well to follow the evolution of settlements and to identify real household needs, and the consequences of public and/or private interventions in low-income settlements. Perhaps the most important learning of this study is that the experience of El Gallo acknowledges again the dynamic participation of the low-income households under different conditions, and still leaves wide room for a positive participation for the many other actors in the evolving urban entity.

. Notes for Chapter V

1 Dodge reports that some settlers of Ciudad Guayana kept the rancho and rented it to poorer families (Dodge,C. 1968:220). This attitude has been more common in other progressive development projects. The Dandora site and services also encouraged the construction of temporary shacks while the permanent dwelling was built. However, non-permanent structures remained to be rented or used as storage areas even after the permanent dwelling was built (McCarney, P.L. 1987:90).

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Improved Surface Drainage of Pavements: Final Report (1998)

Chapter: chapter 5 summary, findings, and recommendations.

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CHAPIER 5 SI~MARY, FINDINGS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS SUGARY The primary objective of this research was to identify unproved methods for draining rainwater from the surface of multi-lane pavements and to develop guidelines for their use. The guidelines, along with details on the rationale for their development, are presented in a separate document' "Proposed Design Guidelines for Improving Pavement Surface Drainage" (2J. The guidelines support an interactive computer program, PAVDRN, that can be used by practicing engineers In the process of designing new pavements or rehabilitating old pavements' is outlined In figure 39. The intended audience for the guidelines is practicing highway design engineers that work for transportation agencies or consulting firms. Improved pavement surface drainage is needed for two reasons: (~) to minimize splash and spray and (2) to control the tendency for hydroplaning. Both issues are primary safety concerns. At the request of the advisory panel for the project, the main focus of this study was on ~mprov~g surface drainage to mammae the tendency for hydroplaning. In terms of reducing the tendency for hydroplaTuT g, the needed level of drainage is defined in terms of the thickness of the film of water on the pavement. Therefore, the guidelines were developed within the context of reducing the thickness of the water film on pavement surfaces to the extent that hydroplaning is unlikely at highway design speeds. Since hydroplaning is ~7

DESIGN CRITERIA Pavement Geometry Number of lanes Section type - Tangent - Horizontal curve - Transition - Vertical crest curve - Vertical sag curve Enviromnental oramaters Rainfall intensity ~ Temperature Pavement Tvpe Dense-graded asphalt Porous asphalt Portland cement concrete ~ Grooved Portland cement concrete Desion Soeed Allowable speed for onset of hydroplaning Recommend Desion Changes Alter geometry Alter pavement surface Add appurtenances Groove (Portland cement concrete) CALCULATIONS Lenoth of flow path Calculate on basis of pavement geometry IT Hydraulic Analvses . No? Water film thickness Equation No. 10 Equation No.'s. 16-19 1 Hvdroolanino Analvsis Hydroplaning speed Equation No.'s 21-24 Rainfall Intensity Equation No. 25 -A I / Meet Design ~ \ Cntena? / \<es? Accent Desinn | Figure 39. Flow diagram representing PAVI)RN design process In "Proposed Guidelines for Improving Pavement Surface DrmT~age" (2). 118

controlled primarily by the thickness of the water film on the pavement surface, the design guidelines focus on the prediction and control of ache depth of water flowing across the pavement surface as a result of rainfall, often referred to as sheet flow. Water film thickness on highway pavements can be controlled In three fundamental ways, by: I. Minimizing the length of the longest flow path of the water over We pavement and thereby the distance over which the flow can develop; 2. Increasing the texture of the pavement surface; and 3. Removing water from the pavement's surface. In the process of using PAVDRN to implement the design guidelines, the designer is guided to (~) minimize the longest drainage path length of the section under design by altering the pavement geometry and (2) reduce the resultant water film thickness that will develop along that drainage path length by increasing the mean texture depth, choosing a surface that maximizes texture, or using permeable pavements, grooving, and appurtenances to remove water from the surface. Through the course of a typical design project, four key areas need to be considered in order to analyze and eventually reduce the potential for hydroplaning. These areas are: ~9

I. Environmental conditions: 2. Geometry of the roadway surface; 3. Pavement surface (texture) properties; and 4. Appurtenances. Each of these areas and their influence on the resulting hydroplaning speed of the designed section are discussed In detail In the guidelines (21. The environmental conditions considered are rainfall ~ntensibr and water temperature, which determines the kinematic viscosity of the water. The designer has no real control over these environmental factors but needs to select appropriate values when analyzing the effect of flow over the pavement surface and hydroplaning potential. Five section types, one for each of the basic geometric configurations used In highway design, are examined. These section are: 1. TaIlgent; 2. Superelevated curve; 3. Transition; 4. Vertical crest curve; and 5. Vertical sag curve. 120

Pavement properties that affect the water fihn thickness mclude surface characteristics, such as mean texture depth and grooving of Portland cement concrete surfaces, are considered In the process of applying PAVDRN. Porous asphalt pavement surfaces can also reduce He water film thickness and thereby contribute to the reduction of hydroplaning tendency and their presence can also be accounted for when using PAVDRN. Finally, PAVDRN also allows the design engineer to consider the effect of drainage appurtenances, such as slotted drain inlets. A complete description of the various elements that are considered In the PAVDRN program is illustrated In figure 40. A more complete description of the design process, the parameters used in the design process, and typical values for the parameters is presented In the "Proposed Design Guidelines for Improving Pavement Surface Drainage" (2) alla in Appendix A. fIN1)INGS The following findings are based on the research accomplished during the project, a survey of the literature, and a state-of-the-art survey of current practice. I. Model. The one~unensional mode} is adequate as a design tool. The simplicity and stability of the one~imensional mode} offsets any increased accuracy afforded by a two-d~mensional model. The one~mensional model as a predictor of water fiDn thickness and How path length was verified by using data from a previous study (11). 121

No. of Planes Length of Plane Grade Step Increment Wdth of Plane Cross Slope Section T,rne 1) Tangent 2) Honzontal Curare 3) Transition 4) Vertical Crest 5) Vertical Sag U=tS 1)U.S. 2) S. I. Rainfall Intenstity ~ , \ |Kinematic Viscosity |Design Speed Note: PC = Point of Curvature PI. = Point of Tangency PCC = Portland cement concrete WAC = Dense graded asphalt concrete 0GAC = 0pcn~raded asphalt concrete where OGAC includes all types of intentally draining asphalt surfaces GPCC = Grooved Ponland cement concrete Taneent Pavement Type Mean Texture Depth 1) PCC 2) DGAC 3) OGAC 4) GPCC Horizontal Cun~c Grade Cross Slope Radius of Cunran~re Wdth Pavement Type _ 2) DGAC 3) OGAC 4) GPCC Mean Texture Depth Step Increment _ Transition Length of Plane Super Elevation Tangent Cross Slope Tangent Grade width of Curve Transition Width Pavement Type_ 1) PCC 3) OGAC 4) GPCC Mean Texture Depth Step Increment Horizontal Length Cross slope width PC Grade PI' Grade Elevation: Pr-PC Vertical Crest Flow Direction Step Increment Pavement Type 1) PC Side I 2) PI. Side | 1)PCC 2) DGAC 3) OGAC 4) GPCC Mean Tex~rc Depth _ _ ~ Figure 40. Factors considered in PAVDRN program. 122 ~1 r - . , Vertical Sad | Horizontal Length | Cross slope Wldth PC Grade PI Grade Elevation: PIE Flow Direction Step Increment / Stored :_ ~ cats ~ 1) PC Side | 2) PI Side | . Pavement Typed 1) PCC 3) OGAC 14) GPCC Mean Texture Depth I I

~ Stored data V ~ 3 L IN1T For use with a second nut using data from the first run.) , 1 EPRINT (Echos input to output ) 1 CONVERT (Converts units to and from SI and English.) ~ , ADVP (Advances Page of output.) KINW (Calculates Minning's n, Water Film Thickness (WEIR), and Hydroplaning Speed UPS).) , EDGE (Determines if flow has reached the edge of the pavement.) out roar Figure 40. Factors considered in PAVDRN program (continued). 123

2. Occurrence of Hydropl~r g. In general, based on the PAVDRN mode! and the assumptions inherent in its development, hydroplaning can be expected at speeds below roadway design speeds if the length of the flow path exceeds two lane widths. 3. Water Film Thickness. Hydroplaning is initiated primarily by the depth of the water film thickness. Therefore, the primary design objective when controlling hydroplaning must be to limit the depth of the water film. 4. Reducing Water Film Thickness. There are no simple means for controlling water John thickness, but a number of methods can effectively reduce water film thickness and consequently hydroplaning potential. These include: Optimizing pavement geometry, especially cross-slope. Providing some means of additional drainage, such as use of grooved surfaces (PCC) or porous mixtures (HMA). Including slotted drains within the roadway. 5. Tests Needed for Design. The design guidelines require an estimate of the surface texture (MTD) and the coefficient of permeability Porous asphalt only). The sand patch is an acceptable test method for measuring surface texture, except for the more open (20-percent air voids) porous asphalt mixes. In these cases, an estimate of the surface texture, based on tabulated data, is sufficient. As an alternative, 124

sand patch measurements can be made on cast replicas of the surface. For the open mixes, the glass beads flow into the voids within the mixture, giving an inaccurate measure of surface texture. Based on the measurements obtained In the laboratory, the coefficient of permeability for the open-graded asphalt concrete does not exhibit a wide range of values, and values of k may be selected for design purposes from tabulated design data (k versus air voids). Given the uncertainty of this property resulting from compaction under traffic and clogging from contaminants and anti-skid material, a direct measurement (e.g., drainage lag permeameter) of k is not warranted. Based on the previous discussion, no new test procedures are needed to adopt the design guidelines developed during this project. 6. Grooving. Grooving of PCC pavements provides a reservoir for surface water and can facilitate the removal of water if the grooves are placed parallel to the flow oath. Parallel orientation is generally not practical because the flow on highway pavements is typically not transverse to the pavement. Thus, the primary contribution offered by grooving is to provide a surface reservoir unless the grooves comlect with drainage at the edge of the pavement. Once the grooves are filled with water, the tops of the grooves are the datum for the Why and do not contribute to the reduction in the hydroplaning potential. 125

7. Porous Pavements. These mixtures can enhance the water removal and Hereby reduce water film tHch~ess. They merit more consideration by highway agencies In the United States, but they are not a panacea for eliminating hydroplaning. As with grooved PCC pavements, the internal voids do not contribute to the reduction of hydroplaning; based on the field tests done In this study. hv~ronImiina can be if, , , ~ expected on these mixtures given sufficient water fiLn thickness. Other than their ability to conduct water through internal flow, the large MTD offered by porous asphalt is the main contribution offered by the mixtures to the reduction of hydroplaning potential. The high-void ~ > 20 percent), modified binder mixes used In Europe merit further evaluation in the United States. They should be used In areas where damage from freezing water and the problems of black ice are not likely. 8. Slotted Drains. These fixtures, when installed between travel lanes, offer perhaps the most effective means of controlling water film thickness from a hydraulics standpoint. They have not been used extensively In the traveled lanes and questions remain unanswered with respect to their installation (especially in rehabilitation situations) and maintenance. The ability to support traffic loads and still maintain surface smoothness has not been demonstrated and they may be susceptible to clogging from roadway debris, ice, or snow. 126

RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONCLUSIONS The following recommendations are offered based on the work accomplished during this project and on the conclusions given previously: I. Implementation. The PAVDRN program and associated guidelines need to be field tested and revised as needed. The program and the guidelines are sufficiently complete so that they can be used in a design office. Some of the parameters and algorithms will I~ely need to be modified as experience is gained with the program. 2. Database of Material Properties. A database of material properties should be gathered to supplement the information contained in PAVDRN. This information should Include typical values for the permeability of porous asphalt and topical values for the surface texture (MTD) for different pavement surfaces to include toned Portland cement concrete surfaces. A series of photographs of typical pavement sections and their associated texture depths should be considered as an addition to the design guide (21. 3. Pavement Geometry. The AASHTO design guidelines (~) should be re-evaluated In terms of current design criteria to determine if they can be modified to enhance drainage without adversely affecting vehicle handling or safety. ~27

4. Use of appurtenances. Slotted drams should be evaluated In the field to determine if they are practical when Installed In the traveled way. Manufacturers should reconsider the design of slotted drains and their Installation recommendations currently In force to maximize them for use In multi-lane pavements and to determine if slotted drains are suitable for installations In the traveled right of way. 5. Porous Asphalt Mixtures. More use should be made of these mixtures, especially the modified high a~r-void mixtures as used In France. Field trials should be conducted to monitor HPS and the long-term effectiveness of these mixtures and to validate the MPS and WDT predicted by PAVDRN. 6. Two-D~mensional Model. Further work should be done with two~mensional models to determine if they improve accuracy of PAVDRN and to determine if they are practical from a computational standpoint. ADDITIONAL STUDIES On the basis of the work done during this study, a number of additional items warrant furler study. These Include: 1. Full-scale skid resistance studies to validate PAVDRN in general and the relationship between water film thickness and hydroplaning potential in particular are needed in light of the unexpectedly low hvdronlanin~ speeds predicted during 128 , . ~. , ~

this study. The effect of water infiltration into pavement cracks and loss of water by splash and spray need to be accounted for In the prediction of water fihn Sickness. Surface Irregularities, especially rutting, need to be considered in the prediction models. 2. Field trials are needed to confirm the effectiveness of alternative asphalt and Portland cement concrete surfaces. These include porous Portland cement concrete surfaces, porous asphalt concrete, and various asphalt m~cro-surfaces. 3. The permeability of porous surface mixtures needs to be confirmed with samples removed from the field, and the practicality of a simplified method for measuring in-situ permeability must be investigated and compared to alternative measurements, such as the outflow meter. 4. For measuring pavement texture, alternatives to the sand patch method should be investigated, especially for use with porous asphalt mixtures. 129


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How to Write a Thesis or Dissertation Conclusion

Published on September 6, 2022 by Tegan George and Shona McCombes. Revised on November 20, 2023.

The conclusion is the very last part of your thesis or dissertation . It should be concise and engaging, leaving your reader with a clear understanding of your main findings, as well as the answer to your research question .

In it, you should:

  • Clearly state the answer to your main research question
  • Summarize and reflect on your research process
  • Make recommendations for future work on your thesis or dissertation topic
  • Show what new knowledge you have contributed to your field
  • Wrap up your thesis or dissertation

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Table of contents

Discussion vs. conclusion, how long should your conclusion be, step 1: answer your research question, step 2: summarize and reflect on your research, step 3: make future recommendations, step 4: emphasize your contributions to your field, step 5: wrap up your thesis or dissertation, full conclusion example, conclusion checklist, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about conclusion sections.

While your conclusion contains similar elements to your discussion section , they are not the same thing.

Your conclusion should be shorter and more general than your discussion. Instead of repeating literature from your literature review , discussing specific research results , or interpreting your data in detail, concentrate on making broad statements that sum up the most important insights of your research.

As a rule of thumb, your conclusion should not introduce new data, interpretations, or arguments.

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Depending on whether you are writing a thesis or dissertation, your length will vary. Generally, a conclusion should make up around 5–7% of your overall word count.

An empirical scientific study will often have a short conclusion, concisely stating the main findings and recommendations for future research. A humanities dissertation topic or systematic review , on the other hand, might require more space to conclude its analysis, tying all the previous sections together in an overall argument.

Your conclusion should begin with the main question that your thesis or dissertation aimed to address. This is your final chance to show that you’ve done what you set out to do, so make sure to formulate a clear, concise answer.

  • Don’t repeat a list of all the results that you already discussed
  • Do synthesize them into a final takeaway that the reader will remember.

An empirical thesis or dissertation conclusion may begin like this:

A case study –based thesis or dissertation conclusion may begin like this:

In the second example, the research aim is not directly restated, but rather added implicitly to the statement. To avoid repeating yourself, it is helpful to reformulate your aims and questions into an overall statement of what you did and how you did it.

Your conclusion is an opportunity to remind your reader why you took the approach you did, what you expected to find, and how well the results matched your expectations.

To avoid repetition , consider writing more reflectively here, rather than just writing a summary of each preceding section. Consider mentioning the effectiveness of your methodology , or perhaps any new questions or unexpected insights that arose in the process.

You can also mention any limitations of your research, but only if you haven’t already included these in the discussion. Don’t dwell on them at length, though—focus on the positives of your work.

  • While x limits the generalizability of the results, this approach provides new insight into y .
  • This research clearly illustrates x , but it also raises the question of y .

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You may already have made a few recommendations for future research in your discussion section, but the conclusion is a good place to elaborate and look ahead, considering the implications of your findings in both theoretical and practical terms.

  • Based on these conclusions, practitioners should consider …
  • To better understand the implications of these results, future studies could address …
  • Further research is needed to determine the causes of/effects of/relationship between …

When making recommendations for further research, be sure not to undermine your own work. Relatedly, while future studies might confirm, build on, or enrich your conclusions, they shouldn’t be required for your argument to feel complete. Your work should stand alone on its own merits.

Just as you should avoid too much self-criticism, you should also avoid exaggerating the applicability of your research. If you’re making recommendations for policy, business, or other practical implementations, it’s generally best to frame them as “shoulds” rather than “musts.” All in all, the purpose of academic research is to inform, explain, and explore—not to demand.

Make sure your reader is left with a strong impression of what your research has contributed to the state of your field.

Some strategies to achieve this include:

  • Returning to your problem statement to explain how your research helps solve the problem
  • Referring back to the literature review and showing how you have addressed a gap in knowledge
  • Discussing how your findings confirm or challenge an existing theory or assumption

Again, avoid simply repeating what you’ve already covered in the discussion in your conclusion. Instead, pick out the most important points and sum them up succinctly, situating your project in a broader context.

The end is near! Once you’ve finished writing your conclusion, it’s time to wrap up your thesis or dissertation with a few final steps:

  • It’s a good idea to write your abstract next, while the research is still fresh in your mind.
  • Next, make sure your reference list is complete and correctly formatted. To speed up the process, you can use our free APA citation generator .
  • Once you’ve added any appendices , you can create a table of contents and title page .
  • Finally, read through the whole document again to make sure your thesis is clearly written and free from language errors. You can proofread it yourself , ask a friend, or consider Scribbr’s proofreading and editing service .

Here is an example of how you can write your conclusion section. Notice how it includes everything mentioned above:

V. Conclusion

The current research aimed to identify acoustic speech characteristics which mark the beginning of an exacerbation in COPD patients.

The central questions for this research were as follows: 1. Which acoustic measures extracted from read speech differ between COPD speakers in stable condition and healthy speakers? 2. In what ways does the speech of COPD patients during an exacerbation differ from speech of COPD patients during stable periods?

All recordings were aligned using a script. Subsequently, they were manually annotated to indicate respiratory actions such as inhaling and exhaling. The recordings of 9 stable COPD patients reading aloud were then compared with the recordings of 5 healthy control subjects reading aloud. The results showed a significant effect of condition on the number of in- and exhalations per syllable, the number of non-linguistic in- and exhalations per syllable, and the ratio of voiced and silence intervals. The number of in- and exhalations per syllable and the number of non-linguistic in- and exhalations per syllable were higher for COPD patients than for healthy controls, which confirmed both hypotheses.

However, the higher ratio of voiced and silence intervals for COPD patients compared to healthy controls was not in line with the hypotheses. This unpredicted result might have been caused by the different reading materials or recording procedures for both groups, or by a difference in reading skills. Moreover, there was a trend regarding the effect of condition on the number of syllables per breath group. The number of syllables per breath group was higher for healthy controls than for COPD patients, which was in line with the hypothesis. There was no effect of condition on pitch, intensity, center of gravity, pitch variability, speaking rate, or articulation rate.

This research has shown that the speech of COPD patients in exacerbation differs from the speech of COPD patients in stable condition. This might have potential for the detection of exacerbations. However, sustained vowels rarely occur in spontaneous speech. Therefore, the last two outcome measures might have greater potential for the detection of beginning exacerbations, but further research on the different outcome measures and their potential for the detection of exacerbations is needed due to the limitations of the current study.

Checklist: Conclusion

I have clearly and concisely answered the main research question .

I have summarized my overall argument or key takeaways.

I have mentioned any important limitations of the research.

I have given relevant recommendations .

I have clearly explained what my research has contributed to my field.

I have  not introduced any new data or arguments.

You've written a great conclusion! Use the other checklists to further improve your dissertation.

If you want to know more about AI for academic writing, AI tools, or research bias, make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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In a thesis or dissertation, the discussion is an in-depth exploration of the results, going into detail about the meaning of your findings and citing relevant sources to put them in context.

The conclusion is more shorter and more general: it concisely answers your main research question and makes recommendations based on your overall findings.

While it may be tempting to present new arguments or evidence in your thesis or disseration conclusion , especially if you have a particularly striking argument you’d like to finish your analysis with, you shouldn’t. Theses and dissertations follow a more formal structure than this.

All your findings and arguments should be presented in the body of the text (more specifically in the discussion section and results section .) The conclusion is meant to summarize and reflect on the evidence and arguments you have already presented, not introduce new ones.

For a stronger dissertation conclusion , avoid including:

  • Important evidence or analysis that wasn’t mentioned in the discussion section and results section
  • Generic concluding phrases (e.g. “In conclusion …”)
  • Weak statements that undermine your argument (e.g., “There are good points on both sides of this issue.”)

Your conclusion should leave the reader with a strong, decisive impression of your work.

The conclusion of your thesis or dissertation shouldn’t take up more than 5–7% of your overall word count.

The conclusion of your thesis or dissertation should include the following:

  • A restatement of your research question
  • A summary of your key arguments and/or results
  • A short discussion of the implications of your research

Cite this Scribbr article

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George, T. & McCombes, S. (2023, November 20). How to Write a Thesis or Dissertation Conclusion. Scribbr. Retrieved February 16, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/dissertation/write-conclusion/

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  • Dissertation Blogs

How to Write a Thesis Conclusion and Recommendation Chapter?



A student is asked to write many papers during their time in college. However, a thesis is the ultimate and most important paper they are supposed to write. A lot depends on their thesis. It is accounted for as their final paper before getting their degrees. There are many professionals who stress the importance of writing a good thesis. They tend to focus a lot on the literature and the overall format. The thesis conclusion and recommendation chapter are the most underrated chapters. There’s hardly any discussion about them. However, they are equally important. The thesis conclusion and recommendation are of great importance. They are very important and leave a lasting impact on the minds of the readers. Which is why it is extremely important that the thesis conclusion and recommendation chapter are very well written.

Let us get a better understanding of how to write the thesis conclusion and recommendation chapter. But before we get to that, we should have better knowledge of thesis conclusion chapter.

What Is a Thesis Conclusion and Recommendation Chapter?

A thesis conclusion chapter is not like the conclusions of the rest of the academic papers you write. Unlike most conclusions, a thesis conclusion chapter consists of the overall summary of your literature . Whatever you write in your literature, it is written in a concise format in the conclusion. A good thesis conclusion is a blend of all the facts you have written in your main body. It gives you a brief summary of whatever you have written in your main body. A good conclusion is able to explain the entire gist of your thesis without omitting any major facts or figures.

On the other hand, the recommendations consist of all the recommendations you make. These recommendations can mainly be for future researches, government offices, or even corporate offices.

How to Write a Good Thesis Conclusion?

Here are a few points you should keep in mind while writing a thesis conclusion and recommendation chapters.

Stick to the Question

Keep in mind to provide answers to your research problems in your conclusion chapter. Explain all the problems you have highlighted in the course of your research. Make sure you provide the readers with answers to these questions with reference to your research. This will satisfy the readers and will leave them with a sense of completeness.

You must keep in mind to address your hypothesis in your thesis conclusion chapter. There is always a hypothesis a student begins with while writing the dissertation . Make sure you either confirm that hypothesis or reject it in your conclusion chapter. You must give out a verdict in your conclusion. That is the whole point behind writing it. If you don’t give out a verdict, then your entire research is pointless.


You must keep in mind that your conclusion is the summary of your literature. You must not introduce any new information in your thesis conclusion. This will completely confuse all your readers since they will be expecting a verdict on your hypothesis, not a new theory. Not only that, it will also leave a bad impression on their mind.

Say No to Examples

Like we’ve mentioned in the last step, you should not introduce any new facts and information in your conclusion. Introducing new facts in your conclusion will only confuse your readers.

No First Person’s

Because your conclusions are all about summarizing all the previously mentioned facts; you must make sure not to use the first person while writing. You are simply drawing a conclusion and giving a verdict considering all the facts you have mentioned in your main body. There is no room whatsoever for personal opinions. Which is why you shouldn’t use the first person.

Know the Difference Between Conclusion and Result

It is important that you understand the difference between a conclusion and a result. There’s a lot of difference between the two. Do not copy your result into the conclusion. In the result section, you write about what you have found while conducting your research. On the other hand, in the conclusion, you discuss your result and deliver a verdict.

Validate Your Sources

While recommending, you must make sure that your sources are credible and valid. Only recommend genuine sources and literature. Otherwise, it might leave a bad impression on the readers.

Now that you have understood all the points, you are capable of writing a good conclusion and recommendation chapter. In case you still need professional help or guidance, you can always opt for Uniresearchers . We have a highly trained and equipped team which is ready to help you with all your academic writings.

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Thus far, the research conducted has thoroughly indicated that labeling an individual as a sex offender will create long term negative effects and lead to consequences that are often times beyond the control of the individuals, as well as their families. Because of these consequences and long term negative effects, there are often high stress levels associated with the sex offender status. These will often serve as risk factors in alcohol abuse (Dion & Earn, 1975). Also, there are individuals who cope with these negative life circumstances by using drugs and alcohol to offset the stereotypes that society has placed upon them. They also use the drugs and alcohol in many cases to cope with various issues in their daily lives as well as subpar living conditions. These individuals participate in self-medication to alleviate the psychological distress brought about by a culmination of indicators that are described in the preceding sections of this paper (Hall & Queener, 2007).

The review of the literature indicated that the experience of specific incidents of treatment deemed by Landrine and Knonoff (1996) as unfair may generate stress and have negative ramifications on the general health of sex offenders. The sex offender label in itself will most likely have an impact on the opportunities an individual and his family have as far as relationships, housing, and employment, which are an important part of the sex offender’s reintegration into mainstream society.

These factors are closely associated with poor mental health and increased stress levels (Tewksbury, 2005). In addition, Mexican-Americans have a higher rate of alcohol-related problems compared to the overall population. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health [Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA, 2008)] estimates that 24% of Mexican-Americans participate in binge drinking and over 5% are heavy drinkers when alcohol is concerned.

The purpose of this study was to examine the connection between psychological distress associated with the sex offender label and the increase in the consumption of alcohol after that label has been assigned among Mexican-American Sex Offenders. The study sample consisted of adult male Mexican Americans who have been arrested for a sexual offenses. A better understanding of the relationship among stigma, alcohol use, and stress was explored by using the self-medication hypothesis (SMH) as an explanation for the use of alcohol as a way of coping with high levels of stress. The overall mental health of sex offenders is paramount because Hispanics, especially those of Mexican descent, are one of the fastest growing demographic populations in the United States. The research hypothesis that framed this study was:-

Hypothesis 1: It is hypothesized that the relationship between stigma and alcohol use is fully mediated by the experience of stress such that if level of stress is taken into account, the relationship between stigma and alcohol abuse is no longer significant. This was assessed through the testing of the null hypothesis:

Null Hypothesis 1 (H01): After taking into account the mediating effect of stress, there is no significant relationship between stigma and alcohol use.

The research hypothesis was assessed through analysis of quantitative data from a sample of 86 adult male Mexican Americans who have been arrested for a sexual offense. Participants were recruited from the Community Supervision and Corrections Department (CSCD). Participants were invited to participate in the study during their monthly visit to the department.

Summary of Findings

The study sample consisted of 86 Mexican American Sex Offenders (MASO). Of this sample the majority were High School Diploma (52.3%). 60.5% of MASO spoke English as their primary language. 39.5% were married and 74.4% were legal residents or born United States of America.

The research hypothesis was assessed by conducting two mediation analyses to statistically test if stress mediates a significant relationship between stigma and alcohol use. The criterion variables were participants’ level of alcohol use before and after their sex offense conviction. Analysis 1 assessed alcohol use before their conviction while Analysis 2 assessed alcohol use after their conviction. The variables were measured by 10 items on the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT). Participants responded twice to each of the ten questions to assess their alcohol use prior to and after their sex offense conviction. The predictor variable for Analyses 1 and 2 was participants’ perceived social stigma (Stigma) as measured by the 10-item Stigmatization Scale (SS). The mediating variable was participants’ perceived level of stress (Stress) as measured by the 10-item Perceived Stress Scale (PSS).

The research hypothesis was:

Alternative Hypothesis 1 (HA1): After taking into account the mediating effect of stress, there is a significant relationship between stigma and alcohol use.

Mediation Analysis 1

Results indicated that one significant relationship existed in Steps A. That is, Stigma and Alcohol Use before Conviction were significant and positively related ( R2 = .050, p = .041 ). Meaning, as Stigma increased, the participants’ Alcohol Use before Conviction increased as well. Results from Steps B and C indicated no significant relationships between Stigma and Stress (R2 = .012, p = .341 ) and Stress and Alcohol Use before conviction (R2 = .020, p = .197). Additionally, the multiple regression analysis found that stress did not mediate a significant relationship between Stigma and Alcohol Use before conviction; R = .253, ?R2 = .064, F (2, 81) = 2.771, p = .069 (two-tailed). This result does not support the presence of a mediating effect.

Mediation Analysis 2

Analysis 2 was assessed using mediation analysis. Results indicated that no significant relationships existed in Steps A-C. That is, Stigma and Alcohol Use after Conviction were not significantly related (R2 = .002, p = .702); Stress and Stigma were not significantly related (R2 = .012, p = .314 ); and Stress and Alcohol Use after Conviction were not significantly related (R2 = .016, p = .248 ). Additionally, the multiple regression analysis found that stress did not mediate a significant relationship between Stigma and Alcohol Use After Conviction ; R = .139, ?R2 = .019, F(2, 81) = 0.804, p = .451 (two-tailed). This result does not support the presence of a mediating effect.

Exploratory ANOVA Analysis

Using IBM SPSS 20, analysis of variance (ANOVA) was conducted to determine if a significant difference in alcohol use existed prior to and after a sexual offense conviction. The criterion variable was Alcohol Use and the predictor variable was the time period (Time Period) in relation to the participants’ sex offense conviction (before conviction and after conviction). Results from the ANOVA test revealed that a significant difference in Alcohol Use did exist between time periods; F (1, 166) = 18.502, p < .001 , partial eta-squared = .100. Before Conviction mean scores (M = 5.90, SD = 5.322) were significantly lower than after conviction mean scores (M = 10.08, SD = 7.138). These results indicate that participant’s alcohol use significantly increased after their sex offense conviction.

Conclusions and Implications

The theoretical premise of this study lays in The Self-Medication Hypothesis (SMH) w formulated by Edward Khantzian, in 1985. Assumptions are that “specific psychotropic effects of drugs on psychological disturbances and painful affect states make them compelling in susceptible individuals” (Khantzian, 1985 p. 1259). Conger’s tension reducing hypothesis, stating that “alcohol serves to reduce tension or distress, possibly because of the depressing and tranquilizing effects of alcohol on the nervous system. Drinking is thus reinforced by the tension reduction effects obtained” (Conger, 1956, p. 175) was also considered very useful in linking alcohol with sex offender tendencies among Mexican American.

Therefore, alcohol use (and use of other substances) is a responsive reaction to negative personal states. This negative state can be due to the experience of unpleasant and painful physical or psychological states. While physical pain will usually lead sex offenders to seek the assistance of a physician, psychological pain or distress may lead attempting or actual illegal sexual activity.

Results from this quantitative analysis revealed there was no significant relationship between stigma and alcohol use as mediated by stress. Additionally, there were no relationships between stigma and alcohol use, stress and stigma, and stress and alcohol use observed. Precisely, stress did not mediate a significant relationship between stigma and alcohol use. Notably, however, a significant difference between the amount of alcohol used before and after conviction was identified.

The implication of this finding is that alcohol use in itself did not create a feeling of stigmatization. This was true of stress as well. More so, stress did not correlate with exceptional alcohol consumption nor did it mediate the effect of stigmatization on alcohol consumption. Given that before conviction mean scores (M = 5.90, SD = 5.322) were significantly lower than after conviction mean scores (M = 10.08, SD = 7.138).

Therefore, the theory ‘alcohol reduces tension or distress, possibly due to the depressing and tranquilizing effects of alcohol on the nervous system seems related to these findings. The fact that the relationship between stigma and pre-conviction alcohol use was significant, whereas the relationship between stigma and post-conviction alcohol use was not, can be explained by the increase in alcohol use witnessed. The lower levels of pre-conviction alcohol use may have driven the relationship witness with stigma, while post-conviction levels were considerably higher. The implication is that post-conviction alcohol use is high, regardless of perceived stigma.

Evidence from the literature review reveled that historically, Mexican-American adults have been known to be at a higher risk than the rest of the population for alcohol-related problems (National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions, 2009). They reported a prevalence rate of alcoholism in an average of four percent of Mexican Americans during the years 2001-2002 (Blume et al., 2009).

According to Gonzalez et.al (2011) the hopelessness among Mexican-Americans due to socioeconomic factors such as living conditions, poor wages, and an overall poor lifestyle has been known to be a large contributor to depression and this has been believed to help lead to a lifestyle of drinking and alcoholism.

However, Results from the present study neither support nor contradict Gonzalez et al.’s (2011) findings. While present results indicated alcohol consumption rate increased after conviction, it was not found that this increase was related to an increase in stress levels. This does not, however, imply that increased alcohol consumption is not due to increased depression among this group. Mexican-Americans experience greater depression and hopelessness after conviction due to consequences in regards to lifestyle.

An important focal point of this study is the inclusion of Mexican American sex offenders as participants. Data from foregoing literature review showed where most of the current theories in sex offender treatments focused on the Caucasian population, but it was necessary to have a diverse competency in the ability to treat sex offenders of every culture and ethnicity because whether African-American or Mexican-American sex offenders there appears to be significant differences in the way sex offenders are treated based on ethnicity. It is a limitation in this study because there was little scope in comparison with other ethnic groups. The inclusion of non-Caucasian participants broadens the scope of the literature as a whole.

Additionally, Mexican-American sex offenders are sometimes categorized as Caucasian-Americans or at times not categorized at all. This makes it difficult to directly compare results of this study with those mentioned in the literature review. These misclassifications result inaccurate data concerning the amount of MASO in the United States (Siese, 2012).

Recommendations for Further Study

Further research is recommended as to the necessity of sex offender labeling. That is does labeling help reduce recidivism among sex offenders? If this is the case, this may lead to further research, such as whether a similar labeling system for offenders of other crimes, such as murder, drug abuse; domestic violence and larceny would be beneficial.

Research is necessary to further investigate the finding that stigma and alcohol use prior to conviction were related, yet stigma was not related to alcohol use post-conviction. Additional research should also be conducted to determine what other factors may affect the change in alcohol use found in the present sample. Given the implications by Gonzalez et al. (2011) that high alcohol use among Mexican Americans may be due to feelings of hopelessness and depression, it may be of value to assess depression levels against alcohol use among convicted sex offenders (Gonzalez et. al, 2011)

While this study was not a comparative analysis of Mexican-American versus Caucasian sex offenders’ treatment and likelihood of being convicted, the literature review highlighted studies that Mexican Americans experience higher conviction rates. Spohn and Holleran (2000) found that Mexican-Americans were 15.3% more likely to be convicted of felonies than Caucasians in Chicago and they were 10.3% more likely in Miami. Spohn and Holleran (2000) also found that in cases of sexual assault where the victim is Caucasian and the defendant is not, there is a much greater chance of conviction, as well as longer sentences and a decreased chance of early parole (Spohn and Holleran, 2000)

Ulmer and Johnson (2004) similarly found that in areas of Pennsylvania where there was is a high ratio of Mexican-Americans to Caucasian Mexican-Americans received harsher sentences they received upon conviction were harsher sentences upon conviction (Ulmer & Johnson, 2004). Further research should be conducted.

. Recommendations for Practice

Based on the research findings, it is recommended that alcohol abuse programs be openly available and attendance at such programs encouraged among convicted Mexican-American sex offenders. Given that alcohol use rates increase significantly post-conviction, encouraging or even mandating attendance at either alcohol abuse groups or a responsible alcohol use educational seminar may be of value to help these individuals moderate their alcohol intake.

More often form a psychological perspective labeling has a fulfilling prophesy effect on individuals. These sex offenders evidently do confirm to this label. Psychologist ought to recognize this dysfunction as a vital to the intervention. Therefore when designing programs the a major goal should be to remove these debilitating psychological effects first.

Obviously alcohol abuses after conviction reflects the outcome of fulfilling this prophesy. If they were labeled alcoholics before it is only fitting to be that now they have been ascribed the added label of sex offender. This could also delay the respond to mediation since it all embodied in the psychology of labeling.

Restatement of Limitations

Since all participants were derived from a population within the Community Supervisions and Corrections Department (CSCD), the sample included just sex offenders who were currently being supervised in the community. The selection criteria were sexual offense was for which participants were arrested. It was, however, difficult to determine due to denials by sex offenders. This could have resulted in alterations in the extent of the offense reported by many participants. Date of placement in community supervision was the criteria used in establishing the initial labeling date for the purposes of data gathering.

This sampling technique limited the quality and quantity to those who were currently on community supervision, excluding those who were not. A large number of participants under community supervision were identified by the CSCD. A self-reporting data collection technique was adapted for offense, demographic, and criteria data. Results were generalized to men who had sexually abused and those not arrested. However, due to the limited number of adult female MASO on community supervision, they were excluded in the study. According to Vandiver (2010), sex offenders are typically committed by males; females account for only a small proportion of offenses. For example, of the 14,299 individuals arrested for sexual offenses in 2004, 8% (1,159) were females (U.S. Department of Justice, 2005b).

This aim of this study was to examine a connection between psychological distress associated with the sex offender label and the consumption of alcohol among Mexican-American Sex Offenders. According to the 2010 United States Census, Mexican-Americans are the minority population with the most rapid growth rate. It is therefore, crucial to understand problems associated with sex offenders among the Mexican-American population because as the general population increases, so does the number of MASO (Lowe, Pavkov, Casanova, & Wetchler, 2005). Results from the sample studied indicated that use of alcohol significantly increased after sex offender conviction among Mexican-Americans.

However, stress was not found to moderate the relationship between stigma associated with sex offender label and alcohol use. Further research is encouraged to determine whether depression plays a role in sex offender alcohol use, as is suggested by Gonzalez, as well as effects of consequences to labeling, such as deprived social interactions. It is also recommended based on the findings that alcohol abuse and responsible drinking programs be available to offenders.

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Grad Coach


How to craft an a-grade recommendations chapter.

Henley Recommendations Chapter

So, let’s have a look at the 6 components of a solid recommendations chapter.

#1: Directly address the key issues from your analysis chapter.

It sounds obvious, but all too often, there is a disconnect between the analysis chapter and the recommendations chapter. In other words, students start solving problems that didn’t exist in the analysis and ignore those that did.

Simply put, there should be a firm, intuitive, logical link between the end of your analysis chapter and the beginning of your recommendations chapter. There should really be no surprise for the reader – in fact, they should pretty much be able to anticipate what you’ll prescribe. To highlight this link, you should have a brief summary (in bullet point or visual format) at the end of your analysis chapter that reminds the reader of your key findings. Then, your recommendations chapter should directly address the issues/shortcomings highlighted there.

There’s always a temptation to digress into the irrelevant when writing assignments. Don’t create new issues and don’t present new information – stay focused on the key issues raised in your analysis. Keep yourself on track by regularly checking whether your recommendations directly link to the issues you found in your analysis. If not, it’s time to kill your darlings.

Henley MBA Help

#2: Explicitly discuss the “what”.

Another obvious sounding one, but one which is no less common in assignments. All too often, I read lengthy recommendations that roll on for pages and pages, and I’m still left asking myself, “but what exactly are you recommending be done?”.

Simply put, students are not specific and detailed enough regarding their recommendations. They speak at a high level, very conceptually and theoretically, but not practically. There is not enough real-world detail and, as a result, it’s unclear what exactly is being recommended. They might draw on plenty theory, but there’s no real-world application – resulting in limited marks.

Here’s an example:

“The reward structure must be strategically realigned to encourage and incentivise staff behaviours which are required by the organisation’s strategy (Higgs, 2006).”

Sounds great, right? It even includes the word “strategically”! But what does it mean? There are no specifics, no details.  It means nothing.

Compare it to the following:

“The focus of the reward structure must be shifted from the top left quadrant (pay structure) to the bottom right quadrant (work environment) to encourage collective behaviours (teamwork), intrinsic motivation and discretionary behaviour, as required by the organisation’s innovation-centric strategy (Higgs, 2016). For example, leadership communication could be improved by…”

The difference is in the level of detail. Notice how the latter example explicitly states what must be shifted, from where to where, and what the outcome is expected to be. Additionally, it provides a practical example, linking theory to practice , the conceptual world to the real world.

For complex recommendations, you might also consider presenting a revised model or framework, visually demonstrating the recommended change(s). In other words, you’ll have a “before and after” type presentation . For example, if your recommendation was to revise a process map (which you presented previously in the analysis), you could present the new and improved process map in the recommendations chapter. Oftentimes, visual representations can save you a good deal of word count, while also aiding marker comprehension and breaking “walls of text” – so make use of this approach wherever you can.

#3: Justify your recommendations both practically and theoretically.

You’ll notice that the last example also touched on the “why?” – in other words, the justification for the recommendation. It’s critically important that your recommendations are justified . There are, however, two forms of justification – practical and theoretical:

Practical justification : which problem (identified in your analysis chapter) does this solve? Be very explicit about which problem(s) each recommendation solves, so that you systematically resolve as many of the highlighted issues as possible. Also, briefly explain how this solves the problem – it might be obvious, but don’t leave it to the markers imagination. This needn’t be lengthy and detailed, for example:

“This recommendation resolves the key issue of X by ensuring that…”

Short and sweet.

Another aspect of the practical justification is (very brief) consideration of the feasibility . In other words, how likely is it that the organisation can pull it off. Naturally, good recommendations are realistic ones, so make it clear how each recommendation is feasible in the real world. Again, this can be a one-liner, something like this:

“This recommendation can be implemented using the organisation’s existing resources, including X and Y.”

Don’t get into an implementation discussion (this is typically a separate chapter, if at all) – just demonstrate that your recommendation is not a far-fetched pipe dream.

Theoretical justification : simply put, I’m talking about citations/references here. Whenever you make a recommendation, be sure to credit the author of the underlying theory . While some of your recommendations may just be common sense or logical deductions, it’s still likely that you came to each conclusion as a result of a model, framework or theory, which needs to be cited. By citing generously, you’ll demonstrate the link between theory and practice, which will earn you marks.

#4: Aim for a handful of key recommendations.

Typically, you should aim to present 3-5 hearty key recommendations, as opposed to a list of 10-15 lightweight recommendations. In other words, go deep, not broad.

If you have a long list of recommendations, run through them and bundle them into homogenous groups . By doing so, you’ll add more depth to each recommendation, while also making your overall argument easier for the marker to digest. Aim for quality, not quantity. Also, note that some assignments may require that you only make “one key recommendation” (for example, MP). In such cases, you need to think very carefully about how you package your recommendation to earn good marks.

On a related presentation note, you should aim to maintain a consistent structure and argumentative approach for each recommendation. In other words, for each recommendation, structure the discussion in the same order. For example:

  • A detailed explanation of what is being recommended.
  • Identification of what issue(s) it resolves.
  • Explanation of how it resolves the issue(s), including examples.

Consistency is more important than order here. Pick any order that works for you, but be sure to apply it consistently.

#5: Summarise at the end of the chapter.

In common with the introduction chapter, you should provide a concise summary of your key recommendations at the end of the chapter to aid digestibility of your full argument. Remember, while this is the umpteenth time you’ve read your assignment, it’s the first time for the marker. Make it easy for them to understand and recall your key points. After all, this is what they’ll mark you on…

In terms of presentation, there is nothing wrong with using bullet points to summarise previously discussed content, as long as you are not presenting new information. Alternatively, if you used a particular model or framework to summarise your analysis issues, you could again present a “before and after” figure, detailing how your recommendations resolve the issues.

Here’s an example:

Visual summary henley mba

#6: Note the assumptions and limitations.

Last but not least, you need to briefly acknowledge the assumptions and limitations of your recommendations. Every argument features assumptions and qualifications , and as a result, has limitations. Therefore, it’s important to acknowledge the assumptions that went into your analysis and consequently recommendations, and the resultant limitations these create. Highlighting the potential shortcomings of your work is not a weakness , but rather a strength in academia. It shows that you can think critically, not just of other’s points, but of your own.

That said, there’s no need to go deconstruct and discredit your entire argument. Just include a concise paragraph highlighting the key assumptions and limitations. You might also mention how these could be resolved with further data or fieldwork.

Let’s recap…

Incorporate these 6 practices into your next recommendations chapter and you will no doubt increase your mark earning capability. To recap:

  • Directly address the key issues highlighted in your analysis.
  • Explicitly discuss the “what”.
  • Justify your recommendations both practically and theoretically.
  • Group similar recommendations and apply a consistent structure.
  • Summarise your key recommendation at the end of the chapter.
  • Note the assumptions and limitations.

Have a question or suggestion?  We’d love to hear from you. Simply leave a comment below or get in touch with us.

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Very helpful Derek. Thank you very timely advice.

Derek Jansen

My pleasure! Glad you found it useful 🙂

Thomas Hilz

Thanks Derek! I appreciate your tips…

It’s a pleasure, Thomas.

Blessing Mdladla

Thanks Derek, this is refreshing. Relevant for both the Assignment and Dissertation.


Thank you Derek. This will be extremely useful as a guide to structure my assignment writing and important points for client reports also.

That’s great, Judy. Thanks for the feedback.


Thank very much for the writing tips I have just read they been beneficial to me because am a distance law school student. Thanks, Derek, keep it up.

My pleasure Rebeca – all the best with your degree!

Nazeer Hussein

Thanks Derek. Extremely useful for my MBA assignment.


Super useful, thank you for your content. This is making my dissertation so much easier to do

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