Conclusion [Wrapping Up]

This is a module you’ll learn exactly how to write the last chapter of your doctoral dissertation. In particular, you will get oriented with the overall goals of the conclusion chapter. Then, you’ll be taught on how to go about writing the chapter itself. Finally, you will be given guidance on what things to avoid in the ever-important final chapter of your dissertation.


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Chapter 1: The What, Why and How Of The Conclusion Chapter

In this chapter, we will discuss what a conclusion chapter entails and what to and what not to write in the conclusion chapter of your dissertation or thesis. We will help you learn what a conclusion chapter is, its content, and how to write it up.

How to write the conclusion chapter; The what, why, and how explained simply

Now that the findings and discussion chapters are over, the conclusion chapter represents the final stretch. In this post, we’ll go over all you need to know to write a top-notch conclusion chapter for your dissertation or thesis project.

So, let us get right to it!

What exactly is the conclusion chapter?

A dissertation or thesis’s conclusion chapter is usually the document’s most significant chapter. As a result, it concludes the paper and summarises your study results. While the discussion and conclusion parts are often combined in publications like journal articles and research reports, they are generally different chapters in a dissertation or thesis. Before you begin writing up these chapters, make sure to find out what kind of structure your university prefers.

Difference between the discussion and the conclusion chapter

Many students find it difficult to distinguish between a discussion chapter and a conclusion chapter. However, not to worry, Skylink Research has you covered. So, let us help you understand the difference.

Since they both address the study’s main findings, the two chapters are pretty similar. The concluding chapter, on the other hand, tends to be more comprehensive and high-level. The complex specifics of your study are usually covered in the discussion chapter. Still, in the conclusion chapter, you’ll take a larger view and reflect on the critical research findings and how they addressed your research purpose (or aims).

One of the primary purposes of the conclusion chapter is to summarise all the significant issues raised in your research and explain to the reader what they should take away from it. You should explain to them what you discovered, why it is significant, how it may be used, and what more studies can be conducted.

Do not, under any circumstances, copy and paste anything you wrote in your discussion chapter! Likewise, the discussion chapter’s conclusion is not recommended to be only a summary. Although there are similarities between the two chapters, their purposes are very different.

What to include in the conclusion chapter?

It helps to know what the chapter must accomplish and what should be in the final chapter. Therefore, a good dissertation should include the following:

  • A summary of the key findings
  • An explicit answer to the research questions
  • It should address the research aims
  • The main contributions of the study
  • The limitations and the weaknesses of the study
  • Recommendations for future research

As a result, these essential topics must be included in your conclusion chapter. You must take care to avoid including any new research or data. Your conclusion chapter needs to be entirely based on the facts and analytical results that you’ve previously delivered in the preceding chapters. Going back to your findings and discussion chapters will help you weave the basis of any new points you wish to make into the text.

To summarise the study’s objective and main findings, readers frequently skip the introductory chapter and go straight to the conclusions. As a result, it’s helpful to write your conclusion chapter, assuming that the reader hasn’t read any of the other chapters in your dissertation or thesis. To put it another way, even if they are at opposing ends of your work, your conclusion chapter should be written so that there is a clear relationship and fluid movement between them.

How to write the conclusion chapter

Having a better understanding of the topic of the conclusion chapter, let’s now dissect its organisation to help you start writing. Remember that this structure is simply an example; it is not universal nor infallible. Some institutions would prefer that you explore some of these topics in the discussion chapter or discuss the topics in separate chapters and at varying depths.

You should take the following steps to craft an exciting conclusion section.

  1. Write a brief introduction section.

The conclusions chapter of your dissertation or thesis has to begin with a concise introduction, just like the other chapters. You should explain what the reader may expect from the chapter in this introduction and what will be covered in each section.

The reader will get a taste of what’s to come in this section; a synopsis of the chapter is not the goal. Be succinct and to the point.

  1. Discuss the overall findings concerning the research aims

Write a discussion of the general findings of your study and how they connect to the objectives and research questions in the following section of your conclusions chapter. It’s crucial to zoom out a little bit here and concentrate on the more significant results, mainly how they assist in fulfilling the study targets, as you would have likely covered similar territory in the discussion chapter.

To ensure that the findings are appropriately contextualised, it is beneficial to start this part by reminding the reader of your study objectives and research questions. In this section, you will likely use phrases such as; ‘this study aimed to….’ or ‘the results conclude that….’. in example;

This study aimed to look at the mole-feeding rat’s behaviours. According to the findings, underground roots and tubers are what naked mole rats eat. However, additional research demonstrates that these animals only consume a small portion of the plant, leaving behind necessary components that maintain the food supply over the long term.

Avoid making sweeping assertions in this context. Be careful not to say things like “this study demonstrates that” or “the findings refute the hypothesis as it is.” One research rarely suffices to establish or refute a claim. Typically, this is accomplished through a larger body of research rather than a single study, notably not a dissertation or thesis, which will inevitably have essential and restrictive limits.

  1. Discuss the contributions of your study to the field

The next step is to explain how your study has impacted the area theoretically and practically. This entails discussing the results of your research and stressing their significance, value, and potential applications. In this section of your conclusion chapter, you will:

  • Mention your research outputs, e.g., publications
  • Discuss how your research acts as a solution to the research problem
  • Mention the existing gaps in your research area and explain how your study contributes to addressing these gaps
  • Talk about your study in light of pertinent ideas.
  • Discuss the practical implications of your study results.

Strike a delicate balance here between being adamant and modest in your arguments. Making assertions to this effect will be frowned upon because it is doubtful that your one study would fundamentally alter paradigms or upend the subject. However, you must also confidently state the contribution—however minor—that your study has made while presenting your ideas. To put it simply, you must maintain equilibrium.

  1. Discuss the limitations of the study

Having boosted your research, the following stage is to evaluate the constraints and probable weaknesses of your investigation critically. Depending on the organisational choices of your university, you may have already discussed this in the discussion chapter. Every study has several possible limitations that may be present. Some common limitations include:

  • Problems with sampling that restrict the findings’ generalizability
  • Inadequate sample sizes or insufficient data availability
  • Problems with sampling that restrict the findings’ generalizability
  • Inadequate sample sizes or insufficient data availability
  • Lack of experience or prejudice among researchers
  • Limited accessibility to research tools
  • Deadlines that restrict the methods
  • Budgetary restrictions that limit some study aspects

Even though it may seem self-defeating to talk about your research’s limits, doing so is essential to producing high-quality findings. Recognising the limitations of your study gives credibility to it by demonstrating that you are aware of the drawbacks of your research design, which is a vital point to remember, given that all studies have them.

To avoid undermining your study, be careful how you phrase your sentences. It’s critical to find a balance between pointing out the limits of your study and showcasing its importance despite those constraints. Show the reader that you are aware of the restraints, that they were justifiable in light of your constraints, and that you are aware of ways that they may be improved.

  1. Reflect on the recommendations for future research

The next step is to offer suggestions for future research. The limits you mentioned will serve as the foundation for most of this. For instance, you might suggest that future researchers do comparative research using a more advanced approach if one of your study’s flaws was connected to a particular data gathering or analytic method.

Any data or analytic findings that were intriguing or unexpected but not directly connected to your study’s research objectives and questions might serve as another possible source for future research recommendations. Therefore, you can flag something for additional research in this area if you noticed anything that “stood out” in your analysis but wasn’t explored in your discussion. In essence, you may use this part to explain how more research might be done to expand on your findings and advance the body of knowledge. To make it easier for future researchers to take up the new topics that your work has brought up, provide them with a clear overview.

  1. Conclude the summary

It’s now time to complete your concluding chapter. Your readers should be able to quickly review everything you covered in the concluding chapter in the closing summary. Here, brevity is vital; just the most essential points should be covered. Make sure you don’t introduce any novel facts. Practically speaking, this part should not exceed one or two paragraphs.

Tips for writing a top-notch conclusion chapter

Following our discussion of the conclusion, the chapter’s what, why, and how, we’ll offer some brief advice and pointers to assist you in creating a solid conclusion.

  • Be concise. You must be succinct because the closing chapter often makes up 5-7% of the entire manuscript. Therefore, thoroughly edit this chapter with an emphasis on conciseness and clarity.
  • When claiming the contribution of your study, exercise extreme caution. Exaggerated or erroneous statements will turn the marker’s eyes away from the fastest. Be modest yet adamant in your assertions.
  • Use plain language that even an intelligent layperson can understand. Remember that not every reader will be an authority in your industry. Therefore it’s crucial to write in an approachable style. Remember that you are the expert on your study, so make sure to explain everything to the reader.

You should now feel more prepared and inspired to tackle the conclusion chapter of your dissertation or thesis due to this post. Contact us today to find out how we may assist you if you’re still feeling confused.

Chapter 2: Research Limitations And Implications

In this chapter, we will discuss five joint research limitations students often encounter. Today’s discussion is based on one of the many articles over at  

the Skylink Research’s guides, so if you would like to get more information about research in general or specifically the limitations, you are in the proper palace, and we will take you through it all.

Also, if you are looking for a helping hand in your dissertation thesis or research project, check out our one-on-one private coaching service, where one of our coaches will be with you throughout the entire research journey step by step. You can find out more information and book a free consultation with one of our friendly coaches at

As students conduct their research, they encounter various stumbling blocks that act as a barrier between their work and their desired grades. In this section, we will discuss these limitations one by one and devise ways to help you overcome these stumbling blocks.

So, let us get right to it!

1. Limited access to information

This is a big issue for several researchers. For students in smaller institutions where the university does not necessarily sign up for a large number of databases, there can often be an issue of not being able to access information. Sometimes this is related to simply not being able to access it because of:

  • Information is published in a foreign language, making it difficult to understand. 

In such instances, it is unfortunately tricky, and you have to acknowledge the possibility that the gap that you think you have identified may have been addressed, but it may just not be relevant to you or apparent to you because you have not been able to access literature discussing the topic. 

One of the most important things to address this is to reach out to your local university librarian or your faculty help specialists. You will be surprised at how often they can access inter-lending or access journals or resources. In addition, it is often possible that there is a budget for accessing papers that you did not know existed. So, you may know if you come across a study you think you cannot access, the university can help you.

  • Lack of existing literature

Sometimes there is very little literature on your topic. Keep in mind that this can be a good thing for your study because if you are trying to fill a gap, you may get a wide range of topics on which to put your focus. However, if you suspect that there may be available literature that you just cannot access first, make sure that you are not missing anything because you just did a quick search. Therefore, ensure that you do multiple searches to ensure you are not missing out on any critical information.

When reviewing the literature, check the reference list in crucial papers thoroughly because they can lead you to papers you are interested in.

  • Limited access to data.

It can happen quite frequently that maybe you just do not have access to the data you are interested in. It may be behind a paywall. For instance, you know there is data that  a company has collected. Another option will be for private companies if you are looking for profitability ratios. However, if they are not listed, it is challenging to get that information. So, if you find that is the case, there are ways to address this. Such ways include:

  • Consider alternative measures or surrogates for the data you want to compare. 
  • Apply for small grants. That can be a nice small research grant that can give you just what you need to get to that data set.

2. Time and Cost limitations

No one has access to an unlimited budget or time. So you need to account for this. So, there are always ways around this and keeping in mind that there is never one perfect way of doing research within research. You might have started longitudinal research and realised you could not continue doing that. That is okay. The most important thing is to keep in mind and to try and account for and address these issues before they arise.

Given in an example:

No one could have predicted the COVID-19 pandemic; however, if you know that you have to do research with people in Malibu, USA, somewhere in December, you need to account for the fact that a lot of these people are going to be in Los Angeles or Beverly Hills or at the coast for their holidays. So it would be best if you considered that your time plan might not work out because these people might not be around.

Therefore, you need to adjust your time plan to account for this.

Things that you can do to save your research include:

  • Planning

Planning is essential, but one of the ways you can do this is by creating a Gantt chart and creating realistic deadlines for yourself. If necessary, depending on the level of research that you are doing, it is also possible that you can reduce the scope of your research. Everyone wants to change the world with their research, but depending on the project you are doing, it is entirely acceptable that perhaps you do not change the world. Still, you add something new in whatever context you are doing, which might mean that you are focusing more and reducing the scope to create a more focused scope.  

  • Cost

Research is rarely without cost. If you are doing, for example, lab experiments, you might need to account for the fact that you have to buy lab equipment and repeatedly buy lab equipment if you are experimenting. Even if you are doing an online survey, you need to account for the fact that some survey platforms require costs; some do not. However, inevitable costs come up that one might not necessarily think about in the beginning. Therefore, it is always essential to plan and consider what costs could be involved.

  • Limited to no access to equipment,  

When carrying out research, especially lab experiments, you may have limited access to lab space or a limited time window to sample a population.  

Maybe you are sampling finches that are only in your region in spring. In that case, do not plan for a winter sample. To address these issues, it is essential to think about these issues critically and when it comes to lab equipment and space, make friends with your lab assistant and your lab manager. They are going to know what the timetables look like and be able to help you navigate the stresses of that.

  • Seek research assistance  

Another important way to mitigate this stress is to seek research assistance to help you with data collection. Mainly if you are doing fieldwork and going out to multiple locations, the downside is that you must trust your research assistants to collect the data in a suitable format. So, keep in mind it is a last resort.

3. Sample size and representativeness

Several potential limitations and implications are associated with sample size and representativeness in research.

  1. First, small sample sizes can limit the ability of researchers to detect significant effects or relationships between variables.
  2. Second, samples not representative of the population of interest can lead to biased results.
  3. Finally, sample size and representativeness can also impact the generalizability of research findings.

One of the most significant limitations of small sample sizes is the increased likelihood of Type II errors or false negatives. When the sample size is small, there is a greater chance that the study results will be skewed by random error. This can lead to the researchers failing to detect an actual effect or relationship in the population. Small sample sizes can also lead to problems with statistical power. This refers to the ability of the study to detect a difference between two groups if one exists. Low power studies are more prone to yield false-negative findings.

Another potential limitation of small sample sizes is that they can limit the ability of researchers to detect interactions between variables. Interactions occur when the effect of one variable on another variable depends on the level of the first variable. For example, the effect of gender on income may vary depending on whether someone is employed full-time or part-time. If the sample size is too tiny, detecting these interactions may be difficult.

Finally, sample size and representativeness can also impact the generalizability of research findings. The degree to which study findings may be generalized to the entire population is referred to as generalizability. Studies with small sample sizes and samples not representative of the population are less likely to produce results that can be generalised to the population as a whole.

4. Research design or methodological limitations

There are many potential limitations and implications associated with research design.

Selection bias, which happens when study subjects are not representative of the target community, is one common constraint. This can lead to results that cannot be generalised to the larger population. Another limitation is recall bias, which occurs when participants remember information differently than it occurred. Again, this can lead to inaccurate data and results not representative of the population.

Another standard limitation is known as self-report bias, which occurs when participants report information that is not accurate or representative of their authentic experiences. This can lead to invalid results. Another potential limitation is using questionnaires or surveys as a means of data collection. This can be problematic because people may not answer questions truthfully or may not understand the questions being asked. Again, this can lead to inaccurate or invalid results.

Additionally, using interviews as a means of data collection can also be problematic. This is because people may not be honest about their experiences or may not remember information accurately. This can also lead to inaccurate or invalid results.

Other potential limitations include Hawthorne effects, where participants change their behaviour simply because they are aware that they are being studied; observer bias, where the researcher’s preconceptions or expectations can influence the data; and experimenter effects, where the researcher’s behaviour can inadvertently influence the participants.

There are many potential implications associated with research design limitations. One implication is that the results of a study may not be accurate or representative of the actual population. This can lead to incorrect conclusions being drawn about a particular topic. Additionally, research design limitations can lead to a waste of time and resources. This is because resources may be spent on a study that yields inaccurate or invalid results. Additionally, research design limitations can lead to ethical concerns. This is because studies that are not accurately conducted can lead to people being mistreated or harmed.

5. Limitations in research experience and research bias

Research limitations are the weaknesses or flaws in a study that prevent the researcher from being able to draw valid conclusions from the data. There are many research limitations, but some of the most common include sample size, selection bias, data bias, and observer bias.

  • The sample size is a significant limitation in many research studies. Small sample sizes can make it challenging to represent a population accurately and lead to statistical power problems.
  • Selection bias is another standard limitation, and it occurs when the sample of participants is not representative of the population of interest.
  • Data bias can also occur when the data collected is not accurate or reliable.
  • Observer bias is a limitation that occurs when the researcher’s beliefs, expectations, or preconceptions influence the study’s results.
  • Research bias is another standard limitation in research. Bias can occur when the researcher is not objective, when the research design is flawed, or when the data is interpreted in a way that is not impartial. Bias can also occur when the researcher deliberately or unintentionally uses methods that lead to inaccurate results.

All research studies have limitations, and it is essential for researchers to be aware of these limitations when interpreting the results of their studies. In addition, the limitations of a study can have important implications for the conclusions drawn from the data.


Chapter 3: Common Mistakes Made In The Conclusion Chapter

The concluding chapter, the final section of your dissertation, seeks to state the solution to your primary research topic briefly. The dissertation’s summary and clear reflection are other goals of the conclusion. In its final section, the dissertation’s conclusion is to offer suggestions for further research on the subject and to demonstrate the new knowledge the dissertation has brought to light. The research attempts to provide the reader with explicit knowledge of the primary discovery of the dissertation by being concise and exciting. Remember that the conclusion chapter is where you finally wrap up your dissertation. Some mistakes are frequently made when writing a dissertation’s conclusion chapter. These mistakes include:

  1. Not being clear about what has been accomplished

This is the first mistake in the conclusion chapter of your dissertation. Many writers fail to articulate how their study achieved the dissertation’s goals. To ensure that your work is appropriately understood, you should write evident accomplishments of your dissertation. In the introduction of your dissertation, the writer must clearly state your research objectives and how you plan to achieve them. In the body, you should present your findings clearly and concisely, and in conclusion, you should discuss their significance and implications for future research. Assuming the context is that the dissertation has been completed: The dissertation has been completed, and the goals have been accomplished. o

The next step is to explain what has been accomplished in the dissertation. This includes discussing the research that was conducted, the findings of the research, and the implications of the findings. Finally, the conclusion chapter should be used to state what has been accomplished in the dissertation. This includes a summary of the main findings and conclusions. It can be challenging to be clear about what has been accomplished in your dissertation, but there are ways to avoid this issue. First, keep a clear and concise record of your research goals and objectives. Second, promptly communicate your findings and conclusions to your supervisor. Finally, make sure to review your dissertation with a critical eye before submitting it. By taking these steps, you can avoid not being clear about what has been accomplished in your dissertation.

  1. Not being concise or duplicating and overlapping content with other chapters

A concise conclusion is fundamental when writing the conclusion of your dissertation. You should not include any new information or arguments in conclusion. The purpose of the conclusion is to summarise the paper’s main points and emphasise the topic’s importance. It is also good to restate the research question in the conclusion. This will help remind the reader of the paper’s purpose and highlight the main points that were addressed. If a dissertation is not concise, it may be difficult for readers to understand the presented argument. Additionally, if a dissertation contains duplicated or overlapping content, it may be difficult for readers to identify the unique contribution that the dissertation is making. Therefore, writers of dissertations need to be clear and concise and avoid duplicating or overlapping content with other chapters.

Not being concise in a dissertation can lead to duplication and content overlap with other chapters. This happens due to several reasons, such as not correctly editing the document or not having a clear plan for the structure of the dissertation. If the content is duplicated or overlaps with other chapters, it can make the dissertation challenging to read and understand. It makes it difficult for the dissertations reader to identify the main points of the dissertation. To avoid these problems, it is essential to be concise in a dissertation. This means editing the document to remove unnecessary information, and ensuring that each chapter covers a different topic. Having a clear structure for the dissertation can also help prevent duplication and overlap of content.

  1. Not being specific

The conclusion chapter should be specific and focused. This means avoiding any general statements or comments. When you conclude your dissertation, you should be specific about what you have learned and found. You should also discuss the implications of your findings and how they may be used in the future. Finally, you should briefly summarise the main points of your dissertation and provide a list of your references. The main problem with not being specific in the conclusion of your dissertation is that it can leave the reader feeling confused and unsure of what the point of the paper was. In addition, it can make it difficult for the reader to see how your paper fits into the larger conversation about the topic. Finally, not being specific in your conclusion can make it seem like you did not put enough thought into your paper, which can reflect poorly on you as a scholar.

  1. Not being critical

The conclusion chapter should be critical. This means assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the dissertation and pointing out any areas that require further research. When you conclude your dissertation, you will have covered all of the main points and evidence you presented in your introduction and literature review. However, your conclusion should not be a critical assessment of your work – instead, it should be a synthesis of the main points you have presented. In your conclusion, you should first briefly summarise the main points of your argument. You should then discuss the implications of your work and how it contributes to the larger field of study. Finally, you should conclude with a statement of the limitations of your work and how future research could build on your findings.

Your conclusion should not be a rehashing of your introduction or literature review. Instead, it should be a synthesis of your main points and a discussion of the implications of your work.

  1. Not being objective

The conclusion chapter should be objective. This means avoiding any personal bias or opinion. Your dissertation should be objective throughout, including in conclusion. The conclusion should not be a rehashing of your opinion or a personal reflection on the research process. Instead, it should provide a clear and concise summary of your findings. Your dissertation is your opportunity to showcase your skills and abilities to your committee and demonstrate your mastery of the subject matter. It is essential, therefore, to be as objective as possible in your conclusions.

There are several ways to be objective in your conclusion. First, make sure that your conclusions are based on the evidence you have presented in your dissertation. Do not make claims that are not supported by your data. Second, avoid making value judgments about your findings. Simply state what you have found and leave it to the reader to decide what it means. Finally, critically examine your biases and assumptions and how they may have influenced your interpretation of the data. By being aware of your biases, you can avoid inadvertently introducing them to your conclusions.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your conclusions are objective and that your dissertation makes a valuable contribution to the body of knowledge in your field.

Chapter 4: What Makes a Strong Abstract In A Dissertation?

What is an abstract in a dissertation or thesis?

An abstract is a concise paragraph that offers readers a brief synopsis of your dissertation and how it is structured. The essential points and your thesis or significant idea should be stated, and any ramifications or applications of the research you cover in the paper should be suggested. Only information from the main text should be used in the abstract, which should provide a condensed summary of the entire work. By rereading it, ensure your abstract summarises your position on the topic.

A strong dissertation abstract often includes the following information in terms of content:

  • The goal of the study and why it is significant
  • Your methodology and approach to conducting the study
  • The main research conclusions
  • The results of these studies’ implications

What is the purpose of the abstract?

An abstract for a dissertation serves two purposes in particular:

The initial goal is to brief potential readers on the primary point of your research so they won’t have to read the complete essay. It must explain precisely what your research is about and what you found. The abstract is the first section readers will look at while determining whether to read your dissertation or thesis. As search engines and dissertation databases index your dissertation or thesis, the abstract’s second goal is to provide them with relevant information. These search engines frequently classify your work and make it user-accessible by using the terms and phrases in your abstract and keyword list.

To put it simply, your abstract is the part of your storefront that onlookers—both human and virtual—will see before deciding whether to enter.

Why is it essential to write a good abstract?

A well-written abstract can also help readers decide whether or not to read the entire paper. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that the abstract is clear, concise, and free of errors. A good abstract is important because it helps readers quickly decide whether your paper is relevant to their research. Furthermore, a good abstract can also help to increase the chances of your paper being accepted for publication in a journal or conference proceedings.

There are three primary purposes of an abstract: to inform, persuade, and sell. First, the abstract should inform readers of the paper’s content and purpose. It should be brief and concise, and it should not contain any new information that is not in the paper. Second, the abstract should persuade readers to read the paper. It should be well-written and highlight the paper’s main arguments and findings. Finally, the abstract should sell the paper to potential readers. It should be exciting and make readers want to read the paper.

Here are some tips for writing a good abstract:

  1. Include the paper’s title, author(s), and institutional affiliation(s).
  2. Clearly state the paper’s central argument or purpose.
  3. Summarise the paper’s key research findings.
  4. Keep the abstract to a reasonable length (usually no more than 250 words).
  5. Use simple, straightforward language.
  6. Avoid technical jargon.
  7. Proofread the abstract carefully before submitting it.

A good abstract is important because it gives readers a concise and clear paper overview. It allows them to quickly determine if the paper is relevant to their interests and if it is worth reading. Additionally, a good abstract can help increase the paper’s visibility, as it is often included in search engine results and databases.

Finally, a good abstract can help ensure the paper is properly cited. When an abstract is included in a database or search engine, it often includes a link to the entire paper. If the abstract is well-written and includes all the essential information from the paper, readers can find and read the full paper easily.

 How to write a clear & concise abstract

So, now that your dissertation is finally complete. It’s time to draught your abstract, occasionally referred to as the executive summary. Most likely, if you’re here, you don’t know what to write about or how to write it. A strong abstract in a dissertation or thesis is clear, concise, and specific. It should be able to stand on its own as a summary of the work and should be able to give the reader a good sense of what the work is about.

There are a few things to remember when writing a strong abstract. First, it is essential to be clear and concise. The abstract should be able to stand on its own and should be able to give the reader a good sense of what the work is about. Second, it is essential to be specific. The abstract should be able to give the reader a good sense of the research conducted and should be able to highlight the main findings and conclusions of the work. Finally, it is essential to make sure that the abstract is well-organised. The abstract should be organised in a way that is easy to follow and flow well from one point to the next. As a result, the format of your dissertation or thesis abstract must include these four components in the same sequence. Step by step, let’s examine each of them more closely.

Step 1: Describe the purpose and value of your research

Here, you must briefly describe the aim and significance of your study. In other words, you must describe the goals of your research and the significance of those goals. You must express the following points in detail while stating the research’s purpose:

  • What were the objectives and questions of your research?
  • Why were these objectives and inquiries crucial?

This section must be exceedingly concise, clear, and persuasive. This serves as the introduction, drawing the reader in and piquing their interest in your project. You’ll probably lose their interest if you don’t make an effort in this area.

Step 2: Briefly outline your study’s methodology

You need to briefly explain how you approached addressing your research questions in this section of your abstract. In other words, what research methodology and design do you use in your study. Here are some crucial questions to answer:

  • Did you use a qualitative or quantitative approach?
  • Who or what made up your sample?
  • How were your data gathered?
  • How were your data analysed?

Simply put, you need to explain how your study responds to the question in this part. Since it is only a summary, it doesn’t have to be extensive, but it must explicitly respond to the abovementioned four points.

Step 3: Present your key findings

The significant findings should then be briefly highlighted. There may be a desire to ramble here, given the abundance of information and insights your research undoubtedly yielded. However, this section just discusses the main conclusions or the responses to the first queries you set out to explore. Again, brevity and clarity are essential. The most crucial facts must be briefly presented to the reader.

Step 4: Describe the implications of your research

Have you ever struggled to understand the overall implications of a lengthy report’s findings as you read through it? To emphasise the “so what?” of your findings, the implications section’s goal is to do just that.

     The questions listed below should be answered in this section of your abstract:

  • How have your research’s findings affected the field or industry you studied?
  • What effect does it have on the “actual world”?
  • How have your results affected the body of existing knowledge?
  • Do they, for instance, concur with the available research?
  • What could your findings imply for an ongoing study on your subject?

You’ll move in the right direction if your dissertation abstract has these four crucial components.

Practical tips for writing your abstract

The most effective strategy you can employ while writing the abstract for your dissertation or thesis is to put yourself in the position of a possible reader. Assume that the reader is curious about the research field but not an expert. In other words, write for the informed layperson rather than the seasoned subject specialist. Start by attempting to respond to the question, “Why should I read this dissertation?” Think of the WWHS.

Make sure your abstract outlines the what, why, how, and so what of your research:

This section includes the following information:

  • What you examined, who you studied, and where you studied it;
  • Why the topic was relevant; and
  • Your research approach.
  • What were the main conclusions and ramifications of your research, then?

Keep it straightforward

Use vocabulary relevant to your field of study, but avoid stuffing your abstract with huge words and jargon that obscure the content and make it difficult to understand. An effective abstract should be accessible to readers of all reading abilities and reasonably simple to understand. Keep in mind that you must write for the informed layperson.

Be precise

When outlining your research’s key insights and findings in your abstract, be sure to be as specific as possible. There is no need to suppress any information. The reader should be able to clearly understand the essential takeaways of your dissertation after reading the abstract, which is the one manner in which your abstract differs from a blurb on the back of a book. Of course, customers must enter the restaurant and order from the menu if they want additional information.

Chapter 5: Five Common Mistakes to Avoid When Writing a Dissertation Abstract

A strong abstract is crucial since it informs the reader of what to anticipate in your thesis or dissertation and aids them in deciding whether to read the rest of your work. Unfortunately, we have examined tens of thousands of abstracts throughout the years and have found that students consistently commit the same errors in their dissertations. Therefore, it’s crucial to steer clear of typical errors when creating a dissertation abstract because they can compromise the caliber of your work. Some of the most common mistakes include:

  1. Not being concise: A dissertation abstract should be a concise summary of your research and should not exceed 200 words.
  2. Not being specific: A dissertation abstract should be specific and should not contain any unnecessary details.
  3. Not using active voice: A dissertation abstract should be written in active voice and use a third-person point of view.
  4. Not proofreading: A dissertation abstract should be free of any grammatical or typographical errors.
  5. Not following the required format: A dissertation abstract should follow the required format, and it should include the research question, methodology, findings, and conclusions.

There are several common mistakes that students make when writing their dissertation abstract. Here are five of the most common mistakes to avoid:

  1. Not Defining the Scope of the Study

One of the most common mistakes is failing to define the scope of the study correctly. The scope defines the study’s parameters and should be delineated in the abstract. Without a clear scope, it will be difficult for readers to understand the study and what it is trying to accomplish. Failure to Specify the Study’s Scope: Students frequently lack a thorough comprehension of an abstract, and its function is a recurrent problem we encounter. This inevitably has a significant ripple effect. An abstract is a brief synopsis of your research endeavour and should touch on every aspect of your thesis or dissertation. The abstract’s goal is to inform the reader of what to anticipate in your paper and persuade them to read it in its entirety or, at the very least, the pertinent sections.

A strong abstract should include a high-level overview of your methods, a synopsis of the essential findings, a brief introduction to your study, and a summary of the key insights from your literature review. These are the essential elements of a strong abstract. The body content should be summarised in your abstract rather than presenting new information. Never include any details in your abstract that aren’t included in your main document. Aim for the shortest feasible sentence length while composing your abstract. Consider your abstract to be like an elevator pitch; it should be succinct, to the point, and convey all you want to say. Less is more. Your abstract must also be able to stand on its own, much like an elevator pitch. Because of this, it’s crucial to develop a coherent narrative in your abstract that helps the reader visualise it.

  1. Not Summarising the Key Findings

Not summarising the main results of the investigation is another frequent error. The study’s conclusions should be briefly summarised in the abstract, emphasising the most crucial and relevant findings. Without a description of the main conclusions, readers can be left perplexed and puzzled about the study’s consequences. Even though the abstract only has a limited amount of space, the key topics of your study must still be presented. Therefore, try to include a paragraph for each of your chapters when writing this section. In your abstract, you must identify the subject of your research, objectives and questions and why it is unique and essential.

In other words, it ought to back up your research. To achieve this, you can discuss the connections between your research and earlier research and the differences that make your endeavour necessary. This ought to be based on the information in your introduction and chapter on the literature. The methodology should be explained in the abstract as well. It’s crucial to describe your research approach in the abstract, but remember that this is only a summary, and you shouldn’t attempt to reveal the complete design. The methodological approach, such as qualitative, sampling strategy, data collection and data analysis methodologies, are just a few high-level topics that need to be covered.

Finally, you must discuss your significant findings and their consequences in your abstract.

  • What did you find, for instance? It should be covered.
  • Why is it significant?
  • What are the implications and uses of your findings?

The critical word here is crucial; you only need to share findings crucial to your research’s goals and open-ended research questions.

  1. Not Discussing the Implications of the Findings

In addition to summarising the key findings, it is also essential to discuss their implications. What do the findings mean for theory, practice, or future research? Failing to discuss the implications of the findings leaves readers with little to no understanding of the study’s significance. The abstract is typically written last because it is an overview of your work. Of course, you can draught an outline before you start writing your dissertation. Unfortunately, students frequently copy and paste material from their body chapters into their abstracts. This is troublesome since the abstract must be an original composition and not just a collection of the text in the body. A strong abstract should tell the reader exactly what you set out to find, how you went about it, and what the outcomes were.

Importantly, your abstract must create a compelling story to entice readers to read the body of your thesis or dissertation. You can’t just copy and paste text from your document’s body area to accomplish this. Instead, you must create original content that is stand-alone and draws in readers with an engaging story. Copying and pasting a few of the most important ideas from each chapter into your abstract can help you organise everything. For each chapter, you might include a few bullet points, for instance. But that is just a beginning point. After that, you must create an original work of writing that will build a seamless, captivating narrative.

  1. Not Following a Logical Structure

Adherence to a logical structure when composing the abstract is another frequent error. The abstract should be laid up in a simple, understandable style. The general abstract should tell a compelling story, and each component should logically follow the one that came before it. It makes sense that most students are worn out by this time in the dissertation and may blunder with the tiny details. However, the abstract must be perfect because it will be the first thing a new reader will see. If you write an excellent abstract, but it’s full of spelling and grammar mistakes, you’ll lose the reader’s interest and, of course, points.

So what kinds of problems are you supposed to avoid?

First, citations usually are not used in an abstract because they are only appropriate for the dissertation or thesis’s main body of text. But when referring to essential works, you can utilise author names. For instance, you can name the researchers but are not required to provide a complete reference if your work is a reaction to earlier research. It should be noted that many institutions may have their preferences, so be careful to review previous theses and dissertations from your university programme to get a sense of the standards.

Second, attempt to limit the amount of jargon, technical terms, and acronyms you use when writing your abstract. Always write as though you are communicating with an informed layperson. In other words, a scholarly outsider interested in your area of study. In the end, your abstract must be understandable to your audience; else, the reader may become frustrated and stop reading. If you have to use jargon or acronyms to portray a subject correctly, define each phrase before using it.

Third, using bullet points and numbered lists can be tempting as your abstract needs to be brief. However, as an abstract is a textual overview, it typically shouldn’t feature bullet points, numbered lists, figures, or tables. Don’t use these, therefore.

Finally, although it may seem obvious, your abstract must use the proper wording. Unfortunately, we frequently find grammatical, punctuation, spelling, and tense mistakes in the abstract. These types of things are unacceptable because it is your shop window. Therefore, before submitting your abstract, appropriately modify and proofread it.

  1. Not Editing and Proofreading

Finally, editing and proofreading the abstract carefully before submitting it is essential. An abstract that contains errors and typos will reflect poorly on the quality of the study as a whole. Therefore, make sure to take the time to revise and edit the abstract until it is polished and error-free. Failing to edit and proofread your dissertation can be a costly mistake. Without taking the time to revise your work thoroughly, you may find yourself with a subpar final product.

Additionally, your committee may require you to make significant changes before approving your dissertation, which can cost you valuable time and effort. A well-edited and proofread dissertation will be much more polished and professional-looking than one that has not been revised. This can make a big difference in the eyes of your committee and may even result in a higher grade.

The importance of editing and proofreading after your dissertation cannot be understated. Your dissertation is likely an essential academic document you will ever produce, and it is important to ensure that it is free of errors. Editing and proofreading can help you identify and correct errors in your writing and improve the overall quality of your dissertation.

There are several ways to edit and proofread your dissertation. You can hire a professional editor or proofreader, or you can use an editing and proofreading service. You can also edit and proofread your dissertation yourself. However, it is important to take your time and be thorough if you choose to do this. Review your dissertation several times, and pay close attention to grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Use a style guide, such as the MLA Style Manual or the APA Publication Manual to ensure that your dissertation is formatted correctly.

Editors and proofreaders can be expensive, but they can also be worth the investment. If you are not confident in your ability to edit and proofread your dissertation, it may be worth hiring someone to do this for you. Professional editors and proofreaders can help improve your dissertation’s quality and ensure that it is free of errors.

 Finally, editing and proofreading your dissertation will help ensure that it is free of errors and typos. This can save you embarrassment and frustration and make your work much more enjoyable to read.

Chapter 6 Defending Your Dissertation Or Thesis

Most if not all universities will provide a guideline document outlining what is expected of you during your final oral examination. You must review this document carefully and ask your advisor or committee chair if you have any questions. In general, you will be expected to give a brief presentation on your research findings and then field questions from your committee.

The key to a successful defence is to be prepared. This means practising your presentation, being familiar with your research, and knowing how to respond to tough questions. It is also essential to remain calm and confident during the examination. Your committee is not out to get you, but they will want to test your knowledge and ensure that you are prepared to graduate. So the defence should be relatively smooth if you are well prepared. Just relax and remember that you know your research better than anyone else in the room.

Preparing for your dissertation defence

It takes a lot of work to prepare for your thesis or dissertation defence. You’ve put in a lot of effort over the years to get to this point, but now you have to defend yourself against some of the most seasoned researchers you’ve run into.

You should expect to have some anxiety.

For your viva voce, whether it’s for a Masters’s or PhD degree, we’ll go over some of the most crucial questions you should be able to respond to in this post. Of course, they could not take the same form, but if you can successfully respond to these inquiries, it implies you’ll be in a solid position to handle your oral defence.

  1. What’s the topic of your study, and why did you decide to focus on this particular topic for your research?

This classic conversation opener is straightforward.

Your ability to concisely and clearly state your research’s goals, objectives, and questions is what the dissertation or thesis committee is evaluating here. The critical phrase here is concise; you must convey your research topic without going on for a half-hour. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to analyse the specifics later on, so don’t feel compelled to become too technical now.

The second part of the inquiry asks you to provide a concise argument for your study. To put it another way, why were these specific research goals, objectives, and questions necessary to answer? You must make it obvious what gap there was in the study and why it was essential to fill it to respond to this issue during your oral defence effectively.

  1. How did your inquiries change as you conducted your research?

A long and meandering path is usually taken by sound research. Except in exceptional cases, there is rarely a straight line. Your capacity to take that route and allow the course of the research to be decided is what they are evaluating here.

They want to know precisely how the literature review approach affected your decision-making regarding the direction and scope of your research and the research questions. For example, as you submerged yourself in the book, you might have changed course from your goals when you first started. Similarly, the results of your initial fieldwork could have revealed some unexpected information that prompted you to revise or broaden the scope of your original research questions.

In conclusion, a strong defence requires a thorough account of your research process, including any detours and turns. Furthermore, it demonstrates your responsiveness, which is necessary for high-quality research to change your course in response to information from the literature or your fieldwork.

  1. What factors did you consider when selecting the sources for your literature review?

The basis of each unique piece of research is a thorough literature assessment. Your dissertation or thesis committee attempts to determine the approach and standards you followed when choosing the sources for your literature review through this inquiry.

Good research usually uses more contemporary materials and foundational works in the subject area. Or, to put it another way, a blend of the more recent sources that contribute to the earlier studies and the older seminal works and landmark studies. Having a firm foundation and staying current are guaranteed by this combination?

Therefore, ensure that your research incorporates both established and up-and-coming authors, and keep track of any significant literary developments you can cite as examples when this subject is raised during your viva voce.

  1. Describe your study’s design and rationale for using this methodology.

This is a standard methodological query that you should almost likely encounter in some form.

Here, they’re seeking a concise explanation of the research design and the rationale behind each decision. Therefore, you must be able to describe each design decision in detail and provide a solid justification. Then why is particularly crucial; you must be able to explain every decision you made by tracing the goals, objectives, and research questions of your study back to your design while also taking into account any practical limitations.

Check to explore our post on the Research Onion and our vlog on research techniques to ensure you’re covering all the bases.

  1. Are the results valid and broadly applicable?

This question aims to go deeply into your knowledge of the sample, how it links to the population, and any potential methodological validity problems.

To appropriately respond to this question, you must critically evaluate your sample and findings and consider whether they accurately represent the overall population and whether they achieved the objectives they set out to. There are two elements present in this situation: generalizability and validity. How accurately the sample represents the population is a measure of generalizability. How correctly you measured what you set out to measure is what validity is all about.

The ideas of generalizability, validity, and reliability, as well as how these pertain to your study, must be thoroughly understood by you to ace this portion of your dissertation defence. It’s essential to remember that you don’t have to be perfect; you only need to be aware of the research’s strengths and shortcomings and how the latter may be strengthened.

  1. What were your research design’s primary flaws and constraints?

This inquiry continues where the previous one left off.

As I previously stated, it is only natural for your research to have flaws and restrictions due to the design and methodology you have chosen. There are flaws in every study project. Therefore, a strong dissertation defence does not focus on proving that your work is flawless but rather on outlining the advantages and disadvantages of your strategy.

To correctly answer this question, you must critically consider all of the possible flaws in your design and possible solutions that could be used in subsequent studies.

  1. How did your findings compare to the body of previous research?

The discussion chapter of your dissertation is where you would have presented and discussed your findings concerning your literature review. It is where this typical dissertation defence question is directly related.

Your ability to contrast the outcomes of your study with those of previous research is what your dissertation or thesis committee is evaluating here. You must detail the findings that agreed and disagreed with prior studies. You should also explain your reasoning for any findings that conflicted with prior research if they were in contradiction to it. In this scenario, as in many others requiring viva voce, the what and why questions are equally crucial. Therefore, it is important to carefully explore the possible explanations for differences or similarities between your findings and those of comparable studies.

  1. Concerning the research questions, what were your main conclusions?

This question focuses on your study findings, similar to the previous one. However, instead of general findings, the emphasis is on the findings that particularly pertain to your study topics.

Therefore, taking a step back and reviewing your research questions is an excellent method to prepare for this question. Consider the following questions.

  • What specifically did you ask those questions, and what did your investigation reveal about them?
  • What queries did your study adequately address, and which did not?
  • What made them deficient, and what else might be done to remedy this in follow-up studies?

You must focus firmly on the research topics to succeed in this section of the dissertation defence. Numerous findings from your study will have been presented, not all of which will be directly related to the research questions. As a result, you must free your thoughts of all the exciting detours your research may have provided and refocus on the research topics.

  1. Were there any discoveries that caught you off guard?

This question has two sections.

You should start by reviewing the unexpected results pertinent to the initial study topics. This is your chance to discuss the findings that differed from what you had anticipated when you started your investigation because you probably had some assumptions about what you would discover. Additionally, you want to consider any potential causes of these disparities.

Second, you ought to talk about any conclusions that resulted from the data set even though they weren’t directly related to the research objectives. There are usually a few intriguing insights you may draw from the data collection, while you can have none or just a few. Remember to be able to explain why you find them intriguing as well as what it signifies for related future study.

Your capacity to evaluate the results holistically and thoroughly and react to unexpected data is what the committee is testing with this type of inquiry. Therefore, give your analysis a full once-over before zooming in again.

  1. What biases might be present in your study?

We all own prejudices.

You must consider any biases that may have existed throughout your research, the data itself, and your interpretation of the data to correctly answer this issue. Your committee determines with this inquiry if you have considered your prejudices and the biases built into your methodology or analysis approach. Therefore, consider these research biases and be prepared to describe how they might apply to your study.

In an oral defence, this inquiry is frequently followed by one regarding how the biases were reduced or could be reduced in future studies. Think about the bias mitigation strategies for your study as well as for future research, as well as the potential biases that may present.

  1. How can your conclusions be applied?

Yet another traditional viva voce question.

With this query, your committee is testing your capacity to demonstrate the relevance and applicability of your results in the real world. It’s important to note that this question mainly focuses on how newly produced knowledge can be applied in the real world, not how it contributes to academics or the area of research as a whole.

Depending on the specifics of your research topic, your findings’ applicability will differ. Some research will yield a lot of recommendations, while others won’t. You should be able to offer specific advice to marketing professionals working in that area, for instance, if you’re investigating marketing tactics inside that business.

Examine your initial justification for the research—in your introduction and literature review chapters—to help you elucidate your points for this inquiry. For example, what motivated you to conduct a study on the subject you chose? You should be able to discover practical applications for your findings with the aid of that reasoning.

  1. What impact has your research had on how the field is now thinking?

This question is focused on theoretical contribution, as opposed to the preceding one, which was focused on practical contribution. What, in the context of the existing body of knowledge, is the significance of your study? What new information does it add, and how does it fit into the existing knowledge?

The purpose of this inquiry, frequently posed by a field expert, is to determine how well you can contextualise your research’s results and explain how it has impacted the field. This argument must be adequately supported; in other words, you must provide reasonable justifications for each claim you make and discuss the value of your research.

You must honestly assess the value and influence of your effort to respond to this question. But, on the other hand, you don’t want to sound haughty or undersell the significance of your job. Therefore, it’s crucial to strike the ideal balance between realism and pessimism.

This query also invites inquiries regarding potential directions for further investigation. First, decide which of the new research opportunities your work has generated the most important, then is.

  1. How would you approach it differently if you could conduct your research again?

A viva voce frequently concludes with this query since it completes the thought process.

Here, your committee is once again evaluating your capacity to precisely define and explain the constraints and shortfalls of your research, both in terms of research design and area of interest. The employment of an alternative analysis technique or data collection might have been preferable in the long run. Maybe a bit of a different slant on the research questions would have been appropriate.

With the help of this question, we hope to determine whether you can analyse your work critically, identify its flaws, and offer suggestions for improvement. This question frequently distinguishes between individuals who carried out the research solely out of obligation and those genuinely interested in their research. Don’t hold back; instead, consider your complete research process and how you may handle the situation differently if you were beginning again.

 Recap: The 13 Key Dissertation Defence Questions

  1. What’s the topic of your study, and why did you decide to focus on this particular topic for your research?
  2. How did your inquiries change as you conducted your research?
  3. What factors did you consider when selecting the sources for your literature review?
  4. Describe your study’s design and rationale for using this methodology.
  5. Are the results valid and broadly applicable?
  6. What were your research design’s primary flaws and constraints?
  7. How did your findings compare to the body of previous research?
  8. Concerning the research questions, what were your main conclusions?
  9. Were there any discoveries that caught you off guard?
  10. What biases might be present in your study?
  11. How can your conclusions be applied?
  12. What impact has your research had on how the field is now thinking?
  13. How would you approach it differently if you could conduct your research again?

Chapter 7: How To Use Mendeley And Zotero

  1. Zotero

Many students struggle to get their references right consistently. Sometimes, students try referencing with Microsoft Word but still have issues and write them manually, which is a mess and consistently ends up incorrect. So, most questions asked are; How do you recommend I handle referencing for MBA dissertations?

Ok, so first things first. Writing your references manually is a bad idea because it is an absolute waste of your time doing this task manually, and – it is so error-prone you’re likely to make mistakes more often than not. So, if you take anything away from this article, let it be that you should not be writing your references up manually.

I’ll show you how to do it smarter, faster and more reliably. So, what do you do if you do not write out your references manually? The answer is you use reference management software.

Now there are a few options;

  • Microsoft words built-in feature.
  • Use Zotero. It’s free – you can download it onto Mac or Windows and synchronise it across multiple devices. For example, your home computer and your work computer.

So how does Zotero work?

So, the first thing you’ve got to do is download the Zotero software. You can get this at When you get to this page, you’ll see a link on the side, download Zotero for Windows. If you need to download this onto a Mac, scroll down to the bottom of the page, and you’ll find a Mac OSX version. So, once it’s installed, you can set up your folder structure however you want. For example, you might want to set it up by module. The first thing you want to do is add the relevant literature to Zotero.

You still need to add it once, but it is a case of setting it and forgetting it, and it’s done. You never need to adjust that reference again. You can also shortcut this process and get your fields Auto populated so that you don’t need to write out the complete reference yourself.

Let’s go through the exercise of adding references.

You’ll first click on the little button on the top left corner of your screen (the

plus button) and select the reference type or the top of academic material research material you want to include. This section has some default items, one being a journal article. You can also find a few more when selecting the “more” section of the menu. For now, let’s choose a journal article.

That’s most common. So, then what will happen is a fill-out menu will pop up on the right, and you’ll be able to populate your journal article details.

Once you’ve populated, you’ll notice a lot of fields here, and the question is how much you need to populate. Well, this depends on the referencing format required by your school. At the very least, you will typically need to include the title, the author, the publication, the volume, the issue, the pages and the date. There might be some other requirements, but it all depends on the referencing format, for example, Harvard or APA.

A pro tip I’d recommend is to use the “extra” field at the bottom to include some of your notes about the article, as you are unlikely to remember what each article was about when you look at the title. So, it makes sense to go and write your notes over there. For example, this article discussed this theory or this framework etc.

So now you’ll see the first reference is loaded up in your window at the middle blank section on your screen. This list grows as you go along, and depending on how you set up your folders, it can go into the hundreds and thousands.

So now that you’ve sorted your reference list, naturally, you need to go to Microsoft Word, where you’ll be creating. After that, you’ll write your assignment as usual.

When it comes time to add in a reference, you’ll go to the add-ins tab at the top right of your Word, and you’ll click the very first icon which says Zotero insert a citation, and the first time you do this, you will be asked to select your document preferences. Now, this is where you would select the citation style, for example, Harvard or APA. After you select, a red box will pop up.

The red box is where you enter the keyword for the actual citation you want to insert.

So, let’s say we were searching for something related to trust. So, we select it, we press ENTER, and your preferred citation is entered into your document.

You now obviously carry on and write your entire assignment. The last thing you need to do is build your formal reference list. So, you’ll go to the reference list section usually at the end of the document, and all you have to do is enter the title or the heading for the page, and again you’ll go to add-in, and you’ll go to the third icon which says “insert a bibliography.” You click this button and see that it automatically populates it in your desired format. It’s populated precisely in line with what’s required.

You’ll notice some items are italicised. This is because all your journal issue and volume data are there, and all your references are perfect. As you work through your assignment, you never need to revisit

it to do a once-over. If you put rubbish into Zotero in the beginning, including spelling errors or something along those lines, they will be pushed out on this side.

So that’s how simple it is. All you need to do is download Zotero, input your references and then drop them into your document as required.

So, I hope this video has provided value to you. If you have any questions of your own, please visit us at the ABC website, submit your questions, and we’ll do our best to give you a rational answer.

  1. Mendeley

This article will look at a reference management software called Mendeley. Mendeley is a bibliographic database and reference manager for academic papers. It allows users to organise and annotate their papers and create a personal research library. Mendeley also provides a social networking platform for researchers, with features such as groups and collaboration tools.

The Mendeley Desktop, Mendeley online importer, and the Microsoft Word connection will all be covered in this article’s discussion of how to utilise Mendeley.

Therefore, let’s look at it.

Downloading the Mendeley program should be your initial action. On Mendeley’s website,, you may find that. The download now option is located in the top left corner of the reference management tab. Both Windows and Mac can use Mendeley. Linux users can also access it.

After installing Mendeley, The “References” tab on the Ribbon in Word provides access to Cite the add-in.

When you choose “Mendeley Cite” under the “References” menu, an add-in window will open in the right-side panel and take you to the sign-in page for Mendeley Cite.

A pop-up with a sign-in page will show if you choose “Sign in.” To access your library in Mendeley Cite, you must log in to your Mendeley account. You may register for an account here if you don’t already have one. Once you have logged in, Mendeley Cite’s “References” page will display your library.

Place the cursor on the area of your paper where you wish to include a citation. Enter the Mendeley Cite add-in box at this point. Select the checkbox next to the reference(s) you want to include in Mendeley Cite’s “References” tab. To add the citation to your paper, choose “Insert citation.” Choose more checkboxes to add more references. The proper formatting will be applied to the citation automatically.

Place the pointer over the reference you wish to alter in a citation you’ve previously generated, and then click to select it. You can now view the citation you choose in Mendeley Cite’s edit window. To access the characteristics panel, choose the reference pill you want to change.

You may change the reference in several ways using the attributes panel. Specific reference properties, such as page numbers, can have values added to them and a prefix and suffix. The author’s name can also be hidden if you choose. Any changes you make to this particular citation will be reflected in your work depending on your chosen citation style.

Once you have added a citation, you may utilise Mendeley Cite to have a bibliography of all the sources you have used. First, place the cursor where the bibliography should appear in your work, then open the Mendeley Cite add-in box. Next, choose “More” from the menu, then from the drop-down menu that appears, choose “Insert Bibliography.”

Your citations and bibliography will be formatted by Mendeley Cite using your chosen citation style.

Every time you add a new citation, your bibliography will automatically reorganise and rearrange itself; you don’t need to start from scratch.

If you introduce a new citation earlier in the document, Mendeley Cite will automatically renumber the items.

Even after entering all of your sources and building your bibliography, Mendeley Cite allows you to modify the citation style. In addition, this tool enables you to quickly restyle your paper to adhere to different requirements if you need to submit it to a different publication with a different style.

The style you’ve chosen at the moment will impact how your citations look. Go to the “Citation Style” tab in the Mendeley Cite add-in box to choose a new style.

All the citation styles you have installed are listed under the “Citation Style” page. The top 10 most popular citation styles are displayed when you first enter Mendeley Cite using your Mendeley account, with APA 6th edition as the preferred style. By choosing one of the styles offered and then choosing “Update citation style,” you may modify the style.

Mendeley Cite already has a few popular styles loaded, but you may also look for and add any more styles you require.

Selecting “Select another style…” will open a new window where you may use the search bar to discover the style you want to use if the one you need isn’t already available. To install your new style, choose the style you want to use and then “Update citation style.” Your new picks will automatically be added to your top 10 list alphabetically.

Additionally, your bibliography will be automatically updated to use the new format.

You may upload your citation style straight into Mendeley Cite to use with Word if you need to utilise a specific citation style.

To submit your citation style, perform the procedures above by selecting the “Citation Style” tab and clicking the “Select another style…” link to open the citation style search window. Selecting the “Add custom style” option will create a screen where you can choose your citation style.

You will require the custom citation style’s URL to post it. Copy the URL link for your custom citation style and put it in the URL text box on the custom citation style panel. Select “Update citation style” after that. Your top 10 list will instantly update with your new picks in alphabetical order after the custom citation style has been applied successfully.

Chapter 8: 7 Common Mistakes To Avoid In The References Section

We all know that referencing can be too much work, mainly if you are unfamiliar with academic writing or accustomed to utilising different referencing methods. The good news is that Skylink Research has a wealth of advice at your disposal. Even with resources available, it is still easy to make mistakes.

So, let’s list these mistakes to ensure you avoid them.

  1. Incorrectly Citing the Source of Information

When writing an academic paper, you are expected to provide accurate citations for the sources of information you use. Unfortunately, some students incorrectly attribute the sources of information to their papers. This may be due to a misunderstanding of how to cite sources or a simple mistake. Regardless of the reason, incorrectly citing sources is a serious academic offence. You must cite anyone whose thoughts or words you have used in your article in order to give them due credit.

If you incorrectly cite the source of information in a reference list or text, you are committing plagiarism. Plagiarism occurs when you present the ideas or words of someone else as your own. The penalties for plagiarism can be severe, including loss of marks, failing the assignment, and even expulsion from the university.

There are many ways to cite your sources incorrectly, some more serious than others.

  • The most severe form of plagiarism occurs when you write an assignment that is entirely someone else’s work without any acknowledgement of the source. This is called ‘passing-off’.
  • A slightly less severe form of plagiarism occurs when you use your own words to explain someone else’s ideas but do not tell the reader that you are doing so. This is called ‘paraphrasing without attribution.
  • The third form of plagiarism is called ‘patchwork’ or ‘mosaic’ plagiarism. This is when you use another person’s words but change them slightly. For example, you might delete a few words or change some of the words to synonyms. In addition, if you use someone else’s words without quotation marks and without referencing the source, this is also considered plagiarism.

The only situation where you do not need to reference the source of information is if the information is ‘common knowledge. Common knowledge is information so well known that it is unlikely that any person could lay claim to it. For example, the names of countries, the names of famous people, and the names of common diseases are all considered common knowledge.

 If you are unclear whether a certain fact is generally accepted knowledge, ask your instructor. Of course, you should always reference the source if a piece of information is not common knowledge.

  • You must put the words in quote marks and give credit if you utilize someone else’s identical words.
  • If you use the ideas or theories of someone else, you do not have to enclose the words in quotation marks. However, you must reference the source of information.
  • If you paraphrase or summarise someone else’s ideas, you do not have to enclose the words in quotation marks. However, you must reference the source of information.
  • If you use another person’s work, you must reference the source.
  • You do not need to reference the source if you are using your ideas or theories.

If you use the ideas or theories of someone else, you do not have to enclose the words in quotation marks. However, you must reference the source of information. If you paraphrase or summarise someone else’s ideas, you do not have to enclose the words in quotation marks. However, you must reference the source of information. If you use another person’s work, you must reference the source. You do not need to reference the source using your ideas or theories.

  1. Failing to Include a Reference List

The sources you utilized to write your paper are included in the reference list. Your reference list should be included at the end of your paper. Some students fail to include a reference list, which is a serious academic offence. If you use sources in your paper, you must provide complete citations for them in a reference list.

When writing a paper or report, it is essential to cite your sources. This shows that you have researched your topic and also gives credit to the original authors. Failure to include a reference list is a common mistake that can easily be avoided.

There are a few different ways to format a reference list, but the most common is to use either MLA or APA style. MLA style is typically used in the humanities, while APA style is used in the social sciences. Check with your professor or editor to see which style they prefer. When creating a reference list, include all of the sources you used in your paper or report. For each source, there are exact quotes and paraphrases as well as the last name, year of publication, and page number of the author (if available). If you are citing a website, include the URL and the date that you accessed the site.

For each source, be sure to include enough information so that your reader can find it easily. Reference lists can be either alphabetised or organised by date. If you have a lot of sources, you may want to use subheadings to organise them. For example, you could have a section for books, a section for articles, and a section for websites.

Once you have created your reference list, proofread it carefully. Check to ensure that all of the information is correct and that all sources are included. If you find any errors, make the necessary corrections. Creating a reference list may seem like a lot of work, but it is worth it. By taking the time to do it right, you will be able to avoid common mistakes and ensure that your paper or report is correctly cited.

  1. Incorrectly Formatting Your References

Your reference list must be formatted correctly. Each source must be formatted according to the specific guidelines of the citation style that you are using. For example, if you are using the APA citation style, you will format your references differently than if you were using the MLA citation style. Be sure to format your references correctly to avoid academic penalties.

A reference is a critical element of any research paper, and it is essential to get it right. The reference section of a research paper lists all the sources you have used in your paper. The sources should be cited individually in their own entries, which should be arranged alphabetically by the last name of the author.

There are several ways to format your references, and the style you use will depend on the journal to submit your paper. For example, some journals use the APA style, while others use the MLA style. Therefore, it is essential to check the journal guidelines to which you submit your paper and format your references according to those guidelines.

  • One common mistake that researchers make is to format their references incorrectly. This can happen if you use a different style than the journal to submit your paper. For example, if you submit your paper to a journal that uses the APA style but format your references according to the MLA style, your paper will be rejected.
  • Another common mistake is to list your references in the wrong order. For instance, the references in a research article should be listed alphabetically by the last name of the authors. If you list your references in the wrong order, your paper will be rejected.
  • Another common mistake is to include too much information in your references. For example, the reference section of a research paper should only include the information necessary to identify the source. It should not include any extra information, such as the author’s middle name or the article’s title.
  • Finally, another common mistake is to use the wrong format for your references. The reference section of a research paper should be formatted according to the guidelines of the journal to that you are submitting your paper. If you use the wrong format, your paper will be rejected.

When you are writing a research paper, it is essential to make sure that you format your references correctly. If you make any of these common mistakes, your paper will be rejected.

  1. Failing to Cite All of Your Sources

When writing a paper, you are expected to cite all of your sources. This includes any sources you consult for background information, as well as any direct quotes or paraphrases in your paper. If you fail to cite a source, plagiarism is considered a serious academic offence.

There are a few different ways that failing to cite all of your sources can be considered a mistake in the referencing section. The first way is that it can be considered a mistake because it is incomplete. When you are citing your sources, you need to include all of the necessary information for someone to find the source you used. Consequently, you must give credit where credit is due and provide the name of the author, the title of the source, the publication date, and the URL or other identifying information. If you leave any of this information out, it can be difficult for someone to track down the source that you used.

 Another way that failing to cite all of your sources can be considered a mistake is because it can make it appear as though you are trying to plagiarise. When you use another person’s work without giving them credit, it is called plagiarism. So, if you use a source in your paper but do not cite it, it can appear that you are trying to take credit for someone else’s work. This is not only a mistake in the referencing section but also a serious academic offence that can get you in trouble with your school.

The last way that failing to cite all of your sources can be considered a mistake is that it can make your paper look less credible. When writing a paper, you want to make sure you are using credible sources. If you do not cite all of your sources, it can make it look like you are not using credible sources or that you are not using as many sources as you could be. This can make your paper look less credible to your readers.

Overall, failing to cite all of your sources is a mistake for a few different reasons. First, it is essential to make sure that you include all of the necessary information when you are citing your sources, and it is also essential to make sure that you are not plagiarising. Additionally, failing to cite all of your sources can make your paper look less credible.

  1. Citing Irrelevant Sources

When writing a paper, you should only cite relevant sources. Relevant sources are those that are directly related to the topic of your paper. Citing irrelevant sources will only make your paper appear unfocused and unprofessional.

There are a few ways that citing irrelevant sources can be considered a mistake in the referencing section.

  • The first way is that it can make your paper seem less credible. For example, citing sources that are not relevant to your paper can make it appear as though you are not well-informed on the topic.
  • Additionally, citing irrelevant sources can also make your paper seem disorganised. If your paper is focused on a specific topic, citing sources that are not related to that topic can make it appear as though you are not sure what you are talking about.
  • Finally, citing irrelevant sources can also take up valuable space in your paper. If you are trying to keep your paper to a certain length, citing sources irrelevant to your topic can make it more challenging to reach your goal.
  1. Using Inappropriate Sources

When writing a paper, you should only use appropriate sources. Appropriate sources are those that are written by experts in the field and that are published in reputable journals or books. Avoid using sources that are written by non-experts or that are published in non-reputable sources. These sources will only make your paper appear unprofessional. Some inappropriate sources include websites that are not reputable, personal blogs, and opinion pieces. Another common mistake is not citing sources properly. The author’s last name, publication year, and page number must be included when referencing sources by students (if available). Lastly, students sometimes forget to include a reference list at the end of their essays. At the end of the essay, there should be a reference list that lists all the sources that were utilized.

  1. Inserting citations after the fact

There are a few common mistakes students make when it comes to referencing. One of the most common mistakes is inserting citations after the fact. This means that the student will write their paper and then go back and add in citations later on. This can be a problem because it can make the paper seem disjointed, and it can be hard to find the correct information to cite. Another common mistake is not including all the information needed for a citation. Again, this can make it difficult for the reader to find the source that you are referencing.

Most students will prefer to keep writing their facts, and where they believe they will need citations after they are done with putting their facts on paper, they will label “ref. However, in most cases, these students forget to get back on their paper to insert these citations, or in other cases, they forget which citation applied where. This leads to disorganised work, which may lower their grades.


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