How to write a dissertation – recommendations

Your dissertation recommendations should emerge from the conclusion, suggest what is to be done, who is to do it and how/when it is to be done, and be justified based on findings, not just the opinion of the writer.

“Often the recommendations from dissertations get translated into action plans to reduce the burden of blindness in their communities” (Community Eye Health Journal, London).

Recommendations cover two key aspects. They may suggest action which could be taken right now in relation to a particular issue or topic. In addition, or alternatively, they may suggest that further research and work is necessary to be able to take appropriate action.

Research often exposes further problems and introduces more questions. As a student, there is a time limit to your research project, so it is unlikely that your work would have solved all the problems associated with the area of study. Therefore, you will be expected to make suggestions about how your work can be improved and, based on your findings, whether there are areas that deserve further investigation. What you write in this section will show whether you have a firm appreciation of your work, and whether you have given sufficient thought to its implications, not only within the narrow confines of the research topic, but to related fields. These reflect your ability for original thought, and your potential to carry out original research; key issues in a research degree. In the case of a high level dissertation, such as at PhD level especially, where you are expected to be the expert, it would be more than embarrassing if an assessor can make more suggestions about how your work can be progressed.

“This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.” (Dorothy Parker)