So you’ve observed your subject.
Made a hypothesis.
You’ve even designed an experiment and carried it out. All your data is analyzed. What comes next?
What is a conclusion?
It’s the goal of it all. The pot of gold at the end of that experimental rainbow. However, making your conclusion and writing it all up properly can be a doozy, especially if you’re all tuckered out from playing mad scientist.
That’s why we’ve created this complete conclusion guide. Consider this article your one-stop shop for all things conclusion. Read on to discover the ins and outs of the ending process.
The Importance of Your Conclusion
The definition of conclusion is pretty straightforward. Your conclusion is basically the answer to the question you posed at the beginning of your experiment. It is the entire reason you embark on your scientific quest to begin with.
Now it’s time for the conclusion.
Making your conclusion is one of the most satisfying parts of the scientific process. Regardless of whether or not your hypothesis was correct, chances are, you’ve learned some valuable information.
Coming to a Supported Scientific Conclusion
Unfortunately, a conclusion is not whatever you want it to be.
It’s the specific outcome of your experiment, and the details which support it.
This includes evidence from every part of the scientific process. While a conclusion may seem like it’s pretty obvious, it is vital to the legitimacy of your project that your conclusion be supported by empirical evidence.
Empirical evidence is evidence that is collected through sensory experience, including observation. Chances are, (if you’ve been following the scientific method) you’ve already observed a lot.
Using Data Analysis to Come to a Conclusion
Data analysis is one of the most important part of making conclusions.
This is the process by which you observe the information or data that you’ve gleaned from your experiment, and check it over for errors, bias, and mistakes.
You must then organize your data into processable visual materials like statistics, graphs and charts in order to convey its meaning to a wider audience.
It is only after you complete your data analysis that you can write up your conclusion.
Why is that?
It’s because you need to be organized before you make a judgment. You need to have all the information that you’ve analyzed set out before you, and you need to study it.
Studying the information ensures you don’t miss anything, and that your conclusion is actually supported by your data.
When you sit down to study, make sure you have all the time you need. Don’t rush through reading your analyses. You could make errors which affect your grade or peer reviews.
How to Write Up a Scientific Conclusion
An essential part of constructing an experiment is sharing it with the world. This is easy to do through a written conclusion, which your peers can then browse through.
But how to write a conclusion?
It can be pretty difficult to start with. Here are some key points which can help you in writing up your conclusion, no matter what your field of study.
- Restate Your Question and Hypothesis: Since some people may not take the time to read your entire report or project board, it’s important that your conclusion also succinctly summarizes your project. Take the time to write a few sentences reiterating the purpose of the experiment, and what you initially thought the results would be.
- Discuss Your Results: Don’t leave your fellow scientists in suspense. Tell them about your results, and state clearly if they supported your hypothesis or if they disproved it. If you believe it to be necessary, you can talk briefly about how the experiment was carried out and if there were any mistakes or biases.
- Make Suggestions: If your experiment leaves you with a headful of unanswered questions, congratulations — you’re a scientist. State any questions you have for posterity, in case someone else’s interest is piqued by your subject. You can also make suggestions. These can include how to change the design of the experiment and what to study next.
Remember to word your conclusion like a true professional.
Your peers and professors will be studying your conclusion closely. You need to ensure that there are no discrepancies with your information.
You don’t have to include anything super-complicated in your conclusion. Luckily, you’ve already done the hard part. Make sure it’s understandable and worded well.
You may have separate guidelines if you’re working on a school project or the science fair, so consult those above all else.
In Conclusion: The Feel-Good Part of Your Project
Writing your conclusion means that you’ve made discoveries.
Maybe your hypothesis was supported, or maybe you were dead wrong. Either way, you can rest easy knowing you’ve contributed to the scientific community.
And science is fun, isn’t it?
So come back for more sometime.