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My thesis is structured as:

  1. Introduction
  2. Methods
  3. Study A
  4. Study B
  5. Conclusion
    Appendix
    Bibliography.

I have a plot that summarizes both study A and study B. The logical place to put it would be the conclusion chapter, but my guide told me to make it text based. I think it's just his preference rather than a formatting rule. But I would put it in the conclusion chapter only if no other way is present. I was thinking of making it a chapter 5: Results and Discussion, but there isn't enough content for an entire chapter.

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If the plot serves as a visual summary of the main contributions and conclusions of your thesis, it can be included in either the conclusion chapter or the introduction. Placing it in the conclusion chapter allows you to provide a concise overview of the key results and highlight the main contributions of your research. On the other hand, including it in the introduction can be helpful in helping readers better understand the importance and contribution of your thesis from the very beginning.

If the plot requires more detailed analysis or discussion, it may be more appropriate to include it in the results/discussion chapter. Here, you can present the plot and provide a comprehensive interpretation of the results, explaining how they align with your research objectives and contribute to the broader field of study.

You could also have multiple versions of such an important plot in different chapters of your thesis. Having a plot that summarizes the findings of your thesis in the introduction can be useful in providing an initial understanding of its importance and contribution. Additionally, you can include a different version of the plot in the conclusion chapter to reinforce the main findings. For a more detailed analysis, consider including a comprehensive version of the plot in the results/discussion chapter. The specific placement of the plot and whether to have a single or multiple versions of that plot will depend on the structure and guidelines of your thesis, so it is advisable to consult with your advisor for their input.

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It is hard to say without knowledge of your thesis or figure. I suggest you ask yourself how much background and details are needed to understand the plot? If it is a conceptual figure illustrating the main results, it might fit well in the introduction. There it can serve as a motivation and guide for the reader what to expect. However, if the figure only makes sense after reading both studies then that constrains the figure placement. If your advisor wants the conclusion chapter to be purely text-based, and you want to avoid a very short discussion chapter, you could consider putting the plot in a discussion section at the end of the Study B chapter.

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    Just an addon to the above. I have seen work where the final conclusion (in your case the comparison figure) is in the Introduction where the authors state that this is the finding of this work and will be explained how we arrived to this by the end of the thesis... But in general, listen to your advisor, he must have a reason for a text only based conclusion. Jul 8, 2023 at 17:10

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