I am currently writing my bachelor thesis and I would like to have a clear definition of discussion and conclusion. Preferably including a distinction between the discussion and the conclusion part.

As far as I've understood the conclusion introduces the research question (again) and supplies the a (final?!) summary of ideas / solutions as well as an evaluation of the solutions...leading to the acceptance or refusal of (research) hypotheses. No new information is given, no examples are made, no issues interpreted.

In contrast to this the discussion starts with the results right away, highlights the best results, describes the contribution / purpose of the thesis and so on. Therefore less general than conclusion; more like a detailed view on the results and keeping in mind the specific topic.

Is this right?

Can someone supply a more descriptive or formal definition?

How can we determine which texts really fit to discussion or conclusion? For example, describing the contribution in the discussion needs to somehow mention the problem, that instantly leads to the idea behind the whole thing and here we are: writing conclusion stuff into the discussion :/

Note: I'm working/writing in a STEM-discipline (would suspect that things are really different in STEM fields compared to, for example, philosophy?!)

  • 1
    I suggest you read some bachelors theses written by other students in your field at your institution, to get a clearer sense of what's going on. Theses are often available in either the school library or the department library, or your thesis advisor can provide examples of theses written by his former students.
    – ff524
    Commented Jun 23, 2016 at 17:26

1 Answer 1


Can someone supply a more descriptive or formal definition?

There isn't a common definition. Furthermore, how you're supposed to define formally a humans' texts.

Is this right?

It depends on a field, country, journal, etc.... I'll give a more general and brief explanation.

Discussion unrolls the main results, explain their meanings. Put there the new questions and perspectives, describe the most interesting points for the entire field. Define the possible answers, write down why and how and what for, your suggestions.

Conclusion is a summary of the discussion or the whole work. You can put there the main points and results, their factual meaning for the field and a possible further direction. I like to describe this as "discussion's points and facts without the discussion."

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