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Chapter 5 SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

This is the last chapter of the thesis and the most important part because it is here where the findings,
and the whole thesis for that matter, are summarized; generalizations in the form of conclusions are
made; and the recommendations for the solution of problems discovered in the study are addressed
to those concerned.

Summary of Findings

Guidelines in writing the summary of findings. The following should be the characteristics of the
summary of findings:

1. There should be e brief statement about the main purpose of the study, the population or
respondents, the period of the study, method of research used, the research instrument, and the
sampling design. There should be no explanations made.

Example. (Using the hypothetical study of teaching science in the high schools of Province A). This
study was conducted for the purpose of determining the status of teaching science in the high schools
of Province A. The descriptive method of research was utilized and the normative survey technique
was used for gathering data. The questionnaire served as the instrument for collecting data. All the
teachers handling science and a 20percent representative sample of the students were the
respondents. The inquiry was conducted during the school year 1989-’90.

2. The findings may be lumped up all together but clarity demands that each specific question under
the statement of the problem must be written first to followed by the findings that would answer it.
The specific questions should follow the order they are given under the statement of the problem.

Example. How qualified are the teachers handling science in the high schools of province A?

Of the 59 teachers, 31 or 53.54 percent were BSE graduates and three or 5.08 percent were MA
degree holders. The rest, 25 or 42.37 percent, were non-BSE baccalaureate degree holders with at
least 18 education units. Less than half of all the teachers, only 27 or 45.76 percent were science
majors and the majority, 32 or 54.24 percent were non-science majors.

3. The findings should be textual generalizations, that is, a summary of the important data consisting
of text and numbers. Every statement of fact should consist of words, numbers, or statistical
measures woven into a meaningful statement. No deductions, nor inference, nor interpretation
should be made otherwise it will only be duplicated in the conclusion. See the example in No. 2 just
above.

4. Only the important findings, the highlights of the data, should be included in the summary,
especially those upon which the conclusions should be based.
5. Findings are not explained nor elaborated upon anymore. They should be stated as concisely as
possible.

6. No new data should be introduced in the summary of findings.

Conclusions

Guidelines in writing the conclusions. The following should be the characteristics of the conclusions.

1. Conclusions are inferences, deductions, abstractions, implications, interpretations, general


statements, and/or generalizations based upon the findings. Conclusions are the logical and valid
outgrowths upon the findings. They should not contain any numeral because numerals generally limit
the forceful effect or impact and scope of a generalization. No conclusions should be made that are
not based upon the findings.

Example: The conclusion that can be drawn from the findings in No. 2 under the summary of findings
is this: All the teachers were qualified to teach in the high school but the majority of them were not
qualified to teach science.

2. Conclusions should appropriately answer the specific questions raised at the beginning of the
investigation in the order they are given under the statement of the problem. The study becomes
almost meaningless if the questions raised are not properly answered by the conclusions.

Example. If the question raised at the beginning of the research is: “How adequate are the facilities for
the teaching of science?” and the findings show that the facilities are less than the needs of the
students, the answer and the conclusion should be: “The facilities for the teaching of science are
inadequate”.

3. Conclusions should point out what were factually learned from the inquiry. However, no
conclusions should be drawn from the implied or indirect effects of the findings.

Example: From the findings that the majority of the teachers were non-science majors and the
facilities were less than the needs of the students, what have been factually learned are that the
majority of the teachers were not qualified to teach science and the science facilities were
inadequate.

It cannot be concluded that science teaching in the high schools of Province A was weak because
there are no data telling that the science instruction was weak. The weakness of science teaching is an
indirect or implied effect of the non-qualification of the teachers and the inadequacy of the facilities.
This is better placed under the summary of implications.

If there is a specific question which runs this way “How strong science instruction in the high schools
of Province A as is perceived by the teachers and students?”, then a conclusion to answer this
question should be drawn. However, the respondents should have been asked how they perceived
the degree of strength of the science instruction whether it is very strong, strong, fairly strong, weak
or very weak. The conclusion should be based upon the responses to the question.

4. Conclusions should be formulated concisely, that is, brief and short, ye they convey all the
necessary information resulting from the study as required by the specific questions.

5. Without any strong evidence to the contrary, conclusions should be stated categorically. They
should be worded as if they are 100 percent true and correct. They should not give any hint that the
researcher has some doubts about their validity and reliability. The use of qualifiers such as probably,
perhaps, may be, and the like should be avoided as much as possible.

6. Conclusions should refer only to the population, area, or subject of the study. Take for instance, the
hypothetical teaching of science in the high schools of Province A, all conclusions about the faculty,
facilities, methods, problems, etc. refer only to the teaching of science in the high schools of Province

A.

7. Conclusions should not be repetitions of any statements anywhere in the thesis. They may be
recapitulations if necessary but they should be worded differently and they should convey the same
information as the statements recapitulated.

Some Dangers to Avoid in Drawing up Conclusions Based on Quantitative Data

There are some pitfalls to avoid in the use of quantitative data. (Bacani, et al., pp. 48-52) researchers
should not accept nor utilize quantitative data without questions or analysis even if they are
presented in authoritative-looking forms. This is so because in some instances quantitative data are
either inaccurate or misleading either unwittingly or by design. The data should be analyzed very
critically to avoid misleading interpretations and conclusions. Among the factors that a researcher
should guard against are the following:

1. Bias. Business establishments, agencies, or organizations usually present or manipulate figures to


their favor. For instance, an advertisement may quote statistics to show that a given product is
superior to any other leading brand. We should be wary of the use of statistics in this case because of
the obvious profit motive behind. An individual may also do the same. A respondent to a
questionnaire or in an interview may commit the same bias o protect his own interests. Like the case
of the science teachers in the high schools of Province A, they may respond that the science facilities
in their respective schools are adequate although they are not just to protect the good names of their
own schools. A respondent, if asked how many science books he has read, may say that he has read
many although he has read only a few to protect his name. Hence, if there is a way of checking the
veracity of presented data by investigation, observation, or otherwise, this should be done to insure
the accuracy of the conclusion based upon the data under consideration.
2. Incorrect generalization. An incorrect generalization is made when there is a limited body of
information or when the sample is not representative of the population. Take this case. The Alumni
Association of a big university would like to conduct a survey to determine the average income of the
alumni during their first ten years after graduation. Though the total number of returns may meet the
sample size requirement, the population may not be properly represented by the actual composition
of the sample. This is likely to happen because chances are that a great majority of the alumni in the
high income bracket will respond readily but the great majority of those who are not doing well may
ignore the survey by reason of pride. In such a case, the high income group is over represented and
low income group is under represented in the sample resulting in the overestimate of the average

income of the entire alumni group. This is the result of a built-in sampling bias.

3. Incorrect deduction. This happens when a general rule is applied to a specific case. Suppose there is
a finding that the science facilities in the high schools of Province A are inadequate. We cannot
conclude at once that any particular tool or equipment is definitely inadequate. Suppose there is an
over-supply of test tubes. Hence, to make the conclusions that all science equipment and tools in the
high schools of Province A are inadequate is an incorrect deduction in this case.

4. Incorrect comparison. A basic error in statistical work is to compare two things that are not really
comparable. Again, let us go to high schools of Province A. Suppose in the survey, School C has been
found to have 20 microscopes and School D has only eight. We may conclude that School C is better
equipped with microscopes than School D. However, upon further inquiry, School C has 1,500
students while School D has only 500 students. Hence, the ratio in School C is 75 students is to one
microscope while in School D the ratio is 63 students is to one microscope. Hence, School D is better
equipped with microscopes than School C. to conclude that School C is better equipped with
microscopes than School D based on the number of microscopes owned by each school is incorrect
comparison.

5. Abuse of correlation data. A correlation study may show a high degree of association between two
variables. They may move in the same rate but it is not right to conclude at once that one is the cause
of the other unless confirmed so by other studies. In no case does correlation show causal
relationship. When the government increases the price of gasoline, the prices of commodities also
starts to rise. We cannot conclude immediately that the increase in price of gasoline is the sole cause
of the increase in the prices of commodities. There are other causes to consider such as shortage or
undersupply of the commodities, increased cost of production, panic buying, etc. To be able to make a
conclusive statement as to what is or what are the real causes of the increases in prices of
commodities, an intensive investigation is needed.

6. Limited information furnished by any one ratio. A ratio shows only a partial picture in most
analytical work. Suppose the only information that we have about a certain establishment is that the
ratio does not show the kinds of employees leaving and why they are leaving. We do not know
whether the losses of employees are caused by death, retirement, resignations, or dismissals. We can
only surmise but we cannot conclude with definiteness that the causes of the 20% employee turnover
are death, retirement, poor working conditions, poor salary, etc. Avoid as much as possible making
conclusions not sufficiently and adequately supported by facts.

7. Misleading impression concerning magnitude of base variable. Ratios can give erroneous
impressions when they are used to express relationships between two variables of small magnitudes.
Take the following examples. A college announced that 75% of its graduates passed he CPA
examination at a certain time. Another college also advertised that 100% of its graduates who took
that same examination passed. From these announcements we may form the impression that the
standard of instruction in the two colleges is high. Actually only four graduates from the first college
took the CPA licensing examination and three happened to pass.

For recommending similar researches to be conducted, the recommendation should be: It is


recommended that similar researches should be conducted in other places. Other provinces should
also make inquiries into the status of the teaching of science in their own high schools so that if
similar problems and deficiencies are found, concerted efforts may be exerted to improve science
teaching in all high schools in the country.

Evaluation of a Thesis or Dissertation

Generally, a thesis or dissertation has to be defended before a panel of examiners and then submitted
to the proper authorities for acceptance as a piece of scholary work. Hence, there should be some
guidelines in evaluating a thesis or dissertation. The following are offered to be the general criteria in
judging the worthiness of a thesis or dissertation:

I. The subject and the Problems

1. Is the subject significant, timely and of current issue?

2. Is it clearly delimited but big enough for making valid generalizations?

3. Is the title appropriate for the subject?

4. Are the sub problems specific, clear, and unequivocal?

II. The Design of the Study

1. Is the research methodology appropriate?

2. Is the design clear and in accordance with the scientific method of research?

3. Is the report prepared carefully following acceptable format and mechanics?

4. Are the documentation adequate and properly done?


III. The Data (Findings)

1. Are the data adequate, valid and reliable?

2. Are they analyzed carefully and correctly treated statistically?

3. Are they interpreted correctly and adequately?

IV. Conclusions (Generalizations)

1. Are the conclusions based upon the findings?

2. Do they answer the specific questions raised at the beginning of the investigation?

3. Are they logical and valid outcomes of the study?

4. Are they stated concisely and clearly and limited only to the subject of the study?

V. Recommendations

1. Are the recommendations based upon the findings and conclusions?

2. Are they feasible, practical, and attainable?

3. Are they action-oriented? (They recommend action to remedy unfavorable condition discovered)

4. Are they limited only to the subject of the study but recommend further research on the same
subject?

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