This chapter is about stepping back and getting an overview of the importance and achievement of your writing, and making sure that this is clear to your readers. This could be seen as developing a ‘helicopter view’, because it is the moment when you see the patterns of the ideas and themes, the shapes of the linked sections, and the thread of the main argument, almost like flying over a landscape where there are clear visual points of importance, roads and a mountain range. You will have the patterns and the main argument running throughout your work, clearly visible to any reader, and this needs first to be very clear in your own mind, since capturing the main contributions your work makes attracts, impresses and intrigues readers. It makes them want to find out more, to read the whole work. Importantly, the clearly stated contribution to knowledge, meaning and worth of your work needs to be underpinned by a well expressed, well-assembled research or professional development story, where your written representation of your work appears in the sections and carries the reader through, holding their attention, maintaining well established, well evidenced and well theorised arguments. There are two absolutely crucial moments in any article, dissertation or thesis when you emphasise this overview, the real reason this piece has to be read, and the meaning and worth of your work. These are the abstract and the conclusions. Both are usually started early to help you to identify and to map out the importance of the work carried out in the way you have chosen. Both remain with you as reminders underpinning your work throughout, and both are written after all the other parts of the piece of work, when you can see the shape of what you have produced and can step back and make a clear statement about its contribution to knowledge.
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