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Writing a Research Paper Conclusion | Step-by-Step Guide
Published on October 30, 2022 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on December 7, 2022.
The conclusion of a research paper is where you wrap up your ideas and leave the reader with a strong final impression. It has several key goals:
- Restate the problem statement addressed in the paper
- Summarize your overall arguments or findings
- Suggest the key takeaways from your paper
The content of the conclusion varies depending on whether your paper presents the results of original empirical research or constructs an argument through engagement with sources .
Table of contents
Step 1: restate the problem, step 2: sum up the paper, step 3: discuss the implications, research paper conclusion examples, frequently asked questions about research paper conclusions.
The first task of your conclusion is to remind the reader of your research problem . You will have discussed this problem in depth throughout the body, but now the point is to zoom back out from the details to the bigger picture.
While you are restating a problem you’ve already introduced, you should avoid phrasing it identically to how it appeared in the introduction . Ideally, you’ll find a novel way to circle back to the problem from the more detailed ideas discussed in the body.
For example, an argumentative paper advocating new measures to reduce the environmental impact of agriculture might restate its problem as follows:
Meanwhile, an empirical paper studying the relationship of Instagram use with body image issues might present its problem like this:
“In conclusion …”
Avoid starting your conclusion with phrases like “In conclusion” or “To conclude,” as this can come across as too obvious and make your writing seem unsophisticated. The content and placement of your conclusion should make its function clear without the need for additional signposting.
Having zoomed back in on the problem, it’s time to summarize how the body of the paper went about addressing it, and what conclusions this approach led to.
Depending on the nature of your research paper, this might mean restating your thesis and arguments, or summarizing your overall findings.
Argumentative paper: Restate your thesis and arguments
In an argumentative paper, you will have presented a thesis statement in your introduction, expressing the overall claim your paper argues for. In the conclusion, you should restate the thesis and show how it has been developed through the body of the paper.
Briefly summarize the key arguments made in the body, showing how each of them contributes to proving your thesis. You may also mention any counterarguments you addressed, emphasizing why your thesis holds up against them, particularly if your argument is a controversial one.
Don’t go into the details of your evidence or present new ideas; focus on outlining in broad strokes the argument you have made.
Empirical paper: Summarize your findings
In an empirical paper, this is the time to summarize your key findings. Don’t go into great detail here (you will have presented your in-depth results and discussion already), but do clearly express the answers to the research questions you investigated.
Describe your main findings, even if they weren’t necessarily the ones you expected or hoped for, and explain the overall conclusion they led you to.
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Having summed up your key arguments or findings, the conclusion ends by considering the broader implications of your research. This means expressing the key takeaways, practical or theoretical, from your paper—often in the form of a call for action or suggestions for future research.
Argumentative paper: Strong closing statement
An argumentative paper generally ends with a strong closing statement. In the case of a practical argument, make a call for action: What actions do you think should be taken by the people or organizations concerned in response to your argument?
If your topic is more theoretical and unsuitable for a call for action, your closing statement should express the significance of your argument—for example, in proposing a new understanding of a topic or laying the groundwork for future research.
Empirical paper: Future research directions
In a more empirical paper, you can close by either making recommendations for practice (for example, in clinical or policy papers), or suggesting directions for future research.
Whatever the scope of your own research, there will always be room for further investigation of related topics, and you’ll often discover new questions and problems during the research process .
Finish your paper on a forward-looking note by suggesting how you or other researchers might build on this topic in the future and address any limitations of the current paper.
Full examples of research paper conclusions are shown in the tabs below: one for an argumentative paper, the other for an empirical paper.
- Argumentative paper
- Empirical paper
While the role of cattle in climate change is by now common knowledge, countries like the Netherlands continually fail to confront this issue with the urgency it deserves. The evidence is clear: To create a truly futureproof agricultural sector, Dutch farmers must be incentivized to transition from livestock farming to sustainable vegetable farming. As well as dramatically lowering emissions, plant-based agriculture, if approached in the right way, can produce more food with less land, providing opportunities for nature regeneration areas that will themselves contribute to climate targets. Although this approach would have economic ramifications, from a long-term perspective, it would represent a significant step towards a more sustainable and resilient national economy. Transitioning to sustainable vegetable farming will make the Netherlands greener and healthier, setting an example for other European governments. Farmers, policymakers, and consumers must focus on the future, not just on their own short-term interests, and work to implement this transition now.
As social media becomes increasingly central to young people’s everyday lives, it is important to understand how different platforms affect their developing self-conception. By testing the effect of daily Instagram use among teenage girls, this study established that highly visual social media does indeed have a significant effect on body image concerns, with a strong correlation between the amount of time spent on the platform and participants’ self-reported dissatisfaction with their appearance. However, the strength of this effect was moderated by pre-test self-esteem ratings: Participants with higher self-esteem were less likely to experience an increase in body image concerns after using Instagram. This suggests that, while Instagram does impact body image, it is also important to consider the wider social and psychological context in which this usage occurs: Teenagers who are already predisposed to self-esteem issues may be at greater risk of experiencing negative effects. Future research into Instagram and other highly visual social media should focus on establishing a clearer picture of how self-esteem and related constructs influence young people’s experiences of these platforms. Furthermore, while this experiment measured Instagram usage in terms of time spent on the platform, observational studies are required to gain more insight into different patterns of usage—to investigate, for instance, whether active posting is associated with different effects than passive consumption of social media content.
If you’re unsure about the conclusion, it can be helpful to ask a friend or fellow student to read your conclusion and summarize the main takeaways.
- Do they understand from your conclusion what your research was about?
- Are they able to summarize the implications of your findings?
- Can they answer your research question based on your conclusion?
You can also get an expert to proofread and feedback your paper with a paper editing service .
The conclusion of a research paper has several key elements you should make sure to include:
- A restatement of the research problem
- A summary of your key arguments and/or findings
- A short discussion of the implications of your research
No, it’s not appropriate to present new arguments or evidence in the conclusion . While you might be tempted to save a striking argument for last, research papers follow a more formal structure than this.
All your findings and arguments should be presented in the body of the text (more specifically in the results and discussion sections if you are following a scientific structure). The conclusion is meant to summarize and reflect on the evidence and arguments you have already presented, not introduce new ones.
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Organizing Academic Research Papers: Purpose of Guide
Purpose of guide.
- Design Flaws to Avoid
- Glossary of Research Terms
- Narrowing a Topic Idea
- Broadening a Topic Idea
- Extending the Timeliness of a Topic Idea
- Academic Writing Style
- Choosing a Title
- Making an Outline
- Paragraph Development
- Executive Summary
- Background Information
- The Research Problem/Question
- Theoretical Framework
- Citation Tracking
- Content Alert Services
- Evaluating Sources
- Primary Sources
- Secondary Sources
- Tertiary Sources
- What Is Scholarly vs. Popular?
- Qualitative Methods
- Quantitative Methods
- Using Non-Textual Elements
- Limitations of the Study
- Common Grammar Mistakes
- Avoiding Plagiarism
- Footnotes or Endnotes?
- Further Readings
- Annotated Bibliography
- Dealing with Nervousness
- Using Visual Aids
- Grading Someone Else's Paper
- How to Manage Group Projects
- Multiple Book Review Essay
- Reviewing Collected Essays
- About Informed Consent
- Writing Field Notes
- Writing a Policy Memo
- Writing a Research Proposal
This guide is intended to help you organize and write a quality academic research paper. Also included are recommendations regarding how to manage specific course assignments. Note that, if you have specific questions about how to write a research paper, you should always seek advice from your professor before you begin. Specific requirements stated by your professor will always supersede instructions provided in these general guidelines.
Thanks to Dr. Robert V. Labaree of the Von KleinSmid Center Library for International and Public Affairs, University of Southern California Libraries , for sharing the content of this guide.
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Conclusion Examples: Strong Endings for Any Paper
- DESCRIPTION conclusion example with paragraph
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Some might argue that a conclusion is one of the most important components of any research paper or article. It's your last opportunity to make a good impression on your reader. If you can confidently say you’ve fully answered the question posed, or are leaving the readers with a thought-provoking consideration, you've done well. Explore a variety of different papers with great conclusion examples.
Professional Conclusion Examples
When it comes to good conclusion examples, a good rule of thumb is to restate your thesis statement if you have one. Your conclusion should also refer back to your introduction, summarize three main points of your essay and wrap it all up with a final observation. If you conclude with an interesting insight, readers will be happy to have spent time on your writing. See how a professional writer creates a thought-provoking conclusion.
Professional Essay Conclusion Example
The New Yorker published an op-ed by Fergus McIntosh titled A Trip to St. Kilda, Scotland's Lost Utopia in the Sea . He's making the case that St. Kilda's inhabitants are not out of touch as so many travelers seem to believe. Take a look at how he brings it all home.
"Mainlanders always knew that St. Kilda was there, and to describe its people as uncontacted is hyperbole — so why does it, in common with other abandoned places and lost or threatened cultures, arouse such fascination? Perhaps it’s because, in our globalizing, urbanizing, capitalist age, such places remind us that there are alternative ways to relate to the world, and the people, around us: they spur our utopian imagination."
Scientific Paper Conclusion Example
In this research paper , the author summarizes her main findings while also supporting the conclusions she's drawn. In an effort to fully engage the reader in her area of study, she proposes suggestions for future research. This was her way of leaving the readers wanting more.
"Recent research on cold-water immersion incidents has provided a more complete understanding of the physiological processes occurring during drowning and near-drowning accidents. Current findings suggest that the cooperative effect of the mammalian diving reflex and hypothermia plays a critical role in patient survival during a cold-water immersion incident. However, the relationship between the two processes is still unclear. Because it is impossible to provide an exact reproduction of a particular drowning incident within the laboratory, research is hampered by the lack of complete details surrounding drowning incidents. Consequently, it is difficult for comparisons to be drawn between published case studies. More complete and accurate documentation of cold-water immersion incidents—including time of submersion; time of recovery; and a profile of the victim including age, sex, physical condition—will facilitate easier comparison of individual situations and lead to a more complete knowledge of the processes affecting long-term survival rates for drowning victims. Once we have a clearer understanding of the relationship between hypothermia and the mammalian diving reflex, and of the effect of such factors as the age of the victim, physicians and rescue personnel can take steps to improve patient care both at the scene and in the hospital."
Report Conclusion Example
This is the end of a book review by Nanette Scarpellini for the Journal of Air Transportation World Wide . Scarpellini uses her conclusion to reiterate her main points about the author making what could be a dull topic entertaining and offering a suggestion for a future edition. Take a look at how she wraps it all up in her conclusion.
"Aviation History is a collection of significant events in aviation accented by the people who made it happen and correlated with world affairs. The book’s use of color and vivid stories helps to make the advancements come to life as something more than significant events on a timeline. While at times the stories may clutter the page, they also breathe life into what is considered by many to be a dull subject. The author’s enthusiasm for the topic is obvious throughout the book. More thorough proofreading could help alleviate some of the confusion that is caused by typos and a few mislabeled illustrations. The credibility of the content does not suffer due to these obvious errors which will likely be corrected in the next edition."
Examples of Conclusions for Students
While not all students are professional writers, you can still wow your audience with your conclusion. As you review these, take note of the manner in which the writer tied their ideas together, made a call to the reader or left off with some compelling food for thought.
College Essay Conclusion Example
Here we have a college entrance essay worth reading . This student recalls when she used to sit in a blue armchair in her parents' café and read, people-watch and imagine. In the conclusion, she refers back to the blue armchair and that cozy world but also looks forward to finding her niche. You'll see why Johns Hopkins uses this on their website for the model of college entrance essays.
"To say that I have figured out all of who I am would be a lie. Unlike the world of fantasy, there is no single defining moment—no Excalibur, no Sorting Hat—that marks my complete evolution. My niche in the world constantly changes, but what remains steadfast is my commitment to a life of service and adventure, albeit it isn’t as cozy as the blue armchair."
Thesis Conclusion Example
When it comes to a thesis or research paper conclusion example, it's important to end it on a high note. See a thesis conclusion example to get an idea for your thesis paper.
The purpose of this research was to identify effective strategies for dealing with repetitive motions identified in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Based on the analysis conveyed, it can be concluded that there are multiple behavior modification therapies important for the improvement of this behavior. Future exploration into behavior modification techniques could be useful to finding further therapy techniques. The amount this could improve the lives of others with repetitive motion behaviors is worth exploring.
Conclusion Example for Project
When you think of a project conclusion, there are all different types of projects out there. You might be doing a literature project or a science project. Whatever the case, you want to end with a bang. Check out a conclusion example for a high school science fair project.
Through my analysis of Huggies and Pampers brand diapers, it’s been proven that Huggies is the sure winner in leak protection and fluid retention. As you can see through my experiment, using Huggies over Pampers can help parents to avoid embarrassing diaper leaks and ensure their baby’s skin stays dry avoiding diaper rash and skin irritation. But that begs the question, is Huggies the best in leak protection among all brands? That would take a bit more research.
Formulating Your Conclusion
There is some important information you need to write a conclusion . In addition to restating your thesis and highlighting your main points, you could add a relevant quotation from an authoritative source. This will not work in every case, but if, for example, you were writing a reflective essay on a piece of literature, you might quote a famous scholar who also reviewed that piece.
Additionally, it may be worth taking this opportunity to tie your argument to a larger context, such as relating your central theme to a particular group in society or even a global concept.
What Not to Do in a Conclusion
When it comes to crafting the perfect conclusion, there are a lot of different things you should do. But there are also a few things you’ll want to avoid.
- While you do need to refer back to your essay or report, don’t just provide a bland summary. Think of the conclusion more as an opportunity to end with a flourish . Spend some time on this last paragraph. You want the reader to finish your essay and think, "Wow. I never considered that," or, "I'm going to remember that."
- Avoid the tired "In conclusion …" Allow readers to sense you're bringing it home with your tone and thoughtful summation. Turn the essay toward them if you can by asking a question or tying your idea to current society.
- Also, hold true to what you've just expressed in your writing. Some might feel tempted to say things like, "This is merely one opinion …" In that single line, you've just undercut everything you worked so hard to draw together. Remember to stand behind the case you just made. Be proud of it and end on the highest note possible.
The Last Word
Take some time to go over your conclusion. Remember, it’s an opportunity to pull your thoughts together and magnify the central theme of your writing. It's the cream cheese frosting to that red velvet cupcake you just baked. Don't allow it to be an after-thought to a paper you want to get off your plate. It could end up being the five or so sentences that a reader carries with them forever. Now that you’ve mastered a great conclusion, learn how to write a strong introduction through examples .
How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper: Your 2023 Guide
What Is a Conclusion in Research Papers
A conclusion in research paper is the final piece of the puzzle, the last chapter in the story, the grand finale of a long and arduous journey. It is the point where the researcher can finally step back and say, 'I have found what I was looking for.' But it is more than just a summary of the findings. A conclusion is a reflection on the entire research process, a chance for the researcher to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their methodology and to make recommendations for future research. It is a time to celebrate successes, acknowledge limitations, and offer suggestions for improvement.
You may know how to start a research paper ; however, making a compelling ending requires a thorough understanding too. A conclusion is an opportunity to connect the research findings to a larger context, discuss how the results contribute to the broader field of study and suggest possible applications in real-world scenarios. It is a moment of closure but also a starting point for new avenues of inquiry.
So, let's delve into the following sections to find out how to write a conclusion for a research paper that will leave a lasting impression on your audience.
Related article: ' HOW TO START A RESEARCH PAPER '
Outline for a Research Paper Conclusion
When wondering how to make a research paper outline , the first step is to get familiar with the general structure. Here we prepared a research paper conclusion example, so let's take a close look at what information to include in a conclusion outline:
I. Summary of main findings
- Briefly summarize the main findings of the research, including any significant results or discoveries made.
II. Restate the research question/objective
- Restate the thesis statement or objective and indicate whether it was answered or achieved.
III. Discuss the implications of the findings
- Discuss the implications of the findings and explain why they matter, including any practical applications or theoretical implications.
IV. Acknowledge limitations and suggest future research
- Acknowledge any limitations or weaknesses of the study and suggest directions for future research, including any areas where further investigation is needed.
V. Concluding statement
- Conclude your final paragraph with a statement that ties together the main points of the conclusion research paper and emphasizes their significance.
Here is the full guide on ' HOW TO MAKE A RESEARCH PAPER OUTLINE '
Tips on How to Make a Conclusion in Research
By following these tips, you won't have to wonder 'how to make a conclusion in research' anymore and will effectively highlight its significance.
- Emphasize the significance of the findings: When discussing the implications, emphasize the practical or theoretical implications. Use language that emphasizes the importance of the findings and how they contribute to the broader field of study. For example, 'The study findings have important implications for clinical practice and highlight the need for further research in this area.'
- Tie back to the introduction: When concluding, tie the findings back to the introduction by reminding readers of the original purpose of the research. This helps to provide closure to the research and emphasizes the significance of the findings. For example, 'This study has successfully answered the research question of whether stress is a risk factor for heart disease in middle-aged adults, and provides important insights into the relationship between stress and cardiovascular health.'
- Avoid introducing new information: It's important to avoid introducing new information in the conclusion, as this can confuse readers and detract from the key arguments of the research. Stick to summarizing the main findings, discussing the implications, acknowledging limitations, and suggesting future research possibilities.
- Use clear and concise language: When making a conclusion, use clear and concise language. Avoid using technical jargon or overly complex language; instead, focus on using language accessible to a broad audience.
- End with a strong concluding statement: End your paper's conclusion with a strong concluding statement that ties together the main points and emphasizes their significance. This provides closure to the research and leaves readers with a lasting impression. Here is a conclusion in research example: 'Overall, the findings of this study provide important insights into the relationship between X and Y and highlight the need for further research in this area.'
How to Develop a Compelling Conclusion
Here are some main points to help you not just summarize the key thoughts of your work, but to go deeper to warrant a better grade:
- If you have been writing about a contemporary problem, talk about what can happen if the problem is not solved, but do not add new information. Do not bring in new evidence or new facts.
- Don’t hesitate to offer or to recommend some course of action.
- Use relevant quotations or expert opinions to make your conclusion more authoritative.
- Repeat a key statistic, fact, or even a visual image that represents the main point of your paper.
- Express personal reflection. You can even talk about your own life experiences.
- Interpret the results in your own way to give them a fresh perspective. Do not be afraid to be a researcher who introduces something new—even for the most common problems.
- Finish your conclusions with a short, but powerful message which will help others remember your study. This message is something that can differentiate you from others.
- Do not say "in conclusion" or similar sayings. This includes "in summary" or "in closing." Why? These sayings sound a bit unnatural and stiff. They make your work appear too formal and pragmatic. A strong conclusion does not need the word - “In conclusion”. It will stand on its own.
- Use the same consistent tone through your entire paper. It sounds unnatural if you suddenly use an absolutely different tone or style of presenting the information.
- Check your entire paper to make sure that you have not left any really important points behind.
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How to Make a Conclusion Effective Rhetorically
Here are some unique tips on how to start conclusion in research rhetorically from our law essay writing :
- Use rhetorical questions : Rhetorical questions are a powerful tool that can help to engage readers and prompt them to think critically about the research. For example, 'What impact will these findings have on the field of X? How can we use these findings to improve clinical practice?'
- Use strong language: Using strong, impactful language can help emphasize the research's significance and leave a lasting impression on readers. For example, 'These findings have the potential to revolutionize the way we approach X, and could have far-reaching implications for future research in this area.'
- Use repetition: Repetition can be an effective rhetorical tool that can help to reinforce key points and leave a lasting impression on readers. For example, repeating a phrase such as 'These findings underscore the importance of...' can help emphasize the research's significance.
- Use anecdotes : Using anecdotes or stories can help to make the research more relatable and engaging for readers. For example, sharing a personal story or case study that illustrates the research's practical applications can help emphasize its significance.
- Use vivid imagery : It can help bring the research to life and make it more memorable for readers. For example, using descriptive language to describe the impact of the research, such as 'This study sheds new light on X, illuminating a path forward for researchers in this field.'
Making a Conclusion Effective Logically
By using these logical strategies from our custom dissertation writing , you can make your research paper conclusion more coherent, persuasive, and effective.
- Use logical transitions : To make the conclusion flow smoothly and logically, use transition words and phrases such as 'therefore,' 'thus,' 'consequently,' and 'in conclusion.' This helps to signal to readers that the conclusion is a logical extension of the research that has been presented.
- Summarize key findings in order : To make the conclusion logical, summarize the key findings of the research in the order in which they were presented. This helps readers follow the research's progression and understand how the various findings fit together.
- Address potential counterarguments: Researchers can demonstrate a thorough and logical approach to their research by acknowledging and addressing these potential criticisms.
- Use quantitative data: This helps provide concrete evidence for the conclusions being drawn and makes the research more convincing.
- Provide a clear and concise summary: This helps readers understand the main takeaways from the research and provides a logical conclusion.
Things to Avoid in the Conclusion of Your Research Paper
By avoiding these common pitfalls, you can ensure that their conclusions are clear, concise, and effective in summarizing their research's main findings and implications.
- Don't introduce new information: The conclusion is not the place to introduce new information or data that was not discussed in the main body of the paper. Stick to summarizing the key findings and insights that were already presented.
- Don't repeat information : While it's important to summarize key findings in the example of conclusion in research paper, don't simply repeat information already presented earlier. Instead, focus on synthesizing and connecting the various findings in a new way.
- Don't make unsupported claims: Avoid making sweeping or unsupported claims in the conclusion. Make sure that all conclusions are backed up by the data and evidence presented in the main body of the paper.
- Don't be overly emotional: While being passionate about your research topic is important, avoid being overly emotional or sentimental in the conclusion. Stick to a professional and objective tone.
- Don't end abruptly: Don't end the conclusion of research paper abruptly without providing a clear sense of closure. Instead, summarize the main points and insights, and consider ending with a call to action or a suggestion for future research.
Research Paper Conclusion Example
That’s pretty much everything you need to know about how to summarize a research paper. There are two things left: to take a look at the research paper conclusion example from our custom dissertation writing team.
If you liked the sample, you might also be interested in a research proposal example APA . And if you'd rather have experts handle the writing for you, contact us today! We provide writing, editing, and proofreading help to anyone who needs a quick solution to academic stress. Just send us your request and we will write paper asap.
Now that you know what is a conclusion in research, you can agree that it requires careful consideration and planning. By following the general rules and tips outlined in this article, researchers can write paper that effectively summarizes the key findings and insights of their research in a logical and rhetorically effective manner.
At EssayPro, we offer a range of writing services to help researchers and students succeed in their academic pursuits. Whether you need help with writing academic research papers, editing, or proofreading, we have the expertise and skills to help you achieve your goals.
So why wait? Contact our professional essay writers today to learn more about our services and how we can help you succeed in your academic and professional endeavors. Let us help you craft an effective research paper conclusion sample that will leave a lasting impression on your readers and elevate the impact of your research.
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- Oct 11, 2022
How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper: Effective Tips and Strategies
Writing a research paper is both deemed an essential and dreaded part of academics. The writing process can actually be a fruitful experience, although many students see it as a daunting task. A research paper has lots of pivotal facets, each calling for knowledge-gathering, understanding the subject, and effort to put the pieces together. However, in this article, we will only pay attention to the conclusion and how to construct one that leaves a lasting impact on the readers.
According to Faryadi (2012), writing a conclusion is as difficult as writing the introduction; meanwhile, Holewa states that writing the conclusion is the hardest part of the writing process. As the last part of a research paper format , the conclusion is the point where the writer has already exhausted his or her intellectual resources. Conclusion, however, is what readers often remember the most and, therefore, must also be the best part of your written research (Holewa, 2004).
Unlike what others may have come to believe, the conclusion is not a mere summarization of an article, an essay, or a research paper. Simply put, the conclusion goes beyond restating the introduction and body of your research. In this article, we walk you through the process of formulating an effective research paper conclusion by understanding its purpose, the strategies you can use, and what you should avoid doing when writing the concluding section of your research paper.
How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper Table of Contents
What is a research paper conclusion, why is conclusion necessary in a research paper, effective strategies in writing a conclusion, what to avoid including in your conclusion, picking the right strategy to use in writing your paper’s conclusion.
The conclusion is the part of the research paper that brings everything together in a logical manner. As the last part of a research paper, a conclusion provides a clear interpretation of the results of your research in a way that stresses the significance of your study. A conclusion must be more extensive and encompassing compared to a particular finding and, in the same vein, various findings may be integrated into a single conclusion (Baron, 2008).
Unlike the introduction where you open a dialogue with your readers about the problem and/or present research questions , arguments, and what knowledge gaps you aim to bridge, the conclusion provides a clear and concise picture of how you are able to accomplish all of these. The conclusion is where you describe the consequences of your arguments by justifying to your readers why your arguments matter (Hamilton College, 2014).
Derntl (2014) also describes conclusion as the counterpart of the introduction. Using the Hourglass Model (Swales, 1993) as a visual reference, Derntl describes conclusion as the part of the research paper that leads the readers from narrow or specific results to broader and more general conclusion.
Just like the final chord in a song, a conclusion is necessary to make a research paper complete and well done (CRLS Research Guide, 2018). While your introduction sets the expectations and the body of your research paper presents your methodology and detailed analyses, the conclusion is where you demonstrate the significance of your findings, insights, and observations. The conclusion creates a bigger picture of your research work that helps your readers view the subject of your study as a whole and in a new light.
As the author of your research paper, the conclusion plays an important role in giving you the opportunity to have the final word, create a good impression, and end your paper on a positive note. In order to achieve this, your conclusion must possess the key characteristics of an effective concluding section. And, an effective concluding section is also one of the most important characteristics of good research .
In terms of length, the conclusions of professional empirical research articles usually have five to six paragraphs, while student/novice papers typically have two- to three-paragraph conclusions (Powner, 2017).
Your research paper conclusion is the opposite of the introduction not just in placement but also in structure. The introduction generally follows the inverted triangle format with the general statement element on top, narrowing down to the main point of research. The conclusion, on the other hand, follows the inverted introduction structure by opening with the highlights of your research and ending with a general but relevant statement that encourages readers to think, as well as challenges them to take action based on the new pieces of knowledge they have gained from your research paper (Purdue Global Campus, n.d.).
Several studies that analyzed how conclusions are framed (see for instance Bunton, 2005 and Lewkowicz, 2012) found that most authors either restate and consolidate a research problem or synthesize the research work. When consolidating the problem, authors either present the solutions, products, or results of a research problem and/or assumptions (Soler-Monreal, C. 2019). Nonetheless, in general, writing an effective conclusion for your research paper can be achieved using any of the following strategies:
Synthesizing instead of summarizing
As mentioned previously, the conclusion is not a summary of your research paper. While a summary can be an element of this section, the conclusion goes beyond simply restating your ideas and analyses. Instead of repeating what you already said in the abstract, introduction, and body of your study, demonstrate to your reader how the essential elements in your research paper coherently fit together (The Writing Center UNC, n.d.).
Echoing the introduction
This approach to writing the conclusion brings your reader to a full circle by using or referring to the same elements you used in your introduction or by drawing parallels. An example of this would be retelling a scenario you described in your introduction, but this time while creating a new understanding of the subject based on the results of your study that further reinforces your arguments and/or hypotheses.
Redirecting the reader
Your conclusion plays the role of being your readers’ bridge back to the real world after welcoming them into your study through your introduction and immersing them in your methodologies, analyses, and results. Redirecting your readers is a way of challenging them to take the information they get from your research study and apply them in real life. This strategy can also be approached by proposing a course of action for further studies or solutions to an existing issue.
Challenging your own conclusion
Also called the “so what” game, this strategy requires challenging your own ideas by asking yourself “So what?” while you are in the process of developing your conclusion. Once you are done putting your conclusion to paper, go through it with someone who will challenge what you wrote (The Writing Center UNC, n.d.). You can ask a friend to read your conclusion with you and have them ask “So what?” after every statement. This strategy can help you find loopholes in your conclusion and refine it in the process.
This strategy implores you, the researcher, to identify the weak points in your research paper, which include the aspects where your argument is lacking, or if there are instances where your conclusion might be incorrect. This strategy is useful in writing conclusions for scientific papers as well as experiments (Writing Tutorial Services, Indiana University, n.d.).
Demonstrating ideas to create a new picture or meaning
All relevant data must be interpreted in appropriate depth. Explain how the methodologies or mechanisms used as well as your observations that help arrive at your study’s results. There are times when your study may not yield the results you expected. In cases such as this, explain to your readers why this may have happened. If the results are in line with your expectations, proceed to describe your theory supported by your evidence (Caprette, 1995).
Research studies are motivated by questions. Posing research questions , either to your readers or in general, may help your readers gain a new perspective on the topic, which they may not have held before reading your conclusion. It may also bring your main points together to create or develop a new idea from your research study.
Coming up with an effective conclusion includes avoiding approaches that can hinder you from developing a compelling concluding section of your research paper. Here are some of the strategies to avoid when you are writing your research paper conclusion:
Generic and obvious opening phrases
Do not start your conclusion with generic phrases, such as “In conclusion,” “In summary,” “In closing,” etc. While this may be an effective transition during an oral presentation, it does not work the same way on actual paper where your readers can tell exactly which part of your paper they are reading.
Adding new information
The conclusion part of your research paper should have room for any information relevant to your study but is not referenced anywhere else in your research paper. All significant information should be in the body. Conclusion is not the appropriate section to introduce new information as it is where you are supposed to communicate with your readers the value of your research study.
Long and elaborate discussion
Your research paper’s conclusion must be concise and straightforward. Avoid dwelling on descriptions and interpretations that should have been in the body of your paper, including discussing methodologies and results of your studies in detail. While a brief summary of your study is included in your conclusion, the focus should be more about the insights, evaluations, implications, etc., drawn from your study (Sacred Heart University Library, n.d.).
As you reach the concluding part of your research paper, you may have doubts regarding your research paper. You may question yourself if you have done enough work and may feel compelled to apologize. Do not undermine your authority over your research by expressing doubts regarding your approach and apologizing for not being able to include other methodologies that you may deem to be better than yours. You are aware that you have immersed yourself in your research and have covered all the bases to produce a sound and well-backed research study.
Appealing to your readers’ emotions
Your conclusion, just like the rest of your research paper, is meant to be analytical, not emotional. Avoid making sentimental statements to appeal to your readers’ emotions as this has the tendency to fall out of character with what should be a logical and scientific research study (The Writing Center UNC, n.d.).
- Baron, M. (2008). Guidelines for Writing Research Proposals and Dissertations . Vermillion, SD: University of South Dakota. Academia.edu
- CRLS (2018, April). Writing a conclusion tip sheet 18. CRLS Research Guide . Cambridge, MA: Cambridge Rindge and Latin School .
- Caprette, D. R. (1995, August 25). Writing research papers . Houston, TX: Rice University .
- Derntl, M. (2014). Basics of research paper writing and publishing. International Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning, 6 (2), 105. https://doi.org/10.1504/ijtel.2014.066856
- Faryadi, Q. (2012). How to write your PhD proposal: A step-by-step guide. American International Journal of Contemporary Research, 2 (4), 111-115. https://bit.ly/30IGRcV
- Holewa, R. (2004, February 19). Strategies for writing a conclusion . St. Cloud, MN: St. Cloud State University and Literacy Education Online .
- Nesbitt-Johnston Writing Center. (2004, October 4). Conclusions . Clinton, NY: Hamilton College .
- Peter, V. J. (2017). Unit 3 Writing a research paper . New Delhi, India: IGNOU The People’s University .
- Peter, V. J. (2017). Unit 4 Presentation of research paper . New Delhi, India: IGNOU The People’s University .
- Powner, L.C. (2017). Writing up your Research. In Empirical Research and Writing: A Political Science Student’s Practical Guide (pp. 206-221). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. https://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781483395906
- Purdue OWL. (n.d.). Conclusions . Purdue Online Writing Lab . Indianapolis, IN: Purdue University .
- Purdue OWL. (n.d.). Writing a research paper . Purdue Online Writing Lab . Indianapolis, IN: Purdue University .
- Purdue University. (n.d.). Writing Process . Indianapolis, IN: Purdue Global Campus .
- Sacred Heart University Library. (2020, January 28). Organizing academic research papers: 9. The conclusion. Research Guides at Sacred Heart University . Fairfield, CT: Sacred Heart University .
- Sherlock, K. J. (2016, January 16). Three styles of conclusion . El Cajon, CA: Grossmont College .
- Soler-Monreal, C. 2019. Rhetorical strategies in PhD conclusions of computer science. Spanish Journal of Applied Linguistics , 32 (1), 356-384. https://doi.org/10.1075/resla.16034.sol
- Walden University (n.d.). Writing a paper: Conclusions. Academic Guides . Minneapolis, MN: Walden University .
- The Writing Center (n.d.). Conclusions . Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill .
- Writing Tutorial Services (n.d.). Writing Conclusions . Bloomington, IN: Indiana University .
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How to Write a Research Paper Conclusion Section
What is a conclusion in a research paper?
The conclusion in a research paper is the final paragraph or two in a research paper. In scientific papers, the conclusion usually follows the Discussion section , summarizing the importance of the findings and reminding the reader why the work presented in the paper is relevant.
However, it can be a bit confusing to distinguish the conclusion section/paragraph from a summary or a repetition of your findings, your own opinion, or the statement of the implications of your work. In fact, the conclusion should contain a bit of all of these other parts but go beyond it—but not too far beyond!
The structure and content of the conclusion section can also vary depending on whether you are writing a research manuscript or an essay. This article will explain how to write a good conclusion section, what exactly it should (and should not) contain, how it should be structured, and what you should avoid when writing it.
Table of Contents:
What does a good conclusion section do, what to include in a research paper conclusion.
- Conclusion in an Essay
- Research Paper Conclusion
- Conclusion Paragraph Outline and Example
- What Not to Do When Writing a Conclusion
The conclusion of a research paper has several key objectives. It should:
- Restate your research problem addressed in the introduction section
- Summarize your main arguments, important findings, and broader implications
- Synthesize key takeaways from your study
The specific content in the conclusion depends on whether your paper presents the results of original scientific research or constructs an argument through engagement with previously published sources.
You presented your general field of study to the reader in the introduction section, by moving from general information (the background of your work, often combined with a literature review ) to the rationale of your study and then to the specific problem or topic you addressed, formulated in the form of the statement of the problem in research or the thesis statement in an essay.
In the conclusion section, in contrast, your task is to move from your specific findings or arguments back to a more general depiction of how your research contributes to the readers’ understanding of a certain concept or helps solve a practical problem, or fills an important gap in the literature. The content of your conclusion section depends on the type of research you are doing and what type of paper you are writing. But whatever the outcome of your work is, the conclusion is where you briefly summarize it and place it within a larger context. It could be called the “take-home message” of the entire paper.
What to summarize in the conclusion
Your conclusion section needs to contain a very brief summary of your work , a very brief summary of the main findings of your work, and a mention of anything else that seems relevant when you now look at your work from a bigger perspective, even if it was not initially listed as one of your main research questions. This could be a limitation, for example, a problem with the design of your experiment that either needs to be considered when drawing any conclusions or that led you to ask a different question and therefore draw different conclusions at the end of your study (compared to when you started out).
Once you have reminded the reader of what you did and what you found, you need to go beyond that and also provide either your own opinion on why your work is relevant (and for whom, and how) or theoretical or practical implications of the study , or make a specific call for action if there is one to be made.
How to Write an Essay Conclusion
Academic essays follow quite different structures than their counterparts in STEM and the natural sciences. Humanities papers often have conclusion sections that are much longer and contain more detail than scientific papers. There are three main types of academic essay conclusions.
The most typical conclusion at the end of an analytical/explanatory/argumentative essay is a summarizing conclusion . This is, as the name suggests, a clear summary of the main points of your topic and thesis. Since you might have gone through a number of different arguments or subtopics in the main part of your essay, you need to remind the reader again what those were, how they fit into each other, and how they helped you develop or corroborate your hypothesis.
For an essay that analyzes how recruiters can hire the best candidates in the shortest time or on “how starving yourself will increase your lifespan, according to science”, a summary of all the points you discussed might be all you need. Note that you should not exactly repeat what you said earlier, but rather highlight the essential details and present those to your reader in a different way.
If you think that just reminding the reader of your main points is not enough, you can opt for an externalizing conclusion instead, that presents new points that were not presented in the paper so far. These new points can be additional facts and information or they can be ideas that are relevant to the topic and have not been mentioned before.
Such a conclusion can stimulate your readers to think about your topic or the implications of your analysis in a whole new way. For example, at the end of a historical analysis of a specific event or development, you could direct your reader’s attention to some current events that were not the topic of your essay but that provide a different context for your findings.
In an editorial conclusion , another common type of conclusion that you will find at the end of papers and essays, you do not add new information but instead present your own experiences or opinions on the topic to round everything up. What makes this type of conclusion interesting is that you can choose to agree or disagree with the information you presented in your paper so far. For example, if you have collected and analyzed information on how a specific diet helps people lose weight, you can nevertheless have your doubts on the sustainability of that diet or its practicability in real life—if such arguments were not included in your original thesis and have therefore not been covered in the main part of your paper, the conclusion section is the place where you can get your opinion across.
How to Conclude an Empirical Research Paper
An empirical research paper is usually more concise and succinct than an essay, because, if it is written well, it focuses on one specific question, describes the method that was used to answer that one question, describes and explains the results, and guides the reader in a logical way from the introduction to the discussion without going on tangents or digging into not absolutely relevant topics.
Summarize the findings
In a scientific paper, you should include a summary of the findings. Don’t go into great detail here (you will have presented your in-depth results and discussion already), but do clearly express the answers to the research questions you investigated.
Describe your main findings, even if they weren’t necessarily the ones anticipated, and explain the conclusion they led you to. Explain these findings in as few words as possible.
Instead of beginning with “ In conclusion, in this study, we investigated the effect of stress on the brain using fMRI …”, you should try to find a way to incorporate the repetition of the essential (and only the essential) details into the summary of the key points. “ The findings of this fMRI study on the effect of stress on the brain suggest that …” or “ While it has been known for a long time that stress has an effect on the brain, the findings of this fMRI study show that, surprisingly… ” would be better ways to start a conclusion.
You should also not bring up new ideas or present new facts in the conclusion of a research paper, but stick to the background information you have presented earlier, to the findings you have already discussed, and the limitations and implications you have already described. The one thing you can add here is a practical recommendation that you haven’t clearly stated before—but even that one needs to follow logically from everything you have already discussed in the discussion section.
Discuss the implications
After summing up your key arguments or findings, conclude the paper by stating the broader implications of the research , whether in methods , approach, or findings. Express practical or theoretical takeaways from your paper. This often looks like a “call to action” or a final “sales pitch” that puts an exclamation point on your paper.
If your research topic is more theoretical in nature, your closing statement should express the significance of your argument—for example, in proposing a new understanding of a topic or laying the groundwork for future research.
Future research example
Future research into education standards should focus on establishing a more detailed picture of how novel pedagogical approaches impact young people’s ability to absorb new and difficult concepts. Moreover, observational studies are needed to gain more insight into how specific teaching models affect the retention of relationships and facts—for instance, how inquiry-based learning and its emphasis on lateral thinking can be used as a jumping-off point for more holistic classroom approaches.
Research Conclusion Example and Outline
Let’s revisit the study on the effect of stress on the brain we mentioned before and see what the common structure for a conclusion paragraph looks like, in three steps. Following these simple steps will make it easy for you to wrap everything up in one short paragraph that contains all the essential information:
One: Short summary of what you did, but integrated into the summary of your findings:
While it has been known for a long time that stress has an effect on the brain, the findings of this fMRI study in 25 university students going through mid-term exams show that, surprisingly, one’s attitude to the experienced stress significantly modulates the brain’s response to it.
Note that you don’t need to repeat any methodological or technical details here—the reader has been presented with all of these before, they have read your results section and the discussion of your results, and even (hopefully!) a discussion of the limitations and strengths of your paper. The only thing you need to remind them of here is the essential outcome of your work.
Two: Add implications, and don’t forget to specify who this might be relevant for:
Students could be considered a specific subsample of the general population, but earlier research shows that the effect that exam stress has on their physical and mental health is comparable to the effects of other types of stress on individuals of other ages and occupations. Further research into practical ways of modulating not only one’s mental stress response but potentially also one’s brain activity (e.g., via neurofeedback training) are warranted.
This is a “research implication”, and it is nicely combined with a mention of a potential limitation of the study (the student sample) that turns out not to be a limitation after all (because earlier research suggests we can generalize to other populations). If there already is a lot of research on neurofeedback for stress control, by the way, then this should have been discussed in your discussion section earlier and you wouldn’t say such studies are “warranted” here but rather specify how your findings could inspire specific future experiments or how they should be implemented in existing applications.
Three: The most important thing is that your conclusion paragraph accurately reflects the content of your paper. Compare it to your research paper title , your research paper abstract , and to your journal submission cover letter , in case you already have one—if these do not all tell the same story, then you need to go back to your paper, start again from the introduction section, and find out where you lost the logical thread. As always, consistency is key.
Problems to Avoid When Writing a Conclusion
- Do not suddenly introduce new information that has never been mentioned before (unless you are writing an essay and opting for an externalizing conclusion, see above). The conclusion section is not where you want to surprise your readers, but the take-home message of what you have already presented.
- Do not simply copy your abstract, the conclusion section of your abstract, or the first sentence of your introduction, and put it at the end of the discussion section. Even if these parts of your paper cover the same points, they should not be identical.
- Do not start the conclusion with “In conclusion”. If it has its own section heading, that is redundant, and if it is the last paragraph of the discussion section, it is inelegant and also not really necessary. The reader expects you to wrap your work up in the last paragraph, so you don’t have to announce that. Just look at the above example to see how to start a conclusion in a natural way.
- Do not forget what your research objectives were and how you initially formulated the statement of the problem in your introduction section. If your story/approach/conclusions changed because of methodological issues or information you were not aware of when you started, then make sure you go back to the beginning and adapt your entire story (not just the ending).
Consider Receiving Academic Editing Services
When you have arrived at the conclusion of your paper, you might want to head over to wordvice.ai to receive a free grammar check for any academic content.
After drafting, you can also receive English editing and proofreading services , including paper editing services for your journal manuscript. If you need advice on how to write the other parts of your research paper , or on how to make a research paper outline if you are struggling with putting everything you did together, then head over to the Wordvice academic resources pages , where we have a lot more articles and videos for you.
How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper: Examples & Tips
You might be wondering about how to write a conclusion paragraph for a research paper. It may seem like your readers should understand your main arguments by the end, so there is no need for it. However, there are several aspects that prove the importance of a conclusion section in research.
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Its first and primary function is, of course, a summary of all the main ideas and evidence in the paper. Sometimes research can be quite lengthy so putting all the thoughts you want to share in one place is very handy. Moreover, the conclusion shows how important your work is and suggests new ways of looking at the problem.
Our guide and research paper conclusion example are here to help you with your assignment!
- ❗ Importance of a Conclusion
- 👣 Writing Steps
- 📑 Conclusion Types & Examples
- ❌ Common Mistakes
❗ importance of a conclusion in a research paper.
A conclusion intends to remind the readers about the main arguments and findings of the whole paper. However, it also highlights the significance of the work. Both these functions help create a long-lasting, memorable impression from your research paper , so always include this part and try to think of the ways to make it even more effective.
Since having a strong concluding paragraph is so crucial for the overall success, you might want to check out a step-by-step guide on writing it. It can assure you don’t miss any vital moments. Moreover, you need to find out what conclusion type would be the best!
👣 How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper Step by Step
Below are only a few simple steps that can allow you to write the most persuasive research paper.
📑 Types & Examples of Research Paper Conclusions
You may be assigned to write a persuasive or argumentative paper. Or your professor might ask you to develop an analytical or comparative research paper.
Should you write their conclusions in the same way? The answer is “No”. When you write different types of assignments, you need different conclusions.
Argumentative Research Paper Conclusion
To write an excellent argumentative paper conclusion, you need to highlight the most persuasive and strong arguments you have — no need to add many details. In addition, don’t forget you should include the essential components of the conclusion, such as paraphrasing your thesis statement, which points out your opinion on the chosen topic. If you used a strong thesis statement generator , it won’t be hard to do.
Argumentative Research Paper Conclusion Example
Right now, Earth is facing the issue of the sixth extinction, which causes numerous species to fade every day. There are at least three ideas people might use to prevent their total extinction in the next fifty years. More ways of recycling, new approaches to plastic production, and conservation of species could be life-saving.
Analytical Research Paper Conclusion
First, you should restate your thesis statement and summarize the critical points of your arguments. The main difference between the analytical research paper conclusion and other types is that there should definitely be a highlight of a broader context. It means you can add some meaning to the findings.
Analytical Research Paper Conclusion Example
Elon Musk has made a revolution in the way we pay, drive, and even fly. His ideas come only from the desire to make things easier, but eventually, they change the world. Musk first thought about PayPal when he was a student, and now it’s one of the most popular online payment systems. The same with Tesla cars.
Comparative Research Paper Conclusion
An effective comparative paper conclusion requires some analytical skills. You need to be very careful in looking through facts to clearly formulate your findings. Moreover, the sources need to be trustworthy. And, as usual, you need to add a paraphrased thesis statement and a few words about the importance of your study research.
Receive a plagiarism-free paper tailored to your instructions.
Comparative Research Paper Conclusion Example
Electric cars are proven to be more efficient and effective than gas cars. Not only do they produce fewer emissions, but the drivers reach their destination point faster. Moreover, gas cars are more expensive to maintain. It all derives from the specifics of the electric cars’ engines, which are much simpler.
❌ Common Mistakes You Should Avoid
Are you ready to pass your writing? Wait! Have you checked it for the most common mistakes? If no, below are several general errors you should avoid.
- The Conclusion – Organizing Academic Research Papers
- Conclusions – UNC Writing Center
- Conclusions // Purdue Writing Lab
- Writing the conclusion – Research & Learning Online
- Writing a Research Paper – The Writing Center – UW–Madison
- How to Structure & Organize Your Paper
- Writing Conclusions: Writing Guides
- Ending the Essay: Conclusions
- Tips for Writing Policy Papers – Stanford Law School
- A Process Approach to Writing Research Papers
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Very, very useful website for students. I appreciate people who kindly share brilliant writing tips with others! Thanks a lot!
Great article! It helped me to complete my research papers conclusion that was a real nightmare for me! Thank you so much for it!
I was on my way to completing my research paper and going to finish the conclusion by copy-pasting the introduction. Thank God, I wanted to read some articles on conclusion writing. After reading your post on this question, I completed my conclusion following your instructions. Believe my research paper is worth an excellent mark!
In response to a comment from Lynn: Thank you for noting this unfortunate mistake in the text. Obviously, we spend a lot of time compiling, writing, and editing materials, but there’s always room for a simple human error! Thanks again, and have a great day! 🙂
This helped a lot, thanks =)
This helped me so much! Thank you!
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How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper
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This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, PhD . Christopher Taylor is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College in Texas. He received his PhD in English Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 41 testimonials and 82% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 2,227,761 times.
The conclusion of a research paper needs to summarize the content and purpose of the paper without seeming too wooden or dry. Every basic conclusion must share several key elements, but there are also several tactics you can play around with to craft a more effective conclusion and several you should avoid to prevent yourself from weakening your paper's conclusion. Here are some writing tips to keep in mind when creating a conclusion for your next research paper.
Writing a basic conclusion.
- Do not spend a great amount of time or space restating your topic.
- A good research paper will make the importance of your topic apparent, so you do not need to write an elaborate defense of your topic in the conclusion.
- Usually a single sentence is all you need to restate your topic.
- An example would be if you were writing a paper on the epidemiology of infectious disease, you might say something like "Tuberculosis is a widespread infectious disease that affects millions of people worldwide every year."
- Yet another example from the humanities would be a paper about the Italian Renaissance: "The Italian Renaissance was an explosion of art and ideas centered around artists, writers, and thinkers in Florence."
- A thesis is a narrowed, focused view on the topic at hand.
- This statement should be rephrased from the thesis you included in your introduction. It should not be identical or too similar to the sentence you originally used.
- Try re-wording your thesis statement in a way that complements your summary of the topic of your paper in your first sentence of your conclusion.
- An example of a good thesis statement, going back to the paper on tuberculosis, would be "Tuberculosis is a widespread disease that affects millions of people worldwide every year. Due to the alarming rate of the spread of tuberculosis, particularly in poor countries, medical professionals are implementing new strategies for the diagnosis, treatment, and containment of this disease ."
- A good way to go about this is to re-read the topic sentence of each major paragraph or section in the body of your paper.
- Find a way to briefly restate each point mentioned in each topic sentence in your conclusion. Do not repeat any of the supporting details used within your body paragraphs.
- Under most circumstances, you should avoid writing new information in your conclusion. This is especially true if the information is vital to the argument or research presented in your paper.
- For example, in the TB paper you could summarize the information. "Tuberculosis is a widespread disease that affects millions of people worldwide. Due to the alarming rate of the spread of tuberculosis, particularly in poor countries, medical professionals are implementing new strategies for the diagnosis, treatment, and containment of this disease. In developing countries, such as those in Africa and Southeast Asia, the rate of TB infections is soaring. Crowded conditions, poor sanitation, and lack of access to medical care are all compounding factors in the spread of the disease. Medical experts, such as those from the World Health Organization are now starting campaigns to go into communities in developing countries and provide diagnostic testing and treatments. However, the treatments for TB are very harsh and have many side effects. This leads to patient non-compliance and spread of multi-drug resistant strains of the disease."
- Note that this is not needed for all research papers.
- If you already fully explained what the points in your paper mean or why they are significant, you do not need to go into them in much detail in your conclusion. Simply restating your thesis or the significance of your topic should suffice.
- It is always best practice to address important issues and fully explain your points in the body of your paper. The point of a conclusion to a research paper is to summarize your argument for the reader and, perhaps, to call the reader to action if needed.
- Note that a call for action is not essential to all conclusions. A research paper on literary criticism, for instance, is less likely to need a call for action than a paper on the effect that television has on toddlers and young children.
- A paper that is more likely to call readers to action is one that addresses a public or scientific need. Let's go back to our example of tuberculosis. This is a very serious disease that is spreading quickly and with antibiotic-resistant forms.
- A call to action in this research paper would be a follow-up statement that might be along the lines of "Despite new efforts to diagnose and contain the disease, more research is needed to develop new antibiotics that will treat the most resistant strains of tuberculosis and ease the side effects of current treatments."
- For example, if you are writing a history paper, then you might discuss how the historical topic you discussed matters today. If you are writing about a foreign country, then you might use the conclusion to discuss how the information you shared may help readers understand their own country.
Making Your Conclusion as Effective as Possible
- Since this sort of conclusion is so basic, you must aim to synthesize the information rather than merely summarizing it.
- Instead of merely repeating things you already said, rephrase your thesis and supporting points in a way that ties them all together.
- By doing so, you make your research paper seem like a "complete thought" rather than a collection of random and vaguely related ideas.
- Ask a question in your introduction. In your conclusion, restate the question and provide a direct answer.
- Write an anecdote or story in your introduction but do not share the ending. Instead, write the conclusion to the anecdote in the conclusion of your paper.
- For example, if you wanted to get more creative and put a more humanistic spin on a paper on tuberculosis, you might start your introduction with a story about a person with the disease, and refer to that story in your conclusion. For example, you could say something like this before you re-state your thesis in your conclusion: "Patient X was unable to complete the treatment for tuberculosis due to severe side effects and unfortunately succumbed to the disease."
- Use the same concepts and images introduced in your introduction in your conclusion. The images may or may not appear at other points throughout the research paper.
- Include enough information about your topic to back the statement up but do not get too carried away with excess detail.
- If your research did not provide you with a clear-cut answer to a question posed in your thesis, do not be afraid to indicate as much.
- Restate your initial hypothesis and indicate whether you still believe it or if the research you performed has begun swaying your opinion.
- Indicate that an answer may still exist and that further research could shed more light on the topic at hand.
- This may not be appropriate for all types of research papers. Most research papers, such as one on effective treatment for diseases, will have the information to make the case for a particular argument already in the paper.
- A good example of a paper that might ask a question of the reader in the ending is one about a social issue, such as poverty or government policy.
- Ask a question that will directly get at the heart or purpose of the paper. This question is often the same question, or some version of it, that you may have started with when you began your research.
- Make sure that the question can be answered by the evidence presented in your paper.
- If desired you can briefly summarize the answer after stating the question. You could also leave the question hanging for the reader to answer, though.
- Even without a call to action, you can still make a recommendation to your reader.
- For instance, if you are writing about a topic like third-world poverty, you can various ways for the reader to assist in the problem without necessarily calling for more research.
- Another example would be, in a paper about treatment for drug-resistant tuberculosis, you could suggest donating to the World Health Organization or research foundations that are developing new treatments for the disease.
Avoiding Common Pitfalls
- These sayings usually sound stiff, unnatural, or trite when used in writing.
- Moreover, using a phrase like "in conclusion" to begin your conclusion is a little too straightforward and tends to lead to a weak conclusion. A strong conclusion can stand on its own without being labeled as such.
- Always state the main argument or thesis in the introduction. A research paper is an analytical discussion of an academic topic, not a mystery novel.
- A good, effective research paper will allow your reader to follow your main argument from start to finish.
- This is why it is best practice to start your paper with an introduction that states your main argument and to end the paper with a conclusion that re-states your thesis for re-iteration.
- All significant information should be introduced in the body of the paper.
- Supporting evidence expands the topic of your paper by making it appear more detailed. A conclusion should narrow the topic to a more general point.
- A conclusion should only summarize what you have already stated in the body of your paper.
- You may suggest further research or a call to action, but you should not bring in any new evidence or facts in the conclusion.
- Most often, a shift in tone occurs when a research paper with an academic tone gives an emotional or sentimental conclusion.
- Even if the topic of the paper is of personal significance for you, you should not indicate as much in your paper.
- If you want to give your paper a more humanistic slant, you could start and end your paper with a story or anecdote that would give your topic more personal meaning to the reader.
- This tone should be consistent throughout the paper, however.
- Apologetic statements include phrases like "I may not be an expert" or "This is only my opinion."
- Statements like this can usually be avoided by refraining from writing in the first-person.
- Avoid any statements in the first-person. First-person is generally considered to be informal and does not fit with the formal tone of a research paper.
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- ↑ http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/724/04/
- ↑ http://www.crlsresearchguide.org/18_Writing_Conclusion.asp
- ↑ http://writing.wisc.edu/Handbook/PlanResearchPaper.html#conclusion
- ↑ http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/conclusions/
- ↑ http://writing2.richmond.edu/writing/wweb/conclude.html
About This Article
To write a conclusion for a research paper, start by restating your thesis statement to remind your readers what your main topic is and bring everything full circle. Then, briefly summarize all of the main points you made throughout your paper, which will help remind your readers of everything they learned. You might also want to include a call to action if you think more research or work needs to be done on your topic by writing something like, "Despite efforts to contain the disease, more research is needed to develop antibiotics." Finally, end your conclusion by explaining the broader context of your topic and why your readers should care about it, which will help them understand why your topic is relevant and important. For tips from our Academic co-author, like how to avoid common pitfalls when writing your conclusion, scroll down! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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