How to Write a Conclusion of a Research Paper
A research paper conclusion is one of the most complicated challenges you have during the writing process. It is short, but it should be meaningful. Besides, it is a mandatory element for every paper, and no one can get away from composing it.
Various manuals on writing academic papers always suggest that you need to compose a powerful conclusion. You can even find a couple of tips on how to do it. But the closer you are to the end of your research paper, the more daunting this challenge becomes.
That’s why we’ve collected the most effective techniques and recommendations on the matter and added our experience. These data formed the basis of the current article on how to write a conclusion. Here, you’ll get exhaustive information. Understanding what to do and what to avoid is the key in any matter, so let’s proceed!
The Importance of Conclusions
The size of a conclusion can be different. It depends on the size of the entire paper. For instance, it can be one paragraph for a short essay or a couple of sections for more substantial work. A dissertation includes the most massive conclusion up to a full page’s size. However, it will be concise in comparison with the rest of the materials.
It is the cause of the problem – a short piece of information must achieve several goals at once:
- Summarize and synthesize your findings;
- Prove the importance of your ideas;
- Illustrate the new approach to problem-solving;
- State the practical value of your work;
- Contribute to the overall impression of your work;
- Transfer the specific case of your research to a broader context;
- Motivate the audience to learn more about the problem.
As you see, it is not a trifle to fit all these meanings into a modest size text. Still, you can do it. The key is to learn how to write a conclusion paragraph precisely and practice.
Further, we’ll explore the meaning and the inner structure of the conclusion part of a research paper. It is not an art – it is the skill that anyone can master efficiently.
The Structure and Writing Style of a Research Paper Conclusion
The conclusion part is the element that lets the audience “come a full circle” – the public will refer again to the thesis statement and decide its validity and importance. For that, you mention your arguments and essential findings. Thus, the research paper conclusion is a summary of all your work.
The essence of the conclusion part determines its inner structure. Though this section is an integral part of the entire work, it must be completed with its own “introduction,” “body,” and the final. Each of these components has strict requirements. In brief, the structure of a conclusion part is as follows:
- Thesis restatement;
- The summary of arguments and findings;
- The final sentences.
When you write a conclusion for a research paper, you’ll apply this scheme and take care of the “contents” of each component.
How to Write a Great Research Paper Conclusion
Having in mind the structure of the conclusion part, we’ll need to elaborate it more. It consists of three components; each of them has several more elements. Here, to write a conclusion for a research paper, you’ll cover the following points:
- Restate the topic of your paper. As you dedicate your research to the topic exploration, there is no need to elaborate it. One sentence to remind the theme will be enough.
- Restate the thesis. It serves to remind the audience about the goal of your research. It is crucial to note that “restatement” is not a simple rewriting or paraphrasing. Instead, focus on the general idea and relate it to your findings – check if the initial claim is valid, and see how it looks in the light of your research results. After that, formulate the restatement.
- Sum up the crucial points. In the final part, your paper should refer to your findings and the most valuable evidence. List the essential aspects of your research paper and paraphrase them. The goal is to compose a mini-text describing your researches and the results. Note that you should not include any new information there. This summary should refer to the previously exposed data only.
- Add your points up. This element is optional – you can stress your findings if you think you did not explain that before. Otherwise, you can omit it.
- Show the significance of your research. You should not be shy when telling about your research results. If you started the study to fill some gap – describe how you coped with that task. If you wanted to add something to the existing opinions, mention how your results impact the prevailing ideas. One of the most effective methods is to relate the conclusion to the broader context and the most actual topics of today.
- Make a call to action if applicable. This part is optional; however, it can be useful if you explore scientific questions or public issues. It is also the right area to mention the research’s insufficiency and the need to examine it more. E.g., “Much more effort will take place to explore the paleontological treasures of Mongolia. Scientists should reveal their secrets to humanity.”
- Compose the intense final. The ending of the paper relates to its beginning. On start, you put a “hook” to engage the audience and provoke a reaction. In the final lines, you have to grasp the people again. It is the bottom line of the entire work that should also leave your audience thinking about your research. The methods are similar to those used for the “hooks” – you can use interesting facts, quotes, even anecdotes. Note that the tone of the final should be in harmony with the entire paper’s tone. For instance, an analytical article operating facts and practical values might not match the jokes.
How to Make Your Conclusion as Effective as Possible
Writing a really impressive conclusion paragraph is a practical challenge. Now, we’ve defined the focus for the contents. Let’s consider how you should write a conclusion paragraph. It will deal with the best format for your statements and the writing style.
- Do not repeat your thesis and main points. You have the Body section for that. There, you explore the argument and provide detailed information. Also, you share your findings and support the claims by the weighty evidence. If your audience follows the research paper, they already know them. Repeating the same information in the conclusion part is annoying. Your goal is to present the initial ideas with the added value of your findings.
- Be concise. You write a conclusion paragraph short. So, you have to be extra careful about each phrase. Some inexperienced researchers tend to include information about their methods or details of the results. The conclusion is the wrong place for that. Get rid of all unnecessary information mercilessly. If you have a draft of this part, summarize it and check if it works this way. If the “shortened” version has all the necessary information, leave it this way. Also, pay attention to the structure of your sentences. They should not be too long – it complicates the perception. You may need to rewrite the conclusion paragraph to make it more precise and impressive.
- Link your conclusion and Introduction together. The opening and the final frame your entire work. So, they should relate to each other as well. The Introduction sets the tone and explains what the research is about to the audience. In its turn, the conclusion needs to reflect the initial goals and show how you achieved them. You can use stylistic means – the same tone of the narrative, similar word forms, and so one. Also, there are some practical methods. With their help, you can link the Introduction with the conclusion directly. The simplest approach is to ask a question in the beginning and then return to it in the ending giving an answer. Another efficient method is the “broken story” – it is more suitable for the papers of more creative nature. You begin the story in the introduction part, and finish it in the conclusion part.
- Be logical. This aspect is crucial for researches. You compose the conclusion part basing on the topic and the thesis statement. Several approaches are suitable here. First, you can refer to the initial question of the thesis statement. Check if you have a clear answer. If not – state this honestly and add that the further examinations on the matter may change that. Second, reflect on your personal opinion. Note if you stick to your position or the results of your research made you doubt your beliefs. A logical approach is a critical requirement. As for the conclusion, it must match the Introduction. The logical connections must be direct and evident.
- Propose a question. However, you should be careful about this method, and it is not universal. Asking a question makes the audience your equal partner – you let the other people define the conclusion. This “interactive” approach is not appropriate for the research papers in the Sciences. You have to be logical, precise, and present all your findings and a potential solution for the issue. Still, asking a question is a decent method for researches in social sciences. They are human-oriented by default, and they always deal with the current and relevant topics. Thus, the audience is already engaged.
- State your own suggestions or solutions. This method applies to both your research and the call to action (if you included it). The first option is apparent: you research some problem to find the solution. You might refer to the authoritative specialists and agree or disagree with them. Or, you may offer your original answer, provided it is well-grounded. If you choose to use the call to action to evoke the audience’s reaction, you may suggest the resources and methods. For instance, you claim that more researches are necessary. Then you may mention which aspects those researches should focus on, or which methods. If you advise the audience to learn more about the problem, point out where to find the information.
All these practical tips proved their efficiency. You can use them whenever you work on your research paper – they can be applicable to all the aspects. Still, when you face the question of how to write a conclusion for a research paper, you should also consider the things to avoid by all means.
Things You Should Avoid in Your Conclusion
Some issues are present in the conclusion parts quite often. They don’t help – they spoil the impression instead. It could be a kind of “word trash” that you might not track at once. Other disadvantages come out of inattentiveness. In any way, you should be aware of these problematic aspects. Then, you can detect them in your research paper’s final paragraph and get rid of them at once.
- Apologizing. Some people feel doubtful about the value of their results. Thus, they come with their research papers full of concerns and feeling awkward as they share their ideas and arguments. You should not apologize or claim that your findings are not worth appreciation. Present your arguments and evidence, take care about logic, and reject the false modesty. You did tremendous work, and you have all the right to be proud of it.
- Using cliché phrases. Combinations like “in conclusion,” or “in summary” are helpful in oral speech. In writing, it won’t be appropriate – your readers proceed to the conclusion and understand that it is a final part, and marking it additionally is excessive. Work on the narrative instead. The final borderline should come naturally out of the previous information,
- Avoiding comments on more significant issues. Your conclusion should not be “narrow-minded.” Let’s refer to the Introduction again – it explains why you choose to research a narrow aspect of a broad topic. As for the conclusion’s role, it is vice versa. Here, you need to present your findings in a broader context of the problem. You follow from the particular aspect to the entire field of the problem. For instance, you might research the legacy of a particular poet. The conclusion should explain the impact of that legacy on the entire genre, or the period, or social trends, etc.
- Giving no summary of what was learned. This aspect is related to the practical value of your research. Summarize your findings in the context of the new knowledge they bring for this subject. Your conclusion paragraph is the place for that, and you should not omit this component.
- Not being able to match the objectives of the research. As the conclusion relates to the Introduction, you need to claim how you achieved your goals. It is okay if you did not match them all. It is also normal if your findings differed from what you expected. It is the nature of researches. The thing essential is that you need to point it out and document it in your conclusion. So, make sure to include this aspect into the final section.
- Ignoring problems during the research and negative results. Note all complications and drawbacks you faced in your work. First, you should report them in the “Result” section and then discuss their potential impact in the “Discussion” section. The conclusion paragraph of your research paper should contain a summary of the negative factors. You explain their significance in your research. Besides, they can be the ground for further investigations.
- Changing the tone of your paper or being emotional. It is necessary to stick to the same trend set in the introductory paragraphs. For instance, a rapid switch from the analytical character of the research paper to a more emotional tone and pathos is inappropriate in the scientific work.
- Presenting new information. All your findings and claims should relate to the data from the body paragraphs. Thus, the audience could follow the paper narrative. The “new” could be a new interpretation or insight. But you must ground it on the present information.
Example of a Good Research Paper Conclusion Paragraph
Having in mind all the above recommendations, you can see now how to conclude your work. However, a practical research paper conclusion example will serve better:
Before, each such discovery was accidental, but it all changed with the development of the scientific archaeological methods. As every new artifact has a crucial meaning for the science of history, we have to further develop the field methods. Our region provides limitless opportunities for examination, and more archaeological treasures still lie hidden. No doubt that more surveys will bring us new discoveries. The future rests on our past, and learning history lets us plan our lives.
Still Need Help with Your Research Paper?
We hope that our article was of help, and you won’t have any trouble with the job of finishing your research paper in style. Still, if you aren’t sure of your capabilities, or have no time at all – you can address our specialists. We can write a good conclusion for your research paper or compose that entire paper on any subject and topic, all for an affordable price. Just contact us and share your needs.