How to write a research paper conclusion
Most students assume that writing a conclusion requires little effort and that it will not take time.
But, that assumption is wrong.
The conclusion of your research paper is not something you should take lightly.
A deep understanding of the research topic and good writing skills are among the things you need to write a good conclusion.
The following is a comprehensive guide on how to conclude your research paper.
What To Consider Prior To Writing A Conclusion For A Research Paper
A conclusion requires you to summarize the main ideas in your paper.
But, that is not as easy as it sounds.
To have an easier time, consider the following basic principles of writing a research paper conclusion.
A research paper is more than just a summary of the main ideas in your paper
Aside from providing a summary, a conclusion should convince the reader that there are concrete arguments in your paper.
In fact, one of the areas that lecturers focus on is the conclusion.
They use it to determine if a student had great ideas when writing.
Provide solutions to the problem
Your conclusion should outline the problems you had in mind when developing your thesis statement.
Additionally, it should provide recommendations and possible solutions to these problems.
Also, if applicable, state the expected results of your research, mention if the expected results were accomplished and if they were not accomplished, state what can be done.
How To Write A Good Research Paper Conclusion
Consider the following points to write a good conclusion:
- Begin with your thesis statement
Like the introduction, the conclusion focuses on the thesis statement.
The difference is, in the conclusion it is advisable to begin with the thesis statement while in the introduction it comes last.
Nonetheless, do not too much effort and space restating your thesis statement – it shouldn’t be longer than the statement you wrote in the introduction.
Just one statement is enough to restate the thesis statement.
- Summarize your main points
A summary of the main points in your paper follows.
The point is to remind the reader what you explained in the body of the paper.
But, you should be brief; you do not have to explain everything all over again.
First, re-read each paragraph in the body of the paper.
Then, rephrase or restate each point briefly without repeating or rewording the supporting details.
- Tie everything together
A conclusion, as mentioned in the previous points, should include your thesis statement and the main points.
A good conclusion ties these two things together: it relates your main points to your thesis statement, thereby emphasizing your argument.
As you link your thesis to your main point, remind, or inform, the reader why your discussion matters.
- Conclude with logic
In some cases, your research includes many points, some of which are on opposite sides of an argument.
In such cases, you should use the conclusion to state the logical opinion you formed based on the evidence you gathered.
But, remember, you should not include too much detail.
Also, if you’re the evidence you gathered did not provide a clear answer, indicate that in the conclusion.
If that’s the case (you did not find a clear answer) restate your thesis statement and inform the reader if you still stand by it.
It is advisable to mention that an answer might still exist, only that the topic requires more research.
- Include a call-to-action
A call to action is a marketing strategy, which can be effectively used in a research paper’s conclusion.
In writing a call-to-action is more of a suggestion.
In a blog post, like this one, a call-to-action is used to inspire you to open other pages or blog posts.
In an academic paper, a call-to-action will be a statement that will suggest to your reader to conduct further research on the paper’s topic.
However, before including a call-to-action, factor in your topic, thesis statement, and the type of academic paper.
For instance, you might find it difficult to include a call-to-action in literature review conclusions or research paper focused on criticism of an idea or concept.
- Try ending the conclusion with a question
Most scholars advise that you end your conclusion with a question that is related to the topic of discussion.
Questions tend to hook and engage a reader more compared to plain statements.
Additionally, a question will leave your reader thinking more about the essay, and even inspire them to conduct further research.
A question in the last statement of your conclusion will also make your paper memorable.
It is especially advisable to use a question in your conclusion when the topic of discussion touches a social issue such as:
- World religion
Mistakes To Avoid When Writing A Research Paper Conclusion
Some of the common pitfalls to avoid include:
- Redundant phrases such as ‘In conclusion’
Do not start your conclusion using cliché phrases such as ‘to conclude’, or ‘in conclusion’.
Such phrases are jaded and redundant (they do not add meaning to your work).
A good way to start your conclusion is by referring to your thesis statement.
- Introducing new information
Avoid adding new information in your conclusion; especially if the information is of some significance to your argument.
While supporting details add value to your paper, they should only be included in the body, not the conclusion.
Remember, the purpose of a conclusion is to narrow down the focus of your research paper to support your thesis.
New things you can include in the conclusion are recommendations, questions for further research, and suggestions (call-to-action).
- Do not write apologetic statements
Statements such as ‘I am not an expert’ or ‘This is just but my opinion’ downplay your evidence and your authority as a researcher.
Avoid such apologetic phrases otherwise, a reader might disregard your entire research.
- Avoid writing in the first-person
First-person writing is perceived as informal.
Therefore, it does not fit the tone of an academic paper, which is regarded as formal writing.
Clearly, writing a conclusion to a research paper is not as easy as many students take it to be.
A good conclusion is more than just a summary of the points you have made in the paper, you need to add up the points and link them to your thesis statement.
Moreover, there are several other guidelines you need to follow to produce an excellent conclusion.
These guidelines include starting with your topic or thesis, providing a solution to the problem at hand, providing solutions or recommendation, and posing questions for further research.
The guide outlined above will help you write a better conclusion.
But, for a more practical approach, go through the conclusion in several research papers, such as the samples provided on our website.
If you need professional help contact us.