The conclusion is usually what stays in readers’ heads long after they had forgotten what the research was about. If written properly, it not only sums up what had already been said but offers a fresh perspective on the issue, portraying its importance in a broader context than the one discussed throughout your paper. Making an impression is what conclusion is all about, but achieving this objective can prove challenging.
Some useful pointers to how a strong conclusion should be written include:
- Circling back to your opening argument and reexamining the research subject in view of all new information gathered by a present study. This can be done in several ways:
- By briefly recapitulating principal findings of the study. Do it creatively, simply creating a list of your key points is not sufficient.
- Write a strong sentence suggesting a more profound meaning your research could have for mankind. With the risk of sounding pretentious, this is bound to draw your readers’ attention and invite them to think further on the subject.
- Concisely repeat your study main findings and recognize what still remains to be explored in order to fully understand the topic in question.
- In contrast to the Introduction section, where you start wide and narrow the wide opening to your research question, in Conclusion, you do the opposite: use the data obtained in your study and extend their implications to a more general context.
- The way any conclusion is written depends on the exact type of the essay you are writing. In persuasive essays, your conclusion is used to present a punch line; this statement is intended to persuade readers of the validity of your claims. In papers serving exploratory purposes, where thorough analysis of the subject has been done, its outcome is presented in conclusion, followed by directions for further research to be conducted in this particular field of study.
- If your research included contrasting different opinions and views on a certain topic, your closing section should present a conclusion of what you think is the best position to take in the matter and a short summary of your arguments.
- If your thesis raised an issue to be resolved by collecting evidence to its validity or invalidity, a conclusion should present a resolution of the dilemma. The broader consequences of the discussed problem should be demonstrated in conclusion.
- All ideas mentioned in the course of writing your research paper should be briefly addressed in conclusion in order to connect them in a meaningful way and show their possible implications. Introducing new ideas in the closing section of your paper is strongly discouraged.
- Keep it short: if you want to make a strong point, never make it too long or complicated. Two to five effective sentences will usually suffice.
Keep in mind that what people read last stays with them and determines the overall impression they will have of your work. Therefore you need to ensure that a proper message is communicated in conclusion and that the intended purpose of your paper is accomplished.
Formulating a research paper conclusion
However confidently a student has written his/her research paper, writing a powerful conclusion may come as a challenge. Attempting to close an argument with a strong conclusion is often frustrating. The overall impression your paper will make (just as grade points it will accumulate) depend on a number of issues, a proper conclusion being an important one of them. What really counts in defining paper quality is:
- The validity of your research thesis and the way in which a study has been conducted
- Proper use of literature, covering all approaches that can be taken to a particular subject
- Writing style displayed throughout the paper
- Structural organization of your paper, with a natural flow of ideas from one section to another
- Use of adequate formatting
- Style of referencing that meets particular requirements for a research paper
None of these issues can be overlooked if a student aims at receiving a high grade. Paper structural organization (encompassing introduction, body, and conclusion) is critically important. Your conclusion should follow logically from the evidence presented; it should be compelling, impression-making and credible.
Before actually formulating a conclusion, you should stop for a moment and think about the potential importance your work could have for a broader audience. Are there any ways to implement the discoveries you made in everyday life so that they could affect the general population? If successful in convincing your teacher of the applicability of your findings, convincing everyone else is not far-fetched.
Differentiate between conclusion and abstract: conclusion serves a purpose of concluding the argument presented in your paper and synthesizing the data presented; abstract simply summarises your study. You are not supposed to summarize your entire paper in the Conclusion.
What to avoid when writing a research paper conclusion
Never start your Conclusion with: “to conclude,” “in conclusion,” or “to summarize.” If your research paper is well-structured, these phrases are completely redundant; your reader is aware that your flow of ideas is coming to its natural conclusion. You can, however, use similar formulation in giving an oral presentation of your research.
Stay confident; do not shy away from reaching a conclusion on the base of the evidence presented. Any doubts you might have should have been included in the Discussion section where you list all possible limitations to your study. They have no place in your Conclusion.
Finally, you can reinforce your claims by citing a renowned source which shares your point of view on the matter. If opting to do this, paraphrase their words instead of giving a direct citation.
With a bit of luck, this instruction will have pushed you a little closer to writing a great conclusion for your research paper. Should you require further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact a writing service whose team of dedicated authors can provide you with any help you might need. After all, even the best students need help now and then. Fortunately, our professional writers is always ready to come to your rescue.