How to Conclude a Research Paper
Writing a good conclusion is important for your paper to be complete and thorough. There are some tactics that can improve your ending and some you had better avoid. Below is the list of 10 tips to craft a perfect conclusion for a research paper.
- Restate the topic. One sentence will do. You just need to state your topic in other words. You should also explain why it is important. Remember that it should not be long, as your research has already made the topic apparent in the body paragraphs.
- Restate your thesis. Your thesis is your opinion and your claim. Try to rephrase it in your conclusion and make it different from the one you stated in your introduction. Be careful not to use the same words in restating the topic and the thesis. The latter should complement the former.
- Sum up your main points. Summarizing the points mentioned in the body of the paper is a good way to remind the reader what you told them. When you restate your main points, do not include any supporting details mentioned in the body paragraphs.
- Synthesize the information. It is important not only to repeat and summarize the information. Try to rephrase your thesis and topic, so that your conclusion will complete your paper. Your conclusion should include well-thought out, logical and related ideas to effectively finish your paper.
- Keep your conclusion logical. Lots of research papers may present a multiple sides of an issue. If your paper needs further research or your opinion towards the hypothesis changed, do not doubt to indicate it.
- Pose a question. You can help the reader to craft their own conclusion by asking a correct question. It is not appropriate for all research papers, though. Make sure your question is not the beginning of a new research. This question should help to summarize your paper not to open a new discussion.
- Avoid trite sayings. Phrases like ‘in conclusion’ or ‘to sum up’ would only spoil your ending. A strong conclusion does not need special indicators.
- Avoid new information. A conclusion is a general summary of your paper that makes it complete. Do not include new ideas, facts or evidence in the end. You need to use them in the body of the paper. It is appropriate to make a call for action for further investigation, but your paper should be exhaustive.
- Do not change the tone of the paper. To write an effective and persuasive paper you should use the same style and techniques throughout the whole paper. There should be no shifts. A research paper is an academic writing, so you need to follow the appropriate tone. Leave out sentimentality in the conclusion. The only way you can add more personal and humanistic slant to your paper is by starting and ending it with a story or anecdote. Still, you should stick to this tone throughout the paper.
- Do not downplay your authority. This is your research, and it is significant. If you want to persuade the academia that your paper is worth something, phrases like ‘I may not be an expert’ or ‘This only my opinion’ will not help to achieve the desired results. It is also important to use academic ‘we,’ so your paper fits the formal tone.
Follow these tips to create a strong conclusion for an effective research paper. A good beginning makes a good ending, and a good ending makes good persuasion.