How to Write a Good Conclusion for a Research Paper
Many students fear writing the conclusion paragraphs for their research papers. You’ve already said everything you have to say, what could be left? Will you just sound like you’re repeating yourself? What is indeed the point of a conclusion paragraph anyway?
Well, you should feel comforted that there are effortless ways to succeed in writing up the conclusion paragraph to your research paper.
Idea of a Research Paper Conclusion
Before you can write an effective conclusion paragraph, you need to understand its purpose. A conclusion is your last chance to impress your ideas upon the reader. Thus, you do not want to introduce any fresh ideas, but rather recap everything across the rest of your chunk of writing. Now, this is where most students worry about redundancy.
Instead of rewriting the points exactly as you have before, you want to shorten them up by taking the main ideas of the entire paper and turning them into concise sentences that get straight to the point. It is also your chance to demonstrate how you’ve proven your thesis across the research paper.
Structure of Your Conclusion
An introduction paragraph should go from broad (very first sentence as a hook to bring readers in) to narrow (thesis statement that specifically addresses your paper’s claim). The conclusion is the exact opposite of that, so you can use your introduction paragraph as somewhat of a template.
In the conclusion, commence narrow by very first restating your thesis (in different words than in your introduction) and displaying how you proved it. Then, work on broadening your conclusion to the outer world.
Your conclusion should also make an attempt to address the significance of your topic. When writing a research paper, you are utilizing other authors’ information in order to present a claim. In the conclusion, attempt to reaction this question: “why is my claim about this topic significant? why should people read my paper or care that I’ve written it?”.
Difference Inbetween Synthesizing and Summarizing
In your conclusion, you want to synthesize the information in your paper, not simply summarize it. Your readers already looked through your lump of writing and know what it says.
To synthesize effectively, you need to showcase your readers how everything you put in your research paper fits together to create a cohesive entire. You can think of your paper like a recipe. To bake a cake, you very first have all of the ingredients stand on their own. However, once you combine them all together, you have created something fresh. What did you create when you put all of your ideas and evidence down onto paper?
Some students suffer from writing conclusion paragraphs that are either too brief or much too long. You don’t want to risk not telling enough, but you also don’t want to drone on. As a good rule of thumb, your conclusion should be about the same length of your introduction paragraph. Of course, if the length of your introduction paragraph is off, then your conclusion will be too.
Another good way to gauge how long your conclusion should be is by counting how many supporting ideas you have in your paragraph. If you have 5-6 supporting ideas, then attempt to synthesize that down into 2-3 sentences. Then add another 3-4 sentences to account for recasting your thesis, connecting your sentences together, and making your final connection to the outer world for a total of 5-7 sentences in your paragraph.
Those figures are just a guideline, however, and keep in mind that you need to vary sentence structure and length in order for it to work as intended. You could lightly write Five sentences that are utterly long and you likely still have a conclusion that’s too long despite limiting your sentence number.
What to Avoid
Here’s a quick list of things that you should never, ever incorporate in your conclusion paragraph:
- Fresh ideas. If a fresh idea strikes you and you think it’s brilliant, then go back and make a utter figure paragraph for it, don’t just sandwich into your conclusion.
- Extra supporting evidence (quotations, paraphrasing). You need to have already given all of your proof prior to the conclusion. This is the time for recapping the case you’ve made, not continuing to make it via fresh sources.
- Cliches. You should truly avoid cliches in all areas of your writing, but it goes extra in your conclusion since it’s the last bit of your. This means no “in conclusion,” “in summary,” or anything like that. This also means that you shouldn’t break the standard that you set in your paper.
Don’t let writing your conclusion paragraph intimidate you. Go after the above tips and then ask yourself the ultimate “so what?” question. Once you feel you’ve adequately proven the significance of your research paper to your reader, then your job is done.
How to Write a Good Conclusion for a Research Paper
Many students fear writing the conclusion paragraphs for their research papers. You’ve already said everything you have to say, what could be left? Will you just sound like you’re repeating yourself? What is truly the point of a conclusion paragraph anyway?