how to start your conclusion in a research paper

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Research Paper Conclusion: Know How To Write It

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The conclusion of your research paper is often where many readers begin. Thus, it’s imperative that your conclusion leaves the reader with a clear and concise understanding of your final impressions and ideas. It is a time to recap the key points in your paper and summarize your data in simple terms. It may also be used as a platform and an opportunity to call for further action that may be needed.

The conclusion will vary depending on the structure of your paper. If you are presenting original data in an objective format, that conclusion looks a lot different from one where a strong argument as to a future direction is presented. But, there is a similar pattern and structure to a good conclusion regardless of its content.

How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper

How do you start a conclusion for a research paper? It needs to be written as if it is a summary of your work. The audience should be considered to be your colleagues, but the tone should be more conversational than technical, so don’t get bogged down with details. Keep it clear, with straightforward terminology. This is the place to put forward your thoughts about the significance of your results. What does your research point to? If more research is needed, this is the time to indicate what direction you believe it needs to go. If you are presenting a strong conclusion, then defend.

Begin by clarifying your goals and restating the main points of your thesis. Don’t get into numbers or details, leave that for the body of your paper. Now is the time to put forth your conclusions by analyzing the significance of your findings. What importance is your research to the subject at hand? What further information is needed?

This is the time to be thought-provoking. Yes, briefly and clearly summarize your work, but don’t simply repeat it, add meaning to it. Expand on your findings in a way that challenges the reader to consider the implications of your research. Try to show the bigger picture, so the reader can see why your research matters in the real world.

Don’t simply repeat yourself or focus on minor details, the conclusion is the time to paint with broad strokes and point the way forward. Allow yourself to go beyond the narrow confines of the details and into the powerful conclusion of your work. Here is the time to give it meaning and significance.

Conclusion Format for Research Paper

A common format for a research paper begins with first explaining the topic and then the purpose of your research. This can be as short as one or two sentences. Then, you summarize your findings in clear language that emphasizes the importance of your research. After summarizing your main points, it’s important to defend the unique importance of your findings. If you are putting forth an argument, it’s essential to stress the consequences of the action and its relevance to real-world problems. Present your findings in a way that expresses the broader associations they have in your field. Make a case for the practical implications of your findings. If appropriate, you should end your conclusion with a call to action that may pave the way for future research projects.

Example of Conclusion in Research

Below is a sample conclusion that you can use as a model. Notice how it includes the aspects mentioned above.

Clean air and water is critical to environmental balance and public health. Since 2009, water pollution has contributed to a marked decrease in wildlife aquatic populations, as well as a decrease of safe drinking water. Corn production in the nation’s Midwest region has resulted in an exponential increase in pollutants contaminating freshwater aquifers and above-ground supplies. This has resulted in catastrophic fish die-off, increased instances of respiratory illness in rural communities, as well as a shortage of clean and safe potable drinking water. Environmental scientists continue to measure water quality, and trying to find ways to counteract pollution runoff from agricultural activities. Further research and innovation is needed to increase clean and safe water supplies, continue to support agricultural needs related to water supply shortages, and maintain a healthy environment for flora, fauna and human populations.

Language Editing Plus

Elsevier’s Language Editing Plus service can help ensure that your conclusion is well-written, and articulates your research. Via our most comprehensive editing package, you can count on a thorough language review by native-English speakers who are PhDs or PhD candidates. We’ll check for effective logic and flow of your manuscript, as well as document formatting for your chosen journal, reference checks, and much more.

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  • Conclusions

One of the most common questions we receive at the Writing Center is “what am I supposed to do in my conclusion?” This is a difficult question to answer because there’s no one right answer to what belongs in a conclusion. How you conclude your paper will depend on where you started—and where you traveled. It will also depend on the conventions and expectations of the discipline in which you are writing. For example, while the conclusion to a STEM paper could focus on questions for further study, the conclusion of a literature paper could include a quotation from your central text that can now be understood differently in light of what has been discussed in the paper. You should consult your instructor about expectations for conclusions in a particular discipline.

With that in mind, here are some general guidelines you might find helpful to use as you think about your conclusion.  

Begin with the “what”  

In a short paper—even a research paper—you don’t need to provide an exhaustive summary as part of your conclusion. But you do need to make some kind of transition between your final body paragraph and your concluding paragraph. This may come in the form of a few sentences of summary. Or it may come in the form of a sentence that brings your readers back to your thesis or main idea and reminds your readers where you began and how far you have traveled.

So, for example, in a paper about the relationship between ADHD and rejection sensitivity, Vanessa Roser begins by introducing readers to the fact that researchers have studied the relationship between the two conditions and then provides her explanation of that relationship. Here’s her thesis: “While socialization may indeed be an important factor in RS, I argue that individuals with ADHD may also possess a neurological predisposition to RS that is exacerbated by the differing executive and emotional regulation characteristic of ADHD.”

In her final paragraph, Roser reminds us of where she started by echoing her thesis: “This literature demonstrates that, as with many other conditions, ADHD and RS share a delicately intertwined pattern of neurological similarities that is rooted in the innate biology of an individual’s mind, a connection that cannot be explained in full by the behavioral mediation hypothesis.”  

Highlight the “so what”  

At the beginning of your paper, you explain to your readers what’s at stake—why they should care about the argument you’re making. In your conclusion, you can bring readers back to those stakes by reminding them why your argument is important in the first place. You can also draft a few sentences that put those stakes into a new or broader context.

In the conclusion to her paper about ADHD and RS, Roser echoes the stakes she established in her introduction—that research into connections between ADHD and RS has led to contradictory results, raising questions about the “behavioral mediation hypothesis.”

She writes, “as with many other conditions, ADHD and RS share a delicately intertwined pattern of neurological similarities that is rooted in the innate biology of an individual’s mind, a connection that cannot be explained in full by the behavioral mediation hypothesis.”  

Leave your readers with the “now what”  

After the “what” and the “so what,” you should leave your reader with some final thoughts. If you have written a strong introduction, your readers will know why you have been arguing what you have been arguing—and why they should care. And if you’ve made a good case for your thesis, then your readers should be in a position to see things in a new way, understand new questions, or be ready for something that they weren’t ready for before they read your paper.

In her conclusion, Roser offers two “now what” statements. First, she explains that it is important to recognize that the flawed behavioral mediation hypothesis “seems to place a degree of fault on the individual. It implies that individuals with ADHD must have elicited such frequent or intense rejection by virtue of their inadequate social skills, erasing the possibility that they may simply possess a natural sensitivity to emotion.” She then highlights the broader implications for treatment of people with ADHD, noting that recognizing the actual connection between rejection sensitivity and ADHD “has profound implications for understanding how individuals with ADHD might best be treated in educational settings, by counselors, family, peers, or even society as a whole.”

To find your own “now what” for your essay’s conclusion, try asking yourself these questions:

  • What can my readers now understand, see in a new light, or grapple with that they would not have understood in the same way before reading my paper? Are we a step closer to understanding a larger phenomenon or to understanding why what was at stake is so important?  
  • What questions can I now raise that would not have made sense at the beginning of my paper? Questions for further research? Other ways that this topic could be approached?  
  • Are there other applications for my research? Could my questions be asked about different data in a different context? Could I use my methods to answer a different question?  
  • What action should be taken in light of this argument? What action do I predict will be taken or could lead to a solution?  
  • What larger context might my argument be a part of?  

What to avoid in your conclusion  

  • a complete restatement of all that you have said in your paper.  
  • a substantial counterargument that you do not have space to refute; you should introduce counterarguments before your conclusion.  
  • an apology for what you have not said. If you need to explain the scope of your paper, you should do this sooner—but don’t apologize for what you have not discussed in your paper.  
  • fake transitions like “in conclusion” that are followed by sentences that aren’t actually conclusions. (“In conclusion, I have now demonstrated that my thesis is correct.”)
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This resource outlines the generally accepted structure for introductions, body paragraphs, and conclusions in an academic argument paper. Keep in mind that this resource contains guidelines and not strict rules about organization. Your structure needs to be flexible enough to meet the requirements of your purpose and audience.

Conclusions wrap up what you have been discussing in your paper. After moving from general to specific information in the introduction and body paragraphs, your conclusion should begin pulling back into more general information that restates the main points of your argument. Conclusions may also call for action or overview future possible research. The following outline may help you conclude your paper:

In a general way,

  • Restate your topic and why it is important,
  • Restate your thesis/claim,
  • Address opposing viewpoints and explain why readers should align with your position,
  • Call for action or overview future research possibilities.

Remember that once you accomplish these tasks, unless otherwise directed by your instructor, you are finished. Done. Complete. Don't try to bring in new points or end with a whiz bang(!) conclusion or try to solve world hunger in the final sentence of your conclusion. Simplicity is best for a clear, convincing message.

The preacher's maxim is one of the most effective formulas to follow for argument papers:

Tell what you're going to tell them (introduction).

Tell them (body).

Tell them what you told them (conclusion).

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The conclusion is intended to help the reader understand why your research should matter to them after they have finished reading the paper. A conclusion is not merely a summary of the main topics covered or a re-statement of your research problem, but a synthesis of key points and, if applicable, where you recommend new areas for future research. For most college-level research papers, one or two well-developed paragraphs is sufficient for a conclusion, although in some cases, more paragraphs may be required in summarizing key findings and their significance.

Conclusions. The Writing Center. University of North Carolina; Conclusions. The Writing Lab and The OWL. Purdue University.

Importance of a Good Conclusion

A well-written conclusion provides you with important opportunities to demonstrate to the reader your understanding of the research problem. These include:

  • Presenting the last word on the issues you raised in your paper . Just as the introduction gives a first impression to your reader, the conclusion offers a chance to leave a lasting impression. Do this, for example, by highlighting key findings in your analysis that advance new understanding about the research problem, that are unusual or unexpected, or that have important implications applied to practice.
  • Summarizing your thoughts and conveying the larger significance of your study . The conclusion is an opportunity to succinctly re-emphasize  the "So What?" question by placing the study within the context of how your research advances past research about the topic.
  • Identifying how a gap in the literature has been addressed . The conclusion can be where you describe how a previously identified gap in the literature [described in your literature review section] has been filled by your research.
  • Demonstrating the importance of your ideas . Don't be shy. The conclusion offers you the opportunity to elaborate on the impact and significance of your findings. This is particularly important if your study approached examining the research problem from an unusual or innovative perspective.
  • Introducing possible new or expanded ways of thinking about the research problem . This does not refer to introducing new information [which should be avoided], but to offer new insight and creative approaches for framing or contextualizing the research problem based on the results of your study.

Bunton, David. “The Structure of PhD Conclusion Chapters.” Journal of English for Academic Purposes 4 (July 2005): 207–224; Conclusions. The Writing Center. University of North Carolina; Kretchmer, Paul. Twelve Steps to Writing an Effective Conclusion. San Francisco Edit, 2003-2008; Conclusions. The Writing Lab and The OWL. Purdue University; Assan, Joseph. "Writing the Conclusion Chapter: The Good, the Bad and the Missing." Liverpool: Development Studies Association (2009): 1-8.

Structure and Writing Style

I.  General Rules

The function of your paper's conclusion is to restate the main argument . It reminds the reader of the strengths of your main argument(s) and reiterates the most important evidence supporting those argument(s). Do this by stating clearly the context, background, and necessity of pursuing the research problem you investigated in relation to an issue, controversy, or a gap found in the literature. Make sure, however, that your conclusion is not simply a repetitive summary of the findings. This reduces the impact of the argument(s) you have developed in your essay.

When writing the conclusion to your paper, follow these general rules:

  • Present your conclusions in clear, simple language. Re-state the purpose of your study, then describe how your findings differ or support those of other studies and why [i.e., what were the unique or new contributions your study made to the overall research about your topic?].
  • Do not simply reiterate your findings or the discussion of your results. Provide a synthesis of arguments presented in the paper to show how these converge to address the research problem and the overall objectives of your study.
  • Indicate opportunities for future research if you haven't already done so in the discussion section of your paper. Highlighting the need for further research provides the reader with evidence that you have an in-depth awareness of the research problem and that further investigations should take place.

Consider the following points to help ensure your conclusion is presented well:

  • If the argument or purpose of your paper is complex, you may need to summarize the argument for your reader.
  • If, prior to your conclusion, you have not yet explained the significance of your findings or if you are proceeding inductively, use the end of your paper to describe your main points and explain their significance.
  • Move from a detailed to a general level of consideration that returns the topic to the context provided by the introduction or within a new context that emerges from the data. 

The conclusion also provides a place for you to persuasively and succinctly restate the research problem, given that the reader has now been presented with all the information about the topic . Depending on the discipline you are writing in, the concluding paragraph may contain your reflections on the evidence presented. However, the nature of being introspective about the research you have conducted will depend on the topic and whether your professor wants you to express your observations in this way.

NOTE : If asked to think introspectively about the topics, do not delve into idle speculation. Being introspective means looking within yourself as an author to try and understand an issue more deeply, not to guess at possible outcomes or make up scenarios not supported by the evidence.

II.  Developing a Compelling Conclusion

Although an effective conclusion needs to be clear and succinct, it does not need to be written passively or lack a compelling narrative. Strategies to help you move beyond merely summarizing the key points of your research paper may include any of the following strategies:

  • If your essay deals with a critical, contemporary problem, warn readers of the possible consequences of not attending to the problem proactively.
  • Recommend a specific course or courses of action that, if adopted, could address a specific problem in practice or in the development of new knowledge.
  • Cite a relevant quotation or expert opinion already noted in your paper in order to lend authority and support to the conclusion(s) you have reached [a good place to look is research from your literature review].
  • Explain the consequences of your research in a way that elicits action or demonstrates urgency in seeking change.
  • Restate a key statistic, fact, or visual image to emphasize the most important finding of your paper.
  • If your discipline encourages personal reflection, illustrate your concluding point by drawing from your own life experiences.
  • Return to an anecdote, an example, or a quotation that you presented in your introduction, but add further insight derived from the findings of your study; use your interpretation of results to recast it in new or important ways.
  • Provide a "take-home" message in the form of a succinct, declarative statement that you want the reader to remember about your study.

III. Problems to Avoid

Failure to be concise Your conclusion section should be concise and to the point. Conclusions that are too lengthy often have unnecessary information in them. The conclusion is not the place for details about your methodology or results. Although you should give a summary of what was learned from your research, this summary should be relatively brief, since the emphasis in the conclusion is on the implications, evaluations, insights, and other forms of analysis that you make. Strategies for writing concisely can be found here .

Failure to comment on larger, more significant issues In the introduction, your task was to move from the general [the field of study] to the specific [the research problem]. However, in the conclusion, your task is to move from a specific discussion [your research problem] back to a general discussion [i.e., how your research contributes new understanding or fills an important gap in the literature]. In short, the conclusion is where you should place your research within a larger context [visualize your paper as an hourglass--start with a broad introduction and review of the literature, move to the specific analysis and discussion, conclude with a broad summary of the study's implications and significance].

Failure to reveal problems and negative results Negative aspects of the research process should never be ignored. These are problems, deficiencies, or challenges encountered during your study should be summarized as a way of qualifying your overall conclusions. If you encountered negative or unintended results [i.e., findings that are validated outside the research context in which they were generated], you must report them in the results section and discuss their implications in the discussion section of your paper. In the conclusion, use your summary of the negative results as an opportunity to explain their possible significance and/or how they may form the basis for future research.

Failure to provide a clear summary of what was learned In order to be able to discuss how your research fits within your field of study [and possibly the world at large], you need to summarize briefly and succinctly how it contributes to new knowledge or a new understanding about the research problem. This element of your conclusion may be only a few sentences long.

Failure to match the objectives of your research Often research objectives in the social sciences change while the research is being carried out. This is not a problem unless you forget to go back and refine the original objectives in your introduction. As these changes emerge they must be documented so that they accurately reflect what you were trying to accomplish in your research [not what you thought you might accomplish when you began].

Resist the urge to apologize If you've immersed yourself in studying the research problem, you presumably should know a good deal about it [perhaps even more than your professor!]. Nevertheless, by the time you have finished writing, you may be having some doubts about what you have produced. Repress those doubts! Don't undermine your authority by saying something like, "This is just one approach to examining this problem; there may be other, much better approaches that...." The overall tone of your conclusion should convey confidence to the reader.

Assan, Joseph. "Writing the Conclusion Chapter: The Good, the Bad and the Missing." Liverpool: Development Studies Association (2009): 1-8; Concluding Paragraphs. College Writing Center at Meramec. St. Louis Community College; Conclusions. The Writing Center. University of North Carolina; Conclusions. The Writing Lab and The OWL. Purdue University; Freedman, Leora  and Jerry Plotnick. Introductions and Conclusions. The Lab Report. University College Writing Centre. University of Toronto; Leibensperger, Summer. Draft Your Conclusion. Academic Center, the University of Houston-Victoria, 2003; Make Your Last Words Count. The Writer’s Handbook. Writing Center. University of Wisconsin Madison; Miquel, Fuster-Marquez and Carmen Gregori-Signes. “Chapter Six: ‘Last but Not Least:’ Writing the Conclusion of Your Paper.” In Writing an Applied Linguistics Thesis or Dissertation: A Guide to Presenting Empirical Research . John Bitchener, editor. (Basingstoke,UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), pp. 93-105; Tips for Writing a Good Conclusion. Writing@CSU. Colorado State University; Kretchmer, Paul. Twelve Steps to Writing an Effective Conclusion. San Francisco Edit, 2003-2008; Writing Conclusions. Writing Tutorial Services, Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning. Indiana University; Writing: Considering Structure and Organization. Institute for Writing Rhetoric. Dartmouth College.

Writing Tip

Don't Belabor the Obvious!

Avoid phrases like "in conclusion...," "in summary...," or "in closing...." These phrases can be useful, even welcome, in oral presentations. But readers can see by the tell-tale section heading and number of pages remaining to read, when an essay is about to end. You'll irritate your readers if you belabor the obvious.

Assan, Joseph. "Writing the Conclusion Chapter: The Good, the Bad and the Missing." Liverpool: Development Studies Association (2009): 1-8.

Another Writing Tip

New Insight, Not New Information!

Don't surprise the reader with new information in your conclusion that was never referenced anywhere else in the paper and, as such, the conclusion rarely has citations to sources. If you have new information to present, add it to the discussion or other appropriate section of the paper. Note that, although no actual new information is introduced, the conclusion, along with the discussion section, is where you offer your most "original" contributions in the paper; the conclusion is where you describe the value of your research, demonstrate that you understand the material that you’ve presented, and locate your findings within the larger context of scholarship on the topic, including describing how your research contributes new insights or valuable insight to that scholarship.

Assan, Joseph. "Writing the Conclusion Chapter: The Good, the Bad and the Missing." Liverpool: Development Studies Association (2009): 1-8; Conclusions. The Writing Center. University of North Carolina.

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how to start your conclusion in a research paper

How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper: Your Guide

how to start your conclusion in a research paper

What Is a Conclusion in Research Papers

A conclusion in research paper is the final piece of the puzzle, the last chapter in the story, the grand finale of a long and arduous journey. It is the point where the researcher can finally step back and say, 'I have found what I was looking for.' But it is more than just a summary of the findings. A conclusion is a reflection on the entire research process, a chance for the researcher to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their methodology and to make recommendations for future research. It is a time to celebrate successes, acknowledge limitations, and offer suggestions for improvement.

You may know how to start a research paper ; however, making a compelling ending requires a thorough understanding too. A conclusion is an opportunity to connect the research findings to a larger context, discuss how the results contribute to the broader field of study and suggest possible applications in real-world scenarios. It is a moment of closure but also a starting point for new avenues of inquiry.

So, let's delve into the following sections to find out how to write a conclusion for a research paper that will leave a lasting impression on your audience.

What to Avoid in Your Research Paper Conclusion

Related article: ' HOW TO START A RESEARCH PAPER '

Outline for a Research Paper Conclusion

When wondering how to make a research paper outline , the first step is to get familiar with the general structure. Here we prepared a research paper conclusion example, so let's take a close look at what information to include in a conclusion outline:

I. Summary of main findings

  • Briefly summarize the main findings of the research, including any significant results or discoveries made.

II. Restate the research question/objective

  • Restate the thesis statement or objective and indicate whether it was answered or achieved.

III. Discuss the implications of the findings

  • Discuss the implications of the findings and explain why they matter, including any practical applications or theoretical implications.

IV. Acknowledge limitations and suggest future research

  • Acknowledge any limitations or weaknesses of the study and suggest directions for future research, including any areas where further investigation is needed.

V. Concluding statement

  • Conclude your final paragraph with a statement that ties together the main points of the conclusion research paper and emphasizes their significance.

Here is the full guide on ' HOW TO MAKE A RESEARCH PAPER OUTLINE '

Tips on How to Make a Conclusion in Research

By following these tips, you won't have to wonder 'how to make a conclusion in research' anymore and will effectively highlight its significance.

Research Paper Conclusion

  • Emphasize the significance of the findings: When discussing the implications, emphasize the practical or theoretical implications. Use language that emphasizes the importance of the findings and how they contribute to the broader field of study. For example, 'The study findings have important implications for clinical practice and highlight the need for further research in this area.'
  • Tie back to the introduction: When concluding, tie the findings back to the introduction by reminding readers of the original purpose of the research. This helps to provide closure to the research and emphasizes the significance of the findings. For example, 'This study has successfully answered the research question of whether stress is a risk factor for heart disease in middle-aged adults, and provides important insights into the relationship between stress and cardiovascular health.'
  • Avoid introducing new information: It's important to avoid introducing new information in the conclusion, as this can confuse readers and detract from the key arguments of the research. Stick to summarizing the main findings, discussing the implications, acknowledging limitations, and suggesting future research possibilities.
  • Use clear and concise language: When making a conclusion, use clear and concise language. Avoid using technical jargon or overly complex language; instead, focus on using language accessible to a broad audience.
  • End with a strong concluding statement: End your paper's conclusion with a strong concluding statement that ties together the main points and emphasizes their significance. This provides closure to the research and leaves readers with a lasting impression. Here is a conclusion in research example: 'Overall, the findings of this study provide important insights into the relationship between X and Y and highlight the need for further research in this area.'

How to Develop a Compelling Conclusion

Here are some main points to help you not just summarize the key thoughts of your work, but to go deeper to warrant a better grade:

  • If you have been writing about a contemporary problem, talk about what can happen if the problem is not solved, but do not add new information. Do not bring in new evidence or new facts.
  • Don’t hesitate to offer or to recommend some course of action.
  • Use relevant quotations or expert opinions to make your conclusion more authoritative.
  • Repeat a key statistic, fact, or even a visual image that represents the main point of your paper.
  • Express personal reflection. You can even talk about your own life experiences.
  • Interpret the results in your own way to give them a fresh perspective. Do not be afraid to be a researcher who introduces something new—even for the most common problems.
  • Finish your conclusions with a short, but powerful message which will help others remember your study. This message is something that can differentiate you from others.
  • Do not say "in conclusion" or similar sayings. This includes "in summary" or "in closing." Why? These sayings sound a bit unnatural and stiff. They make your work appear too formal and pragmatic. A strong conclusion does not need the word - “In conclusion”. It will stand on its own.
  • Use the same consistent tone through your entire paper. It sounds unnatural if you suddenly use an absolutely different tone or style of presenting the information.
  • Check your entire paper to make sure that you have not left any really important points behind.

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How to Make a Conclusion Effective Rhetorically

Here are some unique tips on how to start conclusion in research rhetorically from our law essay writing :

  • Use rhetorical questions : Rhetorical questions are a powerful tool that can help to engage readers and prompt them to think critically about the research. For example, 'What impact will these findings have on the field of X? How can we use these findings to improve clinical practice?'
  • Use strong language: Using strong, impactful language can help emphasize the research's significance and leave a lasting impression on readers. For example, 'These findings have the potential to revolutionize the way we approach X, and could have far-reaching implications for future research in this area.'
  • Use repetition: Repetition can be an effective rhetorical tool that can help to reinforce key points and leave a lasting impression on readers. For example, repeating a phrase such as 'These findings underscore the importance of...' can help emphasize the research's significance.
  • Use anecdotes : Using anecdotes or stories can help to make the research more relatable and engaging for readers. For example, sharing a personal story or case study that illustrates the research's practical applications can help emphasize its significance.
  • Use vivid imagery : It can help bring the research to life and make it more memorable for readers. For example, using descriptive language to describe the impact of the research, such as 'This study sheds new light on X, illuminating a path forward for researchers in this field.'

Making a Conclusion Effective Logically

By using these logical strategies from our custom dissertation writing , you can make your research paper conclusion more coherent, persuasive, and effective.

  • Use logical transitions : To make the conclusion flow smoothly and logically, use transition words and phrases such as 'therefore,' 'thus,' 'consequently,' and 'in conclusion.' This helps to signal to readers that the conclusion is a logical extension of the research that has been presented.
  • Summarize key findings in order : To make the conclusion logical, summarize the key findings of the research in the order in which they were presented. This helps readers follow the research's progression and understand how the various findings fit together.
  • Address potential counterarguments: Researchers can demonstrate a thorough and logical approach to their research by acknowledging and addressing these potential criticisms.
  • Use quantitative data: This helps provide concrete evidence for the conclusions being drawn and makes the research more convincing.
  • Provide a clear and concise summary: This helps readers understand the main takeaways from the research and provides a logical conclusion.

Things to Avoid in the Conclusion of Your Research Paper

By avoiding these common pitfalls, you can ensure that their conclusions are clear, concise, and effective in summarizing their research's main findings and implications.

Avoid in Your Research Paper Conclusion

  • Don't introduce new information: The conclusion is not the place to introduce new information or data that was not discussed in the main body of the paper. Stick to summarizing the key findings and insights that were already presented.
  • Don't repeat information : While it's important to summarize key findings in the example of conclusion in research paper, don't simply repeat information already presented earlier. Instead, focus on synthesizing and connecting the various findings in a new way.
  • Don't make unsupported claims: Avoid making sweeping or unsupported claims in the conclusion. Make sure that all conclusions are backed up by the data and evidence presented in the main body of the paper.
  • Don't be overly emotional: While being passionate about your research topic is important, avoid being overly emotional or sentimental in the conclusion. Stick to a professional and objective tone.
  • Don't end abruptly: Don't end the conclusion of research paper abruptly without providing a clear sense of closure. Instead, summarize the main points and insights, and consider ending with a call to action or a suggestion for future research.

Research Paper Conclusion Example

That’s pretty much everything you need to know about how to summarize a research paper. There are two things left: to take a look at the research paper conclusion example from our custom dissertation writing team.

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Final Thoughts

Now that you know what is a conclusion in research, you can agree that it requires careful consideration and planning. By following the general rules and tips outlined in this article, researchers can write paper that effectively summarizes the key findings and insights of their research in a logical and rhetorically effective manner.

At EssayPro, we offer a range of writing services to help researchers and students succeed in their academic pursuits. Whether you need help with writing academic research papers, editing, or proofreading, we have the expertise and skills to help you achieve your goals.

So why wait? Contact our professional essay writers today to learn more about our services and how we can help you succeed in your academic and professional endeavors. Let us help you craft an effective research paper conclusion sample that will leave a lasting impression on your readers and elevate the impact of your research.

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How to Start a Conclusion

Last Updated: June 8, 2023 References

This article was co-authored by Diane Stubbs . Diane Stubbs is a Secondary English Teacher with over 22 years of experience teaching all high school grade levels and AP courses. She specializes in secondary education, classroom management, and educational technology. Diane earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Delaware and a Master of Education from Wesley College. This article has been viewed 154,723 times.

A persuasive essay, literary analysis, or research paper should include a thoughtful introduction and conclusion. The conclusion, when written correctly, gives the reader a summary and insights into the reasons for the subject's importance. You may also need to deliver a speech or presentation which needs a good conclusion. Many of the same principles apply, but you should tailor your conclusion carefully.

Things You Should Know

  • For an essay, start with a transition sentence that references the original question, avoiding phrases like "in conclusion."
  • Go beyond a simple summary, exploring how every point in your essay connects and the significance of your essay question.
  • In a presentation, indicate that you’re finishing up and return to the initial question, giving a summary with enthusiasm and conviction.

Writing Template and Sample Conclusion

how to start your conclusion in a research paper

Writing a Conclusion for an Essay or Paper

Image titled Start a Conclusion Step 1

  • To help you achieve this fluency, you should start with a sentence that links the conclusion to the main body of the text. [1] X Research source
  • This might be a statement that reflects the content of your essay but connects your essay to the wider points that your conclusion will then go on to briefly discuss.
  • The sentence "A sense of the impermanence of human achievement permeates this poem", indicates a transition to the conclusion by articulating the key argument in one sentence.

Image titled Start a Conclusion Step 2

  • For example, what if the essay question asks you "to what extent did the Battle of Monte Casino change the course of the Second World War"?
  • Here, you could begin with a sentence such as "The Battle of Monte Casino was a crucial moment that reflected the shifting dynamic of WWII, but did not in itself turn the tide of the war".

Image titled Start a Conclusion Step 4

  • A short summary can be useful in a longer essay, but do not simply restate what you have said in the same terms. [5] X Research source
  • Rather, indicate your key points while situating them within a larger context, which displays a deeper understanding and potentially opens up new lines of inquiry.

Image titled Start a Conclusion Step 5

  • In your conclusion structure, this discussion of the broader implications should follow the transition sentences and the explanation of how the different elements of your argument fit together. [6] X Research source
  • This could include universalizing the topic of essay, making a connection to a contemporary issue, or providing a call to action.

Concluding a Presentation or Speech

Image titled Start a Conclusion Step 6

  • Phrases such as "in conclusion", and "to summarise", which you wouldn't use in a written essay, can be useful for a spoken presentation.
  • Indicating that you are about to conclude will encourage your listeners to focus on what you are about to say. [7] X Research source

Image titled Start a Conclusion Step 7

  • For example, you could ask yourself the main question at the start of the conclusion. "So, how do I suggest we improve our sales in the Mid-West?" before going on provide a summary of your key points.

Image titled Start a Conclusion Step 8

  • Generally, listening to a presentation will be more passive than reading an essay, so it is more beneficial to summarise your key points in the conclusion of a spoken presentation.
  • The last things your audience hear will most likely be what they take away with them, so be sure all your key points are covered in the conclusion.

Image titled Start a Conclusion Step 9

  • You might also include a short anecdote that supports your argument and acts as a call to action to the other people in the room.
  • A strong ending can make a personal connection with the audience, by demonstrating how you can resolve a problem for the audience member. [9] X Research source

Image titled Start a Conclusion Step 10

  • Using an action verb in your final sentence can highlight exactly how you want your audience to respond.
  • For example, when John F. Kennedy said, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do or your country," he was encouraging action from the audience. [10] X Research source
  • Finishing this way both demonstrates your personal conviction and indicates that you think your ideas should be followed up.

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About This Article

Diane Stubbs

To start a conclusion for an essay, begin with a reference to the original question. If, for example, the essay question asks “How did the Battle of Monte Casino change the course of WWII?”, start with “The Battle of Monte Casino was a crucial moment that reflected the shifting dynamic of WWII.” Additionally, start your conclusion in a natural way, without obvious transitions like "In conclusion." For example, begin with "A sense of the impermanence of human achievement..." instead of, "In conclusion, a sense of the impermanence.." For more advice from our English reviewer, including how to write a conclusion for a presentation or speech, keep reading. Did this summary help you? Yes No

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How to Write a Research Paper Conclusion Section

how to start your conclusion in a research paper

What is a conclusion in a research paper?

The conclusion in a research paper is the final paragraph or two in a research paper. In scientific papers, the conclusion usually follows the Discussion section , summarizing the importance of the findings and reminding the reader why the work presented in the paper is relevant.

However, it can be a bit confusing to distinguish the conclusion section/paragraph from a summary or a repetition of your findings, your own opinion, or the statement of the implications of your work. In fact, the conclusion should contain a bit of all of these other parts but go beyond it—but not too far beyond! 

The structure and content of the conclusion section can also vary depending on whether you are writing a research manuscript or an essay. This article will explain how to write a good conclusion section, what exactly it should (and should not) contain, how it should be structured, and what you should avoid when writing it.  

Table of Contents:

What does a good conclusion section do, what to include in a research paper conclusion.

  • Conclusion in an Essay
  • Research Paper Conclusion 
  • Conclusion Paragraph Outline and Example
  • What Not to Do When Writing a Conclusion

The conclusion of a research paper has several key objectives. It should:

  • Restate your research problem addressed in the introduction section
  • Summarize your main arguments, important findings, and broader implications
  • Synthesize key takeaways from your study

The specific content in the conclusion depends on whether your paper presents the results of original scientific research or constructs an argument through engagement with previously published sources.

You presented your general field of study to the reader in the introduction section, by moving from general information (the background of your work, often combined with a literature review ) to the rationale of your study and then to the specific problem or topic you addressed, formulated in the form of the statement of the problem in research or the thesis statement in an essay.

In the conclusion section, in contrast, your task is to move from your specific findings or arguments back to a more general depiction of how your research contributes to the readers’ understanding of a certain concept or helps solve a practical problem, or fills an important gap in the literature. The content of your conclusion section depends on the type of research you are doing and what type of paper you are writing. But whatever the outcome of your work is, the conclusion is where you briefly summarize it and place it within a larger context. It could be called the “take-home message” of the entire paper.

What to summarize in the conclusion

Your conclusion section needs to contain a very brief summary of your work , a very brief summary of the main findings of your work, and a mention of anything else that seems relevant when you now look at your work from a bigger perspective, even if it was not initially listed as one of your main research questions. This could be a limitation, for example, a problem with the design of your experiment that either needs to be considered when drawing any conclusions or that led you to ask a different question and therefore draw different conclusions at the end of your study (compared to when you started out).

Once you have reminded the reader of what you did and what you found, you need to go beyond that and also provide either your own opinion on why your work is relevant (and for whom, and how) or theoretical or practical implications of the study , or make a specific call for action if there is one to be made.   

How to Write an Essay Conclusion

Academic essays follow quite different structures than their counterparts in STEM and the natural sciences. Humanities papers often have conclusion sections that are much longer and contain more detail than scientific papers. There are three main types of academic essay conclusions.

Summarizing conclusion

The most typical conclusion at the end of an analytical/explanatory/argumentative essay is a summarizing conclusion . This is, as the name suggests, a clear summary of the main points of your topic and thesis. Since you might have gone through a number of different arguments or subtopics in the main part of your essay, you need to remind the reader again what those were, how they fit into each other, and how they helped you develop or corroborate your hypothesis.

For an essay that analyzes how recruiters can hire the best candidates in the shortest time or on “how starving yourself will increase your lifespan, according to science”, a summary of all the points you discussed might be all you need. Note that you should not exactly repeat what you said earlier, but rather highlight the essential details and present those to your reader in a different way. 

Externalizing conclusion

If you think that just reminding the reader of your main points is not enough, you can opt for an externalizing conclusion instead, that presents new points that were not presented in the paper so far. These new points can be additional facts and information or they can be ideas that are relevant to the topic and have not been mentioned before.

Such a conclusion can stimulate your readers to think about your topic or the implications of your analysis in a whole new way. For example, at the end of a historical analysis of a specific event or development, you could direct your reader’s attention to some current events that were not the topic of your essay but that provide a different context for your findings.

Editorial conclusion

In an editorial conclusion , another common type of conclusion that you will find at the end of papers and essays, you do not add new information but instead present your own experiences or opinions on the topic to round everything up. What makes this type of conclusion interesting is that you can choose to agree or disagree with the information you presented in your paper so far. For example, if you have collected and analyzed information on how a specific diet helps people lose weight, you can nevertheless have your doubts on the sustainability of that diet or its practicability in real life—if such arguments were not included in your original thesis and have therefore not been covered in the main part of your paper, the conclusion section is the place where you can get your opinion across.    

How to Conclude an Empirical Research Paper

An empirical research paper is usually more concise and succinct than an essay, because, if it is written well, it focuses on one specific question, describes the method that was used to answer that one question, describes and explains the results, and guides the reader in a logical way from the introduction to the discussion without going on tangents or digging into not absolutely relevant topics.

Summarize the findings

In a scientific paper, you should include a summary of the findings. Don’t go into great detail here (you will have presented your in-depth  results  and  discussion  already), but do clearly express the answers to the  research questions  you investigated.

Describe your main findings, even if they weren’t necessarily the ones anticipated, and explain the conclusion they led you to. Explain these findings in as few words as possible.

Instead of beginning with “ In conclusion, in this study, we investigated the effect of stress on the brain using fMRI …”, you should try to find a way to incorporate the repetition of the essential (and only the essential) details into the summary of the key points. “ The findings of this fMRI study on the effect of stress on the brain suggest that …” or “ While it has been known for a long time that stress has an effect on the brain, the findings of this fMRI study show that, surprisingly… ” would be better ways to start a conclusion. 

You should also not bring up new ideas or present new facts in the conclusion of a research paper, but stick to the background information you have presented earlier, to the findings you have already discussed, and the limitations and implications you have already described. The one thing you can add here is a practical recommendation that you haven’t clearly stated before—but even that one needs to follow logically from everything you have already discussed in the discussion section.

Discuss the implications

After summing up your key arguments or findings, conclude the paper by stating the broader implications of the research , whether in methods , approach, or findings. Express practical or theoretical takeaways from your paper. This often looks like a “call to action” or a final “sales pitch” that puts an exclamation point on your paper.

If your research topic is more theoretical in nature, your closing statement should express the significance of your argument—for example, in proposing a new understanding of a topic or laying the groundwork for future research.

Future research example

Future research into education standards should focus on establishing a more detailed picture of how novel pedagogical approaches impact young people’s ability to absorb new and difficult concepts. Moreover, observational studies are needed to gain more insight into how specific teaching models affect the retention of relationships and facts—for instance, how inquiry-based learning and its emphasis on lateral thinking can be used as a jumping-off point for more holistic classroom approaches.

Research Conclusion Example and Outline

Let’s revisit the study on the effect of stress on the brain we mentioned before and see what the common structure for a conclusion paragraph looks like, in three steps. Following these simple steps will make it easy for you to wrap everything up in one short paragraph that contains all the essential information: 

One: Short summary of what you did, but integrated into the summary of your findings:

While it has been known for a long time that stress has an effect on the brain, the findings of this fMRI study in 25 university students going through mid-term exams show that, surprisingly, one’s attitude to the experienced stress significantly modulates the brain’s response to it. 

Note that you don’t need to repeat any methodological or technical details here—the reader has been presented with all of these before, they have read your results section and the discussion of your results, and even (hopefully!) a discussion of the limitations and strengths of your paper. The only thing you need to remind them of here is the essential outcome of your work. 

Two: Add implications, and don’t forget to specify who this might be relevant for: 

Students could be considered a specific subsample of the general population, but earlier research shows that the effect that exam stress has on their physical and mental health is comparable to the effects of other types of stress on individuals of other ages and occupations. Further research into practical ways of modulating not only one’s mental stress response but potentially also one’s brain activity (e.g., via neurofeedback training) are warranted.

This is a “research implication”, and it is nicely combined with a mention of a potential limitation of the study (the student sample) that turns out not to be a limitation after all (because earlier research suggests we can generalize to other populations). If there already is a lot of research on neurofeedback for stress control, by the way, then this should have been discussed in your discussion section earlier and you wouldn’t say such studies are “warranted” here but rather specify how your findings could inspire specific future experiments or how they should be implemented in existing applications. 

Three: The most important thing is that your conclusion paragraph accurately reflects the content of your paper. Compare it to your research paper title , your research paper abstract , and to your journal submission cover letter , in case you already have one—if these do not all tell the same story, then you need to go back to your paper, start again from the introduction section, and find out where you lost the logical thread. As always, consistency is key.    

Problems to Avoid When Writing a Conclusion 

  • Do not suddenly introduce new information that has never been mentioned before (unless you are writing an essay and opting for an externalizing conclusion, see above). The conclusion section is not where you want to surprise your readers, but the take-home message of what you have already presented.
  • Do not simply copy your abstract, the conclusion section of your abstract, or the first sentence of your introduction, and put it at the end of the discussion section. Even if these parts of your paper cover the same points, they should not be identical.
  • Do not start the conclusion with “In conclusion”. If it has its own section heading, that is redundant, and if it is the last paragraph of the discussion section, it is inelegant and also not really necessary. The reader expects you to wrap your work up in the last paragraph, so you don’t have to announce that. Just look at the above example to see how to start a conclusion in a natural way.
  • Do not forget what your research objectives were and how you initially formulated the statement of the problem in your introduction section. If your story/approach/conclusions changed because of methodological issues or information you were not aware of when you started, then make sure you go back to the beginning and adapt your entire story (not just the ending). 

Consider Receiving Academic Editing Services

When you have arrived at the conclusion of your paper, you might want to head over to to receive a free grammar check for any academic content. 

After drafting, you can also receive English editing and proofreading services , including paper editing services for your journal manuscript. If you need advice on how to write the other parts of your research paper , or on how to make a research paper outline if you are struggling with putting everything you did together, then head over to the Wordvice academic resources pages , where we have a lot more articles and videos for you.

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How to Write an Effective Conclusion For a Research Paper

28 Apr 2021

Quick Navigation

❓What is a Research Conclusion?

📃Types of Conclusions

☝️How to Start

✒️How to Write

❌What to Avoid

✅Conclusion Example

📑Plan and Organize

💡Hints and Tricks

Summing up your main ideas and concluding your research paper is intriguing and arduous. What do you do if a deadline is quickly approaching and you still have a blank sheet of paper? If you want to receive a positive mark and impress a professor, you should do tremendous mental work and write a conclusion being fully concentrated and attentive. Alternatively, if you are facing a tight deadline, consider seeking professional help and paying for research papers to help you save time and energy.

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What is the Conclusion of the Research Paper?

On learning how to write a conclusion for a research paper, you must flex the gyrus and draft a final result of the work and know The content of academic research papers conclusions presume a summary of your ideas. It proves your topic with strong and fair-minded arguments. A derivative is built on an analysis of the fundamental thesis and paragraphs.

When doing your research paper , an academic focus on an illation because it sees first-rate ideas and estimates the student's diligence in writing an academic research paper. Writing an effective research paper conclusion demands the author's endeavours and understanding of its structure and significance.

When writing a conclusion, knowing the research problem, and writing the center of the research's conclusion, writers should review their work and ensure that their message is clear and well-supported by the data presented. A reasonable conclusion should be as brief and persuasive as possible, as it is the last chance for the author to make a good impression on the reader. 

Discipline encourages personal reflection, So to write an effective conclusion for a research paper, authors should reiterate their main argument and take their findings further by providing a call to action. By tying up all loose ends, a research paper conclusion should leave the reader feeling satisfied and reassured that the author was able to successfully answer the questions posed in the introduction of the paper.

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Types of conclusions for research papers

A research paper's conclusion can make or break the quality of the paper. A strong conclusion will draw together the key findings, key arguments, and supporting evidence. Concluding paragraphs and several key elements of your research provide the reader with a sense of closure.  Research papers have several types of conclusions, each designed to impact the reader differently.


The most common type of conclusion is a summary of the research main points covered in the research process. This type of writing conclusions should be concise and clear and written in a way that is easy to understand. The clear summary should include the main arguments in the body of the paper, the following strategies, and key statistics makes a brief summary. It should also reiterate the document's purpose and any conclusions you may have drawn.

Demonstrating Key Points

Another type of conclusion is a good conclusion. This type of conclusion provides the reader new understanding with an overview of the paper's main points, important supporting evidence, and further thoughts on how the research could be used in other contexts. Reasonable conclusions may also provide suggestions for further investigation or solutions to the problems identified by your analysis.

Call to Action

A compelling conclusion leaves the reader feeling satisfied and engaged. It should summarise the most important information covered in the paper and offer further insight into new directions for further research. A compelling conclusion should include a call to action, reader understanding, a relevant quotation, and a thought-provoking statement about the implications of the investigation.

Well-written Compelling Conclusion

Finally, a well-written conclusion ties key points and everything together and gives readers a clear picture of what was discussed in the paper. This type of conclusion should be concise, engaging, and inspiring, and you may have your own life experiences. A well-written conclusion should be brief and meaningfully bring all major concluding points together.

When writing a research paper's conclusion, it is important to create a strong, compelling, and well-written piece that brings together all of the main points discussed in the body of the paper.

Each type of conclusion serves its purpose and can help ensure that your research paper makes a lasting impression on your readers. It may also be a weak conclusion if you don't follow the writing tip and general rules.

How to Start a Conclusion of a Research Paper?

While drafting an illation, formulating it is a terrifying issue. As a rule, you must avoid starting it with cliché phrases such as "To conclude" or "In conclusion." These phrases are tiring and boring. Including them, in conclusion, may cost you to lose a reader's attention and spoil the impression of the work. To write a peculiar conclusion, you may return to the thesis statement and tell-tale section heading and answer the questions given.

You can do this by connecting the research context to current issues and explaining how the research contributes to understanding specific problems in that field. This way, you can give a clear overview of your research topic, research question , empirical research conducted, and its findings. The tone for your conclusion should be assertive and confident, summarising everything stated earlier in the paper. The conclusion should also tie all threads together from your introduction, body paragraphs, and synthesis of sources.

How to Write a Conclusion in a Research Paper?

When writing a conclusion for your research paper, it's important to remember that conclusions are meant to summarize your paper's main points. A conclusion should provide closure and a literature review and emphasize the main idea of your paper while also tying any loose ends together. You can craft a compelling conclusion using writing rhetoric and the writing process.

For guidance in writing a conclusion for a research paper, several resources are available to help you. The college writing center, university college writing centre, writing tutorial services, and writing lab all assist in writing a conclusion for a research paper. The Louis community college and Indiana university and their innovative teaching help you craft new idea and visual image of research paper conclusions.

Following certain rules and writing style is important when writing a conclusion for a research paper. Start your conclusion by summarizing the main points of your paper and providing a strong statement of the challenges encountered in your paper's main idea. Also, refrain from including new information in your conclusion; do not restate your thesis or research topic. Finally, read through your conclusion once or twice before you submit it.

By following these guidelines and utilizing your available resources, you can write an effective conclusion for a research paper.

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What to avoid including in your conclusion.

When you are writing the conclusion for a research paper, it is important to remember the main purpose of the conclusion and the type of paper you are writing. Some of the key elements to avoid including in a conclusion are:

  • Making any new claims or introducing new material that does not directly relate to your points in the paper.
  • Adding your opinion on the topic or speculating on future research.
  • Redundantly summarizing what has already been stated in the paper.
  • Unrelated tangents or long anecdotes. 
  • Drawing overly-general conclusions and lab reports that do not fully reflect the evidence presented in the paper. It shows negative aspects to a conclusion.

Instead, the conclusion should emphasize your key findings positively and show how your paper contributes to the larger discipline. It should also encourage personal reflection, such as how this topic might relate to our lives or society. Remember, a good conclusion should leave a lasting impression and make your readers think about the implications of your research for a long time afterward.

Research Paper Conclusion Example

Writing a conclusion for a research paper effectively ties all the evidence together and provides a comprehensive conclusion definition. A compelling conclusion will take the evidence presented and explain why it is important, emphasizing why the research should be taken seriously. 

The research paper's conclusion should combine and use all evidence to support the paper's conclusion. It is important to refrain from introducing any new ideas or evidence in this section. The conclusion should also be brief and emphasize the points made throughout the paper and oral presentations. Remember to restate the main points and draw the reader's attention to key takeaways. 

When writing a research paper conclusion, consider how best to summarize the evidence and how it ties into the paper's topic. Make sure to offer a comprehensive explanation as to why the arguments presented support the conclusion. This will create an effective conclusion that provides readers with a clear understanding of your research.

A good research paper conclusion example summarizes the main points in the essay's main body and expresses them clearly and compellingly. A good conclusion should leave the reader feeling closure and understanding about what they've read, not what is not understood to them. A compelling conclusion should also provide a clear conclusion definition and use the thesis statement throughout the paper to support the paper's conclusion.

Plan a Conclusion and Organize the Thesis

The conclusion of a research report has its own rules of composition that must respect. A decision is written briefly with a statement of problems with rational and well-thought-out ways of solving them. Including a description of the expected results of actions to be carried out, proposing an implementation in practice. The structure of a conclusion includes such elements as:

  • The actuality of the topic.
  • Conclusions on sections of work.
  • The general conclusion of the work.
  • Guidance for solving the posed problem.

After stating the conclusions from your paper, it is important to guide how to solve the issue at hand. This can include potential policy implementations or interventions, potential areas of future research or further exploration into existing evidence, or even personal recommendations if appropriate. 

Do not introduce any new material. It's important not to introduce any new material when writing your conclusion—instead, simply reference points discussed earlier in your paper and make sure everything ties together logically. Avoid bringing up any unrelated or extraneous information; your paper should stay focused on your chosen topic until the end. 

Include implications or applications of your findings. Depending on the type of research you conducted, suggest applications of your findings or implications for future research. In either case, do not make sweeping conclusions about wide-reaching implications from limited evidence; instead, focus more on specific implications directly related to your collected data. 

Mention limitations or unanswered questions.

Know how to structure your paper

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Writing a Conclusion: Hints and Tricks

Here are some tips on how to write a conclusion for a research paper:

  • Primarily, start characterizing your attitude to the topic and substantiating its relevance. Afterward, explain the difficulties you've encountered during the analysis. The outcome of this paragraph should be riveting and informative. A professor should convince himself that the student approached the analysis with enthusiasm.
  • Secondly, read all your tasks recollected in the introduction and describe in detail the process of achieving them while writing the thesis. In the concluding paragraph, scribe a brief statement of the ideas resolved based on the evidence contained within the paper. Describe how you coped with the task and summarize your main conclusions.
  • Thirdly, make a short description of each section. This helps draw an illation and finish statements giving voice to your ideas. Remember that every paragraph should be linked to the previous one.

After that, deduce the general statements of the work, reinforcing them with reliable facts and arguments. Also, you can indicate the principal points of the thesis but refrain from introducing new ideas that have yet to be highlighted in the introduction.

After writing a conclusion about the theoretical part, proceed to a practical summary. Feel at ease talking about your calculations and suggestions. Remember not to restate precisely the conclusions made in the preceding sections.

Instead, focus on reiterating the findings of your study and place special emphasis on their practical implications. 

Lastly, close off the paper by revisiting the issue addressed in your introduction. Connecting the beginning and end of your essay is essential if you want it to feel complete. Additionally, take advantage of the opportunity to address any unanswered questions or objections arising from your results. Refrain from leaving any questions unanswered or unresolved. Doing so will leave the reader feeling satisfied, and they will remember it as they take their next steps into researching a similar topic.

To learn how to write a conclusion for a research paper, follow the tips mentioned above. Make this guidance a part of writing a conclusion paper, and you will complete your task as successfully as possible. There is no need to invent new rules or seek help, as we have already provided it. Our team of experts at PapersOwl also provides professional PowerPoint presentation writing services to help you create an eye-catching presentation. Use our help, and we will do the work for you! With our help, you can save time and effort and get the best results.

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how to start your conclusion in a research paper

How to Start a Conclusion in Research? [With Examples]

The examples below are from 47,803 full-text PubMed research papers that I analyzed in order to explore common ways to start a Conclusion section.

The research papers included in this analysis were selected at random from those uploaded to PubMed Central between the years 2016 and 2021. Note that I used the BioC API to download the data (see the References section below).

Examples of how to start a Conclusion section

The Conclusion section should remind the reader of the most important finding and its implications. [Source: How to Write & Publish a Research Paper: Step-by-Step Guide ]

It can start with a sentence that:

1. Restates the objective of the study

For example:

“ The aim of this study was to develop novel type of nanobiomaterials for biomedical applications with advanced properties using only biocompatible components.” Source: taken from the conclusion section of this PubMed article

2. Emphasizes the strength of the study

“ To the best of our knowledge, this was the first study that analyzed children’s energy balance, in both a school setting and a summer camp, with the aim of assessing whether the dietary intake of children was adequate to cover their needs during both school and summer camp days.” Source: taken from the conclusion section of this PubMed article

3. Summarizes the most important finding of the study

“ The results of this study demonstrate that early application of combined echinocandins/TMP-SMX treatment for AIDS-PCP patients can improve patient prognosis, increase their survival rate, and decrease their mortality rate.” Source: taken from the conclusion section of this PubMed article

Common words used to start a conclusion

Here’s a decision tree that shows the most popular words used at the start of a conclusion:

Common ways to start a conclusion section

5.74% of studies start the Conclusion section with: “In conclusion”

In our sample of 47,803 research papers, 2,744 (5.74%) Conclusion sections started with the words: “In conclusion”.

“ In conclusion, we have identified the radical species that promoted the stereoinversion of vinylic compounds during the preparation of potassium vinyltrifluoroborate salts.” Source: taken from the conclusion section of this PubMed article
“ In conclusion, liver cell injury might occur in the early stage of COVID-19.” Source: taken from the conclusion section of this PubMed article
“ In conclusion, the results of the present study indicate the potential use of themedicinal species for oral candidosis prevention or treatment and emphasize the action of the crude C. sativum essential oil, which demonstrates a strong activity against Candida spp. planktonic cells and C. albicans biofilm.” Source: taken from the conclusion section of this PubMed article

0.07% of Conclusions end with a question

Only 34 out of 47,803 (0.07%) of the Conclusion sections in our sample ended with a question.

“Future experiments may seek the answers to a number of important questions: Are the effects of light quality on plants permanent ? What portion of the blue spectrum is actually needed for the growth of grape plantlets in vitro ? Do the physiological and transcriptional responses of grape plantlets grown in vivo and in vitro differ ? “ Source: taken from the conclusion section of this PubMed article
“The above observations raise an intriguing question: how SAHase, the protein with two Rossmann-folds, had evolved during the development of life on Earth ? “ Source: taken from the conclusion section of this PubMed article
“Researchers using these tools will be able to confirm and verify any hypothesis in HD and answer the question why and how do striatal neurons primarily die ? “ Source: taken from the conclusion section of this PubMed article
  • Comeau DC, Wei CH, Islamaj Doğan R, and Lu Z. PMC text mining subset in BioC: about 3 million full text articles and growing,  Bioinformatics , btz070, 2019.

Further reading

  • How to Write & Publish a Research Paper: Step-by-Step Guide
  • How Long Should a Research Paper Be? Data from 61,519 Examples
  • How Many References to Cite? Based on 96,685 Research Papers
  • How Old Should References Be? Based on 3,823,919 Examples

Write the Research Paper Conclusion Correctly: Guide to Your Academic Success

John Anderson

A research paper’s conclusion is an important section that summarizes the results, emphasizes the importance of the study, and makes an impact on readers. Writing a research paper conclusion is crucial since it leaves readers with a lasting impression and highlights your investigation’s main ideas and conclusions. The conclusion for a research paper should neatly tie up all the loose ends and suggest a precise and concise statement of the ramifications of your research.

We will examine the essential components of how to conclude a research paper. We will also discuss what should the conclusion of a research paper contain? But first, let’s understand what a research paper is.

Table of Contents

What Is a Research Paper

A research paper is a thorough, formal academic document summarizing the findings of an investigation or research study on a particular subject. It is a written report that conveys to the academic community beyond the research’s conclusions, analysis, and interpretation. Research papers are crucial in academia since they enhance knowledge in various subjects.

The foundation of a research paper is self-conducted original research by the author(s). It entails gathering data, studying information, and judging the results.

Research papers are supported by evidence gathered using various research techniques, including experiments, surveys, observations, and data analysis. Data and logical reasoning back up the conclusions.

Research papers are an essential component of scholarly communication and are necessary for advancing academic fields, exchanging ideas, and disseminating new knowledge. Writing a research paper demands careful planning, thorough research, critical thinking, and excellent communication abilities to convey the research findings in a cohesive and persuading way.

Purpose of Research Paper Conclusion

The goal of a research paper conclusion is complex, and it is essential to drawing a successful conclusion to the study and leaving readers with a lasting impression. Now, we’ll examine how to end a research paper and the main goals of the closing.

Closing out the entire study is one of the main goals of a research paper conclusion. It acts as the section where you summarize all the data in the paper’s main body. The conclusion strengthens the thesis of the study by translating significant ideas, discoveries, and arguments. This gives readers a clear understanding of the primary conclusions of the study.

The ending is your last chance to leave readers with a positive impression. Write a solid and memorable conclusion to leave readers with a lasting impression of your research report. The significance of your study will be remembered by the audience long after they have finished reading the article if your conclusion is worded correctly.

Now, let’s look at how to write a conclusion for a research paper.

Summarize the Main Points

Firstly, describe how each objective was met or addressed in the study and if there are any explicit objectives or targets in the research article. This demonstrates that the research’s planned goals were attained.

Then go back and note any significant studies or hypotheses that were covered. Explain how the research’s findings compare to or differ from existing literature. This aids in placing the study in the perspective of the larger scholarly conversation. Also, link the research results to the hypothesis or research question at the start of the investigation. Describe how the research paper’s supporting evidence helps to keep the research question’s conclusion.

End the conclusion with a strong concluding statement that leaves the reader with a lasting imprint. Reiterate the importance of your study and its possible impact on academia or real-world applications. Give your readers something to think about in light of your findings.

Also, avoid new knowledge. The conclusion is not the place to introduce new facts, ideas, or arguments not covered in the paper’s main body. Keep the present content summarized and concluded.

Mention the Significance and Implications of the Findings

This section highlights the significance of your research and how it advances our understanding. Your paper’s conclusion should address the relevance and consequences of your research’s findings effectively.

Start by reviewing the Introduction’s stated research objectives or research questions. Please describe how the results help to resolve the research issues and how they directly meet these goals.

Discuss your research’s novelty and originality as a contribution to knowledge. Emphasize the new knowledge and insights your study contributes to the corpus of existing knowledge. Identify any gaps your research has filled in the body of knowledge.

If the research paper includes explicit objectives or goals, summarize how each goal was met or addressed in the study. This demonstrates that the research accomplished its objectives.

Return to the literature review and identify any critical research or theories that were presented. Show how the research findings correspond to or differ from the current literature. It aids in situating the research within the more considerable academic debate.

Make a clear connection between the research findings and the research question or hypothesis provided at the start of the investigation. Explain how the evidence offered in the research article supports the research question’s response.

Recognize any study limits or constraints. Be forthright about any potential flaws in the research design or technique. In addition, offer future research directions that can build on the current study and overcome its weaknesses.

Examine your findings’ generalizability. Discuss how far your conclusions can be generalized to different contexts or populations. Be honest about your study’s limitations and how they might affect the interpretations and conclusions you reach.

Keep Cohesion with the Introduction

A well-structured research paper conclusion must be cohesive with the Introduction. It entails ensuring that the ending is consistent with and complements the information offered in the Introduction. Cohesion establishes a sense of unity and continuity across the research report, suggesting that the conclusion is logical for the investigation. Here are several approaches to achieving cohesiveness in the Introduction:

  • Repeat the research question or the thesis statement. Begin the conclusion by restating the research question or thesis statement introduced in the Introduction’s first paragraphs. This serves to remind readers of the study’s principal emphasis and relevance.
  • Address the Goals or Purpose. Connect the conclusion to the aims or purpose of the study indicated in the Introduction. Summarize how your study addressed these goals and served its purpose.
  • Summarize the review of literature. Refer briefly to the literature discussed in the beginning. Show how your research complements or expands on other studies, theories, or notions. It establishes the continuity of your research with the current body of knowledge.
  • Highlight the contribution and novelty. Make sure to highlight the novelty and value of your research, particularly if it was mentioned in the Introduction.

Also, maintain a consistent tone and language from the beginning to the end. If the Introduction was written in a formal and objective style, make sure the conclusion follows suit.

Reread the Introduction to review the essential findings and consequences. Finally, please check them further, emphasizing their significance and relevance.

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How to start a research paper conclusion?

It is important to reiterate the significance of the research and address the research question or hypothesis. A well-crafted conclusion paper showcases the overall implications of the study and leaves a lasting impression on readers.

What are the three parts of a conclusion?

A research paper conclusion typically comprises three essential parts:

  • Restatement of thesis or research question;
  • Summary of main points;
  • Final insights and implications.

What does a firm conclusion include?

A robust research paper conclusion includes the following elements: a clear and concise summary, the answer to the research question, the significance of findings, recommendations for future research, and a connection to the Introduction.

By incorporating these elements, a firm conclusion enhances the overall impact of the research paper and reinforces the study’s significance and value in the academic community.

Can I introduce new information in the conclusion?

No, the conclusion is not the place to introduce new information, data, or ideas. It should only summarize and reiterate the content presented in the main body of the paper. Avoid introducing new arguments or results that were not previously discussed.

How do I strike a balance between summarizing and repeating information?

Striking the right balance between summarizing and repeating information is essential in the research paper’s conclusion. Focus on presenting the main points concisely, using different phrasing and emphasizing their significance. Avoid verbatim repetition and strive for a coherent and logical flow of ideas.

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Writing a Research Paper Introduction | Step-by-Step Guide

Published on September 24, 2022 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on March 27, 2023.

Writing a Research Paper Introduction

The introduction to a research paper is where you set up your topic and approach for the reader. It has several key goals:

  • Present your topic and get the reader interested
  • Provide background or summarize existing research
  • Position your own approach
  • Detail your specific research problem and problem statement
  • Give an overview of the paper’s structure

The introduction looks slightly different depending on whether your paper presents the results of original empirical research or constructs an argument by engaging with a variety of sources.

Table of contents

Step 1: introduce your topic, step 2: describe the background, step 3: establish your research problem, step 4: specify your objective(s), step 5: map out your paper, research paper introduction examples, frequently asked questions about the research paper introduction.

The first job of the introduction is to tell the reader what your topic is and why it’s interesting or important. This is generally accomplished with a strong opening hook.

The hook is a striking opening sentence that clearly conveys the relevance of your topic. Think of an interesting fact or statistic, a strong statement, a question, or a brief anecdote that will get the reader wondering about your topic.

For example, the following could be an effective hook for an argumentative paper about the environmental impact of cattle farming:

A more empirical paper investigating the relationship of Instagram use with body image issues in adolescent girls might use the following hook:

Don’t feel that your hook necessarily has to be deeply impressive or creative. Clarity and relevance are still more important than catchiness. The key thing is to guide the reader into your topic and situate your ideas.

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how to start your conclusion in a research paper

This part of the introduction differs depending on what approach your paper is taking.

In a more argumentative paper, you’ll explore some general background here. In a more empirical paper, this is the place to review previous research and establish how yours fits in.

Argumentative paper: Background information

After you’ve caught your reader’s attention, specify a bit more, providing context and narrowing down your topic.

Provide only the most relevant background information. The introduction isn’t the place to get too in-depth; if more background is essential to your paper, it can appear in the body .

Empirical paper: Describing previous research

For a paper describing original research, you’ll instead provide an overview of the most relevant research that has already been conducted. This is a sort of miniature literature review —a sketch of the current state of research into your topic, boiled down to a few sentences.

This should be informed by genuine engagement with the literature. Your search can be less extensive than in a full literature review, but a clear sense of the relevant research is crucial to inform your own work.

Begin by establishing the kinds of research that have been done, and end with limitations or gaps in the research that you intend to respond to.

The next step is to clarify how your own research fits in and what problem it addresses.

Argumentative paper: Emphasize importance

In an argumentative research paper, you can simply state the problem you intend to discuss, and what is original or important about your argument.

Empirical paper: Relate to the literature

In an empirical research paper, try to lead into the problem on the basis of your discussion of the literature. Think in terms of these questions:

  • What research gap is your work intended to fill?
  • What limitations in previous work does it address?
  • What contribution to knowledge does it make?

You can make the connection between your problem and the existing research using phrases like the following.

Now you’ll get into the specifics of what you intend to find out or express in your research paper.

The way you frame your research objectives varies. An argumentative paper presents a thesis statement, while an empirical paper generally poses a research question (sometimes with a hypothesis as to the answer).

Argumentative paper: Thesis statement

The thesis statement expresses the position that the rest of the paper will present evidence and arguments for. It can be presented in one or two sentences, and should state your position clearly and directly, without providing specific arguments for it at this point.

Empirical paper: Research question and hypothesis

The research question is the question you want to answer in an empirical research paper.

Present your research question clearly and directly, with a minimum of discussion at this point. The rest of the paper will be taken up with discussing and investigating this question; here you just need to express it.

A research question can be framed either directly or indirectly.

  • This study set out to answer the following question: What effects does daily use of Instagram have on the prevalence of body image issues among adolescent girls?
  • We investigated the effects of daily Instagram use on the prevalence of body image issues among adolescent girls.

If your research involved testing hypotheses , these should be stated along with your research question. They are usually presented in the past tense, since the hypothesis will already have been tested by the time you are writing up your paper.

For example, the following hypothesis might respond to the research question above:

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The final part of the introduction is often dedicated to a brief overview of the rest of the paper.

In a paper structured using the standard scientific “introduction, methods, results, discussion” format, this isn’t always necessary. But if your paper is structured in a less predictable way, it’s important to describe the shape of it for the reader.

If included, the overview should be concise, direct, and written in the present tense.

  • This paper will first discuss several examples of survey-based research into adolescent social media use, then will go on to …
  • This paper first discusses several examples of survey-based research into adolescent social media use, then goes on to …

Full examples of research paper introductions are shown in the tabs below: one for an argumentative paper, the other for an empirical paper.

  • Argumentative paper
  • Empirical paper

Are cows responsible for climate change? A recent study (RIVM, 2019) shows that cattle farmers account for two thirds of agricultural nitrogen emissions in the Netherlands. These emissions result from nitrogen in manure, which can degrade into ammonia and enter the atmosphere. The study’s calculations show that agriculture is the main source of nitrogen pollution, accounting for 46% of the country’s total emissions. By comparison, road traffic and households are responsible for 6.1% each, the industrial sector for 1%. While efforts are being made to mitigate these emissions, policymakers are reluctant to reckon with the scale of the problem. The approach presented here is a radical one, but commensurate with the issue. This paper argues that the Dutch government must stimulate and subsidize livestock farmers, especially cattle farmers, to transition to sustainable vegetable farming. It first establishes the inadequacy of current mitigation measures, then discusses the various advantages of the results proposed, and finally addresses potential objections to the plan on economic grounds.

The rise of social media has been accompanied by a sharp increase in the prevalence of body image issues among women and girls. This correlation has received significant academic attention: Various empirical studies have been conducted into Facebook usage among adolescent girls (Tiggermann & Slater, 2013; Meier & Gray, 2014). These studies have consistently found that the visual and interactive aspects of the platform have the greatest influence on body image issues. Despite this, highly visual social media (HVSM) such as Instagram have yet to be robustly researched. This paper sets out to address this research gap. We investigated the effects of daily Instagram use on the prevalence of body image issues among adolescent girls. It was hypothesized that daily Instagram use would be associated with an increase in body image concerns and a decrease in self-esteem ratings.

The introduction of a research paper includes several key elements:

  • A hook to catch the reader’s interest
  • Relevant background on the topic
  • Details of your research problem

and your problem statement

  • A thesis statement or research question
  • Sometimes an overview of the paper

Don’t feel that you have to write the introduction first. The introduction is often one of the last parts of the research paper you’ll write, along with the conclusion.

This is because it can be easier to introduce your paper once you’ve already written the body ; you may not have the clearest idea of your arguments until you’ve written them, and things can change during the writing process .

The way you present your research problem in your introduction varies depending on the nature of your research paper . A research paper that presents a sustained argument will usually encapsulate this argument in a thesis statement .

A research paper designed to present the results of empirical research tends to present a research question that it seeks to answer. It may also include a hypothesis —a prediction that will be confirmed or disproved by your research.

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    1. Restate the thesis. An effective conclusion brings the reader back to the main point, reminding the reader of the purpose of the essay. However, avoid repeating the thesis verbatim. Paraphrase your argument slightly while still preserving the primary point. 2. Reiterate supporting points.

  23. Writing a Research Paper Introduction

    Step 1: Introduce your topic. Step 2: Describe the background. Step 3: Establish your research problem. Step 4: Specify your objective (s) Step 5: Map out your paper. Research paper introduction examples. Frequently asked questions about the research paper introduction. Step 1: Introduce your topic.