How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper


Writing a research paper conclusion entails summarizing the content and goal of your paper in a concise, but not wooden or dry, manner. Learn how to end a research paper and inspire action with this article from grade office writers. Before we present a step-by-step guide, we’ll go over a definition and some general rules. All of the useful rhetorical advice is near the end, so make sure to stick around.

What Is a Conclusion?

A conclusion summarizes what you’ve written in your academic paper. It may appear simple, but your final grade is heavily influenced by how well you express the main point of your research paper. The ability to present the entire picture of your research in a few concise paragraphs or pages will undoubtedly make your work stand out. Also, keep in mind that the conclusion is the final section of the research paper (excluding the bibliography and endnotes), so it should be taken seriously.

When writing a research paper conclusion, you should inherently restate the main argument. There, you will be able to demonstrate the strengths of your main argument as well as repeat all of the main evidence that supports it. But don’t be overly repetitious!

Your conclusion should be appropriate. How is this achieved?

  1. If the argument is too complex, summarize it for the reader again.
  2. If you haven’t yet discussed the significance of your findings, now is the time.
  3. Transition quickly from a detailed to a more general overview of your topic.
  4. Do not include any new context or a slew of new ideas that could have been discussed in greater depth previously.
  5. Restate your research problem or topic persuasively and succinctly. Be introspective and include your own reflections on the evidence presented in your work.

General Rules for a Conclusion of a Research Paper

You will be able to demonstrate your deep and well-analyzed understanding of the research problem if you write a well-structured conclusion.

  • The conclusion should be written in simple, clear language. Don’t go overboard with the details.
  • Do not repeat your findings without first having a more in-depth discussion about them.
  • Demonstrate potential areas for additional research.

The Outline

The outline of the conclusion should include:

  • A thesis statement is required. This is a brief statement that helps to describe the work in a few sentences. A good thesis should be objective, definitive, clear, and debatable.
  • A synopsis of the arguments Following the thesis, you should write a summary of the arguments or data that you have gathered.
  • Observations and a concluding sentence Finish with your own observations and a final sentence emphasizing the significance of your work.

Information to Include

The Last Opinion on the Problems You Raised in Your Paper

This will leave a lasting impression and demonstrate your own self-assurance in your work. You can do this by emphasizing the main findings of your research, such as the main points of analysis and unexpected results that you encountered while working on the project.

Summary of Your Thoughts and Opinions to Show How Significant Your Research Is

The conclusion is an excellent opportunity for you to respond succinctly to one of the inevitable questions your readers will have after finishing to read: “What’s the point?”

Your Own Ideas

It is not always possible to discuss your own opinions during the main part of the research. The conclusion is where your personality shines through. Use it to discuss the implications of your findings and their broader significance.

Thoughts About the Future

There are probably more ways to discuss your research problem if your research is insightful and interesting. Show how the results of your academic work can be used to further discuss or solve this problem. Mention other people who have researched this problem and their ideas, as well as how the research could be expanded in the future.

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:

  1. If you’ve been writing about a current issue, discuss what might happen if the problem isn’t solved, but don’t add any new information. Bring in no new evidence or facts.
  2. Don’t be afraid to offer or recommend a course of action.
  3. Use relevant quotations or expert opinions to strengthen your conclusion.
  4. Restate a key statistic, fact, or even a visual image that represents your paper’s main point.
  5. Share your personal reflection. You can even share your personal life experiences.
  6. Interpret the results in your own unique way to provide a new perspective. Do not be afraid to be a researcher who tries something new, even if it is for the most common of problems.
  7. Conclude with a brief but powerful message that will help others remember your research. This message has the potential to set you apart from the crowd.
  8. Avoid using phrases like “in conclusion” or similar expressions. This includes phrases like “in conclusion” or “in summary.” Why? These proverbs sound unnatural and stiff. They give the impression that your work is too formal and pragmatic. A strong conclusion does not require the phrase “In conclusion.” It will be able to stand on its own.
  9. Maintain a consistent tone throughout your paper. If you suddenly use a completely different tone or style of presenting the information, it sounds unnatural.
  10. Go over your entire paper to ensure that you haven’t overlooked any crucial points.

How to Make a Conclusion Effective Rhetorically

It is critical to remember that effective conclusions are based on synthesis rather than a summary.

To summarize means to provide a succinct summary of the main points. The term “synthesize” refers to the process of combining information into a coherent whole. You want to neatly tie the paper together. Making a connection between the introduction and the conclusion gives your paper “fullness.” Have you ever seen a movie where a minor detail from the beginning is reintroduced at the end? The same result.

There are a few technical tricks to making this effect:

  • In the introduction, ask a question, and then answer it in the conclusion.
  • Begin with a joke or a story and end with a conclusion.
  • A novel idea: if you’re writing about recycling, you can begin with the story of a plastic bag and work your way full circle. The plastic bag is discarded, recycled, and reused as a plastic bag. A beautiful and compelling reincarnation story.
  • Make use of imagery. Make a pattern of words and images in the introduction and repeat it in the conclusion. It instills a subconscious sense of completeness.

These rhetorical devices will help readers remember your essay. They can be extremely effective tools for effecting change.

Look to the greats for more inspiration. George Orwell is a master of rhetorical devices like mirroring and imagery. Many people have cried after reading his essay Shooting an Elephant.

Making a Conclusion Effective Logically

If you want to reach a clear and focused conclusion rather than one based on inspiration, you should use hard facts. However, simply stating the problem and its consequences is insufficient. People don’t want to hear hard facts, so you have to trick them into listening.

Here are a few smart techniques:

  • Give the reader a graphical illustration of the consequences of idleness. Remember, most people won’t care unless they see how it applies to their lives. For an example, see the blog’s introduction.
  • Recommend a solution or a course of action. This could have been the goal of your research paper from the start.
  • Refer back to a relevant scientist, expert, or great thinker. Most people would believe you if Einstein said it.
  • Demonstrate urgency. Do we really need oceans to flood New York City’s financial districts in order to believe in climate change?
  • Show a critical statistic which speaks facts. Statistics can be appealing. However, as stated in point one, no one cares until they see how it applies to them.
  • Reflect on yourself and personal experience. It may be subjective, but this approach allows you to connect with the audience on a more human level. Use a situation from your own life to illustrate your conclusion.
  • Reuse a hook from the introduction, but show it in light of all this new knowledge. Remember that anecdote from the beginning that everyone laughed at? They now know the truth, and it’s no longer amusing. In fact, it’s a little frightening.
  • Give the readers a new hook they can take home and think about.
  • If your research doesn’t answer the question or provide solutions — say it! Someone in the audience should be able to pick up where you left off.

What You Should Avoid in the Conclusion for Your Research Paper

Let’s go over the don’ts now that we’ve covered the do’s. By the end of this article, hopefully, your conclusion will shine like a nice recycled plastic bottle.

  • Lack of concision. Some students can go on and on about their written work, which is usually unnecessary and irritating. Make an effort to be as brief and to-the-point as possible. Small details should not be included in the conclusion. Discuss the implications, evaluations, and insights, but avoid discussing minor details that can be easily overlooked. Minor points include multiple steps you may have taken when writing the research, additional topics that stem from the main topic, unnecessary details that could be compressed into several short sentences rather than several paragraphs, and so on.
  • Lack of comments on larger and more significant issues. Typically, the introduction progresses from general to specific. In contrast, the conclusion typically moves from specific to general. So this is where you should put your research into context.
  • An absence of the negative aspects of your research process would make your paper appear less authentic than it should. So, if you had specific problems, drawbacks, or challenges, it will make the paper seem more relatable, personal, and in-depth—which is often the key to a successful research.
  • No clear summary of what was learned. Discuss your own experience and the knowledge you’ve gained along the way. It may only be a few sentences long, but it is extremely important.
  • Inability to match the objectives of your research. You must address how your initial objectives in your introduction were met throughout the work. Make a nice structural circle to demonstrate how the introduction and conclusion are linked.
  • Inability to unify your work. You must connect all of the sections of your academic work so that the professor can see the big picture. You can even use the same images and concepts in the introduction and conclusion to make everything flow together..
  • Poor logic. Different, or even opposing, points may be made in some papers. The conclusion is an excellent place to develop a unified and distinct viewpoint on the issue. If there are any questions in your paper that were not clearly answered in the paper, they must be addressed in the conclusion. You can even challenge readers to come up with their own conclusions. The best way to do this is to ask the readers questions rather than always providing answers. However, this approach may not work in all disciplines, but it may be quite effective if you are writing a research paper on social issues or politics.
  • No personal recommendation. When creating a call to action, you must explain which actions you believe are the most important or effective. This will aid in your understanding of the topic and the overall context of your research.

Research Paper Conclusion Example

That’s pretty much all there is to know about summarizing a research paper. There are two steps left: look at a research paper conclusion example and write one.

Example of a Research Paper Conclusion: Is Climate Change a Serious Threat to the US Economy?

Finally, this research paper demonstrates that climate change has a negative impact on the US economy by highlighting various claims related to researchers’ positions on the topic. The claims present the researcher’s position on why the US government should fight the causes and effects of climate change on the country’s economy. Furthermore, the moral foundations are based on Catholic teachings and principles that guide people on how to protect God’s Creation, particularly the environment. By following the moral actions outlined, one will be able to comprehend the effects of climate change on the economy, allowing them to protect their surroundings for the sake of a better economy.