Conclusions are often seen as unnecessary since they only restate what has already been stated. However, a good conclusion should go beyond repeating what was said. The final section of a paper should inform the reader how everything they have read is relevant to them and why it should matter. A conclusion is not just a summary of the points mentioned in the paper but also “a synthesis of key points.” Since conclusions are expected to be concise, one paragraph should be sufficient most of the time. In some cases, two or three paragraph conclusions may be required (Sacred Heart University, n.d.).
A conclusion is necessary because it makes the research paper complete, and it combines everything mentioned in the introduction and body to showcase its importance and relevance. It takes the reader a step back to look at the bigger picture of the research. In order to write your conclusion in a way that leaves your reader wanting to read more of your work, there are few effective strategies and tools you can use. The main three characteristics found in effective research paper conclusions are that they usually stress the importance of the thesis statement, give the paper a sense of completeness, and leave a final positive impression on the reader (Bouchrika, 2021).
The conclusion can also be seen as a way to demonstrate the understanding of the research question in a different way, which will allow the writer to tie the different pieces of the paper into one that makes the most sense. As mentioned above, the conclusion gives you the chance of leaving a positive impression on the reader, and a writer should use that opportunity to present their final thoughts on the issue discussed. By being able to answer the “So what?” question in a conclusion, a writer is able to summarize their thoughts and showcase the bigger implications of this study on their field. The conclusion can also be seen as a way to expand or come up with new ways to think about the research problem presented in your paper. This does not mean that you should add new information. Instead, come up with innovative ways to contextualize the research problem based on the research results you have found (Sacred Heart University, n.d.).
As there are a few recommended things to add to a conclusion, there are also some things that need to be avoided. Try not to be elaborate in summarizing the results, as the conclusion is expected to be written in a straightforward, clear way. It is not recommended to simply repeat the results without adding anything to that conclusion, as it is overly repetitive and adds no substance to the conclusion. Finally, try not to make it seem like the research you have conducted concludes all research in that area. Conclusions should showcase future opportunities of research within your field and may even talk about the possibility of interdisciplinary work for other fields (W, 2020).
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- Bouchrika, I. (2021). How to write a conclusion for a research paper: Effective tips and strategies. https://research.com/research/how-to-write-a-conclusion-for-a-research-paper
- Sacred Heart University. (n.d.). Organizing academic research papers: 9. the conclusion. Research Guides. https://library.sacredheart.edu/c.php?g=29803&p=185935
- W, S. (2020). How to write a conclusion for a research paper: Full guide. EssayPro. https://essaypro.com/blog/research-paper-conclusion