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How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper

Your conclusion can be one of the most important research paper components because it will help summarize and synthesize what could be a very long and complex paper. You want to accomplish two things: you want to make sure your reader understands the message you have conveyed and you want to leave a lasting impression.

Here’s how to write a great conclusion for your research paper:

Return to the main theme from your introduction:

This method of writing a conclusion helps gives your research a sense of coming full circle. You revisit whatever it is you first started talking about in your introduction. If you start with an anecdote you finish it in the conclusion, if you start with a quote you mention the quote again and put it into the greater perspective of your work.

Synthesize your research paper content:

As mentioned above you want to synthesize your content for your reader. Don’t assume that he or she will be able to take your main points and pieces of evidence and know how it all relates together to prove your central argument. Include a short summary of your research, but don’t just repeat things or restate things using slightly different words. Take your reader point by point and show how they tie together.

Propose a solution or a call to action:

You can effectively direct the attention of your reader or colleagues by suggesting that they apply what they have just learned in your research towards something else. Even if it’s just to call on them to conduct more research, making this suggestion will leave your reader with an afterthought, and this is the very definition of leaving a lasting impression.

State the broader implications of your work:

This is a very effective method of writing a conclusion that rarely gets used. If you focus on a single sub-topic within a greater topic, you could point out how your topic has a greater impact on the larger topic and how your work has set up taking the first steps in bringing future research or studies to the forefront.

Try asking your friends if they care:

This may not sound nice at first but it’s very effective. You ask your friends to read your research paper and ask them to pay special attention to your conclusion. If they aren’t wowed or know what they are expected to do with the information they just read then you should look towards re-writing your conclusion to guide them.

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