Writing research paper conclusions is challenging. Concluding paragraphs should summarize your study without seeming unnecessary. A strong research paper conclusion paragraph can strengthen your research paper.
This article explains the value of a solid concluding paragraph, how to create one, and research paper conclusion writing guidelines.
Definition: Research paper conclusion
A research paper conclusion wraps up your ideas and leaves a lasting impact on the reader.1
Research paper conclusion goals are:
- Summarize the paper’s research problem.
- Recap your arguments or findings.
- Provide significant takeaways from your paper.
The research paper conclusion depends on whether your work delivers empirical research results or builds an argument from sources.
The steps below illustrate how to write a reasonable research paper conclusion.
Research paper conclusion – Step 1
Summarizing the research question:
Reiterating your research problem is the first order of business for your research paper conclusion. You will have already spent a lot of time discussing this issue in the body, so now you can step back and look at the overall perspective.2
You shouldn’t restate a problem precisely as it was introduced. Find a unique technique to loop back to the problem from the body’s details.
✓ Phrases to use
✗ Phrases to avoid
Avoid beginning your conclusion with terms such as “In conclusion” or “To conclude,” as these are too obvious and can make your writing appear unsophisticated. Your conclusion’s content and placement should make its role evident without needing extra signposting.
Research paper conclusion – Step 2
Summarizing the content:
After refocusing on the problem, outline how the study addressed it and what conclusions it reached.
This may entail restating your thesis and reasoning or summarizing overall findings, depending on the type of your research work.
An argumentative paper’s thesis statement is delivered in the paper’s introduction and expresses the paper’s central assertion. Restating the thesis and demonstrating its development throughout the article is essential to every research paper conclusion.
Summarize the body’s primary arguments and how they prove your thesis. If your argument is controversial, you may present counterarguments and explain why your thesis holds up.
Don’t discuss your proof or propose fresh ideas; outline your argument.
This is the section of an empirical paper where you should summarize your significant findings. Don’t go into detail (you’ve already delivered your detailed results and discussion), but clearly state your research questions.
Describe your key findings, even if they were not what you expected or desired, and explain how they led to your conclusion.
Research paper conclusion – Step 3
After summarizing major arguments or facts, the conclusion considers broader ramifications. This includes conveying the practical or theoretical implications from your study as a call to action or future research proposals.
Argumentative papers typically conclude a powerful thesis statement. In the event of a practical argument, make a call to action:
What steps do you believe the individuals or organizations involved should take in response to your argument?
Suppose your issue is more theoretical and inappropriate for a call to action. In that case, the research paper conclusion should convey the argument’s relevance by proposing a new understanding of the topic or setting the basis for future research. 3
In the research paper conclusion of an empirical article, you can either make recommendations for practice (such as in clinical or policy papers) or make suggestions for further research.
Regardless of the extent of your research, there is always a potential for additional exploration into related topics, and you will frequently uncover new questions and issues during the research process.
Conclude your work on an optimistic note by proposing how you or other researchers could expand on this issue in the future and address any shortcomings of the current paper.
Research paper conclusion examples
The tabs below exhibit argumentative and empirical research paper conclusions.
A research paper conclusion should include these elements:
- Problem restatement
- An overview of your main points
- A brief overview of study implications
No, the research paper conclusion isn’t the place for new arguments or proof. You may be tempted to keep a strong argument for last, but research papers have a more formal framework.
All your facts and justifications should be in the body of the paper. The research paper conclusion should recap and reflect on previous evidence and arguments, not propose new ones.
An excellent research paper conclusion needs at least one paragraph. A lengthy document will likely need multiple paragraphs to conclude adequately.
1 Eads, Audrey. “How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper.” Indeed. October 13, 2022. https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/how-to-write-a-conclusion-for-a-research-paper.
2 Kevin. “How to Write a Research Paper Conclusion Section.” Wordvice. September 14, 2022. https://blog.wordvice.com/how-to-write-a-conclusion-for-a-research-paper.
3 Taylor, Christopher. “How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper.” WikiHow. December 11, 2022. https://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Conclusion-for-a-Research-Paper.