How To Close A Research Paper And Leave A Good Impression
In high school and college, you’ll probably have to write a significant number of research papers, which often constitute a significant percentage of your grade in a class. Research papers are based on evidence and prior theorization, supported with numerous sources and citations. They begin with an introduction, progress to the body of the paper itself, and end with a conclusory paragraph.
A strong conclusion is an integral part of your research paper. It’s important to close a piece of writing in a way that’s strong, well-put, and genuinely conclusive. It ties your arguments together into an authentically cohesive whole. Many students struggle with writing a strong conclusion, and it’s actually one of the most challenging parts of writing.
Here are some useful tips for how to close a research paper in a way that solidifies your argument and leaves a good impression on the reader. A good conclusion helps a piece of writing achieve a circular, self-enclosed form, completing itself by joining the end to the beginning.
- Briefly restate your topic, explaining its importance. You don’t have to spend as much time explaining your topic as you did in the introductory paragraph. Your reader has already been given this information; you’re just recapitulating what you’ve already said, as a reminder. You might need as little as a single sentence.
- Be sure to restate your thesis. As you probably know, the thesis statement is the most important part of your entire paper. You should use different wording than you did in your introduction, but the statement should remain essentially the same.
- Recapitulate your main points, and how they relate to one another. Briefly summarize your main findings from your research. You don’t need to go into as much detail as you did in the body of the paper, or even in the introduction.
- Don’t introduce any new information. Your conclusion should not contain any information that was not already covered in the body.
- If needed, create a “call to action.” If your paper makes a case for a particular form of action, include this in the conclusion. You might not need this, but if you are addressing a scientific or social need, it’s a useful element to include.
- Avoid phrases like “in general” or “in conclusion.” These are redundant and unnecessary, and at higher academic levels, they’re generally considered to be a sign of poor writing. It should be self-evident that this part of the paper is a conclusion, without the need to state it directly.
Writing a good conclusion can be difficult, but it’s certainly not impossible. These guidelines can help you construct a strong, conclusive ending for your research writings, providing closure and underscoring your overall thesis.