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Writing a Research Paper Conclusion | Step-by-Step Guide

Published on October 30, 2022 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on April 13, 2023.

  • Restate the problem statement addressed in the paper
  • Summarize your overall arguments or findings
  • Suggest the key takeaways from your paper

Research paper conclusion

The content of the conclusion varies depending on whether your paper presents the results of original empirical research or constructs an argument through engagement with sources .

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Table of contents

Step 1: restate the problem, step 2: sum up the paper, step 3: discuss the implications, research paper conclusion examples, frequently asked questions about research paper conclusions.

The first task of your conclusion is to remind the reader of your research problem . You will have discussed this problem in depth throughout the body, but now the point is to zoom back out from the details to the bigger picture.

While you are restating a problem you’ve already introduced, you should avoid phrasing it identically to how it appeared in the introduction . Ideally, you’ll find a novel way to circle back to the problem from the more detailed ideas discussed in the body.

For example, an argumentative paper advocating new measures to reduce the environmental impact of agriculture might restate its problem as follows:

Meanwhile, an empirical paper studying the relationship of Instagram use with body image issues might present its problem like this:

“In conclusion …”

Avoid starting your conclusion with phrases like “In conclusion” or “To conclude,” as this can come across as too obvious and make your writing seem unsophisticated. The content and placement of your conclusion should make its function clear without the need for additional signposting.

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Having zoomed back in on the problem, it’s time to summarize how the body of the paper went about addressing it, and what conclusions this approach led to.

Depending on the nature of your research paper, this might mean restating your thesis and arguments, or summarizing your overall findings.

Argumentative paper: Restate your thesis and arguments

In an argumentative paper, you will have presented a thesis statement in your introduction, expressing the overall claim your paper argues for. In the conclusion, you should restate the thesis and show how it has been developed through the body of the paper.

Briefly summarize the key arguments made in the body, showing how each of them contributes to proving your thesis. You may also mention any counterarguments you addressed, emphasizing why your thesis holds up against them, particularly if your argument is a controversial one.

Don’t go into the details of your evidence or present new ideas; focus on outlining in broad strokes the argument you have made.

Empirical paper: Summarize your findings

In an empirical paper, this is the time to summarize your key findings. Don’t go into great detail here (you will have presented your in-depth results and discussion already), but do clearly express the answers to the research questions you investigated.

Describe your main findings, even if they weren’t necessarily the ones you expected or hoped for, and explain the overall conclusion they led you to.

Having summed up your key arguments or findings, the conclusion ends by considering the broader implications of your research. This means expressing the key takeaways, practical or theoretical, from your paper—often in the form of a call for action or suggestions for future research.

Argumentative paper: Strong closing statement

An argumentative paper generally ends with a strong closing statement. In the case of a practical argument, make a call for action: What actions do you think should be taken by the people or organizations concerned in response to your argument?

If your topic is more theoretical and unsuitable for a call for action, your closing statement should express the significance of your argument—for example, in proposing a new understanding of a topic or laying the groundwork for future research.

Empirical paper: Future research directions

In a more empirical paper, you can close by either making recommendations for practice (for example, in clinical or policy papers), or suggesting directions for future research.

Whatever the scope of your own research, there will always be room for further investigation of related topics, and you’ll often discover new questions and problems during the research process .

Finish your paper on a forward-looking note by suggesting how you or other researchers might build on this topic in the future and address any limitations of the current paper.

Full examples of research paper conclusions are shown in the tabs below: one for an argumentative paper, the other for an empirical paper.

  • Argumentative paper
  • Empirical paper

While the role of cattle in climate change is by now common knowledge, countries like the Netherlands continually fail to confront this issue with the urgency it deserves. The evidence is clear: To create a truly futureproof agricultural sector, Dutch farmers must be incentivized to transition from livestock farming to sustainable vegetable farming. As well as dramatically lowering emissions, plant-based agriculture, if approached in the right way, can produce more food with less land, providing opportunities for nature regeneration areas that will themselves contribute to climate targets. Although this approach would have economic ramifications, from a long-term perspective, it would represent a significant step towards a more sustainable and resilient national economy. Transitioning to sustainable vegetable farming will make the Netherlands greener and healthier, setting an example for other European governments. Farmers, policymakers, and consumers must focus on the future, not just on their own short-term interests, and work to implement this transition now.

As social media becomes increasingly central to young people’s everyday lives, it is important to understand how different platforms affect their developing self-conception. By testing the effect of daily Instagram use among teenage girls, this study established that highly visual social media does indeed have a significant effect on body image concerns, with a strong correlation between the amount of time spent on the platform and participants’ self-reported dissatisfaction with their appearance. However, the strength of this effect was moderated by pre-test self-esteem ratings: Participants with higher self-esteem were less likely to experience an increase in body image concerns after using Instagram. This suggests that, while Instagram does impact body image, it is also important to consider the wider social and psychological context in which this usage occurs: Teenagers who are already predisposed to self-esteem issues may be at greater risk of experiencing negative effects. Future research into Instagram and other highly visual social media should focus on establishing a clearer picture of how self-esteem and related constructs influence young people’s experiences of these platforms. Furthermore, while this experiment measured Instagram usage in terms of time spent on the platform, observational studies are required to gain more insight into different patterns of usage—to investigate, for instance, whether active posting is associated with different effects than passive consumption of social media content.

If you’re unsure about the conclusion, it can be helpful to ask a friend or fellow student to read your conclusion and summarize the main takeaways.

  • Do they understand from your conclusion what your research was about?
  • Are they able to summarize the implications of your findings?
  • Can they answer your research question based on your conclusion?

You can also get an expert to proofread and feedback your paper with a paper editing service .

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how to write conclusions on research papers

The conclusion of a research paper has several key elements you should make sure to include:

  • A restatement of the research problem
  • A summary of your key arguments and/or findings
  • A short discussion of the implications of your research

No, it’s not appropriate to present new arguments or evidence in the conclusion . While you might be tempted to save a striking argument for last, research papers follow a more formal structure than this.

All your findings and arguments should be presented in the body of the text (more specifically in the results and discussion sections if you are following a scientific structure). The conclusion is meant to summarize and reflect on the evidence and arguments you have already presented, not introduce new ones.

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Caulfield, J. (2023, April 13). Writing a Research Paper Conclusion | Step-by-Step Guide. Scribbr. Retrieved February 19, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/research-paper/research-paper-conclusion/

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How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper

Last Updated: June 29, 2023 Approved

This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, PhD . Christopher Taylor is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College in Texas. He received his PhD in English Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 42 testimonials and 82% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 2,252,687 times.

The conclusion of a research paper needs to summarize the content and purpose of the paper without seeming too wooden or dry. Every basic conclusion must share several key elements, but there are also several tactics you can play around with to craft a more effective conclusion and several you should avoid to prevent yourself from weakening your paper's conclusion. Here are some writing tips to keep in mind when creating a conclusion for your next research paper.

Sample Conclusions

Writing a basic conclusion.

Step 1 Restate the topic.

  • Do not spend a great amount of time or space restating your topic.
  • A good research paper will make the importance of your topic apparent, so you do not need to write an elaborate defense of your topic in the conclusion.
  • Usually a single sentence is all you need to restate your topic.
  • An example would be if you were writing a paper on the epidemiology of infectious disease, you might say something like "Tuberculosis is a widespread infectious disease that affects millions of people worldwide every year."
  • Yet another example from the humanities would be a paper about the Italian Renaissance: "The Italian Renaissance was an explosion of art and ideas centered around artists, writers, and thinkers in Florence."

Step 2 Restate your thesis.

  • A thesis is a narrowed, focused view on the topic at hand.
  • This statement should be rephrased from the thesis you included in your introduction. It should not be identical or too similar to the sentence you originally used.
  • Try re-wording your thesis statement in a way that complements your summary of the topic of your paper in your first sentence of your conclusion.
  • An example of a good thesis statement, going back to the paper on tuberculosis, would be "Tuberculosis is a widespread disease that affects millions of people worldwide every year. Due to the alarming rate of the spread of tuberculosis, particularly in poor countries, medical professionals are implementing new strategies for the diagnosis, treatment, and containment of this disease ."

Step 3 Briefly summarize your main points.

  • A good way to go about this is to re-read the topic sentence of each major paragraph or section in the body of your paper.
  • Find a way to briefly restate each point mentioned in each topic sentence in your conclusion. Do not repeat any of the supporting details used within your body paragraphs.
  • Under most circumstances, you should avoid writing new information in your conclusion. This is especially true if the information is vital to the argument or research presented in your paper.
  • For example, in the TB paper you could summarize the information. "Tuberculosis is a widespread disease that affects millions of people worldwide. Due to the alarming rate of the spread of tuberculosis, particularly in poor countries, medical professionals are implementing new strategies for the diagnosis, treatment, and containment of this disease. In developing countries, such as those in Africa and Southeast Asia, the rate of TB infections is soaring. Crowded conditions, poor sanitation, and lack of access to medical care are all compounding factors in the spread of the disease. Medical experts, such as those from the World Health Organization are now starting campaigns to go into communities in developing countries and provide diagnostic testing and treatments. However, the treatments for TB are very harsh and have many side effects. This leads to patient non-compliance and spread of multi-drug resistant strains of the disease."

Step 4 Add the points up.

  • Note that this is not needed for all research papers.
  • If you already fully explained what the points in your paper mean or why they are significant, you do not need to go into them in much detail in your conclusion. Simply restating your thesis or the significance of your topic should suffice.
  • It is always best practice to address important issues and fully explain your points in the body of your paper. The point of a conclusion to a research paper is to summarize your argument for the reader and, perhaps, to call the reader to action if needed.

Step 5 Make a call to action when appropriate.

  • Note that a call for action is not essential to all conclusions. A research paper on literary criticism, for instance, is less likely to need a call for action than a paper on the effect that television has on toddlers and young children.
  • A paper that is more likely to call readers to action is one that addresses a public or scientific need. Let's go back to our example of tuberculosis. This is a very serious disease that is spreading quickly and with antibiotic-resistant forms.
  • A call to action in this research paper would be a follow-up statement that might be along the lines of "Despite new efforts to diagnose and contain the disease, more research is needed to develop new antibiotics that will treat the most resistant strains of tuberculosis and ease the side effects of current treatments."

Step 6 Answer the “so what” question.

  • For example, if you are writing a history paper, then you might discuss how the historical topic you discussed matters today. If you are writing about a foreign country, then you might use the conclusion to discuss how the information you shared may help readers understand their own country.

Making Your Conclusion as Effective as Possible

Step 1 Stick with a basic synthesis of information.

  • Since this sort of conclusion is so basic, you must aim to synthesize the information rather than merely summarizing it.
  • Instead of merely repeating things you already said, rephrase your thesis and supporting points in a way that ties them all together.
  • By doing so, you make your research paper seem like a "complete thought" rather than a collection of random and vaguely related ideas.

Step 2 Bring things full circle.

  • Ask a question in your introduction. In your conclusion, restate the question and provide a direct answer.
  • Write an anecdote or story in your introduction but do not share the ending. Instead, write the conclusion to the anecdote in the conclusion of your paper.
  • For example, if you wanted to get more creative and put a more humanistic spin on a paper on tuberculosis, you might start your introduction with a story about a person with the disease, and refer to that story in your conclusion. For example, you could say something like this before you re-state your thesis in your conclusion: "Patient X was unable to complete the treatment for tuberculosis due to severe side effects and unfortunately succumbed to the disease."
  • Use the same concepts and images introduced in your introduction in your conclusion. The images may or may not appear at other points throughout the research paper.

Step 3 Close with logic.

  • Include enough information about your topic to back the statement up but do not get too carried away with excess detail.
  • If your research did not provide you with a clear-cut answer to a question posed in your thesis, do not be afraid to indicate as much.
  • Restate your initial hypothesis and indicate whether you still believe it or if the research you performed has begun swaying your opinion.
  • Indicate that an answer may still exist and that further research could shed more light on the topic at hand.

Step 4 Pose a question.

  • This may not be appropriate for all types of research papers. Most research papers, such as one on effective treatment for diseases, will have the information to make the case for a particular argument already in the paper.
  • A good example of a paper that might ask a question of the reader in the ending is one about a social issue, such as poverty or government policy.
  • Ask a question that will directly get at the heart or purpose of the paper. This question is often the same question, or some version of it, that you may have started with when you began your research.
  • Make sure that the question can be answered by the evidence presented in your paper.
  • If desired you can briefly summarize the answer after stating the question. You could also leave the question hanging for the reader to answer, though.

Step 5 Make a suggestion.

  • Even without a call to action, you can still make a recommendation to your reader.
  • For instance, if you are writing about a topic like third-world poverty, you can various ways for the reader to assist in the problem without necessarily calling for more research.
  • Another example would be, in a paper about treatment for drug-resistant tuberculosis, you could suggest donating to the World Health Organization or research foundations that are developing new treatments for the disease.

Avoiding Common Pitfalls

Step 1 Avoid saying

  • These sayings usually sound stiff, unnatural, or trite when used in writing.
  • Moreover, using a phrase like "in conclusion" to begin your conclusion is a little too straightforward and tends to lead to a weak conclusion. A strong conclusion can stand on its own without being labeled as such.

Step 2 Do not wait until the conclusion to state your thesis.

  • Always state the main argument or thesis in the introduction. A research paper is an analytical discussion of an academic topic, not a mystery novel.
  • A good, effective research paper will allow your reader to follow your main argument from start to finish.
  • This is why it is best practice to start your paper with an introduction that states your main argument and to end the paper with a conclusion that re-states your thesis for re-iteration.

Step 3 Leave out new information.

  • All significant information should be introduced in the body of the paper.
  • Supporting evidence expands the topic of your paper by making it appear more detailed. A conclusion should narrow the topic to a more general point.
  • A conclusion should only summarize what you have already stated in the body of your paper.
  • You may suggest further research or a call to action, but you should not bring in any new evidence or facts in the conclusion.

Step 4 Avoid changing the tone of the paper.

  • Most often, a shift in tone occurs when a research paper with an academic tone gives an emotional or sentimental conclusion.
  • Even if the topic of the paper is of personal significance for you, you should not indicate as much in your paper.
  • If you want to give your paper a more humanistic slant, you could start and end your paper with a story or anecdote that would give your topic more personal meaning to the reader.
  • This tone should be consistent throughout the paper, however.

Step 5 Make no apologies.

  • Apologetic statements include phrases like "I may not be an expert" or "This is only my opinion."
  • Statements like this can usually be avoided by refraining from writing in the first-person.
  • Avoid any statements in the first-person. First-person is generally considered to be informal and does not fit with the formal tone of a research paper.

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  • ↑ http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/724/04/
  • ↑ http://www.crlsresearchguide.org/18_Writing_Conclusion.asp
  • ↑ http://writing.wisc.edu/Handbook/PlanResearchPaper.html#conclusion
  • ↑ http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/conclusions/
  • ↑ http://writing2.richmond.edu/writing/wweb/conclude.html

About This Article

Christopher Taylor, PhD

To write a conclusion for a research paper, start by restating your thesis statement to remind your readers what your main topic is and bring everything full circle. Then, briefly summarize all of the main points you made throughout your paper, which will help remind your readers of everything they learned. You might also want to include a call to action if you think more research or work needs to be done on your topic by writing something like, "Despite efforts to contain the disease, more research is needed to develop antibiotics." Finally, end your conclusion by explaining the broader context of your topic and why your readers should care about it, which will help them understand why your topic is relevant and important. For tips from our Academic co-author, like how to avoid common pitfalls when writing your conclusion, scroll down! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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The conclusion is intended to help the reader understand why your research should matter to them after they have finished reading the paper. A conclusion is not merely a summary of the main topics covered or a re-statement of your research problem, but a synthesis of key points and, if applicable, where you recommend new areas for future research. For most college-level research papers, one or two well-developed paragraphs is sufficient for a conclusion, although in some cases, more paragraphs may be required in summarizing key findings and their significance.

Conclusions. The Writing Center. University of North Carolina; Conclusions. The Writing Lab and The OWL. Purdue University.

Importance of a Good Conclusion

A well-written conclusion provides you with important opportunities to demonstrate to the reader your understanding of the research problem. These include:

  • Presenting the last word on the issues you raised in your paper . Just as the introduction gives a first impression to your reader, the conclusion offers a chance to leave a lasting impression. Do this, for example, by highlighting key findings in your analysis that advance new understanding about the research problem, that are unusual or unexpected, or that have important implications applied to practice.
  • Summarizing your thoughts and conveying the larger significance of your study . The conclusion is an opportunity to succinctly re-emphasize  the "So What?" question by placing the study within the context of how your research advances past research about the topic.
  • Identifying how a gap in the literature has been addressed . The conclusion can be where you describe how a previously identified gap in the literature [described in your literature review section] has been filled by your research.
  • Demonstrating the importance of your ideas . Don't be shy. The conclusion offers you the opportunity to elaborate on the impact and significance of your findings. This is particularly important if your study approached examining the research problem from an unusual or innovative perspective.
  • Introducing possible new or expanded ways of thinking about the research problem . This does not refer to introducing new information [which should be avoided], but to offer new insight and creative approaches for framing or contextualizing the research problem based on the results of your study.

Bunton, David. “The Structure of PhD Conclusion Chapters.” Journal of English for Academic Purposes 4 (July 2005): 207–224; Conclusions. The Writing Center. University of North Carolina; Kretchmer, Paul. Twelve Steps to Writing an Effective Conclusion. San Francisco Edit, 2003-2008; Conclusions. The Writing Lab and The OWL. Purdue University; Assan, Joseph. "Writing the Conclusion Chapter: The Good, the Bad and the Missing." Liverpool: Development Studies Association (2009): 1-8.

Structure and Writing Style

I.  General Rules

The function of your paper's conclusion is to restate the main argument . It reminds the reader of the strengths of your main argument(s) and reiterates the most important evidence supporting those argument(s). Do this by stating clearly the context, background, and necessity of pursuing the research problem you investigated in relation to an issue, controversy, or a gap found in the literature. Make sure, however, that your conclusion is not simply a repetitive summary of the findings. This reduces the impact of the argument(s) you have developed in your essay.

When writing the conclusion to your paper, follow these general rules:

  • Present your conclusions in clear, simple language. Re-state the purpose of your study, then describe how your findings differ or support those of other studies and why [i.e., what were the unique or new contributions your study made to the overall research about your topic?].
  • Do not simply reiterate your findings or the discussion of your results. Provide a synthesis of arguments presented in the paper to show how these converge to address the research problem and the overall objectives of your study.
  • Indicate opportunities for future research if you haven't already done so in the discussion section of your paper. Highlighting the need for further research provides the reader with evidence that you have an in-depth awareness of the research problem and that further investigations should take place.

Consider the following points to help ensure your conclusion is presented well:

  • If the argument or purpose of your paper is complex, you may need to summarize the argument for your reader.
  • If, prior to your conclusion, you have not yet explained the significance of your findings or if you are proceeding inductively, use the end of your paper to describe your main points and explain their significance.
  • Move from a detailed to a general level of consideration that returns the topic to the context provided by the introduction or within a new context that emerges from the data. 

The conclusion also provides a place for you to persuasively and succinctly restate the research problem, given that the reader has now been presented with all the information about the topic . Depending on the discipline you are writing in, the concluding paragraph may contain your reflections on the evidence presented. However, the nature of being introspective about the research you have conducted will depend on the topic and whether your professor wants you to express your observations in this way.

NOTE : If asked to think introspectively about the topics, do not delve into idle speculation. Being introspective means looking within yourself as an author to try and understand an issue more deeply, not to guess at possible outcomes or make up scenarios not supported by the evidence.

II.  Developing a Compelling Conclusion

Although an effective conclusion needs to be clear and succinct, it does not need to be written passively or lack a compelling narrative. Strategies to help you move beyond merely summarizing the key points of your research paper may include any of the following strategies:

  • If your essay deals with a critical, contemporary problem, warn readers of the possible consequences of not attending to the problem proactively.
  • Recommend a specific course or courses of action that, if adopted, could address a specific problem in practice or in the development of new knowledge.
  • Cite a relevant quotation or expert opinion already noted in your paper in order to lend authority and support to the conclusion(s) you have reached [a good place to look is research from your literature review].
  • Explain the consequences of your research in a way that elicits action or demonstrates urgency in seeking change.
  • Restate a key statistic, fact, or visual image to emphasize the most important finding of your paper.
  • If your discipline encourages personal reflection, illustrate your concluding point by drawing from your own life experiences.
  • Return to an anecdote, an example, or a quotation that you presented in your introduction, but add further insight derived from the findings of your study; use your interpretation of results to recast it in new or important ways.
  • Provide a "take-home" message in the form of a succinct, declarative statement that you want the reader to remember about your study.

III. Problems to Avoid

Failure to be concise Your conclusion section should be concise and to the point. Conclusions that are too lengthy often have unnecessary information in them. The conclusion is not the place for details about your methodology or results. Although you should give a summary of what was learned from your research, this summary should be relatively brief, since the emphasis in the conclusion is on the implications, evaluations, insights, and other forms of analysis that you make. Strategies for writing concisely can be found here .

Failure to comment on larger, more significant issues In the introduction, your task was to move from the general [the field of study] to the specific [the research problem]. However, in the conclusion, your task is to move from a specific discussion [your research problem] back to a general discussion [i.e., how your research contributes new understanding or fills an important gap in the literature]. In short, the conclusion is where you should place your research within a larger context [visualize your paper as an hourglass--start with a broad introduction and review of the literature, move to the specific analysis and discussion, conclude with a broad summary of the study's implications and significance].

Failure to reveal problems and negative results Negative aspects of the research process should never be ignored. These are problems, deficiencies, or challenges encountered during your study should be summarized as a way of qualifying your overall conclusions. If you encountered negative or unintended results [i.e., findings that are validated outside the research context in which they were generated], you must report them in the results section and discuss their implications in the discussion section of your paper. In the conclusion, use your summary of the negative results as an opportunity to explain their possible significance and/or how they may form the basis for future research.

Failure to provide a clear summary of what was learned In order to be able to discuss how your research fits within your field of study [and possibly the world at large], you need to summarize briefly and succinctly how it contributes to new knowledge or a new understanding about the research problem. This element of your conclusion may be only a few sentences long.

Failure to match the objectives of your research Often research objectives in the social sciences change while the research is being carried out. This is not a problem unless you forget to go back and refine the original objectives in your introduction. As these changes emerge they must be documented so that they accurately reflect what you were trying to accomplish in your research [not what you thought you might accomplish when you began].

Resist the urge to apologize If you've immersed yourself in studying the research problem, you presumably should know a good deal about it [perhaps even more than your professor!]. Nevertheless, by the time you have finished writing, you may be having some doubts about what you have produced. Repress those doubts! Don't undermine your authority by saying something like, "This is just one approach to examining this problem; there may be other, much better approaches that...." The overall tone of your conclusion should convey confidence to the reader.

Assan, Joseph. "Writing the Conclusion Chapter: The Good, the Bad and the Missing." Liverpool: Development Studies Association (2009): 1-8; Concluding Paragraphs. College Writing Center at Meramec. St. Louis Community College; Conclusions. The Writing Center. University of North Carolina; Conclusions. The Writing Lab and The OWL. Purdue University; Freedman, Leora  and Jerry Plotnick. Introductions and Conclusions. The Lab Report. University College Writing Centre. University of Toronto; Leibensperger, Summer. Draft Your Conclusion. Academic Center, the University of Houston-Victoria, 2003; Make Your Last Words Count. The Writer’s Handbook. Writing Center. University of Wisconsin Madison; Miquel, Fuster-Marquez and Carmen Gregori-Signes. “Chapter Six: ‘Last but Not Least:’ Writing the Conclusion of Your Paper.” In Writing an Applied Linguistics Thesis or Dissertation: A Guide to Presenting Empirical Research . John Bitchener, editor. (Basingstoke,UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), pp. 93-105; Tips for Writing a Good Conclusion. Writing@CSU. Colorado State University; Kretchmer, Paul. Twelve Steps to Writing an Effective Conclusion. San Francisco Edit, 2003-2008; Writing Conclusions. Writing Tutorial Services, Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning. Indiana University; Writing: Considering Structure and Organization. Institute for Writing Rhetoric. Dartmouth College.

Writing Tip

Don't Belabor the Obvious!

Avoid phrases like "in conclusion...," "in summary...," or "in closing...." These phrases can be useful, even welcome, in oral presentations. But readers can see by the tell-tale section heading and number of pages remaining to read, when an essay is about to end. You'll irritate your readers if you belabor the obvious.

Assan, Joseph. "Writing the Conclusion Chapter: The Good, the Bad and the Missing." Liverpool: Development Studies Association (2009): 1-8.

Another Writing Tip

New Insight, Not New Information!

Don't surprise the reader with new information in your conclusion that was never referenced anywhere else in the paper and, as such, the conclusion rarely has citations to sources. If you have new information to present, add it to the discussion or other appropriate section of the paper. Note that, although no actual new information is introduced, the conclusion, along with the discussion section, is where you offer your most "original" contributions in the paper; the conclusion is where you describe the value of your research, demonstrate that you understand the material that you’ve presented, and locate your findings within the larger context of scholarship on the topic, including describing how your research contributes new insights or valuable insight to that scholarship.

Assan, Joseph. "Writing the Conclusion Chapter: The Good, the Bad and the Missing." Liverpool: Development Studies Association (2009): 1-8; Conclusions. The Writing Center. University of North Carolina.

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  • How to Write Discussions and Conclusions

How to Write Discussions and Conclusions

The discussion section contains the results and outcomes of a study. An effective discussion informs readers what can be learned from your experiment and provides context for the results.

What makes an effective discussion?

When you’re ready to write your discussion, you’ve already introduced the purpose of your study and provided an in-depth description of the methodology. The discussion informs readers about the larger implications of your study based on the results. Highlighting these implications while not overstating the findings can be challenging, especially when you’re submitting to a journal that selects articles based on novelty or potential impact. Regardless of what journal you are submitting to, the discussion section always serves the same purpose: concluding what your study results actually mean.

A successful discussion section puts your findings in context. It should include:

  • the results of your research,
  • a discussion of related research, and
  • a comparison between your results and initial hypothesis.

Tip: Not all journals share the same naming conventions.

You can apply the advice in this article to the conclusion, results or discussion sections of your manuscript.

Our Early Career Researcher community tells us that the conclusion is often considered the most difficult aspect of a manuscript to write. To help, this guide provides questions to ask yourself, a basic structure to model your discussion off of and examples from published manuscripts. 

how to write conclusions on research papers

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Was my hypothesis correct?
  • If my hypothesis is partially correct or entirely different, what can be learned from the results? 
  • How do the conclusions reshape or add onto the existing knowledge in the field? What does previous research say about the topic? 
  • Why are the results important or relevant to your audience? Do they add further evidence to a scientific consensus or disprove prior studies? 
  • How can future research build on these observations? What are the key experiments that must be done? 
  • What is the “take-home” message you want your reader to leave with?

How to structure a discussion

Trying to fit a complete discussion into a single paragraph can add unnecessary stress to the writing process. If possible, you’ll want to give yourself two or three paragraphs to give the reader a comprehensive understanding of your study as a whole. Here’s one way to structure an effective discussion:

how to write conclusions on research papers

Writing Tips

While the above sections can help you brainstorm and structure your discussion, there are many common mistakes that writers revert to when having difficulties with their paper. Writing a discussion can be a delicate balance between summarizing your results, providing proper context for your research and avoiding introducing new information. Remember that your paper should be both confident and honest about the results! 

What to do

  • Read the journal’s guidelines on the discussion and conclusion sections. If possible, learn about the guidelines before writing the discussion to ensure you’re writing to meet their expectations. 
  • Begin with a clear statement of the principal findings. This will reinforce the main take-away for the reader and set up the rest of the discussion. 
  • Explain why the outcomes of your study are important to the reader. Discuss the implications of your findings realistically based on previous literature, highlighting both the strengths and limitations of the research. 
  • State whether the results prove or disprove your hypothesis. If your hypothesis was disproved, what might be the reasons? 
  • Introduce new or expanded ways to think about the research question. Indicate what next steps can be taken to further pursue any unresolved questions. 
  • If dealing with a contemporary or ongoing problem, such as climate change, discuss possible consequences if the problem is avoided. 
  • Be concise. Adding unnecessary detail can distract from the main findings. 

What not to do

Don’t

  • Rewrite your abstract. Statements with “we investigated” or “we studied” generally do not belong in the discussion. 
  • Include new arguments or evidence not previously discussed. Necessary information and evidence should be introduced in the main body of the paper. 
  • Apologize. Even if your research contains significant limitations, don’t undermine your authority by including statements that doubt your methodology or execution. 
  • Shy away from speaking on limitations or negative results. Including limitations and negative results will give readers a complete understanding of the presented research. Potential limitations include sources of potential bias, threats to internal or external validity, barriers to implementing an intervention and other issues inherent to the study design. 
  • Overstate the importance of your findings. Making grand statements about how a study will fully resolve large questions can lead readers to doubt the success of the research. 

Snippets of Effective Discussions:

Consumer-based actions to reduce plastic pollution in rivers: A multi-criteria decision analysis approach

Identifying reliable indicators of fitness in polar bears

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Research Method

Home » Research Paper Conclusion – Writing Guide and Examples

Research Paper Conclusion – Writing Guide and Examples

Table of Contents

Research Paper Conclusion

Research Paper Conclusion

Definition:

A research paper conclusion is the final section of a research paper that summarizes the key findings, significance, and implications of the research. It is the writer’s opportunity to synthesize the information presented in the paper, draw conclusions, and make recommendations for future research or actions.

The conclusion should provide a clear and concise summary of the research paper, reiterating the research question or problem, the main results, and the significance of the findings. It should also discuss the limitations of the study and suggest areas for further research.

Parts of Research Paper Conclusion

The parts of a research paper conclusion typically include:

Restatement of the Thesis

The conclusion should begin by restating the thesis statement from the introduction in a different way. This helps to remind the reader of the main argument or purpose of the research.

Summary of Key Findings

The conclusion should summarize the main findings of the research, highlighting the most important results and conclusions. This section should be brief and to the point.

Implications and Significance

In this section, the researcher should explain the implications and significance of the research findings. This may include discussing the potential impact on the field or industry, highlighting new insights or knowledge gained, or pointing out areas for future research.

Limitations and Recommendations

It is important to acknowledge any limitations or weaknesses of the research and to make recommendations for how these could be addressed in future studies. This shows that the researcher is aware of the potential limitations of their work and is committed to improving the quality of research in their field.

Concluding Statement

The conclusion should end with a strong concluding statement that leaves a lasting impression on the reader. This could be a call to action, a recommendation for further research, or a final thought on the topic.

How to Write Research Paper Conclusion

Here are some steps you can follow to write an effective research paper conclusion:

  • Restate the research problem or question: Begin by restating the research problem or question that you aimed to answer in your research. This will remind the reader of the purpose of your study.
  • Summarize the main points: Summarize the key findings and results of your research. This can be done by highlighting the most important aspects of your research and the evidence that supports them.
  • Discuss the implications: Discuss the implications of your findings for the research area and any potential applications of your research. You should also mention any limitations of your research that may affect the interpretation of your findings.
  • Provide a conclusion : Provide a concise conclusion that summarizes the main points of your paper and emphasizes the significance of your research. This should be a strong and clear statement that leaves a lasting impression on the reader.
  • Offer suggestions for future research: Lastly, offer suggestions for future research that could build on your findings and contribute to further advancements in the field.

Remember that the conclusion should be brief and to the point, while still effectively summarizing the key findings and implications of your research.

Example of Research Paper Conclusion

Here’s an example of a research paper conclusion:

Conclusion :

In conclusion, our study aimed to investigate the relationship between social media use and mental health among college students. Our findings suggest that there is a significant association between social media use and increased levels of anxiety and depression among college students. This highlights the need for increased awareness and education about the potential negative effects of social media use on mental health, particularly among college students.

Despite the limitations of our study, such as the small sample size and self-reported data, our findings have important implications for future research and practice. Future studies should aim to replicate our findings in larger, more diverse samples, and investigate the potential mechanisms underlying the association between social media use and mental health. In addition, interventions should be developed to promote healthy social media use among college students, such as mindfulness-based approaches and social media detox programs.

Overall, our study contributes to the growing body of research on the impact of social media on mental health, and highlights the importance of addressing this issue in the context of higher education. By raising awareness and promoting healthy social media use among college students, we can help to reduce the negative impact of social media on mental health and improve the well-being of young adults.

Purpose of Research Paper Conclusion

The purpose of a research paper conclusion is to provide a summary and synthesis of the key findings, significance, and implications of the research presented in the paper. The conclusion serves as the final opportunity for the writer to convey their message and leave a lasting impression on the reader.

The conclusion should restate the research problem or question, summarize the main results of the research, and explain their significance. It should also acknowledge the limitations of the study and suggest areas for future research or action.

Overall, the purpose of the conclusion is to provide a sense of closure to the research paper and to emphasize the importance of the research and its potential impact. It should leave the reader with a clear understanding of the main findings and why they matter. The conclusion serves as the writer’s opportunity to showcase their contribution to the field and to inspire further research and action.

When to Write Research Paper Conclusion

The conclusion of a research paper should be written after the body of the paper has been completed. It should not be written until the writer has thoroughly analyzed and interpreted their findings and has written a complete and cohesive discussion of the research.

Before writing the conclusion, the writer should review their research paper and consider the key points that they want to convey to the reader. They should also review the research question, hypotheses, and methodology to ensure that they have addressed all of the necessary components of the research.

Once the writer has a clear understanding of the main findings and their significance, they can begin writing the conclusion. The conclusion should be written in a clear and concise manner, and should reiterate the main points of the research while also providing insights and recommendations for future research or action.

Characteristics of Research Paper Conclusion

The characteristics of a research paper conclusion include:

  • Clear and concise: The conclusion should be written in a clear and concise manner, summarizing the key findings and their significance.
  • Comprehensive: The conclusion should address all of the main points of the research paper, including the research question or problem, the methodology, the main results, and their implications.
  • Future-oriented : The conclusion should provide insights and recommendations for future research or action, based on the findings of the research.
  • Impressive : The conclusion should leave a lasting impression on the reader, emphasizing the importance of the research and its potential impact.
  • Objective : The conclusion should be based on the evidence presented in the research paper, and should avoid personal biases or opinions.
  • Unique : The conclusion should be unique to the research paper and should not simply repeat information from the introduction or body of the paper.

Advantages of Research Paper Conclusion

The advantages of a research paper conclusion include:

  • Summarizing the key findings : The conclusion provides a summary of the main findings of the research, making it easier for the reader to understand the key points of the study.
  • Emphasizing the significance of the research: The conclusion emphasizes the importance of the research and its potential impact, making it more likely that readers will take the research seriously and consider its implications.
  • Providing recommendations for future research or action : The conclusion suggests practical recommendations for future research or action, based on the findings of the study.
  • Providing closure to the research paper : The conclusion provides a sense of closure to the research paper, tying together the different sections of the paper and leaving a lasting impression on the reader.
  • Demonstrating the writer’s contribution to the field : The conclusion provides the writer with an opportunity to showcase their contribution to the field and to inspire further research and action.

Limitations of Research Paper Conclusion

While the conclusion of a research paper has many advantages, it also has some limitations that should be considered, including:

  • I nability to address all aspects of the research: Due to the limited space available in the conclusion, it may not be possible to address all aspects of the research in detail.
  • Subjectivity : While the conclusion should be objective, it may be influenced by the writer’s personal biases or opinions.
  • Lack of new information: The conclusion should not introduce new information that has not been discussed in the body of the research paper.
  • Lack of generalizability: The conclusions drawn from the research may not be applicable to other contexts or populations, limiting the generalizability of the study.
  • Misinterpretation by the reader: The reader may misinterpret the conclusions drawn from the research, leading to a misunderstanding of the findings.

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How to write a strong conclusion for your research paper

Last updated

17 February 2024

Reviewed by

Writing a research paper is a chance to share your knowledge and hypothesis. It's an opportunity to demonstrate your many hours of research and prove your ability to write convincingly.

Ideally, by the end of your research paper, you'll have brought your readers on a journey to reach the conclusions you've pre-determined. However, if you don't stick the landing with a good conclusion, you'll risk losing your reader’s trust.

Writing a strong conclusion for your research paper involves a few important steps, including restating the thesis and summing up everything properly.

Find out what to include and what to avoid, so you can effectively demonstrate your understanding of the topic and prove your expertise.

  • Why is a good conclusion important?

A good conclusion can cement your paper in the reader’s mind. Making a strong impression in your introduction can draw your readers in, but it's the conclusion that will inspire them.

  • What to include in a research paper conclusion

There are a few specifics you should include in your research paper conclusion. Offer your readers some sense of urgency or consequence by pointing out why they should care about the topic you have covered. Discuss any common problems associated with your topic and provide suggestions as to how these problems can be solved or addressed.

The conclusion should include a restatement of your initial thesis. Thesis statements are strengthened after you’ve presented supporting evidence (as you will have done in the paper), so make a point to reintroduce it at the end.

Finally, recap the main points of your research paper, highlighting the key takeaways you want readers to remember. If you've made multiple points throughout the paper, refer to the ones with the strongest supporting evidence.

  • Steps for writing a research paper conclusion

Many writers find the conclusion the most challenging part of any research project . By following these three steps, you'll be prepared to write a conclusion that is effective and concise.

  • Step 1: Restate the problem

Always begin by restating the research problem in the conclusion of a research paper. This serves to remind the reader of your hypothesis and refresh them on the main point of the paper. 

When restating the problem, take care to avoid using exactly the same words you employed earlier in the paper.

  • Step 2: Sum up the paper

After you've restated the problem, sum up the paper by revealing your overall findings. The method for this differs slightly, depending on whether you're crafting an argumentative paper or an empirical paper.

Argumentative paper: Restate your thesis and arguments

Argumentative papers involve introducing a thesis statement early on. In crafting the conclusion for an argumentative paper, always restate the thesis, outlining the way you've developed it throughout the entire paper.

It might be appropriate to mention any counterarguments in the conclusion, so you can demonstrate how your thesis is correct or how the data best supports your main points.

Empirical paper: Summarize research findings

Empirical papers break down a series of research questions. In your conclusion, discuss the findings your research revealed, including any information that surprised you.

Be clear about the conclusions you reached, and explain whether or not you expected to arrive at these particular ones.

  • Step 3: Discuss the implications of your research

Argumentative papers and empirical papers also differ in this part of a research paper conclusion. Here are some tips on crafting conclusions for argumentative and empirical papers.

Argumentative paper: Powerful closing statement

In an argumentative paper, you'll have spent a great deal of time expressing the opinions you formed after doing a significant amount of research. Make a strong closing statement in your argumentative paper's conclusion to share the significance of your work.

You can outline the next steps through a bold call to action, or restate how powerful your ideas turned out to be.

Empirical paper: Directions for future research

Empirical papers are broader in scope. They usually cover a variety of aspects and can include several points of view.

To write a good conclusion for an empirical paper, suggest the type of research that could be done in the future, including methods for further investigation or outlining ways other researchers might proceed.

If you feel your research had any limitations, even if they were outside your control, you could mention these in your conclusion.

After you finish outlining your conclusion, ask someone to read it and offer feedback. In any research project you're especially close to, it can be hard to identify problem areas. Having a close friend or someone whose opinion you value read the research paper and provide honest feedback can be invaluable. Take note of any suggested edits and consider incorporating them into your paper if they make sense.

  • Things to avoid in a research paper conclusion

Keep these aspects to avoid in mind as you're writing your conclusion and refer to them after you've created an outline.

Dry summary

Writing a memorable, succinct conclusion is arguably more important than a strong introduction. Take care to avoid just rephrasing your main points, and don't fall into the trap of repeating dry facts or citations.

You can provide a new perspective for your readers to think about or contextualize your research. Either way, make the conclusion vibrant and interesting, rather than a rote recitation of your research paper’s highlights.

Clichéd or generic phrasing

Your research paper conclusion should feel fresh and inspiring. Avoid generic phrases like "to sum up" or "in conclusion." These phrases tend to be overused, especially in an academic context and might turn your readers off.

The conclusion also isn't the time to introduce colloquial phrases or informal language. Retain a professional, confident tone consistent throughout your paper’s conclusion so it feels exciting and bold.

New data or evidence

While you should present strong data throughout your paper, the conclusion isn't the place to introduce new evidence. This is because readers are engaged in actively learning as they read through the body of your paper.

By the time they reach the conclusion, they will have formed an opinion one way or the other (hopefully in your favor!). Introducing new evidence in the conclusion will only serve to surprise or frustrate your reader.

Ignoring contradictory evidence

If your research reveals contradictory evidence, don't ignore it in the conclusion. This will damage your credibility as an expert and might even serve to highlight the contradictions.

Be as transparent as possible and admit to any shortcomings in your research, but don't dwell on them for too long.

Ambiguous or unclear resolutions

The point of a research paper conclusion is to provide closure and bring all your ideas together. You should wrap up any arguments you introduced in the paper and tie up any loose ends, while demonstrating why your research and data are strong.

Use direct language in your conclusion and avoid ambiguity. Even if some of the data and sources you cite are inconclusive or contradictory, note this in your conclusion to come across as confident and trustworthy.

  • Examples of research paper conclusions

Your research paper should provide a compelling close to the paper as a whole, highlighting your research and hard work. While the conclusion should represent your unique style, these examples offer a starting point:

Ultimately, the data we examined all point to the same conclusion: Encouraging a good work-life balance improves employee productivity and benefits the company overall. The research suggests that when employees feel their personal lives are valued and respected by their employers, they are more likely to be productive when at work. In addition, company turnover tends to be reduced when employees have a balance between their personal and professional lives. While additional research is required to establish ways companies can support employees in creating a stronger work-life balance, it's clear the need is there.

Social media is a primary method of communication among young people. As we've seen in the data presented, most young people in high school use a variety of social media applications at least every hour, including Instagram and Facebook. While social media is an avenue for connection with peers, research increasingly suggests that social media use correlates with body image issues. Young girls with lower self-esteem tend to use social media more often than those who don't log onto social media apps every day. As new applications continue to gain popularity, and as more high school students are given smartphones, more research will be required to measure the effects of prolonged social media use.

What are the different kinds of research paper conclusions?

There are no formal types of research paper conclusions. Ultimately, the conclusion depends on the outline of your paper and the type of research you’re presenting. While some experts note that research papers can end with a new perspective or commentary, most papers should conclude with a combination of both. The most important aspect of a good research paper conclusion is that it accurately represents the body of the paper.

Can I present new arguments in my research paper conclusion?

Research paper conclusions are not the place to introduce new data or arguments. The body of your paper is where you should share research and insights, where the reader is actively absorbing the content. By the time a reader reaches the conclusion of the research paper, they should have formed their opinion. Introducing new arguments in the conclusion can take a reader by surprise, and not in a positive way. It might also serve to frustrate readers.

How long should a research paper conclusion be?

There's no set length for a research paper conclusion. However, it's a good idea not to run on too long, since conclusions are supposed to be succinct. A good rule of thumb is to keep your conclusion around 5 to 10 percent of the paper's total length. If your paper is 10 pages, try to keep your conclusion under one page.

What should I include in a research paper conclusion?

A good research paper conclusion should always include a sense of urgency, so the reader can see how and why the topic should matter to them. You can also note some recommended actions to help fix the problem and some obstacles they might encounter. A conclusion should also remind the reader of the thesis statement, along with the main points you covered in the paper. At the end of the conclusion, add a powerful closing statement that helps cement the paper in the mind of the reader.

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How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper

Sumalatha G

Table of Contents

Writing a conclusion for a research paper is a critical step that often determines the overall impact and impression the paper leaves on the reader. While some may view the conclusion as a mere formality, it is actually an opportunity to wrap up the main points, provide closure, and leave a lasting impression. In this article, we will explore the importance of a well-crafted conclusion and discuss various tips and strategies to help you write an engaging and impactful conclusion for your research paper.

Introduction

Before delving into the specifics of writing a conclusion, it is important to understand why it is such a crucial component of a research paper. The conclusion serves to summarize the main points of the paper and reemphasize their significance. A well-written conclusion can leave the reader satisfied and inspired, while a poorly executed one may undermine the credibility of the entire paper. Therefore, it is essential to give careful thought and attention to crafting an effective conclusion.

When writing a research paper, the conclusion acts as the final destination for the reader. It is the point where all the information, arguments, and evidence presented throughout the paper converge. Just as a traveler reaches the end of a journey, the reader reaches the conclusion to find closure and a sense of fulfillment. This is why the conclusion should not be taken lightly; it is a critical opportunity to leave a lasting impact on the reader.

Moreover, the conclusion is not merely a repetition of the introduction or a summary of the main points. It goes beyond that by providing a deeper understanding of the research findings and their implications. It allows the writer to reflect on the significance of their work and its potential contributions to the field. By doing so, the conclusion elevates the research paper from a mere collection of facts to a thought-provoking piece of scholarship.

In the following sections, we will explore various strategies and techniques for crafting a compelling conclusion. By understanding the importance of the conclusion and learning how to write one effectively, you will be equipped to create impactful research papers.

Structuring the Conclusion

In order to create an effective conclusion, it is important to consider its structure. A well-structured conclusion should begin by restating the thesis statement and summarizing the main points of the paper. It should then move on to provide a concise synthesis of the key findings and arguments, highlighting their implications and relevance. Finally, the conclusion should end with a thought-provoking statement that leaves the reader with a lasting impression.

Additionally, using phrases like "this research demonstrates," "the findings show," or "it is clear that" can help to highlight the significance of your research and emphasize your main conclusions.

Tips for Writing an Engaging Conclusion

Writing an engaging conclusion requires careful consideration and attention to detail. Here are some tips to help you create an impactful conclusion for your research paper:

  • Revisit the Introduction: Start your conclusion by referencing your introduction. Remind the reader of the research question or problem you initially posed and show how your research has addressed it.
  • Summarize Your Main Points: Provide a concise summary of the main points and arguments presented in your paper. Be sure to restate your thesis statement and highlight the key findings.
  • Offer a Fresh Perspective: Use the conclusion as an opportunity to provide a fresh perspective or offer insights that go beyond the main body of the paper. This will leave the reader with something new to consider.
  • Leave a Lasting Impression: End your conclusion with a thought-provoking statement or a call to action. This will leave a lasting impression on the reader and encourage further exploration of the research topic.

Addressing Counter Arguments In Conclusion

While crafting your conclusion, you can address any potential counterarguments or limitations of your research. This will demonstrate that you have considered alternative perspectives and have taken them into account in your conclusions. By acknowledging potential counterarguments, you can strengthen the credibility and validity of your research. And by openly discussing limitations, you demonstrate transparency and honesty in your research process.

Language and Tone To Be Used In Conclusion

The language and tone of your conclusion play a crucial role in shaping the overall impression of your research paper. It is important to use clear and concise language that is appropriate for the academic context. Avoid using overly informal or colloquial language that may undermine the credibility of your research. Additionally, consider the tone of your conclusion – it should be professional, confident, and persuasive, while still maintaining a respectful and objective tone.

When it comes to the language used in your conclusion, precision is key. You want to ensure that your ideas are communicated effectively and that there is no room for misinterpretation. Using clear and concise language will not only make your conclusion easier to understand but will also demonstrate your command of the subject matter.

Furthermore, it is important to strike the right balance between formality and accessibility. While academic writing typically requires a more formal tone, you should still aim to make your conclusion accessible to a wider audience. This means avoiding jargon or technical terms that may confuse readers who are not familiar with the subject matter. Instead, opt for language that is clear and straightforward, allowing anyone to grasp the main points of your research.

Another aspect to consider is the tone of your conclusion. The tone should reflect the confidence you have in your research findings and the strength of your argument. By adopting a professional and confident tone, you are more likely to convince your readers of the validity and importance of your research. However, it is crucial to strike a balance and avoid sounding arrogant or dismissive of opposing viewpoints. Maintaining a respectful and objective tone will help you engage with your audience in a more persuasive manner.

Moreover, the tone of your conclusion should align with the overall tone of your research paper. Consistency in tone throughout your paper will create a cohesive and unified piece of writing.

Common Mistakes to Avoid While Writing a Conclusion

When writing a conclusion, there are several common mistakes that researchers often make. By being aware of these pitfalls, you can avoid them and create a more effective conclusion for your research paper. Some common mistakes include:

  • Repeating the Introduction: A conclusion should not simply be a reworded version of the introduction. While it is important to revisit the main points, try to present them in a fresh and broader perspective, by foregrounding the implications/impacts of your research.
  • Introducing New Information: The conclusion should not introduce any new information or arguments. Instead, it should focus on summarizing and synthesizing the main points presented in the paper.
  • Being Vague or General: Avoid using vague or general statements in your conclusion. Instead, be specific and provide concrete examples or evidence to support your main points.
  • Ending Abruptly: A conclusion should provide a sense of closure and completeness. Avoid ending your conclusion abruptly or leaving the reader with unanswered questions.

Editing and Revising the Conclusion

Just like the rest of your research paper, the conclusion should go through a thorough editing and revising process. This will help to ensure clarity, coherence, and impact in the conclusion. As you revise your conclusion, consider the following:

  • Check for Consistency: Ensure that your conclusion aligns with the main body of the paper and does not introduce any new or contradictory information.
  • Eliminate Redundancy: Remove any repetitive or redundant information in your conclusion. Instead, focus on presenting the key points in a concise and engaging manner.
  • Proofread for Clarity: Read your conclusion aloud or ask someone else to read it to ensure that it is clear and understandable. Check for any grammatical or spelling errors that may distract the reader.
  • Seek Feedback: Consider sharing your conclusion with peers or mentors to get their feedback and insights. This can help you strengthen your conclusion and make it more impactful.

How to Write Conclusion as a Call to Action

Finally, consider using your conclusion as a call to action. Encourage the reader to take further action, such as conducting additional research or considering the implications of your findings. By providing a clear call to action, you can inspire the reader to actively engage with your research and continue the conversation on the topic.

Adapting to Different Research Paper Types

It is important to adapt your conclusion approach based on the type of research paper you are writing. Different research paper types may require different strategies and approaches to writing the conclusion. For example, a scientific research paper may focus more on summarizing the key findings and implications, while a persuasive research paper may emphasize the call to action and the potential impact of the research. Tailor your conclusion to suit the specific goals and requirements of your research paper.

Final Thoughts

A well-crafted conclusion can leave a lasting impression on the reader and enhance the impact of your research. By following the tips and strategies outlined in this article, you can create an engaging and impactful conclusion that effectively summarizes your main points, addresses potential counterarguments, and leaves the reader with a sense of closure and inspiration. Embrace the importance of the conclusion and view it as an opportunity to showcase the significance and relevance of your research.

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Research Paper Guide

Research Paper Conclusion

Barbara P

Writing a Research Paper Conclusion - Step-by-Step Guide

Published on: Jan 10, 2024

Last updated on: Jan 15, 2024

How To Write A Conclusion For A Research Paper

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Finishing a research paper feels great, but getting to the end—especially the conclusion—can be a bit tricky. 

People often wonder, "How do I wrap up my findings nicely?" or "What tone should I use in the conclusion?" 

If you're dealing with these questions, you're not alone! Many researchers find writing a good conclusion a bit challenging since it's a crucial part that is meant to leave a strong impression on your readers.

No need to worry! 

In this guide, we'll show you how to write a conclusion that not only ties up your research paper neatly but also leaves a strong impression. We'll cover everything from summarizing effectively to creating the right feeling. 

So, let’s get started. 

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What is a Research Paper Conclusion?

A research paper conclusion is like the final chapter of your paper. It's where you bring everything together and leave a lasting impression on your readers. 

In simple terms, it's the last part where you sum up what you found during your research and explain why it matters. 

The conclusion isn't just a summary; it's a chance to make your research memorable and show its importance.

Types of Research Paper Conclusions

When it comes to writing the conclusion of your research paper, there isn't a one-size-fits-all approach. Different types of research papers call for different types of conclusions. Here are some common types:

  • Summarizing Conclusion

This type recaps the key points and findings of your research. It's like giving your readers a quick overview of what you discovered without introducing new information. Summarizing conclusions works well for straightforward research papers.

  • Reflective Conclusion

A reflective conclusion allows you to share your personal thoughts on the research process, challenges faced, and lessons learned. It adds a human touch to your paper, giving readers insight into your journey as a researcher.

  • Open-ended Conclusion

Some research papers benefit from an open-ended conclusion that leaves room for further exploration. This type invites readers to think critically, ask questions, or even conduct additional research on the same topic.

How to Write a Research Paper Conclusion: 7 Steps

Writing an effective conclusion for your research paper involves more than just summarizing your findings. Follow these six essential steps to ensure your conclusion leaves a lasting impact:

Step 1: Restate the Research Problem

Start wrapping up your paper by going back to the main research question or issue you were investigating. 

Remind your readers about what you were trying to find out or understand. This gives your conclusion a clear connection to the original goal of your research, helping readers see the bigger picture.

Step 2: Revisit Your Thesis Statement

Go back to the main idea or argument you had in your paper—this is called your thesis statement. Double-check that your conclusion matches and supports what you wanted to prove or talk about in the beginning. 

This step is important because it keeps your conclusion connected to the main point of your research, making everything fit together nicely.

Step 3: Summarize Key Points

Give a short and clear recap of the most important things you found in your research. Keep it simple and stick to what you've already talked about—don't bring in new details now. 

The goal is to remind your readers of the important stuff you covered earlier. This helps to underline why your research is important and what you want them to take away from it.

Step 4: Discuss the Implications

Address the broader implications of your research. Explain why your findings matter and how they contribute to the existing body of knowledge in your field. 

Discuss the practical applications of your research and highlight any potential areas for further exploration.

Step 5: Connect with the Introduction

Create a seamless connection between your conclusion and the introduction. Referencing key elements from the introduction helps to create a cohesive narrative for your paper. 

This connection gives your research a sense of completeness and unity.

Step 6: Consider the "So What?" Factor

Ask yourself the question, "So what?" Why should readers care about your research? Clearly articulate the significance of your findings and their relevance to the broader academic or real-world context. 

Demonstrating the impact of your research adds depth to your conclusion.

Step 7: End with a Strong Closing Statement:

Conclude your research paper with a memorable closing statement. This could be a thought-provoking reflection, a call to action, or a suggestion for future research.

A strong closing leaves a lasting impression on your readers and emphasizes the importance of your work.

Research Paper Conclusion Examples

When it comes to writing a conclusion for your research paper, examining examples can offer valuable insights. Let’s take a look at this comprehensive example given below:

Still wondering how to write the conclusion for your research paper? Check out these examples for better understanding:

Conclusion For A Research Paper APA

Conclusion For A Research Paper Example Pdf

Conclusion For A Research Paper Pdf

Conclusion For A Research Paper Middle School

Conclusion For A Scientific Paper

Conclusion For A Research Paper Sample

Things to Avoid While Writing the Research Paper Conclusion

While crafting a conclusion for your research paper, it's crucial to steer clear of common pitfalls that can diminish the impact of your final remarks. 

Here are some things to avoid:

  • Repetition: Avoid rehashing the exact language used in the introduction or body of your paper. A conclusion should summarize key points without duplicating content.
  • Introducing New Information: Resist the temptation to introduce new ideas or data in the conclusion. This section is for summarizing existing content and reinforcing key findings.
  • Overly Complex Language: Keep your conclusion clear and accessible. Avoid introducing overly complex or technical language that might confuse your readers.
  • Lack of Connection to Introduction: Ensure that your conclusion ties back to the introduction. Failing to connect these sections can make your paper feel disjointed.
  • Vague Statements: Steer clear of vague statements that lack substance. Clearly articulate the significance of your findings and their broader implications.
  • Apologies or Excuses: Avoid including apologies or excuses for limitations in your research. While acknowledging limitations is important, the conclusion is not the place to dwell on them.
  • New Arguments or Debates: The conclusion is not the space to introduce new debates or arguments. Keep the focus on summarizing your research and its implications.
  • Abrupt Endings: A conclusion should not end abruptly. Instead, provide a thoughtful and well-rounded closing statement about the results of your study.

To sum it up, we've gone through important steps to make your research paper conclusion strong. We covered things like going back to your main question, talking about the most important points, and thinking about why your research matters in the real world.

Remember, a good ending is more than just a summary; it captures the heart of your research and answers the big "So what?" question. 

Remember, don't say the same things too much, don't add new details at the end, and keep your language simple!

If you ever need help with your academic writing, MyPerfectWords.com is here for you. Our expert writers are committed to helping you excel in your research papers and beyond. 

Take the next step towards academic success with MyPerfectWords.com, and hire our essay writing service today!

Barbara P (Literature)

Dr. Barbara is a highly experienced writer and author who holds a Ph.D. degree in public health from an Ivy League school. She has worked in the medical field for many years, conducting extensive research on various health topics. Her writing has been featured in several top-tier publications.

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Writing a paper: conclusions, writing a conclusion.

A conclusion is an important part of the paper; it provides closure for the reader while reminding the reader of the contents and importance of the paper. It accomplishes this by stepping back from the specifics in order to view the bigger picture of the document. In other words, it is reminding the reader of the main argument. For most course papers, it is usually one paragraph that simply and succinctly restates the main ideas and arguments, pulling everything together to help clarify the thesis of the paper. A conclusion does not introduce new ideas; instead, it should clarify the intent and importance of the paper. It can also suggest possible future research on the topic.

An Easy Checklist for Writing a Conclusion

It is important to remind the reader of the thesis of the paper so he is reminded of the argument and solutions you proposed.
Think of the main points as puzzle pieces, and the conclusion is where they all fit together to create a bigger picture. The reader should walk away with the bigger picture in mind.
Make sure that the paper places its findings in the context of real social change.
Make sure the reader has a distinct sense that the paper has come to an end. It is important to not leave the reader hanging. (You don’t want her to have flip-the-page syndrome, where the reader turns the page, expecting the paper to continue. The paper should naturally come to an end.)
No new ideas should be introduced in the conclusion. It is simply a review of the material that is already present in the paper. The only new idea would be the suggesting of a direction for future research.

Conclusion Example

As addressed in my analysis of recent research, the advantages of a later starting time for high school students significantly outweigh the disadvantages. A later starting time would allow teens more time to sleep--something that is important for their physical and mental health--and ultimately improve their academic performance and behavior. The added transportation costs that result from this change can be absorbed through energy savings. The beneficial effects on the students’ academic performance and behavior validate this decision, but its effect on student motivation is still unknown. I would encourage an in-depth look at the reactions of students to such a change. This sort of study would help determine the actual effects of a later start time on the time management and sleep habits of students.

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This resource outlines the generally accepted structure for introductions, body paragraphs, and conclusions in an academic argument paper. Keep in mind that this resource contains guidelines and not strict rules about organization. Your structure needs to be flexible enough to meet the requirements of your purpose and audience.

Conclusions wrap up what you have been discussing in your paper. After moving from general to specific information in the introduction and body paragraphs, your conclusion should begin pulling back into more general information that restates the main points of your argument. Conclusions may also call for action or overview future possible research. The following outline may help you conclude your paper:

In a general way,

  • Restate your topic and why it is important,
  • Restate your thesis/claim,
  • Address opposing viewpoints and explain why readers should align with your position,
  • Call for action or overview future research possibilities.

Remember that once you accomplish these tasks, unless otherwise directed by your instructor, you are finished. Done. Complete. Don't try to bring in new points or end with a whiz bang(!) conclusion or try to solve world hunger in the final sentence of your conclusion. Simplicity is best for a clear, convincing message.

The preacher's maxim is one of the most effective formulas to follow for argument papers:

Tell what you're going to tell them (introduction).

Tell them (body).

Tell them what you told them (conclusion).

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How to Write a Research Paper Conclusion Section

how to write conclusions on research papers

What is a conclusion in a research paper?

The conclusion in a research paper is the final paragraph or two in a research paper. In scientific papers, the conclusion usually follows the Discussion section , summarizing the importance of the findings and reminding the reader why the work presented in the paper is relevant.

However, it can be a bit confusing to distinguish the conclusion section/paragraph from a summary or a repetition of your findings, your own opinion, or the statement of the implications of your work. In fact, the conclusion should contain a bit of all of these other parts but go beyond it—but not too far beyond! 

The structure and content of the conclusion section can also vary depending on whether you are writing a research manuscript or an essay. This article will explain how to write a good conclusion section, what exactly it should (and should not) contain, how it should be structured, and what you should avoid when writing it.  

Table of Contents:

What does a good conclusion section do, what to include in a research paper conclusion.

  • Conclusion in an Essay
  • Research Paper Conclusion 
  • Conclusion Paragraph Outline and Example
  • What Not to Do When Writing a Conclusion

The conclusion of a research paper has several key objectives. It should:

  • Restate your research problem addressed in the introduction section
  • Summarize your main arguments, important findings, and broader implications
  • Synthesize key takeaways from your study

The specific content in the conclusion depends on whether your paper presents the results of original scientific research or constructs an argument through engagement with previously published sources.

You presented your general field of study to the reader in the introduction section, by moving from general information (the background of your work, often combined with a literature review ) to the rationale of your study and then to the specific problem or topic you addressed, formulated in the form of the statement of the problem in research or the thesis statement in an essay.

In the conclusion section, in contrast, your task is to move from your specific findings or arguments back to a more general depiction of how your research contributes to the readers’ understanding of a certain concept or helps solve a practical problem, or fills an important gap in the literature. The content of your conclusion section depends on the type of research you are doing and what type of paper you are writing. But whatever the outcome of your work is, the conclusion is where you briefly summarize it and place it within a larger context. It could be called the “take-home message” of the entire paper.

What to summarize in the conclusion

Your conclusion section needs to contain a very brief summary of your work , a very brief summary of the main findings of your work, and a mention of anything else that seems relevant when you now look at your work from a bigger perspective, even if it was not initially listed as one of your main research questions. This could be a limitation, for example, a problem with the design of your experiment that either needs to be considered when drawing any conclusions or that led you to ask a different question and therefore draw different conclusions at the end of your study (compared to when you started out).

Once you have reminded the reader of what you did and what you found, you need to go beyond that and also provide either your own opinion on why your work is relevant (and for whom, and how) or theoretical or practical implications of the study , or make a specific call for action if there is one to be made.   

How to Write an Essay Conclusion

Academic essays follow quite different structures than their counterparts in STEM and the natural sciences. Humanities papers often have conclusion sections that are much longer and contain more detail than scientific papers. There are three main types of academic essay conclusions.

Summarizing conclusion

The most typical conclusion at the end of an analytical/explanatory/argumentative essay is a summarizing conclusion . This is, as the name suggests, a clear summary of the main points of your topic and thesis. Since you might have gone through a number of different arguments or subtopics in the main part of your essay, you need to remind the reader again what those were, how they fit into each other, and how they helped you develop or corroborate your hypothesis.

For an essay that analyzes how recruiters can hire the best candidates in the shortest time or on “how starving yourself will increase your lifespan, according to science”, a summary of all the points you discussed might be all you need. Note that you should not exactly repeat what you said earlier, but rather highlight the essential details and present those to your reader in a different way. 

Externalizing conclusion

If you think that just reminding the reader of your main points is not enough, you can opt for an externalizing conclusion instead, that presents new points that were not presented in the paper so far. These new points can be additional facts and information or they can be ideas that are relevant to the topic and have not been mentioned before.

Such a conclusion can stimulate your readers to think about your topic or the implications of your analysis in a whole new way. For example, at the end of a historical analysis of a specific event or development, you could direct your reader’s attention to some current events that were not the topic of your essay but that provide a different context for your findings.

Editorial conclusion

In an editorial conclusion , another common type of conclusion that you will find at the end of papers and essays, you do not add new information but instead present your own experiences or opinions on the topic to round everything up. What makes this type of conclusion interesting is that you can choose to agree or disagree with the information you presented in your paper so far. For example, if you have collected and analyzed information on how a specific diet helps people lose weight, you can nevertheless have your doubts on the sustainability of that diet or its practicability in real life—if such arguments were not included in your original thesis and have therefore not been covered in the main part of your paper, the conclusion section is the place where you can get your opinion across.    

How to Conclude an Empirical Research Paper

An empirical research paper is usually more concise and succinct than an essay, because, if it is written well, it focuses on one specific question, describes the method that was used to answer that one question, describes and explains the results, and guides the reader in a logical way from the introduction to the discussion without going on tangents or digging into not absolutely relevant topics.

Summarize the findings

In a scientific paper, you should include a summary of the findings. Don’t go into great detail here (you will have presented your in-depth  results  and  discussion  already), but do clearly express the answers to the  research questions  you investigated.

Describe your main findings, even if they weren’t necessarily the ones anticipated, and explain the conclusion they led you to. Explain these findings in as few words as possible.

Instead of beginning with “ In conclusion, in this study, we investigated the effect of stress on the brain using fMRI …”, you should try to find a way to incorporate the repetition of the essential (and only the essential) details into the summary of the key points. “ The findings of this fMRI study on the effect of stress on the brain suggest that …” or “ While it has been known for a long time that stress has an effect on the brain, the findings of this fMRI study show that, surprisingly… ” would be better ways to start a conclusion. 

You should also not bring up new ideas or present new facts in the conclusion of a research paper, but stick to the background information you have presented earlier, to the findings you have already discussed, and the limitations and implications you have already described. The one thing you can add here is a practical recommendation that you haven’t clearly stated before—but even that one needs to follow logically from everything you have already discussed in the discussion section.

Discuss the implications

After summing up your key arguments or findings, conclude the paper by stating the broader implications of the research , whether in methods , approach, or findings. Express practical or theoretical takeaways from your paper. This often looks like a “call to action” or a final “sales pitch” that puts an exclamation point on your paper.

If your research topic is more theoretical in nature, your closing statement should express the significance of your argument—for example, in proposing a new understanding of a topic or laying the groundwork for future research.

Future research example

Future research into education standards should focus on establishing a more detailed picture of how novel pedagogical approaches impact young people’s ability to absorb new and difficult concepts. Moreover, observational studies are needed to gain more insight into how specific teaching models affect the retention of relationships and facts—for instance, how inquiry-based learning and its emphasis on lateral thinking can be used as a jumping-off point for more holistic classroom approaches.

Research Conclusion Example and Outline

Let’s revisit the study on the effect of stress on the brain we mentioned before and see what the common structure for a conclusion paragraph looks like, in three steps. Following these simple steps will make it easy for you to wrap everything up in one short paragraph that contains all the essential information: 

One: Short summary of what you did, but integrated into the summary of your findings:

While it has been known for a long time that stress has an effect on the brain, the findings of this fMRI study in 25 university students going through mid-term exams show that, surprisingly, one’s attitude to the experienced stress significantly modulates the brain’s response to it. 

Note that you don’t need to repeat any methodological or technical details here—the reader has been presented with all of these before, they have read your results section and the discussion of your results, and even (hopefully!) a discussion of the limitations and strengths of your paper. The only thing you need to remind them of here is the essential outcome of your work. 

Two: Add implications, and don’t forget to specify who this might be relevant for: 

Students could be considered a specific subsample of the general population, but earlier research shows that the effect that exam stress has on their physical and mental health is comparable to the effects of other types of stress on individuals of other ages and occupations. Further research into practical ways of modulating not only one’s mental stress response but potentially also one’s brain activity (e.g., via neurofeedback training) are warranted.

This is a “research implication”, and it is nicely combined with a mention of a potential limitation of the study (the student sample) that turns out not to be a limitation after all (because earlier research suggests we can generalize to other populations). If there already is a lot of research on neurofeedback for stress control, by the way, then this should have been discussed in your discussion section earlier and you wouldn’t say such studies are “warranted” here but rather specify how your findings could inspire specific future experiments or how they should be implemented in existing applications. 

Three: The most important thing is that your conclusion paragraph accurately reflects the content of your paper. Compare it to your research paper title , your research paper abstract , and to your journal submission cover letter , in case you already have one—if these do not all tell the same story, then you need to go back to your paper, start again from the introduction section, and find out where you lost the logical thread. As always, consistency is key.    

Problems to Avoid When Writing a Conclusion 

  • Do not suddenly introduce new information that has never been mentioned before (unless you are writing an essay and opting for an externalizing conclusion, see above). The conclusion section is not where you want to surprise your readers, but the take-home message of what you have already presented.
  • Do not simply copy your abstract, the conclusion section of your abstract, or the first sentence of your introduction, and put it at the end of the discussion section. Even if these parts of your paper cover the same points, they should not be identical.
  • Do not start the conclusion with “In conclusion”. If it has its own section heading, that is redundant, and if it is the last paragraph of the discussion section, it is inelegant and also not really necessary. The reader expects you to wrap your work up in the last paragraph, so you don’t have to announce that. Just look at the above example to see how to start a conclusion in a natural way.
  • Do not forget what your research objectives were and how you initially formulated the statement of the problem in your introduction section. If your story/approach/conclusions changed because of methodological issues or information you were not aware of when you started, then make sure you go back to the beginning and adapt your entire story (not just the ending). 

Consider Receiving Academic Editing Services

When you have arrived at the conclusion of your paper, you might want to head over to Wordvice AI’s AI Writing Assistant to receive a free grammar check for any academic content. 

After drafting, you can also receive English editing and proofreading services , including paper editing services for your journal manuscript. If you need advice on how to write the other parts of your research paper , or on how to make a research paper outline if you are struggling with putting everything you did together, then head over to the Wordvice academic resources pages , where we have a lot more articles and videos for you.

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how to write conclusions on research papers

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How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper

Do you ever feel like you’re inside a black hole when it comes time to write your research paper conclusion? You’ve spent weeks (or months!) gathering reliable sources and supporting evidence, but now that the big moment has come, you don’t know how to sum up all of your hard work! But fear not: even though reaching an effective conclusion for a research paper can seem daunting at times, with a few tips and tricks from experts in the field, anyone can learn how to master this crucial writing skill. In this blog post, we’ll talk about some of the most successful strategies for crafting an impressive conclusion for your next masterpiece.

Summarize the main points of your research paper

One of the most important parts of research writing is the conclusion, as it acts as not only a summary of not only your research paper but also a representation of your overall writing ability. Crafting an effective research paper conclusion requires careful consideration of the research evidence and an ability to identify themes and draw connections between these themes. Fortunately, there are several tips to help writers in their journey to composing an effective research paper conclusion. From making sure the conclusion connects to the introduction to summarizing research findings in new and creative ways, following a few simple steps can ensure that writers finish their research papers with confidence.

Identify any unresolved questions or issues in the paper

Finishing up a research paper can often be the hardest part, leading to advice such as “write the conclusion last.” Unaddressed questions and issues within the paper present an additional challenge when writing the closing remarks. Careful consideration of how to end a research paper should include an honest assessment of what remains unresolved after studying the topic. Addressing any remaining questions or issues will not only ensure closure on your research paper; it also has lasting benefits by providing advice for future studies on similar topics.

Offer a solution or suggestion for future research

To successfully conclude a research paper, it is important to apply certain tricks and advice from experts. Future research should focus on understanding the ways in which a good conclusion can be written so as to add value to the overall paper. Discussions could focus on elements that are generally valued in concluding paragraphs, such as summarizing key findings and implications of the study, validating the research problem statement, and linking back to previously presented evidence. With this kind of insight into concluding statements, researchers would have better chances of producing worthwhile scholarly contributions .

Reflect on the overall implications of your findings

After completing the research process and coming to a conclusion, it is important to reflect on its overall implication. When it comes to how to end a research paper, one must think about what the conclusion implies for future endeavors and application of knowledge. Reflecting on implications can create questions for further research opportunities or exalt original interpretations from the conclusion. Writing with this in mind allows conclusion statements that truly encapsulate the importance of research outcomes.

Restate the thesis in different terms

Writing a strong conclusion for your research paper can be tricky, but there are tips and tricks that can help. One great technique is to restate the thesis in different terms. Doing so allows you to emphasize the main points of your paper and tie them all together into one appealing conclusion. Additionally, it needs to follow from the content covered throughout the body of your essay and connect it with other information presented at the beginning or throughout the paper. With some clever word choices and rhetorical devices, you have the potential to create an effective ending that will leave your reader with a lasting impression.

End with a call to action for readers to take away from your work

As concluding a research paper can be challenging, it is important to reiterate the main ideas and provide an actionable call to conclusion. While providing advice to readers is a great way to tie up loose ends in any research paper, one must also think carefully about what advice they provide. Offer up a course of action that pushes forward your thesis while remaining conscious of the limitations and complexities behind your work. An effective concluding statement speaks on behalf of both those researching and reading, leaving a lasting impression without unintentionally oversimplifying the material.

If you would like help transforming your ideas into clear and well-structured writing, contact Elite Editing today.

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Writing a research paper is tedious, and after all that work, you’d think the conclusion would be the easy part. In reality, this is often one of the most difficult sections of a research paper to write, since you have to neatly tie up pages and pages of research in a short amount of time.

To help you with this, we’ve put together some instructions and tips on how to write a research paper conclusion. We’ll also talk about what conclusions are, why they’re important, and different ways you can format them.

Key Takeaways

Research paper conclusions serve to close the argument the introduction opened and restate the main points of the research paper.

There are three research paper conclusion formats: summarization, reflective, and projective.

Your research paper conclusion should be concise, straightforward, and accurate.

How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper

How To Write A Research Paper Conclusion

6 tips for writing a research paper conclusion, different formats of research paper conclusions, what is the conclusion of a research paper, why is writing a conclusion important for a research paper, research paper conclusion faq.

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Many students understand that the conclusion is a crucial part of their research paper, but they don’t know how to go about writing one.

Follow the steps below for how to write a research paper conclusion.

Open With The Research Topic. To begin a conclusion paragraph, use the first sentence to reiterate the comprehensive subject matter that your paper covered. Since this is just a sentence-long retelling of your research topic and why it’s important, it doesn’t have to be specific, but it does need clarity.

Dragonflies are a magnificently complex insect whose advanced physical mechanics and vast species differences make them a notable study in the scientific community.

Focus On Your Specific Thesis. Every research paper focuses on targetted intricacies within a larger topic. Now that the more extensive topic of the research paper has been mentioned, the next sentence or two highlights the specific thesis presented.

Don’t merely copy and paste the introduction of your thesis from the first paragraph. Restate it in different words that illicit a more in-depth understanding from the reader .

The overall characteristics found only within the Odonata family unites the dragonfly under a singular title. All species of dragonfly faced the same path towards the modern structure known today, and therefore, they are all similar in one way or another. However, there are also significant differences apparent to the naked eye between a species that shares so much of the same structure.

Summarize And Connect Main Points. Throughout a research paper, the writer presents points to support the initial thesis claim. Very briefly summarize and tie together these points in a way that supports your thesis. This is the place to restate your research findings.

By examining the striped meadowhawk and migrant hawker dragonflies, it is shown that habitat governs many aspects pertaining to that specific species’ lifestyle. It is also proven that color and patterns perceived on this insect serve a greater purpose of individualizing and distinguishing between these two species.

Bring It All Together. It sounds redundant to say you need to conclude your conclusion, but that’s the final step. You’ve done the mini recap of your research paper through the beginning sentences of your essay. Close the conclusion by making a final encouragement for an action, idea, or fact.

The dragonfly is a unique insect with uniting factors and specialization. However, the most attributed aspect to this insect as a whole is the enormity of their differences. The evolved genetic features attributed to various species of dragonflies both individualize them and apply unification to the insect as a whole.

Consider What Conclusion Format To Use Carefully. The way you structure a conclusion has a massive effect on how impactful it will be to a reader.

Some types of writing can work well with a variety of conclusion formats, but others will confuse a paper’s message. For example, using a reflective style conclusion on a scientific research paper comes across as too opinion-based for a topic that’s shrouded in measurable fact.

Don’t Make It Too Complex. It’s best to use plain language when summarizing the information presented in a research paper or making a claim. Many students are tempted to use impressive wording and complex writing in a research paper conclusion to present themselves as experts in the subject , but it only gives the reader a headache.

Conclusions Should Be Concise . Research papers give the writer pages of leeway to make all the drawn-out points that they need, but conclusions don’t offer as much room. An essay’s conclusion needs to be short by definition because it’s merely a last takeaway for the reader. A research paper conclusion is a final paragraph, not the entire page .

Double Check Your Information. There’s nothing worse for a research paper’s validity than confidently making a claim in the conclusion that turns out to be false. It’s fundamental that all the facts and information your detail in a research paper are backed up with credible sources listed neatly on the works cited page.

Empathize With The Reader. Whether you’re submitting a research paper for an introductory university class or publishing a scholarly journal, you still need to keep the reader in mind when writing a conclusion. Think about who you’re communicating with through your research paper and what you’re hoping to accomplish with it.

Do Research . One way to fix the problem if you’re unsure of what makes an essay conclusion compelling is researching the topic. Reading articles (like this one) is helpful because they give you a clear demonstration of how to create a conclusion, but applying this structure to your own work can be difficult. A case of easier said than done.

Based on the goal or subject of your research paper, the structure of your conclusion changes. Pick a type of conclusion that will strengthen the point of your essay. Below are examples of different formats to use when writing research paper conclusions.

Summarization. The summarization conclusion is most commonly used for research papers that are presenting a series of concrete facts.

It’s the form of conclusion that most people are familiar with. Using the summary technique requires a succinct compiling of the most critical points you’ve made in an essay.

Summarization Conclusion Formatting Works Best For:

Solution-Based Research

Persuasive Writing

History and Science Studies

Structuring An Argument

Reflective. A conclusion that uses a reflective structure takes the information outlined in the research paper to arrive at a grander insight about the topic at hand. This type of conclusion is popular when you’re attempting to change the reader’s viewpoint with a paper.

Reflective Conclusion Formatting Works Best For:

Persuasive Essays

English and Political Studies

Projective. When using a projective conclusion, the writer applies their work presented earlier in the thesis to eventual outcomes that can arise. It is called a projective conclusion because it is more results-based than summarizing facts or establishing an overarching lesson.

Projective Conclusion Formatting Works Best For:

Research Paper

Expository Essay

Narrative Works (Sometimes)

The conclusion of a research paper ties together all the prior information you’ve covered. It leaves the reader with a final thought about the research paper and the message it’s trying to convey.

Unlike the body paragraphs of a research paper, which aim at specificity and focus on developing a single concept or piece of information, conclusions are broader. The goal is to gloss over what’s already been stated earlier in the essay to solidify it with the reader.

The conclusion also serves a different purpose than the introduction . An introductory paragraph is for establishing what the reader will be learning more about. It opens the metaphorical door towards understanding a research endeavor or topic. The conclusion closes the argument that the introductory paragraph opens.

Including a conclusion is an important part of writing a research paper because it creates an organized summarization of information and outlines inferences about the subject studied. It provides an additional layer of clarity in a short written work.

Research papers are often lengthy and dull, so it’s easy for a reader’s attention to stray. A conclusion brings the reader back and offers them the most critical takeaways from the paper.

How long should a good conclusion be?

A good conclusion should be one paragraph or three to five sentences long. Your research paper conclusion should be concise, which means you don’t need to take up a whole page for just your conclusion. Instead, try to stick to about one paragraph in length.

What are the general rules in crafting conclusions in your research paper?

The general rules for crafting conclusions for your research paper include:

Choose the right conclusion format.

Keep it simple.

Be concise.

Be accurate.

Keep the reader’s needs (or requirements) in mind.

Remind the reader of your thesis.

Summarize and connect main points.

End with a concluding sentence.

What is a better way to say, “In conclusion”?

A better way to say, “In conclusion,” is “Therefore,” “Finally,” or “Lastly.” Other good words include, “As expressed” or “As a result.” You can also simply launch into your concluding paragraph if a transition isn’t needed.

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Sky Ariella is a professional freelance writer, originally from New York. She has been featured on websites and online magazines covering topics in career, travel, and lifestyle. She received her BA in psychology from Hunter College.

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A guide to writing an argument synthesis essay, racheal r.n..

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A guide to writing an argument synthesis essay 1

What You'll Learn

Introduction

An argument synthesis essay is a critical piece of writing that requires students to analyze and synthesize information from various sources to develop a coherent argument. This type of essay demands a careful examination of multiple perspectives on a given topic and the integration of these viewpoints to construct a well-supported argument. To successfully navigate the intricacies of an argument synthesis essay, one must follow a systematic approach that encompasses thorough research, thoughtful analysis, and effective synthesis.(A Guide to Writing an Argument Synthesis Essay)

Thesis Formation

The first step in crafting an argument synthesis essay is formulating a clear and concise thesis statement. The thesis serves as the central claim of the essay and should articulate the main point or argument that the writer aims to convey. To create an effective thesis, it is essential to identify the key themes and patterns within the selected sources and determine the overarching message that will guide the essay’s development.(A Guide to Writing an Argument Synthesis Essay)

Research and Source Selection

Conducting comprehensive research is fundamental to the success of an argument synthesis essay. Students should explore a range of reputable sources, including academic articles, books, and credible online resources. The selected sources should offer diverse perspectives on the chosen topic, allowing for a nuanced and well-rounded understanding. Evaluating the reliability, relevance, and credibility of each source is crucial to ensure the strength of the synthesis.(A Guide to Writing an Argument Synthesis Essay)

Source Annotation and Analysis

After gathering the necessary sources, it is essential to annotate and analyze each one thoroughly. Annotation involves summarizing the main ideas, identifying key arguments, and noting relevant evidence within each source. Concurrently, critical analysis should assess the credibility of the author, evaluate the intended audience, and identify any potential biases. Understanding the context and purpose of each source lays the foundation for a comprehensive synthesis.

Organizing the Essay

A well-organized structure is pivotal to the success of an argument synthesis essay. The essay typically follows a three-part structure – introduction, body, and conclusion. The introduction should provide background information on the topic, present the thesis statement, and outline the scope of the synthesis. The body paragraphs should each focus on a specific aspect of the synthesis, presenting evidence from the sources and showcasing the writer’s analytical skills. Finally, the conclusion should summarize the key points, restate the thesis, and offer insights into the broader implications of the synthesized argument.(A Guide to Writing an Argument Synthesis Essay)

Synthesis of Information

The heart of an argument synthesis essay lies in the synthesis of information from the various sources. Rather than presenting a mere compilation of individual ideas, the writer must strive to create a coherent narrative that weaves together different perspectives to support the thesis. Effective synthesis involves identifying commonalities and contradictions among the sources, highlighting the relationships between ideas, and showcasing the evolution of the argument throughout the essay.(A Guide to Writing an Argument Synthesis Essay)

Incorporating Counterarguments

A compelling argument synthesis essay acknowledges and addresses counterarguments. By integrating opposing viewpoints, the writer demonstrates a comprehensive understanding of the topic and reinforces the strength of their own argument. This not only adds depth to the synthesis but also showcases the writer’s ability to critically engage with diverse perspectives.(A Guide to Writing an Argument Synthesis Essay)

In conclusion, writing an argument synthesis essay is a multifaceted process that demands careful research, critical analysis, and skillful synthesis of information. By following a systematic approach, from thesis formation to source selection, annotation, and organization, writers can create a compelling and well-supported argument synthesis essay. Emphasizing the importance of thorough research, critical thinking, and effective communication, this guide provides a framework for success in mastering the art of argument synthesis.(A Guide to Writing an Argument Synthesis Essay)

Latifi, S., Noroozi, O., & Talaee, E. (2023). Worked example or scripting? Fostering students’ online argumentative peer feedback, essay writing and learning. Interactive Learning Environments, 31(2), 655-669. https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=q5q2mN8AAAAJ&hl=en&oi=sra

Noroozi, O., Hatami, J., Bayat, A., Van Ginkel, S., Biemans, H. J., & Mulder, M. (2020). Students’ online argumentative peer feedback, essay writing, and content learning: Does gender matter?.  Interactive Learning Environments ,  28 (6), 698-712. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10494820.2018.1543200

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Do You Overlook These Key Elements When Writing a Research Manuscript?

How to write a research manuscript by avoiding errors

As with any other skill, academic writing can be improved through practice and experience. Writing publishable research manuscripts does not come naturally to most scientific researchers, even those with a great deal of experience. However, because publication is so important to the success of research studies, and thus researchers, writing is often a skill that needs to be strengthened. The good news is information on how to write a manuscript for publication is widely available for those who want to improve their writing skills. We’ll go a step further and shortlist some key elements that often get overlooked when writing research manuscripts.

Introduction issues

As implied by the section name, the Introduction provides the reader with information basic to understanding the study. The problem being addressed is described, a research gap in the existing literature is identified, and the aims of the study are stated. When writing a manuscript for publication, you should leave this section until last. Oftentimes the study you intended to write is not exactly the study you end up with, and it is important that this section is clearly aligned with your actual results.

Another common issue with the Introduction that may negatively affect a research manuscript’s publication is the lack of a clear statement of purpose 1 . The reader, or journal editor, does not want to search for the meaning of the study. Therefore, make sure that your aim is explicitly stated near the end of the Introduction.

Your Introduction may also be judged by what should not be in it. Do not include data or conclusions in your Introduction. In addition, opinions or value judgements do not belong in the Introduction, or in any part of your research manuscript. Consider asking a colleague or friend to read it, as it is sometimes difficult to see this in your own writing.

Effective use of tables and figures

Visual elements such as tables and figures can add a lot of value to a research study manuscript, but their usefulness is often overlooked. Tables and figures, if used effectively, clarify points you make in the text and increase its clarity and overall reader engagement.

What does the effective use of tables and figures mean? It means the visuals are simple and understandable on their own. The title, along with any footnotes, captions, and comments, are enough of an explanation for the reader 1 . Try taking the table or figure out of the manuscript and looking at it alone. Better yet, show it to a few colleagues. Can they understand what the figure or table shows without any explanation from you? If not, simplify and clarify. Ideally, tables and figures should complement your text and break it up to increase readability. You can make your manuscript more publishable by putting some thought and effort into the visuals that you use.

how to write conclusions on research papers

Discussion errors

The Discussion section is also fraught with improvement opportunities for research writers. For research manuscript writers, a weak discussion section is a common cause of publication failure 2 . What makes a weak discussion? Sometimes it comes from not understanding the difference between speculation and evidence-based conclusions 2 . Everything you present must be based on evidence. If you’re going to speculate or assume, make that clear in your writing. Furthermore, your conclusions should be situated in the context of the existing literature and your results analyzed based on the results of previous studies. Do not overstate the meaning of your results 1 .

In addition, authors often miss a few elements in their Discussion section that should be included, such as study limitations and a global context or meaning for the results. How do the results of your study and what you learned affect the discipline? How can they be useful to practitioners or other researchers? In addition, to tie the study together, the aim that was stated in the Introduction needs to be explicitly addressed. Don’t hide anything from the reader.

Overall writing quality

Finally, the best thing you can do to improve your research manuscript is to make it easy for your reader to understand. Consider clarity to be your main goal when writing. If you can clearly convey to your readers what you did and what the research results were, you show that you understand the topic and this helps build trust. If someone can’t follow your thinking because the manuscript is poorly written or too wordy, your study will ultimately lack impact. Always keep the reader in mind and make your study simple to understand.

One good way to check the writing quality is to read the paper aloud to yourself and listen to the words. When you read the same sentences repeatedly, you may tend to read what you intended to write, not what you actually wrote. Another good suggestion is to get a colleague or friend to read the paper and provide feedback.

  • Liumbruno GM, Velati C, Pasqualetti P, Franchini M. How to write a scientific manuscript for publication. Blood Transfus . 2013, 11:217-26. doi: 10.2450/2012.0247-12
  • Gewin V. How to write a first class paper. Nature . 2018, 555:129-30. doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-018-02404-4

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5 Steps to Reduce the Length of the Research Paper Without Losing Content

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IMAGES

  1. How to Write a Research Paper Conclusion: Tips & Examples

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    how to write conclusions on research papers

  3. How to Write a Research Paper Conclusion: Tips & Examples

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  5. How To Write a Conclusion for an Essay: Expert Tips and Examples

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COMMENTS

  1. Writing a Research Paper Conclusion

    Step 1: Restate the problem Step 2: Sum up the paper Step 3: Discuss the implications Research paper conclusion examples Frequently asked questions about research paper conclusions Step 1: Restate the problem The first task of your conclusion is to remind the reader of your research problem.

  2. How to Write a Research Paper Conclusion

    How to Write a Research Paper Conclusion Matt Ellis Updated on May 10, 2023 Students Wrapping up a paper may seem simple enough, but if you don't know how to write a research paper conclusion, it can sometimes be the hardest part of the paper-writing process. In this guide, we share expert advice on how to write a research paper conclusion.

  3. How to Write a Conclusion for Research Papers (with Examples)

    Frequently Asked Questions What is a conclusion in a research paper A conclusion in a research paper is the final section where you summarize and wrap up your research, presenting the key findings and insights derived from your study.

  4. How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper (with Pictures)

    1 Restate the topic. You should briefly restate the topic as well as explain why it is important. [1] [2] Do not spend a great amount of time or space restating your topic. A good research paper will make the importance of your topic apparent, so you do not need to write an elaborate defense of your topic in the conclusion.

  5. How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper: Effective Tips and

    Unlike the introduction where you open a dialogue with your readers about the problem and/or present research questions, arguments, and what knowledge gaps you aim to bridge, the conclusion provides a clear and concise picture of how you are able to accomplish all of these.

  6. 9. The Conclusion

    The Writing Lab and The OWL. Purdue University. Importance of a Good Conclusion A well-written conclusion provides you with important opportunities to demonstrate to the reader your understanding of the research problem. These include: Presenting the last word on the issues you raised in your paper.

  7. How to Write Discussions and Conclusions

    Begin with a clear statement of the principal findings. This will reinforce the main take-away for the reader and set up the rest of the discussion. Explain why the outcomes of your study are important to the reader. Discuss the implications of your findings realistically based on previous literature, highlighting both the strengths and ...

  8. Research Paper Conclusion

    Here are some steps you can follow to write an effective research paper conclusion: Restate the research problem or question: Begin by restating the research problem or question that you aimed to answer in your research. This will remind the reader of the purpose of your study.

  9. PDF Conclusion Section for Research Papers

    DO keep it short and sweet. While there is no hard and fast rule on length, conclusions are typically one paragraph long; however, you may find some that are two or three paragraphs long. DON'T state the obvious by writing "in conclusion" or "in summary."

  10. How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper

    Research paper conclusion examples. Below, we've created basic templates showing the key parts of a research paper conclusion. Keep in mind that the length of your conclusion will depend on the length of your paper. The order of the parts may vary, too; these templates only demonstrate how to tie them together. 1. Empirical research paper ...

  11. Conclusions

    Conclusions | Writing Advice: The Barker Underground Blog Tips for Reading an Assignment Prompt What Do Introductions Across the Disciplines Have in Common? Anatomy of a Body Paragraph Strategies for Essay Writing: Downloadable PDFs Brief Guides to Writing in the Disciplines English Grammar and Language Tutor Harvard Guide to Using Sources

  12. How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper

    The conclusion of a conclusion should: Restate your topic and why it is important Restate your thesis/claim Address opposing viewpoints and explain why readers should align with your position Include a call for action or overview of future research possibilities Related: How To Write a Research Question: Steps and Examples

  13. How to write a strong conclusion for your research paper

    Step 1: Restate the problem. Always begin by restating the research problem in the conclusion of a research paper. This serves to remind the reader of your hypothesis and refresh them on the main point of the paper. When restating the problem, take care to avoid using exactly the same words you employed earlier in the paper.

  14. How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper

    Summarize Your Main Points: Provide a concise summary of the main points and arguments presented in your paper. Be sure to restate your thesis statement and highlight the key findings. Offer a Fresh Perspective: Use the conclusion as an opportunity to provide a fresh perspective or offer insights that go beyond the main body of the paper.

  15. How To Write A Conclusion For A Research Paper: 7+ Examples

    4. Things to Avoid While Writing the Research Paper Conclusion What is a Research Paper Conclusion? A research paper conclusion is like the final chapter of your paper. It's where you bring everything together and leave a lasting impression on your readers.

  16. Conclusions

    Writing a Conclusion. A conclusion is an important part of the paper; it provides closure for the reader while reminding the reader of the contents and importance of the paper. It accomplishes this by stepping back from the specifics in order to view the bigger picture of the document. In other words, it is reminding the reader of the main ...

  17. Conclusions

    In a general way, Restate your topic and why it is important, Restate your thesis/claim, Address opposing viewpoints and explain why readers should align with your position, Call for action or overview future research possibilities. Remember that once you accomplish these tasks, unless otherwise directed by your instructor, you are finished. Done.

  18. How to Write a Research Paper Conclusion Section

    The conclusion of a research paper has several key objectives. It should: Restate your research problem addressed in the introduction section. Summarize your main arguments, important findings, and broader implications. Synthesize key takeaways from your study. The specific content in the conclusion depends on whether your paper presents the ...

  19. Ending the Essay: Conclusions

    Finally, some advice on how not to end an essay: Don't simply summarize your essay. A brief summary of your argument may be useful, especially if your essay is long--more than ten pages or so. But shorter essays tend not to require a restatement of your main ideas. Avoid phrases like "in conclusion," "to conclude," "in summary," and "to sum up ...

  20. PDF Strategies for Essay Writing

    In a short paper—even a research paper—you don't need to provide an exhaustive summary as part of your conclusion. But you do need to make some kind of transition between your final body paragraph and your concluding paragraph. This may come in the form of a few sentences of summary. Or it may come in the form of a sentence that

  21. How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper

    Writing a strong conclusion for your research paper can be tricky, but there are tips and tricks that can help. One great technique is to restate the thesis in different terms. Doing so allows you to emphasize the main points of your paper and tie them all together into one appealing conclusion. Additionally, it needs to follow from the content ...

  22. How To Write A Conclusion For A Research Paper

    There are three research paper conclusion formats: summarization, reflective, and projective. Your research paper conclusion should be concise, straightforward, and accurate. In This Article 6 Tips for Writing a Research Paper Conclusion Different Formats of Research Paper Conclusions What Is the Conclusion of a Research Paper?

  23. Guide on How to write a conclusion for a research paper

    How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper that Resonates. The conclusion of a research paper is a crucial part of the entire document. The final section summarizes the main points, restates the thesis statement, and provides closure to the reader. Writing a strong conclusion for a research paper can be challenging because you must bring ...

  24. A Guide to Writing an Argument Synthesis Essay

    In conclusion, writing an argument synthesis essay is a multifaceted process that demands careful research, critical analysis, and skillful synthesis of information. By following a systematic approach, from thesis formation to source selection, annotation, and organization, writers can create a compelling and well-supported argument synthesis ...

  25. How to Write a Research Manuscript without Overlooking Key Elements

    Effective use of tables and figures. Visual elements such as tables and figures can add a lot of value to a research study manuscript, but their usefulness is often overlooked. Tables and figures, if used effectively, clarify points you make in the text and increase its clarity and overall reader engagement.

  26. Researching the White Paper

    Researching the White Paper: The process of researching and composing a white paper shares some similarities with the kind of research and writing one does for a high school or college research paper. What's important for writers of white papers to grasp, however, is how much this genre differs from a research paper.

  27. AI Writes Scientific Papers That Sound Great—But Aren't Accurate

    Writing review articles, for example, is a task well suited to AI: it involves sifting through the existing research on a subject, analyzing the results, reaching a conclusion about the state of ...

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    Tips To Follow For Writing Child Development Research Paper. Writing a research paper on child development requires careful planning and consideration of various factors. Here are some tips to help you successfully navigate the process: Choose a Specific Topic: Select a narrow and focused topic within the broad field of child development. This ...