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Research Paper Conclusion – Writing Guide and Examples

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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 Conclusion for Research Papers (with Examples)

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

The conclusion of a research paper is a crucial section that plays a significant role in the overall impact and effectiveness of your research paper. However, this is also the section that typically receives less attention compared to the introduction and the body of the paper. The conclusion serves to provide a concise summary of the key findings, their significance, their implications, and a sense of closure to the study. Discussing how can the findings be applied in real-world scenarios or inform policy, practice, or decision-making is especially valuable to practitioners and policymakers. The research paper conclusion also provides researchers with clear insights and valuable information for their own work, which they can then build on and contribute to the advancement of knowledge in the field.

The research paper conclusion should explain the significance of your findings within the broader context of your field. It restates how your results contribute to the existing body of knowledge and whether they confirm or challenge existing theories or hypotheses. Also, by identifying unanswered questions or areas requiring further investigation, your awareness of the broader research landscape can be demonstrated.

Remember to tailor the research paper conclusion to the specific needs and interests of your intended audience, which may include researchers, practitioners, policymakers, or a combination of these.

Table of Contents

What is a conclusion in a research paper, summarizing conclusion, editorial conclusion, externalizing conclusion, importance of a good research paper conclusion, how to write a conclusion for your research paper, research paper conclusion examples.

  • How to write a research paper conclusion with Paperpal? 

Frequently Asked Questions

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. The research paper conclusion is not the place to introduce new information or data that was not discussed in the main body of the paper. When working on how to conclude a research paper, remember to stick to summarizing and interpreting existing content. The research paper conclusion serves the following purposes: 1

  • Warn readers of the possible consequences of not attending to the problem.
  • Recommend specific course(s) of action.
  • Restate key ideas to drive home the ultimate point of your research paper.
  • Provide a “take-home” message that you want the readers to remember about your study.

conclusions section research

Types of conclusions for research papers

In research papers, the conclusion provides closure to the reader. The type of research paper conclusion you choose depends on the nature of your study, your goals, and your target audience. I provide you with three common types of conclusions:

A summarizing conclusion is the most common type of conclusion in research papers. It involves summarizing the main points, reiterating the research question, and restating the significance of the findings. This common type of research paper conclusion is used across different disciplines.

An editorial conclusion is less common but can be used in research papers that are focused on proposing or advocating for a particular viewpoint or policy. It involves presenting a strong editorial or opinion based on the research findings and offering recommendations or calls to action.

An externalizing conclusion is a type of conclusion that extends the research beyond the scope of the paper by suggesting potential future research directions or discussing the broader implications of the findings. This type of conclusion is often used in more theoretical or exploratory research papers.

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The conclusion in a research paper serves several important purposes:

  • Offers Implications and Recommendations : Your research paper conclusion is an excellent place to discuss the broader implications of your research and suggest potential areas for further study. It’s also an opportunity to offer practical recommendations based on your findings.
  • Provides Closure : A good research paper conclusion provides a sense of closure to your paper. It should leave the reader with a feeling that they have reached the end of a well-structured and thought-provoking research project.
  • Leaves a Lasting Impression : Writing a well-crafted research paper conclusion leaves a lasting impression on your readers. It’s your final opportunity to leave them with a new idea, a call to action, or a memorable quote.

conclusions section research

Writing a strong conclusion for your research paper is essential to leave a lasting impression on your readers. Here’s a step-by-step process to help you create and know what to put in the conclusion of a research paper: 2

  • Research Statement : Begin your research paper conclusion by restating your research statement. This reminds the reader of the main point you’ve been trying to prove throughout your paper. Keep it concise and clear.
  • Key Points : Summarize the main arguments and key points you’ve made in your paper. Avoid introducing new information in the research paper conclusion. Instead, provide a concise overview of what you’ve discussed in the body of your paper.
  • Address the Research Questions : If your research paper is based on specific research questions or hypotheses, briefly address whether you’ve answered them or achieved your research goals. Discuss the significance of your findings in this context.
  • Significance : Highlight the importance of your research and its relevance in the broader context. Explain why your findings matter and how they contribute to the existing knowledge in your field.
  • Implications : Explore the practical or theoretical implications of your research. How might your findings impact future research, policy, or real-world applications? Consider the “so what?” question.
  • Future Research : Offer suggestions for future research in your area. What questions or aspects remain unanswered or warrant further investigation? This shows that your work opens the door for future exploration.
  • Closing Thought : Conclude your research paper conclusion with a thought-provoking or memorable statement. This can leave a lasting impression on your readers and wrap up your paper effectively. Avoid introducing new information or arguments here.
  • Proofread and Revise : Carefully proofread your conclusion for grammar, spelling, and clarity. Ensure that your ideas flow smoothly and that your conclusion is coherent and well-structured.

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Remember that a well-crafted research paper conclusion is a reflection of the strength of your research and your ability to communicate its significance effectively. It should leave a lasting impression on your readers and tie together all the threads of your paper. Now you know how to start the conclusion of a research paper and what elements to include to make it impactful, let’s look at a research paper conclusion sample.

conclusions section research

How to write a research paper conclusion with Paperpal?

A research paper conclusion is not just a summary of your study, but a synthesis of the key findings that ties the research together and places it in a broader context. A research paper conclusion should be concise, typically around one paragraph in length. However, some complex topics may require a longer conclusion to ensure the reader is left with a clear understanding of the study’s significance. Paperpal, an AI writing assistant trusted by over 800,000 academics globally, can help you write a well-structured conclusion for your research paper. 

  • Sign Up or Log In: Create a new Paperpal account or login with your details.  
  • Navigate to Features : Once logged in, head over to the features’ side navigation pane. Click on Templates and you’ll find a suite of generative AI features to help you write better, faster.  
  • Generate an outline: Under Templates, select ‘Outlines’. Choose ‘Research article’ as your document type.  
  • Select your section: Since you’re focusing on the conclusion, select this section when prompted.  
  • Choose your field of study: Identifying your field of study allows Paperpal to provide more targeted suggestions, ensuring the relevance of your conclusion to your specific area of research. 
  • Provide a brief description of your study: Enter details about your research topic and findings. This information helps Paperpal generate a tailored outline that aligns with your paper’s content. 
  • Generate the conclusion outline: After entering all necessary details, click on ‘generate’. Paperpal will then create a structured outline for your conclusion, to help you start writing and build upon the outline.  
  • Write your conclusion: Use the generated outline to build your conclusion. The outline serves as a guide, ensuring you cover all critical aspects of a strong conclusion, from summarizing key findings to highlighting the research’s implications. 
  • Refine and enhance: Paperpal’s ‘Make Academic’ feature can be particularly useful in the final stages. Select any paragraph of your conclusion and use this feature to elevate the academic tone, ensuring your writing is aligned to the academic journal standards. 

By following these steps, Paperpal not only simplifies the process of writing a research paper conclusion but also ensures it is impactful, concise, and aligned with academic standards. Sign up with Paperpal today and write your research paper conclusion 2x faster .  

The research paper conclusion is a crucial part of your paper as it provides the final opportunity to leave a strong impression on your readers. In the research paper conclusion, summarize the main points of your research paper by restating your research statement, highlighting the most important findings, addressing the research questions or objectives, explaining the broader context of the study, discussing the significance of your findings, providing recommendations if applicable, and emphasizing the takeaway message. The main purpose of the conclusion is to remind the reader of the main point or argument of your paper and to provide a clear and concise summary of the key findings and their implications. All these elements should feature on your list of what to put in the conclusion of a research paper to create a strong final statement for your work.

A strong conclusion is a critical component of a research paper, as it provides an opportunity to wrap up your arguments, reiterate your main points, and leave a lasting impression on your readers. Here are the key elements of a strong research paper conclusion: 1. Conciseness : A research paper conclusion should be concise and to the point. It should not introduce new information or ideas that were not discussed in the body of the paper. 2. Summarization : The research paper conclusion should be comprehensive enough to give the reader a clear understanding of the research’s main contributions. 3 . Relevance : Ensure that the information included in the research paper conclusion is directly relevant to the research paper’s main topic and objectives; avoid unnecessary details. 4 . Connection to the Introduction : A well-structured research paper conclusion often revisits the key points made in the introduction and shows how the research has addressed the initial questions or objectives. 5. Emphasis : Highlight the significance and implications of your research. Why is your study important? What are the broader implications or applications of your findings? 6 . Call to Action : Include a call to action or a recommendation for future research or action based on your findings.

The length of a research paper conclusion can vary depending on several factors, including the overall length of the paper, the complexity of the research, and the specific journal requirements. While there is no strict rule for the length of a conclusion, but it’s generally advisable to keep it relatively short. A typical research paper conclusion might be around 5-10% of the paper’s total length. For example, if your paper is 10 pages long, the conclusion might be roughly half a page to one page in length.

In general, you do not need to include citations in the research paper conclusion. Citations are typically reserved for the body of the paper to support your arguments and provide evidence for your claims. However, there may be some exceptions to this rule: 1. If you are drawing a direct quote or paraphrasing a specific source in your research paper conclusion, you should include a citation to give proper credit to the original author. 2. If your conclusion refers to or discusses specific research, data, or sources that are crucial to the overall argument, citations can be included to reinforce your conclusion’s validity.

The conclusion of a research paper serves several important purposes: 1. Summarize the Key Points 2. Reinforce the Main Argument 3. Provide Closure 4. Offer Insights or Implications 5. Engage the Reader. 6. Reflect on Limitations

Remember that the primary purpose of the research paper conclusion is to leave a lasting impression on the reader, reinforcing the key points and providing closure to your research. It’s often the last part of the paper that the reader will see, so it should be strong and well-crafted.

  • Makar, G., Foltz, C., Lendner, M., & Vaccaro, A. R. (2018). How to write effective discussion and conclusion sections. Clinical spine surgery, 31(8), 345-346.
  • Bunton, D. (2005). The structure of PhD conclusion chapters.  Journal of English for academic purposes ,  4 (3), 207-224.

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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 derived from the findings of your study and, if applicable, where you recommend new areas for future research. For most college-level research papers, two or three well-developed paragraphs is sufficient for a conclusion, although in some cases, more paragraphs may be required in describing the 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  your answer to 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 [first identified in your literature review section] has been addressed by your research and why this contribution is significant.
  • Demonstrating the importance of your ideas . Don't be shy. The conclusion offers an 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 general 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 clearly summarizing 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. However, make sure 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 paper.

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

  • Present your conclusions in clear, concise 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, new, or crucial 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 but that further investigations should take place beyond the scope of your investigation.

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 [this is opposite of the introduction, which begins with general discussion of the context and ends with a detailed description of the research problem]. 

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. 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:

  • 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 leading to positive change.
  • 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 source would be 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 from your study 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 framed around the implications and significance of your findings [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. They 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 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 and behavioral 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 as a researcher 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 about the study's validity and realiability.

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 that they are reaching the end of your paper. 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. This why 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 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 position your findings within the larger context of scholarship on the topic, including describing how your research contributes new insights 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. 

conclusions section research

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:

conclusions section research

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

  • How to Write a Great Title
  • How to Write an Abstract
  • How to Write Your Methods
  • How to Report Statistics
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How to Write a Research Paper Conclusion Section

conclusions section research

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.

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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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 brings your readers back to your thesis or main idea and reminds your readers where you began and how far you have traveled.

So, for example, in a paper about the relationship between ADHD and rejection sensitivity, Vanessa Roser begins by introducing readers to the fact that researchers have studied the relationship between the two conditions and then provides her explanation of that relationship. Here’s her thesis: “While socialization may indeed be an important factor in RS, I argue that individuals with ADHD may also possess a neurological predisposition to RS that is exacerbated by the differing executive and emotional regulation characteristic of ADHD.”

In her final paragraph, Roser reminds us of where she started by echoing her thesis: “This literature demonstrates that, as with many other conditions, ADHD and RS share a delicately intertwined pattern of neurological similarities that is rooted in the innate biology of an individual’s mind, a connection that cannot be explained in full by the behavioral mediation hypothesis.”  

Highlight the “so what”  

At the beginning of your paper, you explain to your readers what’s at stake—why they should care about the argument you’re making. In your conclusion, you can bring readers back to those stakes by reminding them why your argument is important in the first place. You can also draft a few sentences that put those stakes into a new or broader context.

In the conclusion to her paper about ADHD and RS, Roser echoes the stakes she established in her introduction—that research into connections between ADHD and RS has led to contradictory results, raising questions about the “behavioral mediation hypothesis.”

She writes, “as with many other conditions, ADHD and RS share a delicately intertwined pattern of neurological similarities that is rooted in the innate biology of an individual’s mind, a connection that cannot be explained in full by the behavioral mediation hypothesis.”  

Leave your readers with the “now what”  

After the “what” and the “so what,” you should leave your reader with some final thoughts. If you have written a strong introduction, your readers will know why you have been arguing what you have been arguing—and why they should care. And if you’ve made a good case for your thesis, then your readers should be in a position to see things in a new way, understand new questions, or be ready for something that they weren’t ready for before they read your paper.

In her conclusion, Roser offers two “now what” statements. First, she explains that it is important to recognize that the flawed behavioral mediation hypothesis “seems to place a degree of fault on the individual. It implies that individuals with ADHD must have elicited such frequent or intense rejection by virtue of their inadequate social skills, erasing the possibility that they may simply possess a natural sensitivity to emotion.” She then highlights the broader implications for treatment of people with ADHD, noting that recognizing the actual connection between rejection sensitivity and ADHD “has profound implications for understanding how individuals with ADHD might best be treated in educational settings, by counselors, family, peers, or even society as a whole.”

To find your own “now what” for your essay’s conclusion, try asking yourself these questions:

  • What can my readers now understand, see in a new light, or grapple with that they would not have understood in the same way before reading my paper? Are we a step closer to understanding a larger phenomenon or to understanding why what was at stake is so important?  
  • What questions can I now raise that would not have made sense at the beginning of my paper? Questions for further research? Other ways that this topic could be approached?  
  • Are there other applications for my research? Could my questions be asked about different data in a different context? Could I use my methods to answer a different question?  
  • What action should be taken in light of this argument? What action do I predict will be taken or could lead to a solution?  
  • What larger context might my argument be a part of?  

What to avoid in your conclusion  

  • a complete restatement of all that you have said in your paper.  
  • a substantial counterargument that you do not have space to refute; you should introduce counterarguments before your conclusion.  
  • an apology for what you have not said. If you need to explain the scope of your paper, you should do this sooner—but don’t apologize for what you have not discussed in your paper.  
  • fake transitions like “in conclusion” that are followed by sentences that aren’t actually conclusions. (“In conclusion, I have now demonstrated that my thesis is correct.”)
  • picture_as_pdf Conclusions

The Conclusion: How to End a Scientific Report in Style

  • First Online: 26 April 2023

Cite this chapter

conclusions section research

  • Siew Mei Wu 3 ,
  • Kooi Cheng Lee 3 &
  • Eric Chun Yong Chan 4  

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Sometimes students have the mistaken belief that the conclusion of a scientific report is just a perfunctory ending that repeats what was presented in the main sections of the report. However, impactful conclusions fulfill a rhetorical function. Besides giving a closing summary, the conclusion reflects the significance of what has been uncovered and how this is connected to a broader issue. At the very least, the conclusion of a scientific report should leave the reader with a new perspective of the research area and something to think about.

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Goh, Z.-H., Tee, J. K., &amp; Ho, H. K. (2020). An Evaluation of the in vitro roles and mechanisms of silibinin in reducing pyrazinamide and isoniazid-induced hepatocellular damage. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 21 , 3714–3734. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21103714

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Swales, J. M., &amp; Feak, C. B. (2012). Academic writing for graduate students (3rd ed.). University of Michigan Press.

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Appendix 1: Tutorial Notes for Conclusion Activity

1.1 learning outcomes.

At the end of the tutorial, you should be able to:

Identify and demonstrate understanding of the roles of Conclusion section of research reports

Analyze the rhetorical moves of Conclusion and apply them effectively in research reports

1.2 Introduction

The Conclusion of a paper is a closing summary of what the report is about. The key role of a Conclusion is to provide a reflection on what has been uncovered during the course of the study and to reflect on the significance of what has been learned (Craswell &amp; Poore, 2012). It should show the readers why all the analysis and information matters.

Besides having a final say on the issues in the report, a Conclusion allows the writer to do the following:

Demonstrate the importance of ideas presented through a synthesis of thoughts

Consider broader issues, make new connections, and elaborate on the significance of the findings

Propel the reader to a new view of the subject

Make a good final impression

End the paper on a positive note

(University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2019)

In other words, a Conclusion gives the readers something to take away that will help them see things differently or appreciate the topic in new ways. It can suggest broader implications that will not only interest the readers, but also enrich their knowledge (Craswell &amp; Poore, 2012), and leave them with something interesting to think about (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2019).

1.3 About the Conclusion Section

In most universities, undergraduate students, especially those in the last year of their programs, are required to document their research work in the form of a research report. The process of taking what you have done in the lab or from systematic review, and writing it for your academic colleagues is a highly structured activity that stretches and challenges the mind. Overall, a research paper should appeal to the academic community for whom you are writing and should cause the reader to want to know more about your research.

As an undergraduate student in your discipline, you have the advantage of being engaged in a niche area of research. As such, your research is current and will most likely be of interest to scholars in your community.

A typical research paper has the following main sections: introduction, methods, results, discussion, and conclusion. The other front and back matters of a research paper are the title, abstract, acknowledgments, and reference list. This structure is commonly adopted and accepted in the scientific fields. The research report starts with a general idea. The report then leads the reader to a discussion on a specific research area. It then ends with applicability to a bigger area. The last section, Conclusion, is the focus of this lesson.

The rhetorical moves of a Conclusion reflect its roles (see Fig. 54.1 ). It starts by reminding the reader of what is presented in the Introduction. For example, if a problem is described in the Introduction, that same problem can be revisited in the Conclusion to provide evidence that the report is helpful in creating a new understanding of the problem. The writer can also refer to the Introduction by using keywords or parallel concepts that were presented there.

figure 1

Rhetorical moves of Conclusion (the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Writing Center,2019)

Next is a synthesis and not a summary of the outcomes of the study. Ideas should not simply be repeated as they were in the earlier parts of the report. The writer must show how the points made, and the support and examples that were given, fit together.

In terms of limitations, if it is not already mentioned in the Discussion section, the writer should acknowledge the weaknesses and shortcomings in the design and/or conduct of the study.

Finally, in connecting to the wider context, the writer should propose a course of action, a solution to an issue, or pose questions for further study. This can redirect readers’ thoughts and help them apply the information and ideas in the study to their own research context or to see the broader implications of the study.

1.4 Linguistic Features of the Conclusion Section

In terms of linguistic features, the use of tense in the Conclusion section is primarily present where the writer’s voice, position, and interpretation are prominent. This is followed by the use of the future tense in sharing what is ahead and some use of past when referring to the study that was done. As summarized by Swales and Feak (2012), Table 54.1 presents the frequency of use of the present tense and past tense in a research report.

1.5 Writing the Conclusion Section

Often, writing a Conclusion is not as easy as it first seems. Using the Question and Answer approach, below is a description of what is usually included in the Conclusion section.

How long should the Conclusion be?

One or two paragraphs comprising 1 sentence summarizing what the paper was about

Two to three sentences summarizing and synthesizing the key findings related to the thesis or objectives of the study

One sentence on limitations (if not in Discussion)

One to two sentences highlighting the significance and implications

One sentence on potential directions for further research

Should the objective be referred to in a Conclusion?

An effective Conclusion reiterates the issue or problem the hypothesis or objective(s) set out to solve. It is important to remind the readers what the hypothesis or objective(s) of the report are and to what extent they are addressed

How far should the Conclusion reflect the Introduction?

Referring to points made in the Introduction in the conclusion ties the paper together and provides readers with a sense of closure.

How much summarizing should there be in a Conclusion?

The conclusion can loosely follow the organization of your paper to parallel, but the focus should be on the paper’s analysis rather than on the organization.

Should newly found information be added to a Conclusion?

Well-written conclusions do not bring in new information or analysis; instead, they sum up what is already contained in the paper.

(Bahamani et al., 2017; Markowsky, 2010)

1.6 Task: Analysing a Conclusion Section

Consider Examples 1 to 4. How do the writers communicate the following information?

Restatement of objective(s)

Refection of outcome(s)

Acknowledgment of limitations, if any

Connection to wider context

“According to this study, the use of educational models, such as a Precaution Adoption Process Model (PAPM) that most people are associated with the process of decision-making in higher education will be beneficial. Moreover, in the preparation, development and implementation of training programs, factors like increased perceived susceptibility, and perceived benefits should be dealt with and some facilities should be provided to facilitate or resolve the barriers of doing the Pap smear test as much as possible.”

(Bahamani et al., 2016)

“Community pharmacists perceived the NMS service as being of benefit to patients by providing advice and reassurance. Implementation of NMS was variable and pharmacists’ perceptions of its feasibility and operationalisation were mixed. Some found the logistics of arranging and conducting the necessary follow-ups challenging, as were service targets. Patient awareness and understanding of NMS was reported to be low and there was a perceived need for publicity about the service. NMS appeared to have strengthened existing good relationships between pharmacists and GPs. Some pharmacists’ concerns about possible overlap of NMS with GP and nurse input may have impacted on their motivation. Overall, our findings indicate that NMS provides an opportunity for patient benefit (patient interaction and medicines management) and the development of contemporary pharmacy practice.”

(Lucas &amp; Blenkinsopp, 2015)

“In this review, we discussed several strategies for the engineering of RiPP pathways to produce artificial pep-tides bearing non-proteinogenic structures characteristic of peptidic natural products. In the RiPP pathways, the structures of the final products are defined by the primary sequences of the precursor genes. Moreover, only a small number of modifying enzymes are involved, and the enzymes function modularly. These features have greatly facilitated both in vivo and in vitro engineering of the pathways, leading to a wide variety of artificial derivatives of naturally occurring RiPPs. In principle, the engineering strategies introduced here can be interchangeably applied for other classes of RiPP enzymes/pathways. Post-biosynthetic chemical modification of RiPPs would be an alternative approach to further increase the structural variation of the products [48–50]. Given that new classes of RiPP enzymes have been frequently reported, and that genetic information of putative RiPP enzymes continues to arise, the array of molecules feasible by RiPP engineering will be further expanded. Some of the artificial RiPP derivatives exhibited elevated bioactivities or different selectivities as compared with their wild type RiPPs. Although these precedents have demonstrated the pharmaceutical relevance of RiPP ana-logs, the next important step in RiPP engineering is the development of novel RiPP derivatives with artificial bioactivities. In more recent reports [51 __,52 __,53 __], the integration of combinatorial lanthipeptide biosynthesis with in vitro selection or bacterial reverse two-hybrid screening methods have successfully obtained artificial ligands specific to certain target proteins. Such approaches, including other strategies under investigation in laboratories in this field, for constructing and screening vast RiPP libraries would lead to the creation of artificial bioactive peptides with non-proteinogenic structures in the near feature.”

(Goto &amp; Suga, 2018)

“Our study is the first to assess and characterise silibinin’s various roles as an adjuvant in protecting against PZA- and INH-induced hepatotoxicity. Most promisingly, we demonstrated silibinin’s safety and efficacy as a rescue adjuvant in vitro , both of which are fundamental considerations in the use of any drug. We also identified silibinin’s potential utility as a rescue hepatoprotectant, shed important mechanistic insights on its hepatoprotective effect, and identified novel antioxidant targets in ameliorating ATT-induced hepatotoxicity. The proof-of-concept demonstrated in this project forms the ethical and scientific foundation to justify and inform subsequent in vivo preclinical studies and clinical trials. Given the lack of alternative treatments in tuberculosis, the need to preserve our remaining antibiotics is paramount. The high stakes involved necessitate future efforts to support our preliminary work in making silibinin clinically relevant to patients and healthcare professionals alike.”

(Goh, 2018)

1.7 In Summary

To recap, in drafting the Conclusion section, you should keep in mind that final remarks can leave the readers with a long-lasting impression of the report especially on the key point(s) that the writer intends to convey. Therefore, you should be careful in crafting this last section of your report.

1.8 References

Bahamani, A. et al. (2017). The Effect of Training Based on Precaution Adoption Process Model (PAPM) on Rural Females’ Participation in Pap smear. BJPR, 16 , 6. Retrieved from http://www.journalrepository.org/media/journals/BJPR_14/2017/May/Bahmani1662017BJPR32965.pdf

Craswell G., &amp; Poore, M. (2012). Writing for Academic Success, 2nd. London: Sage.

Goh, Z-H. (2018). An Evaluation of the Roles and Mechanisms of Silibinin in Reducing Pyrazinamide- and Isoniazid-Induced Hepatotoxicity . Unpublished Final Year Project. National University of Singapore: Department of Pharmacy.

Goto, Y., &amp; Suga, H. (2018). Engineering of RiPP pathways for the production of artificial peptides bearing various non-proteinogenic structures. Current Opinion in Chemical Biology , 46 , 82–90.

Lucas, B., &amp; Blenkinsopp, A. (2015). Community pharmacists’ experience and perceptions of the New Medicines Serves (NMS). IJPP , 23 , 6. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ijpp.12180/full

Markowski (2010). WPPD Evaluation form for capstone paper . Retrieved from https://cop-main.sites.medinfo.ufl.edu/files/2010/12/Capstone-Paper-Checklist-and-Reviewer-Evaluation-Form.pdf

Swales, J.M., &amp; Feak, C.B. (2012). Academic writing for graduate students , 3 rd ed. Michigan: University of Michigan Press.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, The Writing Center. (2019). Conclusions . Retrieved from https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/conclusions/

Appendix 2: Quiz for Conclusion Activity

Instructions

There are 6 questions in this quiz. Choose the most appropriate answer among the options provided.

What does the Conclusion section of a scientific report do?

It provides a recap of report, with reference to the objective(s).

It gives a closure to what has been discussed in relation to the topic.

It shares future direction(s) and in doing so connects to a wider context.

It propels the reader to have an enhanced understanding of the topic.

i, ii, and iii

i, ii and iv

ii, iii and iv

i, ii, iii and iv

The first rhetorical move of the Conclusion section is restatement of objective(s). It …

reminds the reader the objective(s) of the report.

restates reason(s) of each objective of the report.

revisits issue(s) presented requiring investigation.

reiterates the importance of the research project.

The second rhetorical move of the Conclusion section is reflection of outcome(s). It …

summarizes all the findings of the research project.

synthesizes outcomes of the research project.

is a repeat of important ideas mentioned in the report.

shows how key points, evidence, and support fit together.

In connecting to a wider context, the authors …

remind the reader of the importance of the topic.

propose a course of action for the reader.

pose a question to the reader for further research.

direct the reader to certain direction(s).

Following is the Conclusion section of a published article.

“In summary, we have assessed and characterised silibinin’s various roles as an adjuvant in protecting against PZA- and INH-induced hepatotoxicity. Our in vitro experiments suggest that silibinin may be safe and efficacious as a rescue adjuvant, both fundamental considerations in the use of any drug. Further optimisation of our in vitro model may also enhance silibinin’s hepatoprotective effect in rescue, prophylaxis, and recovery. Using this model, we have gleaned important mechanistic insights into its hepatoprotective effect and identified novel antioxidant targets in ameliorating HRZE-induced hepatotoxicity. Future directions will involve exploring the two main mechanisms by which silibinin may ameliorate hepatotoxicity; the proof-of-concept demonstrated in this project will inform subsequent in vitro and in vivo preclinical studies. Given the lack of alternative treatments in tuberculosis, the need to preserve our remaining antibiotics is paramount. These high stakes necessitate future efforts to support our preliminary work, making silibinin more clinically relevant to patients and healthcare professionals alike.” (Goh et al., 2020)

This excerpt of the Conclusion section…

restates objectives of the research.

synthesizes outcomes of the research.

acknowledges limitations of the research

connects the reader to a wider context.

i, ii and iii

What can one observe about the use of tenses in the Conclusion section? The frequency of use of present and future tenses …

demonstrates the importance results being synthesized.

is ungrammatical as the past tense should be used to state the outcomes.

propels the reader to think of future research.

suggests an encouraging tone to end the report.

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Wu, S.M., Lee, K.C., Chan, E.C.Y. (2023). The Conclusion: How to End a Scientific Report in Style. In: Rowland, S., Kuchel, L. (eds) Teaching Science Students to Communicate: A Practical Guide. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-91628-2_54

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The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Conclusions

What this handout is about.

This handout will explain the functions of conclusions, offer strategies for writing effective ones, help you evaluate conclusions you’ve drafted, and suggest approaches to avoid.

About conclusions

Introductions and conclusions can be difficult to write, but they’re worth investing time in. They can have a significant influence on a reader’s experience of your paper.

Just as your introduction acts as a bridge that transports your readers from their own lives into the “place” of your analysis, your conclusion can provide a bridge to help your readers make the transition back to their daily lives. Such a conclusion will help them see why all your analysis and information should matter to them after they put the paper down.

Your conclusion is your chance to have the last word on the subject. The conclusion allows you to have the final say on the issues you have raised in your paper, to synthesize your thoughts, to demonstrate the importance of your ideas, and to propel your reader to a new view of the subject. It is also your opportunity to make a good final impression and to end on a positive note.

Your conclusion can go beyond the confines of the assignment. The conclusion pushes beyond the boundaries of the prompt and allows you to consider broader issues, make new connections, and elaborate on the significance of your findings.

Your conclusion should make your readers glad they read your paper. Your conclusion gives your reader something to take away that will help them see things differently or appreciate your topic in personally relevant ways. It can suggest broader implications that will not only interest your reader, but also enrich your reader’s life in some way. It is your gift to the reader.

Strategies for writing an effective conclusion

One or more of the following strategies may help you write an effective conclusion:

  • Play the “So What” Game. If you’re stuck and feel like your conclusion isn’t saying anything new or interesting, ask a friend to read it with you. Whenever you make a statement from your conclusion, ask the friend to say, “So what?” or “Why should anybody care?” Then ponder that question and answer it. Here’s how it might go: You: Basically, I’m just saying that education was important to Douglass. Friend: So what? You: Well, it was important because it was a key to him feeling like a free and equal citizen. Friend: Why should anybody care? You: That’s important because plantation owners tried to keep slaves from being educated so that they could maintain control. When Douglass obtained an education, he undermined that control personally. You can also use this strategy on your own, asking yourself “So What?” as you develop your ideas or your draft.
  • Return to the theme or themes in the introduction. This strategy brings the reader full circle. For example, if you begin by describing a scenario, you can end with the same scenario as proof that your essay is helpful in creating a new understanding. You may also refer to the introductory paragraph by using key words or parallel concepts and images that you also used in the introduction.
  • Synthesize, don’t summarize. Include a brief summary of the paper’s main points, but don’t simply repeat things that were in your paper. Instead, show your reader how the points you made and the support and examples you used fit together. Pull it all together.
  • Include a provocative insight or quotation from the research or reading you did for your paper.
  • Propose a course of action, a solution to an issue, or questions for further study. This can redirect your reader’s thought process and help them to apply your info and ideas to their own life or to see the broader implications.
  • Point to broader implications. For example, if your paper examines the Greensboro sit-ins or another event in the Civil Rights Movement, you could point out its impact on the Civil Rights Movement as a whole. A paper about the style of writer Virginia Woolf could point to her influence on other writers or on later feminists.

Strategies to avoid

  • Beginning with an unnecessary, overused phrase such as “in conclusion,” “in summary,” or “in closing.” Although these phrases can work in speeches, they come across as wooden and trite in writing.
  • Stating the thesis for the very first time in the conclusion.
  • Introducing a new idea or subtopic in your conclusion.
  • Ending with a rephrased thesis statement without any substantive changes.
  • Making sentimental, emotional appeals that are out of character with the rest of an analytical paper.
  • Including evidence (quotations, statistics, etc.) that should be in the body of the paper.

Four kinds of ineffective conclusions

  • The “That’s My Story and I’m Sticking to It” Conclusion. This conclusion just restates the thesis and is usually painfully short. It does not push the ideas forward. People write this kind of conclusion when they can’t think of anything else to say. Example: In conclusion, Frederick Douglass was, as we have seen, a pioneer in American education, proving that education was a major force for social change with regard to slavery.
  • The “Sherlock Holmes” Conclusion. Sometimes writers will state the thesis for the very first time in the conclusion. You might be tempted to use this strategy if you don’t want to give everything away too early in your paper. You may think it would be more dramatic to keep the reader in the dark until the end and then “wow” them with your main idea, as in a Sherlock Holmes mystery. The reader, however, does not expect a mystery, but an analytical discussion of your topic in an academic style, with the main argument (thesis) stated up front. Example: (After a paper that lists numerous incidents from the book but never says what these incidents reveal about Douglass and his views on education): So, as the evidence above demonstrates, Douglass saw education as a way to undermine the slaveholders’ power and also an important step toward freedom.
  • The “America the Beautiful”/”I Am Woman”/”We Shall Overcome” Conclusion. This kind of conclusion usually draws on emotion to make its appeal, but while this emotion and even sentimentality may be very heartfelt, it is usually out of character with the rest of an analytical paper. A more sophisticated commentary, rather than emotional praise, would be a more fitting tribute to the topic. Example: Because of the efforts of fine Americans like Frederick Douglass, countless others have seen the shining beacon of light that is education. His example was a torch that lit the way for others. Frederick Douglass was truly an American hero.
  • The “Grab Bag” Conclusion. This kind of conclusion includes extra information that the writer found or thought of but couldn’t integrate into the main paper. You may find it hard to leave out details that you discovered after hours of research and thought, but adding random facts and bits of evidence at the end of an otherwise-well-organized essay can just create confusion. Example: In addition to being an educational pioneer, Frederick Douglass provides an interesting case study for masculinity in the American South. He also offers historians an interesting glimpse into slave resistance when he confronts Covey, the overseer. His relationships with female relatives reveal the importance of family in the slave community.

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Douglass, Frederick. 1995. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself. New York: Dover.

Hamilton College. n.d. “Conclusions.” Writing Center. Accessed June 14, 2019. https://www.hamilton.edu//academics/centers/writing/writing-resources/conclusions .

Holewa, Randa. 2004. “Strategies for Writing a Conclusion.” LEO: Literacy Education Online. Last updated February 19, 2004. https://leo.stcloudstate.edu/acadwrite/conclude.html.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper

Last Updated: May 8, 2024 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 2,258,946 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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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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Organizing Academic Research Papers: 9. The Conclusion

  • Purpose of Guide
  • Design Flaws to Avoid
  • Glossary of Research Terms
  • Narrowing a Topic Idea
  • Broadening a Topic Idea
  • Extending the Timeliness of a Topic Idea
  • Academic Writing Style
  • Choosing a Title
  • Making an Outline
  • Paragraph Development
  • Executive Summary
  • Background Information
  • The Research Problem/Question
  • Theoretical Framework
  • Citation Tracking
  • Content Alert Services
  • Evaluating Sources
  • Primary Sources
  • Secondary Sources
  • Tertiary Sources
  • What Is Scholarly vs. Popular?
  • Qualitative Methods
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Using Non-Textual Elements
  • Limitations of the Study
  • Common Grammar Mistakes
  • Avoiding Plagiarism
  • Footnotes or Endnotes?
  • Further Readings
  • Annotated Bibliography
  • Dealing with Nervousness
  • Using Visual Aids
  • Grading Someone Else's Paper
  • How to Manage Group Projects
  • Multiple Book Review Essay
  • Reviewing Collected Essays
  • About Informed Consent
  • Writing Field Notes
  • Writing a Policy Memo
  • Writing a Research Proposal
  • Acknowledgements

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 your points or a re-statement of your research problem but a synthesis of key points. For most essays, one well-developed paragraph is sufficient for a conclusion, although in some cases, a two-or-three paragraph conclusion may be required.

Importance of a Good Conclusion

A well-written conclusion provides you with several important opportunities to demonstrate your overall understanding of the research problem to the reader. 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 points in your analysis or findings.
  • Summarizing your thoughts and conveying the larger implications of your study . The conclusion is an opportunity to succinctly answer the "so what?" question by placing the study within the context of past research about the topic you've investigated.
  • Demonstrating the importance of your ideas . Don't be shy. The conclusion offers you a chance to elaborate on the significance of your findings.
  • 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/contextualizing the research problem based on the results of your study.

Conclusions . The Writing Center. University of North Carolina; Kretchmer, Paul. Twelve Steps to Writing an Effective Conclusion . San Francisco Edit, 2003-2008.

Structure and Writing Style

https://writing.wisc.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/535/2018/07/conclusions_uwmadison_writingcenter_aug2012.pdf I.  General Rules

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

  • State your conclusions in clear, simple language.
  • Do not simply reiterate your results or the discussion.
  • Indicate opportunities for future research, as long as you haven't already done so in the discussion section of your paper.

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). Make sure, however, that your conclusion is not simply a repetitive summary of the findings because this reduces the impact of the argument(s) you have developed in your essay.

Consider the following points to help ensure your conclusion is appropriate:

  • If the argument or point 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 your 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, or on the essay's central research problem. However, the nature of being introspective about the research you have done will depend on the topic and whether your professor wants you to express your observations in this way.

NOTE : Don't 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.

II.  Developing a Compelling Conclusion

Strategies to help you move beyond merely summarizing the key points of your research paper may include any of the following.

  • If your essay deals with a contemporary problem, warn readers of the possible consequences of not attending to the problem.
  • Recommend a specific course or courses of action.
  • Cite a relevant quotation or expert opinion to lend authority to the conclusion you have reached [a good place to look is research from your literature review].
  • Restate a key statistic, fact, or visual image to drive home the ultimate point of your paper.
  • If your discipline encourages personal reflection, illustrate your concluding point with a relevant narrative drawn from your own life experiences.
  • Return to an anecdote, an example, or a quotation that you introduced in your introduction, but add further insight that is derived from the findings of your study; use your interpretation of results to reframe it in new ways.
  • Provide a "take-home" message in the form of a strong, succient statement that you want the reader to remember about your study.

III. Problems to Avoid Failure to be concise The conclusion section should be concise and to the point. Conclusions that are too long often have unnecessary detail. The conclusion section 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, etc. that you make. Failure to comment on larger, more significant issues In the introduction, your task was to move from general [the field of study] to specific [your research problem]. However, in the conclusion, your task is to move from specific [your research problem] back to general [your field, i.e., how your research contributes new understanding or fills an important gap in the literature]. In other words, the conclusion is where you place your research within a larger context. Failure to reveal problems and negative results Negative aspects of the research process should never be ignored. Problems, drawbacks, and challenges encountered during your study should be included as a way of qualifying your overall conclusions. If you encountered negative results [findings that are validated outside the research context in which they were generated], you must report them in the results section of your paper. In the conclusion, use the negative results as an opportunity to explain how they provide information on which future research can be based. Failure to provide a clear summary of what was learned In order to be able to discuss how your research fits back into your field of study [and possibly the world at large], you need to summarize it briefly and directly. Often this element of your conclusion is only a few sentences long. Failure to match the objectives of your research Often research objectives change while the research is being carried out. This is not a problem unless you forget to go back and refine your 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 now 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...."

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; 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.

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. 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 is where you offer your most "original" contributions in the paper; it's where you describe the value of your research, demonstrate your understanding of the material that you’ve presented, and locate your findings within the larger context of scholarship on the topic.

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The Conclusion is an important part of your paper where you distil your study and give the paper a sense of finality. A good Conclusion section encourages a reader to appreciate your work in light of the ‘bigger picture’.

Location and length of the Conclusion

The Conclusion appears as a separate section with a subheading after the Discussion . Alternatively, it may sometimes be included within the Discussion section. Depending on the length of the paper or quantum of findings, the Conclusion can be a single paragraph or longer, forming a significant section of its own.

Crafting the Conclusion

Note : The Conclusion section in a research paper is quite different from that of a Master’s or doctoral thesis/dissertation . While it serves the same purpose, the approach to writing it is slightly different for a journal article.

To write an impactful concluding section…

  • Step back from the specifics and think of the larger picture of your research. Put away the paper and try to compose some concluding lines without consulting the main text. This will help you keep it objective and simple. (You don’t want to get back into finer details, since you would have already adequately addressed those in the Discussion section.)
  • Remind the reader of the importance of the study in wording that is totally different from what you have used in the Introduction. Include the study’s implications , recommendations , strengths and limitations , and segue into the future directions your study might inspire.
  • Ensure that the last few lines give a sense of closure.

Dos and Don’ts for writing the Conclusion

  • Summarise your overall findings .
  • Provide a synthesis of key points.
  • Highlight the important takeaways from the study.
  • Point out the problems and questions remaining.
  • Indicate future directions.
  • End with a strong, final sentence. 

Don’t:

  • Repeat background information from the Introduction .
  • Present new arguments or evidence.
  • Draw conclusions that are not supported by your data.
  • Be abrupt and leave a reader hanging.

Example of Conclusion

Here’s a fictional example to illustrate the points discussed.

[Overview of the main argument] Light pollution is increasing globally every year, disrupting the biological rhythms of animal species, including insects. A decline in the populations of Abc xyz beetles is exceedingly being observed in urban pockets of Efgh. [Findings] Dramatic alterations in the egg-laying behaviour of Abc xyz beetles were evident in our study. Moreover, the impacts on beetle behaviour were affected to a greater extent by white light than by yellow light. [Limitations, Scope for further research] Further work is needed to clarify the role of light pollution in disrupting other behaviours in these beetles, as well as in other local insects. Considering the general move from traditional yellow lighting to white LEDs, outdoor lighting will need to be modified to minimise the detrimental effects on insect populations. [Strong concluding sentence] The spread of urbanisation cannot be curbed, but appropriate steps can be undertaken to minimise disruptions to biological rhythms of local fauna.

The Conclusion puts into focus the meaning of the study’s findings and its potential influence on the field. A strong conclusion that leaves a lasting impression can improve the likelihood of the paper’s acceptance and maximise its impact .

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Academic Phrasebank

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Writing conclusions.

  • GENERAL LANGUAGE FUNCTIONS
  • Being cautious
  • Being critical
  • Classifying and listing
  • Compare and contrast
  • Defining terms
  • Describing trends
  • Describing quantities
  • Explaining causality
  • Giving examples
  • Signalling transition
  • Writing about the past

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Writing conclusions

Conclusions are shorter sections of academic texts which usually serve two functions. The first is to summarise and bring together the main areas covered in the writing, which might be called ‘looking back’; and the second is to give a final comment or judgement on this. The final comment may also include making suggestions for improvement and speculating on future directions.

In dissertations and research papers, conclusions tend to be more complex and will also include sections on the significance of the findings and recommendations for future work. Conclusions may be optional in research articles where consolidation of the study and general implications are covered in the Discussion section. However, they are usually expected in dissertations and essays.

Restating the aims of the study

This study set out to … This paper has argued that … This essay has discussed the reasons for … In this investigation, the aim was to assess … The aim of the present research was to examine … The purpose of the current study was to determine … The main goal of the current study was to determine … This project was undertaken to design … and evaluate … The present study was designed to determine the effect of … The second aim of this study was to investigate the effects of …

Summarising main research findings

This study has identified … The research has also shown that … The second major finding was that … These experiments confirmed that … X made no significant difference to … This study has found that generally … The investigation of X has shown that … The results of this investigation show that … X, Y and Z emerged as reliable predictors of … The most obvious finding to emerge from this study is that … The relevance of X is clearly supported by the current findings. One of the more significant findings to emerge from this study is that …

Suggesting implications for the field of knowledge

The results of this study indicate that … These findings suggest that in general … The findings of this study suggest that … Taken together, these results suggest that … An implication of this is the possibility that … The evidence from this study suggests that … Overall, this study strengthens the idea that … The current data highlight the importance of … The findings of this research provide insights for …

The results of this research support the idea that … These data suggest that X can be achieved through … The theoretical implications of these findings are unclear. The principal theoretical implication of this study is that … This study has raised important questions about the nature of … Taken together, these findings suggest a role for X in promoting Y. The findings of this investigation complement those of earlier studies. These findings have significant implications for the understanding of how … Although this study focuses on X, the findings may well have a bearing on …

Explaining the significance of the findings or contribution of the study

The findings will be of interest to … This thesis has provided a deeper insight into … The findings reported here shed new light on … The study contributes to our understanding of … These results add to the rapidly expanding field of … The contribution of this study has been to confirm … Before this study, evidence of X was purely anecdotal. This project is the first comprehensive investigation of … The insights gained from this study may be of assistance to … This work contributes to existing knowledge of X by providing …

Prior to this study it was difficult to make predictions about how … The analysis of X undertaken here, has extended our knowledge of … The empirical findings in this study provide a new understanding of … This paper contributes to recent historiographical debates concerning … This approach will prove useful in expanding our understanding of how … This new understanding should help to improve predictions of the impact of … The methods used for this X may be applied to other Xs elsewhere in the world. The X that we have identified therefore assists in our understanding of the role of … This is the first study of substantial duration which examines associations between … The findings from this study make several contributions to the current literature. First,…

Recognising the limitations of the current study

A limitation of this study is that … Being limited to X, this study lacks … The small sample size did not allow … The major limitation of this study is the … This study was limited by the absence of … X makes these findings less generalisable to … Thirdly, the study did not evaluate the use of … It is unfortunate that the study did not include … The scope of this study was limited in terms of …

The study is limited by the lack of information on … The most important limitation lies in the fact that … The main weakness of this study was the paucity of … Since the study was limited to X, it was not possible to .. An additional uncontrolled factor is the possibility that … It was not possible to assess X; therefore, it is unknown if … An issue that was not addressed in this study was whether… The generalisability of these results is subject to certain limitations. For instance, … One source of weakness in this study which could have affected the measurements of X was …

Acknowledging limitation(s) whilst stating a finding or contribution

Notwithstanding these limitations, the study suggests that … Whilst this study did not confirm X, it did partially substantiate … Despite its exploratory nature, this study offers some insight into … In spite of its limitations, the study certainly adds to our understanding of the … Notwithstanding the relatively limited sample, this work offers valuable insights into … Although the current study is based on a small sample of participants, the findings suggest …

Making recommendations for further research work

Future studies should… The question raised by this study is … The study should be repeated using … This would be a fruitful area for further work. Several questions still remain to be answered. A natural progression of this work is to analyse … More research using controlled trials is needed to … More broadly, research is also needed to determine … A further study could assess the long-term effects of … What is now needed is a cross-national study involving …

Considerably more work will need to be done to determine … The precise mechanism of X in plants remains to be elucidated. These findings provide the following insights for future research: … Large randomised controlled trials could provide more definitive evidence. This research has thrown up many questions in need of further investigation. A greater focus on X could produce interesting findings that account more for … The issue of X is an intriguing one which could be usefully explored in further research. If the debate is to be moved forward, a better understanding of X needs to be developed. I suggest that before X is introduced, a study similar to this one should be carried out on … More information on X would help us to establish a greater degree of accuracy on this matter.

Setting out recommendations for practice or policy

Other types of X could include: a), b). … There is, therefore, a definite need for … Greater efforts are needed to ensure … Provision of X will enhance Y and reduce Z. Another important practical implication is that … Moreover, more X should be made available to … The challenge now is to fabricate Xs that contain … Unless governments adopt X, Y will not be attained. These findings suggest several courses of action for … A reasonable approach to tackle this issue could be to …

Continued efforts are needed to make X more accessible to … The findings of this study have a number of practical implications. There are a number of important changes which need to be made. Management to enhance bumble-bee populations might involve … This study suggests that X should be avoided by people who are prone to … A key policy priority should therefore be to plan for the long-term care of … This information can be used to develop targetted interventions aimed at … Taken together, these findings do not support strong recommendations to … Ensuring appropriate systems, services and support for X should be a priority for … The findings of this study have a number of important implications for future practice.

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One Size Doesn't Fit All: How to Customise Your CV for Every Job

conclusions section research

The Art of Customisation: How to Tailor Your CV for Any Role or Industry

In today's competitive job market, a one-size-fits-all CV often misses the mark. To truly stand out and position yourself as the ideal candidate, you need to customize and tailor your resume content for each specific role and industry you're pursuing. By highlighting your most relevant skills and experiences, you can demonstrate a strong fit and increase your chances of landing an interview. 

In this blog we'll cover expert tips to master the art of adapting your CV to each role or industry.

Research the Role and Industry

Before updating your CV, dedicate time to thoroughly researching the position and industry. Study the job description and note any specific skills, qualifications, certifications or keywords mentioned. Browsing the company website and other open roles can also provide useful context. 

For example, if you're applying for a Clinical Research Coordinator role in oncology, research the latest developments in cancer treatments and clinical trial methodologies. Tailor your CV to showcase your knowledge and expertise in these areas, demonstrating your suitability for the role.

Prioritise Role-Specific Skills

Once you understand the core requirements, shift your CV focus to the skills and experiences that most directly align with the role. Review your master CV and pull out the most relevant qualifications first. Place these skills at the top of designated sections like "Key Skills" or "Technical Proficiencies." You can categorize skills by type (e.g. Marketing Skills, Technology Skills) for added emphasis.

conclusions section research

Customise Your Summary

Your CV summary statement is a key section for role-tailoring. Use this section to incorporate tailored skills and highlight specific experiences that demonstrate your fit for the position. Consider integrating keywords from the job description and articulate how your background maps to the role's core responsibilities.

Update Experience Bullets

While your role titles and employers may stay relatively constant, be sure to customise the experience bullet points under each position to align with relevant skills and duties outlined in the job description. Use metrics to quantify achievements and highlight transferable skills.

  • Leveraged CRM tools and sales analytics to identify $2.3M in new revenue opportunities across enterprise accounts.
  • Instead of a generic "Managed clinical trial data," tailor it to: "Implemented electronic data capture (EDC) system, resulting in a 20% reduction in data entry errors and improved data quality for a Phase I cardiovascular trial."

Include Industry Terminology

The inclusion of targeted industry keywords, tools, software and terminology throughout your CV can signal your fit for both hiring managers and applicant tracking systems (ATS). Just avoid overusing internal jargon or acronyms that may not be widely understood.

  • Proficient in Marketo, Salesforce, Google Analytics and additional martech/adtech stack tools 
  • Well-versed in content optimization using SEO best practices for SERP ranking improvements

Incorporating industry-specific terminology not only enhances your CV's searchability but also signals your expertise to recruiters.

conclusions section research

Create a Tailored Section

Depending on the position, you may want to add a new section that directly showcases your qualifications. For instance, you could add "Relevant Coursework" for an entry-level role or "Leadership Experience" when highlighting management potential. Get creative with compelling section headers that align with the role.

  • Project Management Experience 
  • Certifications & Training 
  • Speaking Engagements/Publications

Rearrange Sections based on Priority

The order and flow of your CV sections and content can be restructured to align with role priorities and requirements. For example, for a technical position, you may want to move "Technical Skills" closer to the top. For a creative role, consider prioritizing a "Portfolio" section higher on the page. It's advisable to review the job description of the role you're applying for to understand the priority of each requirement.

In summary, tailoring your CV for different roles and industries is essential for positioning yourself as a standout candidate. By researching the role and industry, prioritizing role-specific skills, customizing your summary, updating experience bullets, incorporating industry terminology, creating a tailored section, and rearranging for added emphasis, you can craft a compelling CV that resonates with recruiters and hiring managers.

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ISE Graduate Handbook 2024-2025: Appendix B Operations Research Qualifying Exam

This section outlines the policies and guidelines for the PhD qualifying exam for PhD students in the Operations Research program. Exceptions are described at the end of the section for students who needed to retake the old format, i.e., written qualifying exam.

The goal of this oral exam is to ensure PhD students have:

  • Sufficient core background in Operations Research in order to make good progress towards the Candidacy Examination.
  • Some preliminary experience with an ISE faculty research advisor, demonstrating a basic ability to identify and explore a research area.

The exam material is based on all courses listed as Fundamentals for Ph.D. Students in the OR grad curriculum sheet .

Exam timeline and scheduling

Scheduling timeline

Students must take their qualifying exam before the end of the 1st semester of their 2nd year in the PhD program . For students starting in Autumn, this is the autumn semester of their second year in the program. For students starting in Spring, this is the spring semester of their second year in the program. It is suggested that the exam is scheduled during the 2nd semester of the 1st year, if possible, for timely progress. Exceptions will be considered on an individual basis.

Two qualifying exam attempts are allowed. If asked to retake the exam, the second attempt must be scheduled in the semester following the first attempt. Failure to schedule the exam according to this timeline will be counted as a failure. Students are allowed to take their exams ahead of this timeline with their advisor’s approval.

Exams can take place at any time during the year subject to the approval of the Qualifying exam committee.

All PhD students, who have not passed the exam by the 2nd week of the 3rd semester, should file an application to graduate for an MS degree with the graduate school prior to the deadline in their third semester (3rd Friday), assuming they will have completed the 30 credit hours required for a MS degree at the end the third semester. This will allow them to receive a MS degree that semester, assuming they complete the MS degree requirements, even if they don’t pass the exam. Students entering with a MS degree, which is supplying 30 credit hours towards their PhD degree, will need to cancel their application to graduate when passing the exam so that their prior MS degree will still count towards their PhD credits hours

Scheduling procedure

Students should fill out the “ISE OR Request for the PhD Qualifying Exam” form by the third Friday of the semester in which their exam is to be scheduled. This form, along with the student’s advising report, should be emailed to the ISE graduate program coordinator. The advising report 24 should show that the student has already taken, or is currently taking, all the OR PhD required courses (see also the “Results” section below for more information).

Exam format and guidelines

Oral exam committee members

The Qualifying exam committee will consist of three ISE OR faculty members. The student’s advisor will be on the committee. One of the other two members will come from the “Probabilistic” area and the other will come from the “Deterministic” area. Both will be selected by a person designated by the OR faculty. These committee nominees will be to the Graduate Studies Chair for final approval. Currently, the person designated by the OR faculty is the liaison between the department chair and the OR faculty. If there is some faculty member who is considered unacceptable to the student or advisor, this fact along with justification should be communicated to the designated OR faculty member who is making the selections.

Oral examination procedures

The exam will be a 90-minute oral exam. It consists of a 10-minute presentation by the student, followed by 80 minutes of questions/answers from the committee.

The 10-minute presentation will be an uninterrupted presentation on a research problem chosen by the student and their advisor. The student may present their ongoing research work, if any. Alternatively, the student will start working on a research problem with their advisor at the beginning of the semester in which they are taking the oral exam, and present their progress (e.g., problem statement, brief literature review, and/or a proposed solution approach) during the 10- minute presentation.

The presentation will be followed by 20 minutes of questions by each committee member, followed by a second round of questions by any committee member. These will be on fundamental knowledge and basics from the ISE OR coursework and will cover all the three main areas (i.e., Statistics, Stochastics, and Optimization). The questions need not be on or related to the presentation.

Upon completion of the oral exam, each committee member will provide one of the following three scores:

  • 2 (pass): Student shows good knowledge of fundamental concepts covered in the ISE OR coursework, as well as ability to apply this knowledge and propose solutions to (openended) research problems.
  • 1 (marginal): Student shows overall knowledge of fundamental concepts from coursework and some ability to solve research problems. However, student has difficulty when solving questions posed from coursework and/or extending this knowledge to propose solutions to research problems.
  • 0 (fail): Student has difficulty in recalling fundamental concepts and/or answering questions from the ISE OR coursework and/or approaching research problems.

To pass the qualifying exam, the student should receive (a) a cumulative score of 4-6 in the oral exam, and (b) satisfactory grades on the OR PhD required courses. Failure to meet either of these two criteria (i.e., a cumulative score of 0-3 in the oral exam, and/or subpar performance in the required courses) will lead to failing the qualifying exam.

Individualized recourse plans will be proposed by the committee for students who fail to pass the exam. This may include taking additional courses in one or more of the three exam areas and obtaining a minimum grade of B+ in each course or retaking the exam in the next semester.

If a second exam is required, it is expected that all members of the new Qualifying exam committee will be different, except for the advisor.

Exceptions for Students Who Have Taken the (Previous) Written Exam

Exception: students with a conditional pass during previous Qualifying Exams will not be required to do the 10-minute presentation. They will only answer questions to a (smaller size) committee in the area in which they received a conditional pass. For instance, if the student had already passed optimization in Spring 2022, then the optimization section will be removed from the exam: 20 minutes will be removed from the exam length, and the committee will have 1 less member assigned. Such students are expected to complete the new qualifying exam by Autumn 2023.

NYU Celebrates the Class of 2024 at All-University Commencement at Yankee Stadium, May 15

Honorary Degree Recipients Include Nobel-Winning Scientist Katalin Karikó, Whose Research Enabled COVID-19 Vaccines, Ouided Bouchamaoui, Leader in the Nobel Peace Prize-Winning Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet, and Illustrious Legal Scholar Martha Minow, Who Will Speak on Behalf of the Honorary Degree Recipients

When:            Wednesday, May 15, 2024 8:30 a.m. – Press Gate opens 10:30 a.m. – Procession begins 11:00 a.m. – Ceremony begins

Where: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY Press Gate 4

Who: NYU President Linda G. Mills NYU Chairman of the Board of Trustees Evan R. Chesler Nobel-Winning Scientist Katalin Karikó

Ouided Bouchamaoui , Leader in Nobel Peace Prize-Winning Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet 

Legal Scholar Martha Minow Graduates of the NYU Class of 2024 Video Access:                    The ceremony will be streamed live on  nyu.edu/commencement , NYU’s Facebook digital platform , NYU’s YouTube , and via a Pool Port on The New York Switch. (See below for details)

Notes to Press: All media representatives who wish to attend the ceremony in person must fill out a media request form and receive a confirmation.

LIVE STREAM INFORMATION The ceremony will be streamed live on nyu.edu/commencement and select NYU digital social platforms:

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News 2024: SMAST faculty receive $4.9 million through sea scallop research program

Scallop research set-aside programs support research while promoting collaboration between scientists and fishermen

Faculty at the UMass Dartmouth School for Marine Science and Technology (SMAST) have received a combined total of $4,898,059 in this year's NOAA Fisheries Atlantic Sea Scallop Research Set-Aside (RSA) Program .  

Through the Scallop RSA Program, the New England Fishery Management Council “sets aside” scallop poundage to generate funds for scallop research projects. RSA awards provide funding for research and compensation for fishing industry partners who harvest the scallops. These programs support research that informs fishery management decisions, and foster collaboration between the fishing industry and scientific community, leading to more informed and effective management of scallop resources.  

Research projects are selected by NOAA on a competitive basis. For the 2024-2025 Scallop RSA Program, 3 of the 14 selected projects belong to SMAST researchers.  

Commonwealth Professor Changsheng Chen is the principal investigator on a 2-year project titled, "Assessing Cumulative Impact of Offshore Wind Energy Development on Sea Scallop Laval Transport and Settlement in Southern New England Waters." The project aims to further evaluate the cumulative impacts of wind turbine generators on scallop larval dispersion, transport, and recruitment.    

Assistant Research Professor Adam J. Delargy and SMAST Dean Kevin D.E. Stokesbury are the principal investigators on a project titled "Intensive drop camera surveys of sea scallops in two key areas of Georges Bank," which consists of drop camera surveys in two Nantucket Lightship SAMS zones and part of the Northern Edge Habitat Area of Particular Concern. Results will be used to estimate scallop biomass in support of the scallop harvest specification process.   

Stokesbury is also the lead investigator on a seasonal video-trawl survey to assess the population size of yellowtail flounder and windowpane flounder on eastern Georges Bank.  

Over the last two decades, research performed by Stokesbury and SMAST scientists has proven crucial to the revival of the scallop fishing industry in the SouthCoast. To learn more about the RSA programs, visit the NOAA Fisheries website .

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IMAGES

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

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  2. Conclusion Examples: Strong Endings for Any Paper

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  3. How To Write A Conclusion for Research Paper: Easy Hints & Guide

    conclusions section research

  4. How to Write an Effective Conclusion for the Research Paper

    conclusions section research

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

    conclusions section research

  6. Best Tips and Help on How to Write a Conclusion for Your Essay

    conclusions section research

VIDEO

  1. HOW TO WRITE RESEARCH/THESIS RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS, SUMMARY, CONCLUSION, & RECOMMENDATION

  2. FAQ: How to write a satisfying conclusion for a reader

  3. How to write a research paper conclusion

  4. Quick Short-Cut to “Conclusions & Disputes” section of LSAT: Tips from Shera & RuQuan

  5. သုတေသန အစီရင်ခံစာ/စာတမ်းတစ်ခုမှာဘာတွေပါရမလဲ။ အပိုင်း (၉) နိဂုံးချုပ် (Conclusions section)

  6. Results Section #1: What to Include_Shorts

COMMENTS

  1. Writing a Research Paper Conclusion

    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.

  2. 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 ...

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

    The conclusion of a research paper is a crucial section that plays a significant role in the overall impact and effectiveness of your research paper. However, this is also the section that typically receives less attention compared to the introduction and the body of the paper.

  4. 9. The Conclusion

    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 derived from the findings of your study and, if applicable, where you recommend new areas for future research.

  5. 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 ...

  6. 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 ...

  7. 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.

  8. Conclusions

    Highlight the "so what". At the beginning of your paper, you explain to your readers what's at stake—why they should care about the argument you're making. In your conclusion, you can bring readers back to those stakes by reminding them why your argument is important in the first place. You can also draft a few sentences that put ...

  9. The Conclusion: How to End a Scientific Report in Style

    This structure is commonly adopted and accepted in the scientific fields. The research report starts with a general idea. The report then leads the reader to a discussion on a specific research area. It then ends with applicability to a bigger area. The last section, Conclusion, is the focus of this lesson.

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

    The conclusion is where you describe the consequences of your arguments by justifying to your readers why your arguments matter (Hamilton College, 2014). Derntl (2014) also describes conclusion as the counterpart of the introduction. Using the Hourglass Model (Swales, 1993) as a visual reference, Derntl describes conclusion as the part of the ...

  11. Conclusions

    The conclusion pushes beyond the boundaries of the prompt and allows you to consider broader issues, make new connections, and elaborate on the significance of your findings. Your conclusion should make your readers glad they read your paper. Your conclusion gives your reader something to take away that will help them see things differently or ...

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

    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. 5. Make a call to action when appropriate. If and when needed, you can state to your readers that there is a need for further research on your paper's topic.

  13. PDF Conclusion Section for Research Papers

    Conclusion Section for Research Papers. Conclusions are often the last section your audience reads, so they are just as important as introductions in research papers. They are your final opportunity to leave a good impression on the reader. Some academic readers will even jump to read the conclusion to help them decide if they should read the ...

  14. 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 ...

  15. Organizing Academic Research Papers: 9. The Conclusion

    The conclusion section should be concise and to the point. Conclusions that are too long often have unnecessary detail. ... In other words, the conclusion is where you place your research within a larger context. Failure to reveal problems and negative results Negative aspects of the research process should never be ignored. Problems, drawbacks ...

  16. The Writing Center

    Conclusion Sections in Scientific Research Reports (IMRaD) In IMRaD* reports, conclusions often fall under the discussion section. In some disciplines and journals, however, conclusions are separated from discussions. If this is the case for the paper you are working on, you may find the following description of common conclusion moves and ...

  17. How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper

    A conclusion is the final paragraph of a research paper and serves to help the reader understand why your research should matter to them. 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.

  18. How to write the Conclusion section of a scientific article

    Depending on the length of the paper or quantum of findings, the Conclusion can be a single paragraph or longer, forming a significant section of its own. Crafting the Conclusion. Note: The Conclusion section in a research paper is quite different from that of a Master's or doctoral thesis/dissertation. While it serves the same purpose, the ...

  19. Academic Phrasebank

    In dissertations and research papers, conclusions tend to be more complex and will also include sections on the significance of the findings and recommendations for future work. Conclusions may be optional in research articles where consolidation of the study and general implications are covered in the Discussion section. However, they are ...

  20. How to Write a Results Section

    Here are a few best practices: Your results should always be written in the past tense. While the length of this section depends on how much data you collected and analyzed, it should be written as concisely as possible. Only include results that are directly relevant to answering your research questions.

  21. Conclusions

    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.

  22. Welcome to the Purdue Online Writing Lab

    The Online Writing Lab at Purdue University houses writing resources and instructional material, and we provide these as a free service of the Writing Lab at Purdue.

  23. Mastering Your Dissertation Conclusion Chapter: A Step-by-Step Guide

    Start with a brief introduction to your conclusion chapter, outlining what readers can expect to find. This section serves as a roadmap, so keep it concise. Step Two: Discuss Overall Findings. Discuss the overall findings of your study in relation to the research aims and questions. Focus on the broader implications of your findings, and avoid ...

  24. How to Customise Your CV for Every Job

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