Cathy A.
Cathy A.

How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper in 3 Simple Steps

7 min read

Published on: Jan 19, 2024

Last updated on: Jan 30, 2024

How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper

Ever wonder why conclusions in research papers matter so much? They're not just the end; they're your last chance to impress your readers. 

Some readers even skip to the end to decide if the whole paper is worth their time! So, no surprise—writing conclusions can be tough. 

This guide breaks it down: why conclusions matter, what to do (and not do), and examples to guide you. We'll also provide you with clear steps to write an effective conclusion for your research paper.

So, let's make crafting a compelling conclusion a breeze!

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What is a Research Paper Conclusion?

The conclusion of a research paper serves as the final segment that ties together the entire study. It's your last opportunity to leave a lasting impression on your reader and interpret the results of your study concisely. 

A well-crafted conclusion contains the main points, showcases the significance of the findings, and often suggests directions for further exploration or action.

The Purpose of a Conclusion

  • Summarize Key Points: Recap the main findings and essential aspects of your research.
  • Reinforce Significance: Emphasize the importance of your study's outcomes in the broader context.
  • Call to Action or Future Directions: Prompt further discussion, suggest actions or propose avenues for future research.
  • Leave a Lasting Impression: Ensure your reader is impacted by your paper's key insights.

Types of Conclusion

Choose your conclusion type based on your research topic and paper style. The three main types are:

  1. Externalizing Conclusion: Extends focus outward, discussing broader implications, relevance to the world, or practical applications. Encourages readers to consider the topic in a wider context, prompting reflection and potential action.
  2. Summarizing Conclusion: Recaps main points and arguments, offering a concise overview. Common in academic papers to reinforce key ideas and enhance reader comprehension.
  3. Editorial Conclusion: Adds a subjective, persuasive element with the author's opinion or a call to action. Common in opinion pieces, it aims to influence the reader's viewpoint and leave a lasting impression beyond objective facts and arguments.

Step 1: Restate the Problem

Begin your conclusion by revisiting the core problem or research question your study aimed to address. In a concise manner, remind your readers of the primary focus. 

This serves to reinforce the significance of your study and reestablish its context. Let’s take a look at the 2 main types of research conclusions: 

Argumentative Research: In advocating for revised healthcare policies to combat antibiotic resistance, a conclusion will address the issue in a manner similar to this:

"While global awareness of antibiotic resistance is widespread, the urgency for policy reforms remains inadequately addressed. Governments must prioritize stringent regulations to preserve the efficacy of these life-saving drugs."

Empirical Research: Conversely, in an empirical study evaluating the effectiveness of a novel treatment for a specific illness, the conclusion will present the research problem in this light:

"As medical advancements pave the way for innovative treatments, our study underscores the promising efficacy of [specific treatment] in managing [particular illness], indicating a potential breakthrough in therapeutic interventions."

Argumentative research paper conclusions aim to advocate for a particular viewpoint or action, often addressing broader societal or policy issues. Empirical research paper conclusions primarily highlight specific findings resulting from data-driven experiments, focusing on the outcomes of the study itself.

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Step 2: Summarize the Paper

Provide a brief summary of the main findings and key points presented in your research paper. This is a brief summary that highlights the key aspects of your study without going into detailed specifics.

Ensure that the summary aligns with the objectives set out in the introduction.

Argumentative Paper: Restate Your Thesis Statement and Arguments

For an argumentative paper advocating a shift in healthcare policies to combat antibiotic resistance, the conclusion will restate the thesis and key arguments:

"The imperative to combat antibiotic resistance demands immediate policy restructuring. Our argument, rooted in empirical evidence, highlights the urgent need for stringent regulations to preserve these life-saving drugs. Transitioning from conventional practices to strategic policies is paramount to safeguarding global health."

Empirical Paper: Recap Your Findings

In an empirical study exploring the effectiveness of a novel treatment for a specific illness, the conclusion will summarize the main findings:

"Through clinical trials assessing the efficacy of [specific treatment], our study illuminates a promising avenue in managing [particular illness]. Participants demonstrated marked improvements, suggesting a potential breakthrough in therapeutic interventions. However, the need for further research to validate long-term effects remains."

Simply put, argumentative conclusions push for a viewpoint or action backed by evidence, often relating to broader issues. In contrast, empirical conclusions focus on summarizing specific findings and suggest paths for future research based on the study's outcomes.

Step 3: Discuss the Implications

Explore the wider impact of your research. Explain how your findings matter, both within your study and in the bigger academic or real-world picture. Show how your research adds to what we already know and its possible effects.

Argumentative Paper: Inspire Action

In an argumentative paper advocating for a shift in healthcare policies to combat antibiotic resistance, the conclusion will include a call for action:

"As the imperative to combat antibiotic resistance becomes increasingly urgent, the call to transition from conventional practices to strategic policies echoes loudly. It is now the responsibility of healthcare professionals, policymakers, and the public alike to champion this cause. By embracing these essential changes, we collectively pave the way for a healthier, more resilient future."

Empirical Paper: Charting Future Research Paths

For an empirical study exploring the effectiveness of a novel treatment for a specific illness, the conclusion may focus on future research directions:

"While our study sheds light on the promising efficacy of [specific treatment], there remains a vast terrain for exploration. Future research should delve deeper into the long-term implications of this treatment and explore potential variations in its effectiveness across diverse populations. As we forge ahead, uncovering these nuances will undoubtedly contribute to the ever-evolving landscape of medical interventions."

This distinction illustrates how conclusions in argumentative and empirical research differ. On urges immediate action, and the other paves the way for future investigations and developments.

Additional Tips:

  • Be Concise: Keep your conclusion concise and focused. Avoid introducing new information or arguments.
  • Connect with Introduction: Create a seamless connection between your introduction and conclusion. Revisit themes or ideas introduced in the beginning.
  • Highlight Contributions: Emphasize the unique contributions of your research. What sets your study apart?
  • Address Limitations: Acknowledge any limitations in your study and suggest avenues for future research.

Remember, a good conclusion leaves a lasting impression. By following these steps, you can ensure that your research paper conclusion not only ties up loose ends but also leaves your readers with a clear understanding of the significance of your work.

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Research Paper Conclusion Examples

Below are examples of research paper conclusion example in PDF format. You can download and read for a better understanding of how to draft a perfect conclusion for your research paper!

Conclusion Dos and Don’ts

 Here's a simplified table outlining Dos and Don'ts for writing conclusions:

Dos

Don'ts

Summarize key findings

Introduce new information or arguments

Reinforce the significance

Begin with clichéd phrases like "In conclusion, in summary"

Propose future directions

Appear abruptly or disconnected from the rest

Connect with the introduction

Overuse complex jargon or technical terms

Leave a lasting impression

Simply repeat the introduction

Wrapping it up!

Writing a research paper conclusion can be achieved through a systematic approach. By following these easy steps you can ensure that your research findings leave a lasting impact on your reader.

However, if you find yourself unsure about how to conclude your research paper, don't hesitate to seek professional help. At CollegeEssay.org, our expert writing service assists you in creating a compelling and impactful ending for your research paper. 

Our team of experienced writers is dedicated to delivering high-quality, customized content that meets your academic needs. 

Reach out to our research paper writing service for assistance, and let us help you make your research paper a success.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should a conclusion be?

The length of a conclusion varies, but it is generally recommended to be concise. Aim for around 5-7 sentences or roughly 10% of the total paper length.

Should new information be introduced in the conclusion?

No, the conclusion is not the place to introduce new information. It should focus on summarizing and synthesizing existing content from the main body of the paper.

Should I include citations in the conclusion?

Typically, no. The conclusion is a place for your own analysis and synthesis of the information presented in the paper. Save citations for the main body of the paper.

Cathy A.

WRITTEN BY

Cathy A. (Marketing, Literature)

For more than five years now, Cathy has been one of our most hardworking authors on the platform. With a Masters degree in mass communication, she knows the ins and outs of professional writing. Clients often leave her glowing reviews for being an amazing writer who takes her work very seriously.

For more than five years now, Cathy has been one of our most hardworking authors on the platform. With a Masters degree in mass communication, she knows the ins and outs of professional writing. Clients often leave her glowing reviews for being an amazing writer who takes her work very seriously.

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