homework assignment ideas

How to make a strong conclusion for a research paper:

The conclusion of your research paper is the whole purpose and content of your research in condensed form. Here you present the answer to the question asked in the topic. It is essential that the conclusion is comprehensive yet brief. It should say all without many details and wrap up the work with finesse. It is the final bow-out of your performance and should be worthy of a standing ovation. There are certain elements of the conclusion that you cannot forgive yourself for missing and others that are inserted to make the presentation clearer, stronger, and interesting. It is an art to weave the two in a seamless tapestry.

A good conclusion should:

  • Restate the topic of your paper: Restating the topic in a slightly different way takes your reader back to the question after they have gone through the evidence. A restatement should not be a reassertion of the importance of your research. That job belongs to the body of your research, not the conclusion.
  • Summarize the introduction and your thesis. Here you do not rewrite the whole introduction but mention the salient points of it to walk the reader quickly through the ideas you put forward. Avoid adding new information here. All that is needed is a rephrased form of what you meant to say without the arguments or evidence you have already made.
  • State in a few words your study design or research method.
  • Repeat your findings briefly and state their implications.
  • Clearly mention the limitations of your work. No research is perfect. Your sample size, study design or the scope of your research may have limited the accuracy of your findings. Be upfront.
  • Suggest further study and research that may overcome the limitations or shed more light on the research topic and thesis.
  • Tie it all up together so that nothing is disjointed. The topic, facts and findings should be synthesized in the conclusion.
  • Do not be self-depreciating in the conclusion. Statements like “I may be wrong but…” are a complete no-no as they take away the authority and reduce the credibility of your findings in a very subtle and subjective way.
  • Avoid changing the tone of your paper when you reach the conclusion. It is a common mistake to sound completely dry and officious in the body of the paper and then suddenly shifting to light-heartedness, sentimentality, or forcefulness in the conclusion.

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