The conclusion is one of the most important parts of a research paper. Therefore, it can also be one of the hardest to write. In this article, you’ll learn what is a conclusion and how to write it effectively.
Table of contents:
- What is a research paper conclusion?
- Parts of a conclusion
- 6 steps to achieve an effective conclusion
— Synthesize, don’t summarize
— Make sure it brings a sense of closure to the paper
— Don’t extend, be objective
— Reinforce the significance of your study
— Address the limitations
— Instigate new questions
- Format your paper with Mettzer
The conclusion is the closure of the paper. Its main purpose is to synthesize to the reader the most important parts of the research that were developed carefully along the paper.
Therefore, a well-written conclusion is one that connects the points of discussion on the topic, presents the journey and describes how far the research has come.
In other words, the conclusion can be seen as the icing on the cake for your research paper.
But, if you are wondering: “how do I write an effective conclusion?” This post is meant to help you with that 😉
What is a research paper conclusion?
Beside the introduction, the conclusion is one of the most important parts of a research paper. Therefore, it can also be one of the hardest to write.
Basically, the conclusion has a great significance in the readers’ journey through the paper.
Along the conclusion, the writer must tie the main research arguments together in a synthesis, bringing a sense of closure to the paper.
In other words, the conclusion must present a deep and consise view of the entire research paper. This part of the paper helps the reader refresh the thesis defended and also can instigate new questions.
Parts of a conclusion
- Return to the theme and main arguments in a concise way
- Reiterate the significance of your findings and reflexions
- Indicate possible gaps and opportunities for future research
If you have no idea how to start developing these topics, pay attention to the tips we’ve separated for you 😉
6 steps to achieve an effective conclusion
Writing the conclusion of your research paper is for sure a challenging task. But it can become a little less difficult with some good directions, right?!
So, let ‘s start.
1) Synthesize, don’t summarize
Sure, you’ll need to summarize the main points of your research in the conclusion, but this part of your paper must be much more than a summary.
A conclusion should return to the main arguments defended along the paper, while building a synthesis of your research.
2) Make sure it brings a sense of closure to the paper
As you have learned, the conclusion is one of the most important parts of your paper and essential to the reader’s experience.
Therefore, the conclusion must bring a sense of closure to the reader, that is, the feeling that from reading this part of the paper you have had an overview of the entire research and algo could understand the reflection defended.
3) Don’t extend, be objective
To achieve a well-written conclusion, you must focus on being objective but not oversimplified.
In other words, this is the part of your paper you need to synthesize your study in a way that brings to the reader the complexity of your research in a few paragraphs.
4) Reinforce the significance of your study
Also, you must reinforce in the conclusion the significance of your research.
This way, you show the reader it was worth reading the entire paper and that your results bring an original reflection to that theme.
5) Address the limitations
You don’t have to answer all the questions about the object you have studied — it is not possible to do that!
Consequently, your research paper will have limitations, and that is the magic of science — keep moving forward and deepening our understanding of the world.
For this reason, it is scientifically fruitful to address the limitations you perceived in the study, indicating future research directions.
6) Instigate new questions
Science is driven by new and challenging questions. So, use your research paper conclusion to do more than reinforce your study.
You can push the reader to think beyond, to reflect with you — and other scientists — about different ways to study that object or new perspectives to bring to the debate.
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Doutoranda em Sociologia pela UFSC. Acredita no poder transformador das trocas e afetos que circulam no ambiente científico. Comprometida com a construção de uma ciência mais plural, humana e socialmente justa.