How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper: Tips & Strategies

posted by Laura Callisen 21 Oct 2021
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Understanding how to write a conclusion for a research paper is as important as one’s ability to write other parts of a paper. People often tend to remember last scenes from books more clearly, that is why fiction writers leave many effective events and plot twists till the end. An effective conclusion paper would earn more points as the same rule applies. Though in academic writing completing proper conclusion proves student’s ability to analyze, synthesize available information, and formulate precise thoughts, which is exactly what many professors are looking for. 

What Is a Research Paper Conclusion Paragraph?

Imagine that your instructor requested a long and complicated 20-page project as a major part of your grade and you have successfully managed to complete all required reviews, tests, and data analysis. You gathered a lot of data and now you need to know how to write a conclusion research paper deserves. This is the final impression from your work that contributes to the outcome. Speaking in simple terms, conclusion wraps up the entire paper. Let’s review requirements more precisely.

Anybody who wants to know how to do a conclusion for a research paper eventually finds out that there are several key elements that must be added, and writing something like “the research was very complicated, and you may read about the results on previous pages” is absolutely not appropriate. Here are basic things to remember:

  1. Briefly restate your topic. A sentence or two will do the trick. You just need to remind yourself about your topic’s importance. Restate your thesis statement. Make sure you did not copy it word by word as many students do, this is entirely incorrect. These parts must convey the same meaning but in different words. 
  2. Summarize main points. If you did a good job with following standard academic structure, this part won’t be a problem at all. Ensure you include all major points already developed and presented in topic sentences of every body paragraph. 
  3. Make a call to action. This part should be added only when applicable, it is not a must, though it adds value to your work, especially if your assignment is sociological or discusses some public need.

This is the basic research paper conclusion outline that would be applicable to almost any topic as well as guidelines. One more thing to remember is that conclusion should not present completely new information, it is always based entirely on content.

Read also: Want to have a quality paper right on time? Check our term paper writing services to get such one. 

Let’s Revisit Structure

Now it is time to make certain that other parts of your paper are as effective as conclusion. The reason is simple: you won’t be able to understand how to close a research paper if its text is a disorganized stream of consciousness. Many students who struggle with this type of academic assignment ask professionals to write an outline for a research paper and then develop content based on the suggested plan. It is a sensible approach as they see what obligatory elements should be inserted and can apply this knowledge in future. Do you remember what must be included? Let’s check!

  • Introduction: Introduces topic and provides information moving from general background to a specific problem.
  • Thesis statement: Author’s claim and paper’s road map can be found at the end of the introduction.
  • Body paragraphs: Each of them has a topic sentence, supporting evidence from your research, your interpretation and data analysis, and a concluding sentence that also has transition words for research papers.
  • Conclusion: Wraps up your work following the outline in previous section.
  • Bibliography: You did cite all sources of information in the text, didn’t you? Now it is time to provide bibliographical entries in this section according to the chosen format whether it is MLA format rules or APA. 

And Let’s Get Back to The Introduction

“Why do I need to focus on intro if I want to know how to write conclusion in research paper?” you may ask. “These parts are closely connected,” we reply. Yes, completing a proper conclusion that follows all four basic steps outlined in our guide would not be possible without an effective introduction. 

One should remember that an introduction is the first opportunity to introduce your topic to intended audience. Many students receive poor grades because they make the same mistake and provide a lot of redundant background information trying to include all possible facts that might be relevant. Any professor would fail the paper where introduction takes half of the word count. Thus, be precise and stick to the point in ways described in our guide on how to conclude research paper.

Try to present only absolutely essential background information that justifies your narrowed topic and even more specific argument embodied in the thesis statement. Proper introduction takes approximately ten percent of total length and it is usually just a paragraph-long. Though complex research tasks may require several paragraphs for this part, it is appropriate as well.

Learn How to Summarize

Now we understand that both introduction and conclusion include major topic and thesis statement but in different words. Let’s return to conclusions for research paper as this section is of immense importance. Check how exactly many students choose sources for their literature review tasks. They do not read each and every scholarly article that includes required keywords, it is enough to read article’s abstract and conclusion to get the main idea and decide whether this particular source is relevant for one’s specific research. 

Effective summary allows your readers to get either the first impression or help one develop a full unified picture upon reading your paper. How long should a conclusion be in a research paper to achieve this aim? Usually, it is approximately the same length as introduction. You do not need to provide too many details as you have already discussed them in the body part. Describe findings and ensure your reader understands that you managed to prove your thesis statement.

Copying topic sentences from body paragraphs would be a bad idea though. Apart from this being self-plagiarism and attempting to fill in word count, the primary idea of a summary is ignored. Topic sentences only introduce specific aspects of thesis statement while conclusion must provide a more holistic ending and wrap up provided content.

Read also: No time for doing all by yourself? Ask professionals to “write my research proposal” and have everything ready on time.

Argumentative Paper Closing

Developing conclusion in research paper should depend on specific subtype of this writing exercise. You probably got acquainted with requirements for argumentative papers when you searched how to start a research paper intro as there are many nuances. The same is true for conclusions as well. Two major rules here are as follows: restate your argumentative thesis statement and briefly summarize all major arguments and counter-arguments you mentioned and addressed throughout the paper. Some sort of call to action or closing statement is required as well. 

Empirical Paper Closing

Some subjects require students to complete a different type of research paper that involves an actual experiment rather than researching the topic using already existing sources. This empirical research paper has many other sections and elements such as research questions, hypothesis, methodology, results, analysis, and discussion. You might be interested in how to write conclusion for research paper of this kind as well. Although the core idea of summarizing the text is still applicable, you need to address some other components as well. 

Confirm your conclusion describing findings of experiment and presenting answers to initial research questions. Limitations of the current study create the opportunity for outlining directions for potential future research and practical recommendations. Use this opportunity wisely as professors will check whether you have full vision and truly understand what else can be done in your field.

How To Conclude A Research Paper: Effective Strategies

If you think that a comprehensive guide on strategies that really work is not needed as this is just the last paragraph, then there might be some bad news for the said paper once professor releases grades. Conclusion of research paper has strict requirements just like introduction and body paragraphs. These strategies are always being followed when you order custom written research papers because expert writers already mastered all the tricks:

  1. Answer simple “so what?” question when you are completing finished research’s summary. This is helpful in emphasizing topic’s importance and specific claim’s justification. 
  2. Provide parallels with introduction as it will create a sense of closure and finished research in a reader. 
  3. Summarize, but do not repeat initial statements. The research was conducted to make your claims deeper.
  4. Conclusion for a research paper should not provide new information, whether simple facts or complex data. Only information already presented in body parts should be taken into consideration.
  5. Exceptions do exist though: you may want to introduce personal anecdotes or specific case study in introduction and final outcome in the conclusion. It is up to your discretion to use this technique in your research paper to increase audience’s engagement. You may also close paper with a specific quote to illustrate some points but ensure this quote does not actually provide new data or facts. This approach should be used sparingly though. 
  6. While concluding research paper, remember that it begins with a specific focus, which is your restated topic and thesis statement, and then moves to general such as a call to action or obtained results’ implications. Introductions use the opposite approach with a specific focus, in the end, serving as your thesis statement. 

Another effective strategy would be avoiding major mistakes that resulted in failing grades for many students. Sometimes thesis statement is evident in such papers only in conclusions, which is unacceptable and means that students didn’t review the rules of standard academic structure. Introducing new information that should have been presented in body parts is another common mistake that can be easily avoided. Overall, just ascertain the content, in conclusion, is in line with the entire paper and there are no random appeals coming out of nowhere. In this case, everything will be fine. Another option for students is to use conclusion maker for quick resolution.

Check Research Paper Conclusion Example

All theoretical information on concluding academic assignments is good, but what about some more practical approach? It is always good to see how something is working in real life utilizing the same principles you have read about earlier. Feel free to check this research conclusion example:

Capital punishment is a controversial issue and there are multiple opinions regarding adherence to ethical norms and laws, possibility of crime deterrence, safety of other citizens, costs of capital cases, and the chance of wrongful conviction. Pragmatic point of view on pro-death penalty discourse appears to be weak due to the absence of valid proof of crime deterrence as the result of capital punishment’s existence. Moral considerations related to this irreversible punishment prove the necessity of keeping death penalty as the highest measure of punishment. This is the last resort that will allow us to fulfill the requirements of the United States Constitution concerning victims and reassure the society that the most dangerous individuals, such as serial killers, will be deprived of the possibility to escape and continue murdering other innocent people.

Even though it is short and can be extended further adding more details, the general structure with restating topic, thesis statement, and summarizing main points of the discussion is clearly visible. One can easily understand what paper was about and what author’s position was by reading this short summary even without reviewing the entire, pretty long research.

Concluding Conclusions Guide

Although writing research paper conclusions are among final steps of research paper completion, one may still need some assistance. Students who still master their ability to express their thoughts as precisely as possible may need to ask somebody to write my research paper and get a perfect sample of how this task should be done on an A-level. It does not mean that one can summarize text as effectively as writing a research paper content from scratch. These are two different skills and both require practice and following guides to achieving the desired results.

Laura Callisen

Blog writer for GrabMyEssay


Hello there! I am Laura Callisen, and I fancy myself to be a modern “Renaissance person.” I suppose my 30-something self began my incredible journey after having been born in Stavanger, Norway and then immigrating to the U.S. (Utah, actually) at the age of 5. I am certain that this change was more of a cultural “shock” for my parents than for me, because I quickly mastered the language and was clever enough to “play the game” of public education in America. After graduating from Skyline High School, where I spent two years as the school newspaper editor, obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in English and journalism from the University of Utah was a natural culmination of my love for writing.

My inclination to be socially conscious led me to lots of community outreach and volunteering during my college years, especially in the areas of educational and housing improvement for the poor and a number of environmental crusades. My passion for philosophy and travel have now taken over, and I am enthralled with the widely varied value systems of all cultures in which I can immerse myself, if only temporarily. My life as a freelance writer allows a freedom I never want to sacrifice for a stuffy office!

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