How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper (And Example)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published November 5, 2021

The concluding paragraph of a research paper is as important as the other parts of the paper. In some cases, writing a conclusion can be difficult because you try to balance summarizing your entire work without sounding repetitive and redundant. Understanding how to write a conclusion for a research paper can strongly impact your work and ensure it remains impressive. In this article, we discuss how to write conclusions for a research paper, outline its types, highlight its importance, and provide an example to guide you.

How to write a conclusion for a research paper

Follow these steps for how to write a conclusion for a research paper:

1. Create an outline

When drafting a conclusion for your research paper, the first thing to do is create an outline to guide you. This step is important as it helps you itemize all the important parts you want to mention in the conclusion. An outline helps you set the space to give to each point and bring them together logically. The outline also guides the conclusion of your research paper.

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2. Research

Just as you may have done for the main body of your work, you may want to research your conclusion. Researching gives you ideas on how best to structure your conclusion such that it's readable. It also gives additional information to strengthen the points you want to re-emphasize in your conclusion. It may also give you ideas on better reiterating your points without being repetitive.

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3. Restate your research topic

When writing your conclusion, restate the topic of your research paper at the beginning paragraph of your essay. Doing this sets the direction of your conclusion, ensuring your message is clear and direct for the reader, and reminds them of your paper's purpose. Another reason to restate your research topic is so that the reader knows you're about to conclude your research paper.

4. Summarize your major points

The essence of a conclusion is to bring the readers' minds back to the main points that you've previously highlighted in the body of your research paper. While you're doing this, it's important that you avoid repeating those points verbatim. Instead, ensure you pick out the major points in your work and effectively summarize them. The aim is to strengthen your arguments and remind your readers of these points.

5. Highlight solutions

While writing your conclusion, you can restate your thesis statement and why it's important to the reader. The next thing is to highlight solutions backed with a call to action or more study and research on the subject matter. The point of this part is to leave your readers with ideas and thoughts to contemplate.

6. Connect the beginning of your work to the end

The major aim of the conclusion is to wrap your research paper. A suggested way to do this is to give your reader a sense of consistency by staying on the major themes with which you began. You can achieve this by reintroducing stories or concepts at the beginning or middle of your paper. You can also connect the solutions and the deductions you reached to the topic and thesis of the research paper such that you present a cohesive body of work to your reader.

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Importance of writing a conclusion to your research paper

Writing a conclusion to your research paper is important as it articulates the core points you previously outlined and draws the reader's attention back to them. It's also an avenue for you to proffer solutions or insight into the issues highlighted. Again, a conclusion allows you to introduce a call to action where necessary. It may also inform your readers that more research or discussion is necessary to form an opinion on the subject matter.

Types of conclusion for your research paper

Research papers require different types of conclusions and here are some types of conclusions to consider for your research paper:

Summarizing conclusion

You use this type of conclusion when your research paper is on a technical subject such as in reports and surveys. As the most common type of conclusion, it's also relevant in persuasive research papers, historical and scientific papers, argumentative, and solution-focused essays. Where the essay is a lengthy one, this type of conclusion is advisable as it articulates the major points previously made to the reader. When ending this type of conclusion, avoid using such reflective wordings as, I think, I believe, or In my opinion.

Editorial conclusion

You use this type of conclusion when the research paper topic is a controversial or persuasive essay. This type of conclusion allows you to include a personal commentary on the topic. It also allows you to use a conversational tone to persuade your reader to agree with your perspective, personal feelings, and interpretations of the subject matter. While presenting your concluding ideas, ensure that you connect them back to the research topic that's being discussed.

Externalizing conclusion

You use this type of conclusion when discussing a topic that's part of a more complex subject matter. When using an externalizing conclusion, you may introduce your ideas in angles that the reader didn't contemplate in the body of the research. These novel angles develop off of the topic or thesis of the research paper. It also serves as a transition to a separate but related topic to lead the reader towards a new direction or discussion.

Tips for writing a conclusion for your research paper

Here are some tips to consider when writing a conclusion for your research paper:

  • Give your reader a sense of closure. Ensure that your conclusion truly appears like an ending and doesn't leave your reader with a feeling of incompleteness. You can achieve this by proffering solutions or a call to action that relates back to the topic of the research paper.

  • Be sure to articulate the essence of your research paper. Ensure you summarize the points you made previously clearly. In doing this, also ensure that you're concise while being articulate.

  • Restate only the most relevant points. While you may have made a lot of points in the body of your research paper, it's important that you only state the most important ones. Highlighting these points ensures the reader can identify the core aspects of your submission as they complete reading the paper.

  • Avoid repetition. While it's important to re-emphasize your major points, you may want to ensure that you don't do a word-for-word repetition. You can achieve this by rephrasing your arguments or offering new perspectives to them.

  • Avoid introducing new points at the conclusion. It's advisable to avoid introducing new points in the conclusion of your research paper. Doing this may confuse your readers and affect the structure of your conclusion.

  • Avoid concluding hastily: One sign of a wrong conclusion is making it too short. It's important that your conclusion is at least a fully detailed paragraph supporting your research.

  • Avoid being vague. When highlighting your points, state them clearly with previously referenced details from the body of your work. Ensure you opt for simple and clear words to ensure effective communication.

  • Avoid beginning the conclusion with generic statements. You may want to avoid beginning your conclusion with such phrases as I**n conclusion, or C**onclusively, especially when they're unnecessary. Begin your conclusion creatively and use a subheading to identify the concluding aspect.

Example of a research paper conclusion

Here is an example of an effective research paper conclusion:

Digital marketing remains the best and most cost-effective means for companies to build their brands and retain customers. Over a decade worth of research supports this fact, with major corporations like Kent industries, Pear Inc., and Hardwood Limited Industries experiencing significant growth and better brand awareness after opting for digital marketing as their major marketing strategy. Independent studies conducted across two continents show that the life span and productivity levels for small and medium scale enterprises and individual vendors who use digital channels for marketing improved by over 50% in the last decade.

Also, marketing through digital channels makes it easier for companies to change their marketing plans and strategies if old plans no longer yield the desired results. It also allows companies to efficiently focus their advertising on the relevant audience with minimal resources. Companies can discard the traditional types of marketing and focus their resources on digital marketing for promotional and brand awareness campaigns. This option promises improved expansion and profitability.

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