How to Begin the Conclusion of a Research Paper: 5 Useful Tips

Your conclusion is perhaps the most important part of your Research Paper. In it you must make the reader feel that all the loose ends are tied off, without adding any new information. Your summation needs to be interesting, however, good your work and research, if you just list all the main points again then your paper will be devalued. The reader should be satisfied that you know what you were talking and that they have learned something new.

In many ways, the Conclusion is the reverse of the Introduction in that you restate the thesis and concisely go over the main points of your argument again.

5 tips for beginning your conclusion

  1. Most importantly, try rephrasing rather than use the same words you used in either your introduction, thesis statement or in the main body of your work – but you must be careful not to change the tone of your writing. A reader could find it jarring if you became humorous in the conclusion when you were strictly formal in the body of your work.
  2. You can use your conclusion to make a “Call to Action”. If you wrote about oceanic pollution and the effects on sea life, then you might suggest more recycling of plastic, so the ocean is kept free of plastic bags.
  3. Another way to round up your writing is with an anecdote. If you started your essay with an anecdote – a highly recommended way – then you could save the “punchline” for the conclusion as a way of bookending your work.
  4. Have you presented multiple viewpoints as a necessary part of your paper? In your summation, you could gather them together and present a logical opinion of all the ideas and suggestions.
  5. The hardest way of rounding up your work, but the most satisfying for your reader, is to end by asking a question, which the reader can answer for him or herself by applying the logic of your arguments.

To make the best impression on your reader, it is wiser to avoid beginning your Conclusion with the words “in conclusion” or “in summary”. Have a friend who will give you an honest opinion read your work. The ending is not the time to be weak or indecisive, if you leave your reader with an apologetic close out or a “just my humble opinion” feeling then you need to think again and rewrite.

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