Importance of a Conclusion
Drawing out the conclusion is the most important and crucial step while writing a research paper. All the research you have done and the material you have collected mean nothing to the audience or readers until you enclose the results and findings in your conclusion.
When you for a , you also investigate and evaluate your main points. Furthermore, consequences and implications are also considered for the readers who have gone through the several pages of a research paper before reaching at concluding remarks.
Remember; never introduce any new information in your conclusion. It is a fact that writing a conclusion for a research paper is the most technical and original work you offer to your research. This is the basic reason why it is also called the most valuable portion of a research.
Get a Brief Outlook on Writing a Good Conclusion for a Research Paper
As already mentioned, conclusion offers a quick synopsis of the discussion and results. Writing a good conclusion for a research paper requires important considerations that include the following:
Good conclusions for research papers are always precise and to the point. Sum up the complete paper and give a brief description of all the findings and results. Never try to incorporate new ideas and do not go for much detail while writing a conclusion.
An Aid to Reader’s Memory
Conclusion for a research paper should be catchy and strong enough so that it grabs the attention of the readers. Anybody who goes with the conclusion writing has already read all the research. So, your conclusion should be strong enough that it acts as an aid to readers’ memory.
Relate Your Conclusion to the Subject
Your conclusion should never stand alone but it should have direct relation with the subject of the research paper. Tie the concluding remarks with the body of your paper. For example you can briefly highlight the significance of the research in closing paragraph. You can also indicate how the findings of your research can play a role for your readers. Specify the benefits of the research paper in concluding paragraph.
Emphasize the Shortcomings in your Conclusion
While writing a conclusion for your research paper, it is also important to emphasize the shortcomings you have faced while going through your research. These shortcomings might occur in your methods. However, whatever the reasons might be, it is a fact that deficiencies always affect the results and findings.
So, specify the shortcomings in the conclusion to make your paper more appealing for new researchers. They will surely attract to learn from your shortcomings in order to refine their methodology and findings.
Give Suggestions for Future Study
It is also essential to enclose suggestions in conclusion. These suggestions also assist the future researchers in their study.
Try to Highlight Practical Uses for Findings if Possible
In short researches, most of the time, it is not applicable. However, if you find any possibility then you can suggest practical uses of your research. For example if you present the relationship between balanced diet and its relation to child’s health and speedy growth then you can suggest a plan for your readers that must ensure a child receive healthy food.
Give Proof Read to Your Conclusion
When you write your conclusion, it shows that you are almost finished with your research. So, give a proof read to your paper and make necessary adjustments where required.
Finally, if you write a conclusion for your research paper keeping in mind the above mentioned points then you will surely find your readers to get the benefits and learn a lot from your research.
I. General Rules
The function of your paper's conclusion is to restate the main argument. It reminds the reader of the strengths of your main argument(s) and reiterates the most important evidence supporting those argument(s). Do this by stating clearly the context, background, and necessity of pursuing the research problem you investigated in relation to an issue, controversy, or a gap found in the literature. Make sure, however, that your conclusion is not simply a repetitive summary of the findings. This reduces the impact of the argument(s) you have developed in your essay.
When writing the conclusion to your paper, follow these general rules:
- State your conclusions in clear, simple language. Re-state the purpose of your study then state how your findings differ or support those of other studies and why [i.e., what were the unique or new contributions your study made to the overall research about your topic?].
- Do not simply reiterate your results or the discussion of your results. Provide a synthesis of arguments presented in the paper to show how these converge to address the research problem and the overall objectives of your study
- Indicate opportunities for future research if you haven't already done so in the discussion section of your paper. Highlighting the need for further research provides the reader with evidence that you have an in-depth awareness of the research problem.
Consider the following points to help ensure your conclusion is presented well:
- If the argument or purpose of your paper is complex, you may need to summarize the argument for your reader.
- If, prior to your conclusion, you have not yet explained the significance of your findings or if you are proceeding inductively, use the end of your paper to describe your main points and explain their significance.
- Move from a detailed to a general level of consideration that returns the topic to the context provided by the introduction or within a new context that emerges from the data.
The conclusion also provides a place for you to persuasively and succinctly restate your research problem, given that the reader has now been presented with all the information about the topic. Depending on the discipline you are writing in, the concluding paragraph maycontain your reflections on the evidence presented, or on the essay's central research problem. However, the nature of being introspective about the research you have done will depend on the topic and whether your professor wants you to express your observations in this way.
NOTE: If asked to think introspectively about the topics, do not delve into idle speculation. Being introspective means looking within yourself as an author to try and understand an issue more deeply, not to guess at possible outcomes or make up scenarios not supported by evidence.
II. Developing a Compelling Conclusion
Although an effective conclusion needs to be clear and succinct, it does not need to be written passively or lack a compelling narrative. Strategies to help you move beyond merely summarizing the key points of your research paper may include any of the following strategies:
- If your essay deals with a contemporary problem, warn readers of the possible consequences of not attending to the problem.
- Recommend a specific course or courses of action that, if adopted, could address a specific problem in practice or in the development of new knowledge.
- Cite a relevant quotation or expert opinion already noted in your paper in order to lend authority to the conclusion you have reached [a good place to look is research from your literature review].
- Explain the consequences of your research in a way that elicits action or demonstrates urgency in seeking change.
- Restate a key statistic, fact, or visual image to emphasize the ultimate point of your paper.
- If your discipline encourages personal reflection, illustrate your concluding point with a relevant narrative drawn from your own life experiences.
- Return to an anecdote, an example, or a quotation that you presented in your introduction, but add further insight derived from the findings of your study; use your interpretation of results to recast it in new or important ways.
- Provide a "take-home" message in the form of a strong, succinct statement that you want the reader to remember about your study.
III. Problems to Avoid
Failure to be concise
Your conclusion section should be concise and to the point. Conclusions that are too lengthy often have unnecessary information in them. The conclusion is not the place for details about your methodology or results. Although you should give a summary of what was learned from your research, this summary should be relatively brief, since the emphasis in the conclusion is on the implications, evaluations, insights, and other forms of analysis that you make. Strategies for writing concisely can be found here.
Failure to comment on larger, more significant issues
In the introduction, your task was to move from the general [the field of study] to the specific [the research problem]. However, in the conclusion, your task is to move from a specific discussion [your research problem] back to a general discussion [i.e., how your research contributes new understanding or fills an important gap in the literature]. In short, the conclusion is where you should place your research within a larger context [visualize your paper as an hourglass--start with a broad introduction and review of the literature, move to the specific analysis and discussion, conclude with a broad summary of the study's implications and significance].
Failure to reveal problems and negative results
Negative aspects of the research process should never be ignored. Problems, drawbacks, and challenges encountered during your study should be summarized as a way of qualifying your overall conclusions. If you encountered negative or unintended results [i.e., findings that are validated outside the research context in which they were generated], you must report them in the results section and discuss their implications in the discussion section of your paper. In the conclusion, use your summary of the negative results as an opportunity to explain their possible significance and/or how they may form the basis for future research.
Failure to provide a clear summary of what was learned
In order to be able to discuss how your research fits back into your field of study [and possibly the world at large], you need to summarize briefly and succinctly how it contributes to new knowledge or a new understanding about the research problem. This element of your conclusion may be only a few sentences long.
Failure to match the objectives of your research
Often research objectives in the social sciences change while the research is being carried out. This is not a problem unless you forget to go back and refine the original objectives in your introduction. As these changes emerge they must be documented so that they accurately reflect what you were trying to accomplish in your research [not what you thought you might accomplish when you began].
Resist the urge to apologize
If you've immersed yourself in studying the research problem, you presumably should know a good deal about it, perhaps even more than your professor! Nevertheless, by the time you have finished writing, you may be having some doubts about what you have produced. Repress those doubts! Don't undermine your authority by saying something like, "This is just one approach to examining this problem; there may be other, much better approaches that...." The overall tone of your conclusion should convey confidence to the reader.
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