5 Great Tips for Writing a Conclusion for a Research Paper
If you're struggling with your research paper conclusion consider the following suggestions:
- State your thesis in a new way at the end of the paper. Rewording your thesis statement at the end of your paper reaffirms your argument and gives your readers another way to understand your topic. It reminds the reader of the central point, and after now being well informed on the topic by having read your paper, they can reach their own conclusion about the topic and either agree or disagree with your stance. (Hopefully they agree).
- Introduce other perspectives and viewpoints of your topic. If you only talk about the benefits of being vegetarian, people will grow skeptical of the fact that there are no negative effects. Talk about the counterargument to your thesis, and then offer solutions. This will make the reader feel better informed about the topic, because they are able to see it as a multi-faceted issue instead of a one-sided one and this will ultimately strengthen your paper. Also, by confronting the oppositions to your argument, you beat any challengers of your thesis by responding to their criticisms before they can present them.
- Summarize main points. Research papers are usually very long and complex, so it can be easy for the reader to lose track of some of the supporting points to your argument. Providing a brief summary of what was covered will refresh the reader’s memory and clarify their interpretation of the paper and the topic.
- Remember It’s about the facts, not your opinion. Research papers should be about supporting a fact-backed argument, not your personal perspective on a topic. Resist the urge to inject your own emotionally-infused sentiments, especially in the conclusion. You are presenting an academic article, and should remember to remain professional and unbiased throughout your research.
- Give credit where credit is due. Cite your sources, cite your sources, CITE YOUR SOURCES! It can become easy to lose track of which information came from where, so mark down where you get your facts from. Highlight quotes in articles to serve as a reference point for major sources. Be sure to use the proper citation form within the text (usually after a quote or fact is used), as well as at the end of the paper. You should have a works cited/references page at the end of your essay where you list out the title, author, journal, page number, and source of any content used. It is important to cite your sources for a variety of reasons:
- You avoid plagiarism. Plagiarism is not only inherently dishonorable to your work as a writer, but is also illegal and has dire consequences such as fines or getting expelled from an institution.
- You build credibility. A paper that is full of citations from professionals in their field will only strengthen your argument. It’s hard to argue against evidence and facts.
- You have to! Any academic article should have sources, and a long list of them. Most professors and journals would be extremely hesitant to accept a paper, no matter how well written, if it had no sources that it drew from.
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