A Practical Guide for ESL Writers on Crafting a Remarkable Research Paper Conclusion
For ESL writers, the final act of a research paper—the conclusion—can feel like the grand finale of a captivating performance. Just as a talented actor leaves the audience with a lasting impression, a well-crafted conclusion leaves your readers with a sense of fulfillment and understanding. However, achieving this impact in your writing may pose a challenge. How do you effectively tie together the threads of your research, summarize your findings, and make a persuasive closing statement? In this article, we will walk you through a practical step-by-step guide on how to write a research paper conclusion that shines brightly, demonstrating your academic prowess and leaving your readers eager for more. Let’s draw the curtains and unveil the secrets to creating a remarkable conclusion that will resonate with your audience and solidify your research paper’s success.
What is a research paper conclusion?
A research paper conclusion should summarize the main points of the paper, help readers contextualize the information, and as the last thing people read, be memorable and leave an impression. The research paper conclusion is the best chance for the author to both reiterate their main points and tie all the information together. All in all, it’s one of the most important parts of writing a research paper.
Research paper conclusions are generally one paragraph long, although more complicated topics may have longer conclusions. Although conclusions don’t normally present new information or data that wasn’t mentioned in the article, they often reframe the issues or offer a new perspective on the topic.
6 elements to include in a research paper conclusion:
Urgency or consequences
A good conclusion answers the question, Why should the reader care? To connect the information to the reader, point out why your topic should matter to them. What happens if the problem persists, or how can the problem be solved? Feel free to mention common obstacles that feed the problem, implications of the data, or a recommended action for fixing it.
Reminder of thesis statement
Research paper conclusions are a great place to revisit your initial thesis statement, a sentence that encapsulates the main topic or problem your paper addresses. Thesis statements are discussed heavily at the beginning of a paper, but they can be even stronger when you reintroduce them at the end, after you’ve presented all your evidence.
Recap of main points
Although you don’t want to repeat yourself just for the sake of repetition, a recap of your main points can be helpful to your reader. Think of these as your paper’s “key takeaways,” the parts you want readers to remember. Save the details for the body text and use the conclusion to remind the reader of your strongest supporting evidence before they put your paper down.
Parallels to the introduction
The introduction and the conclusion are two sides of the same coin. A useful strategy to consider as you approach writing a research paper conclusion is to follow the same structure or address the same themes as you do in the introduction. For example, if you pose a question in your introduction, you can answer it directly in your conclusion. Keep this in mind when writing your research paper outline so you can properly plan both parts.
Limitations of the study
Although this isn’t applicable to every research paper, if you’re writing about actual tests or studies you’ve conducted, there are some ethical requirements for what you put in a research paper conclusion. Specifically, you’re expected to address the limitations of your study; these may include criticisms or flaws in your process that might have affected the results, such as using suboptimal participation groups. It’s best to call these out yourself rather than having a colleague call them out later.
Above all, every research paper conclusion should be written with conciseness. In general, conclusions should be short, so keep an eye on your word count as you write and aim to be as succinct as possible. You can expound on your topic in the body of your paper, but the conclusion is more for summarizing and recapping.
Types of research paper conclusions with examples
While there are no rigidly defined types of research paper conclusions, they commonly fall into three categories: summary, commentary, and new perspective. However, it is essential to note that these categories are not mutually exclusive. A research paper conclusion can incorporate elements from multiple categories, offering a unique blend that suits the specific needs of your paper. Let’s explore each approach with examples to better understand their characteristics and potential combinations.
A summary conclusion recaps the main points and findings discussed in the research paper. It condenses the essential information, reminding readers of the key takeaways without introducing new ideas. Here’s an example of a summary conclusion for a research paper on climate change:
“In conclusion, our study highlighted the alarming impact of climate change on global ecosystems. We presented evidence of rising temperatures, melting glaciers, and their consequences on biodiversity. Urgent action is required to mitigate these effects and preserve our planet for future generations.”
A commentary conclusion goes beyond summarizing and provides the author’s insights or analysis of the research findings. It offers a personal interpretation of the results and their implications. Here’s an example of a commentary conclusion for the same climate change research paper:
“In conclusion, our findings underscore the urgent need for collective action in combating climate change. By understanding the ecological repercussions of rising temperatures, we can initiate informed policies and sustainable practices. Addressing climate change requires global cooperation, political will, and societal commitment.”
A new perspective conclusion introduces novel ideas or solutions based on the research. It encourages readers to rethink the topic and consider alternative approaches. Here’s an example of a new perspective conclusion for the climate change research paper:
“In conclusion, our research calls for innovative approaches in tackling climate change. Investing in renewable energy sources and promoting eco-friendly technologies can pave the way for a greener future. By embracing sustainability, we can forge a path towards a resilient planet and ensure a harmonious coexistence with nature.”
Combining Approaches: Research paper conclusions can be more effective when elements from multiple categories are combined. For instance:
“Drawing upon our study’s comprehensive analysis, we emphasize the urgent significance of addressing climate change. As we summarize the consequences of rising temperatures on ecosystems, we advocate for a new perspective that emphasizes sustainability and renewable energy solutions. By embracing these initiatives, we can forge a path towards a greener future and safeguard our planet’s ecological balance.”
In conclusion, research paper conclusions come in various forms, and authors have the creative freedom to blend elements from summary, commentary, and new perspective approaches. The ultimate goal is to leave readers with a lasting impression and inspire further contemplation on the topic. Choose the approach or combination that best complements your research and showcases the significance of your findings.
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