How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper

The form of the research paper is one that everyone is mostly familiar with. You have an introduction, a body consisting of 2 or more points or arguments, and a conclusion that ties everything together. The introduction is very important because it catches the reader’s initial attention. But it’s your conclusion that leaves them with that pondering feeling that only the best writers seem to be able to do. If you want to leave your teacher feeling a specific emotion or having a change of heart at the end of your research paper, then keep reading to find out how to write a knockout conclusion.

Most students write conclusions as a simple summary of everything they’ve already said. And while that is good, and is the definition of a conclusion, it’s the way that you summarize and which points you linger on a little longer that make the conclusion. When you really want to emphasize, for example in an environmental paper about air pollution, that it could be affecting life expectancy, then make sure to describe your findings about pollution related life expectancy more adamantly in the conclusion. There’s also a thing about the order in which you say your arguments. Generally in the body teachers will advise you to start with your strongest point, then your weakest, then the middle point. And in your conclusion, it should be the same way, so that the reader can feel a sense of structure continuing on into your conclusion from the body of the paper. This makes the entire paper feel more pulled together and unified.

At the very end of your conclusion, you need to have something to leave the reader with to make them continue thinking about your position. This can either be a poignant question that makes them stop and wonder what they’d do if they had to make that decision, or a shocking statement that fits in with everything you’ve been saying, but at the same time is pretty unexpected. Whatever you do decide to do, it should be a satisfying statement, like your paper has been worth the time it took to read it, and that’s when you know you’ve done your conclusion right. Have a few other friends or peers read it if you like, to get a second opinion before your teacher grades it. Often this is all you need, another set of eyes to look it over.