How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper

How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper

Are you ready to take your research paper to the next level? Crafting a compelling conclusion is the key to leaving a lasting impression on your readers and solidifying the impact of your work. The conclusion is as crucial as the introduction, often being the last section read by the audience, so it's essential to make it count.

A well-written conclusion should not only summarize your key findings and arguments but also reiterate the significance of your research. It's your final opportunity to answer the question: "Why should I care about this topic?" and leave your readers feeling satisfied yet eager to explore the subject further.

In this article, we'll guide you through the step-by-step process of writing a powerful conclusion that will make your research paper stand out from the rest.

Understanding the Purpose of a Conclusion

A conclusion in a research paper serves as the final opportunity to summarize key findings, insights, and arguments, providing a sense of closure and completeness. It should offer a clear response to the research question(s) posed in the introduction, reinforcing the importance and relevance of the research.

Leaving a Lasting Impression

A well-crafted conclusion can leave a lasting impression on the reader by:

  1. Synthesizing existing information to highlight the importance and implications of the research
  2. Encouraging the reader to consider the potential impact of the research on the field
  3. Sparking the reader's desire to further explore the subject

Characteristics of an Effective Conclusion




Typically one paragraph long, avoiding unnecessary repetition or irrelevant details


Avoiding the introduction of new information and maintaining logical consistency with the rest of the paper


Reflecting the author's expertise and authority on the topic


Thought-provoking, encouraging the reader to consider the implications of the research

By understanding the purpose and characteristics of a conclusion, you can effectively communicate the significance of your research and leave a lasting impact on your readers.

Restating the Thesis Statement

Restating your thesis in the conclusion is a crucial step that helps reinforce the main argument of your research paper. However, it's essential to present the restated thesis in a fresh and engaging manner, avoiding a verbatim repetition of the original statement. By using new language and providing a unique perspective, you can effectively emphasize the significance of your research and leave a lasting impression on your readers.

Strategies for Restating Your Thesis

  1. Paraphrase the original thesis statement by:
    • Substituting synonyms
    • Altering the sentence structure
    • Changing the tense
    • Shortening or lengthening the thesis [18]
  2. Ensure the restated thesis:
    • Fits the paper and aligns with the arguments presented
    • Emphasizes the main points
    • Provides a strong conclusion [19, 20]

Elements to Include When Restating Your Thesis



Core take-away message

Highlight the key message you want your readers to remember

Relevance of the work

Explain the significance of your research and its implications

Address the research question

Demonstrate how your research has answered the central question posed in the introduction

By skillfully restating your thesis, you can effectively summarize the main points of your research paper, remind readers of its importance, and provide a sense of closure. Remember, the restated thesis should serve as a powerful conclusion that leaves a lasting impact on your audience.

Summarizing Key Findings and Arguments

When summarizing the key findings and arguments of your research paper, it's essential to keep things clear and concise. Provide a brief overview of the main points discussed in the body of your paper, synthesizing the information and highlighting the most significant insights.

The Three-Step Approach to Summarizing

  1. Recap: In a single paragraph, reiterate your research question and how you addressed it.
  2. Highlight: Dedicate another paragraph to explaining the most important results, focusing on the main points you want readers to remember.
  3. Conclude: Wrap up your paper with a sentence or two that ties your research to the real world or leaves the reader with a thought-provoking question.

Tips for Effective Summarization



Be concise

Use clear and specific language to summarize your key points in one or two sentences

Avoid jargon

Steer clear of unnecessary technical terms to maintain accessibility

Use active voice

Employ active voice and verbs to keep your summary engaging

Avoid repetition

Eliminate redundancy and irrelevant details to maintain focus

Use transitions

Incorporate connectors and signposts to link your sentences and paragraphs

By following these guidelines and focusing on the main findings, arguments, and contributions of your research, you can effectively summarize your key points and provide a solid foundation for the conclusion of your research paper.

Highlighting the Significance of the Research

Your research paper's conclusion should emphasize the significance of your findings and their potential impact on the field of study. It's crucial to remind readers of the research question or problem and discuss how your work has contributed to answering the question or solving the problem.

Implications and Future Directions

  1. Discuss the implications of your research, explaining how it adds to the existing body of knowledge or challenges current understanding.
  2. Suggest directions for future research based on your findings, highlighting areas that require further exploration or investigation.
  3. Mention any limitations of your study, if not already addressed in the discussion section, to provide context for your results.

Connecting Your Research to the Bigger Picture




Explain how your research relates to the broader field of study and its potential applications in real-world scenarios.


Discuss the possible impact of your findings on society, industry, or academia, emphasizing the importance of your work.


Encourage readers to consider the significance of your research and inspire them to engage with the topic further.

By highlighting the significance of your research, you provide a compelling conclusion that demonstrates the value of your work and its potential to drive future advancements in the field.

Providing Recommendations for Future Research

When providing recommendations for future research in your conclusion, focus on identifying gaps, limitations, and unresolved issues that your study has addressed or uncovered. Suggest potential research methods or approaches that could be used to investigate these questions further and explain how this recommended research could contribute to the field.

Crafting Impactful Recommendations

  1. Keep recommendations focused and concise, prioritizing the most relevant ideas that stem directly from your work.
  2. Ensure your recommendations are grounded in the findings of your study and offer concrete, actionable possibilities for future research.
  3. Target your recommendations towards peers or colleagues in your field who work on similar subjects to your paper or dissertation topic.

Inspiring Future Research



Unanswered Questions

Highlight remaining questions or unresolved issues that could be explored in future studies

Potential Research Paths

Suggest promising directions and potential research methods or approaches to investigate these questions


Provide a compelling reason to continue research down each path, emphasizing the potential impact on the field

By providing clear, targeted recommendations for future research, you not only demonstrate the significance of your work but also inspire others to build upon your findings and contribute to the advancement of your field.

Crafting a Memorable Closing Sentence

The closing sentence of your research paper's conclusion is your final opportunity to leave a lasting impact on your readers. It should be a strong, memorable statement that encapsulates the main points of your research and leaves your audience with something to ponder.

Strategies for a Powerful Closing Sentence

  1. Summarize the key takeaways of your research in a concise and impactful manner.
  2. Use a thought-provoking question or a call to action to engage your readers and encourage further reflection.
  3. Incorporate a relevant quote that reinforces the significance of your research.




"So What" Game

Emphasize the importance and implications of your research

"This study's findings underscore the urgent need for policy changes to address the growing issue of climate change."

Return to Themes

Revisit the main themes introduced in the introduction, tying them together with your conclusion

"By exploring the complexities of human emotions, this research sheds light on the fundamental question posed at the outset: what makes us human?"

Provocative Insight

Share a thought-provoking insight or observation that stems from your research

"The results of this study challenge long-held assumptions about the nature of learning, suggesting that traditional educational models may be due for a radical overhaul."

Remember to avoid overused phrases, emotional appeals, or introducing new information in your closing sentence. Instead, focus on crafting a concise, well-written statement that effectively conveys the main message of your research paper and leaves a lasting impression on your readers.


In summary, crafting a compelling conclusion for your research paper is a critical step in ensuring your work leaves a lasting impact on your readers. By restating your thesis in a fresh and engaging manner, summarizing your key findings and arguments, highlighting the significance of your research, and providing targeted recommendations for future studies, you can effectively communicate the value of your work and inspire others to build upon your findings.

As you conclude your research paper, remember to keep your closing sentence concise, thought-provoking, and memorable. By tying together the main themes of your work and emphasizing the implications of your findings, you can leave your readers with a clear understanding of the importance of your research and its potential to drive future advancements in your field.


1. What is the best way to begin a conclusion in a research paper?

To start a conclusion effectively, avoid introducing any new information. Focus on restating the key points of your research, summarise your findings, and provide closure to the discussion. You can also discuss the limitations of your study and suggest areas for future research if these have not been covered in the discussion section of your paper.

2. What are the key steps to formulating a conclusion?

A well-structured conclusion can be developed through five main steps:

  • Restate the thesis statement.
  • Reiterate the supporting points.
  • Link the opening statement to the closing remarks.
  • Offer insights gained from the research.
  • Conclude with a final thought or statement.

3. Can you provide an example of what a conclusion in a research paper might include?

The conclusion of a research paper should effectively consolidate the research by restating the problem initially addressed. It should also summarise the main arguments or findings, and leave the reader with a strong, lasting impression of the study's significance.

4. How should one start and end a conclusion?

Begin your conclusion with a clear topic sentence that signals the end of your discussion. Use your paper's introductory paragraph as a reference to ensure coherence and unity in your writing. Summarise the main ideas you have presented, appeal to the reader's emotions to enhance the impact of your conclusion, and finally, include a strong closing sentence to neatly wrap up the discussion.