A conclusion is not just a way to summarize your research paper. It is a way for your readers to fully grasp your study and understand why it is important. A good conclusion must be brief and concise. Sometimes it could just be one paragraph, but there are also times that it requires around two to three paragraphs.
In the introduction of your research paper, you state a very specific research problem. In comparison to the introduction, the conclusion is the part where you place your research into a larger context. This is the time where you make your readers realize that your study is part of something bigger. For example, you introduced your research problem as “What is the effect of study habits to the academic performance of high school students?”. This topic is very specific to study habits and academic performance, but when you discuss this problem in your conclusion, you discuss it in a way that it will involve a much larger group, in this case, the high school students. That way, your conclusion will be able to leave a lasting impact on your readers.
So, here are seven steps on how to easily write your conclusion and make it impactful:
- Restate your topic and its importance
A conclusion is not just merely restating your study, but it is better to briefly restate your topic here. The first part of the conclusion should provide a simple refresher for your readers. Remind them of the topic and also state its importance. Here, you are answering the questions “what is the topic?” and “why is it important?”. This part should be very brief. Keep in mind that the importance of your research topic is already apparent since your readers have already read the body of your research paper by the time they reach this part. So, there is no need to write all the reasons why your thesis is important in the conclusion.
- Rephrase the thesis statement
Remember, when you were writing the introductory paragraph, you stated the thesis statement? Well, in the conclusion paragraph, you do the same thing but rephrase or reword it. This time, instead of introducing your thesis statement to your readers, you remind them of what it is. That way, it is fresh in their mind as they go through your conclusion and finish reading your research paper. Also, as stated above, this is the time where you provide a larger view of your thesis statement. Show your readers that your study is part of something bigger.
- Show your evidence
This is the time to put in the summary of everything that you’ve gathered in your study. This part will prove your thesis. Show your readers all your evidence but make sure to write it in a brief and concise way. There is no need to place in all the supporting details. Keep in mind, though, do not write new information. Everything that you write in this part should already be seen in the body of your research paper, where your readers could see all the details of your evidence.
- Summarize your main points
Research papers tend to be long. The conclusion is for you to provide the gist of your paper in a short paragraph. A tip for this part is just to provide one to two sentences for the major points in your study. Just like in the first part, this should also be brief since your readers have already read your whole research paper. There’s no need to get into details of your main points. The details should already be in the body of the research paper. This will just provide a summary of your study. Remember that the conclusion is there not to repeat but to remind.
- Call for action
When nearing the end of your conclusion, write something that will leave an impact on your readers. A way to leave an impact is to state a course of action. Give your recommendations on how to solve your stated research problem. A good course of action is to call for future research to improve your study and to provide more evidence. Do not close your mind that there is no more evidence that could be seen if further studies were conducted. Instead, encourage your readers to conduct more studies to dig up more evidence.
- Answer the “so what” question
In the last part of the conclusion, write a conclusive statement that will show that the thesis has been proved. Leave your readers a message that they will take home as they read the last part. Ensure that this part will give them a strong statement that will make them remember your study. Show them what happens now after that they have read the thesis. You can write a warning on what could happen if the problem stated in your study is not given action. On the other hand, you can also provide your prediction if action is provided to the problem. Another good way to give your readers a parting message is to show how relatable your study is to something universal. This will ensure that your study will stick with them as they finish reading it.
- Proofread, revise and proofread
This is a very important step that most of us tend to forget. The conclusion is one of the most important parts of your research paper. With it being the last part of the paper, this is the part where most of the readers remember. So make sure that your conclusion is clear and has no mistakes. Set your paper aside for a while after you’ve finished. Then, read again. If there’s something that doesn’t make sense to you, chances are it won’t make sense to your readers. So revise it and make your ideas clearer. After your revisions, make sure to proofread again until you’re satisfied with your conclusion.
Remember that your conclusion must be a synthesis of all your key points. It’s not just a summary or a restatement of everything that is written in your research paper. This is the time where everything from the start to the end of your paper comes together. Think of it as this way, when your readers are reading your conclusion, they must be able to get the whole gist of your entire research study and understand why it is important.