Writing a Conclusion

You must have a concluding paragraph at the end of your research paper. Without a conclusion, your paper will be unfinished and will not fully resolve the thesis. The conclusion is almost always more than just a sentence. Generally it will take a full paragraph to wrap up the research you have presented. Refer back to your introductory paragraph, and finish what you began there.

If you asked a question in your introduction, answer it in your conclusion. You may even want to restate the question. That is an effective way to direct the reader's attention back to the purpose of the research paper. Make sure that you answer the question in full. Leave no portion of the answer unexplained.

Your conclusion needs to do just that: conclude. It needs to sum up what the introduction started. It should never be simply a restatement of your thesis, but instead should show how you have proven the thesis statement. The concluding paragraph can be a summary of what was in the paper, and it can also ask a question, make a comparison, or suggest some action.

One effective way to end a research paper is to make a prediction that is central to the topic. This prediction should follow logically from the information that you presented within the paper.

For instance, suppose the topic of your paper were the start of a health-care crisis in your town because of a growing population of senior citizens. After presenting all your research, you might conclude with a statement such as “Local doctors will be available only to the seriously ill within the next five years unless enough new doctors can be convinced to move here.”

Make sure that any prediction you make is based on your research and backed up by the facts you presented in your paper.

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