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Writing conclusions to academic papers

May 31, 2018

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Writing a Research Paper


This handout provides detailed information about how to write research papers including discussing research papers as a genre, choosing topics, and finding sources.

Contributors: Jack Raymond Baker, Allen Brizee, Ashley Velázquez
Last Edited: 2018-02-14 03:36:12

The Research Paper

There will come a time in most students' careers when they are assigned a research paper. Such an assignment often creates a great deal of unneeded anxiety in the student, which may result in procrastination and a feeling of confusion and inadequacy. This anxiety frequently stems from the fact that many students are unfamiliar and inexperienced with this genre of writing. Never fear—inexperience and unfamiliarity are situations you can change through practice! Writing a research paper is an essential aspect of academics and should not be avoided on account of one's anxiety. In fact, the process of writing a research paper can be one of the more rewarding experiences one may encounter in academics. What is more, many students will continue to do research throughout their careers, which is one of the reasons this topic is so important.

Becoming an experienced researcher and writer in any field or discipline takes a great deal of practice. There are few individuals for whom this process comes naturally. Remember, even the most seasoned academic veterans have had to learn how to write a research paper at some point in their career. Therefore, with diligence, organization, practice, a willingness to learn (and to make mistakes!), and, perhaps most important of all, patience, students will find that they can achieve great things through their research and writing.

This handout will include the following sections related to the process of writing a research paper:

EssayconclusionSometimes writers do not pay proper attention to the concluding part of their work, considering it to be rather a formality than a necessity. In reality, a proper conclusion is as important as a thoroughly-composed introduction, as it must synthesize your central points and leave readers hungry for more knowledge that pertains to your main topic. The main purpose of a conclusion is to show the major points, theories, and data you covered in the main body section of your paper. Hence, you should pay close attention to how you write a conclusion.

Steps for Writing

– Read through your paper carefully; pay attention to the thesis statement and the main points you covered in the main body.

– Restate and rewrite the main points and the thesis statement without changing their meaning. This is needed so that the conclusion does not look like a repetition of the main body sentences.

– Think of the ways the information in the conclusion is important for readers and formulate it in 1-2 brief sentences.

– Write the concluding paragraph; remember that it should be short and clear. The last sentence of the concluding sentence is as significant as the thesis statement in the introduction.
– Make sure the conclusion covers your thesis statement, the main points, shows the importance of the material in the paper, and has a finishing touch. Proofread and edit it, if necessary.

Key Points to Consider

– Generally speaking, a good conclusion should answer the question “So what?” The conclusion must show how (or why) all the analysis and all the data in your paper is relevant to the daily lives of your readers. Basically, the conclusion is a reversed introduction: it transits readers back to the reality out of your paper.

– In a classical 5-paragraph essay, a conclusion is usually one paragraph long; however, in long essays and other papers (about 2500 words and more) it is often reasonable to write at least two concluding paragraphs in order to summarize everything properly.

– There are several popular ways to finish the ending paragraph. You can insert a call to action to give your readers a prompt for what to do next with the information from your paper; you can appeal to them personally by asking rhetorical questions or their opinion on the topic; or you can think of your own way to make the ending even more provocative. The choice is up to you.

– The conclusion is your final say in the subject, so it should leave a feeling of closure.

Do and Don’t

Do Don’t

Common Mistakes

– Restating your thesis statement without any changes.

– Being too vague and forgetting to summarize your main ideas.

– Repeating the points from the main body without synthesizing them.

– Using cliche transition words and phrases.

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This resource outlines the generally accepted structure for introductions, body paragraphs, and conclusions in an academic argument paper. Keep in mind that this resource contains guidelines and not strict rules about organization. Your structure needs to be flexible enough to meet the requirements of your purpose and audience.

Contributors: Allen Brizee
Last Edited: 2013-03-01 08:01:53

Conclusions wrap up what you have been discussing in your paper. After moving from general to specific information in the introduction and body paragraphs, your conclusion should begin pulling back into more general information that restates the main points of your argument. Conclusions may also call for action or overview future possible research. The following outline may help you conclude your paper:

In a general way,

Remember that once you accomplish these tasks, unless otherwise directed by your instructor, you are finished. Done. Complete. Don't try to bring in new points or end with a whiz bang(!) conclusion or try to solve world hunger in the final sentence of your conclusion. Simplicity is best for a clear, convincing message.

The preacher's maxim is one of the most effective formulas to follow for argument papers:

  1. Tell what you're going to tell them (introduction).

  2. Tell them (body).

  3. Tell them what you told them (conclusion).

Leadership is unlocking people's potential to become better. Bill Bradley Tough times never last, but tough people do. Robert H. Schuller I know of no single formula for success. But over the years I have observed that some attributes of leadership are universal and are often about finding ways of encouraging people to combine their efforts, their talents, their insights, their enthusiasm and their inspiration to work together. Queen Elizabeth II The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of those depths. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected. - Steve Jobs I love a man with a great sense of humor and who is intelligent - a man who has a great smile. He has to make me laugh. I like a man who is very ambitious and driven and who has a good heart and makes me feel safe. I like a man who is very strong and independent and confident - that is very sexy - but at the same time, he's very kind to people. Nicole Scherzinger

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