A weak ending to the paper will also weaken the ability of the paper to convey its central thesis, and diminish the quality of the argument that the writer is attempting to make. Some writers will make the mistake of avoiding a conclusion altogether. The arguments the writer wishes to make, or facts and information they wish to convey, will be stated throughout the body of the paper.
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However, the writer will fail to include a proper conclusion at the end. Providing a conclusion that lacks the appropriate length. At times writers will attempt to conclude a paper with only a few sentences, or even a single sentence. Often endings of this kind will merely attempt to restate the thesis of the paper in a crude or simplistic manner.
An ending of this kind conveys a sense of laziness on the part of the writer. A good conclusion to a paper should be at least one solid paragraph long at the bare minimum. Ending the paper with a conclusion that lacks focus, or is filled with extraneous or inappropriate material. The conclusion to a paper should strive for precision. Material of this type should be included in the body of the paper, and not in the conclusion.
Writing a Conclusion- CRLS Research Guide
A helpful analogy might be for the writer to think of the conclusion to a paper as the equivalent of a coda to a piece of music. Composers and songwriters will include a coda following the climax of a musical piece. The climax normally occurs towards the end of the composition. However, the coda is included afterward in a way that allows the listener to revisit the main body of the composition or song, and provide the listener with a sense of perspective, balance, and summation.
Expert Advice on How To Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper
The conclusion to a written work serves a similar purpose. The writer should begin their paper with an appropriate introduction of their topic, followed a general statement of their thesis. The writer will then develop their thesis through the body of the paper by stating the facts and arguments the writer wishes to present. Yet another difficulty some writers encounter when drafting a conclusion to their paper is to simply make writing the conclusion more complicated than it needs to be. It should go without saying that the conclusion should be one of the last, if not the very last, part of the paper that is written, with the possible exception of prefaces, forewords, and appendices.
The conclusion merely summarizes the ideas, information, and arguments that have already been presented. The writer is not conducting research or formulating a thesis in the conclusion. Rather, the writer is simply restating the findings of research that has already been done. At this point, the topic does not need to be explained in excessive detail.
The reader is already familiar with the topic.
How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper Like A Pro
This aspect of the conclusion should essentially a repeat of the thesis statement that was included in the original introduction, most likely at the end of the opening paragraph. What is the primary idea the writer is attempting to convey to the reader? This idea should be clearly stated in the conclusion. The conclusion to a research paper should revisit the core arguments offered by opposing points of view with a brief explanation of why the writer considers these arguments to be mistaken. Once again, it is important to focused and concise.
The writer is not rewriting their paper in the conclusion, but only summarizing its main parts. A good rule of thumb for scholars is to remember that there is rarely any such thing as a settled argument when it comes to intellectual debates.
The writer might include a reference to additional questions they encountered while writing the paper or conducting the research. There might also be mention of aspects of the research and related questions that the writer feels the paper did not address effectively.
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This is one of many, many issues that are controversial among historians and political scientists. The United States finally withdrew all of its troops from Vietnam in This was an important event for the antiwar movement and for the American people. The withdrawal occurred amidst the growing Watergate scandal, and served as one more indication of the failure of the Nixon presidency.
The end of American involvement in Vietnam represented the culmination of the dedication given to their cause by the great many antiwar activists who participated in the movement. It further represented a definitive moment in the generational conflict between young American and their elders that emerged during the s as American participation in the war escalated.
This victory and the conflict from which it emerged would continue to shape American society and politics in the ensuing decades as conservative forces regrouped, and went on the offensive, resulting in the Reagan Revolution of the s. Notice that the above paragraph simply states an opinion. It is not clear from this paragraph what the topic of the paper or its central thesis actually is. Nor is it clear how a thesis is supported by research and argument in the body of the paper. The paragraph conveys the impression that the debate concerning the issues involved is settled, and that there are no further ideas or questions that need to be addressed.
Lastly, the paragraph ends very abruptly and leaves the reader with the feeling that the paper is incomplete. For four decades, historians and political scientists have debated the degree to which the anti-Vietnam War movement was the catalyst that ultimately brought about the withdrawal of the United States from Vietnam in The highly visible and vocal antiwar movement of the period reflected this growing popular antiwar sentiment. It has been argued that the militancy of many within the antiwar movement had an alienating effect on the wider body of the American public that actually diminished antiwar sentiment, and postponed the end of American involvement.
However, research indicates the intensification of antiwar feelings among Americans actually expanded during precisely the time that the antiwar movement was taking a more militant turn. Yet a legacy of this era was an escalation of cultural conflict that generated a conservative backlash during later decades.
University of North Carolina; Conclusions. Purdue University. A well-written conclusion provides you with important opportunities to demonstrate to the reader your understanding of the research problem. These include:. Bunton, David. University of North Carolina; Kretchmer, Paul.
Twelve Steps to Writing an Effective Conclusion. San Francisco Edit, ; Conclusions. General Rules. The function of your paper's conclusion is to restate the main argument. It reminds the reader of the strengths of your main argument s and reiterates the most important evidence supporting those argument s. Do this by stating clearly the context, background, and necessity of pursuing the research problem you investigated in relation to an issue, controversy, or a gap found in the literature. Make sure, however, that your conclusion is not simply a repetitive summary of the findings.
Support Questions to be Answered
This reduces the impact of the argument s you have developed in your essay. When writing the conclusion to your paper, follow these general rules:. Consider the following points to help ensure your conclusion is presented well:. The conclusion also provides a place for you to persuasively and succinctly restate your research problem, given that the reader has now been presented with all the information about the topic.
Depending on the discipline you are writing in, the concluding paragraph may contain your reflections on the evidence presented, or on the essay's central research problem. However, the nature of being introspective about the research you have done will depend on the topic and whether your professor wants you to express your observations in this way.
NOTE : If asked to think introspectively about the topics, do not delve into idle speculation. Being introspective means looking within yourself as an author to try and understand an issue more deeply, not to guess at possible outcomes or make up scenarios not supported by evidence. Developing a Compelling Conclusion. Although an effective conclusion needs to be clear and succinct, it does not need to be written passively or lack a compelling narrative.
Strategies to help you move beyond merely summarizing the key points of your research paper may include any of the following strategies:. Problems to Avoid. Failure to be concise Your conclusion section should be concise and to the point. Conclusions that are too lengthy often have unnecessary information in them. The conclusion is not the place for details about your methodology or results.
Although you should give a summary of what was learned from your research, this summary should be relatively brief, since the emphasis in the conclusion is on the implications, evaluations, insights, and other forms of analysis that you make. Strategies for writing concisely can be found here. Failure to comment on larger, more significant issues In the introduction, your task was to move from the general [the field of study] to the specific [the research problem].
However, in the conclusion, your task is to move from a specific discussion [your research problem] back to a general discussion [i. In short, the conclusion is where you should place your research within a larger context [visualize your paper as an hourglass--start with a broad introduction and review of the literature, move to the specific analysis and discussion, conclude with a broad summary of the study's implications and significance]. Failure to reveal problems and negative results Negative aspects of the research process should never be ignored.
Problems, drawbacks, and challenges encountered during your study should be summarized as a way of qualifying your overall conclusions. If you encountered negative or unintended results [i. Failure to provide a clear summary of what was learned In order to be able to discuss how your research fits back into your field of study [and possibly the world at large], you need to summarize briefly and succinctly how it contributes to new knowledge or a new understanding about the research problem. This element of your conclusion may be only a few sentences long.