Writing ideas: how to write a conclusion for a research paper

Conclusions are often viewed by students as nothing more than an afterthought. But this is not true. Conclusions are a necessary and vital component of the paper, as much as any other part. Just because it is the final piece of the paper does not mean it should not still read well and remain highly academic. The conclusion should leave the reader reflecting on all of the good points you made in your paper. If you don’t pay enough attention to your conclusion and end up writing something that is bad or thoughtless, it will take away from your essay, no matter how well written it might have been.

Good conclusions will bring a good end to the paper and wrap up all of the important information that you presented in your paper. A good conclusion should restate the thesis, and should restate the key points you made in your paper. The conclusion is your final opportunity to show the reader why the topic of your paper is important and why they need to consider it. It is your final opportunity to leave your readers with an interesting thought.

Your conclusion does not have to be long, but it does need to cover a few things. Use the checklist below to verify that your concluding paragraph is suitable and does what it needs to do for your essay:

The perfect conclusion is not too long, nor is it too short. It should be just long enough that it brings your paper to a great end, but short enough that it retains the interest of the reader and does not drag on. It is best to ensure your concluding paragraph matches the rest of your paper. I.e. if you have a long paper, have a long conclusion, but if you have a short paper then you need only a short conclusion. Overall, it should amount to roughly 10% of your total paper length.

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