A research paper conclusion is one of the most important parts of writing a complete paper. The conclusion is the last chance the author possesses to convince the reader of his or her argument. Depending on the type of paper required, the conclusion may need to fit somewhat different requirements.
Writing a research paper conclusion should be relatively simple, provided that the beginning and middle of the paper are in order. Generally, at the beginning of a research paper, the author makes a thesis statement that defines an idea, topic, or premise that the paper will be primarily about. The middle portion of most research papers has to do with the research undertaken in pursuit of proving or understanding the thesis. The conclusion is often about how the thesis was proved, disproved, or altered due to the findings of the research. It may help to remind the reader of the thesis and define how it was adjusted thanks to the research.
It is important that the conclusion of a research paper not simply be a restatement of the thesis. For serious research papers, if the thesis is so obvious that no research or evidence refutes it in any way, it is generally not an acceptable topic. Most research papers seek to make a student step beyond the existing bounds of solid knowledge and further scholastic discussion on a topic. It is not usually a bad thing if research findings conflict with the initial thesis; the place to discuss adjustments to the original stated idea is in the research paper conclusion.
Some standards suggest that the research paper conclusion include reflections about the research process and how it could have been better or more efficient. This is a good place to summarize what was learned along the way and shows that the student is taking an interest in their own improvement, rather than simply being concerned with the topic of the paper. Check to make sure this portion of the conclusion is required, however, as it is not always a necessity.
Remember that a research paper doesn't simply end, it must conclude. Try to use elegant and clear wording when writing a research paper conclusion, making sure to remind the reader of the thesis, the salient points of the research, and the final answers reached by the writer. Much like a handshake and a polite “thank you,” a good research paper conclusion can make a final and lasting impression on the reader that may translate directly into a better grade.