How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper

A good and desirable academic paper usually has a clear structure with different sections explaining different concepts. The sections include the introduction, the main body divided into paragraphs, and a research paper conclusion.

Writing the best and most desirable conclusion of a research paper can be a bit challenging, especially when writing such papers for the first time. The reader has been reading your paper right from the intro, and they are interested in how you will sum up your ideas to make an impactful ending.

Keep reading as we describe how to conclude a research paper and make the reader feel satisfied after reading through the essay, and score great marks for yourself.

Types of conclusions

Since we have different types of academic papers that require different approaches to meet the guidelines, that is the same way we have different conclusions as described below:

  • A projective conclusion

This type of conclusion is the best fit when writing an expository essay because it aims at projecting future outcomes on a given topic.

When applying a projective conclusion to your paper, you need to highlight positive or negative aspects of the concept or topic and address the matter. Make sure you include recommendations and examples in this type of conclusion. Finalize by explaining why there is a need for more research or provide any viable solution to the problem.

  • A reflective conclusion

This conclusion best suits a persuasive essay. As a writer, you simply need to reflect on the ideas you have described in the essay by giving more insights, lessons, and themes from the topic. Make sure you base your ideas on convincing or persuading the readers to believe in the arguments you have presented in the paper.

  • A retrospective conclusion

Apply this type of conclusion when writing an essay that revolves around a historical movement or a sequence of events. Make sure you include past events and relate them with new insights. The purpose of this type of conclusion is to give detailed information on past events.

Characteristics of conclusion

We have described different ways how to end research paper. While a conclusion is a general term for the three types of conclusions above, let’s now highlight the common characteristics of such conclusions below:

  • A conclusion should start with a topic sentence
  • The conclusion should reinforce the ideas described in the introduction
  • A good conclusion should sum up the concepts explained in the main body
  • The conclusion should captivate the emotions of the reader
  • A compelling conclusion should have closing remarks or a closing sentence

How to write a research paper conclusion

Once you have written your paper and it is about time you need to conclude, use the following practical approaches that will see you bring out a desirable conclusion.

  1. Restate your topic

The best way how to start a conclusion in a research paper is by restating your topic in a few sentences to get a dimension to explain the relevance of your topic in the next few sentences. Make sure you keep only relevant information when restating your topic.

  1. Re-write your thesis statement

Next, review and rephrase the thesis statement you included in the introduction as a way of reinforcing your ideologies without changing the meaning. Also, keep it simple and clear.

  1. Sum up your main points

Now, review the paragraphs and analyze each idea you have presented in the paper and make a simplified summary of each point. Avoid adding new information. Focus only on the points you have presented in the essay.

  1. Explain the significance of the points

Once you sum up your main points, explain their relevance in relation to the topic.

  1. Write closing remarks

Finally, think of a perfect sentence to finalize your conclusion. It can be a call to action or recommendations.

Pro tips for writing a compelling conclusion

1. Create a conclusion outline for research paper

The outline will help you describe the ideas in the conclusion section in a logical and easy-to-understand manner.

2. Review a research paper conclusion example

The best way to understand and relate a good research paper conclusion is by reviewing another example as a point of reference.


Have you been having a hard time writing the best conclusions for research papers? Consider the ideas shared in this write-up for the best conclusions.