When writing a college term paper conclusion, it’s important to keep in mind three main points. The conclusion should 1) stress the importance of the thesis statement, 2) give the essay a sense of completeness, and 3) leave a final impression on the reader. Remember that your conclusion is like your introduction in that you restate your thesis and summarize your main points for the reader, but you don’t simply want to repeat what you’ve already stated.
A poorly written conclusion can leave your reader confused or wanting more. It’s important to find a concise way to summarize your paper without simply repeating. Here are six tips to help you bring your paper to a strong conclusion.
1. Bring closure to the entire paper.
Take the thesis statement from your introduction and demonstrate how your paper has addressed the problem. You can bring the reader back full circle to the primary theme that you introduced at the beginning of the paper by repeating key words and ideas. Then, make sure you include the significant supporting points you made in your paper to address the theme.
2. Demonstrate why your paper was meaningful or useful.
How does your paper answer the question, “So what?”Your conclusion should state how your college term paper helped the reader to learn something new. Additionally, you can address how it either brought closure to the primary theme or you could point out the remaining gaps in the supporting research data. Make sure you cite all of your references follow the proper formatting guidelines assigned to you by your professor.
Don’t just summarize the points you have already made by simply repeating the same points that were in your paper. Instead, you can conclude by addressing how the examples you used were not random, but that they fit together in a clear and rational fashion.
4. Re-direct your reader’s attention.
By writing a different approach to your conclusion than what you used to introduce your paper, you can create a greater impact for your readers and make them think more about your thesis. For instance, take a look at your introduction. If it went from specific to general, then make your conclusion go from general to specific.
5. Don’t introduce new information.
The reader may distrust your whole argument if your college term paper concludes with surprises. At this point, you should be pointing out the significance of the paper and bringing the paper to a clear and concise end. The reader will be confused or annoyed if they find even more new information in the conclusion. You should only make statements that can be fully supported by the evidence you have provided. Once again, make sure you follow the proper formatting guidelines for citing references.
6. Exercise integrity in your conclusion.
Remember that in the case of a thesis or dissertation, your readers may review your conclusion before going onto the body of the paper. Make sure that the elements in the conclusion are not exaggerated in an effort to strengthen your paper. Don’t lead the reader to be motivated by your conclusion only to be disappointed in the body.
One last critical bit of advice that applies to your whole college term paper and not just your conclusion is that you should never submit a paper that you have written only once. Editing your paper is critical and often takes multiple revisions. Additionally, as previously stated, follow the proper formatting guidelines when you cite other authors so your readers can verify your claims. The integrity and credibility of your paper depends on it.
David Plaut is the founder of Reference Point Software (RPS). RPS offers a complete suite of easy-to-use formatting template products featuring MLA and APA style templates, freeing up time to focus on substance while ensuring formatting accuracy. For more information, log onto http://www.referencepointsoftware.com/ or write to:
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Reference Point Software is not associated with, endorsed by, or affiliated with the American Psychological Association (APA) or with the Modern Language Association (MLA).