Writing an academic or professional article requires that well-defined sections be written and conform to certain formal and content aspects.
In most articles there is an introduction, followed by the method part, results, discussions and finally conclusions, one of the sections in which students have the most problems.
These articles conform to the maxim of “last but not least”. It’s in the conclusion that it’s all about putting the icing on the cake, getting the job done in a way that involves some kind of response from the reader. This is why in this article we will discuss it more clearly how to draw a good conclusion, Emphasizing what the last section of most academic papers is, and explaining what there should be.
What is a conclusion?
Before going into more detail on the steps to follow to draw a conclusion, you should know exactly what it is. If we go back to the etymological origin of the word, conclusion comes from the Latin “conclusions” and means “closure, end”. It is therefore about the last part of an essay, article, presentation or dissertation.
What is expected in a good conclusion is that the premises and the development of what has been exposed in the previous sections lead to clarify an idea that has been dealt with throughout the work. What is concluded in this section should relate to what was explained and sought during the study or presentation.
Usually in the conclusions of scientific articles the conclusions that were found during the research are underlined, And it is indicated what new avenues could be focused on for future studies.
It should be noted that in a conclusion, although what the researchers believe to indicate the obtained data is defended, these are not sections in which their opinion is expressed. Neither should they transform broad literal summaries of all works..
How to make a good conclusion?
Just as starting to write the introduction is something that can be overwhelming for many, the conclusions are just as difficult.
For this reason, when writing them, a number of aspects must be taken into account, in addition to following an order in their development. So it will be realized that the information in this section is presented as clearly as possible, but concise, In addition to reflecting and inviting new points of view.
So let’s see some tips that can help us draw an appropriate conclusion to all the efforts we put into the development of the work.
1. Review what has been done
In a good conclusion, the main ideas of the book are summarized, since this is its last part. The information in this section should definitely dispel any doubts. that the reader posed while reading the document.
We will have to reread all the work, selecting what we consider essential to be present in the last part of it. It is strongly recommended that you have a sheet of paper on hand and write down any ideas, results and findings that we deem relevant.
2. Write down the key elements
Once we have reread all the work, we need to note the key points that are present in it. In conclusion it must be clear what was the reason for the work started, for what purpose the problem was addressed exposed in it, in addition to remembering the methodology used.
In addition, it needs to be clarified what was new that offered what we did, what problem we face in real life that we wanted to solve, as well as what could be done in the future.
In essence, there are two key points to look out for in every conclusion: the goal and the problem.
It is a point that it must necessarily be at the beginning of the conclusion, Since it will remind the reader what it was about.
The goal must be clearly stated. The purpose of this point is to allay the reader’s doubts, in case they still have any, as to why the author of the work initiated the research set out in the document.
You have to expose what was the problem to be solved or the question asked by the author before starting the research.
The hypotheses raised at the start of the work must be explained and linked to the data obtained. These data should not be presented as numeric figures, as they have already been presented in the results section.
It should be clear how what was found in the research helped expand scientific knowledge, either by confirming or refuting our hypotheses.
3. New possibilities
Science moves forward and never stops, that’s why a study will never end the topic in which it delved into. On the contrary, new possibilities must be considered for the future.
In all research, even if a theory has been proven or a problem initially posed has been solved, something will always happen that will invite you to formulate new unknowns. This will give rise to new research, new ideas to be studied in further studies.
The conclusion is the ideal section so that we can point out some ideas that have come to us while researching the topic that we have laid out.
as well the reader may be asked to document it himself in the subject we told him about. If it happens that two related investigations have been carried out and one of them has not yet been completed, in the conclusions section it is possible to suggest to the reader to wait for the study to be published in the future. .
4. Avoid redundant information
This is one of the tips on how to draw a more useful conclusion so as not to be too long. All relevant information presented in detail should already be explained in the introductory section, while the conclusion includes only the main ideas presented in a concise manner, In addition to what has been exposed in other sections.
When you have finished writing the conclusion, if you notice that there are any ideas that make you feel like they are repeating themselves, shorten them or, directly, delete them.
In this section an in-depth reflection on the work should be done, not a detailed summary of it, Why is it useful to summarize this same work in the same book?
5. Do not display new information
As in the previous point, we indicated that it should not be redundant, nor should we extract information that has not been explained previously. In other words, in the last part of our work, we do not have to introduce relevant information on the subject studied which has not been addressed in our work.
The most repeated advice by many university professors to their students who are doing a thesis is that everything explained in the conclusion must be justified in the introduction.
Let’s give an example in which this idea is clearer: if we talked about the differences between social psychology and clinical psychology, it would not make sense to talk in the conclusions section about how they differ in terms of medicine. legal. Talking about other topics at the end of our work can confuse the reader. Essentially, it should be followed in the same direction throughout the work.
6. Don’t over-spread
According to the criteria stipulated during the preparation of a specific work, such as end of studies projects, doctoral theses or presentations in power point format, it is strongly contraindicated add too much information.
As already mentioned, it is in the introductory part that all the relevant information is explained on the work more in depth, while in the conclusions should be more concise.
7. Be honest
When collecting data, they may not confirm our hypotheses or even indicate the complete opposite of what we wanted to prove. It has to be that clearly spelled out, reflecting on why we initially thought the data would behave differently.
8. Avoid contradictions and watch your spelling.
This is a point that is obvious, but it is never too late to remember. We have to be careful how we present ideas, because sometimes they can be formulated in such a way that it seems that in one paragraph we are saying one thing and in the next we come to say the opposite.
A proofreading of the book is also necessary to ensure that there are no spelling or grammar errors. Interesting work can become tedious if the person who wrote it hasn’t tried to present the text clearly and without clerical errors.
- Culler, J. (1997) Literature Theory: A Very Brief Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Dawson, C. (2007). Prescriptions and proscriptions. The three Ps of scientific writing: past, passive and personal. Science education: Journal of the Australian Association of Science Teachers. 53 (2): 36 to 38.