It is easy to ignore the last paragraph of your research paper. After all, you are exhausted having written pages upon pages on the subject. However, the attention you give to this last paragraph will tilt the scale to your advantage or otherwise. Being the last paragraph, it naturally determines the impression a reader has about your work. Compared to a meal, it determines the taste that remains in the mouth. It is this paragraph that will inform the final decision. It thus requires all the attention possible to boost your chances of success. How should the conclusion paragraph appear?
Use the conclusion to help the reader recall what your argument has been all along. Provide a summary in prose form that is informed by elucidated ideas. Be precise and do not repeat what has already been said. Create relationships in the summary and tied down all your arguments into a single sentence or paragraph.
Since the conclusion of your research paper leaves the lasting impression, use words and images to ignite imagination. The imagination should help the reader to understand your argument better. Make the imagery short and relevant such that it adds value to the entire discussion.
Having explained your stand and provided facts to support your position, it is time to direct the reader into action. After all, you have justified argument in the body. Direct the reader using words that make it appear like the decision to take the action emanated from the reader. Be very crafty such that the action does not appear forceful.
There are positive and negative consequences of taking and failing to take each decision. The facts provided point at actions or a direction that should be taken. Make it clear that there are consequences if the proposed move is not taken. Based on the information given in the body, show the consequences of failing to take that decision.
There are mistakes that characterize poorly written conclusions. They include a rephrased thesis statement that does not add any value to the paper. Never apologize for your views. If they are not factual, they should not make it to the paper. Focus on the main points instead of dwelling on the minor ones. Do not introduce any new materials in the conclusion paragraph if it was not handled in the body.