What is a good structure for a conclusion?

The conclusion is closely related to the introduction: it is often described as a ‘mirror-image’ of the introduction. That is, where the introduction begins with general information and ends with specific information, the conclusion moves in the opposite direction.

  • It often begins by summarising (briefly) the main structure or scope of the paper. (This is not necessary if the paper follows a very predictable structure, such as the Methods, Results, Discussion structure of a scientific report.)
  • The conclusion then confirms the topic which was given in the introduction. Depending on what type of paper you are writing, this may take the form of the aims of the paper, a thesis statement (point of view) or a research question/hypothesis and its answer/outcome.
  • The conclusion usually ends with a more general statement about how this topic relates to its context. This may take the form of an evaluation of the importance of the topic, implications for future research or a recommendation about theory or practice.

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