Do Conclusions Need Citations? Pro Tips

The question is, “should you include citations in your paper conclusion?” It is in the conclusion that you find how to assist the reader in understanding why your study should be of interest to them after they have completed reading the article.

This section of your paper does not just contain a review of the primary subjects addressed or a re-statement of your research problem; rather, it is a summary of significant points in which you propose new areas of investigation for future study, if relevant.

For the majority of college-level research papers, one or two well-developed paragraphs suffice as a conclusion, however three or more paragraphs may be necessary in some instances.

Do Conclusions Need Citations?

Conclusions do not need citations because in the final section of an essay, you are presenting your own findings, interpretations, and explanations. Your conclusions are based on the findings of your own study that you have given in the paper. As a result, citations are no longer required.

It is typically recommended that you should not include references in the Conclusions section. References should have been made earlier in the manuscript, but they were missed.

In conclusion section, you are not providing new knowledge, and you are not permitted to utilize a citation unless you provide something new from a source.

When writing your conclusion, it’s a good idea to begin with transitional words (e.g. “In conclusion,” “In conclusion,” “Finally,” and so on) to assist you acquire the feeling of closing up what you’ve stated.

Because the conclusion is not the appropriate place to offer fresh information (which should be done in the body of your essay), references are rarely used in conclusion paragraphs unless you use a ‘punchy’ quote from someone famous as a closing remark.

Find Out: How Many Words Are Essays in College?

How Long Should Conclusion Be In An Essay?

Conclusion paragraphs should be 5% of your total length of your essay. A 1000-word essay would have a conclusion of 50 words long.  Restate your thesis from your introduction (without repeating it too exactly), provide a succinct overview of your evidence, and conclude with some type of conclusion about the subject matter in clearly-written words. To get you started, you may use this basic pattern (recipe) for creating introduction paragraphs to guide you through the process.

How to Write a Good Conclusion 

When writing the conclusion, there are a few basic rules to observe.

The purpose of the conclusion in any paper is to repeat the primary point of your work. It brings the reader’s attention back to the merits of your primary argument(s) while also reiterating the most significant evidence supporting those arguments (s). This may be accomplished by clearly expressing the context, background, and need of pursuing the research problem you studied in connection to an issue, dispute, or a gap in the literature that you discovered.

Make certain, however, that your conclusion does not consist only of a repetition of the results. In turn, the argument(s) you have built in your essay will have less effect as a result of this.

When writing the conclusion of your paper, keep in mind the following fundamental guidelines:

  • Communicate your conclusions in plain and straightforward phrases. Describe how your findings vary from or support those of previous studies, and why [for example, what were the distinctive or novel contributions your study made to the broader research on your topic?].
  • Do not just restate your results or the discussion items; instead, provide context. Show how the arguments given in your article come together to solve the research topic and achieve the overarching objectives of your study by providing a synthesis of the arguments presented in your paper.
  • If you haven’t already done so in the discussion part of your work, identify potential areas of future research. The fact that you have identified the necessity for more research gives the reader with proof that you have a thorough understanding of the research problem.

Take into consideration the following elements to guarantee that your conclusion is conveyed effectively:

  1. If your paper’s argument or goal is complex, you may need to provide a summary of the reasoning for your reader.
  2. If you have not yet expressed the importance of your findings, or if you are working inductively, use the conclusion of your article to summarize your major points and explain their significance.

Transition from a detailed to a broad level of study, reintroducing the issue to its original context or repositioning it inside a new context that has emerged as a result of the information collected.

A final section of your paper allows you to restate your research problem in a convincing and brief manner, which is particularly important considering that the reader has now been supplied with all of the relevant information regarding the subject.

Depending on the field in which you are writing, the closing paragraph may contain your views on the data that has been provided, or it may contain your thoughts on the fundamental research topic that has been addressed throughout the essay.

However, the nature of being introspective about the research you have done will vary depending on the topic and whether or not your professor wants you to convey your views in this manner during your presentation of your findings.

To summarize, students should now understand how to use the three major phases in the process of analyzing a topic (restatement main idea). If you correctly identify the instruction words, the topic words, and the restriction words, you will have a framework to work from while creating your essay plan (summary of key points). Detailed analysis of your essay will increase your chances of answering the specified question successfully and earning higher grades, allowing you to earn higher grades (statement of benefit).

Mistakes to Avoid When Writing Your Conclusion

1. Not communicating succinctly

When writing the conclusion section, you should be succinct and straight to the point. Conclusions that are overly long frequently contain material that isn’t important to readers.

The conclusion is not the place to go into specifics about your technique or findings, unless you want to.

However, while you should include a summary of what you discovered from your research, this summary must remain concise since the emphasis in your conclusion should be on the implications, assessments, insights, and other kinds of analysis that are presented. You may learn how to write concisely by reading this article.

2. Failure to express an opinion on larger, more important problems

Your objective in the introduction was to transition from the broad [the topic of study] to the particular [the research problem] by using transitional phrases.

You must however, transition from a particular discussion [your research topic] to a more broad discussion [how the study adds new knowledge or fills an essential gap in the literature] near the conclusion of your paper.

For the most part, the conclusion should be the place to pose your research in relation to the larger context.

3. Failure to interpret information that show negative results

Positive parts of the study process should always be considered, even when they are difficult to see. As a means of qualifying your general results, a summary of the problems, disadvantages, and obstacles that you found during your research should be included.

Negative or unexpected outcomes [that is, discoveries that are verified outside of the study environment in which they were obtained] must be reported in the results part of your article, and their implications discussed in the discussion section of your paper if they were discovered.

Using your description of the negative results as a chance to discuss their probable relevance and/or how they may serve as the basis for future study, come to a conclusion.

4. The inability to offer a concise explanation of what was discovered

For you to discuss how your paper contributes to new understanding about the research problem (positive), you must summarize briefly and succinctly how it contributes to new knowledge or a new understanding about the research problem in question. This section of your conclusion may just consist of a few phrases in length.

5. Failing to match the conclusion with goals of the paper

In the social sciences, it is common for study objectives to shift throughout the course of the research project. However, unless you neglect to go back and modify the initial objectives in your introduction, this will not be a problem.

In order to correctly reflect what you were aiming to achieve in your study [rather than what you believed you may be able to accomplish before you started], it is necessary to track these changes as they occur.

6. Refrain from feeling the need to apologize.

If you’ve spent a significant amount of time researching the research topic, you should be well-versed in it [maybe even more so than your professor!].

In spite of this, by the time you have completed your work, you may be feeling some reservations about what you have accomplished. Keep those doubts at bay! If you say something like, “This is only one method to addressing this problem; there may be other, far superior techniques that…” you are undermining your authority.

It is important that the general tone of your conclusion inspire trust in the reader.