How to Conclude a Thesis Paper

Pile of assorted-title book lot.jpg

Writing a thesis paper is like a journey. The path starts with research, passes through idea selection, and winds through writing the introduction and supporting paragraphs. The conclusion is where you tell your readers what you have learned and where you have been. A conclusion should be short -- generally no more than a paragraph.

1 Restate your thesis statement

Restate your thesis statement. Do not use the same words, but recast the sentence. For example, if your thesis statement is, "America needs a monarchy," in the conclusion, try, "Although the United States' founding fathers rejected it, today's American citizens need a monarchy."

2 Summarize the paper

Summarize the paper by writing at least one sentence about each of the main ideas. In a 500- to 600-word essay, you probably have three main points, so include three summary sentences in your conclusion. Be brief and do not introduce any ideas not explained in the paper.

3 Want the reader

State what you want the reader to do or think. Your goal is to make sure that the reader followed your reasoning to reach the same interpretation.

  • Do not use the terms, "In conclusion," "To conclude," or "The End."
  • Avoid writing in the first person.

Susan Brockett worked in the computer industry as a technical writer for nearly 20 years at companies including Motorola and Dell Computer Systems. In addition, her articles have appeared in Society of Technical Communications publications. Brockett has a master's degree in English composition and communications from Kansas State University.