In any written matter, there are several thoughts and ideas. Whether it is a journal entry, a blog, an article, story or novel, it will have more than one thought or concept to it. So what makes the reader bind all the thoughts together? It is the conclusion. The way our mind works, every thought is analyzed and processed individually.
However, if the writer does not bring all the concepts and ideas together to form one basic idea, the reader will be left with a very vague feeling of the material. In fact, an incomplete or insufficient summarization can render the best written matter into a mass of gibberish.
Writing a Paragraph in General
The conclusion is the string that holds the logic of the entire written matter. When writing, one needs to know the exact idea that is being expressed by the matter. Which means that no matter how many deviations you take, you need to come back to the base line towards the end.
If you are writing a personal letter, you will let the recipient know of all the things that you wish to tell them. However, you will end it with best wishes and the basic idea of the letter.
If you are writing an article, then it will be the closing idea that you wish to express. In any article, or report etc, that paragraph is the one which leaves an impression on the reader. So, it has to hold the gist of the information as well as opinion.
For example, if you are discussing a disease in an article, the entire article will include facts and statistics about the disease, but the conclusion is that which will hold the human touch and let the reader know that it affects lives and that health is the ultimate wealth.
The stats are the same everywhere and the facts cannot be changed. Hence the only two aspects of the research paper that can give the writer an edge are the introduction and the conclusion. The introduction often deals with the basis of the research. Many writers prefer to write what inspired them to take up the research as well.
When it comes to the conclusion, many people make the mistake of forgetting to write it. A research paper without a conclusion is like a debate without a consensus. What is it that you achieve from the research?
Have you learned any personal lessons in the process of the research? Has the research and the findings changed the way you perceive the subject? All these questions need to be answered subtly. A research paper with a humanistic end to it seems to make a bigger impact on the reader.
A conclusion is one of the three most important parts of the literature writing process; the other two being the introduction and the body.