What Is a Conclusion?

A conclusion can include a summary, although it doesn’t have to. Conclusions are typically found at the end of chapters, or any other writing, that is focused on research and research findings, rather than instruction. The conclusion quite literally draws conclusions based on what was learned in the research.

Below is a quote from the conclusion of a scholarly article on self-sustained, socially equitable space. Notice how this conclusion begins with a brief summary of just two sentences, then moves on to sharing conclusions drawn by the authors. There is a subtle, but definite difference.


In this paper we tried to summarise [sic] how existing public domains can be made equitable. It was proposed to redesign certain elements for a sustainable approach in design. This disparity in income groups might be reduced through a healthy exchange dynamism established in public areas. This would give the space and the users identity and ensure maintenance of the public domain by them. (CUI ’15 III. Contemporary Urban Issues Conference Proceedings)

Since Cognella texts are generally written for purely instructional purposes, and are designed for classroom use, they most often include summaries or lists of key takeaways.

Should There Be a Conclusion to the Book as a Whole Body of Work?

Though it’s not usually necessary for a largely instructional text, some authors do like to write a general conclusion to the entire book. In these cases, it’s less about drawing conclusions from research, and more about leaving students with some concluding thoughts the author wishes to share. When this is done, the author may choose to use the heading Conclusion, or something like Concluding Thoughts or In Conclusion.

Whether or not you choose to end your book with concluding thoughts, you will definitely want to provide a summary, list of key takeaways, or if your book is largely devoted to research findings, a conclusion for each of your chapters.

This end piece to the chapter will enhance retention of the content, facilitate study skills, and help maximize the benefits your students get from their reading.