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Writing a Research Paper Conclusion | Step-by-Step Guide

Published on October 30, 2022 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on December 7, 2022.

The conclusion of a research paper is where you wrap up your ideas and leave the reader with a strong final impression. It has several key goals:

The content of the conclusion varies depending on whether your paper presents the results of original empirical research or constructs an argument through engagement with sources .

Table of contents

Step 1: restate the problem, step 2: sum up the paper, step 3: discuss the implications, research paper conclusion examples, frequently asked questions about research paper conclusions.

The first task of your conclusion is to remind the reader of your research problem . You will have discussed this problem in depth throughout the body, but now the point is to zoom back out from the details to the bigger picture.

While you are restating a problem you’ve already introduced, you should avoid phrasing it identically to how it appeared in the introduction . Ideally, you’ll find a novel way to circle back to the problem from the more detailed ideas discussed in the body.

For example, an argumentative paper advocating new measures to reduce the environmental impact of agriculture might restate its problem as follows:

Meanwhile, an empirical paper studying the relationship of Instagram use with body image issues might present its problem like this:

“In conclusion …”

Avoid starting your conclusion with phrases like “In conclusion” or “To conclude,” as this can come across as too obvious and make your writing seem unsophisticated. The content and placement of your conclusion should make its function clear without the need for additional signposting.

Having zoomed back in on the problem, it’s time to summarize how the body of the paper went about addressing it, and what conclusions this approach led to.

Depending on the nature of your research paper, this might mean restating your thesis and arguments, or summarizing your overall findings.

Argumentative paper: Restate your thesis and arguments

In an argumentative paper, you will have presented a thesis statement in your introduction, expressing the overall claim your paper argues for. In the conclusion, you should restate the thesis and show how it has been developed through the body of the paper.

Briefly summarize the key arguments made in the body, showing how each of them contributes to proving your thesis. You may also mention any counterarguments you addressed, emphasizing why your thesis holds up against them, particularly if your argument is a controversial one.

Don’t go into the details of your evidence or present new ideas; focus on outlining in broad strokes the argument you have made.

Empirical paper: Summarize your findings

In an empirical paper, this is the time to summarize your key findings. Don’t go into great detail here (you will have presented your in-depth results and discussion already), but do clearly express the answers to the research questions you investigated.

Describe your main findings, even if they weren’t necessarily the ones you expected or hoped for, and explain the overall conclusion they led you to.

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conclusion and findings

Having summed up your key arguments or findings, the conclusion ends by considering the broader implications of your research. This means expressing the key takeaways, practical or theoretical, from your paper—often in the form of a call for action or suggestions for future research.

Argumentative paper: Strong closing statement

An argumentative paper generally ends with a strong closing statement. In the case of a practical argument, make a call for action: What actions do you think should be taken by the people or organizations concerned in response to your argument?

If your topic is more theoretical and unsuitable for a call for action, your closing statement should express the significance of your argument—for example, in proposing a new understanding of a topic or laying the groundwork for future research.

Empirical paper: Future research directions

In a more empirical paper, you can close by either making recommendations for practice (for example, in clinical or policy papers), or suggesting directions for future research.

Whatever the scope of your own research, there will always be room for further investigation of related topics, and you’ll often discover new questions and problems during the research process .

Finish your paper on a forward-looking note by suggesting how you or other researchers might build on this topic in the future and address any limitations of the current paper.

Full examples of research paper conclusions are shown in the tabs below: one for an argumentative paper, the other for an empirical paper.

While the role of cattle in climate change is by now common knowledge, countries like the Netherlands continually fail to confront this issue with the urgency it deserves. The evidence is clear: To create a truly futureproof agricultural sector, Dutch farmers must be incentivized to transition from livestock farming to sustainable vegetable farming. As well as dramatically lowering emissions, plant-based agriculture, if approached in the right way, can produce more food with less land, providing opportunities for nature regeneration areas that will themselves contribute to climate targets. Although this approach would have economic ramifications, from a long-term perspective, it would represent a significant step towards a more sustainable and resilient national economy. Transitioning to sustainable vegetable farming will make the Netherlands greener and healthier, setting an example for other European governments. Farmers, policymakers, and consumers must focus on the future, not just on their own short-term interests, and work to implement this transition now.

As social media becomes increasingly central to young people’s everyday lives, it is important to understand how different platforms affect their developing self-conception. By testing the effect of daily Instagram use among teenage girls, this study established that highly visual social media does indeed have a significant effect on body image concerns, with a strong correlation between the amount of time spent on the platform and participants’ self-reported dissatisfaction with their appearance. However, the strength of this effect was moderated by pre-test self-esteem ratings: Participants with higher self-esteem were less likely to experience an increase in body image concerns after using Instagram. This suggests that, while Instagram does impact body image, it is also important to consider the wider social and psychological context in which this usage occurs: Teenagers who are already predisposed to self-esteem issues may be at greater risk of experiencing negative effects. Future research into Instagram and other highly visual social media should focus on establishing a clearer picture of how self-esteem and related constructs influence young people’s experiences of these platforms. Furthermore, while this experiment measured Instagram usage in terms of time spent on the platform, observational studies are required to gain more insight into different patterns of usage—to investigate, for instance, whether active posting is associated with different effects than passive consumption of social media content.

If you’re unsure about the conclusion, it can be helpful to ask a friend or fellow student to read your conclusion and summarize the main takeaways.

You can also get an expert to proofread and feedback your paper with a paper editing service .

The conclusion of a research paper has several key elements you should make sure to include:

No, it’s not appropriate to present new arguments or evidence in the conclusion . While you might be tempted to save a striking argument for last, research papers follow a more formal structure than this.

All your findings and arguments should be presented in the body of the text (more specifically in the results and discussion sections if you are following a scientific structure). The conclusion is meant to summarize and reflect on the evidence and arguments you have already presented, not introduce new ones.

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How to Write Discussions and Conclusions

The discussion section contains the results and outcomes of a study. An effective discussion informs readers what can be learned from your experiment and provides context for the results.

What makes an effective discussion?

When you’re ready to write your discussion, you’ve already introduced the purpose of your study and provided an in-depth description of the methodology. The discussion informs readers about the larger implications of your study based on the results. Highlighting these implications while not overstating the findings can be challenging, especially when you’re submitting to a journal that selects articles based on novelty or potential impact. Regardless of what journal you are submitting to, the discussion section always serves the same purpose: concluding what your study results actually mean.

A successful discussion section puts your findings in context. It should include:

Tip: Not all journals share the same naming conventions.

You can apply the advice in this article to the conclusion, results or discussion sections of your manuscript.

Our Early Career Researcher community tells us that the conclusion is often considered the most difficult aspect of a manuscript to write. To help, this guide provides questions to ask yourself, a basic structure to model your discussion off of and examples from published manuscripts. 

conclusion and findings

Questions to ask yourself:

How to structure a discussion

Trying to fit a complete discussion into a single paragraph can add unnecessary stress to the writing process. If possible, you’ll want to give yourself two or three paragraphs to give the reader a comprehensive understanding of your study as a whole. Here’s one way to structure an effective discussion:

conclusion and findings

Writing Tips

While the above sections can help you brainstorm and structure your discussion, there are many common mistakes that writers revert to when having difficulties with their paper. Writing a discussion can be a delicate balance between summarizing your results, providing proper context for your research and avoiding introducing new information. Remember that your paper should be both confident and honest about the results! 

What to do

What not to do


Snippets of Effective Discussions:

Consumer-based actions to reduce plastic pollution in rivers: A multi-criteria decision analysis approach

Identifying reliable indicators of fitness in polar bears

There’s a lot to consider when deciding where to submit your work. Learn how to choose a journal that will help your study reach its audience, while reflecting your values as a researcher…

Ensure appropriateness and rigor, avoid flexibility and above all never manipulate results In many fields, a statistical analysis forms the heart of…

A thoughtful, thorough approach to your revision response now can save you time in further rounds of review. You’ve just spent months…

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How To Write The Conclusion Chapter

The what, why & how explained simply (with examples).

By: Jenna Crossley (PhD Cand). Reviewed By: Dr. Eunice Rautenbach | September 2021

So, you’ve wrapped up your results and discussion chapters, and you’re finally on the home stretch – the conclusion chapter . In this post, we’ll discuss everything you need to know to craft a high-quality conclusion chapter for your dissertation or thesis project.

Overview: Dissertation Conclusion Chapter

What exactly is the conclusion chapter?

The conclusion chapter is typically the final major chapter of a dissertation or thesis. As such, it serves as a concluding summary of your research findings and wraps up the document. While some publications such as journal articles and research reports combine the discussion and conclusion sections, these are typically separate chapters in a dissertation or thesis. As always, be sure to check what your university’s structural preference is before you start writing up these chapters.

So, what’s the difference between the discussion and the conclusion chapter?

Well, the two chapters are quite similar , as they both discuss the key findings of the study. However, the conclusion chapter is typically more general and high-level in nature. In your discussion chapter, you’ll typically discuss the intricate details of your study, but in your conclusion chapter, you’ll take a   broader perspective, reporting on the main research outcomes and how these addressed your research aim (or aims) .

A core function of the conclusion chapter is to synthesise all major points covered in your study and to tell the reader what they should take away from your work. Basically, you need to tell them what you found , why it’s valuable , how it can be applied , and what further research can be done.

Whatever you do, don’t just copy and paste what you’ve written in your discussion chapter! The conclusion chapter should not be a simple rehash of the discussion chapter. While the two chapters are similar, they have distinctly different functions.  

Discussion chapter vs conclusion chapter

What should I include in the conclusion chapter?

To understand what needs to go into your conclusion chapter, it’s useful to understand what the chapter needs to achieve. In general, a good dissertation conclusion chapter should achieve the following:

Therefore, your conclusion chapter needs to cover these core components. Importantly, you need to be careful not to include any new findings or data points. Your conclusion chapter should be based purely on data and analysis findings that you’ve already presented in the earlier chapters. If there’s a new point you want to introduce, you’ll need to go back to your results and discussion chapters to weave the foundation in there.

In many cases, readers will jump from the introduction chapter directly to the conclusions chapter to get a quick overview of the study’s purpose and key findings. Therefore, when you write up your conclusion chapter, it’s useful to assume that the reader hasn’t consumed the inner chapters of your dissertation or thesis. In other words, craft your conclusion chapter such that there’s a strong connection and smooth flow between the introduction and conclusion chapters, even though they’re on opposite ends of your document.

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conclusion and findings

How to write the conclusion chapter

Now that you have a clearer view of what the conclusion chapter is about, let’s break down the structure of this chapter so that you can get writing. Keep in mind that this is merely a typical structure – it’s not set in stone or universal. Some universities will prefer that you cover some of these points in the discussion chapter , or that you cover the points at different levels in different chapters.

Step 1: Craft a brief introduction section

As with all chapters in your dissertation or thesis, the conclusions chapter needs to start with a brief introduction. In this introductory section, you’ll want to tell the reader what they can expect to find in the chapter, and in what order . Here’s an example of what this might look like:

This chapter will conclude the study by summarising the key research findings in relation to the research aims and questions and discussing the value and contribution thereof. It will also review the limitations of the study and propose opportunities for future research.

Importantly, the objective here is just to give the reader a taste of what’s to come (a roadmap of sorts), not a summary of the chapter. So, keep it short and sweet – a paragraph or two should be ample.

Step 2: Discuss the overall findings in relation to the research aims

The next step in writing your conclusions chapter is to discuss the overall findings of your study , as they relate to the research aims and research questions . You would have likely covered similar ground in the discussion chapter, so it’s important to zoom out a little bit here and focus on the broader findings – specifically, how these help address the research aims .

In practical terms, it’s useful to start this section by reminding your reader of your research aims and research questions, so that the findings are well contextualised. In this section, phrases such as, “This study aimed to…” and “the results indicate that…” will likely come in handy. For example, you could say something like the following:

This study aimed to investigate the feeding habits of the naked mole-rat. The results indicate that naked mole rats feed on underground roots and tubers. Further findings show that these creatures eat only a part of the plant, leaving essential parts to ensure long-term food stability.

Be careful not to make overly bold claims here. Avoid claims such as “this study proves that” or “the findings disprove existing the existing theory”. It’s seldom the case that a single study can prove or disprove something. Typically, this is achieved by a broader body of research, not a single study – especially not a dissertation or thesis which will inherently have significant and limitations. We’ll discuss those limitations a little later.

Dont make overly bold claims in your dissertation conclusion

Step 3: Discuss how your study contributes to the field

Next, you’ll need to discuss how your research has contributed to the field – both in terms of theory and practice . This involves talking about what you achieved in your study, highlighting why this is important and valuable, and how it can be used or applied.

In this section you’ll want to:

Be careful to strike a careful balance between being firm but humble in your arguments here. It’s unlikely that your one study will fundamentally change paradigms or shake up the discipline, so making claims to this effect will be frowned upon . At the same time though, you need to present your arguments with confidence, firmly asserting the contribution your research has made, however small that contribution may be. Simply put, you need to keep it balanced .

Keep it balanced

Step 4: Reflect on the limitations of your study

Now that you’ve pumped your research up, the next step is to critically reflect on the limitations and potential shortcomings of your study. You may have already covered this in the discussion chapter, depending on your university’s structural preferences, so be careful not to repeat yourself unnecessarily.

There are many potential limitations that can apply to any given study. Some common ones include:

Discussing the limitations of your research may feel self-defeating (no one wants to highlight their weaknesses, right), but it’s a critical component of high-quality research. It’s important to appreciate that all studies have limitations (even well-funded studies by expert researchers) – therefore acknowledging these limitations adds credibility to your research by showing that you understand the limitations of your research design.

That being said, keep an eye on your wording and make sure that you don’t undermine your research . It’s important to strike a balance between recognising the limitations, but also highlighting the value of your research despite those limitations. Show the reader that you understand the limitations, that these were justified given your constraints, and that you know how they can be improved upon – this will get you marks.

You have to justify every choice in your dissertation defence

Quick tips for a top-notch conclusion chapter

Now that we’ve covered the what , why and how of the conclusion chapter, here are some quick tips and suggestions to help you craft a rock-solid conclusion.

Hopefully, this post has given you some direction and confidence to take on the conclusion chapter of your dissertation or thesis with confidence. If you’re still feeling a little shaky and need a helping hand, consider booking a free initial consultation with a friendly Grad Coach to discuss how we can help you with hands-on, private coaching.

conclusion and findings

Psst… there’s more (for free)

This post is part of our research writing mini-course, which covers everything you need to get started with your dissertation, thesis or research project.

You Might Also Like:

How To Write The Discussion Chapter: 6 Steps + Examples



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Your guide on writing the concluding chapter of a research is really informative especially to the beginners who really do not know where to start. Im now ready to start. Keep it up guys

Really your team are doing great!

Moses Ndlovu

A very enjoyable, understandable and crisp presentation on how to write a conclusion chapter. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks Jenna.


This was a very helpful article which really gave me practical pointers for my concluding chapter. Keep doing what you are doing! It meant a lot to me to be able to have this guide. Thank you so much.

Suresh Tukaram Telvekar

Nice content dealing with the conclusion chapter, it’s a relief after the streneous task of completing discussion part.Thanks for valuable guidance

Musa Balonde

Thanks for your guidance


I get all my doubts clarified regarding the conclusion chapter. It’s really amazing. Many thanks.


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Sam Mwaniki

Thank you very much for this piece. It offers a very helpful starting point in writing the conclusion chapter of my thesis.

Abdullahi Maude

It’s awesome! Most useful and timely too. Thanks a million times


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Rule 52. Findings and Conclusions by the Court; Judgment on Partial Findings

(a) Findings and Conclusions.

(1) In General. In an action tried on the facts without a jury or with an advisory jury, the court must find the facts specially and state its conclusions of law separately. The findings and conclusions may be stated on the record after the close of the evidence or may appear in an opinion or a memorandum of decision filed by the court. Judgment must be entered under Rule 58

(2) For an Interlocutory Injunction. In granting or refusing an interlocutory injunction, the court must similarly state the findings and conclusions that support its action.

(3) For a Motion. The court is not required to state findings or conclusions when ruling on a motion under Rule 12 or 56 or, unless these rules provide otherwise, on any other motion.

(4) Effect of a Master's Findings. A master's findings, to the extent adopted by the court, must be considered the court's findings.

(5) Questioning the Evidentiary Support. A party may later question the sufficiency of the evidence supporting the findings, whether or not the party requested findings, objected to them, moved to amend them, or moved for partial findings.

(6) Setting Aside the Findings. Findings of fact, whether based on oral or other evidence, must not be set aside unless clearly erroneous, and the reviewing court must give due regard to the trial court's opportunity to judge the witnesses’ credibility.

(b) Amended or Additional Findings. On a party's motion filed no later than 28 days after the entry of judgment, the court may amend its findings—or make additional findings—and may amend the judgment accordingly. The motion may accompany a motion for a new trial under Rule 59 .

(c) Judgment on Partial Findings. If a party has been fully heard on an issue during a nonjury trial and the court finds against the party on that issue, the court may enter judgment against the party on a claim or defense that, under the controlling law, can be maintained or defeated only with a favorable finding on that issue. The court may, however, decline to render any judgment until the close of the evidence. A judgment on partial findings must be supported by findings of fact and conclusions of law as required by Rule 52(a) .

(As amended Dec. 27, 1946, eff. Mar. 19, 1948; Jan. 21, 1963, eff. July 1, 1963; Apr. 28, 1983, eff. Aug. 1, 1983; Apr. 29, 1985, eff. Aug. 1, 1985; Apr. 30, 1991, eff. Dec. 1, 1991; Apr. 22, 1993, eff. Dec. 1, 1993; Apr. 27, 1995, eff. Dec. 1, 1995; Apr. 30, 2007, eff. Dec. 1, 2007; Mar. 26, 2009, eff. Dec. 1, 2009.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1937

See [former] Equity Rule 701/2, as amended Nov. 25, 1935 (Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law), and U.S.C., Title 28, [former] §764 (Opinion, findings, and conclusions in action against United States) which are substantially continued in this rule. The provisions of U.S.C., Title 28, [former] §§773 (Trial of issues of fact; by court) and [former] 875 (Review in cases tried without a jury) are superseded insofar as they provide a different method of finding facts and a different method of appellate review. The rule stated in the third sentence of Subdivision (a ) accords with the decisions on the scope of the review in modern federal equity practice. It is applicable to all classes of findings in cases tried without a jury whether the finding is of a fact concerning which there was conflict of testimony, or of a fact deduced or inferred from uncontradicted testimony. See Silver King Coalition Mines, Co. v. Silver King Consolidated Mining Co ., 204 Fed. 166 (C.C.A.8th, 1913), cert. den. 229 U.S. 624 (1913); Warren v. Keep , 155 U.S. 265 (1894); Furrer v. Ferris , 145 U.S. 132 (1892); Tilghman v. Proctor , 125 U.S. 136, 149 (1888); Kimberly v. Arms , 129 U.S. 512, 524 (1889). Compare Kaeser & Blair, Inc., v. Merchants’ Ass'n , 64 F.(2d) 575, 576 (C.C.A.6th, 1933); Dunn v. Trefry , 260 Fed. 147, 148 (C.C.A.1st, 1919).

In the following states findings of fact are required in all cases tried without a jury (waiver by the parties being permitted as indicated at the end of the listing): Arkansas, Civ.Code (Crawford, 1934) §364; California, Code Civ.Proc. (Deering, 1937) §§632, 634; Colorado, 1 Stat.Ann. (1935) Code Civ.Proc. §§232, 291 (in actions before referees or for possession of and damages to land); Connecticut, Gen.Stats. §§5660, 5664; Idaho, 1 Code Ann. (1932) §§7–302 through 7–305; Massachusetts (equity cases), 2 Gen.Laws (Ter.Ed., 1932) ch. 214, §23; Minnesota, 2 Stat. (Mason, 1927) §9311; Nevada, 4 Comp.Laws (Hillyer, 1929) §8783–8784; New Jersey, Sup.Ct. Rule 113, 2 N.J.Misc. 1197, 1239 (1924); New Mexico, Stat.Ann. (Courtright, 1929) §105–813; North Carolina, Code (1935) §569; North Dakota, 2 Comp.Laws Ann. (1913) §7641; Oregon, 2 Code Ann. (1930) §2–502; South Carolina, Code (Michie, 1932) §649; South Dakota, 1 Comp.Laws (1929) §§2525–2526; Utah, Rev.Stat.Ann. (1933) §104–26–2, 104–26–3; Vermont (where jury trial waived), Pub. Laws (1933) §2069; Washington, 2 Rev.Stat.Ann. (Remington, 1932) §367; Wisconsin, Stat. (1935) §270.33. The parties may waive this requirement for findings in California, Idaho, North Dakota, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and South Dakota.

In the following states the review of findings of fact in all non-jury cases, including jury waived cases, is assimilated to the equity review: Alabama, Code Ann. (Michie, 1928) §§9498, 8599; California, Code Civ.Proc. (Deering, 1937) §956a; but see 20 Calif.Law Rev. 171 (1932); Colorado, Johnson v. Kountze , 21 Colo. 486, 43 Pac. 445 (1895), semble ; Illinois, Baker v. Hinricks , 359 Ill. 138, 194 N.E. 284 (1934), Weininger v. Metropolitan Fire Ins. Co ., 359 Ill. 584, 195 N.E. 420, 98 A.L.R. 169 (1935); Minnesota, State Bank of Gibbon v. Walter , 167 Minn. 37, 38, 208 N.W. 423 (1926), Waldron v. Page , 191 Minn. 302, 253 N.W. 894 (1934); New Jersey, N.J.Comp.Stat. (2 Cum.Supp. 1911–1924) Title 163, §303, as interpreted in Bussy v. Hatch , 95 N.J.L. 56, 111 A. 546 (1920); New York, York Mortgage Corporation v. Clotar Const. Corp ., 254 N.Y. 128, 133, 172 N.E. 265 (1930); North Dakota, Comp.Laws Ann. (1913) §7846, as amended by N.D.Laws 1933, ch. 208, Milnor Holding Co. v. Holt , 63 N.D. 362, 370, 248 N.W. 315 (1933); Oklahoma, Wichita Mining and Improvement Co. v. Hale , 20 Okla. 159, 167, 94 Pac. 530 (1908); South Dakota, Randall v. Burk Township , 4 S.D. 337, 57 N.W. 4 (1893); Texas, Custard v. Flowers , 14 S.W.2d 109 (1929); Utah, Rev.Stat.Ann. (1933) §104–41–5; Vermont, Roberge v. Troy , 105 Vt. 134, 163 Atl. 770 (1933); Washington, 2 Rev.Stat.Ann. (Remington, 1932) §§309–316; McCullough v. Puget Sound Realty Associates , 76 Wash. 700, 136 Pac. 1146 (1913), but see Cornwall v. Anderson , 85 Wash. 369, 148 Pac. 1 (1915); West Virginia, Kinsey v. Carr , 60 W.Va. 449, 55 S.E. 1004 (1906), semble; Wisconsin, Stat. (1935) §251.09; Campbell v. Sutliff , 193 Wis. 370, 214 N.W. 374 (1927), Gessler v. Erwin Co ., 182 Wis. 315, 193 N.W. 363 (1924).

For examples of an assimilation of the review of findings of fact in cases tried without a jury to the review at law as made in several states, see Clark and Stone, Review of Findings of Fact , 4 U. of Chi.L.Rev. 190, 215 (1937).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1946 Amendment

Subdivision (a) . The amended rule makes clear that the requirement for findings of fact and conclusions of law thereon applies in a case with an advisory jury. This removes an ambiguity in the rule as originally stated, but carries into effect what has been considered its intent. 3 Moore's Federal Practice (1938) 3119; Hurwitz v. Hurwitz (App.D.C. 1943) 136 F.(2d) 796.

The two sentences added at the end of Rule 52(a) eliminate certain difficulties which have arisen concerning findings and conclusions. The first of the two sentences permits findings of fact and conclusions of law to appear in an opinion or memorandum of decision. See, e.g., United States v. One 1941 Ford Sedan (S.D.Tex. 1946) 65 F.Supp. 84. Under original Rule 52(a) some courts have expressed the view that findings and conclusions could not be incorporated in an opinion. Detective Comics, Inc. v. Bruns Publications (S.D.N.Y. 1939) 28 F.Supp. 399; Pennsylvania Co. for Insurance on Lives & Granting Annuities v. Cincinnati & L. E. R. Co . (S.D.Ohio 1941) 43 F.Supp. 5; United States v. Aluminum Co. of America (S.D.N.Y. 1941) 5 Fed.Rules Serv. 52a.11, Case 3; see also s.c., 44 F.Supp. 97. But, to the contrary, see Wellman v. United States (D.Mass. 1938) 25 F.Supp. 868; Cook v. United States (D.Mass. 1939) 26 F.Supp. 253; Proctor v. White (D.Mass. 1939) 28 F.Supp. 161; Green Valley Creamery, Inc. v. United States (C.C.A.1st, 1939) 108 F.(2d) 342. See also Matton Oil Transfer Corp. v. The Dynamic (C.C.A.2d, 1941) 123 F.(2d) 999; Carter Coal Co. v. Litz (C.C.A.4th, 1944) 140 F.(2d) 934; Woodruff v. Heiser (C.C.A.10th, 1945) 150 F.(2d) 869; Coca-Cola Co. v. Busch (E.D.Pa. 1943) 7 Fed.Rules Serv. 59b.2, Case 4; Oglebay, Some Developments in Bankruptcy Law (1944) 18 J. of Nat'l Ass'n of Ref. 68, 69. Findings of fact aid in the process of judgment and in defining for future cases the precise limitations of the issues and the determination thereon. Thus they not only aid the appellate court on review ( Hurwitz v. Hurwitz (App.D.C. 1943) 136 F.(2d) 796) but they are an important factor in the proper application of the doctrines of res judicata and estoppel by judgment. Nordbye, Improvements in Statement of Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law , 1 F.R.D. 25, 26–27; United States v. Forness (C.C.A.2d, 1942) 125 F.(2d) 928, cert. den. (1942) 316 U.S. 694. These findings should represent the judge's own determination and not the long, often argumentative statements of successful counsel. United States v. Forness, supra; United States v. Crescent Amusement Co . (1944) 323 U.S. 173. Consequently, they should be a part of the judge's opinion and decision, either stated therein or stated separately. Matton Oil Transfer Corp. v. The Dynamic, supra . But the judge need only make brief, definite, pertinent findings and conclusions upon the contested matters; there is no necessity for over-elaboration of detail or particularization of facts. United States v. Forness, supra; United States v. Crescent Amusement Co., supra . See also Petterson Lighterage & Towing Corp. v. New York Central R. Co . (C.C.A.2d, 1942) 126 F.(2d) 992; Brown Paper Mill Co., Inc. v. Irwin (C.C.A.8th, 1943) 134 F.(2d) 337; Allen Bradley Co. v. Local Union No. 3 , I.B.E.W. (C.C.A.2d, 1944) 145 F.(2d) 215, rev'd on other grounds (1945) 325 U.S. 797; Young v. Murphy (N.D.Ohio 1946) 9 Fed.Rules Serv. 52a.11, Case 2.

The last sentence of Rule 52(a) as amended will remove any doubt that findings and conclusions are unnecessary upon decision of a motion, particularly one under Rule 12 or Rule 56, except as provided in amended Rule 41(b). As so holding, see Thomas v. Peyser (App.D.C. 1941) 118 F.(2d) 369; Schad v. Twentieth Century-Fox Corp . (C.C.A.3d, 1943) 136 F.(2d) 991; Prudential Ins. Co. of America v. Goldstein (E.D.N.Y. 1942) 43 F.Supp. 767; Somers Coal Co. v. United States (N.D.Ohio 1942) 6 Fed.Rules Serv. 52a.1, Case 1; Pen-Ken Oil & Gas Corp. v. Warfield Natural Gas Co . (E.D.Ky. 1942) 5 Fed.Rules Serv. 52a.1, Case 3; also Commentary, Necessity of Findings of Fact (1941) 4 Fed.Rules Serv. 936.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1963 Amendment

This amendment conforms to the amendment of Rule 58. See the Advisory Committee's Note to Rule 58, as amended.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1983 Amendment

Rule 52(a) has been amended to revise its penultimate sentence to provide explicitly that the district judge may make the findings of fact and conclusions of law required in nonjury cases orally. Nothing in the prior text of the rule forbids this practice, which is widely utilized by district judges. See Christensen, A Modest Proposal for Immeasurable Improvement , 64 A.B.A.J. 693 (1978). The objective is to lighten the burden on the trial court in preparing findings in nonjury cases. In addition, the amendment should reduce the number of published district court opinions that embrace written findings.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1985 Amendment

Rule 52(a) has been amended (1) to avoid continued confusion and conflicts among the circuits as to the standard of appellate review of findings of fact by the court, (2) to eliminate the disparity between the standard of review as literally stated in Rule 52(a) and the practice of some courts of appeals, and (3) to promote nationwide uniformity. See Note, Rule 52(a): Appellate Review of Findings of Fact Based on Documentary or Undisputed Evidence , 49 Va. L. Rev. 506, 536 (1963).

Some courts of appeal have stated that when a trial court's findings do not rest on demeanor evidence and evaluation of a witness’ credibility, there is no reason to defer to the trial court's findings and the appellate court more readily can find them to be clearly erroneous. See, e.g., Marcum v. United States , 621 F.2d 142, 144–45 (5th Cir. 1980). Others go further, holding that appellate review may be had without application of the “clearly erroneous” test since the appellate court is in as good a position as the trial court to review a purely documentary record. See, e.g., Atari, Inc. v. North American Philips Consumer Electronics Corp ., 672 F.2d 607, 614 (7th Cir.), cert. denied , 459 U.S. 880 (1982); Lydle v. United States , 635 F.2d 763, 765 n. 1 (6th Cir. 1981); Swanson v. Baker Indus., Inc ., 615 F.2d 479, 483 (8th Cir. 1980); Taylor v. Lombard , 606 F.2d 371, 372 (2d Cir. 1979), cert. denied , 445 U.S. 946 (1980); Jack Kahn Music Co. v. Baldwin Piano & Organ Co ., 604 F.2d 755, 758 (2d Cir. 1979); John R. Thompson Co. v. United States , 477 F.2d 164, 167 (7th Cir. 1973).

A third group has adopted the view that the “clearly erroneous” rule applies in all nonjury cases even when findings are based solely on documentary evidence or on inferences from undisputed facts. See, e.g., Maxwell v. Sumner , 673 F.2d 1031, 1036 (9th Cir.), cert. denied , 459 U.S. 976 (1982); United States v. Texas Education Agency , 647 F.2d 504, 506–07 (5th Cir. 1981), cert. denied , 454 U.S. 1143 (1982); Constructora Maza, Inc. v. Banco de Ponce , 616 F.2d 573, 576 (1st Cir. 1980); In re Sierra Trading Corp ., 482 F.2d 333, 337 (10th Cir. 1973); Case v. Morrisette , 475 F.2d 1300, 1306–07 (D.C. Cir. 1973).

The commentators also disagree as to the proper interpretation of the Rule. Compare Wright, The Doubtful Omniscience of Appellate Courts , 41 Minn. L. Rev. 751, 769–70 (1957) (language and intent of Rule support view that “clearly erroneous” test should apply to all forms of evidence), and 9 C. Wright & A. Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure: Civil §2587 , at 740 (1971) (language of the Rule is clear), with 5A J. Moore, Federal Practice 52.04, 2687–88 (2d ed. 1982) (Rule as written supports broader review of findings based on non-demeanor testimony).

The Supreme Court has not clearly resolved the issue. See, Bose Corp. v. Consumers Union of United States, Inc ., 466 U.S. 485, 104 S. Ct. 1949, 1958 (1984); Pullman Standard v. Swint , 456 U.S. 273, 293 (1982); United States v. General Motors Corp ., 384 U.S. 127, 141 n. 16 (1966); United States v. United States Gypsum Co ., 333 U.S. 364, 394 –96 (1948).

The principal argument advanced in favor of a more searching appellate review of findings by the district court based solely on documentary evidence is that the rationale of Rule 52(a) does not apply when the findings do not rest on the trial court's assessment of credibility of the witnesses but on an evaluation of documentary proof and the drawing of inferences from it, thus eliminating the need for any special deference to the trial court's findings. These considerations are outweighed by the public interest in the stability and judicial economy that would be promoted by recognizing that the trial court, not the appellate tribunal, should be the finder of the facts. To permit courts of appeals to share more actively in the fact-finding function would tend to undermine the legitimacy of the district courts in the eyes of litigants, multiply appeals by encouraging appellate retrial of some factual issues, and needlessly reallocate judicial authority.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1991 Amendment

Subdivision (c) is added. It parallels the revised Rule 50(a), but is applicable to non-jury trials. It authorizes the court to enter judgment at any time that it can appropriately make a dispositive finding of fact on the evidence.

The new subdivision replaces part of Rule 41(b), which formerly authorized a dismissal at the close of the plaintiff's case if the plaintiff had failed to carry an essential burden of proof. Accordingly, the reference to Rule 41 formerly made in subdivision (a) of this rule is deleted.

As under the former Rule 41(b), the court retains discretion to enter no judgment prior to the close of the evidence.

Judgment entered under this rule differs from a summary judgment under Rule 56 in the nature of the evaluation made by the court. A judgment on partial findings is made after the court has heard all the evidence bearing on the crucial issue of fact, and the finding is reversible only if the appellate court finds it to be “clearly erroneous.” A summary judgment, in contrast, is made on the basis of facts established on account of the absence of contrary evidence or presumptions; such establishments of fact are rulings on questions of law as provided in Rule 56(a) and are not shielded by the “clear error” standard of review.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1993 Amendment

This technical amendment corrects an ambiguity in the text of the 1991 revision of the rule, similar to the revision being made to Rule 50. This amendment makes clear that judgments as a matter of law in nonjury trials may be entered against both plaintiffs and defendants and with respect to issues or defenses that may not be wholly dispositive of a claim or defense.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1995 Amendment

The only change, other than stylistic, intended by this revision is to require that any motion to amend or add findings after a nonjury trial must be filed no later than 10 days after entry of the judgment. Previously, there was an inconsistency in the wording of Rules 50, 52, and 59 with respect to whether certain post-judgment motions had to be filed, or merely served, during that period. This inconsistency caused special problems when motions for a new trial were joined with other post-judgment motions. These motions affect the finality of the judgment, a matter often of importance to third persons as well as the parties and the court. The Committee believes that each of these rules should be revised to require filing before end of the 10-day period. Filing is an event that can be determined with certainty from court records. The phrase “no later than” is used—rather than “within”—to include post-judgment motions that sometimes are filed before actual entry of the judgment by the clerk. It should be noted that under Rule 6(a) Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays are excluded in measuring the 10-day period, and that under Rule 5 the motions when filed are to contain a certificate of service on other parties.

Committee Notes on Rules—2007 Amendment

The language of Rule 52 has been amended as part of the general restyling of the Civil Rules to make them more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. These changes are intended to be stylistic only.

Former Rule 52(a) said that findings are unnecessary on decisions of motions “except as provided in subdivision (c) of this rule.” Amended Rule 52(a)(3) says that findings are unnecessary “unless these rules provide otherwise.” This change reflects provisions in other rules that require Rule 52 findings on deciding motions. Rules 23(e), 23(h), and 54(d)(2)(C) are examples.

Amended Rule 52(a)(5) includes provisions that appeared in former Rule 52(a) and 52(b). Rule 52(a) provided that requests for findings are not necessary for purposes of review. It applied both in an action tried on the facts without a jury and also in granting or refusing an interlocutory injunction. Rule 52(b), applicable to findings “made in actions tried without a jury,” provided that the sufficiency of the evidence might be “later questioned whether or not in the district court the party raising the question objected to the findings, moved to amend them, or moved for partial findings.” Former Rule 52(b) did not explicitly apply to decisions granting or refusing an interlocutory injunction. Amended Rule 52(a)(5) makes explicit the application of this part of former Rule 52(b) to interlocutory injunction decisions.

Former Rule 52(c) provided for judgment on partial findings, and referred to it as “judgment as a matter of law.” Amended Rule 52(c) refers only to “judgment,” to avoid any confusion with a Rule 50 judgment as a matter of law in a jury case. The standards that govern judgment as a matter of law in a jury case have no bearing on a decision under Rule 52(c).

Committee Notes on Rules—2009 Amendment

Former Rules 50, 52, and 59 adopted 10-day periods for their respective post-judgment motions. Rule 6(b) prohibits any expansion of those periods. Experience has proved that in many cases it is not possible to prepare a satisfactory post-judgment motion in 10 days, even under the former rule that excluded intermediate Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays. These time periods are particularly sensitive because Appellate Rule 4 integrates the time to appeal with a timely motion under these rules. Rather than introduce the prospect of uncertainty in appeal time by amending Rule 6(b) to permit additional time, the former 10-day periods are expanded to 28 days. Rule 6(b) continues to prohibit expansion of the 28-day period.

Changes Made after Publication and Comment . The 30-day period proposed in the August 2007 publication is shortened to 28 days.

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This chapter summarizes the whole research process. It first provides a brief summary of the whole study with particular reference to the research problem, research methodology, results, the main contributions of the research and recommendations for future work. It provides a summary of the main findings of the study, conclusions and recommendations. This chapter should be reasonably short.

The readers would want to know whether the objectives of the study were achieved, and whether the work has contributed to knowledge. Therefore, when compiling this chapter, a researcher should focus on answering these questions.

Any conclusions drawn should be those resulting from the study. A researcher should make relevant references to chapters that support the listed findings and may also refer to the work of others for comparison. However, one should not discuss the stu1y’s results here.

Summary of the Main Findings

In summarizing, a researcher should identify the findings of the study and discuss them briefly. In addition, the methodological problems encountered should be outlined so that future/other researchers may take the relevant precautions. The researcher should clearly pinpoint if the study objectives were achieved or not. An effective summary has the following qualities:


One way to present the summary is to use one paragraph for each idea. Alternatively, the researcher can use a point-by-point format.

The Conclusion section should be very brief, about half a page. It should indicate what the study results reaffirm. It should also briefly discuss some of the strategies highlighted by the respondents. In this section, the researcher should clearly state how the study has contributed to knowledge.

The recommendations section is important in research. This section often exposes further problems and introduces more questions. As a researcher, there is a time limit to the research project, so it is unlikely that the study would have solved all the problems associated with the area of study. The researcher is therefore expected to make suggestions about how his/her work can be improved, and also based on the study findings, point out whether there are areas that deserve further investigation. This section will indicate whether a researcher has a firm appreciation of his/her work, and whether he/ she has given sufficient thought to its implications, not only within the narrow confines of the research topic but to related fields. This section reflects the researcher’s foresightedness and creativity.

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    Findings and Conclusions by the Court; Judgment on Partial Findings (a) Findings and Conclusions. (1) In General. In an action tried on the facts without a jury or with an advisory jury, the court must find the facts specially and state its conclusions of law separately.


    SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS. This chapter summarizes the whole research process. It first provides a brief summary of the whole study with particular reference to the research problem, research methodology, results, the main contributions of the research and recommendations for future work.