Planning and Writing a Research Paper
Because research generates further research, the conclusions you draw from your research are important. They constitute a bond with your fellow researchers to strive always for truth and clarity and to eschew falsehood and deception. As researchers, we depend upon the integrity of the research that precedes our own efforts, and we depend upon one another to draw valid conclusions. If you do not believe this, think about what the world would be like today if scholars had not questioned the medieval conclusion that the world was flat because ships appear to drop from its edge.
Drawing valid conclusions involves carefully collecting and reviewing evidence and making judgments that will withstand scrutiny. As a writer, you are presenting your conclusions for others to review, so you must be convincing based on the evidence you present in your paper.
To test the validity of your conclusions, you will need to review both the contents of your paper and the way in which you arrived at the content. You may ask yourself questions, such as the following, to detect any weak areas in your paper, which in turn, may lead to weaknesses in your conclusions. Notice that some of the questions relate to your process, others to your sources, and others to how you arrived at your conclusions.
Checklist for Testing Conclusions