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Tables and figures should always have descriptive captions, and if they come directly from sources, the sources must be specifically credited in the captions with the same citation style that you use throughout the paper.
Beware of the temptation to open your final paragraph with "In conclusion," or "In summary," and then summarize the paper.
Instead, let your entire conclusion stand as a graceful termination of an argument.
The first excerpt is from a paper on the generic nature of America’s highway exit ramp services; the second is from a paper on shape constancy. Our eyes often receive pictures of the world that are contrary to physical reality. Normally you will not devote a separate section of the paper to this; in fact, often the thesis or objective is conveniently located either right at the beginning or right at the end of the Introduction.
The observation struck me slowly, a growing sense of déjà vu. A pencil in a glass of water miraculously bends; railroad tracks converge in the distance. A good thesis statement fits only the paper in which it appears. ." Instead, concretely announce the most important elements of your topic and suggest your fundamental approach—even point us toward the paper’s conclusion if you can.
Often you are expected to supply a cover sheet giving the date, your name, the title of the paper, the class, and the professor’s name.
Tables and figures should be numbered consecutively throughout the text, and if there are a good number of them, then separate lists of tables and figures at the beginning of the paper may be expected.
Most importantly, then, you must use your section headings in the same way that you use topic sentences or thesis statements: to control, limit, and organize your thinking for your reader’s sake.
Most papers use "Conclusion" as a heading for the final section of the text, although there are times when headings such as "Future Trends" will serve equally well for a paper’s closing section.
As examples, I offer two sets of section headings taken from essays. Craig Bohren’s "Understanding Colors in Nature" (1), which appeared in a 1990 edition of Just by considering the section headings in the above examples, we can begin to see the fundamental structures and directions of the essays, because both sets of headings break the paper topic into its natural parts and suggest some sort of a movement forward through a topic.
Note how these headings—as all section headings should—tell us the story of the paper and are worded just as carefully as any title should be.