How to write a conclusion

If your introduction and
main body paragraphs are structured correctly, writing conclusions to Task 2
IELTS writing essays is very simple.

This lesson follows on from
those on how to write introductions and main body paragraphs so, if you haven’t
already studied them, I recommend that you do so now. You’ll find them here:

How To Write a Task 2 Introduction

How To Write Task 2 Main Body Paragraphs

On this page, you'll
learn:

  • Why a good conclusion is important
  • 4 common mistakes to avoid
  • The structure of a good
    conclusion
  • How to write the perfect
    conclusion

Want to watch and listen? Click on this video.

Why a Good
Conclusion is Important

High-scoring Task 2 IELTS writing essays have a simple 4 part structure:

  • 1)  Introduction
  • 2)  Main Body Paragraph 1 
  • 3)  Main Body Paragraph 2 
  • 4)  Conclusion

Although your conclusion will only be 1 or 2 sentences long, it’s as important as each of the other sections of the essay and you will miss out on valuable marks if you don’t include one.

A good conclusion will:

  • Link all your ideas together
  • Sum up your argument or opinion

If you do this well, you’ll improve
your score for both task achievement and cohesion and coherence which together
make up 50% of the overall marks.

Without a conclusion, you’ll
score below band 6 for task achievement.

4 Common
Mistakes to Avoid

First, let’s consider what
students should not do when writing conclusions to Task 2 IELTS writing essays.

You should not:

  • Introduce new evidence or
    examples.

Do not add any new
information. The purpose of this final paragraph is to summarise what you’ve
already said, nothing else.

Many candidates write
conclusions that are far too long. A lengthy conclusion isn’t necessary. Also,
you won’t have much time left in which to write it, so keep it short. Follow
the simple guidelines I’m about to give you.

Another common error is to
write a concluding statement about the topic in general. A big mistake. You
must be specific. Your conclusion must relate directly to the question and sum
up the specific ideas in the main body of your essay.

The Structure
of a Good Conclusion

The ideal conclusion has 1
or 2 sentences:

  • Sentence 1 – a summary of
    your main ideas.
  • Sentence 2 – a prediction or
    recommendation statement. (optional).

This second sentence is
optional but perfectly acceptable if you do want to add one. It is useful if
you find that you’re just below the word limit when you finish your essay and
need just one more sentence to get you over the minimum 250 words.

If your
essay is already long enough, leave it out as it won’t
earn you extra marks. Your time will be better spent checking your grammar and spellings.

The Summary Sentence

Your summary sentence is the one that’s essential, so we’ll begin with this. We’re going to add a conclusion to the essay we worked on in the lessons on writing introductions and main body paragraphs for Task 2 IELTS writing essays.

Here’s the question:

How to Write a Conclusion

Here are the
introduction and main body paragraphs:

How to Write a Conclusion

The first few words of a summary sentence are extremely
important. The good news is that you can use the same phrase for almost any
Task 2 IELTS writing essay. I recommend that you use:

        or

These cohesive devices do two jobs:

  • They link this final paragraph to what has been written previously.
  • They make it clear to the examiner that you are about to summarise your
    answer to the question.

There’s another piece of good news. If you followed my instructions on how to write a good introduction to your essay, your introduction will be a summary of what your essay is going to include.

Since your conclusion is about what the essay did include (your opinion and the main points), all you need to do now is to paraphrase this same information.

Here's the introduction:

How to Write a Conclusion

Here's the same information formed into a conclusion:

Summary sentence: In conclusion, the significant rise in the
average age of people living in rural areas has resulted in a lack of suitable
people to fill the workforce and the closure of the majority of village schools,
causing hardship to local communities.

Study the way I've used synonyms and a different sentence structure to form this conclusion from the introduction. This really is all you need to do.

The Prediction or Recommendation Sentence

Finally, let’s consider the optional prediction or recommendation sentence. What do these two words mean?

  • A prediction is a statement about what you think will happen in the future.
  • A recommendation is a statement about what you think should happen in the future.

Here are examples of each type of sentence that you could use for this Task 2 IELTS writing essay:

  • It is predicted that there will be a steady increase in young families moving to country locations in the coming decade as parents seek a more relaxed lifestyle for themselves and their children.
  • It is recommended that governments should improve public transport and provide affordable village housing to encourage young people back to rural areas.

Sometimes it will be
appropriate to use ‘I predict that…’ or ‘I recommend that…’.

With our conclusion written,
the essay is complete. Here is the final version. It is well over the 250
minimum word limit so, no prediction or recommendation sentence is needed.

         Finished essay

How to Write a Conclusion

Learning to write good Task 2 IELTS writing essays takes a lot of practice. Use this lesson and the two on introductions and main body paragraphs to learn the technique, then do as much practice as you can on all five question types.

Take as long to plan and write your essays as you need to at first. Gradually speed up the process until you can finish your essay within the 40 minutes allowed.

IELTS
Writing Test
 – Understand the format & marking criteria, know
what skills are assessed & learn the difference between the Academic &
General writing tests.

IELTS
Writing Tips
 – Top 10 tips to bring you success in your writing test.
Essential information you need to know to achieve a high score.

Task 2:

How To Write a Task 2 Introduction – Find out why a good introduction is essential. Learn how to write one using a simple 3 part strategy & discover 4 common mistakes to avoid.

How To Write Task 2 Main Body Paragraphs – Learn the simple 3 part structure for writing great main body paragraphs and also, 3 common mistakes to avoid. 

IELTS
Writing Task 2
 – The format, the 5 question types, the 5 step essay writing
strategy & sample questions. All the key information you need to know.

The 5 Types of Task 2 Essay – How to recognise the 5 different types of Task 2 essays. 15 sample
questions to study and a simple planning structure for each essay type.

Understanding
Task 2 Questions
 – How to quickly and easily analyse and understand
IELTS Writing Task 2 questions.

How To Plan a Task 2 Essay – Discover why essay planning
is essential & learn a simple 4 step strategy, the 4 part essay structure
& 4 methods of generating ideas.

Task 2
Marking Criteria
 – Find out how to meet the marking criteria in Task
2. See examples of good and poor answers & learn some common mistakes
to avoid.

The 5 Task 2 Essay Types:

Step-by-step instructions on how to plan & write high-level essays. Model answers & common mistakes to avoid.

  1.   Opinion Essays
  2.   Discussion Essays
  3.   Problem Solution Essays
  4.   Advantages & Disadvantages Essays
  5.   Double Question Essays
  1. Home

  2. IELTS Writing

  3. Task 2 Conclusions

How to Write Conclusions That Don’t Suck

When a guest author hands me their first sample draft, it’s often missing a conclusion — sometimes accompanied by a note of apology that they thought about it, but they don’t know how to wrap the darn thing up, and could I offer any suggestions?

How to Write a Conclusion

I don’t blame them — conclusions are often the most challenging part of any piece, and there’s a lot of conflicting advice about how to handle them. What follows is the most common advice I share with guest authors who are struggling with writing a conclusion that resonates.

Why writing conclusions is difficult

Remember your English teacher offering some form of the following advice about how to structure an essay or thesis statement?

“Tell ’em what you’re gonna tell ’em, tell ’em, and then tell ’em what you told ’em.”

It’s not terrible advice for a beginning writer — while the five paragraph paper has its faults, it’s a useful mechanism for learning to think critically and structure straightforward arguments. The advice breaks down, however, as soon as anyone wishes to communicate a moderately complex idea to anyone other than the person reading your paper.

See also:  3 tricks to improve your vocabulary

Yet further : Restate your main points, but don’t repeat yourself, but do make sure you summarize the entire piece, but definitely don’t introduce any new ideas. Make sure you signal this is the end, but don’t use the word “conclusion,” but do leave your reader with an interesting final impression …

No wonder so many folks find conclusions impossible.

A great conclusion answers the ‘so what?’ question

Regardless of length and format, it’s common to get to “the end of the middle” of whatever you’re writing and not know where to go from there.

How to Write a Conclusion

You already said what you meant and offered a pile of evidence to prove your point! What else is there to say?

It sets your idea in a broader context, which gives your writing a better chance of resonating with a larger audience. Take a step back from what you’ve been saying and ask: Why is this important? Why should anyone care?

Take Nick’s post on “Parting Ways With a Remote Employee.” It’s a list of tips about how to let go of an employee when you can’t be in the same room. The topic is a) ugly and b) probably irrelevant to most readers. But Nick does a nice job answering the “so what?” question in his conclusion:

How to Write a Conclusion

This conclusion tells the reader what they’re supposed to take away from the post. Why is this important? Because there’s another human being involved in this situation, and they’re having a much worse day than the person doing the firing.

Why should anyone care? Because if you take the advice Nick gives in this post, that person will have a better (at least, less horrible) experience, and ideally go on to succeed somewhere where they’ll be a better fit, and you can be a part of that.

Nick’s conclusion works because it takes the advice he gives throughout the post and applies it on a wider scale, at a more human level. The lesson applies to anyone who’s ever had to let someone go, not only remote teams.

Make it human

Getting personal is another good trick for writing conclusions that make an impact. How can you apply what you’ve just said not only to your work, but to your existence as a human on this planet?

how to write an academic conclusion

A conclusion is often separated into three key parts: A thesis, a summary of main ideas and a future focus (recommendation, prediction, solution).

How to Write a Conclusion

This image highlights the three parts of a conclusion: the thesis, the summary and a future prediction.

How to Write a Conclusion

These phrases will help you to construct your paragraph clearly.

Conclusions:

In conclusion,

To conclude,

To sum up,

Recommendation / Suggestion:

The evidence suggests that …

Therefore, it is recommended that … /

Governments should…

The findings of this study suggest that …

Prediction: 

One prediction is that…

If this continues, it could lead to…

An implication of this is the possibility that …

Solutions:

There is, therefore, a definite need for ……

There are a number of important changes which need to be made…

Another important practical implication is that …

 

More conclusion phrases: click here

How to Write a Conclusion

Conclusions – the basics [New for 2020]

This is  a great lesson to introduce and practice writing conclusions.

It begins with identifying key components of a conclusion, then offers valuable writing practice of summarising key points, restating a thesis and creating ideas for a future focus.

It finishes with using an essay outline to write a whole conclusion. (Example)  Time:180mins    Level ***** [B1/B2/C1]  / TEACHER MEMBERSHIP

x

Webpage link: Introductions

Thesis Statements: How to write a thesis statement.

How to Write a Strong Conclusion for Your Essay

Last updated: November 2019

How to Write a Conclusion

Ever wondered how to conclude an essay?

For some students, it’s far from the most challenging part of essay writing. They find it more challenging to choose a good topic for an essay, state a thesis, or write a clear essay outline. But our reader Emily has knocked spots off them all when asked to share tips on how to write a conclusion for your essay to impress teachers and help you get an A!

Don’t worry, Emily, you are not alone.

A concluding sentence of your essay isn’t less but sometimes even more challenging to write than its introduction. Our writers know it firsthand, so they give consent graciously to share the ultimate guide on conclusion definition, conclusion paragraph outline, conclusion examples, and expert tips on how to how to write a conclusion for a research paper.

So, keep on reading to master the art of writing essay conclusions once and for all.

What is an Essay Conclusion?

Conclusion definition is simple:

It’s the last paragraph of your essay or any other college pager, summarizing its thesis and arguments. It helps readers see why your essay should matter to them.

Why you need to know how to end an essay:

A conclusion provides closure and drives the main points of your essay one last time. It’s the chance to impress and give readers an understanding of why your paper matters. In other words, your essay conclusion should answer the question, “So what?”

  • Give the audience something to think about after they finish reading your essay.
  • A conclusion should give completeness to your paper. Ending it on a positive note would be a good practice.

It’s not about introducing new ideas but summing up your writing. The goal is to restate the thesis, summarize the essay’s body, and leave readers with a final impression.

Key aspects to remember:

  1. A strong essay conclusion restates, not rewrites your thesis from the introduction.
  2. A strong essay conclusion consists of three sentences minimum.
  3. It concludes thoughts, not presents new ideas.

How to Write a ConclusionExample source: Purdue OWL

So, here’s how to write a conclusion for your essay.

Conclusion Paragraph Outline

  • The number of sentences in your conclusion will depend on how many paragraphs (statements) you have in the essay.
  • Conclusion paragraph outline:
  • 1) A conclusion starter:
  • It’s the sentence restaining a thesis of your essay. So, if you wonder how to start a conclusion, rephrase your thesis statement and write it first.

2) A summary of the main parts of an essay:

  • Here you’ll have 2-3 sentences wrapping up the arguments of your essay. Explain how they fit together.

3) A concluding sentence:

  • It’s a final sentence of your essay, providing a sense of closure and connecting readers back to the introduction.

Here goes a standard structure with conclusion examples for you to understand how to conclude an essay:

How to Write a Conclusion

Sentence #1: restate the thesis by making the same point with other words (paraphrase).

~ Example:

  • Thesis: “Dogs are better pets than cats.”
  • Paraphrased: “Dogs make the best pets in the world.”

Sentence #2-4: review your arguments; summarize them by paraphrasing how you proved the thesis.

~ Example:

  • “Dogs are cleaner, better at showing affection, and ultimately easier to train.”

Sentence #5: connect back to the essay hook and relate your closing statement to the opening one; transit to human nature to impress a reader and give them food for thought.

~ Example:

  • “Change your life for the better – go get a dog.”

Finally

How to Write a Strong Conclusion Paragraph in an Argumentative Essay

You have been asked to write an argumentative essay and after all the work you put into doing research and writing the introductory and body paragraphs, you are left wondering about what you can write in the conclusion paragraph.

“What do I say that hasn’t been said already,” you wonder.

How to Write a ConclusionOriginal: SourceWell, you aren’t alone. The conclusion paragraph is indeed the section that gets the least attention. By the time people get to the end, they are often confused about how to approach it.

Don’t take writing conclusions lightly because it is the finishing touch that packages your essay properly, letting the reader know that you have given the essay the closure it deserves.

Regardless of how strong the arguments raised are, if your conclusion is weak, your essay will be rendered incomplete.

So you have stated your thesis, presented background information, introduced evidence, stated your point of view and refuted objections within the argumentative essay. Now, it is time to conclude. Read on as we tell you the do’s and don’ts of writing conclusion paragraphs.

How to Write a Conclusion

How to Write an Impactful Conclusion Paragraph that Leaves a Positive Impression

Writing the Conclusion

You have written your introduction, you have pumped out a few killer body paragraphs, and now your work is done, right? WRONG. Do not underestimate the importance of a strong conclusion. The conclusion of your graduate school admissions essay will be the last thing that the admissions officer reads, so you want to make sure to leave a strong final impression.

See also:  Geology: the science of rocks and minerals

By now, you have probably seen all over our site that we recommend that your essay include 40 percent narrative and 60 percent introspection.

Think of the narrative as the portion of your essay addressing the “what?”, and the introspection as the section addressing the “so what?” The conclusion then, attempts to answer the BIG “so what?” It should convey to the reader a clear reason why your paper’s argument is significant.

There are elements that a conclusion must include, and some additional elements that a conclusion may include. Do not settle for merely including the necessary elements; you want your essay to stand out.

The Basics

Your conclusion must include a rehashing of your thesis. Rehashing your thesis does not mean repeating your thesis. Find a different way of stating your topic and your perspective on that topic.

The conclusion should also include a brief summary of your points.

You do not have to mention each individual supporting argument, but make sure that you at least generally explain the contents of your essay.

Most importantly, you want your conclusion to tie back to your initial arguments. In the beginning you introduced your ideas, after which you spent the rest of the essay proving your argument. In the conclusion, you want to remind your reader of what the purpose of proving your argument was to begin with.

Strengthening your Conclusion

Here we have four recommended options for strengthening your conclusion in order of effectiveness. You do not have to limit yourself to using only one of these. You can, for instance, use the Past, Present, Future approach and still ask a provocative question.

1. Past, present, future

If your essay includes a long running narrative, this is an excellent feature to include in your conclusion.

In the introduction you speak in the present tense. In the body, you relate to a story from the past. Now, in the conclusion, you may want to end on an upbeat note by concluding with your aspirations for the future.

Take a look at the following example:

When I was younger I had always looked up to my older brother; he could have done no wrong. Now, as our relationship has developed I have seen all aspects of his personality and recognize that he too has his flaws.

Yet his important qualities—respect, courage, and determination—I still admire and try to emulate.

I am certain that one day I too will be someone’s role model, and I will strive to exhibit my best qualities to be just as great an influence.

The blue portion of the above text is a reference to the beginning of the running narrative the author uses in his essay. The green has summarized the points that were made throughout the essay. Finally, the portion in black denotes the author’s intentions for the future.

2. Suggest consequences

This is a similar approach to the previous one, but it can be applied to all types of essays. In this feature, you suggest the consequences of your points to your future at a given university and in your career.

If taking 9+ hours of ballet classes has turned you into a diligent person, how will being diligent make you a great college student? If you can juggle many activities, maybe this means that you will be very involved at the university that you attend.

Ultimately, all college application essays should suggest the same consequence: that you would be a positive and worthwhile addition to their university.

Take a look at the following example:

Lacrosse has always been an important component of my life, and has contributed to my passion for physical fitness. Although it is a heavy-time commitment, I believe it was a fundamental and invaluable part of my undergraduate career.

The physical and mental training, teamwork, and diligence I have learned from playing D1 lacrosse have all had an extraordinary impact on my attitude and determination.

While in pursuit of a Masters in Physical Therapy I am now confident that I have the ability overcome any obstacle in my path.

3. Ask a provocative question

If the reader is left thinking about your writing later in the day (in a positive way), then you have nailed your essay! Asking a provocative question at the end of your essay can be an effective way to lodge yourself in an admissions officer’s memory.

The danger with this approach comes from the risk of asking a question that would demand a separate, new essay to answer it. Make sure your question is relevant to your topic.

Take a look at this good example:

I have always been captivated by the variety of cultures and the range of human living conditions in the world.

My extensive travels, my interest in current events, and my knowledge of four languages have inspired my interest in international human rights.

Yet how can one have an impact on the world, without first learning its constituents? For this reason I am in eager pursuit of an education in international social work—a goal that I am confident I can realize through the public policy program.

4. Universalize

By this approach, you want to indicate how your argument relates to the grander scheme of things. How can your realizations about yourself apply and be beneficial to society? If you just narrated a story about the loss of your grandmother, for example, what does the process of losing a loved one generally teach people about going through difficult periods in their lives?

Check out this example:

Empathy is an extraordinary and infectious quality. Although it does not come naturally, it only requires some attention and a little bit of practice. After I made a conscious effort to be empathetic, I found that it had a profound effect on my day-to-day life. If every person could take on such an attitude, they would find themselves in a much better work and home environment.

The Zinger

There is nothing better than ending your entire essay with a strong quip, remark, or witticism (a zinger!). Of course, even a zinger has to tie in with one of the methods outlined above, but it is also important to pay particular attention to your closing sentence when taking this approach; your zinger must resonate with the rest of your conclusion.

Typically, a great note to end on is directly mentioning the university to which you are applying. In doing so, you indicate that your qualities, achievements, and background make you a perfect fit for the specific school to which you are applying.

As with all of the important and impactful sentences in your essay—keep your zinger short and sweet.

Structure

  • Begin by rehashing your thesis (not word for word). Keep this clear and to the point.
  • Next, summarize main points or important arguments that were in the body (2-3 sentences).
  • End with a zinger. Make your last sentence resonate with the reader while keeping it short and sweet.

Do

  • Revisit your thesis.
  • Summarize your main points.
  • Add something more than the bare minimum. Too many graduate school admission essays have weak conclusions. Your conclusion is an opportunity to stand out.
  • Spend time on your conclusion—it will not be overlooked.
  • End on a strong note. Make sure that your final sentence leaves a strong impression.

Don’t

  • Rewrite the thesis with no significant changes.
  • Introduce a new idea in the conclusion. You want to wrap up all loose ends.
  • Attempt to make up for an unfinished argument—do not write your conclusion until you have written all that you have to say.
  • Concentrate too much on a minor point in your essay. The summary should only include critical information for your argument.
  • Do not claim that you are not an expert or that you are not sure about something. Confidence is key.

How to Write a Conclusion

How to Write a Thesis Conclusion | Checklist and Examples

The conclusion is the very last part of your thesis or dissertation. Its main purposes are to:

  • Clearly state the answer to the main research question
  • Summarize and reflect on the research
  • Make recommendations for future work on the topic
  • Show what new knowledge you have contributed
See also:  Comparatives versus superlatives

The conclusion should be concise and engaging. Aim to leave the reader with a clear understanding of the main discovery or argument that your research has advanced.

Discussion vs conclusion

The conclusion contains similar elements to the discussion, and sometimes these two sections are combined (especially in shorter papers and journal articles). But in a thesis or dissertation, it’s usual to include a final chapter that wraps up your research and gives the reader a final impression of your work.

The conclusion chapter should be shorter and more general than the discussion. Instead of discussing specific results and interpreting the data in detail, here you make broad statements that sum up the most important insights of the research.

The conclusion should not introduce new data, interpretations, or arguments.

Length of the conclusion

Depending on the type of thesis, the conclusion should typically be around 5-7% of the overall word count. An empirical scientific study will often have a short conclusion that concisely states the main findings and recommendations, while a humanities thesis might require more space to conclude its analysis and tie all the chapters together in an overall argument.

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How to Write a Conclusion

Answer the research question

The conclusion should begin from the main question that your thesis or dissertation aimed to address. This is your final chance to show that you’ve done what you set out to do, so make sure to formulate a clear, concise answer.

Don’t repeat a list of all the results that you already discussed, but synthesize them into a final takeaway that the reader will remember.

Examples

How to Write a Conclusion

When contemplating how to write a conclusion, just remember: your introduction and conclusion are the appetizer and the dessert of your essay. Conclusions should round off the topic and leave a strong impression in the readers' minds. After all, this is your final moment to drive home your theme.

Yet, it's easy to develop writer's block when it's time to craft a winning conclusion. You may be tired of writing. You may be ready to move on to another assignment. But, now's not the time to give up.

The good news is, conclusions are semi-formulaic. Here are the three key elements to that formula.

1. Restate the Main Idea

What's the central idea to your thesis? That's a safe place to begin your conclusion. After all, you've directed every other section of your essay to support your thesis. To kick off your concluding paragraph, feel free to reiterate your main idea.

Try to make it fresh, though. You don't want to restate it verbatim. Rather, loosen it up a little as you prepare to remind readers why they'd be well-served to adopt your stance on the subject or follow your recommendation.

2. Summarize Three Main Points

Three is a good benchmark for your overall summary. You don't need to restate every argument you made, just the three you believe are the most striking. As with your main idea, don't be bland. Avoid simply repeating three points. Instead, show your readers how those points made your argument stronger.

Pull them together into one special force, adding weight to your main idea. Sometimes one idea won't hit home. But, when three compelling arguments join together, it's hard not to give some sort of credence to your argument.

3. End on a High Note

Leave the reader satisifed but also wanting more. For your closing line end on an interesting, thought-provoking idea. Pose a rhetorical question. State a striking quote from your research. Sometimes, good quotations act as illustrations, saying what we want to say with a little more glamour or panache.

Another way to add some “food for thought” to your conclusion is to tie your main idea to a broader scenario. Perhaps your paper examined Virginia Woolf's mark on literature. As you bring your three points home, consider the broader implications to her legacy, not only for literature but for feminists yet to come.

The closing line in your concluding paragraph is one that requires extra TLC. It's, literally, your last chance to make it stick.

One thing you should never do in your conclusion is introduce new information.

This will only confuse the reader and take away from the important features of a conclusion: the restatement of your main idea, your summary of three main points, and an epic closing line.

With these three elements in mind (a restatement of the theme, three key points, and a compelling closing line), let's take a look at an example of a good conclusion. Then, we'll pinpoint each of the three elements.

When you adopt a dog, you're not saving his or her life. You're saving your own.

With an ability to lower stress levels, increase cardiovascular activity, and improve your overall mood, who's getting the better end of the deal? The more you can support your local shelter, the more they'll be able to give back to the local community.

After all, “When you adopt a shelter pet, you save two lives – the one you adopt and the one that takes its place.” Together, we can save our finest friends, one adoption at a time.

In this conclusion, the writer restated the thesis: adopting a dog can save your life.

The paragraph progressed into three main points: dogs lower stress levels, increase cardiovascular activity, and improve peoples' moods.

Finally, the writer broadened the argument beyond the readers' immediate world. The case was made that one pet adoption actually saves two lives, not to mention the dog owners themselves.

Remind the Reader Why it Matters

Whatever you do, don't allow your conclusion to be an afterthought. Let it be the big brother who has his little sister's back. It's defending all those pages you just wrote in five powerful sentences.

Remind the reader why it matters. And then leave them nodding in agreement. That's the goal, anyway. You can't win everyone over, but you can certainly make readers pause and think.

If you've managed that much, then you've done well.

Now you're familiar with the formula for writing a striking conclusion, you can read through some further examples in our article Conclusion Examples to give you inspiration for formulating your own.

Ending the Essay: Conclusions

So much is at stake in writing a conclusion. This is, after all, your last chance to persuade your readers to your point of view, to impress yourself upon them as a writer and thinker. And the impression you create in your conclusion will shape the impression that stays with your readers after they've finished the essay.

The end of an essay should therefore convey a sense of completeness and closure as well as a sense of the lingering possibilities of the topic, its larger meaning, its implications: the final paragraph should close the discussion without closing it off.

To establish a sense of closure, you might do one or more of the following:

  • Conclude by linking the last paragraph to the first, perhaps by reiterating a word or phrase you used at the beginning.
  • Conclude with a sentence composed mainly of one-syllable words. Simple language can help create an effect of understated drama.
  • Conclude with a sentence that's compound or parallel in structure; such sentences can establish a sense of balance or order that may feel just right at the end of a complex discussion.

To close the discussion without closing it off, you might do one or more of the following:

  • Conclude with a quotation from or reference to a primary or secondary source, one that amplifies your main point or puts it in a different perspective. A quotation from, say, the novel or poem you're writing about can add texture and specificity to your discussion; a critic or scholar can help confirm or complicate your final point. For example, you might conclude an essay on the idea of home in James Joyce's short story collection, Dubliners, with information about Joyce's own complex feelings towards Dublin, his home. Or you might end with a biographer's statement about Joyce's attitude toward Dublin, which could illuminate his characters' responses to the city. Just be cautious, especially about using secondary material: make sure that you get the last word.

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