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This resource outlines the generally accepted structure for introductions, body paragraphs, and conclusions in an academic argument paper. Keep in mind that this resource contains guidelines and not strict rules about organization. Your structure needs to be flexible enough to meet the requirements of your purpose and audience.

Conclusions wrap up what you have been discussing in your paper. After moving from general to specific information in the introduction and body paragraphs, your conclusion should begin pulling back into more general information that restates the main points of your argument. Conclusions may also call for action or overview future possible research. The following outline may help you conclude your paper:

In a general way,

  • Restate your topic and why it is important,
  • Restate your thesis/claim,
  • Address opposing viewpoints and explain why readers should align with your position,
  • Call for action or overview future research possibilities.

Remember that once you accomplish these tasks, unless otherwise directed by your instructor, you are finished. Done. Complete. Don't try to bring in new points or end with a whiz bang(!) conclusion or try to solve world hunger in the final sentence of your conclusion. Simplicity is best for a clear, convincing message.

The preacher's maxim is one of the most effective formulas to follow for argument papers:

Tell what you're going to tell them (introduction).

Tell them (body).

Tell them what you told them (conclusion).

The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Conclusions

What this handout is about.

This handout will explain the functions of conclusions, offer strategies for writing effective ones, help you evaluate conclusions you’ve drafted, and suggest approaches to avoid.

About conclusions

Introductions and conclusions can be difficult to write, but they’re worth investing time in. They can have a significant influence on a reader’s experience of your paper.

Just as your introduction acts as a bridge that transports your readers from their own lives into the “place” of your analysis, your conclusion can provide a bridge to help your readers make the transition back to their daily lives. Such a conclusion will help them see why all your analysis and information should matter to them after they put the paper down.

Your conclusion is your chance to have the last word on the subject. The conclusion allows you to have the final say on the issues you have raised in your paper, to synthesize your thoughts, to demonstrate the importance of your ideas, and to propel your reader to a new view of the subject. It is also your opportunity to make a good final impression and to end on a positive note.

Your conclusion can go beyond the confines of the assignment. The conclusion pushes beyond the boundaries of the prompt and allows you to consider broader issues, make new connections, and elaborate on the significance of your findings.

Your conclusion should make your readers glad they read your paper. Your conclusion gives your reader something to take away that will help them see things differently or appreciate your topic in personally relevant ways. It can suggest broader implications that will not only interest your reader, but also enrich your reader’s life in some way. It is your gift to the reader.

Strategies for writing an effective conclusion

One or more of the following strategies may help you write an effective conclusion:

  • Play the “So What” Game. If you’re stuck and feel like your conclusion isn’t saying anything new or interesting, ask a friend to read it with you. Whenever you make a statement from your conclusion, ask the friend to say, “So what?” or “Why should anybody care?” Then ponder that question and answer it. Here’s how it might go: You: Basically, I’m just saying that education was important to Douglass. Friend: So what? You: Well, it was important because it was a key to him feeling like a free and equal citizen. Friend: Why should anybody care? You: That’s important because plantation owners tried to keep slaves from being educated so that they could maintain control. When Douglass obtained an education, he undermined that control personally. You can also use this strategy on your own, asking yourself “So What?” as you develop your ideas or your draft.
  • Return to the theme or themes in the introduction. This strategy brings the reader full circle. For example, if you begin by describing a scenario, you can end with the same scenario as proof that your essay is helpful in creating a new understanding. You may also refer to the introductory paragraph by using key words or parallel concepts and images that you also used in the introduction.
  • Synthesize, don’t summarize. Include a brief summary of the paper’s main points, but don’t simply repeat things that were in your paper. Instead, show your reader how the points you made and the support and examples you used fit together. Pull it all together.
  • Include a provocative insight or quotation from the research or reading you did for your paper.
  • Propose a course of action, a solution to an issue, or questions for further study. This can redirect your reader’s thought process and help her to apply your info and ideas to her own life or to see the broader implications.
  • Point to broader implications. For example, if your paper examines the Greensboro sit-ins or another event in the Civil Rights Movement, you could point out its impact on the Civil Rights Movement as a whole. A paper about the style of writer Virginia Woolf could point to her influence on other writers or on later feminists.

Strategies to avoid

  • Beginning with an unnecessary, overused phrase such as “in conclusion,” “in summary,” or “in closing.” Although these phrases can work in speeches, they come across as wooden and trite in writing.
  • Stating the thesis for the very first time in the conclusion.
  • Introducing a new idea or subtopic in your conclusion.
  • Ending with a rephrased thesis statement without any substantive changes.
  • Making sentimental, emotional appeals that are out of character with the rest of an analytical paper.
  • Including evidence (quotations, statistics, etc.) that should be in the body of the paper.

Four kinds of ineffective conclusions

  • The “That’s My Story and I’m Sticking to It” Conclusion. This conclusion just restates the thesis and is usually painfully short. It does not push the ideas forward. People write this kind of conclusion when they can’t think of anything else to say. Example: In conclusion, Frederick Douglass was, as we have seen, a pioneer in American education, proving that education was a major force for social change with regard to slavery.
  • The “Sherlock Holmes” Conclusion. Sometimes writers will state the thesis for the very first time in the conclusion. You might be tempted to use this strategy if you don’t want to give everything away too early in your paper. You may think it would be more dramatic to keep the reader in the dark until the end and then “wow” him with your main idea, as in a Sherlock Holmes mystery. The reader, however, does not expect a mystery, but an analytical discussion of your topic in an academic style, with the main argument (thesis) stated up front. Example: (After a paper that lists numerous incidents from the book but never says what these incidents reveal about Douglass and his views on education): So, as the evidence above demonstrates, Douglass saw education as a way to undermine the slaveholders’ power and also an important step toward freedom.
  • The “America the Beautiful”/”I Am Woman”/”We Shall Overcome” Conclusion. This kind of conclusion usually draws on emotion to make its appeal, but while this emotion and even sentimentality may be very heartfelt, it is usually out of character with the rest of an analytical paper. A more sophisticated commentary, rather than emotional praise, would be a more fitting tribute to the topic. Example: Because of the efforts of fine Americans like Frederick Douglass, countless others have seen the shining beacon of light that is education. His example was a torch that lit the way for others. Frederick Douglass was truly an American hero.
  • The “Grab Bag” Conclusion. This kind of conclusion includes extra information that the writer found or thought of but couldn’t integrate into the main paper. You may find it hard to leave out details that you discovered after hours of research and thought, but adding random facts and bits of evidence at the end of an otherwise-well-organized essay can just create confusion. Example: In addition to being an educational pioneer, Frederick Douglass provides an interesting case study for masculinity in the American South. He also offers historians an interesting glimpse into slave resistance when he confronts Covey, the overseer. His relationships with female relatives reveal the importance of family in the slave community.

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Douglass, Frederick. 1995. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself. New York: Dover.

Hamilton College. n.d. “Conclusions.” Writing Center. Accessed June 14, 2019. https://www.hamilton.edu//academics/centers/writing/writing-resources/conclusions .

Holewa, Randa. 2004. “Strategies for Writing a Conclusion.” LEO: Literacy Education Online. Last updated February 19, 2004. https://leo.stcloudstate.edu/acadwrite/conclude.html.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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Home / Guides / Writing Guides / Parts of a Paper / How to Write a Conclusion

How to Write a Conclusion

Introduction.

In this lesson, you will learn how to write a conclusion that follows from your argument.

Guide Overview

  • Writing conclusions
  • What goes into a conclusion?
  • Call to action
  • Restate your claim

Which do you pick?

  • What shouldn’t go in a conclusion
  • End product: a strong conclusion
  • Lesson conclusion

Writing Conclusions

When you write an argument, you need to make sure your reader walks away knowing exactly what your claim is and why it is correct. You can reinforce your claim one last time by writing a conclusion that supports your argument.​

For example, consider the following claim:

Animal testing is harmful to the animals tested on and is unnecessary.

What Goes into a Conclusion?

Your conclusion is the last thing your audience reads. It should relate back to your argument and leave your reader with something to think about.

Your conclusion may include:

  • A “so what” that explains why your argument is important
  • A call to action related to your claim
  • A restatement of your thesis or claim

Including a “so what?” in your conclusion helps your readers to see why your claim is important. ​It tells readers why your argument is relevant to their lives. You can add a “so what?” to your conclusion by returning to your original claim and asking, “so what?” “why is this idea important? ” Include the answer in your conclusion.

To support the claim that animal testing is wrong, you might say the following:

Animal rights is of concern to many people, but we often fail to consider whether the products we use were tested on animals or were made in a way that harms animals. As such, some animal lovers may not realize they are using products made in a way they fundamentally disagree.

Call to Action

A call to action rallies your readers to do something in response to your claim. If you are writing an argument about how climate change is caused by people, include a call to action at the end, asking your readers to make changes and fight back. A call to action helps readers to not only reflect on your claim, but also to walk away and do something with the information you’ve given them.

Going back to the example of your claim that animal testing is wrong, you might say the following:

Ending animal testing is as simple as purchasing products from companies that refuse to test their products on animals, and boycotting brands that do animal testing. For those hoping to take a larger stance against animal testing, writing letters or calling government representatives to express dissatisfaction with the practice can make a difference, as can participating in protests.

Restate Your Claim

The conclusion is the last thing your audience reads. This is a great place to restate your thesis and remind readers of what you are arguing and why. But remember, you don’t want to restate your thesis exactly, find a new way of saying it that ties in some of the evidence you’ve shared.

Here, you want to restate your claim that animal testing is wrong in different words. For example:

“The evidence above suggests that animal testing, known to be detrimental to animals, is also avoidable”
“While animal testing is widely known to harm animals, the myth that it is the best way of testing products has been dispelled through the evidence presented above.

Your conclusion can be made up of any or all of these three elements. You may want to restate your claim and tell your readers why it is important. Or, you could give your readers the “so what?” as part of a call to action.

Exactly what you include in your conclusion is up to you, but it should always relate to your claim and leave readers with something to think about.​

What Shouldn’t Go in a Conclusion

And remember, your conclusion should never introduce new information or claims. According to Chris Erat from the Clarkson Writing Center:

An effective conclusion allows the reader to reflect on the thesis statement after reading the supporting evidence.

End Product: A Strong Conclusion

Based on the points we’ve reviewed, a final conclusion about our animal testing claim may look like this:

Animal rights is of concern to many people, but we often fail to consider whether the products we use were tested on animals or were made in a way that harms animals. As such, some animal lovers may not realize they are using products made in a way they fundamentally disagree. Ending animal testing is as simple as purchasing products from companies that refuse to test their products on animals, and boycotting brands that do animal testing. For those hoping to take a larger stance against animal testing, writing letters or calling government representatives to express dissatisfaction with the practice can make a difference, as can participating in protests. While animal testing is widely known to harm animals, the myth that it is the best way of testing products has been dispelled through the evidence presented above.

Lesson Conclusion

In this lesson, you learned how to write a conclusion that leaves your reader with something to think about.

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Learn about the elements of a successful essay conclusion.

The conclusion is a very important part of your essay. Although it is sometimes treated as a roundup of all of the bits that didn’t fit into the paper earlier, it deserves better treatment than that! It's the last thing the reader will see, so it tends to stick in the reader's memory. It's also a great place to remind the reader exactly why your topic is important. A conclusion is more than just "the last paragraph"—it's a working part of the paper. This is the place to push your reader to think about the consequences of your topic for the wider world or for the reader's own life!

A good conclusion should do a few things:

Restate your thesis

Synthesize or summarize your major points

Make the context of your argument clear

Restating Your Thesis

You've already spent time and energy crafting a solid thesis statement for your introduction, and if you've done your job right, your whole paper focuses on that thesis statement. That's why it's so important to address the thesis in your conclusion! Many writers choose to begin the conclusion by restating the thesis, but you can put your thesis into the conclusion anywhere—the first sentence of the paragraph, the last sentence, or in between. Here are a few tips for rephrasing your thesis:

Remind the reader that you've proven this thesis over the course of your paper. For example, if you're arguing that your readers should get their pets from animal shelters rather than pet stores, you might say, "If you were considering that puppy in the pet-shop window, remember that your purchase will support 'puppy mills' instead of rescuing a needy dog, and consider selecting your new friend at your local animal shelter." This example gives the reader not only the thesis of the paper, but a reminder of the most powerful point in the argument!

Revise the thesis statement so that it reflects the relationship you've developed with the reader during the paper. For example, if you've written a paper that targets parents of young children, you can find a way to phrase your thesis to capitalize on that—maybe by beginning your thesis statement with, "As a parent of a young child…"

Don’t repeat your thesis word for word—make sure that your new statement is an independent, fresh sentence!

Summary or Synthesis

This section of the conclusion might come before the thesis statement or after it. Your conclusion should remind the reader of what your paper actually says! The best conclusion will include a synthesis, not just a summary—instead of a mere list of your major points, the best conclusion will draw those points together and relate them to one another so that your reader can apply the information given in the essay. Here are a couple of ways to do that:

Give a list of the major arguments for your thesis (usually, these are the topic sentences of the parts of your essay).

Explain how these parts are connected. For example, in the animal-shelter essay, you might point out that adopting a shelter dog helps more animals because your adoption fee supports the shelter, which makes your choice more socially responsible.

One of the most important functions of the conclusion is to provide context for your argument. Your reader may finish your essay without a problem and understand your argument without understanding why that argument is important. Your introduction might point out the reason your topic matters, but your conclusion should also tackle this questions. Here are some strategies for making your reader see why the topic is important:

Tell the reader what you want him or her to do. Is your essay a call to action? If so, remind the reader of what he/she should do. If not, remember that asking the reader to think a certain way is an action in itself. (In the above examples, the essay asks the reader to adopt a shelter dog—a specific action.)

Explain why this topic is timely or important. For example, the animal-shelter essay might end with a statistic about the number of pets in shelters waiting for adoption.

Remind the readers of why the topic matters to them personally. For example, it doesn’t matter much if you believe in the mission of animal shelters, if you're not planning to get a dog; however, once you're looking for a dog, it is much more important. The conclusion of this essay might say, "Since you’re in the market for a dog, you have a major decision to make: where to get one." This will remind the reader that the argument is personally important!

Conclusion paragraphs

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Writing Strong Conclusions

One of the often-overlooked sections of a paper is the conclusion. Some students are so happy that they've finished all of their body paragraphs that they tack on a short or repetitive conclusion. However, a good conclusion can help readers easily remember the writer's main points and emotionally reconnect them to the paper and writer.

Here are five basic methods for concluding your paper in a way that will leave your reader intrigued and impressed. Notice that many of them can also work in introductions .

If you began a paper with a brief story to illustrate your argument, try alluding to the story or wrapping it up in the conclusion.

Basic Summary

For technical papers or formal research papers, a basic summary of the paper's thesis and main points can help the reader remember what he or she read.

Here's an example of a basic summary from Grossmont College professor Karl Sherlock:

The right to vote is, indeed, a sacred privilege adding unique voices to a system of self-government. With a process of better education, improved political awareness, and more active political participation, young people under the age of twenty-one will have their own diverse and strong voices heard in elections, contributing their energies to social change and forging their own futures.

Notice that without reading the entire paper or even the first paragraph, a reader can locate this paper's thesis and three arguments used to defend it.

Startling Summary

Conclude the paper by restating your main argument as concisely and powerfully as possible. This often works best in informal papers or papers that use first or second person.

Here's the conclusion from "When Good Pictures Happen to Bad People: Why We Hate That We Like the Rolling Stone Cover" by Alexandra Sifferlin in Time Magazine , July 2013 (emphasis added):

However people resolve the dissonance of seeing Tsarnaev looking comfortable, even attractive, on the cover of a magazine with the knowledge of what he is accused of doing, maybe the most important lesson the article, and the image, might teach us is this: that monsters might indeed look like rock stars.

Famous Ideas

If your paper quotes a writer or another source, conclude the paper with words from this source or a description of how he or she might feel about your topic.

Here's the conclusion from "Meaning is Healthier than Happiness" by Emily Esfahani Smith in the Atlantic, August 1, 2013.

The terms hedonism and eudaimonism bring to mind the great philosophical debate, which has shaped Western civilization for over 2,000 years, about the nature of the good life. Does happiness lie in feeling good, as hedonists think, or in doing and being good, as Aristotle and his intellectual descendants, the virtue ethicists, think? From the evidence of this study, it seems that feeling good is not enough. People need meaning to thrive. In the words of Carl Jung, “The least of things with a meaning is worth more in life than the greatest of things without it.” Jung's wisdom certainly seems to apply to our bodies, if not also to our hearts and minds.

Hinting at Related Issues

You can consider peeking into a related topic that your paper doesn't address, but be careful: if it seems like you're beginning a brand new paper, your reader may wonder why you didn't.

The above article, "Meaning is Healthier than Happiness," does this with Jung's quote and Smith's final sentence:

In the words of Carl Jung, “The least of things with a meaning is worth more in life than the greatest of things without it.” Jung's wisdom certainly seems to apply to our bodies, if not also to our hearts and minds.

Smith adds the element of emotional and mental well-being that the article did not explore in depth, as the article focuses on a physical trait: gene expression patterns. The writer uses Jung's words here to reaffirm the findings in her article while hinting at a new line of thought about psychological/mental health, though she doesn't go into it.

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Writing a paper: conclusions, writing a conclusion.

A conclusion is an important part of the paper; it provides closure for the reader while reminding the reader of the contents and importance of the paper. It accomplishes this by stepping back from the specifics in order to view the bigger picture of the document. In other words, it is reminding the reader of the main argument. For most course papers, it is usually one paragraph that simply and succinctly restates the main ideas and arguments, pulling everything together to help clarify the thesis of the paper. A conclusion does not introduce new ideas; instead, it should clarify the intent and importance of the paper. It can also suggest possible future research on the topic.

An Easy Checklist for Writing a Conclusion

It is important to remind the reader of the thesis of the paper so he is reminded of the argument and solutions you proposed.
Think of the main points as puzzle pieces, and the conclusion is where they all fit together to create a bigger picture. The reader should walk away with the bigger picture in mind.
Make sure that the paper places its findings in the context of real social change.
Make sure the reader has a distinct sense that the paper has come to an end. It is important to not leave the reader hanging. (You don’t want her to have flip-the-page syndrome, where the reader turns the page, expecting the paper to continue. The paper should naturally come to an end.)
No new ideas should be introduced in the conclusion. It is simply a review of the material that is already present in the paper. The only new idea would be the suggesting of a direction for future research.

Conclusion Example

As addressed in my analysis of recent research, the advantages of a later starting time for high school students significantly outweigh the disadvantages. A later starting time would allow teens more time to sleep--something that is important for their physical and mental health--and ultimately improve their academic performance and behavior. The added transportation costs that result from this change can be absorbed through energy savings. The beneficial effects on the students’ academic performance and behavior validate this decision, but its effect on student motivation is still unknown. I would encourage an in-depth look at the reactions of students to such a change. This sort of study would help determine the actual effects of a later start time on the time management and sleep habits of students.

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Table of Contents

Collaboration, information literacy, writing process, conclusions – how to write compelling conclusions.

  • © 2023 by Jennifer Janechek - IBM Quantum

Conclusions generally address these issues:

  • How can you restate your ideas concisely and in a new way?
  • What have you left your reader to think about at the end of your paper?
  • How does your paper answer the “so what?” question?

As the last part of the paper, conclusions often get the short shrift. We instructors know (not that we condone it)—many students devote a lot less attention to the writing of the conclusion. Some students might even finish their conclusion thirty minutes before they have to turn in their papers. But even if you’re practicing desperation writing, don’t neglect your conclusion; it’s a very integral part of your paper.

Think about it: Why would you spend so much time writing your introductory material and your body paragraphs and then kill the paper by leaving your reader with a dud for a conclusion? Rather than simply trailing off at the end, it’s important to learn to construct a compelling conclusion—one that both reiterates your ideas and leaves your reader with something to think about.

How do I reiterate my main points?

In the first part of the conclusion, you should spend a brief amount of time summarizing what you’ve covered in your paper. This reiteration should not merely be a restatement of your thesis or a collection of your topic sentences but should be a condensed version of your argument, topic, and/or purpose.

Let’s take a look at an example reiteration from a paper about offshore drilling:

Ideally, a ban on all offshore drilling is the answer to the devastating and culminating environmental concerns that result when oil spills occur. Given the catastrophic history of three major oil spills, the environmental and economic consequences of offshore drilling should now be obvious.

Now, let’s return to the thesis statement in this paper so we can see if it differs from the conclusion:

As a nation, we should reevaluate all forms of offshore drilling, but deep water offshore oil drilling, specifically, should be banned until the technology to stop and clean up oil spills catches up with our drilling technology. Though some may argue that offshore drilling provides economic advantages and would lessen our dependence on foreign oil, the environmental and economic consequences of an oil spill are so drastic that they far outweigh the advantages.

The author has already discussed environmental/economic concerns with oil drilling. In the above example, the author provides an overview of the paper in the second sentence of the conclusion, recapping the main points and reminding the readers that they should now be willing to acknowledge this position as viable.

Though you may not always want to take this aggressive of an approach (i.e., saying something should be obvious to the reader), the key is to summarize your main ideas without “plagiarizing” by repeating yourself word for word. Instead, you may take the approach of saying, “The readers can now see, given the catastrophic history of three major oil spills, the environmental and economic consequences of oil drilling.”

Can you give me a real-life example of a conclusion?

Think of conclusions this way: You are watching a movie, which has just reached the critical plot point (the murderer will be revealed, the couple will finally kiss, the victim will be rescued, etc.), when someone else enters the room. This person has no idea what is happening in the movie. They might lean over to ask, “What’s going on?” You now have to condense the entire plot in a way that makes sense, so the person will not have to ask any other questions, but quickly, so that you don’t miss any more of the movie.

Your conclusion in a paper works in a similar way. When you write your conclusion, imagine that a person has just showed up in time to hear the last paragraph. What does that reader need to know in order to get the gist of your paper? You cannot go over the entire argument again because the rest of your readers have actually been present and listening the whole time. They don’t need to hear the details again. Writing a compelling conclusion usually relies on the balance between two needs: give enough detail to cover your point, but be brief enough to make it obvious that this is the end of the paper.

Remember that reiteration is not restatement. Summarize your paper in one to two sentences (or even three or four, depending on the length of the paper), and then move on to answering the “So what?” question.

How can I answer the “So what?” question?

The bulk of your conclusion should answer the “So what?” question. Have you ever had an instructor write “So what?” at the end of your paper? This is not meant to offend but rather to remind you to show readers the significance of your argument. Readers do not need or want an entire paragraph of summary, so you should craft some new tidbit of interesting information that serves as an extension of your original ideas.

There are a variety of ways that you can answer the “So what?” question. The following are just a few types of such “endnotes”:

The Call to Action

The call to action can be used at the end of a variety of papers, but it works best for persuasive papers. Persuasive papers include social action papers and Rogerian argument essays, which begin with a problem and move toward a solution that serves as the author’s thesis. Any time your purpose in writing is to change your readers’ minds or you want to get your readers to do something, the call to action is the way to go. The call to action asks your readers, after having progressed through a compelling and coherent argument, to do something or believe a certain way.

Following the reiteration of the essay’s argument, here is an example call to action:

We have advanced technology that allows deepwater offshore drilling, but we lack the similarly advanced technology that would manage these spills effectively. As such, until cleanup and prevention technology are available, we gatekeepers of our coastal shores and defenders of marine wildlife should ban offshore drilling, or, at the very least, demand a moratorium on all offshore oil drilling.

This call to action requests that the readers consider a ban on offshore drilling. Remember, you need to identify your audience before you begin writing. Whether the author wants readers to actually enact the ban or just to come to this side of the argument, the conclusion asks readers to do or believe something new based upon the information they just received.

The Contextualization

The contextualization places the author’s local argument, topic, or purpose in a more global context so that readers can see the larger purpose for the piece or where the piece fits into a larger conversation. Writers do research for papers in part so they can enter into specific conversations, and they provide their readers with a contextualization in the conclusion to acknowledge the broader dialogue that contains that smaller conversation.

For instance, if we were to return to the paper on offshore drilling, rather than proposing a ban (a call to action), we might provide the reader with a contextualization:

We have advanced technology that allows deepwater offshore drilling, but we lack the advanced technology that would manage these spills effectively. Thus, one can see the need to place environmental concerns at the forefront of the political arena. Many politicians have already done so, including Senator Doe and Congresswoman Smith.

Rather than asking readers to do or believe something, this conclusion answers the “So what?” question by showing why this specific conversation about offshore drilling matters in the larger conversation about politics and environmentalism.

The twist leaves readers with a contrasting idea to consider. For instance, to continue the offshore drilling paper, the author might provide readers with a twist in the last few lines of the conclusion:

While offshore drilling is certainly an important issue today, it is only a small part of the greater problem of environmental abuse. Until we are ready to address global issues, even a moratorium on offshore drilling will only delay the inevitable destruction of the environment.

While this contrasting idea does not negate the writer’s original argument, it does present an alternative contrasting idea to weigh against the original argument. The twist is similar to a cliffhanger, as it is intended to leave readers saying, “Hmm…”

Suggest Possibilities for Future Research

This approach to answering “So what?” is best for projects that might be developed into larger, ongoing projects later or to suggest possibilities for future research someone else who might be interested in that topic could explore. This approach involves pinpointing various directions which your research might take if someone were to extend the ideas included in your paper. Research is a conversation, so it’s important to consider how your piece fits into this conversation and how others might use it in their own conversations.

For example, to suggest possibilities for future research based on the paper on offshore drilling, the conclusion might end with something like this:

I have just explored the economic and environmental repercussions of offshore drilling based on the examples we have of three major oil spills over the past thirty years. Future research might uncover more economic and environmental consequences of offshore drilling, consequences that will become clearer as the effects of the BP oil spill become more pronounced and as more time passes.

Suggesting opportunities for future research involves the reader in the paper, just like the call to action. Readers may be inspired by your brilliant ideas to use your piece as a jumping-off point!

Whether you use a call to action, a twist, a contextualization, or a suggestion of future possibilities for research, it’s important to answer the “So what?” question to keep readers interested in your topic until the very end of the paper. And, perhaps more importantly, leaving your readers with something to consider makes it more likely that they will remember your piece of writing.

Revise your own argument by using the following questions to guide you:

  • What do you want readers to take away from your discussion?
  • What are the main points you made, why should readers care, and what ideas should they take away?

Brevity - Say More with Less

Brevity - Say More with Less

Clarity (in Speech and Writing)

Clarity (in Speech and Writing)

Coherence - How to Achieve Coherence in Writing

Coherence - How to Achieve Coherence in Writing

Diction

Flow - How to Create Flow in Writing

Inclusivity - Inclusive Language

Inclusivity - Inclusive Language

Simplicity

The Elements of Style - The DNA of Powerful Writing

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The conclusion is intended to help the reader understand why your research should matter to them after they have finished reading the paper. A conclusion is not merely a summary of the main topics covered or a re-statement of your research problem, but a synthesis of key points and, if applicable, where you recommend new areas for future research. For most college-level research papers, one or two well-developed paragraphs is sufficient for a conclusion, although in some cases, more paragraphs may be required in summarizing key findings and their significance.

Conclusions. The Writing Center. University of North Carolina; Conclusions. The Writing Lab and The OWL. Purdue University.

Importance of a Good Conclusion

A well-written conclusion provides you with important opportunities to demonstrate to the reader your understanding of the research problem. These include:

  • Presenting the last word on the issues you raised in your paper . Just as the introduction gives a first impression to your reader, the conclusion offers a chance to leave a lasting impression. Do this, for example, by highlighting key findings in your analysis that advance new understanding about the research problem, that are unusual or unexpected, or that have important implications applied to practice.
  • Summarizing your thoughts and conveying the larger significance of your study . The conclusion is an opportunity to succinctly re-emphasize  the "So What?" question by placing the study within the context of how your research advances past research about the topic.
  • Identifying how a gap in the literature has been addressed . The conclusion can be where you describe how a previously identified gap in the literature [described in your literature review section] has been filled by your research.
  • Demonstrating the importance of your ideas . Don't be shy. The conclusion offers you the opportunity to elaborate on the impact and significance of your findings. This is particularly important if your study approached examining the research problem from an unusual or innovative perspective.
  • Introducing possible new or expanded ways of thinking about the research problem . This does not refer to introducing new information [which should be avoided], but to offer new insight and creative approaches for framing or contextualizing the research problem based on the results of your study.

Bunton, David. “The Structure of PhD Conclusion Chapters.” Journal of English for Academic Purposes 4 (July 2005): 207–224; Conclusions. The Writing Center. University of North Carolina; Kretchmer, Paul. Twelve Steps to Writing an Effective Conclusion. San Francisco Edit, 2003-2008; Conclusions. The Writing Lab and The OWL. Purdue University; Assan, Joseph. "Writing the Conclusion Chapter: The Good, the Bad and the Missing." Liverpool: Development Studies Association (2009): 1-8.

Structure and Writing Style

I.  General Rules

The function of your paper's conclusion is to restate the main argument . It reminds the reader of the strengths of your main argument(s) and reiterates the most important evidence supporting those argument(s). Do this by stating clearly the context, background, and necessity of pursuing the research problem you investigated in relation to an issue, controversy, or a gap found in the literature. Make sure, however, that your conclusion is not simply a repetitive summary of the findings. This reduces the impact of the argument(s) you have developed in your essay.

When writing the conclusion to your paper, follow these general rules:

  • Present your conclusions in clear, simple language. Re-state the purpose of your study, then describe how your findings differ or support those of other studies and why [i.e., what were the unique or new contributions your study made to the overall research about your topic?].
  • Do not simply reiterate your findings or the discussion of your results. Provide a synthesis of arguments presented in the paper to show how these converge to address the research problem and the overall objectives of your study.
  • Indicate opportunities for future research if you haven't already done so in the discussion section of your paper. Highlighting the need for further research provides the reader with evidence that you have an in-depth awareness of the research problem and that further investigations should take place.

Consider the following points to help ensure your conclusion is presented well:

  • If the argument or purpose of your paper is complex, you may need to summarize the argument for your reader.
  • If, prior to your conclusion, you have not yet explained the significance of your findings or if you are proceeding inductively, use the end of your paper to describe your main points and explain their significance.
  • Move from a detailed to a general level of consideration that returns the topic to the context provided by the introduction or within a new context that emerges from the data. 

The conclusion also provides a place for you to persuasively and succinctly restate the research problem, given that the reader has now been presented with all the information about the topic . Depending on the discipline you are writing in, the concluding paragraph may contain your reflections on the evidence presented. However, the nature of being introspective about the research you have conducted will depend on the topic and whether your professor wants you to express your observations in this way.

NOTE : If asked to think introspectively about the topics, do not delve into idle speculation. Being introspective means looking within yourself as an author to try and understand an issue more deeply, not to guess at possible outcomes or make up scenarios not supported by the evidence.

II.  Developing a Compelling Conclusion

Although an effective conclusion needs to be clear and succinct, it does not need to be written passively or lack a compelling narrative. Strategies to help you move beyond merely summarizing the key points of your research paper may include any of the following strategies:

  • If your essay deals with a critical, contemporary problem, warn readers of the possible consequences of not attending to the problem proactively.
  • Recommend a specific course or courses of action that, if adopted, could address a specific problem in practice or in the development of new knowledge.
  • Cite a relevant quotation or expert opinion already noted in your paper in order to lend authority and support to the conclusion(s) you have reached [a good place to look is research from your literature review].
  • Explain the consequences of your research in a way that elicits action or demonstrates urgency in seeking change.
  • Restate a key statistic, fact, or visual image to emphasize the most important finding of your paper.
  • If your discipline encourages personal reflection, illustrate your concluding point by drawing from your own life experiences.
  • Return to an anecdote, an example, or a quotation that you presented in your introduction, but add further insight derived from the findings of your study; use your interpretation of results to recast it in new or important ways.
  • Provide a "take-home" message in the form of a succinct, declarative statement that you want the reader to remember about your study.

III. Problems to Avoid

Failure to be concise Your conclusion section should be concise and to the point. Conclusions that are too lengthy often have unnecessary information in them. The conclusion is not the place for details about your methodology or results. Although you should give a summary of what was learned from your research, this summary should be relatively brief, since the emphasis in the conclusion is on the implications, evaluations, insights, and other forms of analysis that you make. Strategies for writing concisely can be found here .

Failure to comment on larger, more significant issues In the introduction, your task was to move from the general [the field of study] to the specific [the research problem]. However, in the conclusion, your task is to move from a specific discussion [your research problem] back to a general discussion [i.e., how your research contributes new understanding or fills an important gap in the literature]. In short, the conclusion is where you should place your research within a larger context [visualize your paper as an hourglass--start with a broad introduction and review of the literature, move to the specific analysis and discussion, conclude with a broad summary of the study's implications and significance].

Failure to reveal problems and negative results Negative aspects of the research process should never be ignored. These are problems, deficiencies, or challenges encountered during your study should be summarized as a way of qualifying your overall conclusions. If you encountered negative or unintended results [i.e., findings that are validated outside the research context in which they were generated], you must report them in the results section and discuss their implications in the discussion section of your paper. In the conclusion, use your summary of the negative results as an opportunity to explain their possible significance and/or how they may form the basis for future research.

Failure to provide a clear summary of what was learned In order to be able to discuss how your research fits within your field of study [and possibly the world at large], you need to summarize briefly and succinctly how it contributes to new knowledge or a new understanding about the research problem. This element of your conclusion may be only a few sentences long.

Failure to match the objectives of your research Often research objectives in the social sciences change while the research is being carried out. This is not a problem unless you forget to go back and refine the original objectives in your introduction. As these changes emerge they must be documented so that they accurately reflect what you were trying to accomplish in your research [not what you thought you might accomplish when you began].

Resist the urge to apologize If you've immersed yourself in studying the research problem, you presumably should know a good deal about it [perhaps even more than your professor!]. Nevertheless, by the time you have finished writing, you may be having some doubts about what you have produced. Repress those doubts! Don't undermine your authority by saying something like, "This is just one approach to examining this problem; there may be other, much better approaches that...." The overall tone of your conclusion should convey confidence to the reader.

Assan, Joseph. "Writing the Conclusion Chapter: The Good, the Bad and the Missing." Liverpool: Development Studies Association (2009): 1-8; Concluding Paragraphs. College Writing Center at Meramec. St. Louis Community College; Conclusions. The Writing Center. University of North Carolina; Conclusions. The Writing Lab and The OWL. Purdue University; Freedman, Leora  and Jerry Plotnick. Introductions and Conclusions. The Lab Report. University College Writing Centre. University of Toronto; Leibensperger, Summer. Draft Your Conclusion. Academic Center, the University of Houston-Victoria, 2003; Make Your Last Words Count. The Writer’s Handbook. Writing Center. University of Wisconsin Madison; Miquel, Fuster-Marquez and Carmen Gregori-Signes. “Chapter Six: ‘Last but Not Least:’ Writing the Conclusion of Your Paper.” In Writing an Applied Linguistics Thesis or Dissertation: A Guide to Presenting Empirical Research . John Bitchener, editor. (Basingstoke,UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), pp. 93-105; Tips for Writing a Good Conclusion. Writing@CSU. Colorado State University; Kretchmer, Paul. Twelve Steps to Writing an Effective Conclusion. San Francisco Edit, 2003-2008; Writing Conclusions. Writing Tutorial Services, Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning. Indiana University; Writing: Considering Structure and Organization. Institute for Writing Rhetoric. Dartmouth College.

Writing Tip

Don't Belabor the Obvious!

Avoid phrases like "in conclusion...," "in summary...," or "in closing...." These phrases can be useful, even welcome, in oral presentations. But readers can see by the tell-tale section heading and number of pages remaining to read, when an essay is about to end. You'll irritate your readers if you belabor the obvious.

Assan, Joseph. "Writing the Conclusion Chapter: The Good, the Bad and the Missing." Liverpool: Development Studies Association (2009): 1-8.

Another Writing Tip

New Insight, Not New Information!

Don't surprise the reader with new information in your conclusion that was never referenced anywhere else in the paper and, as such, the conclusion rarely has citations to sources. If you have new information to present, add it to the discussion or other appropriate section of the paper. Note that, although no actual new information is introduced, the conclusion, along with the discussion section, is where you offer your most "original" contributions in the paper; the conclusion is where you describe the value of your research, demonstrate that you understand the material that you’ve presented, and locate your findings within the larger context of scholarship on the topic, including describing how your research contributes new insights or valuable insight to that scholarship.

Assan, Joseph. "Writing the Conclusion Chapter: The Good, the Bad and the Missing." Liverpool: Development Studies Association (2009): 1-8; Conclusions. The Writing Center. University of North Carolina.

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How to Write a Strong Conclusion Paragraph

All’s well that ends well ... including your essay! Writing a strong conclusion paragraph for your college essay is important if you want to leave a positive lasting impression on your reader.

The conclusion is your chance to leave a lasting and thoughtful impression on your reader. You want to wrap up your essay in a way that makes the reader glad they took the time to read it.

Once you’ve laid out a solid introduction and supported your ideas with quality details, you want to finish strong by wrapping up your thoughts perfectly.

The conclusion paragraph, in theory, seems like the easiest part of an essay to write..really, you’re just wrapping up thoughts you’ve already written. But conclusions ( and introductions ) are sometimes the trickiest parts of an essay to get right.

Learning how to write a conclusion takes practice, but there are many tips to help guide you through the process. With a few hints about what to do (and what not to do), you’ll be crafting stellar conclusions in no time!

Why does a conclusion paragraph matter?

Your conclusion is your final word in the argument you’ve written out. It can inspire your reader to see things from a different point of view or challenge the reader to open his mind to new ideas. It also serves as a reminder of everything the reader has just learned and ties together all of the points you’ve made.

You want to craft your last words well so that people take something important away from what you’ve written. It should also provide an understanding of your topic as a whole and how all of the different claims you’ve made in your essay connect back to your central argument.

How should I format a conclusion paragraph?

There are some basic formulas that fit in with a standard college essay format that can help you get started on laying out your final thoughts.

Most conclusion paragraphs are four to five sentences long and should average between 50–75 words. They should be long enough to get your point across, but short enough that you’re not rehashing every idea you’ve ever had on the subject.

Conclusion paragraphs begin by revisiting the main idea definition . The first sentence reminds the reader of what this has all been about. This sentence revisits your thesis statement or main topic.

If you revisit the hook from the introduction of your essay and tie it into your conclusion, you’ll make your piece come full circle and tie all of your arguments together.

The next two to three sentences tie together the main points you have used to support your thesis or central topic. Finally, your closing sentence is where you drive home the meat of your message and leave a lasting impression on the reader.

What should I include in my conclusion?

Every conclusion is trying to accomplish similar goals: making a lasting and positive impression on the reader, tying all of the pieces of an essay’s argument together, and making the reader think. But the road to these goals can take many different directions.

There are a lot of options as to what to include in your conclusion. Here are a few to consider:

  • A connection to your hook. If you began your essay with a hook to get your reader’s interest, you can tie back into it at the end. Did you start off with a question? Provide the answer. Did you tell the beginning of a story? Let them know the ending. Using a hook is a great tactic to start a paper, and tying it into your conclusion artfully is an easy way to end your paper. ‍
  • An answer to the question “So what?” When you can’t think of what to say, pretend to be your reader and ask yourself, “So what?” When the reader reaches the end of your essay, they should completely understand your essay’s purpose. Why should they care about the argument you’ve been making? Take your main idea and ask, “So what?” Then keep digging deeper until you have the ultimate takeaway from what you’ve been trying to express. ‍
  • A solution. Or a challenge to the reader to think of a solution. If your essay involves a problem or an issue that needs to be solved, you can end with an answer to that problem. If it seems unsolvable, you can end with options that might get people closer to solving the issue. ‍
  • A poignant quote. If there’s a powerful quote that adds substance to your essay, feel free to add it. But it has to be relevant and tie together your concluding thoughts (and of course, give credit to the author).

What should I avoid in my conclusion?

You don’t want to put all of your hard work into a powerful introduction and fantastic body paragraphs, just to tank it in the end with a conclusion that goes way off course.

Be sure to avoid these common errors:

  • Repeating your introduction as your conclusion. Although it’s good practice to revisit your thesis statement or main ideas in your conclusion, make sure you rephrase your thoughts and present them in a slightly different light. You want to connect to your opening and reflect on it, but you don’t want it to be exactly the same. ‍
  • Introducing a completely new idea for the first time in the conclusion. After you’ve organized your ideas and made your claims, it’s very confusing to the reader if you throw in a random new idea at the end of the essay. It may seem like an exciting twist, but really, it’s just poor organization. Keep your focus on the main argument throughout the essay, especially when you are wrapping it all up. ‍
  • Using boring phrases to start your conclusion. In summary... In conclusion... These phrases (and others like these) have no place in a conclusion paragraph. Let your ideas and creative wording guide the reader to realize you’re wrapping up your thoughts. ‍
  • Changing your tone. The tone of your essay should be consistent throughout. If you’re very scientific in your entire essay, don’t end it in a really conversational tone. If your tone is very friendly and laid-back, don’t get extremely serious and judgmental in your conclusion. Whoever you are in the introduction, that voice should be clearly echoed in the conclusion. ‍
  • Rambling. Be succinct. This is not the time to start listing random thoughts or coming up with supporting details that really should have already been mentioned in previous paragraphs. Nor is it the time to restate the same idea over and over.

There are a lot of things to consider when concluding your essay. You want to hit the highlights, make people think, and leave them with a positive impression of what they have just read. You only have one chance to wrap things up nicely for your reader. Make your conclusion succinct, thought-provoking and powerful.

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strong conclusion should look to accomplish which of the following

How to Write a Conclusion for an Essay

strong conclusion should look to accomplish which of the following

By the time you get to the final paragraph of your paper, you have already done so much work on your essay, so all you want to do is to wrap it up as quickly as possible. You’ve already made a stunning introduction, proven your argument, and structured the whole piece as supposed – who cares about making a good conclusion paragraph?

The only thing you need to remember is that the conclusion of an essay is not just the last paragraph of an academic paper where you restate your thesis and key arguments. A concluding paragraph is also your opportunity to have a final impact on your audience. 

Feeling Overwhelmed Writing Your Essay Conclusion?

Simply send us your paper requirements, choose a writer and we’ll get it done fast.

How to write a conclusion paragraph that leaves a lasting impression – In this guide, the team at EssayPro is going to walk you through the process of writing a perfect conclusion step by step. Additionally, we will share valuable tips and tricks to help students of all ages impress their readers at the last moment.

Instead of Intro: What Is a Conclusion?

Before we can move on, let’s take a moment here to define the conclusion itself. According to the standard conclusion definition, it is pretty much the last part of something, its result, or end. However, this term is rather broad and superficial.

When it comes to writing academic papers, a concluding statement refers to an opinion, judgment, suggestion, or position arrived at by logical reasoning (through the arguments provided in the body of the text). Therefore, if you are wondering “what is a good closing sentence like?” – keep on reading.

What Does a Good Conclusion Mean?

Writing a good conclusion for a paper isn’t easy. However, we are going to walk you through this process step by step. Although there are generally no strict rules on how to formulate one, there are some basic principles that everyone should keep in mind. In this section, we will share some core ideas for writing a good conclusion, and, later in the article, we will also provide you with more practical advice and examples.

How to Write a Conclusion for an Essay _ 4 MAJOR OBJECTIVES THAT CONCLUSION MUST ACCOMPLISH

Here are the core goals a good conclusion should complete:

  • “Wrap up” the entire paper;
  • Demonstrate to readers that the author accomplished what he/she set out to do;
  • Show how you the author has proved their thesis statement;
  • Give a sense of completeness and closure on the topic;
  • Leave something extra for your reader to think about;
  • Leave a powerful final impact on a reader.

Another key thing to remember is that you should not introduce any new ideas or arguments to your paper's conclusion. It should only sum up what you have already written, revisit your thesis statement, and end with a powerful final impression.

When considering how to write a conclusion that works, here are the key points to keep in mind:

  • A concluding sentence should only revisit the thesis statement, not restate it;
  • It should summarize the main ideas from the body of the paper;
  • It should demonstrate the significance and relevance of your work;
  • An essay’s conclusion should include a call for action and leave space for further study or development of the topic (if necessary).

How Long Should a Conclusion Be? 

Although there are no strict universal rules regarding the length of an essay’s final clause, both teachers and experienced writers recommend keeping it clear, concise, and straight to the point. There is an unspoken rule that the introduction and conclusion of an academic paper should both be about 10% of the overall paper’s volume. For example, if you were assigned a 1500 word essay, both the introductory and final clauses should be approximately 150 words long (300 together).

Why You Need to Know How to End an Essay:

A conclusion is what drives a paper to its logical end. It also drives the main points of your piece one last time. It is your last opportunity to impact and impress your audience. And, most importantly, it is your chance to demonstrate to readers why your work matters. Simply put, the final paragraph of your essay should answer the last important question a reader will have – “So what?”

If you do a concluding paragraph right, it can give your readers a sense of logical completeness. On the other hand, if you do not make it powerful enough, it can leave them hanging, and diminish the effect of the entire piece.

Strategies to Crafting a Proper Conclusion

Although there are no strict rules for what style to use to write your conclusion, there are several strategies that have been proven to be effective. In the list below, you can find some of the most effective strategies with some good conclusion paragraph examples to help you grasp the idea.

One effective way to emphasize the significance of your essay and give the audience some thought to ponder about is by taking a look into the future. The “When and If” technique is quite powerful when it comes to supporting your points in the essay’s conclusion.

Prediction essay conclusion example: “Taking care of a pet is quite hard, which is the reason why most parents refuse their children’s requests to get a pet. However, the refusal should be the last choice of parents. If we want to inculcate a deep sense of responsibility and organization in our kids, and, at the same time, sprout compassion in them, we must let our children take care of pets.”

Another effective strategy is to link your conclusion to your introductory paragraph. This will create a full-circle narration for your readers, create a better understanding of your topic, and emphasize your key point.

Echo conclusion paragraph example: Introduction: “I believe that all children should grow up with a pet. I still remember the exact day my parents brought my first puppy to our house. This was one of the happiest moments in my life and, at the same time, one of the most life-changing ones. Growing up with a pet taught me a lot, and most importantly, it taught me to be responsible.” Conclusion:. “I remember when I picked up my first puppy and how happy I was at that time. Growing up with a pet, I learned what it means to take care of someone, make sure that he always has water and food, teach him, and constantly keep an eye on my little companion. Having a child grow up with a pet teaches them responsibility and helps them acquire a variety of other life skills like leadership, love, compassion, and empathy. This is why I believe that every kid should grow up with a pet!”

Finally, one more trick that will help you create a flawless conclusion is to amplify your main idea or to present it in another perspective of a larger context. This technique will help your readers to look at the problem discussed from a different angle.

Step-up argumentative essay conclusion example: “Despite the obvious advantages of owning a pet in childhood, I feel that we cannot generalize whether all children should have a pet. Whereas some kids may benefit from such experiences, namely, by becoming more compassionate, organized, and responsible, it really depends on the situation, motivation, and enthusiasm of a particular child for owning a pet.”

What is a clincher in an essay? – The final part of an essay’s conclusion is often referred to as a clincher sentence. According to the clincher definition, it is a final sentence that reinforces the main idea or leaves the audience with an intriguing thought to ponder upon. In a nutshell, the clincher is very similar to the hook you would use in an introductory paragraph. Its core mission is to seize the audience’s attention until the end of the paper. At the same time, this statement is what creates a sense of completeness and helps the author leave a lasting impression on the reader.

Now, since you now know what a clincher is, you are probably wondering how to use one in your own paper. First of all, keep in mind that a good clincher should be intriguing, memorable, smooth, and straightforward.

Generally, there are several different tricks you can use for your clincher statement; it can be:

  • A short, but memorable and attention-grabbing conclusion;
  • A relevant and memorable quote (only if it brings actual value);
  • A call to action;
  • A rhetorical question;
  • An illustrative story or provocative example;
  • A warning against a possibility or suggestion about the consequences of a discussed problem;
  • A joke (however, be careful with this as it may not always be deemed appropriate).

Regardless of the technique you choose, make sure that your clincher is memorable and aligns with your introduction and thesis.

Clincher examples: - While New York may not be the only place with the breathtaking views, it is definitely among my personal to 3… and that’s what definitely makes it worth visiting. - “Thence we came forth to rebehold the stars”, Divine Comedy - Don’t you think all these advantages sound like almost life-saving benefits of owning a pet? “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”, The Great Gatsby

strategies

Conclusion Writing Don'ts 

Now, when you know what tricks and techniques you should use to create a perfect conclusion, let’s look at some of the things you should not do with our online paper writing service :

  • Starting with some cliché concluding sentence starters. Many students find common phrases like “In conclusion,” “Therefore,” “In summary,” or similar statements to be pretty good conclusion starters. However, though such conclusion sentence starters may work in certain cases – for example, in speeches – they are overused, so it is recommended not to use them in writing to introduce your conclusion.
  • Putting the first mention of your thesis statement in the conclusion – it has to be presented in your introduction first.
  • Providing new arguments, subtopics, or ideas in the conclusion paragraph.
  • Including a slightly changed or unchanged thesis statement.
  • Providing arguments and evidence that belong in the body of the work.
  • Writing too long, hard to read, or confusing sentences.

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Conclusion Paragraph Outline

The total number of sentences in your final paragraph may vary depending on the number of points you discussed in your essay, as well as on the overall word count of your paper. However, the overall conclusion paragraph outline will remain the same and consists of the following elements:

conclusion ouline

  • A conclusion starter:

The first part of your paragraph should drive readers back to your thesis statement. Thus, if you were wondering how to start a conclusion, the best way to do it is by rephrasing your thesis statement.

  • Summary of the body paragraphs:

Right after revisiting your thesis, you should include several sentences that wrap up the key highlights and points from your body paragraphs. This part of your conclusion can consist of 2-3 sentences—depending on the number of arguments you’ve made. If necessary, you can also explain to the readers how your main points fit together.

  • A concluding sentence:

Finally, you should end your paragraph with a last, powerful sentence that leaves a lasting impression, gives a sense of logical completeness, and connects readers back to the introduction of the paper.

These three key elements make up a perfect essay conclusion. Now, to give you an even better idea of how to create a perfect conclusion, let us give you a sample conclusion paragraph outline with examples from an argumentative essay on the topic of “Every Child Should Own a Pet:

  • Sentence 1: Starter
  • ~ Thesis: "Though taking care of a pet may be a bit challenging for small children. Parents should not restrict their kids from having a pet as it helps them grow into more responsible and compassionate people."
  • ~ Restated thesis for a conclusion: "I can say that taking care of a pet is good for every child."
  • Sentences 2-4: Summary
  • ~ "Studies have shown that pet owners generally have fewer health problems."
  • ~ "Owning a pet teaches a child to be more responsible."
  • ~ "Spending time with a pet reduces stress, feelings of loneliness, and anxiety."
  • Sentence 5: A concluding sentence
  • ~ "Pets can really change a child life for the better, so don't hesitate to endorse your kid's desire to own a pet."

This is a clear example of how you can shape your conclusion paragraph.

How to Conclude Various Types of Essays

Depending on the type of academic essay you are working on, your concluding paragraph's style, tone, and length may vary. In this part of our guide, we will tell you how to end different types of essays and other works.

How to End an Argumentative Essay

Persuasive or argumentative essays always have the single goal of convincing readers of something (an idea, stance, or viewpoint) by appealing to arguments, facts, logic, and even emotions. The conclusion for such an essay has to be persuasive as well. A good trick you can use is to illustrate a real-life scenario that proves your stance or encourages readers to take action. More about persuasive essay outline you can read in our article.

Here are a few more tips for making a perfect conclusion for an argumentative essay:

  • Carefully read the whole essay before you begin;
  • Re-emphasize your ideas;
  • Discuss possible implications;
  • Don’t be afraid to appeal to the reader’s emotions.

How to End a Compare and Contrast Essay

The purpose of a compare and contrast essay is to emphasize the differences or similarities between two or more objects, people, phenomena, etc. Therefore, a logical conclusion should highlight how the reviewed objects are different or similar. Basically, in such a paper, your conclusion should recall all of the key common and distinctive features discussed in the body of your essay and also give readers some food for thought after they finish reading it.

How to Conclude a Descriptive Essay

The key idea of a descriptive essay is to showcase your creativity and writing skills by painting a vivid picture with the help of words. This is one of the most creative types of essays as it requires you to show a story, not tell it. This kind of essay implies using a lot of vivid details. Respectively, the conclusion of such a paper should also use descriptive imagery and, at the same time, sum up the main ideas. A good strategy for ending a descriptive essay would be to begin with a short explanation of why you wrote the essay. Then, you should reflect on how your topic affects you. In the middle of the conclusion, you should cover the most critical moments of the story to smoothly lead the reader into a logical closing statement. The “clincher”, in this case, should be a thought-provoking final sentence that leaves a good and lasting impression on the audience. Do not lead the reader into the essay and then leave them with dwindling memories of it.

How to Conclude an Essay About Yourself

If you find yourself writing an essay about yourself, you need to tell a personal story. As a rule, such essays talk about the author’s experiences, which is why a conclusion should create a feeling of narrative closure. A good strategy is to end your story with a logical finale and the lessons you have learned, while, at the same time, linking it to the introductory paragraph and recalling key moments from the story.

How to End an Informative Essay

Unlike other types of papers, informative or expository essays load readers with a lot of information and facts. In this case, “Synthesize, don’t summarize” is the best technique you can use to end your paper. Simply put, instead of recalling all of the major facts, you should approach your conclusion from the “So what?” position by highlighting the significance of the information provided.

How to Conclude a Narrative Essay

In a nutshell, a narrative essay is based on simple storytelling. The purpose of this paper is to share a particular story in detail. Therefore, the conclusion for such a paper should wrap up the story and avoid finishing on an abrupt cliffhanger. It is vital to include the key takeaways and the lessons learned from the story.

How to Write a Conclusion for a Lab Report

Unlike an essay, a lab report is based on an experiment. This type of paper describes the flow of a particular experiment conducted by a student and its conclusion should reflect on the outcomes of this experiment.

In thinking of how to write a conclusion for a lab, here are the key things you should do to get it right:

  • Restate the goals of your experiment
  • Describe the methods you used
  • Include the results of the experiment and analyze the final data
  • End your conclusion with a clear statement on whether or not the experiment was successful (Did you reach the expected results?)

How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper

Writing a paper is probably the hardest task of all, even for experienced dissertation writer . Unlike an essay or even a lab report, a research paper is a much longer piece of work that requires a deeper investigation of the problem. Therefore, a conclusion for such a paper should be even more sophisticated and powerful. If you're feeling difficulty writing an essay, you can buy essay on our service.

How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper

However, given that a research paper is the second most popular kind of academic paper (after an essay), it is important to know how to conclude a research paper. Even if you have not yet been assigned to do this task, be sure that you will face it soon. So, here are the steps you should follow to create a great conclusion for a research paper:

  • Restate the Topic

Start your final paragraph with a quick reminder of what the topic of the piece is about. Keep it one sentence long.

  • Revisit the Thesis

Next, you should remind your readers what your thesis statement was. However, do not just copy and paste it from the introductory clause: paraphrase your thesis so that you deliver the same idea but with different words. Keep your paraphrased thesis narrow, specific, and topic-oriented.

  • Summarise Your Key Ideas

Just like the case of a regular essay’s conclusion, a research paper’s final paragraph should also include a short summary of all of the key points stated in the body sections. We recommend reading the entire body part a few times to define all of your main arguments and ideas.

  • Showcase the Significance of Your Work

In the research paper conclusion, it is vital to highlight the significance of your research problem and state how your solution could be helpful.

  • Make Suggestions for Future Studies

Finally, at the end of your conclusion, you should define how your findings will contribute to the development of its particular field of science. Outline the perspectives of further research and, if necessary, explain what is yet to be discovered on the topic.

Then, end your conclusion with a powerful concluding sentence – it can be a rhetorical question, call to action, or another hook that will help you have a strong impact on the audience.

  • Answer the Right Questions

To create a top-notch research paper conclusion, be sure to answer the following questions:

  • What is the goal of a research paper?
  • What are the possible solutions to the research question(s)?
  • How can your results be implemented in real life? (Is your research paper helpful to the community?)
  • Why is this study important and relevant?

Additionally, here are a few more handy tips to follow:

  • Provide clear examples from real life to help readers better understand the further implementation of the stated solutions;
  • Keep your conclusion fresh, original, and creative.

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So, What Is a Good Closing Sentence? See The Difference

One of the best ways to learn how to write a good conclusion is to look at several professional essay conclusion examples. In this section of our guide, we are going to look at two different final paragraphs shaped on the basis of the same template, but even so, they are very different – where one is weak and the other is strong. Below, we are going to compare them to help you understand the difference between a good and a bad conclusion.

Here is the template we used: College degrees are in decline. The price of receiving an education does not correlate with the quality of the education received. As a result, graduated students face underemployment, and the worth of college degrees appears to be in serious doubt. However, the potential social and economic benefits of educated students balance out the equation.

Strong Conclusion ‍

People either see college as an opportunity or an inconvenience; therefore, a degree can only hold as much value as its owner’s skillset. The underemployment of graduate students puts the worth of college degrees in serious doubt. Yet, with the multitude of benefits that educated students bring to society and the economy, the equation remains in balance. Perhaps the ordinary person should consider college as a wise financial investment, but only if they stay determined to study and do the hard work.

Why is this example good? There are several key points that prove its effectiveness:

  • There is a bold opening statement that encompasses the two contrasting types of students we can see today.
  • There are two sentences that recall the thesis statement and cover the key arguments from the body of the essay.
  • Finally, the last sentence sums up the key message of the essay and leaves readers with something to think about.

Weak Conclusion

In conclusion, with the poor preparation of students in college and the subsequent underemployment after graduation from college, the worth associated with the college degree appears to be in serious doubt. However, these issues alone may not reasonably conclude beyond a doubt that investing in a college degree is a rewarding venture. When the full benefits that come with education are carefully put into consideration and evaluated, college education for children in any country still has good advantages, and society should continue to advocate for a college education. The ordinary person should consider this a wise financial decision that holds rewards in the end. Apart from the monetary gains associated with a college education, society will greatly benefit from students when they finish college. Their minds are going to be expanded, and their reasoning and decision making will be enhanced.

What makes this example bad? Here are a few points to consider:

  • Unlike the first example, this paragraph is long and not specific enough. The author provides plenty of generalized phrases that are not backed up by actual arguments.
  • This piece is hard to read and understand and sentences have a confusing structure. Also, there are lots of repetitions and too many uses of the word “college”.
  • There is no summary of the key benefits.
  • The last two sentences that highlight the value of education contradict with the initial statement.
  • Finally, the last sentence doesn’t offer a strong conclusion and gives no thought to ponder upon.
  • In the body of your essay, you have hopefully already provided your reader(s) with plenty of information. Therefore, it is not wise to present new arguments or ideas in your conclusion.
  • To end your final paragraph right, find a clear and straightforward message that will have the most powerful impact on your audience.
  • Don’t use more than one quote in the final clause of your paper – the information from external sources (including quotes) belongs in the body of a paper.
  • Be authoritative when writing a conclusion. You should sound confident and convincing to leave a good impression. Sentences like “I’m not an expert, but…” will most likely make you seem less knowledgeable and/or credible.

Good Conclusion Examples

Now that we've learned what a conclusion is and how to write one let's take a look at some essay conclusion examples to strengthen our knowledge.

The ending ironically reveals that all was for nothing. (A short explanation of the thematic effect of the book’s end) Tom says that Miss Watson freed Jim in her final will.Jim told Huck that the dead man on the Island was pap. The entire adventure seemingly evaporated into nothingness. (How this effect was manifested into the minds of thereaders).
All in all, international schools hold the key to building a full future that students can achieve. (Thesis statement simplified) They help students develop their own character by learning from their mistakes, without having to face a dreadful penalty for failure. (Thesis statement elaborated)Although some say that kids emerged “spoiled” with this mentality, the results prove the contrary. (Possible counter-arguments are noted)
In conclusion, public workers should be allowed to strike since it will give them a chance to air their grievances. (Thesis statement) Public workers should be allowed to strike when their rights, safety, and regulations are compromised. The workers will get motivated when they strike, and their demands are met.
In summary, studies reveal some similarities in the nutrient contents between the organic and non-organic food substances. (Starts with similarities) However, others have revealed many considerable differences in the amounts of antioxidants as well as other minerals present in organic and non-organic foods. Generally, organic foods have higher levels of antioxidants than non-organic foods and therefore are more important in the prevention of chronic illnesses.
As time went by, my obsession grew into something bigger than art; (‘As time went by’ signals maturation) it grew into a dream of developing myself for the world. (Showing student’s interest of developing himself for the community) It is a dream of not only seeing the world from a different perspective but also changing the perspective of people who see my work. (Showing student’s determination to create moving pieces of art)
In conclusion, it is evident that technology is an integral part of our lives and without it, we become “lost” since we have increasingly become dependent on its use. (Thesis with main point)

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How to Write a Thesis or Dissertation Conclusion

Published on September 6, 2022 by Tegan George and Shona McCombes. Revised on November 20, 2023.

The conclusion is the very last part of your thesis or dissertation . It should be concise and engaging, leaving your reader with a clear understanding of your main findings, as well as the answer to your research question .

In it, you should:

  • Clearly state the answer to your main research question
  • Summarize and reflect on your research process
  • Make recommendations for future work on your thesis or dissertation topic
  • Show what new knowledge you have contributed to your field
  • Wrap up your thesis or dissertation

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Table of contents

Discussion vs. conclusion, how long should your conclusion be, step 1: answer your research question, step 2: summarize and reflect on your research, step 3: make future recommendations, step 4: emphasize your contributions to your field, step 5: wrap up your thesis or dissertation, full conclusion example, conclusion checklist, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about conclusion sections.

While your conclusion contains similar elements to your discussion section , they are not the same thing.

Your conclusion should be shorter and more general than your discussion. Instead of repeating literature from your literature review , discussing specific research results , or interpreting your data in detail, concentrate on making broad statements that sum up the most important insights of your research.

As a rule of thumb, your conclusion should not introduce new data, interpretations, or arguments.

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Depending on whether you are writing a thesis or dissertation, your length will vary. Generally, a conclusion should make up around 5–7% of your overall word count.

An empirical scientific study will often have a short conclusion, concisely stating the main findings and recommendations for future research. A humanities dissertation topic or systematic review , on the other hand, might require more space to conclude its analysis, tying all the previous sections together in an overall argument.

Your conclusion should begin with 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
  • Do synthesize them into a final takeaway that the reader will remember.

An empirical thesis or dissertation conclusion may begin like this:

A case study –based thesis or dissertation conclusion may begin like this:

In the second example, the research aim is not directly restated, but rather added implicitly to the statement. To avoid repeating yourself, it is helpful to reformulate your aims and questions into an overall statement of what you did and how you did it.

Your conclusion is an opportunity to remind your reader why you took the approach you did, what you expected to find, and how well the results matched your expectations.

To avoid repetition , consider writing more reflectively here, rather than just writing a summary of each preceding section. Consider mentioning the effectiveness of your methodology , or perhaps any new questions or unexpected insights that arose in the process.

You can also mention any limitations of your research, but only if you haven’t already included these in the discussion. Don’t dwell on them at length, though—focus on the positives of your work.

  • While x limits the generalizability of the results, this approach provides new insight into y .
  • This research clearly illustrates x , but it also raises the question of y .

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strong conclusion should look to accomplish which of the following

You may already have made a few recommendations for future research in your discussion section, but the conclusion is a good place to elaborate and look ahead, considering the implications of your findings in both theoretical and practical terms.

  • Based on these conclusions, practitioners should consider …
  • To better understand the implications of these results, future studies could address …
  • Further research is needed to determine the causes of/effects of/relationship between …

When making recommendations for further research, be sure not to undermine your own work. Relatedly, while future studies might confirm, build on, or enrich your conclusions, they shouldn’t be required for your argument to feel complete. Your work should stand alone on its own merits.

Just as you should avoid too much self-criticism, you should also avoid exaggerating the applicability of your research. If you’re making recommendations for policy, business, or other practical implementations, it’s generally best to frame them as “shoulds” rather than “musts.” All in all, the purpose of academic research is to inform, explain, and explore—not to demand.

Make sure your reader is left with a strong impression of what your research has contributed to the state of your field.

Some strategies to achieve this include:

  • Returning to your problem statement to explain how your research helps solve the problem
  • Referring back to the literature review and showing how you have addressed a gap in knowledge
  • Discussing how your findings confirm or challenge an existing theory or assumption

Again, avoid simply repeating what you’ve already covered in the discussion in your conclusion. Instead, pick out the most important points and sum them up succinctly, situating your project in a broader context.

The end is near! Once you’ve finished writing your conclusion, it’s time to wrap up your thesis or dissertation with a few final steps:

  • It’s a good idea to write your abstract next, while the research is still fresh in your mind.
  • Next, make sure your reference list is complete and correctly formatted. To speed up the process, you can use our free APA citation generator .
  • Once you’ve added any appendices , you can create a table of contents and title page .
  • Finally, read through the whole document again to make sure your thesis is clearly written and free from language errors. You can proofread it yourself , ask a friend, or consider Scribbr’s proofreading and editing service .

Here is an example of how you can write your conclusion section. Notice how it includes everything mentioned above:

V. Conclusion

The current research aimed to identify acoustic speech characteristics which mark the beginning of an exacerbation in COPD patients.

The central questions for this research were as follows: 1. Which acoustic measures extracted from read speech differ between COPD speakers in stable condition and healthy speakers? 2. In what ways does the speech of COPD patients during an exacerbation differ from speech of COPD patients during stable periods?

All recordings were aligned using a script. Subsequently, they were manually annotated to indicate respiratory actions such as inhaling and exhaling. The recordings of 9 stable COPD patients reading aloud were then compared with the recordings of 5 healthy control subjects reading aloud. The results showed a significant effect of condition on the number of in- and exhalations per syllable, the number of non-linguistic in- and exhalations per syllable, and the ratio of voiced and silence intervals. The number of in- and exhalations per syllable and the number of non-linguistic in- and exhalations per syllable were higher for COPD patients than for healthy controls, which confirmed both hypotheses.

However, the higher ratio of voiced and silence intervals for COPD patients compared to healthy controls was not in line with the hypotheses. This unpredicted result might have been caused by the different reading materials or recording procedures for both groups, or by a difference in reading skills. Moreover, there was a trend regarding the effect of condition on the number of syllables per breath group. The number of syllables per breath group was higher for healthy controls than for COPD patients, which was in line with the hypothesis. There was no effect of condition on pitch, intensity, center of gravity, pitch variability, speaking rate, or articulation rate.

This research has shown that the speech of COPD patients in exacerbation differs from the speech of COPD patients in stable condition. This might have potential for the detection of exacerbations. However, sustained vowels rarely occur in spontaneous speech. Therefore, the last two outcome measures might have greater potential for the detection of beginning exacerbations, but further research on the different outcome measures and their potential for the detection of exacerbations is needed due to the limitations of the current study.

Checklist: Conclusion

I have clearly and concisely answered the main research question .

I have summarized my overall argument or key takeaways.

I have mentioned any important limitations of the research.

I have given relevant recommendations .

I have clearly explained what my research has contributed to my field.

I have  not introduced any new data or arguments.

You've written a great conclusion! Use the other checklists to further improve your dissertation.

If you want to know more about AI for academic writing, AI tools, or research bias, make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

Research bias

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  • Self-serving bias
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  • Supervised vs. unsupervised learning

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In a thesis or dissertation, the discussion is an in-depth exploration of the results, going into detail about the meaning of your findings and citing relevant sources to put them in context.

The conclusion is more shorter and more general: it concisely answers your main research question and makes recommendations based on your overall findings.

While it may be tempting to present new arguments or evidence in your thesis or disseration conclusion , especially if you have a particularly striking argument you’d like to finish your analysis with, you shouldn’t. Theses and dissertations 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 discussion section and results section .) The conclusion is meant to summarize and reflect on the evidence and arguments you have already presented, not introduce new ones.

For a stronger dissertation conclusion , avoid including:

  • Important evidence or analysis that wasn’t mentioned in the discussion section and results section
  • Generic concluding phrases (e.g. “In conclusion …”)
  • Weak statements that undermine your argument (e.g., “There are good points on both sides of this issue.”)

Your conclusion should leave the reader with a strong, decisive impression of your work.

The conclusion of your thesis or dissertation shouldn’t take up more than 5–7% of your overall word count.

The conclusion of your thesis or dissertation should include the following:

  • A restatement of your research question
  • A summary of your key arguments and/or results
  • A short discussion of the implications of your research

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George, T. & McCombes, S. (2023, November 20). How to Write a Thesis or Dissertation Conclusion. Scribbr. Retrieved February 16, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/dissertation/write-conclusion/

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Drafting an effective conclusion

Contributor: Aaron Smale

When drafting an effective research paper, how the paper ends is often just as important as how the paper opens. Since an introduction serves to set the stage for a paper and provide readers with a “roadmap” of what to expect in the paper and the overall thesis or research question, an effective conclusion provides resolution to your paper. Though there is no one definitive way to approach a conclusion, several tips are presented below may help you effectively close your paper.

What a conclusion should accomplish

Effective conclusions should accomplish most, if not all, of the following key purposes:

  • For example, now that your points have been analyzed and presented in the body of your paper, what new insight can the audience take away from this paper that connects to the broader aspects of your topic?
  • Answering the “So What?” of your paper: How is your argument relevant to your readers?
  • What information in your paper will your audience be able to use beyond your paper? Alternatively, what are the consequences if your audience doesn’t grasp the larger point of your argument?
  • Presenting closure and resolution: An effective conclusion should give your audience a sense of closure and resolution related to your topic, connecting all your ideas into a larger “take-away”. Your conclusion should weave your points together to demonstrate that they were not random and disconnected from one another.
  • Lastly, a conclusion should place your paper/argument/research in a broader context and signal new things for your audience to think about beyond your paper.

Tips for effective conclusions

When drafting a conclusion, there are many different places to begin but some helpful questions to consider include:

  • What has my research shown over the course of my paper? What is the larger idea that the audience can take away from my main points?
  • What are the implications of how this research was approached? How does my paper compare to other approaches to this topic?
  • What are the limitations of my topic and how do they relate to the broader conversation or state of knowledge related to this topic? For example, where does this paper on car pollution fit into the bigger picture of climate change?
  • What are the impacts, implications, or possible consequences of my research/argument? What are potential concerns for this topic?
  • Is there room for more research or discussion regarding this topic? What are some possible next steps that researchers can take? What should be done next?
  • What larger point can my audience take away from this paper that can help them understand their own lives, concerns, or the world around them?
  • What larger point discussed in my introduction would be helpful to revisit here? How can I bring the conversation full-circle?

 Things not to do in a conclusion

  • Do not introduce new claims or abruptly insert new supporting information: At this point in a conclusion, it is helpful to tie the points together that you have already introduced. Introducing new information in your conclusion can distract your audience from the larger point you are trying to make.
  • Do not forget to clearly synthesize the main points of your paper and bring them together: Depending on the length of your paper, your audience may need to be reminded of your points in a clear fashion in order to fully conceptualize the larger take-away of your paper.
  • Do not apologize for negative results or gaps/limitations of research: If your topic concerns a relatively newer topic (like quantum tunneling applications), it is helpful in a conclusion to discuss how this may impact the research question of the paper and the main take-away of your paper. However, it is important to discuss this objectively in how it may limit your main point instead of impede your own research process.

Drafting an effective conclusion

Contributor: Aaron Smale

When drafting an effective research paper, how the paper ends is often just as important as how the paper opens. Since an introduction serves to set the stage for a paper and provide readers with a “roadmap” of what to expect in the paper and the overall thesis or research question, an effective conclusion provides resolution to your paper. Though there is no one definitive way to approach a conclusion, several tips are presented below may help you effectively close your paper.

What a conclusion should accomplish

Effective conclusions should accomplish most, if not all, of the following key purposes:

  • For example, now that your points have been analyzed and presented in the body of your paper, what new insight can the audience take away from this paper that connects to the broader aspects of your topic?
  • Answering the “So What?” of your paper: How is your argument relevant to your readers?
  • What information in your paper will your audience be able to use beyond your paper? Alternatively, what are the consequences if your audience doesn’t grasp the larger point of your argument?
  • Presenting closure and resolution: An effective conclusion should give your audience a sense of closure and resolution related to your topic, connecting all your ideas into a larger “take-away”. Your conclusion should weave your points together to demonstrate that they were not random and disconnected from one another.
  • Lastly, a conclusion should place your paper/argument/research in a broader context and signal new things for your audience to think about beyond your paper.

Tips for effective conclusions

When drafting a conclusion, there are many different places to begin but some helpful questions to consider include:

  • What has my research shown over the course of my paper? What is the larger idea that the audience can take away from my main points?
  • What are the implications of how this research was approached? How does my paper compare to other approaches to this topic?
  • What are the limitations of my topic and how do they relate to the broader conversation or state of knowledge related to this topic? For example, where does this paper on car pollution fit into the bigger picture of climate change?
  • What are the impacts, implications, or possible consequences of my research/argument? What are potential concerns for this topic?
  • Is there room for more research or discussion regarding this topic? What are some possible next steps that researchers can take? What should be done next?
  • What larger point can my audience take away from this paper that can help them understand their own lives, concerns, or the world around them?
  • What larger point discussed in my introduction would be helpful to revisit here? How can I bring the conversation full-circle?

 Things not to do in a conclusion

  • Do not introduce new claims or abruptly insert new supporting information: At this point in a conclusion, it is helpful to tie the points together that you have already introduced. Introducing new information in your conclusion can distract your audience from the larger point you are trying to make.
  • Do not forget to clearly synthesize the main points of your paper and bring them together: Depending on the length of your paper, your audience may need to be reminded of your points in a clear fashion in order to fully conceptualize the larger take-away of your paper.
  • Do not apologize for negative results or gaps/limitations of research: If your topic concerns a relatively newer topic (like quantum tunneling applications), it is helpful in a conclusion to discuss how this may impact the research question of the paper and the main take-away of your paper. However, it is important to discuss this objectively in how it may limit your main point instead of impede your own research process.

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Gordon-Conwell Writing Center

  • Understanding Writing Expectations
  • Brainstorming and Writer's Block
  • Outlining for Successful Writing
  • Writing a Strong Introduction
  • Creating a Clear Thesis Statement
  • Developing Body Paragraphs
  • Connecting Ideas with Transitions
  • Choosing the Best Sources
  • Using Sources Effectively
  • Avoiding Plagiarism
  • Paraphrasing without Plagiarizing
  • Addressing Counterarguments

Ending with a Strong Conclusion

  • Using Words Wisely
  • Punctuating Correctly
  • Revising, Editing, & Proofreading
  • Applying Feedback
  • Formatting Correctly
  • Recorded Writing Workshops
  • Return to GCTS Library Home Page

Just as we say good-bye to people when ending a conversation, so must a writer conclude his/her written text. A writer should imagine that readers have read the text but have not fully grasped all the ideas. Furthermore, the writer must assume that readers do not necessarily know how to respond to the topic. Therefore, it is a writer’s job to remind readers about his/her main claim and key ideas as well as call readers to action. Failing to do so might mean that readers are left with questions about a text and/or do not respond properly to it.

Summarized Explanation

  • Most multi-paragraph texts require a concluding paragraph. A basic concluding paragraph should include three main parts (restated thesis, summarized key ideas, clincher).

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Detailed Explanation

The following examples are the same ones that appears in the writing guide for Writing a Strong Introduction . 

Color-coding key:

  • Restated Thesis
  • Summarized Key Ideas

Example #1           

          (Introduction)  Meeting someone for the first time without a proper introduction can be awkward. Likewise, a text without an introductory paragraph leaves a lot to be desired. The introduction is the first thing that readers see in a text. For that reason, it ought to engage and inform readers. To accomplish this, writers should begin texts with an introductory paragraph that includes an effective hook, background information, and thesis statement.

          (Body Paragraphs)

  • Why writers should include a hook in an introductory paragraph.
  • Why writers should include background information in an introductory paragraph.
  • Why writers should include a thesis statement in an introductory paragraph.

          (Concluding Paragraph) In conclusion, a thorough three-part introductory paragraph will ensure a strong start to any text. The first element of an introduction, the hook, works to intrigue readers. Then they will be ready to read more of the background information on a topic. And to top things off, the thesis statement indicates the purpose and focus of a text so that readers know what to expect. Therefore, the importance of an introductory paragraph should not be underestimated, and all writers should seek to create truly engaging introductions.

          (Introduction) They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. This adage is true, but not everything is relative. For example, in the world of writing, texts can take many forms, and writers have a lot of creative freedom. That said, there are some basic frameworks that should be employed for most writing forms—for example, the tried-and-true template for an introductory paragraph. Considering this, the previous introductory paragraph is quite effective because it includes a strong hook, background information, and thesis statement.

  • Why the previous introductory paragraph includes a strong hook.
  • Why the previous introductory paragraph includes strong background information.
  • Why the previous introductory paragraph includes a strong thesis statement.

          (Concluding Paragraphs) To sum up, the sample text is a great example of a strong introductory paragraph. As noted previously, its hook is creative and compels readers to keep going. Afterward, they are met with relevant background information followed by a thesis statement that effectively forecasts the writer's position and key ideas. All in all, this introductory paragraph should be saved and referenced frequently for any writer who wants to create successful introductions.

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‘A nightmare’: Special counsel’s assessment of Biden’s mental fitness triggers Democratic panic

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden sidestepped any criminal charges as the investigation into his handling of classified documents concluded, but the political blowback from the special counsel’s report Thursday could prove even more devastating, reinforcing impressions that he is too old and impaired to hold the highest office.

Special counsel Robert Hur’s portrait of a man who couldn’t remember when he served as Barack Obama’s vice president, or the year when his beloved son Beau died, dealt a blow to Biden’s argument that he is still sharp and fit enough to serve another four-year term.

In deciding not to charge Biden with any crimes, the special counsel wrote that in a potential trial, “Mr. Biden would likely present himself to a jury, as he did during our interview with him, as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”

It was tough enough for Biden to reassure voters about his health before Hur’s report hit like a thunderclap Thursday afternoon, prompting members of his own party to question whether he could remain the nominee in November.

“It’s a nightmare,” said a Democratic House member who asked to speak anonymously to provide a frank assessment, adding that “it weakens President Biden electorally, and Donald Trump would be a disaster and an authoritarian.”

“For Democrats, we’re in a grim situation.”

Biden wasted little time before attempting to minimize the fallout. He held an unexpected exchange with reporters in the White House on Thursday night, in which he disputed Hur's assessment of his mental acuity.

Biden grew emotional when invoking the part of the report addressing the date of his son's death.

"How in the hell dare you raise that?" Biden said. "Frankly, when I was asked the question I thought to myself, 'It wasn't any of their damn business.' "

‘Beyond devastating’

Polling has long shown that age looms as Biden’s greatest liability in his expected rematch with Trump. A January poll by NBC News found that 76% of voters have major or moderate concerns about Biden’s mental and physical health.

“It’s been a problem since way before this ever happened,” said a longtime Democratic operative who noted that when focus groups are asked to apply one word to Biden, it is often “old.”

Just this week, Biden twice referred to conversations he’s had as president with foreign leaders who’ve long since died. In his remarks Thursday night defending his competency, while talking about the war in Gaza, he referred to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi as being the head of Mexico. White House press aides have downplayed such lapses as the sort of mistake anyone in public life can make.

The Hur report strips away the defenses that Biden’s press operation has used to protect him and raises fresh doubts about whether Biden is up to the rigors of the presidency, Democratic strategists said in interviews.

“This is beyond devastating,” said another Democratic operative, speaking on condition of anonymity to talk candidly about Biden’s shortcomings. “It confirms every doubt and concern that voters have. If the only reason they didn’t charge him is because he’s too old to be charged, then how can he be president of the United States?”

Asked if Hur’s report changes the calculus for Democrats who expect Biden to be the party’s nominee, this person said: “How the f--- does it not?”

Another Biden ally called it “the worst day of his presidency.”

“I think he needs to show us this is a demonstrably false characterization of him and that he has what it takes to win and govern.”

Biden has overwhelmingly won the first primary contests — notching victories in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. It would be virtually impossible for anyone else to challenge him at this point; the deadline has passed in more than 30 states to get on primary ballots.

Some of the president’s allies were quick to defend him. They pointed to the timing of the interview with the special counsel — days after Hamas’ attack on Israel, which had captured much of the president’s focus. Others said that in their own dealings with Biden, he shows no sign of infirmity.

“He did so well in this discussion with members,” Rep. Susan Wild, D-Pa., told NBC News after seeing the president on Thursday. “He’s very sharp, no memory issues, and his only stumbling is when he trips over words consistent with his lifelong speech impediment.”

‘Prejudicial language’

Though Biden was fortunate to escape indictment, the special counsel report may give Trump additional fodder as he fights charges for allegedly mishandling classified records at his Mar-a-Lago social club. Republicans are already accusing Biden of benefiting from a double standard . Trump will likely brandish the Hur report as proof that Biden has “weaponized” the Justice Department for political advantage.

What’s more, Democrats will now be hard-pressed to capitalize on Trump’s indictment over retaining classified records. Before Hur’s report came out, Democrats argued that the two cases were very different. Whereas Trump failed to turn over classified records even after he was asked to do so, Biden willingly cooperated with authorities and relinquished all the material he had, Biden allies had argued.

“The public understands the essential difference between presidents or vice presidents like Joe Biden who occasionally behaved in sloppy ways with respect to where they were taking documents, and a president like Trump, who deliberately makes off with hundreds of classified government documents and then hides them and refuses to return them,” Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., said on Wednesday, before the report was released. (Trump has denied any wrongdoing.)

Now, the distinctions may be harder for Biden allies to draw, given that Hur wrote that there was evidence Biden “willfully retained and disclosed classified material after his vice presidency when he was a private citizen.”

The report mentions an instance in February 2017, when he was no longer vice president, when Biden read notes containing classified information “nearly verbatim” to a ghostwriter helping him with his book, “Promise Me, Dad.”

Storage of sensitive government secrets was haphazard. The report describes certain classified records involving the war in Afghanistan in Biden’s Delaware garage inside a “badly damaged box surrounded by household detritus.”

Before the report was released, Biden aides had been bracing for a finding that he had simply been careless in his treatment of classified records, a person familiar with the White House’s thinking said.

The political fallout from the report, though, is likely to be “worse,” this person said. What will stick in people’s minds is what Hur said about Biden’s memory, the person added.

Biden’s lawyers disputed the report’s description of Biden’s forgetfulness.

“We do not believe that the report’s treatment of President Biden’s memory is accurate or appropriate,” two of his lawyers wrote in a letter to Hur. “The report uses highly prejudicial language to describe a commonplace occurrence among witnesses: a lack of recall of years-old events.”

In the hours after the report was released, people close to the Biden campaign rolled out a different rebuttal. Jim Messina, who ran Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, wrote on X, the site formerly known as Twitter, that Hur is a Republican who “knew exactly how his swipes could hurt Biden politically.”

That’s a familiar argument. Trump has also claimed that law enforcement is trying to sway the election, meaning both sides are now claiming victimization at the hands of partisan prosecutors.

“Hur knew exactly what he was doing here,” Stephanie Cutter, a veteran Democratic operative, wrote on X. “To provide political cover for himself for not prosecuting, he gratuitously leveled a personal (not legal) charge against the president that he absolutely knows is a gift to Trump. And, guess what we are all talking about?”

strong conclusion should look to accomplish which of the following

Peter Nicholas is a senior national political reporter for NBC News.

COMMENTS

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  24. 'A nightmare': Special counsel's assessment of Biden's mental fitness

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