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.
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.
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.
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One of the most common questions we receive at the Writing Center is “what am I supposed to do in my conclusion?” This is a difficult question to answer because there’s no one right answer to what belongs in a conclusion. How you conclude your paper will depend on where you started—and where you traveled. It will also depend on the conventions and expectations of the discipline in which you are writing. For example, while the conclusion to a STEM paper could focus on questions for further study, the conclusion of a literature paper could include a quotation from your central text that can now be understood differently in light of what has been discussed in the paper. You should consult your instructor about expectations for conclusions in a particular discipline.
With that in mind, here are some general guidelines you might find helpful to use as you think about your conclusion.
Begin with the “what”
In a short paper—even a research paper—you don’t need to provide an exhaustive summary as part of your conclusion. But you do need to make some kind of transition between your final body paragraph and your concluding paragraph. This may come in the form of a few sentences of summary. Or it may come in the form of a sentence that brings your readers back to your thesis or main idea and reminds your readers where you began and how far you have traveled.
So, for example, in a paper about the relationship between ADHD and rejection sensitivity, Vanessa Roser begins by introducing readers to the fact that researchers have studied the relationship between the two conditions and then provides her explanation of that relationship. Here’s her thesis: “While socialization may indeed be an important factor in RS, I argue that individuals with ADHD may also possess a neurological predisposition to RS that is exacerbated by the differing executive and emotional regulation characteristic of ADHD.”
In her final paragraph, Roser reminds us of where she started by echoing her thesis: “This literature demonstrates that, as with many other conditions, ADHD and RS share a delicately intertwined pattern of neurological similarities that is rooted in the innate biology of an individual’s mind, a connection that cannot be explained in full by the behavioral mediation hypothesis.”
Highlight the “so what”
At the beginning of your paper, you explain to your readers what’s at stake—why they should care about the argument you’re making. In your conclusion, you can bring readers back to those stakes by reminding them why your argument is important in the first place. You can also draft a few sentences that put those stakes into a new or broader context.
In the conclusion to her paper about ADHD and RS, Roser echoes the stakes she established in her introduction—that research into connections between ADHD and RS has led to contradictory results, raising questions about the “behavioral mediation hypothesis.”
She writes, “as with many other conditions, ADHD and RS share a delicately intertwined pattern of neurological similarities that is rooted in the innate biology of an individual’s mind, a connection that cannot be explained in full by the behavioral mediation hypothesis.”
Leave your readers with the “now what”
After the “what” and the “so what,” you should leave your reader with some final thoughts. If you have written a strong introduction, your readers will know why you have been arguing what you have been arguing—and why they should care. And if you’ve made a good case for your thesis, then your readers should be in a position to see things in a new way, understand new questions, or be ready for something that they weren’t ready for before they read your paper.
In her conclusion, Roser offers two “now what” statements. First, she explains that it is important to recognize that the flawed behavioral mediation hypothesis “seems to place a degree of fault on the individual. It implies that individuals with ADHD must have elicited such frequent or intense rejection by virtue of their inadequate social skills, erasing the possibility that they may simply possess a natural sensitivity to emotion.” She then highlights the broader implications for treatment of people with ADHD, noting that recognizing the actual connection between rejection sensitivity and ADHD “has profound implications for understanding how individuals with ADHD might best be treated in educational settings, by counselors, family, peers, or even society as a whole.”
To find your own “now what” for your essay’s conclusion, try asking yourself these questions:
- What can my readers now understand, see in a new light, or grapple with that they would not have understood in the same way before reading my paper? Are we a step closer to understanding a larger phenomenon or to understanding why what was at stake is so important?
- What questions can I now raise that would not have made sense at the beginning of my paper? Questions for further research? Other ways that this topic could be approached?
- Are there other applications for my research? Could my questions be asked about different data in a different context? Could I use my methods to answer a different question?
- What action should be taken in light of this argument? What action do I predict will be taken or could lead to a solution?
- What larger context might my argument be a part of?
What to avoid in your conclusion
- a complete restatement of all that you have said in your paper.
- a substantial counterargument that you do not have space to refute; you should introduce counterarguments before your conclusion.
- an apology for what you have not said. If you need to explain the scope of your paper, you should do this sooner—but don’t apologize for what you have not discussed in your paper.
- fake transitions like “in conclusion” that are followed by sentences that aren’t actually conclusions. (“In conclusion, I have now demonstrated that my thesis is correct.”)
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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).
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How to write a conclusion to an essay
Which do you think count more: first impressions or last impressions?
A conclusion is the last impression that a reader will have of your essay: make it count!
Introduction to writing a conclusion
A conclusion is the final idea left with the reader at the end of an essay. Without it, an essay would be unfinished and unfocused.
A conclusion should link back to the essay question and briefly restate your main points drawing all your thoughts and ideas together so that they make sense and create a strong final impression.
A conclusion often includes a final thought or reflection to highlight the significance of the topic . It is usually a short paragraph.
Video about how to reflect on your main points in a conclusion
Reflecting on the argument.
Before you write your conclusion, it is a good idea for you to look again at your ideas in the essay. It can be particularly useful to re-read your introduction and think about what you have realised and explored as you wrote the essay. Your conclusion can then sum up what you have understood more deeply about the literature text and the essay topic.
If you think of your essay as a type of argument, persuading the reader to a particular point of view, then the conclusion can be a powerful way of bringing together the most important aspects of your argument.
Which of these statements is not true?
a) A conclusion brings together lots of new ideas to interest the reader.
b) A conclusion brings together the ideas already discussed in the essay.
c) A conclusion is important because it brings together what you understand about the text and topic.
Answer a) A conclusion is not the moment to introduce new ideas!
Drawing your essay to a close
Link back to the question.
Keep your conclusion focused by linking back to the question, title, statement or topic of the essay. This can be achieved by using key words from the essay question. For example:
Why is Jack an important character in the novel Lord of the Flies ?
In conclusion, the character of Jack is important because he represents the violent side of human nature in the novel.
Summarise the main points
In the conclusion, you should not simply repeat what you have said in the rest of the essay, but aim to reinforce these key ideas by briefly summarising your main points. One way to do this is to look back at all the topic sentences from the paragraphs in your essay and bring them together:
In conclusion, the character of Jack is important because he symbolises violence and savagery in the novel. His desire for power and increasing bloodlust represent the negative side of human nature. He is a charismatic character who is feared by the other boys on the island. He therefore acts as an important contrast to the character of Ralph.
Your conclusion should leave the reader thinking about the significance of the whole topic. So, in a literature essay, it is a good idea to include a final thought or reflection, perhaps one that looks forward, or outwards from the novel. For example:
At the end of the novel Jack’s reign of terror ends with the arrival of the British Naval Officer and this perhaps leaves the reader with some sense of optimism that human beings can change for the better when they are no longer frightened and under the power of an evil leader.
Which links back to the question?
Which of the following concluding sentences clearly links back to this question: How is the character important in the novel?
a) In the novel, the main character changes from being selfish and angry to being caring and happy. b) Overall, this character is important in the novel because they learn the most important life lesson: look after others not just yourself. c) The novel is a ghost story and the sinister setting of the orphanage adds to the horror.
Answer: b) ‘Overall, this character is important in the novel because they learn the most important life lesson: look after others not just yourself.’ Key words in the title ‘character’ and ‘important’ have been used to link the conclusion back to the essay question.
Useful sentence starters
You could use one of the following sentence starters to signal to the reader that you are concluding the essay:
- In conclusion…
- In summary…
What to avoid
- Avoid including any new points or ideas.
- Avoid making your conclusion too long.
- Avoid lots of repetition.
The conclusion is an important way to wrap up your ideas. Without a conclusion, your writing may seem unfinished or your overall aim may not be clear. The conclusion is your final chance to leave an impression on the reader.
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Knowing when and how to end your paper can be difficult. Writing a strong conclusion is like tying a ribbon around a gift package. It's the last thing you do, but it also gives your paper a finishing touch. If the ending is powerful and effective, your reader will feel satisfied.
What to avoid
Before you can write a strong conclusion, you should know what to avoid. Here are some common errors.
- Don't introduce a new topic that has not been discussed in your paper. For example, if your essay has been about the loss of forests and possible solutions for the high consumption of wood products, don't end with a paragraph about a different environmental issue, such as the disappearance of the California condor.
- Don't trail off with a weak statement or a statement that leaves your reader up in the air.
The Internet, free of regulation, has opened a world of information and ideas to everyone. Children enjoy learning on the computer.
- Don't simply repeat your thesis or main idea in the same words.
As stated earlier, clothing imagery shows the changes in King Lear throughout the play.
- Don't apologize for or suggest doubts about your thesis.
For a variety of reasons, middle‐class expectations today differ from those in the 1980s. It is possible, however, that the difference is not particularly illuminating about life in the United States.
In a short paper (less than five pages, for example), you may use a brief concluding sentence instead of a formal conclusion. Formal conclusions can sometimes be superfluous, particularly if the conclusion is a long summary of what he or she just read. Instead, end your paper with a strong final sentence.
Suggestions for conclusions
A strong conclusion should tie up the loose ends of your essay, refer to the central theme (thesis), give your readers a sense of completion, and leave them with a strong impression. You can do this with a single statement or with a paragraph. If you write a concluding paragraph, consider the following possibilities.
- End with an appropriate quotation. Notice in the following example how the writer also pulls together loose ends and briefly refers to the thesis.
Throughout the novel the characters suffer both from their isolation and from their attempts to end it. Kerewin burns her tower, Joe beats his son and goes to prison, and Simon — who barely survives the beating — must painfully find his way back to those he loves. Recurring images dramatize their journeys, which end in a reconciliation between being alone and being part of a community. Kerewin describes the home that will now take the place of her lonely tower: “I decided on a shell‐shape, a regular spiral of rooms expanding around the decapitated Tower …privacy, apartness, but all connected and all part of the whole.”
- Without repeating your thesis word for word, you can unify your essay by relating the final paragraph to a point in the introduction.
Preserving old‐growth forests and finding substitutes for wood should concern everyone who cares about the environment. The days when Americans could view this country as an unlimited provider of resources are as gone as roaming herds of buffalo and pioneers in covered wagons.
- End with a story related to your thesis.
On a recent trip to the airport, I stood at the ticket counter behind an angry woman. It seems she'd forgotten her photo ID, and the attendant told her she couldn't fly without it. After calling the clerk a storm trooper and threatening to sue the airline, the woman turned to me and said, “You tell me. Do I look like the kind of person who would blow up a plane?” I didn't answer, but I wondered how in the future this woman would react to a fifteen‐minute interview about herself or to a uniformed attendant patting her down.
- Another way to conclude a paper is to summarize the main points. But because summaries aren't particularly interesting conclusions, consider using this technique only if your paper is fairly long and if a summary would be helpful to your reader. Keep the summary brief, and avoid indecisive or overly general final sentences, such as For all these reasons, the Internet should not be regulated .
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Home / Guides / Writing Guides / Parts of a Paper / How to Write a Conclusion
How to Write a Conclusion
In this lesson, you will learn how to write a conclusion that follows from your argument.
- 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
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.
In this lesson, you learned how to write a conclusion that leaves your reader with something to think about.
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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.
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.
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.
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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- Understanding Writing Expectations
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Ending with a Strong Conclusion
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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.
- Most multi-paragraph texts require a concluding paragraph. A basic concluding paragraph should include three main parts (restated thesis, summarized key ideas, clincher).
The following examples are the same ones that appears in the writing guide for Writing a Strong Introduction .
- Restated Thesis
- Summarized Key Ideas
(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.
- 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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- Writing a Conclusion
HOW DO I WRITE AN EFFECTIVE CONCLUSION?
- Reassess your argument.
- End with a call to action. Ask your readers to take a stand on the issue you have discussed.
- Use a rhetorical question that asks your reader to reconsider the argument presented in the body of your paper.
- Use a quotation that illustrates your argument/claim clearly and vividly.
A good conclusion should do more than simply end the discussion. The reader should not feel that the paper ends suddenly, without warning. The closing paragraph ought to quickly summarize the paper, while also providing a thought, claim, suggestion, or speculation pertaining to the points made in the paper. It should not be a duplicate of the introduction, but rather a reassessment of the thesis stated in the introductory paragraph. In this way, it gives the reader, and the writer, a chance to see if the thesis was properly stated and supported throughout the paper.
Be sure to avoid coming to a sudden stop:
- Provide clues to the audience that you are beginning to end your discussion of the topic. If you provided a clearly stated thesis in your introduction, the reader ought to recognize when you have covered your final point and are now concluding.
- Avoid any obvious statements such as "In conclusion...," or "In closing, I would like to...."
Reassess the thesis statement:
- Briefly summarize the points made in your paper.
- As the introduction provided a guideline for the discussion, the conclusion reaffirms that this was supported logically.
- Do not attempt to add any assertions or topics that were not clearly discussed in the body of the paper.
- Avoid unreasonable conclusions that have not been supported and developed in the paper.
Include a closing thought or statement:
- Instruct the reader, if necessary, about an action that might be taken.
- A rhetorical question, to emphasize your main point, may be useful.
- It may be helpful to end with a personal statement about the relevance of topic to your own life, to encourage the readers to see the relevance of it to theirs as well.
- You might speculate on the possible outcome of an ongoing debate/issue.
- Remember, the goal of the conclusion is to leave your reader thinking about the entirety of your argument, weighing your essay and determining their response to it.
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How to Conclude an Essay (with Examples)
Last Updated: April 3, 2023 Fact Checked
Writing a Strong Conclusion
What to avoid, brainstorming tricks.
This article was co-authored by Jake Adams and by wikiHow staff writer, Aly Rusciano . Jake Adams is an academic tutor and the owner of Simplifi EDU, a Santa Monica, California based online tutoring business offering learning resources and online tutors for academic subjects K-College, SAT & ACT prep, and college admissions applications. With over 14 years of professional tutoring experience, Jake is dedicated to providing his clients the very best online tutoring experience and access to a network of excellent undergraduate and graduate-level tutors from top colleges all over the nation. Jake holds a BS in International Business and Marketing from Pepperdine University. There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 3,178,979 times.
So, you’ve written an outstanding essay and couldn’t be more proud. But now you have to write the final paragraph. The conclusion simply summarizes what you’ve already written, right? Well, not exactly. Your essay’s conclusion should be a bit more finessed than that. Luckily, you’ve come to the perfect place to learn how to write a conclusion. We’ve put together this guide to fill you in on everything you should and shouldn’t do when ending an essay. Follow our advice, and you’ll have a stellar conclusion worthy of an A+ in no time.
Things You Should Know
- Rephrase your thesis to include in your final paragraph to bring the essay full circle.
- End your essay with a call to action, warning, or image to make your argument meaningful.
- Keep your conclusion concise and to the point, so you don’t lose a reader’s attention.
- Do your best to avoid adding new information to your conclusion and only emphasize points you’ve already made in your essay.
- “All in all”
- “As a consequence”
- “As a result”
- Make sure to write your main points in a new and unique way to avoid repetition.
- Let’s say this is your original thesis statement: “Allowing students to visit the library during lunch improves campus life and supports academic achievement.”
- Restating your thesis for your conclusion could look like this: “Evidence shows students who have access to their school’s library during lunch check out more books and are more likely to complete their homework.”
- The restated thesis has the same sentiment as the original while also summarizing other points of the essay.
- “When you use plastic water bottles, you pollute the ocean. Switch to using a glass or metal water bottle instead. The planet and sea turtles will thank you.”
- “The average person spends roughly 7 hours on their phone a day, so there’s no wonder cybersickness is plaguing all generations.”
- “Imagine walking on the beach, except the soft sand is made up of cigarette butts. They burn your feet but keep washing in with the tide. If we don’t clean up the ocean, this will be our reality.”
- “ Lost is not only a show that changed the course of television, but it’s also a reflection of humanity as a whole.”
- “If action isn’t taken to end climate change today, the global temperature will dangerously rise from 4.5 to 8 °F (−15.3 to −13.3 °C) by 2100.”
- Focus on your essay's most prevalent or important parts. What key points do you want readers to take away or remember about your essay?
- For instance, instead of writing, “That’s why I think that Abraham Lincoln was the best American President,” write, “That’s why Abraham Lincoln was the best American President.”
- There’s no room for ifs, ands, or buts—your opinion matters and doesn’t need to be apologized for!
- For instance, words like “firstly,” “secondly,” and “thirdly” may be great transition statements for body paragraphs but are unnecessary in a conclusion.
- For instance, say you began your essay with the idea that humanity’s small sense of sense stems from space’s vast size. Try returning to this idea in the conclusion by emphasizing that as human knowledge grows, space becomes smaller.
- For example, you could extend an essay on the television show Orange is the New Black by bringing up the culture of imprisonment in America.
- Always review your essay after writing it for proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation, and don’t be afraid to revise. Thanks Helpful 1 Not Helpful 1
- Ask a friend, family member, or teacher for help if you’re stuck. Sometimes a second opinion is all you need. Thanks Helpful 1 Not Helpful 1
You Might Also Like
- ↑ https://www.uts.edu.au/current-students/support/helps/self-help-resources/grammar/transition-signals
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/common_writing_assignments/argument_papers/conclusions.html
- ↑ http://writing2.richmond.edu/writing/wweb/conclude.html
- ↑ https://writingcenter.fas.harvard.edu/pages/ending-essay-conclusions
- ↑ https://www.pittsfordschools.org/site/handlers/filedownload.ashx?moduleinstanceid=542&dataid=4677&FileName=conclusions1.pdf
- ↑ https://www.cuyamaca.edu/student-support/tutoring-center/files/student-resources/how-to-write-a-good-conclusion.pdf
- ↑ https://library.sacredheart.edu/c.php?g=29803&p=185935
About This Article
To end an essay, start your conclusion with a phrase that makes it clear your essay is coming to a close, like "In summary," or "All things considered." Then, use a few sentences to briefly summarize the main points of your essay by rephrasing the topic sentences of your body paragraphs. Finally, end your conclusion with a call to action that encourages your readers to do something or learn more about your topic. In general, try to keep your conclusion between 5 and 7 sentences long. For more tips from our English co-author, like how to avoid common pitfalls when writing an essay conclusion, scroll down! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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How to Write a Conclusion Paragraph for an Essay
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- An effective conclusion paragraph is vital to writing a successful college essay.
- A strong conclusion restates the thesis, offers new insight, and forms a personal connection.
- Be sure the conclusion doesn't introduce new arguments or analyze points you didn't discuss.
The first steps for writing any college essay are coming up with a strong thesis statement and composing a rough introduction . Once you've done that, you can collect information that supports your thesis, outline your essay's main points, and start writing your body paragraphs . Before you can submit the essay, though, you'll also need to write a compelling conclusion paragraph.
Conclusions aren't especially difficult to write and can even be fun, but you still need to put in effort to make them work. Ultimately, a strong conclusion is just as important as an effective introduction for a successful paper.
Here, we explain the purpose of a conclusion and how to write a conclusion paragraph using a simple three-step process.
The Purpose of a Conclusion Paragraph
A conclusion paragraph does :
- Check Circle Summarize the essay's thesis and evidence to further convince the reader
- Check Circle Elevate your essay by adding new insight or something extra to impress the reader
- Check Circle Leave a personal impression that connects you more closely to the reader
A conclusion paragraph does not :
- X Circle Summarize something the paper does not discuss
- X Circle Introduce a new argument
How to Write a Conclusion in 3 Easy Steps
Step 1: restate your thesis claim and evidence.
The conclusion's primary role is to convince the reader that your argument is valid. Whereas the introduction paragraph says, "Here's what I'll prove and how," the conclusion paragraph says, "Here's what I proved and how." In that sense, these two paragraphs should closely mirror each other, with the conclusion restating the thesis introduced at the beginning of the essay.
In order to restate your thesis effectively, you'll need to do the following:
- Check Circle Reread your introduction carefully to identify your paper's main claim
- Check Circle Pay attention to the evidence you used to support your thesis throughout the essay
- Check Circle In your conclusion, reword the thesis and summarize the supporting evidence
- Check Circle Use phrases in the past tense, like "as demonstrated" and "this paper established"
Here's an example of an introduction and a conclusion paragraph, with the conclusion restating the paper's primary claim and evidence:
It is a known fact that archaic civilizations with clearly defined social classes often survived longer than those without. One anomaly is seventh-century Civilization X. Close analysis of the cultural artifacts of the Civilization X region reveals that a social system that operates on exploitation, rather than sharing, will always fail. This lack of inclusion actually leads to a society's downfall. Excavated military objects, remnants of tapestries and clay pots, and the poetry of the era all demonstrate the clash between exploitation and sharing, with the former leading to loss and the latter leading to success.
In the 600s C.E., Civilization X survived because it believed in inclusion and sharing rather than exploitation. As demonstrated, the civilization was often aware of the choice between sharing with others and taking from them. The cultural artifacts from the era, namely military items, household objects, and verbal art, all indicate that Civilization X believed sharing ensured survival for all, while taking allowed only a few to survive for a shorter time.
Step 2: Provide New and Interesting Insight
In addition to restating the thesis, a conclusion should emphasize the importance of the essay's argument by building upon it. In other words, you want to push your ideas one step beyond your thesis. One intriguing insight at the end can leave your professor pondering your paper well after they finish reading it — and that's a good sign you turned in a well-written essay.
Note that the conclusion paragraph must only mention that this new idea exists and deserves some focus in the future; it shouldn't discuss the idea in detail or try to propose a new argument.
The new insight you raise in your conclusion should ideally come from the research you already conducted. Should a new idea come to you while writing the body paragraphs, go ahead and make a note to remind you to allude to it in your conclusion.
Here are some typical starting points for these new insights:
- Check Circle A new idea that would have prompted you to redesign your thesis if you had the time
- Check Circle A new angle that would further prove your thesis
- Check Circle Evidence you found that refutes your claim but that you can justify anyway
- Check Circle A different topic to which you can apply the same thesis and/or angles
Step 3: Form a Personal Connection With the Reader
The final step when writing a conclusion paragraph is to include a small detail about yourself. This information will help you build a more intimate bond with your reader and help them remember you better. Think of this step as an opportunity to connect the academic research to your and your reader's personal lives — to forge a human bond between the lines.
Formal essay-writing typically avoids first- and second-person pronouns such as "I" and "you." There are, however, two exceptions to this rule, and these are the introduction and conclusion paragraphs.
In the conclusion, you may use first-person pronouns to attempt to establish an emotional connection with the reader.
In the introduction, you may use the words "I" or "me" just once to clarify that the essay's claim is your own. In the conclusion, you may use first-person pronouns to attempt to establish an emotional connection with the reader, as long as this connection is related in some way to the overarching claim.
Here's an example of a conclusion paragraph that uses both first- and second-person pronouns to connect the thesis statement (provided above) to the student's own perspective on stealing:
Civilization X believed that invading Civilization Y would help them survive long, hunger-inducing winters. But all people go through moments when they crave security, especially in times of scarcity. I would certainly never consider taking the belongings of a neighbor, nor, I expect, would you. Yet we must consider the Civilization X artifacts that justify "taking" as signs of more than simple bloodthirst — they are also revelations of the basic human need for security. Perhaps if we had lived during the 600s C.E., you and I would have also taken from others, even while commanding others not to take from us.
Feature Image: Ziga Plahutar / E+ / Getty Images
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How to Write a Conclusion for an Essay
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.
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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.
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
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:
- 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.
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.
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.
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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Writing a Research Paper Conclusion | Step-by-Step Guide
Published on October 30, 2022 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on April 13, 2023.
- Restate the problem statement addressed in the paper
- Summarize your overall arguments or findings
- Suggest the key takeaways from your paper
The content of the conclusion varies depending on whether your paper presents the results of original empirical research or constructs an argument through engagement with sources .
Table of contents
Step 1: restate the problem, step 2: sum up the paper, step 3: discuss the implications, research paper conclusion examples, frequently asked questions about research paper conclusions.
The first task of your conclusion is to remind the reader of your research problem . You will have discussed this problem in depth throughout the body, but now the point is to zoom back out from the details to the bigger picture.
While you are restating a problem you’ve already introduced, you should avoid phrasing it identically to how it appeared in the introduction . Ideally, you’ll find a novel way to circle back to the problem from the more detailed ideas discussed in the body.
For example, an argumentative paper advocating new measures to reduce the environmental impact of agriculture might restate its problem as follows:
Meanwhile, an empirical paper studying the relationship of Instagram use with body image issues might present its problem like this:
“In conclusion …”
Avoid starting your conclusion with phrases like “In conclusion” or “To conclude,” as this can come across as too obvious and make your writing seem unsophisticated. The content and placement of your conclusion should make its function clear without the need for additional signposting.
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Having zoomed back in on the problem, it’s time to summarize how the body of the paper went about addressing it, and what conclusions this approach led to.
Depending on the nature of your research paper, this might mean restating your thesis and arguments, or summarizing your overall findings.
Argumentative paper: Restate your thesis and arguments
In an argumentative paper, you will have presented a thesis statement in your introduction, expressing the overall claim your paper argues for. In the conclusion, you should restate the thesis and show how it has been developed through the body of the paper.
Briefly summarize the key arguments made in the body, showing how each of them contributes to proving your thesis. You may also mention any counterarguments you addressed, emphasizing why your thesis holds up against them, particularly if your argument is a controversial one.
Don’t go into the details of your evidence or present new ideas; focus on outlining in broad strokes the argument you have made.
Empirical paper: Summarize your findings
In an empirical paper, this is the time to summarize your key findings. Don’t go into great detail here (you will have presented your in-depth results and discussion already), but do clearly express the answers to the research questions you investigated.
Describe your main findings, even if they weren’t necessarily the ones you expected or hoped for, and explain the overall conclusion they led you to.
Having summed up your key arguments or findings, the conclusion ends by considering the broader implications of your research. This means expressing the key takeaways, practical or theoretical, from your paper—often in the form of a call for action or suggestions for future research.
Argumentative paper: Strong closing statement
An argumentative paper generally ends with a strong closing statement. In the case of a practical argument, make a call for action: What actions do you think should be taken by the people or organizations concerned in response to your argument?
If your topic is more theoretical and unsuitable for a call for action, your closing statement should express the significance of your argument—for example, in proposing a new understanding of a topic or laying the groundwork for future research.
Empirical paper: Future research directions
In a more empirical paper, you can close by either making recommendations for practice (for example, in clinical or policy papers), or suggesting directions for future research.
Whatever the scope of your own research, there will always be room for further investigation of related topics, and you’ll often discover new questions and problems during the research process .
Finish your paper on a forward-looking note by suggesting how you or other researchers might build on this topic in the future and address any limitations of the current paper.
Full examples of research paper conclusions are shown in the tabs below: one for an argumentative paper, the other for an empirical paper.
- Argumentative paper
- Empirical paper
While the role of cattle in climate change is by now common knowledge, countries like the Netherlands continually fail to confront this issue with the urgency it deserves. The evidence is clear: To create a truly futureproof agricultural sector, Dutch farmers must be incentivized to transition from livestock farming to sustainable vegetable farming. As well as dramatically lowering emissions, plant-based agriculture, if approached in the right way, can produce more food with less land, providing opportunities for nature regeneration areas that will themselves contribute to climate targets. Although this approach would have economic ramifications, from a long-term perspective, it would represent a significant step towards a more sustainable and resilient national economy. Transitioning to sustainable vegetable farming will make the Netherlands greener and healthier, setting an example for other European governments. Farmers, policymakers, and consumers must focus on the future, not just on their own short-term interests, and work to implement this transition now.
As social media becomes increasingly central to young people’s everyday lives, it is important to understand how different platforms affect their developing self-conception. By testing the effect of daily Instagram use among teenage girls, this study established that highly visual social media does indeed have a significant effect on body image concerns, with a strong correlation between the amount of time spent on the platform and participants’ self-reported dissatisfaction with their appearance. However, the strength of this effect was moderated by pre-test self-esteem ratings: Participants with higher self-esteem were less likely to experience an increase in body image concerns after using Instagram. This suggests that, while Instagram does impact body image, it is also important to consider the wider social and psychological context in which this usage occurs: Teenagers who are already predisposed to self-esteem issues may be at greater risk of experiencing negative effects. Future research into Instagram and other highly visual social media should focus on establishing a clearer picture of how self-esteem and related constructs influence young people’s experiences of these platforms. Furthermore, while this experiment measured Instagram usage in terms of time spent on the platform, observational studies are required to gain more insight into different patterns of usage—to investigate, for instance, whether active posting is associated with different effects than passive consumption of social media content.
If you’re unsure about the conclusion, it can be helpful to ask a friend or fellow student to read your conclusion and summarize the main takeaways.
- Do they understand from your conclusion what your research was about?
- Are they able to summarize the implications of your findings?
- Can they answer your research question based on your conclusion?
You can also get an expert to proofread and feedback your paper with a paper editing service .
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The conclusion of a research paper has several key elements you should make sure to include:
- A restatement of the research problem
- A summary of your key arguments and/or findings
- A short discussion of the implications of your research
No, it’s not appropriate to present new arguments or evidence in the conclusion . While you might be tempted to save a striking argument for last, research papers follow a more formal structure than this.
All your findings and arguments should be presented in the body of the text (more specifically in the results and discussion sections if you are following a scientific structure). The conclusion is meant to summarize and reflect on the evidence and arguments you have already presented, not introduce new ones.
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