How To Write A Conclusion For Essays You Don’t Know How To End
Learning how to write a conclusion is one of the more overlooked parts of essay writing. Conclusions may not contain as much information as other parts of an essay like your introduction or the topic sentences that build the body, but it definitely shouldn’t be neglected. In this blog, you will learn why conclusions are an essential part of essay writing and how to write one that will act like the cherry on top of a perfect essay.
First impressions should always be good, but lasting impressions are better and that’s what you should aim for your conclusions to be. The University of Technology Sydney says conclusions include a restatement of important points, a reiteration of the thesis statement, or a summary of the entire essay which we’ll teach you throughout this blog!
How important is the conclusion of an essay?
The conclusion of an essay aims to summarize the main points of your essay but it is so much more than that. According to the University of Newcastle, the conclusion is a writer’s final opportunity to successfully achieve the purpose of their essay. Various types of essays have different purposes whether it’s to persuade, inform, argue, describe, expose, or critique. A conclusion, regardless of the writer’s purpose, is an essential part of any essay.
A good concluding paragraph is succinct but doesn’t fail to reiterate the main points of an essay. The conclusion of your essay is where you get the final word in and if you want to hit a home run, you should pay a little extra attention to it. A good conclusion can either inspire or inform your readers. A good essay conclusion can challenge the readers’ initial point of view and it allows them to be open to new ideas. Most of all, the conclusion of an essay is important because it’ll be your final chance to make sure your readers understand you. When writing a conclusion, always remember to make it a strong ending.
What constitutes a good conclusion paragraph?
Besides learning how to start an essay, we at Homework Help Canada believe it is just as important to tell how to end one. Students and even writing professors acknowledge how conclusions are equally as hard to write as the introduction. A good conclusion paragraph can easily be identified by these following characteristics. Use these five tips as a checklist to ensure your conclusion is written right.
1. A good conclusion leaves a lasting impression.
Writers can often make the mistake of overlooking the conclusion part of their essay and only focus on the first parts. Content and information is imperative for a good essay and that entails a lot of research. A good concluding paragraph however, does more than just regurgitate the points you’ve already made in the essay.
Your aim in learning how to write a conclusion paragraph is to make sure your readers understood your points and arguments. Always aim to improve your readers knowledge after reading your essay.
2. A good conclusion does more than summarize.
What sets a good conclusion apart from a mediocre one is it doesn’t just summarize but synthesizes. For example, if you’re learning how to write a conclusion for a research paper, you need to be able to create a harmony between the existing body of knowledge of your topic and your hypothesis. Ask yourself how your hypothesis relates to the bigger body of knowledge that encompasses it and what your value added to the subject is. A good research essay basically integrates new found knowledge and existing studies.
If you’re wanting to learn how to write a conclusion for a history essay for example, it would be best to add reasons why the study of a historical topic is relevant and important in today’s society. A good synthesized conclusion marries traditional and modern philosophies.
To know more about the other parts of an essay, read our past blog on How To Write A History Research Paper.
3. A good conclusion shows the importance of your topic.
To not only write a good essay but a great one, your conclusion should provide your readers with closure. According to the University of Maryland, your conclusion deserves just as much effort as you put into writing the whole essay because it is the last thing readers will read. That means whatever is in your conclusion tends to be the words that stick to your reader’s memory.
Regardless of how good you think your essay is, without putting in the effort to your conclusion, it might not leave the best lasting impression. You should take into consideration the amount of time your readers spent on your essay. That means putting emphasis on why reading your essay wasn’t a waste of time and why the topic of your essay is worth learning about.
4. A good conclusion expands the body of knowledge surrounding your topic.
Similar to reason number 2, a good conclusion aims to add more knowledge and information to your chosen area of study. On top of your study and research, your conclusion can shed light on the fact that you’ve made new timely information and contributions alongside professionals, scholars, and even scientists.
By letting your readers know of the significance of your study and letting them know of your new discoveries, your essay automatically garners credibility and authority.
5. A good conclusion matches the objective of your writing.
A good conclusion should identify whether or not you were successful in the objective of your essay. If you’re writing a persuasive essay, by the time your readers get to your conclusion, they should already be somewhat convinced and persuaded while the conclusion essentially “seals the deal”.
If you’re writing an informative essay, the conclusion should remunerate all the important facts you’ve shared in order for it to be fully retained by your readers. That technique can also be called “repetition”. By the end of your essay, you should make sure your readers are well-informed.
Learning The Right Conclusion Structure
The biggest mistake you can make when writing your essay is completely disregarding how important a good concluding paragraph is. Conclusions are essentially the cherry on top of your essay. While it goes at the very end of your essay and you might think you should just get the assignment over with, it’s imperative that you take a little extra time and effort and really learn how to write a concluding paragraph.
According to Massey University, a conclusion paragraph outline has three essential components: the answer, summary, and significance. Your conclusion paragraph outline should have these three components:
The answer is essentially another term for your thesis statement. Just as important it is to state your thesis statement in the introduction, it should also be part of your conclusion. Imagine your answer or thesis statement as the two ends of a sandwich holding everything together.
In writing this part of the conclusion though, there’s no need to write everything word for word. The key term when writing your conclusion is “restating” your thesis. You can keep key terms and rearrange the structure of the sentence.
When in doubt, take all the main points in your essay and summarize them for your readers. A good tip is to not simply repeat and rewrite your main topic sentences. The conclusion is the final stage essentially to make sure all loose ends are tied up.
Learn more about how to write a conclusion in an essay and how to start a conclusion from our past blog.
A good essay according to Massey University successfully convinces your readers of the “correctness” of your argument but a really good essay takes it up a notch. An excellent essay can demonstrate to the reader why your argument is not only important but relevant to your chosen topic.
There are some general questions to add in your conclusion to go beyond simply summarizing which are:
What implications does your argument have?
How important is your argument?
What are the issues your argument addresses / raises?
It’s also important to note that for shorter essays that are under 1200 words, there’s not always a need for a broader or heavily detailed summary and significance. When space allows it though, a dynamic ending that paints a bigger picture is a highly effective way to end a great essay correctly.
How To Conclude An Essay: 5 Techniques
There are plenty of ways to go about writing a conclusion and here are five techniques you can try to get good conclusion examples from and learn more about how to write a conclusion.
1. Aim to answer the question “So what?”
The “so what?” final strategy in writing a conclusion considers the implications or your arguments that might go beyond the scope and limitations of your essay. This is where you can exercise the significance part of your essay conclusion. By answering “so what?”, the main argument of your essay transcends the essay itself and readers can realize and apply how it’s relevant to a broader concept.
For example, your essay is about drug and alcohol abuse amongst college and university students. If the essay argues that the leading cause of drug and alcohol abuse amongst students are more physiological and psychological factors rather than availability around campus, asking “so what?” can eventually lead to how colleges and universities can be more proactive in aiding their students through proper drug and alcohol education. It can even answer questions like why researching the main causes of drug and alcohol abuse amongst students is timely, relevant, and why everyone else should care about it so that solutions can be figured out.
2. Synthesize vs. Summarize
In learning how to write the conclusion of an essay, it’s a complete waste to simply repeat yourself. Most instructors and professors would much rather their students go beyond just summarizing. The key to a good conclusion is a proper analysis. While conclusions are not a place for you to bring up entirely new ideas, restating your thesis should involve new and interesting language that wasn’t used in the introduction or body of your essay.
3. Bring things full circle
One of the most foolproof ways to write your conclusion is to think about how to bring all your main points together in a full circle moment.
To use the “full circle” approach, it’s best to refer back to your introduction so you can start writing your conclusion with the aim of supporting your introduction. Rutgers School of Graduate Studies put it in a simple way to think of the three main parts of your essay. The introduction tells your readers what they’ll be reading about, the body expounds on the topic, and the conclusion restates everything. The conclusion is a condensed version of your whole paper that makes use of new language that keeps the topic interesting.
4. Get your readers thinking
You can successfully get your readers thinking after your conclusion by posing new questions. This strategy invites readers to consider new claims, ideas, and questions that are a result of the arguments you’ve presented in your essay.
For example, your essay is about the various versions of the famous children’s book “Cinderella”. The argument or thesis of your essay is how the Chinese, African, and English versions of the well-known children’s story have different themes and morals. To get your readers thinking, you can pose a question in the conclusion that considers how history and culture shaped the similar stories despite such varying themes.
5. Complicate your claim
While you could always take the easy route, you could opt for a more nuanced approach when writing your essay’s conclusion. The “complicating your claim” strategy makes use of additional resources that counters your argument. To use this strategy, ask yourself whether there is evidence that is against your thesis. You could also explore what other sources have to say about your thesis and use that to strengthen your claims and answer any open-ended questions your readers might have. Citing evidence that is against your thesis can also add credibility to your whole essay and can work well for compare and contrast type-essays.
Make sure you’re finding the best sources that can strengthen your argument by reading how to find credible sources online!
What To Avoid When Writing A Conclusion
Asking yourself what is there left to be said after researching thoroughly and writing a whole essay is the hardest part of writing a conclusion. Not to put extra pressure, but your writing instructors can almost guarantee if you didn’t put enough thought or effort into your conclusion. You can have the best argument, be proficient in laying them all out, but if you leave only 3 vague lines for your conclusion, it could be detrimental to your overall essay grade.
Here’s everything you need to avoid when writing your conclusion.
3. Verbatim repetitions
The keyword is to summarize, not repeat. Yes, the point of a conclusion is to revisit all the points and arguments that were brought up. No, you should absolutely not repeat verbatim sentences from the introduction or body of your essay. What you can do is use consistent language throughout and use key words. Try a variation of sentence structures and vocabulary.
2. Bringing up minor points
Assuming you’ve successfully enumerated your topic sentences that support and prove your thesis right, those are the same points you should reshare in the conclusion. Within each topic paragraph, you will have cited minor arguments and sources to support the main points but those are not the ones you should highlight. There’s emphasis on putting effort into your conclusion, but save that space for the focal points and the main features of your essay
3. New information
The conclusion part of your essay is not the space to bring in any new information or arguments. Think of it this way, in a courtroom, you don’t expect lawyers to bring in new evidence just as the judge is about to make a verdict. All relevant pieces of evidence and arguments, regardless of how valid they are, are not to be added to your conclusion. Key information and important arguments should be placed in the body of your essay.
4. Undermining yourself
This is especially important to remember especially for informative, argumentative, and persuasive types of essays. A level of authority and expertise is expected whenever we write an essay because how else can we keep our readers until the end? Granted you might not actually be the expert on the topic of your essay, but your research and the language you use in your essay should not reflect that. In your conclusion, avoid using the phrases, “…but I’m not an expert.”, or “while this is not my area of expertise…”.
In addition, avoid using “I think” or “I feel” in your essays. Ultimately, carry out a consistent tone of confidence in your writing up until the conclusion.
5. Cliche statements
It’s common to use phrases like, “To sum up”, “Finally,”, “To conclude”, or “In summary” to conclude your essay, although they aren’t recommended. Your readers will have known that they’ve reached almost the end of your essay and there’s no need for redundancies or reminders that they’ve reached the conclusion. Instead, you can use these phrases as transition words in the body of your essay to tie in two or more ideas.
How To Write A Conclusion: Three Foolproof Steps
Now that we know what a good conclusion means, its structure, and the five techniques you can apply when writing one, and what not to do, let’s zero in on the exact steps to know how to write a good conclusion paragraph.
1. Restate your thesis statement or problem
This is the first task when writing your conclusion. Simply remind your readers what the research problem was or what your thesis statement is. After discussing all your main points thoroughly in the body of your essay, this step essentially allows you to zoom out the perspective of your readers so that they see the bigger picture.
As you dive deeper into all your arguments, being able to restate the thesis statement or research problem allows the readers to remember why your arguments were brought up and why they were relevant in the first place.
You should also avoid starting your concluding paragraph with generic statements such as, “In conclusion” or “To summarize”. These statements take away the sophistication of your conclusion. The aim of a good conclusion is to let the content speak for itself without the need for extra signposting.
2. Sum it all up
Think of summing up all the important points of your essay as a CliffsNotes version of storytelling. If you had under a minute to explain to a younger audience the gist of your study or essay, how would you phrase it? Asking yourself these questions will shed new light on your main arguments and it’ll be easier to write your conclusion this way. Remember, there’s no need to add any new information in the conclusion. Whatever you’ll write here has already been said, but how you remind your readers of it in the most concise way is what matters.
3. Discuss the implications
The significance of your study or essay is part of the main structure of your conclusion. We’ve also specified that a good conclusion allows for the study to be continued. Meaning your readers can explore the next steps after reading your essay or study. Ask yourself what the main takeaways are, suggestions for further research, and even add a call to action.
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