How to Write a Conclusion for an Essay
Any academic assignment has a particular structure, and even if body paragraphs may differ, there should always be an introduction and a conclusion. And if the introduction gets enough attention, the conclusion is often neglected.
After finishing body paragraphs, students feel tired and don’t have the energy to work on the conclusion. They think that it is not important and also don’t know what to write. They ask themselves: ‘what can I write if everything has already been said?’
In this article, we’ll tell you how to conclude an essay and how to create a powerful ending, not depending on the assignment type and your academic level. With our step-by-step guidelines, you will know exactly how a great conclusion should look like!
What is an Essay Conclusion?
It is impossible to understand the task if you don’t know what this task means. That is why let’s start with the definition of an essay conclusion. Everything’s simple: it is the last paragraph of the assignment, which summarizes the thesis statement and arguments. It shows readers what makes the topic important and why the audience should consider the issue broader.
And it doesn’t matter whether you are writing an essay, a research paper, or a dissertation. The conclusion is the essential part of its structure, and you should do everything possible to make it as catchy as possible.
Why it is Important to Know How to Conclude Your Essay
As you see, the conclusion closes the essay and summarizes its key points one last time. It is your opportunity to explain why the assignment matters and what makes it important. In simple words, the conclusion should answer the question ‘So what?’
You should give readers food for thought, i.e., a few open questions or an idea of the topic’s importance. In addition, the conclusion makes the essay finished and gives a great opportunity to end on a positive and inspiring note.
Remember, the conclusion is not about introducing new facts but about summarizing everything you have already said. When learning how to end an essay, you should learn how to distinguish and enumerate key points, as well as to motivate the readers to explore the topic further.
You will be extremely surprised to find out that many tutors consider the conclusion as important as introduction and are ready to award students with a lower grade if the final part is weak or even absent. Thus, you shouldn’t underestimate its importance and treat the assignment with respect and attention.
Here are the key things to remember:
- Your conclusion restates and not rewriters the introductory thesis;
- A powerful conclusion consists of at least three sentences;
- It concludes the thoughts you have already discussed, not present new arguments and ideas.
Three Parts of a Good Conclusion
When you write a conclusion for an essay, it’s necessary to remember that it consists of the three main parts:
- An answer which contains the revised thesis statement;
- Summary of the main points and key elements of the body;
- Significance of the topic and importance of research results.
The thesis statement is a sentence or two, which contains the main idea of your essay. It is first indicated in the introductory paragraph to explain what you will be discussing in the following parts of the essay.
Thus, it’s important to include the thesis not only to the introduction but also to the body paragraphs. However, you shouldn’t repeat it: try paraphrasing or writing anew (but keeping the main keywords).
Usually, a paraphrased thesis statement comes at the beginning of the conclusion, and the following sentences or paragraphs simply explain why the topic is relevant and should be treated seriously. Like any other part of an essay, the conclusion should be structured in a logical order.
A conclusion is a place where you need to remind the audience of everything that you have discussed and to explain how different parts are related. To do it, you need to summarize the key arguments and your findings. However, you shouldn’t copy and paste them. Paraphrase the sentences using the same keywords and ideas.
Any written assignment aims to ‘sell’ your ideas or thoughts. Thus, you need to explain to readers why they should ‘buy’ what they read. In this part, you should write about topic importance and motivate readers to explore more. You may end with an open question, a story from your own life, or a call-to-action.
First sentence: restating the thesis and making the same point in other words.
Thesis: Cats are better pets than dogs
Paraphrased thesis: Cats are definitely the best pets in the entire world
Sentences two-four: review the arguments and summarize them in a paraphrased manner.
Cats are cleaner, calmer, and you don’t have to walk with them (which is a big advantage when the rain is pouring).
Sentence five: connect it to the hook you have indicated in the introductory section and relate the final section to the opening. Try to impress the reader with a call-to-action or some food for thought.
For example: To change your life for the better, just go and adopt a cat.
Finally, you need to combine the above sentences to get a comprehensive and outstanding conclusion, even if the topic is simpler. Based on the examples we have provided above, your conclusion will be as follows:
Without any doubt, cats are the best pets in the entire world. They are much cleaner, and you won’t have to find mud in your bed. They give you enough space without being too affectionate, and there is no need to go for a walk when you don’t want to. Every second that you live without a cat, you lose an outstanding and positive experience. Thus, you can’t wait any longer: go outside, adopt a cat, and you’ll see how great your life will become.
Most Popular Strategies for Concluding an Essay
Many students don’t know how to end essay, and they don’t understand the need to do so. However, a strong conclusion makes the assignment full and complete and allows you to explain to readers what you were trying to say during the essay.
Luckily, there are a few conclusion writing strategies that can help to write an ending with minimum efforts.
You may expand the main points of an essay or widen the perspective within the same context. Such a strategy will help the audience to look at the topic from a different angle and find new meanings related to the topic.
- Finally, I am sure that we can’t find the only correct answer to the question of who is a better learner – a child or an adult. Everything depends on the situation and background of every individual. As well as on their level of aspiration and enthusiasm.
- People would be happier and healthier if they participated in different kinds of sports more actively. We should continue promoting a healthy lifestyle, as well as training programs for different society layers. We need to remember that sport is exciting, challenging, and fun.
The second strategy is nothing but paraphrasing. With its help, you can make the essay finished and clear: it starts and ends with the same idea. Closing the assignment with the same thoughts and vision may help to strengthen the point you were trying to explain and provide a better understanding of the issue.
- I could see the Statue of Liberty from the parking lot. It was standing still against the grumpy sky. To the right, I saw a boat with tourists who were taking pictures and chatting with each other. To the right, I saw a group of children on their way home from school. As I left the car, I heard the noise of the streets, saw the greenery of the trees, and couldn’t stop thinking that I live in the best city in the world.
- I thought that it was the right time for me to move to a smaller and calmer city, somewhere in the heart of Texas. However, when I saw how vivid and bright this city is, how people interact with each other, I understood that I would never be able to leave it. Who knows, maybe one day I will be walking on these very streets with my grandchildren and telling them about all the small daily events which took place here, by the Statue of Liberty, many years ago.
Another viable strategy for writing essay conclusions is to explain the importance of the work. Give the audience food for thought and tell how the community or even the world may benefit if they would develop in the given direction or will fix the discussed problem. Avoid ‘if’ and ‘when’ because they are too weak for the conclusion.
- Physical punishment is considered one of the discipline methods. Some even consider it to be effective and useful. However, it should be the final option for parents and applied only in extreme situations. Violence always starts at home, and if we want the world to be a better place, we should teach our children to be kind and compassionate to others.
How to Write an Essay Conclusion Step-by-Step
To conclude an essay, it’s not enough to enumerate the things you have discussed in the paper. You should consider this section as an additional opportunity to highlight topic importance and to show how deep and comprehensive your research is.
Here are the steps necessary to understand how to write a conclusion:
- Start with a topic sentence. The best way to start a conclusion is to write a topic sentence. It is the key idea of the paragraph with an important point or issue. For example, ‘switching to a plant-based diet may significantly lower the impact humanity has on the planet.’ Further sentences will support this idea and explain the things you have already discussed in the essay.
- Restate your thesis. The thesis statement is an important part of your introduction, and it explains the whole point of the essay. Thus, to make the assignment complete, you need to restate the main idea but using the same keywords. Make sure that they are not the same because it will not only harm the overall impression but may increase the plagiarism percentage.
- Provide a short summary of the evidence. It’s not enough to enumerate the main findings of the essay. You should briefly discuss the evidence you have found, the sources, and the key features. For example, if writing about a plant-based diet, you can tell that the essay contained information on the prevalence of protein in plant food and on the levels of pollution produced by farms.
- Include one or two main supporting points. You should include a sentence or two about the things which support your claim. For example, there are 26 g of protein in 100 g of peanuts and 20 g – in 100 g of chicken meat. The same refers to levels of pollution.
- Finish your essay with a conclusive statement. To end a conclusion, you need to come up with a powerful statement. It may be an open question, a quote, or a call-to-action. Your goal here is to make the reader want to explore the subject deeper or to do something right after closing the essay.
How to Make Your Conclusion Stronger
There are a few tricks to conclude an essay. They will make your final section strong and catchy, and you won’t have to worry about losing the interest of the audience:
- Synthesize the main points
- Emphasize the significance of your thesis
- Open broader questions
- Synthesize the main points. The conclusion of your essay should be clearly connected to the things you have discussed in the paper. However, the task here is to avoid summarizing and using the same words. Try to bring the points together to draw a comprehensive picture of the story. The conclusion is your last chance to show that your essay is strong, clear, and coherent.
- Emphasize the significance of your thesis. As you already know, a conclusion not simply restates the thesis but reminds readers why it is important. For example:
- The issue may influence governmental policies;
- It provides unknown information about a particular event or historical period;
- It challenges the commonly accepted idea in society;
- It may influence the way the current situation is understood by the people.
No matter what the topic of your essay is, make sure the conclusion highlights the argument’s importance for a personality, local community, or the world as a whole.
- Open broader questions. Even though your essay should have a clear ending, it’s important to give the audience an understanding that the topic could be opened up and discussed further. One of the simplest ways to achieve it is to provide a broader context of the issue. While in the introduction, you move from general to specific, in conclusion, you can do the opposite.
Things You Should Avoid in Essay Conclusion
It’s always better to learn from someone else’s mistakes; that is why below, we will discuss the mistakes that students do when they conclude an essay:
- Do not include new information. Any facts, statistics, and data which aim to support the thesis and is important for the paper, should be discussed in the body paragraphs. The conclusion isn’t the section where new data is provided.
- The only exception is a few sentences discussing the broader picture of the topic. However, it shouldn’t contain new facts, ideas, or sources.
- Avoid using cliché phrases. There are a few phrases that are used by millions of students worldwide and are considered outdated and too common. For example, in conclusion, this essay has discussed, or to sum up.
- Yes, you should start new paragraphs with transition words and phrases to make the flow smooth and readable but try to use fresher vocabulary.
- Avoid being apologetic. You may feel tempted to criticize your own work, especially if you are not a confident person. However, never put these words on paper. Phrases like ‘this is only one thought among many’ or ‘there is no clear solution to the problem’ show that you are not experienced in the issue, and your findings have no value. Even if there are multiple arguments that contradict your position, it must be clearly stated. But your goal is to convince the readers that your concept is the best.
An Example of Good Essay Conclusion
Now, when you know what an essay conclusion is, how to write it and what mistakes to avoid, it’s the right time to provide an essay conclusion example:
Entering the Yale School of Drama is the goal I am willing to achieve in two years. Finishing school won’t be easy, but I am sure that to achieve this goal, I will do everything to get the highest grades and to stand out from other candidates. My goal may not be unique or noble, but it is my dream, and I am sure that those who do their best and work really hard always succeed.
In the example, the first sentence is the thesis, the second – a brief summary, and the third – the final words.
Do You Need Help with an Essay?
In this article, we have discussed how to write a conclusion for an essay and what makes this assignment so important. Now you know that it’s not enough to summarize key arguments of your essay to get a high grade.
Your conclusion must be brief, catchy, engaging, and motivating. But don’t worry, you can learn everything with a bit of practice and devotion. And if you need help, let us introduce you to our experienced writers.
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