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.