Learn How to Conclude an Essay and Get Your Inspiration From This Guide

  1. Learn How to Conclude an Essay and Get Your Inspiration From This Guide
  2. How to Conclude an Essay Properly?
  3. How to Start a Conclusion?
  4. Highlight the Value of the Thesis Statement
  5. Set Your Argument in a More Expansive Context
  6. What to Avoid When Writing an Essay Conclusion?
  7. Avoid Introducing New Information
  8. Do Not Subvert Your Argument
  9. Good Essay Conclusions Examples
  10. Argumentative Essay Conclusion
  11. Persuasive Essay Conclusion
  12. Analytical Essay Conclusion
  13. English Essay Conclusion
  14. Bottom line

Writing a satisfactory conclusion for an essay can sometimes be tricky. It can be challenging to understand your tutor’s expectations and how you should write a conclusion for your paper. If you come up with a weak concluding paragraph, it may result in a lower grade or even broader implications. Our writing experts gathered the essential tips on how to conclude an essay of higher quality. We hope you will make use of the information presented in this article. The conclusion is not just a simple summary of ideas and arguments you have provided in the body of the essay. It is your last word to tell and the part of the most critical information to let your reader know. So the essay conclusion should for sure be striking and convincing. Your concluding statement should answer the «So What?» question. Besides, it would be best if you used your conclusion paragraph to leave your reader with a positive impression of the arguments you’ve made within your essay’s body. It would help if you also knew where and how to start a conclusion for an essay. It should go after your essay’s body paragraphs. Please note that the number of sentences required to write a conclusion depends on your body part’s number of paragraphs. Coming up with a conclusion can be the most challenging part of essay writing for some students. In fact, there is no unique way of drafting a perfect ending. However, there are some main points that you should pay attention to if you need to make an impact on your readers.

  • The conclusion is the impression you leave to your reader
  • It is the final point of your essay
  • It should prove your thesis
  • It should provide your reader with a sense of closure

As an alternative, you can ask our academic professionals to help you with any part of your paper, including a conclusion. All you need is to leave a ‘write my essay’ request.

How to Start a Conclusion?

Like any other paragraph, the conclusion of an essay should be balanced. It should consist of at least three sentences: topic sentence, controlling and supporting ideas, and concluding sentence. Check out the typical conclusion outline:

  1. A topic sentence that restates the argument to remind your readers about its value.
  2. A supporting idea that sums up the main points of the paper.
  3. A controlling idea that brings together the core points and facts and demonstrates the relevance of the topic.
  4. A concluding sentence that summarizes the whole paper and answers the «So what?» question.

One of the best strategies to start a conclusion is to go through your paper once again to recall its arguments. It is also required to understand the theoretical framework which you have used while working on a specific type of essay writing. In your essay conclusion, you need to get your classification and analysis skills to the highest level. You should keep in mind that the purpose of a conclusion is to link the main essay points altogether. It should give your reader a simple idea of why your arguments matter. Here are a couple of things you should pay attention to if you are wondering how to conclude your essay:

  • Show how the content of your essay’s body adds up to a consistent piece of writing
  • Don’t just summarize each paragraph of your paper
  • Gather your main points and bring them together in a way that makes correlations and shows their significance.

Highlight the Value of the Thesis Statement

Let’s get back to the thesis statement you came up with within your paper’s first or second paragraph. At this point, when you think of how to end an essay, it’s time to refer to that original idea in your essay conclusion. You shouldn’t just restate your thesis and leave it like that. Instead, it would help if you reminded your readers why your thesis is essential. It doesn’t matter what your essay is about; the conclusion should focus on your argument’s implication. This part of an essay is a winning one. So, if you do not know how to start it, look at a thesis statement example we prepared for our users.

Set Your Argument in a More Expansive Context

A good conclusion should give an impression of closure and culmination to your main idea. The essay conclusion may also indicate what new questions or possibilities it has established. One way to reach such a goal is to set your argument in a more expansive context. As you know, the essay introduction moves from something general to the specific. At the same time, the conclusion can flow from the particular back to the general. For example:

  • You can consider establishing a link to the present-day cases if you research historical events or personalities
  • You can demonstrate how one specific area you focused on relates to global standards
  • If you reviewed a social change, you might want to refer to settled social processes in general.

What to Avoid When Writing an Essay Conclusion?

There are some things that you should not include in the conclusion paragraph to make your paper flawless. Do not:

  • Make a 1-sentence conclusion
  • State your thesis for the very first time
  • Repeat ideas or copy-paste sentences from the paper
  • Introduce new ideas, statistics, or in-text citations (it all should be presented in the main body)
  • Use facts or comments that undermine the concepts or arguments you have provided in the introduction or the essay’s body
  • Make emotional appeals that do not fit the scope of the rest of the paper
  • Include evidence (tables, quotations) that should’ve been in the essay’s body.

Avoid Introducing New Information

You should only present your arguments in the body of the essay. Any evidence to support your thesis statement should also be mentioned in the central part of the paper. However, you still may include some pieces of new information in the conclusion. It can be a reasonable quotation that supports your claim. Or it can be a couple of sentences that will put your essay argument in a broader setting. There is no way to introduce new sources or significant updates to your conclusion that need further discussion.

Do Not Subvert Your Argument

It would be best if you didn’t use critical assumptions in your conclusion. Avoid ending your essay conclusion with a remorseful phrase that sounds hesitant or disorganized. Even though your essay might present controversial arguments, your position should be explicit. Your goal is to give your reader some food for thought worth pondering or thinking over. Although your essay could have had many approaches to its question, you need to convince your reader that yours is the best one!

Good Essay Conclusions Examples

By now, we should already understand how to start and finish writing a good conclusion paragraph. But to fully grasp the peculiarities of a well-written conclusion, it would be wise to review some samples as well. It would help if you kept in mind that, for instance, a narrative essay conclusion may differ from an analytical essay conclusion. The purpose of each such essay is different. Therefore, the concluding statements may be a bit contrasting. Still, it doesn’t change the strategies you should choose to develop a remarkable final paragraph. This part of the article will demonstrate some concepts of the most popular essay conclusions samples. Check them out 🙂

Argumentative Essay Conclusion

Let’s start with an argumentative essay conclusion example. Argumantative Essay Conclusion Example

Persuasive Essay Conclusion

For a persuasive essay conclusion, you need to use the same method and structure as for other essay types.

  • Restate the thesis (paraphrase it properly)
  • Restate your two main reasons
  • Make the reader think that your position is the best one.

If you are to conclude your persuasive essay, you need to remember that the main task is to leave your reader thinking. Once you present your point of view regarding the argument, make sure to highlight it as the best possible one. Persuasive Essay Conclusion Example

Analytical Essay Conclusion

As in any other essay, you also need to restate your thesis in an analytical essay. If you are thinking of how to restate a thesis, consider using synonyms for your original key-points’ essential concepts. You may also want to slightly change the structure of the sentences you will be using. For example, you can start your conclusion with parts of the speech that differ from those in your thesis statement. Analytical Essay Conclusion Example

English Essay Conclusion

English essay conclusion might seem the toughest one of all. Bear in mind that in most cases, in conclusion you need to come up with what is already written by the author and lies just on the surface. Just go through your source of choice carefully to get to the main ideas. English Essay Conclusion Example

Bottom line

If you are still unsure how to write a conclusion for your essay, consider hiring an expert from our writing center. They will come up with a perfect solution of how to end your paper. Our writers are passionate about excellent performance. They will be glad to work on any topic you choose. Just provide them with precise requirements and guidelines, and they will meet or even exceed your expectations. Whether you are writing about a novel, short story, poem or play, the conclusion to your literary analysis essay needs to connect your thesis statement to the end of your essay. Summarizing your points is necessary, but the conclusion needs to synthesize all the different elements of the work you analyzed. Conclusions illustrate the significance of your essay in light of the question you have asked and demonstrate that you have successfully defended your literary argument.

Explore this article

  • Restate the Thesis
  • Synthesize Your Details
  • Look Forward
  • Stay Positive

1Restate the Thesis

A conclusion in a literature paper should begin with a reiteration of your thesis statement, which is your main argument. Inform the reader how you managed to demonstrate your view. If, for example, you are writing about Harper Lee’s «To Kill A Mockingbird,» your thesis may have been that the main character, Scout, has experiences throughout the novel that give her a more mature point of view by book’s end. Summarize for the reader how you examined textual evidence to come to that conclusion, which is realized in your thesis statement and then restated in different language in the conclusion.

2Synthesize Your Details

Each body paragraph in your essay should have broken down your thesis into subsections that you applied to the narrative, poem or play that you are writing about. The conclusion is where you synthesize the support you developed in the essay and form it into a cohesive statement that demonstrates how well you defended your argument. If Scout in «To Kill A Mockingbird» matured greatly throughout the novel, the conclusion reminds the reader of the way you analyzed the book’s events, other critiques and theories throughout each paragraph of your essay.

3Look Forward

Conclusions should not give a definitive answer to the question your thesis asks. Literary analysis does not stop at one particular point in time, and essays like yours keep a work of literature moving forward. A good conclusion will ask what needs to be done to solve the problem you have identified. If «To Kill A Mockingbird» centers on blatant racial problems with the criminal justice system, you could discuss aspects of that small town controversy that still exist today. Do not introduce completely new ideas, but draw from your thesis statement and connect it to a sense of duty that you have hopefully instilled in your readers.

4Stay Positive

The tone of the conclusion should be positive and achieve a feeling of completion. You can use other literary techniques, like simile or metaphor, and you can refer to on-point contemporary issues or ideas. Advanced students may refer to aspects of literary theory if you are knowledgeable about it. Overall, if you have a well-defended argument throughout the paper, the conclusion should be as strong as the rest of the essay.

About the Author

Matt Rauscher has been writing professionally since 1996, recently serving as a contributing writer/film critic for «Instinct Magazine.» He is also a novelist and co-author of a Chicago city guidebook. In 1997, Rauscher graduated from the University of Illinois with a B.A. in rhetoric.

What this handout is about

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

About conclusions

Introductions and conclusions can be difficult to write, but they’re worth investing time in. They can have a significant influence on a reader’s experience of your paper. Just as your introduction acts as a bridge that transports your readers from their own lives into the “place” of your analysis, your conclusion can provide a bridge to help your readers make the transition back to their daily lives. Such a conclusion will help them see why all your analysis and information should matter to them after they put the paper down. Your conclusion is your chance to have the last word on the subject. The conclusion allows you to have the final say on the issues you have raised in your paper, to synthesize your thoughts, to demonstrate the importance of your ideas, and to propel your reader to a new view of the subject. It is also your opportunity to make a good final impression and to end on a positive note. Your conclusion can go beyond the confines of the assignment. The conclusion pushes beyond the boundaries of the prompt and allows you to consider broader issues, make new connections, and elaborate on the significance of your findings. Your conclusion should make your readers glad they read your paper. Your conclusion gives your reader something to take away that will help them see things differently or appreciate your topic in personally relevant ways. It can suggest broader implications that will not only interest your reader, but also enrich your reader’s life in some way. It is your gift to the reader.

Strategies for writing an effective conclusion

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

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

Strategies to avoid

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

Four kinds of ineffective conclusions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. The “Grab Bag” Conclusion. This kind of conclusion includes extra information that the writer found or thought of but couldn’t integrate into the main paper. You may find it hard to leave out details that you discovered after hours of research and thought, but adding random facts and bits of evidence at the end of an otherwise-well-organized essay can just create confusion. Example: In addition to being an educational pioneer, Frederick Douglass provides an interesting case study for masculinity in the American South. He also offers historians an interesting glimpse into slave resistance when he confronts Covey, the overseer. His relationships with female relatives reveal the importance of family in the slave community.

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial. We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback. Douglass, Frederick. 1995. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself. New York: Dover. Hamilton College. n.d. “Conclusions.” Writing Center. Accessed June 14, 2019. https://www.hamilton.edu//academics/centers/writing/writing-resources/conclusions. Holewa, Randa. 2004. “Strategies for Writing a Conclusion.” LEO: Literacy Education Online. Last updated February 19, 2004. https://leo.stcloudstate.edu/acadwrite/conclude.html. Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 License.
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