How to Write a Conclusion: Effective and Ineffective Approaches


How to Write a Conclusion: Effective and Ineffective Approaches

A conclusion means a lot to any essay, thesis, or other academic writing task. It is the final opportunity for the text writer to prove their viewpoint to the readers and to demonstrate original way of thinking and good writing skills. 

And here is what you should keep in mind throughout the process of thinking and writing it: the impression created in the last few paragraphs of the essay (summary or conclusion) is the last shaping instrument to narrow and finalize the impression they have and remember after they ended up with the essay reading. 

So, the essay finalizing paragraph exists to make the text complete and finished. Along with that, the topical discussion itself should remain open and receive a particular direction if possible. 

What is a conclusion?

Here goes the list of points a conclusion correlates with: 

  • It is what you actually leave for readers;
  • A summary “finalizes” the essay, “wraps it up”;
  • It serves as a demonstration of intention accomplishment;
  • It also backs up the stated thesis;
  • It gives the readers a sense that the topic is closed.

When your conclusion keeps up with these five features, one would say it is a good one. So, how to write it and make conclusion effective?

How to write a good conclusion paragraph? 

To create a good conclusion, you should remind yourself of the essay’s main point you intended to prove and double-check if you included it in the summarizing paragraph. In fact, an outstanding intro can serve as the solid basis to your conclusion. If your introduction was excellent, you can mixed up some arguments from the introductory part and the main body to receive a worthy conclusion. 

What should be mentioned in the conclusion part 

As we just mentioned, and as you might already understood from those short paragraphs and lists above, conclusions can be formally shaped. How to structure the essay conclusion? The crucial parts of a good conclusion are: 

1. Key Idea Restatement 

The main idea of the thesis statement: what was it? It is the safe and solid basement to begin the concluding part. Still, the key to a good conclusion is not just to restate thesis statement points but refresh it a bit. Try making it more loose because your intention here should be the final conviction of the readers to accept your thoughts, take your side, or keep up with your pieces of advice. 

For instance, let’s suppose that your thesis is “Democracy is better for people than autocracy because it means more chances for them”. You may rephrase your thesis statement as follows: “I stand for democracy, not for autocracy, because it gives more chances to people”. 

2. Three-Point Summary

The rule of three does work here well. Restating each and every argument you provided in the main body would be too long and maybe boring. Just mention three strongest ones. Summarize your ideas to have a strong basis to add to your thesis. 

For instance: “Democracy means freedom for everyone to choose and be chosen, to influence the political life at all levels, and to guarantee equality and justice.”

3. High Note Ending

After reading the conclusion, the reader should be satisfied with it but also willing for more. To close the essay more efficiently, try add an interesting thought provoking idea related to your topic to give them food for thought. Use the rhetorical question technique. Mention some hitting quote. It frequently turns out that well-chosen quotes illustrate exactly the thought one would like to express, but make it look a bit more striking, panache or glamour. 

Example: “Reinhold Niebuhr once said: ‘Man’s capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man’s inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary.’ Do you think he was wrong?” 

What to avoid in a conclusion? 

After we’ve discussed information that makes conclusion effective, let’s take a quick look at something you should not include in this part. We created a short and clear list:

  • Don’t just repeat an introduction;
  • Don’t simply rewrite body paragraphs;
  • Don’t add new ideas or arguments that contradict the information you have already provided.

Keeping that in mind, you don’t just paraphrase the thoughts and arguments already mentioned in a paper to make a good conclusion, you should analyze. Shortly summarize the main points in the topic sentence of your conclusion to show that your ideas do make sense and are worth thinking over or keeping up with. 

Conclusion structure/outline 

Let’s simplify it as much as possible. Here are the main elements of the conclusion, essay conclusion structure: 

  • Topic sentence – it restates the thesis in a fresh way;
  • Supporting ideas – they wrap up the main points of the essay body and explain how the stated concepts function when interconnected;
  • Final or summarizing sentence – gives a reference to the intro, serves as a summarizing sentence and closes the text up.

Effective conclusion writing strategies 

A good conclusion means careful thinking and planning. Here are several strategies for effective conclusion writing. These concepts will help you create a solid and through provoking conclusion:

1. “So What” Game

While writing a conclusion, ask yourself a question you are frequently annoyed with: “Why should they care?”, “So what?”, “Why does this make sense?”

State the question and then provide the reader with the answer. Such strategy helps  to pay attention to the main question of your writing.

“I think people should stand for democracy regardless of their social status, citizenship, skin color or religion.”/p>

So what?

“This is the way leading towards true equality and mutual respect.”

Why should they care?

“Otherwise, weakening of democratic movements throughout the world will only lead to the increasing gap between different social classes, the concentration of power within the chosen groups and the raise of discrimination.”

2. Introduction References

This strategy circles up the text and brings the feeling of completeness in minds of readers.

In case you started with a certain concept, go back to it after the main body arguments and show the new angle of view that the essay helped to create. The intro reference here is possible through the use of parallel ideas, key phrases or descriptions used to begin the text earlier. 

“The democratic institutes and laws provide people with all the necessary instruments to use their power and freedom of choice, unlike authoritarian governments.”

3. Summary

Provide the reader with a short list of summarizing keys. Be attentive to avoid repeating them with the same words you used to write in the intro or main body. 

“The authoritarian state model means the absence or dysfunction of institutes responsible for the delegation of power to every citizen. That’s the limitation of freedom for people which the democratic model is called to avoid.” 

4. Tie It Up

Prove the audience that your concepts and examples do work together. 

“The presence of appropriate legislative and executive organs functioning to guarantee every person their rights and freedoms is the obligatory attribute of democracy. They can’t work without each other. Standing for democracy means standing for equality.”

5. Provocative quote

We have already mentioned this approach above in the article. Finishing the essay with a thought-provoking quote gives readers food for thought. Here goes another quote sample.

“Aung San Suu Kyi said: ‘Democracy is when people keep a government in check.’ And I do agree with this viewpoint.”

6. Solution

Try to describe what problems can be solved if ideas stated in your essay will become real. 

“The real keeping up with democratic principles and concepts will be the solid guarantee for justice and equality of every citizen. Unlike authoritarian states and governments, those devoted to the ideas of democracy are eager to listen to their people’s opinion attentively, and to guarantee their voices to be heard.”

7. Broader Concepts

Show what further results can be reached if one keeps up with the ideas stated in the text. 

“Democracy is the obligatory step towards the biggest values of developed societies: mutual respect, personal freedom, equal possibilities and rights for everyone.”

Ineffective strategies to conclude your essay 

Okay, now we are going to make a short list of approaches that are more likely to ruin the reader’s impression about the essay. The strategies presented below are able to destroy even the excellently paced intro and the most reasonable main body arguments, so be sure to avoid them. 

1. The boring start with the overused phrase

The words mentioned in the list below may be useful and reasonable when you are holding a live speech, but not when you write academic papers: 

  • “as shown in the essay” 
  • “in conclusion”
  • “in summary”
  • “in closing”
  • “to conclude”

2. Mentioning the thesis in conclusion for the very first time

This actually has a great chance to confuse the reader. They might have another thought on the main point of your paper if you don’t let them know about it from the very beginning. That confusion exactly means that your essay was ruined for them. 

3. Coming up with completely new concepts or subtopics

Conclusions do not work like that. Setting up a whole new idea to the reader at the very end of the text when there is no room to develop it does not suit the academic approach and common sense at all.  

4. “That’s What I Think” Approach

It’s frequently the extremely short and direct thesis restatement that does not provide any idea development. Moreover, it sounds to the reader as if the writer did not really have anything more reasonable to say in the end of the text. 

General outcomes 

So, summing things up, we can generate a check-list of a good conclusion: 

  • It restates the thesis statement and kicks the idea’s further development;
  • It serves to prove the relevance and correctness of the author’s viewpoint;
  • It finalizes the text for the reader, gives the completion sense;
  • It closes the current writing but not the entire topical discussion.

Try checking these essay conclusion examples, too. There, you can find some brilliant concepts to implement in your writing.

Where to get help 

In case you’ve got any troubles with writing conclusions, entire essays or other academic papers, feel free to visit the Pro-Essay-Writer.com website. There, professionals will provide you with expert tips on demand. It’s a solid way to make your good essays be just perfect!