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5 Tips for Writing a Good Conclusion

It is often believed that people most remember what they read first, and what they read last. This is particularly true when it comes to essays, academic papers and other school assignments. The body of any paper is the meat and substance of the work – but it’s the introduction and the conclusion that will leave the most lasting impact on the reader. With this in mind, it’s your job to make sure that the beginning and end of your essay is of particularly high quality. Introductions seem easier, because you’re simple introducing your idea and concept; it’s conclusions that throw most people off their game. How can you write a great conclusion, every single time? Check out these five tips to find out:

  • Don’t repeat or summarize everything. The biggest rookie mistake in composing a conclusion is to (a) repeat exactly what you said in the introduction, and (b) to summarize the entire meat of your paper. Both of these methods won’t earn you any brownie pints with the instructor. A conclusion is not a summary; don’t go over every single argument or point you made a second time. At the same time, you need to find a new and interesting way to sum up your conclusion, without directly restating your initial thesis. Don’t repeat, and don’t summarize, and you’ll have a great conclusion.
  • Reference you’re introduction somehow. A conclusion should directly correspond to the initial idea or question stated in the introduction. You don’t want to repeat anything in the introduction verbatim, but you do want to restate the purpose of the paper before you dive into your concluding thoughts.
  • Provide closure. A conclusion is an end – something that wraps up the entire story, paper or idea in a neat and tidy way. How would you like a movie if it stopped halfway through? Papers need closure, and your conclusion should provide that. Answer your thesis question or come to a logical statement based on the evidence presents.
  • If possible, reference your hook, too. In many papers, students begin with an interesting hook. If there’s a way to weave in something relevant to the hook – such as the end of a story or part of an initial quote – include that in the conclusion. It will provide a sense of unity and completeness to the paper.
  • Add something a little extra. Sometimes, you can leave the audience off on a very thoughtful note – right after you’ve summed up your findings and eventual conclusion. If you can pose one final thought-provoking question or leave behind one vivid image for your reader, they’re far more likely to get a serious impact from your essay conclusion.