Eighth Step in Essay Writing:
Writing a Conclusion
A conclusion is that portion of an essay that comes at the end and it is the section that recaps on all the information provided in the paper and connects it altogether. Like an introductory paragraph, the conclusion should be around 20% of the overall paper and you should avoid introducing any new ideas or information in this section. It is important to have a strong conclusion because it ties everything that was discussed in the entire paper together in a cohesive manner. WritingLeader offers a professional writing service and we are always on hand to help if essay writing is something you find difficult and stressful.
How an Essay Conclusion Should Be Structured?
A concluding paragraph should adhere to a prescribed format just as an introductory paragraph does and this part should be both logical for the reader to understand and easy for them to follow the points you are making. The following format is the best approach to take:
- Reiterate the essay’s thesis in one or two sentences: This will remind readers about the thesis or central argument.
- Recall the key points in one or two sentences: Recap on each main point and example you provided and summarize key information.
- Go back over your analysis in a few sentences: Where essays are longer, the analysis may require an additional paragraph.
Finally, do not introduce any fresh ideas or information in your concluding paragraph. This section is your last word on the matter and you do not want another subjects to diverse one's attention from the final point!
What Exactly is a Concluding Paragraph?
Often, the conclusion can be the hardest part of writing an essay. One thing that should be understood at the outset is that no perfect format exists for bringing an essay or any type of paper to an end. When people write essays they want their works to stand out and have a uniqueness in order to show that their ideas count and that they are capable of delivering some profound thoughts. It is here that it becomes quite a challenge to deal with overused or hackneyed phrases and clichés, but yet it is necessary to do so. Hence, you must find a way to balance your work and make it individualistic to support your paper’s thesis and to match your style of writing.
Useful hint: You can actually relax! Your paper is now written so you can take time to write a strong conclusion that will really drive your message home.
It is important to first relax when you sit down to write your essay’s conclusion. The most essential and most laborious part of the work has been done and now you just need to draw it all together. All necessary information has been collected and your analysis has been completed, so you are almost home. A conclusion is more of a structural element than a vehicle for conveying information. While the introductory paragraph is the door that invites the reader into your world of ideas and thoughts, the concluding paragraph is the exit back to the real world. This is your chance to integrate all your main points with your central thesis, recall the profound issues explored, have a final say on the topic and bestow on your readers a feeling of satisfaction.
Although there is no perfect formula for writing a conclusion, there are certain practices you should generally avoid.
Three Primary Principles of a Conclusion
- Do not introduce any fresh ideas or concepts
- Avoid redundancy
- Do not use “fluff” i.e. generic text to fill gaps
It is not sensible to introduce fresh ideas towards the end of an essay. Your readers have been taken on a journey where your topic was explored in detail. The introduction of fresh information at the end can cause a feeling of being conned or that some parts of the work were omitted. This is comparable to trialing an unfinished piece of software, which can be hugely frustrating when it does not complete the task you were so looking forward to getting finished. So do not allow your essay to end as if there is a lot more you have not covered. You should either find some means of covering the missing material in the thesis or body of the essay or just wait until you have a chance to write an updated paper. There is nothing wrong with saving information for another essay after all!
Why Should You Avoid Redundancy?
A lot of writers make the mistake of redundancy at the end of their essay, especially in the conclusion. No doubt, you have heard from your tutors that a conclusion should restate your thesis and provide a condensed recapping of the main argument so that readers have something to chew over as they near the end of your work. Although this technique can be effective when used properly, it is sometimes taken too liberally. A reiteration of your thesis means doing more than copying what you wrote earlier and pasting it into your concluding paragraph. Even though a piece of creative writing and a research paper are vastly different, they still share some common elements, one of which is a conclusion.
Common Phrases Related to Redundancy
- All and every
- Entirely unique
- Final end/completion
- Free/no-cost gift
- Near proximity
- Newly innovated
- Positively improved
- Previous history
- Prior notice
- Refer back to
- Until that time comes
When we talk about movies for example those people who watch them do not want (or expect) a movie to end with an exact recap of what they have already seen, precisely as it began. Of course, that would be a bad way for a movie to end and critics would tear it apart calling it a disaster. This also applies to a critical writing. Linking a conclusion back to the thesis is a way of taking an argument full circle. To do this effectively, it is necessary to recall the ideas and themes covered throughout the text, but the approach to this should be of a more synthetic nature. Look for a unique way to deal with the ideas that were presented in the main body text. A conclusion should be more than just a rewording; it should be more of a fresh perspective.
Helpful hint: There are some phrases you should avoid because they are usually viewed as “fluff” or “fillers.” So, watch out for “in final conclusion,” “to sum the situation up,” “my key point is” and try to avoid these.
At WritingLeader we understand that writing an essay can be difficult and that is why we are always here to assist you.
Phrases like those mentioned above are overused and are not popular with tutors or readers. They play no important part in developing one's thoughts and should not be used. Some experts would say this should be an absolute rule for all writing assignments. At an early age people learn various phrases and formulas to help them structure their thoughts in an intellectual manner and to provide a foundation that will help them integrate into the world of scholarly discourse. Tropes and clichés are everywhere but it is not a law that everyone should add to and spread them. Over-hyped phrases are neither unique nor amusing and they will not enhance the level of intellect and professionalism you strove to achieve in your paper. When readers come across such phraseology, they immediately associate it with the numerous other papers that have used the same wording and your hard work will just vanish from memory and be consigned to the endless pile of average papers your tutor or professor sees every day.
Do not Change Tone in Academic Writings
Another practice that should be discouraged is changing tone in any piece of academic writing. This is something that mostly happens when a paper is coming to an end and its purpose seems to be a last-minute appeal to the emotions of the reader. However, most scholarly communities do not care for sentiment of this nature but would prefer to feel passion and emotion in your overall disclosure of your subject matter.
Helpful hint: Remind yourself not to change the tone of your work neither to change perspective from the third person to the first person.
Think of a child in a toy store pleading with their parent to buy them some item they have set their heart on, even promising to be good if the parent succumbs. If that fails, they may resort to being “overly-cute” in a bid to achieve the desired result. This is essentially what happens when a writer changes the tone of their essay as it comes to a close. Therefore, the concluding paragraph can lose all sense of logic and in its place become full of biased claims. The central argument can become exaggerated and distorted with the assumption the reader concurs with the writer’s beliefs. It may even be that the writer is not confident that their arguments are sufficiently strong so they resort to the emotional appeal. Do not fall into this trap. Sweep sentiment aside and end your essay on a strong note! Most likely your readers would not want to see a great essay falling to pieces at the last hurdle. Instead, they would rather see your text end with a powerfully persuasive last couple of paragraphs!
Watch Out for Logical Mistakes
Something else to be on your guard against are logical mistakes. There are several sources available where you can check out all the common mistakes that occur in arguments. Often, writers are not aware when these mistakes are made, but to an experienced eye they stand out like a sore thumb. Pitfalls like these will diminish all the valiant effort you have made to convince your readers about the validity of your argument(s).
We can now look at the various elements that should prove useful when you have to write an essay conclusion. The following tips should help you to end your paper on a strong note.
Principles of an Essay Conclusion
Because the rules for creating a grade-winning paper are not carved in stone, you are permitted to sidestep some of the things you have always been taught. Remember, the rules that were impressed on you during your scholarly career were devised for a particular reason.
Helpful hint: Do not forget to reiterate your argument clearly in the concluding paragraph.
Most of the established rules have been tried and tested and, frequently, have been proven to be effective. Some proven rules include the reiteration of a thesis/hypothesis and the methods for building a strong argument, but there are other ways to bring your paper to a memorable close! Your essay is an opportunity for you to test your creative flair within certain limits. Stretch the rules, but only break them when your purpose and intention are clear in your own mind.
It helps to always be aware of the type of paper your assignment is. A science-style paper will need a different conclusion to an arts-related one. In some types of papers, a quote can be a powerful technique at the end. Some renowned writers have made effective use of the ideas of other authors to add strength to their points and even to give a new interpretation to other respected works.
Helpful hint: If you decide to use quotes, select only those words that are most relevant. It is pointless to use quotes excessively as “fillers.”
If the purpose of your paper is to explain the methods used to prepare for a particular type of life-saving surgery, a direct quote might not be the best way to summarize your research findings.
It is common practice to include the methodologies used in the concluding paragraph of a science-type paper. This is a means of calling your readers to action. Because it is not usually possible to conduct any experiment in a clinical environment without scope for flaws and imperfections, researchers and scientists need to be able to explain to fellow researchers and fellow scientists how alternative results may be obtained if certain conditions were different and if the same experiment was to be repeated. Hence, there are a number of factors that need to be evaluated and described in the conclusion.
Concluding paragraphs that end with a call to action are aimed at persuading readers to take the presented argument and have something changed in their lives according to the information they have just been given. There are only some situations where this is appropriate and it should be used sparingly unless the writer is sufficiently witty and clever. Telling other people to do things does not achieve as good a result as allowing them to form opinions for themselves or make up their own minds on the basis of the information provided.
Providing a topic summary is a great way to bring a paper to an end, but try and do it creatively! You can stray from norms and give vent to your rebellious side, but blend this with careful analysis that is both critical and thorough.
A conclusion is extremely important so make sure you bring all your thoughts, analysis and ideas to a smooth and compelling end.