Conclusion Paragraphs

Writers have just taken the reader through a organized and convincing essay. Now readers seek satisfaction by reading a conclusion statement that wraps up all the main points nicely. Frequently, the ideas in the body of an essay lead to some significant conclusion that can be stated and explained in this final paragraph. 

Writers should also provide the reader with a fresh new outlook on the subject, leaving them thinking about the issue. In other words, the conclusion can go beyond the requirements of the assignment as it allows writers to consider broader issues, make fresh connections, and elaborate on the significance of the findings.

Good conclusions can even have a striking ending. It should evoke supportive emotions in the reader, reflecting the same emotions the reader felt throughout the essay. Nothing is more disappointing to a reader than reaching a flat and boring ending. Concluding statements which refer back to the introductory paragraph (i.e. the attention-getter) are appropriate here; it offers a nice stylistic touch which brings the essay full circle.

The conclusion paragraphs typically:

  • Revisits the Value of the Essay
  • Restates the Thesis
  • Reviews Main Points
  • Considers unexplored areas
  • Leaves the reader thinking

Revisit the Value

Writers should remind the reader of the magnitude and timeliness of the issue.

Restate the Thesis

The thesis and the restatement of the thesis are cousins, not identical twins: They share key similarities, but they still look and sound like separate individuals. Make sure the restatement looks and sounds different from the thesis.

Review the Main Points

Beginner writers can have a tenancy to sound like they're making a list when they review the main points of the essay. Read and re-read this section. Make sure it flows and smoothly fits into the conclusion paragraph without sounding like a list.

Considers Unexplored Ideas & Leave the Reader Thinking

Now is not the time to introduce new key arguments; that argument should have properly expressed in the body paragraphs. Instead, writers might want to extend the reader's understanding on the argument by showing new aspects of the "big picture." Writers can do this by discussing what the future would look like if the situation remains the same; if the essay is not persuasive, writers can perhaps paint a picture of the situation in a new way. Referring back to an anecdote or an attention-getter that was used in the introduction paragraph adds a nice stylistic ending. Writers should take some time to be creative in this part of the conclusion; they should find a way to add an artistic, creative but focused element to the ending.

In the Conclusion Paragraph

oversimplify the message,
use cliches which sound good but mean nothing,
apologize for the material you're writing,
blatantly refer to the actual essay ("this essay shows you..."),
introduce new arguments, evidence, or details you might have forgotten,
soften your argument,
blatant repetition of the thesis,
sound repetitive or list-like, and
leave readers frustrated after reading an otherwise wonderful paper

Sample Conclusion Paragraph

........[Restate Thesis & Revisit Value of Essay] It is clear that the only acceptable way of ensuring the safety of airline passengers is to begin a program to issue Safe Traveler Cards or national ID cards to United States citizens. [Review Main Points] These cards would screen out those who are unlikely to be terrorists and would also eliminate the delays that currently characterize air travel. Most important, they would help prevent terrorists from high jacking American Planes. At the same time, by making racial profiling unnecessary, these cards would help protect personal and civil liberties of Americans. [Leave Reader Thinking] Only by instituting a national ID card system can the U.S. make certain that the terrorists who attacked the United States did not hijack the liberties that are so precious to us.

Taken from College Writers pg. 733-734