A conclusion is an important element within your essay or research paper. It is the parting statement on which you will end you analysis or argument. If it is weak or vague it may diminish the overall impact your work has on the reader.
If you’ve spent many hours researching, writing and revising then the last thing you want to do is turn in a paper that has a weak ending. Using the following guidelines you can quickly find out how to write a conclusion that gives your essay the wow factor.
How to Write a Conclusion for an Essay Step-By-Step
Before you begin writing more words into your essay, it’s worthwhile first writing down the elements you would like to include in your conclusion on a separate piece of paper (or on a separate word processing document or file).
This will help you to focus solely on the conclusion rather than how the conclusion integrates with the rest of the paper.
Step One – Summarize Your Facts and Thoughts
Start by making bullet points of the principles of your paper and the argument you have put forward. List the key points you wish to make, along with a simple explanation of their importance within your paper.
This simple technique helps to ensure that your conclusion is not missing any important information (it’s absolutely essential that your conclusion finalises all of the important information contained within your essay, missing a key point could be very costly when your paper is marked!)
Discuss the ideas your paper has raised, rather than repeating them, and don’t start your conclusion with ‘to conclude’, as your first need to summarise the ground that has been covered!
Step Two – Openly Discuss Any Unanswered Questions
Your essay is likely to have raised issues that have been left unsettled or unanswered. Failure to acknowledge these hanging questions in your conclusion could again cost you vital marks.
Once you have acknowledged the areas that require further investigation it is then time to move the conclusion forward by using phrases such as ‘however,’ and ‘in spite of this’. Use these phrases to join the unresolved scenarios with the facts and theories that you have discussed in your paper.
Step Three – Hammer Home Your Argument or Data
Your conclusion must review the data, theories and ideas that you have put forward in your paper. You need to demonstrate how your evidence supports the thesis, and how the paper works as a whole rather than as individual paragraphs or sections. Your conclusion should take a firm, almost unapologetic tone that really makes the reader feel confident in the data and argument that you have put forward.
Step Four – Getting Your Reader to Accept and Agree With Your Argument
In order for a reader to be convinced you need to not just assert your paper as a collection of infallible truths, you also need to use your conclusion to get the reader to accept and agree with your principles, premise and conclusions.
This is the hardest part of writing a conclusion, but use your passion to your advantage and argue your case as hard as you can in as few words as possible (after all, an obvious truth will not require a long, drawn out explanation!
Step Five – Summarise, Question and Part
You will need to end your conclusion on a summary of your argument, and you will need to pose a question for your audience to consider.
You will then need to write a parting sentence that leaves yours audience feeling convinced of your argument but still in a contemplative mood.
Step Six – Review and Revise
It’s always a good idea to review your conclusion at least 24 hours after writing it, to ensure that you are completely satisfied with the last piece in your paper.
Don’t be surprised if you need to make revisions but don’t be afraid of maintaining a confident tone throughout your conclusion.
Be sure to keep a copy of all of the essays that you produce, and try to read essays on a regular basis. By reading and reviewing the works of others you will learn vital essay writing skills, and you will learn how to write a conclusion.