Learn How to Write a Conclusion for an Essay

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When you have an outline and you already started writing the essay, things should go smoothly. Unfortunately, many students get stuck right at the conclusion, so it’s time to tackle that aspect of academic writing, too.

Important Things to learn: How to Write a Good Conclusion

In an earlier post, we wrote on how to write hooks for essays. The hook is never as easy as you assume. The essay conclusion imposes a similar challenge: you think it’s as easy as wrapping things up, but you’ll have to come up with a unique approach that will leave the reader impressed. In the conclusion of an essay, you get a final chance to emphasize your point and make the reader think. This conclusion essay guide will teach you how to do that.

The conclusion is the final paragraph of the essay, which should restate the main points you made. The conclusion should also answer an important question: who cares? The answer to that question will be your punchy finish line, which will trigger the reader’s thinking process.

In most papers, the conclusion starts by restating the thesis statement. Then, it expands that statement to a broader point of view.

Here’s an example:

“The fall of the colonialism happened as a result of poor leadership, pressure from the international community, and conflicts within the colonies. The decolonization process changed not only the colonies but the world as a whole. It was a turning point in history that brought us where we are today.”

The trick is to reiterate the main point without causing repetitiveness. Don’t even think about copying and pasting the thesis statement. The conclusion is a bit more complex than that. Let’s get into the specifics.

Step-By-Step Guide: Writing Conclusion for Essay

After that general talk on how to write an essay conclusion, you get an idea how this part of the paper should look like. However, you still need clear instructions that will help you write it. That’s what is here for: to help you write every part of the paper. Here’s your step-by-step guide on how to write a conclusion to an essay:

1. Make a Smooth Transition

The conclusion should read well on its own, but it shouldn’t be isolated from the rest of the essay. You should start the first sentence of this paragraph with a clear transition that tells the reader you’re about to wrap things up. These are some of the most commonly used transition words and phrases:

  • To sum up,
  • Finally,
  • In conclusion,
  • To conclude,

Although these sound like cliches, they still work. Check out one of the most famous essays by George Orwell: Why I Write. Although the structure is not the same when you compare it to a typical college essay, this one still has a conclusion. It starts like this: “Looking back through the last page or two,…” See? That’s a smooth transition.

2. Summarize the main points

Once you gave the signal for closure, you can summarize the main points you made throughout the paper. If you’re writing a 5-paragraph essay that’s not longer than 700 words, you can usually do this in a single sentence. Write two or three if necessary, but stay as brief and as clear as possible. Check Orwell’s essay again. You’ll notice he is restating the main points but doesn’t fall into the trap of repetitiveness.

3. Give a Powerful Personal Opinion

This is the moment when your personal opinion counts. Your teacher wants to know your stand. You already discussed arguments and evidence. Now, it’s time for that last statement that will make the final impression.

4. Tell the Reader What to Do

If you’re writing a personal essay, this part won’t be necessary. If, however, you’re writing an argumentative or an expository essay, you’ll need to tell the reader what’s next. If they finish reading your essay with a feeling they have to take some kind of action, it will be a successful piece of writing.

If you’re writing about global warming, for example, tell them how they can be part of the solution. You can also suggest further research, so they will gain a deeper understanding of the issue.

Things to Avoid for a Conclusion in an Essay

Although there are few rules on how to write a college essay conclusion, this section of the paper still leaves you with enough flexibility. You’re free to express your creativity when working on the conclusion to an essay. It’s okay to follow your instincts, but there are few exceptions. These are the things to avoid when writing a conclusion for an essay:

  • New information. You won’t have any space to elaborate it, so avoid mentioning new details when you’re wrapping things up.
  • Too many details. You had enough space to tackle them in the body paragraphs. The conclusion should be a brief summary with a call to action. That’s it!

What you should do is include a final punchy sentence, which will leave your reader thinking. We know you don’t have much time to read many essays at this point, so let’s go back to the one we mentioned earlier; Orwell’s Why I Write. “And looking back through my work, I see that it is invariably where I lacked a political purpose that I wrote lifeless books and was betrayed into purple passages, sentences without meaning, decorative adjectives and humbug generally.” This triggers you to explore the author’s early work and see if this criticism makes sense.

Now that you know how to write a conclusion paragraph for an essay, are you ready for the challenge? If you’re not quite there yet, remember: is always here to help.

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