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Do you want to know how to write an effective essay conclusion? Are you unsure of where to start? Don’t worry; we are here to help!
We will explore what makes a good conclusion, how to structure it, and what to include in it. We will also consider what not to include when writing one, so you know how to improve your work and avoid common mistakes.
A definition of an essay conclusion is:
An ending paragraph that brings an essay to a close. It is preceded by the main body of your essay.
It is important to note that there are many different ways to write an essay conclusion. This is simply a suggested structure for your paragraph. Your conclusion may closely follow this structure, or it could differ from it. The choice is up to you - it depends on what you feel is the best way to bring your essay to a close.
An example of a concluding paragraph structure follows three main aspects:
Review the main point of your essay brief
Summarise the main points of your argument
Offer a recommendation/improvement/question
Let’s take a look at these in more detail.
The first part of your conclusion should revisit your essay statement, which is the main idea of your essay. Think about what it is you have written about; what is the main message of your essay and why did you write about it in the first place?
You could begin your conclusion with ‘In conclusion’, but it is not always needed - the reader will already be aware that it is a conclusion, as it will be the final paragraph in your essay. You may want to consider using alternative phrases such as:
To summarise / in summary…
On the whole…
Taking everything into account…
If your essay brief is something along the lines of:
Social media has a bad effect on the communication of teenagers.
You could begin your conclusion with:
Overall, the effect of social media on teenagers' communication is negative.
Notice how the structure of the essay brief and the conclusion sentence is slightly different. Instead of copying word-for-word from the introduction, it is often better to change the wording or the structure of the sentence slightly. This keeps your essay refreshing and the reader will not have to re-read the exact same sentences more than once.
After reviewing the essay brief, you should then focus on summarising the main points made in the body of your essay. This reminds the reader of the key aspects of your argument and shows that you firmly stand by what you have written. It also proves that you have an understanding of the direction of your argument and can persuade the reader of your opinion and/or findings.
To know what to summarise, think about the key ideas raised in the main body of your essay.
Remember that your essay argument should be clear and easy to follow.
Your argument is important in establishing your own opinions about the essay topic and allows you to express your honest thoughts. It lets the reader know that you are not only able to explore your own ideas and support them with evidence but also that you can consider opposing views to respectfully argue against.
If you are struggling to create a clear argument, look at both sides of the argument and ask yourself the following questions:
Don't forget, you are trying to persuade the reader!
A summary of your argument could look something like this:
Social media use amongst teens decreases communication skills and causes face-to-face interactions to feel disconnected. It also encourages laziness and conveys inauthentic emotions. Due to a lack of emotional connection, it also gives teens the ability to be spiteful online, which impacts the well-being of others.
At the end of your conclusion, you should make a remark that brings the essay to a memorable close and leaves the reader with something to think about. But how can this be achieved? Well, this can be done in different ways, such as:
Recommending ideas for future studies
Making a recommendation shows that you are able to critically think ahead and apply what you have found to different aspects that could be explored further in the future.
For example, you could use phrases such as:
Suggesting an improvement
If you are arguing against something, you could suggest ways in which improvements could be made. For example:
Teens could lessen the negative impact of social media by taking breaks from their phones and reporting any hateful activity.
End on a question
Give the reader a final thing to think about by providing them with a rhetorical question. For example:
Will social media continue to negatively affect how young people communicate in the future?
Social media has the opportunity to revolutionise online communication. Will this ever be achieved effectively?
So, taking into account everything mentioned so far, your conclusion could look something like this:
Blue = revisited essay brief
Pink = summary of the argument
Green = ending on a rhetorical question
Overall, the effect of social media on teenagers' communication is negative. Social media use amongst teens decreases communication skills and causes face-to-face interactions to feel disconnected. It also encourages laziness and conveys inauthentic emotions. Due to a lack of emotional connection, it also gives teens the ability to be spiteful online, which impacts the well-being of others. Will social media continue to negatively affect how young people communicate in the future?
Whilst it is beneficial to know examples of effective conclusion paragraphs, it is also important to be aware of what not to include in your conclusion. This will give you a clearer idea of how to improve your writing.
Try not to directly repeat ideas
There could be some overlap between ideas and it is okay to repeat key points, but you shouldn’t copy and paste sections of your writing. This is because it takes away from the main message of your essay and could be boring for the reader. Instead, you could word a sentence differently or change the structure of a sentence. For example, instead of repeating the sentence:
Internet slang is a type of informal language used on the internet to communicate, most often by teens and young adults.
You could write it like this:
Internet slang, commonly used by teens and young adults, is a type of informal language used to communicate on the internet.
This will show the reader that you are able to use a broader range of vocabulary and can organise your thoughts in more than one way.
Don’t introduce new ideas into the conclusion
This is unnecessary as it will not relate to the purpose of your essay or your argument. Instead, be concise. Stick to what you have already talked about and what is relevant to your argument.
For example: If you wrote about the effects of similes and metaphors in a text, you wouldn’t write about the use of hyperbole in your conclusion. It would not make sense to the rest of your essay and would not strengthen your argument.
A conclusion could vary in length depending on how long your essay is. In relation to the other parts of your essay (introduction and main body paragraphs), it should be roughly the same length as your introduction. It is suggested that your introduction and conclusion should each be around ten percent of the total word count. For example, if you write 1000 words, your introduction and conclusion should be around 100 words each. Of course, this may vary depending on how detailed your essay is and what you are writing about.
An ending paragraph that brings a piece of writing to a close.
You could begin a conclusion by reviewing the main point of your essay brief
A conclusion should be around ten percent of your total word count.
One way to write a conclusion is to follow a structure like this:
Review the main point of your essay brief.
Summarise the main points of your argument.
Offer a recommendation, improvement or question.
You could end a conclusion by doing one of the following things:
What is a conclusion?
An ending paragraph that brings an essay to a close.
What comes before a conclusion?
The main body of the essay.
What is an essay brief?
The main idea of the essay.
You should directly repeat ideas from the rest of your essay in your conclusion.
True or false?
You shouldn't introduce new ideas in a conclusion.
True or false?
Fill in the blank:
Directly repeating ideas can be _____ for the reader.
Fill in the blank:
Directly repeating ideas takes away from the main _____ of your essay.
A conclusion should be around __% of your total word count.
A conclusion ______ your argument.
A conclusion _____ your essay brief.
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