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How to Write the Conclusion of an Essay


The conclusion of an essay may be the most important element of the essay. An essay may have an enticing introduction that draws in the reader, contain fascinating facts and persuasive details. However, it is the conclusion that wraps everything together and prompts the reader to take action or ponder further. This is the mark of a well-written conclusion.

Reflect the Introduction

Just as the introduction was the opening argument, the conclusion is the closing argument. This is the last chance a writer has to address the reader and influence their way of thinking. The conclusion should answer the Introduction and offer convincing compelling arguments, based on the facts within the body of the essay. Some say a conclusion is difficult to write. In truth, for the author who has researched and considered the issue, it is the climax and resolution of the struggle to present the issue within the writer’s chosen context.

Integrate Ideas to Build an Argument for Your Thesis

Rather than summarizing the facts in a final paragraph, a conclusion should tie all the previously presented ideas together, braiding them into an argument that demands the attention of the reader. The conclusion is the author’s opportunity to shroud the facts in personal opinion, framing them within the writer’s personal slant. Unashamedly, tie together the provided evidence in the argument for the thesis, pointing to facts, rather than restating them. Unite the stated facts to promote the claims made by the thesis.

A Simple Formula

Some essays do not require great persuasion, but a simple, satisfying conclusion to the essay. Lesha Myers, author of “The Elegant Essay,” suggests three basic steps when inspiration for creativity is lacking: Remind the reader of the basic idea or thesis of the essay without restating it. Highlight the position or lesson the essay promotes. Finish off with a final thought or call to action.

Ideas to Make the Finale Shine

Allow the angle to dictate opening and closing remarks, use them both together. Begin with an anecdotal story that illustrates the position presented in the essay. Save the ending as a punchline to end the composition. Open with a question, finish up the conclusion with an answer that punctuates the main idea. Demonstrate the benefit of the ideas presented. Conclude with a shocking, surprising or humorous statement. Use a quote that emphasizes or illustrates the thesis. Ask a question that challenges the reader to take action or reconsider their own view.

A Few Words of Caution

Never use a conclusion to introduce new facts or ideas. Instead, Randa Holewa, writing for Literacy Education Online, suggests painting a new picture that redefines ideas. Avoid leaving the reader confused or wondering why they read the essay. Experts agree -- avoid the temptation to start a conclusion with “In conclusion.” Never repeat the thesis word for word. Do not summarize the paper in the conclusion. Avoid the temptation to write a long conclusion. Trust that the evidence was laid out in the body. Skipping or skimping on a conclusion leaves an essay lacking.

About the Author

Crossover talent Debbie McClure has been writing marketing, training and press material for businesses since 2001. Investing in the next generation of authors, she has spent the last seven years teaching writing to elementary, middle school and high school students. McClure holds a Bachelor of Science in organizational leadership from Biola University.

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