How to Conclude an English Essay

There are several types of English essays. Regardless of essay type, it is the underlying form of reasoning expected for the essay that shapes the conclusion. According to HyperTextbooks, there are five major forms of reasoning used in English essay writing. Cause-and-effect essays explore why something is so. “How” essays seek origins or historical information. There are analysis and comparison essays, opinion essays, and essays meant to persuade. In all cases, the conclusion must satisfy the primary purpose.

Step 1

Determine the underlying purpose of the essay. This might be mandated by the essay question; it may be inspired by a creative writing session. You will write your essay to serve your underlying purpose. In an essay evaluating the Bronte sisters, your purpose might be to say why you prefer one over the other.

Step 2

Address the underlying purpose of the essay in the first sentence of your conclusion. English for University recommends thinking about the primary message you want to leave with your audience. For greatest effect, the conclusion should demonstrate the development of the original thought found in the thesis.

Step 3

Write a few sentences that synthesize the main points you made in your essay. Literacy Education Online says you should concentrate on illustrating how your main points fit together to create a greater picture. A summary of points in a conclusion reminds the reader of what he has read. It also helps to lead you naturally to the final sentence.

Step 4

Write a final sentence that makes a connection with your reader. Kim’s Korner suggests asking a question that causes your reader to think about the subject in greater depth, adding a personal comment about what you’ve gained from the writing experience, or leaving the conclusion open for the reader’s evaluation.


Outlining the main points in the essay can help you craft a powerful conclusion.

Don’t introduce new information in the conclusion. Only points already made within the body of the essay should be included. However, you can use these points to make a larger point to leave with your reader.