How to Write a Conclusion for a Compare & Contrast Essay
A well-written essay should have at least three main components: an introduction, a body and a conclusion. While the introduction introduces the topic and draws the reader in, the body of the essay should consist of several paragraphs supporting the essay's main argument or hypothesis. A strong conclusion will satisfactorily draw an essay's argument to a close. For a comparative essay, the conclusion should successfully paraphrase the main points in the essay and offer a closing thought or opinion.
What is a Comparative Essay?
A compare and contrast essay, also known as a comparison essay, talks about how two ideas or objects differ and how they are similar. Some essays may only talk about similarities, while others may only talk about differences. This focus depends on the length and scope of the essay.
An example of a topic for a compare and contrast essay is a comparison between life in a city and life in the country. The conclusion to this essay will include at least two important components: the paraphrased thesis and the author's opinion.
Paraphrasing the Thesis Statement
The thesis statement is usually included in the introduction to the essay, and it provides the reader with a clear understanding of the essay's topic and scope. The first or second sentence of the conclusion should be a restatement, or paraphrase, of the thesis statement.
If the thesis statement is, "Many people prefer to live in a city because of access to better health care and a wider variety of cultural and athletic events," the paraphrased thesis statement could be, "In conclusion, many people find city life preferable because of closer proximity to more cutting-edge healthcare systems and because of more choices of extra-curricular activities."
The Author's Opinion
While the body of the essay should generally include objective information, the conclusion should include one or two sentences articulating the author's opinion. This stance should not be conveyed using an "I" statement, which is usually not recommended in formal writing.
A sentence relating to the thesis statement comparing life in the city versus life in the country could be, "For these reasons mentioned above and others, life in the city is more advisable for individuals for whom a better quality of life is non-negotiable."
Scope of Conclusion
The conclusion should not include more than a re-stated thesis statement and the author's short opinion. This section of the essay is not a place in which new information or information unrelated to the topic is introduced. All information should be contained within the introduction and the body of the essay, and the conclusion's scope should be limited to what has already been mentioned in the essay. Oftentimes, the conclusion will end with the author's opinion.
Megan Ritchie has been a writer for more than 10 years, and has been published in a number of journals and newspapers, including "The Daily Targum" (Rutgers University's daily newspaper) and "The Philadelphia Inquirer." She has a Master's degree in Education from the University of Pennsylvania.