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Conclusion

The conclusion brings closure to the reader, summing up your points or providing a final perspective on your topic. All the conclusion needs is three or four strong sentences which do not need to follow any set formula. Simply review the main points (being careful not to restate them exactly) or briefly describe your feelings about the topic.

The conclusion is the end of the essay. It is the last part of the essay and it is the part that the reader may remember most. It should be clear and avoid confusing the reader.

The reader expects the conclusion to do some or all of the following

  • rephrase the question.
  • summarize the main ideas.
  • give your opinion, if you haven't given it already.
  • look to the future (say what will happen if the situation continues or changes).

The reader DOES NOT expect new information in the conclusion. Never add a new idea just because you have thought of it at the end!

You must do all of this in just three or four sentences!

Vocabulary is Important:

The conclusion is very similar to the introduction. However, you should avoid repeating the same words. This is why a few minutes spent at the start of the exam writing down synonyms (words with the same meaning) and related words is very helpful.

After all, if you only have a 250-word essay but use the same word 10 times, this will not show the examiner what you know

Wrapping Paper:

Another way to look at the Introduction and the Conclusion is to think about gift wrapping paper. Your intro and conclusion wrap around your essay like a piece of bright paper "wraps" a present. They are not the main part of the essay, but they do make your essay look good.

Your conclusion 'wraps' up the essay. We don't put something valuable, like money or gold, hidden in the wrapping paper, so don't put new information or important ideas in the conclusion.

Recap your main idea:

If your essay was long and complex, sometimes difficult to follow, in the conclusion you’ll want to recap your ideas in a clear, summarizing manner. You want your readers to understand the message you intended to communicate. However, if your essay was short and simple, don’t insult your readers by restating at length the ideas they already understand. Strike a balance according to what you feel your readers need. In a short essay (600 words or less), any recapitulation should be brief (about 2 sentences), and rephrased in a fresh way, not just cut and pasted from the thesis.

Leave a memorable impression:

It’s not enough just to restate your main ideas — if you only did that and then ended your essay, your conclusion would be flat and boring. You’ve got to make a graceful exit from your essay by leaving a memorable impression on the reader. You need to say something that will continue to simmer in the reader’s minds long after he or she has put down your essay. To leave this memorable impression, try . . .

  • giving a thought-provoking quotation
  • describing a powerful image
  • talking about consequences or implications
  • stating what action needs to be done
  • ending on an interesting twist of thought
  • explaining why the topic is important


Keep it short:

Keep your conclusion short, probably ten lines or less, and avoid fluff. You’re just trying to make a clever exit, and presumably all the really important points have been made previously in your essay. You should not introduce any totally new ideas in the conclusion; however, you should not merely repeat your thesis either. This situation — not presenting anything new and neither just sticking with the old— at first seems to be a paradox. However, with a little effort, one of the above six methods will usually yield “a quiet zinger,” as John Tribble calls it.

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