Essay Conclusion: How to Write a Compelling Conclusion

While an essay conclusion is generally an opportunity for you to restate your position and the overarching evidence presented in the essay, there is always too much at stake. Having a strong conclusion is particularly critical when writing an academic essay, research paper, thesis/dissertation. The conclusion is your final opportunity to assert your position and create a long lasting impression. This is the final opportunity to assertively impress yourself into the reader’s mind both as a true researcher and thinker.

The aim of your essay conclusion is to achieve one or all of the following:

1. Accentuating the vitality and purpose of your work
2. Elaborating the impacts of the essay findings
3. Establishing the profound application of the findings of the essay
4. Establishing your essay as a foundation for further discourse
5. To show other inquiry directions into the subject
Your conclusion must, thus, contain a sense of closure and completeness as well as the topic’s larger meaning, implications, and lingering possibilities. It should “close the discussion without closing it off.”

Establishing a sense of closure in your essay conclusion

You can develop the sense of closure by:
1. Linking the final paragraph to the first. The best way to do this is to restate your thesis statement (the main idea) as presented in the first paragraph. This creates the sense of summing your work up.
2. Use simple words to create the effect of the understated drama.
3. Use sentences with a parallel or compound structure since these sentences enable the establishment of a sense of order or balance that may seem compelling at the end of a complicated discussion

Closing the discussion without closing it off

To close the discussion without closing it off, you would need to:
1. Conclude with a quotation from a source that emphasizes your thesis statement/idea. The quotation must, however, be specific and not introducing any new aspect of your discussion. It can complicate or confirm your assertions.
2. Concluding by setting a wider perspective of your discussion
3. Redefine your key terms
4. Consider your argument’s implications. What does your thesis suggest, imply or involve

Structure of an essay conclusion

Conclusions have varied structures and its writing should not be prescriptive. With a clear and well-formulated introduction and body, the reader is already expecting a conclusion and so do not stuff it with phrases that indicate its arrival. For a hypothetical abstract essay, a conclusion can follow this structure:
• A transitional sentence this transitions the conclusion from the last paragraph of the essay’s body.
• The restatement of the thesis statement/the main idea.
• Sentence showing how the essay has qualified the thesis statement
• Implications for further study. Implications of your findings on the reader’s comprehension of the topic; other areas that can apply the same discourse; areas needing further studies
• Final thoughts

Things to avoid in your essay conclusion

1. The essay conclusion isn’t a mere summary of your essay. While a short synopsis may be important, more so, in long essays (10+ pages), restating the main ideas is main ideas may work better in most essays.
2. Avoid leading phrases e.g. in conclusion, to sum up, finally, to conclude etc
3. Do not apologize for anything. Even if there are 100 or more approaches to the topic of discussion, stick to your point and don’t be remorseful about it. Avoid such phrases as “this may just be one of the approaches..” “this is not to say I am an authority…” etc

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