When writing an essay, the conclusion is extremely important even when so many students put very little thought into it. Keep in mind that the conclusion is the very last thing that the reader encounters in the essay, so it is important to go out with a bang. Here is some advance for writing a good conclusion that gives your essays a professional, polished feel.
How to End the Last Paragraph of an Essay: The Brainstorming Steps
- Why should the reader care about your thesis? This is a very important consideration that requires some reflection.
- As you make a plan on how to write the end of an essay, it might be useful to imagine the reader asking you, “Okay, so why should I care?” What is the relevance of your essay? What can you write in your conclusion to persuade the reader that your arguments and ideas matter? By giving this some thought, you will be able to dig deeper as you discuss your ideas.
- Write out the main points of your paper. If you know exactly what you are arguing for, you will have a better idea of what to put in the conclusion.
- Of course, the key here is to focus on the most important ideas. It is unnecessary to include every single point and subpoint in the concluding paragraphs as you will want to remain on topic. By staying focused, you will be able to avoid discussing ideas that were not previously brought up in the paper.
- If you want to know how to end an essay in the most effective manner, take another look at the introduction. By seeking out themes in the first paragraph and expanding upon them into the conclusion, you can create a tidy bookend.
- For example, if you start your paper by arguing that social media has led to fewer face-to-face interactions, you could discuss it again in your conclusion. However, you could then take it a step further and include the notion that social media actually expands the user’s circle of friends, even if actual visits are less frequent.
- See if you can apply your arguments to different contexts. In other words, the conclusion should serve to explain the broader implications of the topic in question. By doing this, it gives your paper a greater sense of purpose in the mind of the reader.
- For example, as you discuss how Democrats and Republicans can come to an agreement on health care reform, you can use it to suggest that the two parties might be able to work together on a variety of other government policies.
How to End the Last Paragraph of an Essay: The Writing Steps
- Use caution with transitions. In some cases, it is necessary to include a transitional phrase in order to signify to the reader that the paper is coming to a conclusion. However, if it is fairly obvious that you have reached the end, then you can omit the transition entirely.
- If you decide to use a transition, is best to avoid using cliché expressions such as “in conclusion…” and “to summarize…”
- Summarize the most important points. Take the topic sentences from each of the main paragraphs and rewrite all of these arguments in two or three sentences. By doing so, you will be able to emphasize your arguments to the reader one last time.
- However, do not simply copy-and-paste the sentences; the reader doesn’t need to see them a second time.
- Don’t over- or under-do it. While there is no universal rule regarding the length of the conclusion, most academics recommend that they be between 5 and 7 sentences long. Any shorter and you likely done enough summarizing of your points; any longer and your paper risks sounding like it’s rambling.
- If your paper includes a thesis, reintroduce it at the end of the last paragraph of an essay. Since the thesis is the most important component of your paper, it obviously must be included at the end, even if you only make a passing reference to it.
- Of course, make sure to find a creative way to reword your thesis. Saying it in the same way all the time makes it come off as uninspired, and it does nothing to enhance your argument.
- Use language that demonstrates command. There is no reason to be timid, humble or offer apologies for expressing your opinion.
- For example, instead of stating, “In my opinion, Iowa is the best state in America” you would want to phrase it, “That’s why Iowa is the best state in America.” Your reader already knows that when you state Iowa is the best state, you believe it. By saying “In my opinion” or “I believe” you come off as less certain.
- You would also want to avoid writing in a way that sounds apologetic or belittling of your knowledge. “I might not be the smartest person on this subject…” as your credibility goes out the window.
- Make the ending something to remember. Regarding how to end an essay in the last sentence, be provocative and don’t beat around the bush. In other words, the last words make the strongest impression on the reader, so you want to choose a sentence that provides purpose.
For example, there is nothing wrong with using irony.
If the essay is somewhat light-hearted, humor can work as well. Obviously, if you have struck a serious note throughout the paper, you would not want to make a sudden 180 degree turn. In any event, you want to make an emotional appeal to the reader.
If the essay is about arguing for change, find a way to inspire the reader to act. In some circumstances, you could even end an essay with a quote.
How to End an Essay with a Quote
Sometimes it can be effective to close your paper with a quotation based on a primary or secondary source.
- For instance, the primary source of the quote could come from the professor of the course itself. Quotes from secondary sources could include well-known authorities or even pop culture icons.
- When done appropriately, the quote can help hammer home your main argument or provide further introspection. Including a quote from a novel or poem can add some color to your essay.
- Likewise, a quote from an academic or critic can reinforce your point or even complicate it. For example, as you are writing a conclusion to an essay about the racism experienced the Mark Twain classic “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn,” you could also include a quote from Mark Twain’s autobiography about his own person thoughts on the subject. Just make sure to include your own final sentence after the quote as it is never a good idea to finish a paper with other peoples’ words.