What Is a Conclusion?
A conclusion is the final thing you will say to your reader in your work. It closes the essay, showing the reader that you did what you set out to do and demonstrates how you proved your thesis. Conclusions are usually a requirement of all essays, are expected by your educational establishment, educational instructor, or employer, and demonstrate your in-depth understanding of the points you have made in your essay.
There are three main parts:
- Topic sentence: restate the thesis from your introductory paragraph in the first sentence of your conclusion e.g. “Although climate change is being counteracted, it seems that this counteraction is not taking place at the required pace in the US”.
- Summary: summarise the primary points, essential facts, and research presented in your work's body paragraphs. There is normally one main point made in each body paragraph.
- Closing sentence(s): compose a concluding phrase that summarises your entire essay whilst leaving readers with a strong impression of its significance in a wider perspective.
6 Easy Steps to Writing an Essay Conclusion
- Write your introduction, thesis, and main body of your essay before beginning your conclusion.
- Re-visit your thesis and consider whether you have proved or disproved it
- Decide on a suitable starting word of phrase e.g., ‘Ultimately, the evidence indicates that…”. See the list below for more essay conclusion beginning words and phrases
- Paraphrase your thesis, making it clear if you have proved or disproved it
- Look at each of your main body paragraph endings for each of the main points you have made and summarise them in your conclusion in the same order.
- Think of your main findings or points in the broader or wider context and provide a sentence or two about this as the final words.
Top Strategies to End Your Essay
- Re-visit the introduction and thesis before beginning your conclusion and remember that a conclusion falls in the opposite order to the introduction i.e., the introduction starts with the wide topic but ends with a specific aspect of the topic, whereas the conclusion begins with the specific aspect of the topic in relation to your thesis and ends with the wider context.
- Play a game of "So What" by asking yourself, "So what?", "Why do my points matter?" and consider why your points are relevant. For instance, “So what if rape is more common in lower socio-economic areas?”, “Why is this useful knowledge for healthcare professionals?”. Then answer your question, “because healthcare professionals working in lower socio-economic areas can be more attentive to signs and indicators of possible abuse and routinely ask clients about experiences of abuse as part of normal history taking”.
- To leave a vivid, enduring image in the reader's mind, appeal to the reader's emotions using emotional language, “It is the innocent who are harmed”, “Significant bias is leading to great inequality”.
Words To Start a Conclusion
Here’s a list of a few useful words and phrases to begin your essay conclusion:
- Without doubt
- Considering these findings
- The research results show/indicate that
- In effect
- For these reasons
- Current literature suggests
Or you can begin with an author’s name e.g., “Freud provides useful insight into…”
What Not to Include in Your Conclusion Paragraph
Just as there are many things you need to include to make conclusion in essay, there are also things that should be avoided:
- Phrases like "In conclusion", and “To conclude” are often discouraged as it should be obvious that you are ending your essay if you have written it well enough.
- Try not to incorporate apologetic sentences or sentences that seem unsure or perplexing to the reader e.g. "This is simply one option”, or “The problem has no solution” because even though your essay has looked at a variety of viewpoints, your opinion should be obvious, and you want the reader to believe that your essay’s viewpoint is the best.
- Don’t include new information, quotes, or evidence (with the exception of a phrase or two addressing broader ramifications, or a quote that succinctly highlights your main point) as the main body is where new information and evidence should be presented to your reader.
Essay Conclusion Paragraph Examples
If you are still unsure how to conclude an essay, here’s a couple of example conclusions to help you understand:
So, you now know how to write a conclusion in an essay. You need to remember the three main parts (paraphrasing of the thesis, summarizing the main points, and stating the findings in relation to the wider context of the topic). You have also gained some useful starting sentences and phrases, as well as viewing some examples of how to end an essay, so now you are good to go!