Essay Writing Tutorial: Concluding your Paper

Phew! You’ve done all your research, all your note taking, written your introduction and thesis statement, and successfully defended your thesis with cold hard facts, statistics, and arguments. Your paper is pitch perfect and ready to be handed into the professor for an “A” grade. Except now you’ve arrived to the last step of the essay: wrapping it all up.

In many respects, the conclusion is the most difficult part of the paper to write. You may feel you’ve said all that you need to say, but the conclusion is still critical. You have to effectively write an overview of your main arguments in the previous paragraphs and tie it back into your original thesis statement.

You’ve come this far; now it’s time to knock it out:

  • Goals of the Conclusion
  • Your goals with the concluding paragraph of your essay are to relate your thesis to your previous main points, leave a lasting impression on the reader, and to make any final thoughts you might have.

  • Transition
  • Make the opening sentence of your thesis a nice transition from the main body paragraphs. Otherwise, the conclusion will feel too abrupt and unnatural.

  • Show It All Fits Together
  • If you merely repeat all your main points and thesis statement verbatim, your essay’s conclusion, and as a result the whole essay, will not be very effective. Yes, you have to tie in your main arguments with your original thesis to show how it all fits together, but you can’t simply repeat them verbatim.

  • Last Impressions
  • Even if you deliver a strong, convincing thesis and compelling arguments in the introduction and body paragraphs respectively, your conclusion still has to leave a lasting impression upon the reader; otherwise, the reader might not only feel ripped off, but not continue to think about what you had to say in the days to come. Think of an essay like ABC. All three components have to be effective in order for the entire phrase to work as well; otherwise, your essay will look like ABc. You don’t want that to happen.

  • Final Thoughts
  • Last but not least, your final thoughts will make a difference in the conclusion. Once you have included your transitioning sentence and showed how your thesis relates to your main arguments in an overview to leave a lasting impression on the reader, write one or two more sentences mentioning you final thoughts. This can be a question, a humorous comment, or revelation to something else. No matter what it is, ending your essay with your final thoughts will also make the overall work feel more personable to the reader.