Strategies for Writing a Conclusion
Conclusions are often the most difficult part of an essay to write, and many writers feel that they have nothing left to say after having written the paper. A writer needs to keep in mind that the conclusion is often what a reader remembers best.
A CONCLUSION SHOULD
- stress the importance of the thesis statement,
- give the essay a sense of completeness, and
- leave a final impression on the reader
- prompt contemplation about the further implications of the material presented
- Answer the question "So What?"
Show your readers why this paper was important, meaningful, and useful.
- Synthesize, don't summarize
Don't simply repeat your content! Show the reader how the points, support, and examples you used fit together.
- Redirect your readers
Give your reader something to think about or perhaps a way to use your paper in the "real" world. If your introduction went from general to specific, make your conclusion go from specific to general.
- Create a new meaning
You don't have to give new information to create a new meaning. By demonstrating how your ideas work together, you can create a new picture.
- Echo with a restatement of the introduction: Echoing your introduction can be a good strategy if it is meant to bring the reader full-circle. If you begin by describing a scenario, you can end with the same scenario as proof that your essay was helpful in creating a new understanding.
- Challenging the reader: By issuing a challenge to your readers, you are helping them to redirect the information in the paper, and possibly apply it to their own lives.
Example: Though serving on a jury is not only a civic responsibility but also an interesting experience, many people view jury duty as a chore that interrupts the routine of daily life. However, juries are part of America's attempt to be a free and just society. Thus, jury duty challenges us to be interested and responsible citizens.
- Posing questions: Posing questions, either to your readers or in general, may help your readers gain a new perspective on the topic. It may also unite your main ideas to create new meaning.
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