How to Write a Conclusion

Updated September 18, 2017
At last, you have reached the final phase of the writing process for your essay. The conclusion can vary depending on the style, purpose, and intended audience of your paper. For example, if you are writing primarily for a science class professor the traditional, “In conclusion” followed by a summary of your findings may work perfectly. If you are writing a persuasive paper for a communications class then you might want to end with a call to action. Whatever the case, the best thing you can do to make your paper stand out is to go beyond the normal conclusion.

Just as the purpose of the hook of your paper is to bring the reader in, the purpose of your conclusion is to leave your reader thinking. For example, if you are analyzing motifs in two different Victorian novels, start your conclusion with a brief summary and then discuss why (or why not) these motifs are still relevant today. It is great when applicable to give your audience a reason to relate to your paper.

If you are careful to thoughtfully analyze the content of your essay, you might even be able to end your paper with a question, which is the easiest way to ensure that your reader will continue to think about the topic once they have finished reading. Of course, this is not always accomplished successfully so make sure to analyze whether or not it goes with the style, purpose, and audience of your paper.

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