Whether you want to become a writer or you work in a job where you have to write a lot of reports, you need to know how to write a conclusion. Crafting an effective conclusion paragraph involves summarizing the major ideas of an essay or piece of work and connecting them to broader issues, and leaving the reader with a sense of completion.
Writing a conclusion is similar to an introductory paragraph, but you have the opportunity to make closing statements and try to make an emotional connection between your topic and the reader. In this article, we explain the parts of a conclusion, provide conclusion examples, and share useful tips for writing powerful conclusions.
What Is a Conclusion?
A conclusion is the final part of a report, article, essay, or other pieces of writing that summarizes the main themes. A powerful conclusion reviews key points and supporting arguments and delivers closing statements. Conclusions are written like an essay introduction in reverse, moving from specific points to a broader context.
What Are the 4 Parts of a Conclusion?
- Thesis statement. Remind readers of your thesis statement presented in your introduction paragraphs. This should only take one or two sentences.
- Summary of main points. Highlight the major ideas and supporting arguments from the body paragraphs of your essay. This will take about two to three sentences.
- Broader context. This is where you provide an emotional connection between the audience and the theme of your essay. Describe how your work fits into the larger context.
- Call to action. Your concluding sentence should tell the reader exactly what you want them to do. It might be a concrete action, such as encouraging the reader to attend a coding bootcamp. Or it might be a more general task, like prompting the reader to think about farmworkers next time they eat a meal.
How to Write a Conclusion: Beginning and Ending
An effective conclusion has a distinct beginning and end. If you change the order of these parts, it can be confusing for the reader. We’ll cover what goes in the beginning and end of a conclusion, plus some common mistakes to avoid.
How to Begin a Conclusion
As with any paragraph, your first sentence is your topic sentence. In a conclusion, your topic sentence rephrases your thesis statement. It should be similar but not identical to the thesis statement in your introductory paragraph. Next, summarize your main points without introducing new concepts.
Avoid using phrases like “in conclusion” or “in summary” to introduce your conclusion paragraph. These phrases are redundant since the reader already knows they are at the end of an essay. Also, don’t copy exact phrases or sentences from your essay. Instead, rewrite the main points using new language.
How to End a Conclusion
The end of a compelling conclusion paragraph contains the broader context of your subject and a call to action for your reader. The closing sentence where you connect your subject to the larger context should explain why your topic is important to a larger audience. Keep it simple and use concise language.
Your last sentence will be a call to action. You’ve given your reader valuable information, now tell them what to do with it. Your call to action should be reasonable and make sense in the context of your essay, and it should leave readers with a sense of closure.
How to Write a Conclusion: 5 More Useful Tips
Revisit the thesis
The first few lines of the conclusion signal the end of an essay. Use this space to remind readers of your thesis, the main point of your work. Make sure to avoid repeating your thesis word for word, by rephrasing it.
Provide some perspective
Deliver some insight that connects the primary points of your essay with a real-world issue that impacts a lot of people. This makes a piece of writing more memorable to a reader and gives them the motivation to follow your call to action.
Summarize central idea
The body of your essay or report elaborates extensively on a paper’s central ideas. The conclusion paragraph summarizes them into a memorable summary. A summary should not include complex information or new ideas. This can undermine your argument or confuse readers.
Highlight the significance of the paper
Analytical papers, research articles, and essays all have specific objectives that the writer wants to accomplish. Briefly reiterating the significance of your piece in the conclusion helps answer the question, “What’s in it for me?” This allows readers to readily revisit and pick up the essentials of a paper without consuming the entire work over again.
Edit your conclusion
Review your conclusion and rewrite it until you are happy with it. If you have time before your piece is due, wait a few days or weeks between writing and editing. It’s a good idea to have a friend or mentor read your work and suggest ways to improve it.
Conclusion Examples to Help You End an Article
One of the best ways to learn to write conclusions is to read conclusions and think about how they use the above tips when ending an article, essay, or academic paper. Here are two examples for you to practice with.
Conclusion Example 1: How to Become a Software Engineer
Here’s a conclusion example for an article about becoming a software developer. In this article, the author described what software engineers do, what kind of education they need, and the steps to finding a first software engineering job. Finally, the writer invites the readers to take an action step to start becoming a software engineer.
Software engineers build functional software systems and applications that make business operations efficient. Students can learn software engineering skills from bootcamps within six months and build a solid tech portfolio to highlight their skills. After graduating, they can look for job opportunities on professional networking platforms like LinkedIn to begin their career. If you are ready to start your career as a software engineer, then check out these top coding bootcamps to get started.
Conclusion Example 2: Health Benefit of Exercise
This conclusion is from an article about wellness and exercise. The author highlights the main points from the article, in this case, exercise recommendations and some types of exercise. The author prompts readers to take action with some suggested resources and ends on a positive note with a sense of completeness.
It’s clear that exercising is crucial for human well-being, and health practitioners recommend 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day. Both children and adults can improve their muscle strength and physical endurance with jogging and stretching routines. If you are having trouble working exercise into your routine, a gym and fitness coach can keep you committed to your fitness goal or you can use free workout videos at home. Whatever you choose, you can feel good about making an improvement in your daily life.
How to Use Conclusion Examples to Write Your Own
Read these conclusion examples and think about how they relate to the conclusion you are writing. Consider what points you need to summarize and how to reword your thesis. Finish your conclusion with a call to action, which could be as simple as asking readers to share content or send feedback in the comment section.
How to Write a Conclusion FAQ
If you get stuck writing the conclusion, reread your entire paper and think about how you would explain it to a friend. Try to end on a positive note and give your readers a sense of closure.
A conclusion paragraph for a short essay should be about three to five sentences. For longer articles, you might need to use more sentences or even two conclusion paragraphs. If you are having trouble writing concisely, use as many words and sentences as you need to get your ideas out, then come back later and edit your work down to the right length.
To write an effective cover letter conclusion, the closing paragraph should be three to four sentences long. First, state why you are interested in the position at that company. Next, remind the hiring manager of your experience and how it meets the job description. Finish with a call to action, and ask the hiring manager to reach out to you with any questions.
If you are a student, go to your school’s writing center for help writing your essay. Even if you are not currently a student, many universities have writing centers with lots of free, online resources to help you write different kinds of essays and academic papers.
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