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essay conclusion structure

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One of the most common questions we receive at the Writing Center is “what am I supposed to do in my conclusion?” This is a difficult question to answer because there’s no one right answer to what belongs in a conclusion. How you conclude your paper will depend on where you started—and where you traveled. It will also depend on the conventions and expectations of the discipline in which you are writing. For example, while the conclusion to a STEM paper could focus on questions for further study, the conclusion of a literature paper could include a quotation from your central text that can now be understood differently in light of what has been discussed in the paper. You should consult your instructor about expectations for conclusions in a particular discipline.

With that in mind, here are some general guidelines you might find helpful to use as you think about your conclusion.  

Begin with the “what”  

In a short paper—even a research paper—you don’t need to provide an exhaustive summary as part of your conclusion. But you do need to make some kind of transition between your final body paragraph and your concluding paragraph. This may come in the form of a few sentences of summary. Or it may come in the form of a sentence that brings your readers back to your thesis or main idea and reminds your readers where you began and how far you have traveled.

So, for example, in a paper about the relationship between ADHD and rejection sensitivity, Vanessa Roser begins by introducing readers to the fact that researchers have studied the relationship between the two conditions and then provides her explanation of that relationship. Here’s her thesis: “While socialization may indeed be an important factor in RS, I argue that individuals with ADHD may also possess a neurological predisposition to RS that is exacerbated by the differing executive and emotional regulation characteristic of ADHD.”

In her final paragraph, Roser reminds us of where she started by echoing her thesis: “This literature demonstrates that, as with many other conditions, ADHD and RS share a delicately intertwined pattern of neurological similarities that is rooted in the innate biology of an individual’s mind, a connection that cannot be explained in full by the behavioral mediation hypothesis.”  

Highlight the “so what”  

At the beginning of your paper, you explain to your readers what’s at stake—why they should care about the argument you’re making. In your conclusion, you can bring readers back to those stakes by reminding them why your argument is important in the first place. You can also draft a few sentences that put those stakes into a new or broader context.

In the conclusion to her paper about ADHD and RS, Roser echoes the stakes she established in her introduction—that research into connections between ADHD and RS has led to contradictory results, raising questions about the “behavioral mediation hypothesis.”

She writes, “as with many other conditions, ADHD and RS share a delicately intertwined pattern of neurological similarities that is rooted in the innate biology of an individual’s mind, a connection that cannot be explained in full by the behavioral mediation hypothesis.”  

Leave your readers with the “now what”  

After the “what” and the “so what,” you should leave your reader with some final thoughts. If you have written a strong introduction, your readers will know why you have been arguing what you have been arguing—and why they should care. And if you’ve made a good case for your thesis, then your readers should be in a position to see things in a new way, understand new questions, or be ready for something that they weren’t ready for before they read your paper.

In her conclusion, Roser offers two “now what” statements. First, she explains that it is important to recognize that the flawed behavioral mediation hypothesis “seems to place a degree of fault on the individual. It implies that individuals with ADHD must have elicited such frequent or intense rejection by virtue of their inadequate social skills, erasing the possibility that they may simply possess a natural sensitivity to emotion.” She then highlights the broader implications for treatment of people with ADHD, noting that recognizing the actual connection between rejection sensitivity and ADHD “has profound implications for understanding how individuals with ADHD might best be treated in educational settings, by counselors, family, peers, or even society as a whole.”

To find your own “now what” for your essay’s conclusion, try asking yourself these questions:

  • What can my readers now understand, see in a new light, or grapple with that they would not have understood in the same way before reading my paper? Are we a step closer to understanding a larger phenomenon or to understanding why what was at stake is so important?  
  • What questions can I now raise that would not have made sense at the beginning of my paper? Questions for further research? Other ways that this topic could be approached?  
  • Are there other applications for my research? Could my questions be asked about different data in a different context? Could I use my methods to answer a different question?  
  • What action should be taken in light of this argument? What action do I predict will be taken or could lead to a solution?  
  • What larger context might my argument be a part of?  

What to avoid in your conclusion  

  • a complete restatement of all that you have said in your paper.  
  • a substantial counterargument that you do not have space to refute; you should introduce counterarguments before your conclusion.  
  • an apology for what you have not said. If you need to explain the scope of your paper, you should do this sooner—but don’t apologize for what you have not discussed in your paper.  
  • fake transitions like “in conclusion” that are followed by sentences that aren’t actually conclusions. (“In conclusion, I have now demonstrated that my thesis is correct.”)
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How to write an essay: Conclusion

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The last section of an academic essay is the conclusion . The conclusion should reaffirm your answer to the question, and briefly summarise key arguments.  It does not include any new points or new information. A conclusion has three sections. First, repeat the thesis statement. It won’t use the exact same words as in your introduction, but it will repeat the point: your overall answer to the question. Then set out your general conclusions , and a short explanation of why they are important.

Finally, draw together the question , the evidence in the essay body, and the conclusion. This way the reader knows that you have understood and answered the question. This part needs to be clear and concise.

Conclusion example

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This resource outlines the generally accepted structure for introductions, body paragraphs, and conclusions in an academic argument paper. Keep in mind that this resource contains guidelines and not strict rules about organization. Your structure needs to be flexible enough to meet the requirements of your purpose and audience.

Conclusions wrap up what you have been discussing in your paper. After moving from general to specific information in the introduction and body paragraphs, your conclusion should begin pulling back into more general information that restates the main points of your argument. Conclusions may also call for action or overview future possible research. The following outline may help you conclude your paper:

In a general way,

  • Restate your topic and why it is important,
  • Restate your thesis/claim,
  • Address opposing viewpoints and explain why readers should align with your position,
  • Call for action or overview future research possibilities.

Remember that once you accomplish these tasks, unless otherwise directed by your instructor, you are finished. Done. Complete. Don't try to bring in new points or end with a whiz bang(!) conclusion or try to solve world hunger in the final sentence of your conclusion. Simplicity is best for a clear, convincing message.

The preacher's maxim is one of the most effective formulas to follow for argument papers:

Tell what you're going to tell them (introduction).

Tell them (body).

Tell them what you told them (conclusion).

Essay writing: Conclusions

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“Pay adequate attention to the conclusion.” Kathleen McMillan & Jonathan Weyers,  How to Write Essays & Assignments

Conclusions are often overlooked, cursory and written last minute. If this sounds familiar then it's time to change and give your conclusions some much needed attention. Your conclusion is the whole point of your essay. All the other parts of the essay should have been leading your reader on an inevitable journey towards your conclusion. So make it count and finish your essay in style.

Know where you are going

Too many students focus their essays on content rather than argument. This means they pay too much attention to the main body without considering where it is leading. It can be a good idea to write a draft conclusion before  you write your main body. It is a lot easier to plan a journey when you know your destination! 

It should only be a draft however, as quite often the writing process itself can help you develop your argument and you may feel your conclusion needs adapting accordingly.

What it should include

A great conclusion should include:

link icon

A clear link back to the question . This is usually the first thing you do in a conclusion and it shows that you have (hopefully) answered it.

icon - lightbulb in a point marker

A sentence or two that summarise(s) your main argument but in a bit more detail than you gave in your introduction.

idea with points leading to it

A series of supporting sentences that basically reiterate the main point of each of your paragraphs but show how they relate to each other and lead you to the position you have taken. Constantly ask yourself "So what?" "Why should anyone care?" and answer these questions for each of the points you make in your conclusion.

icon - exclamation mark

A final sentence that states why your ideas are important to the wider subject area . Where the introduction goes from general to specific, the conclusion needs to go from specific back out to general.

What it should not  include

Try to avoid including the following in your conclusion. Remember your conclusion should be entirely predictable. The reader wants no surprises.

icon - lightbulb crossed out

Any new ideas . If an idea is worth including, put it in the main body. You do not need to include citations in your conclusion if you have already used them earlier and are just reiterating your point.

sad face

A change of style i.e. being more emotional or sentimental than the rest of the essay. Keep it straightforward, explanatory and clear.

rubbish bin

Overused phrases like: “in conclusion”; “in summary”; “as shown in this essay”. Consign these to the rubbish bin!

Here are some alternatives, there are many more:

  • The x main points presented here emphasise the importance of...
  • The [insert something relevant] outlined above indicate that ...
  • By showing the connections between x, y and z, it has been argued here that ...

Maximise marks

Remember, your conclusion is the last thing your reader (marker!) will read. Spending a little care on it will leave her/him absolutely sure that you have answered the question and you will definitely receive a higher mark than if your conclusion was a quickly written afterthought.

Your conclusion should be around 10% of your word count. There is never a situation where sacrificing words in your conclusion will benefit your essay.

The 5Cs conclusion method: (spot the typo on this video)

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How to write a conclusion to an essay

Which do you think count more: first impressions or last impressions?

A conclusion is the last impression that a reader will have of your essay: make it count!

Introduction to writing a conclusion

A conclusion is the final idea left with the reader at the end of an essay. Without it, an essay would be unfinished and unfocused.

A conclusion should link back to the essay question and briefly restate your main points drawing all your thoughts and ideas together so that they make sense and create a strong final impression.

A conclusion often includes a final thought or reflection to highlight the significance of the topic close topic The main focus of the essay. . It is usually a short paragraph.

Video about how to reflect on your main points in a conclusion

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Learn how to reflect on your main points in a conclusion to an essay

Reflecting on the argument

Before you write your conclusion, it is a good idea for you to look again at your ideas in the essay. It can be particularly useful to re-read your introduction and think about what you have realised and explored as you wrote the essay. Your conclusion can then sum up what you have understood more deeply about the literature text and the essay topic.

If you think of your essay as a type of argument, persuading the reader to a particular point of view, then the conclusion can be a powerful way of bringing together the most important aspects of your argument.

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How to Write a Conclusion for an Essay

essay conclusion structure

By the time you get to the final paragraph of your paper, you have already done so much work on your essay, so all you want to do is to wrap it up as quickly as possible. You’ve already made a stunning introduction, proven your argument, and structured the whole piece as supposed – who cares about making a good conclusion paragraph?

The only thing you need to remember is that the conclusion of an essay is not just the last paragraph of an academic paper where you restate your thesis and key arguments. A concluding paragraph is also your opportunity to have a final impact on your audience. 

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How to write a conclusion paragraph that leaves a lasting impression – In this guide, the team at EssayPro is going to walk you through the process of writing a perfect conclusion step by step. Additionally, we will share valuable tips and tricks to help students of all ages impress their readers at the last moment.

Instead of Intro: What Is a Conclusion?

Before we can move on, let’s take a moment here to define the conclusion itself. According to the standard conclusion definition, it is pretty much the last part of something, its result, or end. However, this term is rather broad and superficial.

When it comes to writing academic papers, a concluding statement refers to an opinion, judgment, suggestion, or position arrived at by logical reasoning (through the arguments provided in the body of the text). Therefore, if you are wondering “what is a good closing sentence like?” – keep on reading.

What Does a Good Conclusion Mean?

Writing a good conclusion for a paper isn’t easy. However, we are going to walk you through this process step by step. Although there are generally no strict rules on how to formulate one, there are some basic principles that everyone should keep in mind. In this section, we will share some core ideas for writing a good conclusion, and, later in the article, we will also provide you with more practical advice and examples.

How to Write a Conclusion for an Essay _ 4 MAJOR OBJECTIVES THAT CONCLUSION MUST ACCOMPLISH

Here are the core goals a good conclusion should complete:

  • “Wrap up” the entire paper;
  • Demonstrate to readers that the author accomplished what he/she set out to do;
  • Show how you the author has proved their thesis statement;
  • Give a sense of completeness and closure on the topic;
  • Leave something extra for your reader to think about;
  • Leave a powerful final impact on a reader.

Another key thing to remember is that you should not introduce any new ideas or arguments to your paper's conclusion. It should only sum up what you have already written, revisit your thesis statement, and end with a powerful final impression.

When considering how to write a conclusion that works, here are the key points to keep in mind:

  • A concluding sentence should only revisit the thesis statement, not restate it;
  • It should summarize the main ideas from the body of the paper;
  • It should demonstrate the significance and relevance of your work;
  • An essay’s conclusion should include a call for action and leave space for further study or development of the topic (if necessary).

How Long Should a Conclusion Be? 

Although there are no strict universal rules regarding the length of an essay’s final clause, both teachers and experienced writers recommend keeping it clear, concise, and straight to the point. There is an unspoken rule that the introduction and conclusion of an academic paper should both be about 10% of the overall paper’s volume. For example, if you were assigned a 1500 word essay, both the introductory and final clauses should be approximately 150 words long (300 together).

Why You Need to Know How to End an Essay:

A conclusion is what drives a paper to its logical end. It also drives the main points of your piece one last time. It is your last opportunity to impact and impress your audience. And, most importantly, it is your chance to demonstrate to readers why your work matters. Simply put, the final paragraph of your essay should answer the last important question a reader will have – “So what?”

If you do a concluding paragraph right, it can give your readers a sense of logical completeness. On the other hand, if you do not make it powerful enough, it can leave them hanging, and diminish the effect of the entire piece.

Strategies to Crafting a Proper Conclusion

Although there are no strict rules for what style to use to write your conclusion, there are several strategies that have been proven to be effective. In the list below, you can find some of the most effective strategies with some good conclusion paragraph examples to help you grasp the idea.

One effective way to emphasize the significance of your essay and give the audience some thought to ponder about is by taking a look into the future. The “When and If” technique is quite powerful when it comes to supporting your points in the essay’s conclusion.

Prediction essay conclusion example: “Taking care of a pet is quite hard, which is the reason why most parents refuse their children’s requests to get a pet. However, the refusal should be the last choice of parents. If we want to inculcate a deep sense of responsibility and organization in our kids, and, at the same time, sprout compassion in them, we must let our children take care of pets.”

Another effective strategy is to link your conclusion to your introductory paragraph. This will create a full-circle narration for your readers, create a better understanding of your topic, and emphasize your key point.

Echo conclusion paragraph example: Introduction: “I believe that all children should grow up with a pet. I still remember the exact day my parents brought my first puppy to our house. This was one of the happiest moments in my life and, at the same time, one of the most life-changing ones. Growing up with a pet taught me a lot, and most importantly, it taught me to be responsible.” Conclusion:. “I remember when I picked up my first puppy and how happy I was at that time. Growing up with a pet, I learned what it means to take care of someone, make sure that he always has water and food, teach him, and constantly keep an eye on my little companion. Having a child grow up with a pet teaches them responsibility and helps them acquire a variety of other life skills like leadership, love, compassion, and empathy. This is why I believe that every kid should grow up with a pet!”

Finally, one more trick that will help you create a flawless conclusion is to amplify your main idea or to present it in another perspective of a larger context. This technique will help your readers to look at the problem discussed from a different angle.

Step-up argumentative essay conclusion example: “Despite the obvious advantages of owning a pet in childhood, I feel that we cannot generalize whether all children should have a pet. Whereas some kids may benefit from such experiences, namely, by becoming more compassionate, organized, and responsible, it really depends on the situation, motivation, and enthusiasm of a particular child for owning a pet.”

What is a clincher in an essay? – The final part of an essay’s conclusion is often referred to as a clincher sentence. According to the clincher definition, it is a final sentence that reinforces the main idea or leaves the audience with an intriguing thought to ponder upon. In a nutshell, the clincher is very similar to the hook you would use in an introductory paragraph. Its core mission is to seize the audience’s attention until the end of the paper. At the same time, this statement is what creates a sense of completeness and helps the author leave a lasting impression on the reader.

Now, since you now know what a clincher is, you are probably wondering how to use one in your own paper. First of all, keep in mind that a good clincher should be intriguing, memorable, smooth, and straightforward.

Generally, there are several different tricks you can use for your clincher statement; it can be:

  • A short, but memorable and attention-grabbing conclusion;
  • A relevant and memorable quote (only if it brings actual value);
  • A call to action;
  • A rhetorical question;
  • An illustrative story or provocative example;
  • A warning against a possibility or suggestion about the consequences of a discussed problem;
  • A joke (however, be careful with this as it may not always be deemed appropriate).

Regardless of the technique you choose, make sure that your clincher is memorable and aligns with your introduction and thesis.

Clincher examples: - While New York may not be the only place with the breathtaking views, it is definitely among my personal to 3… and that’s what definitely makes it worth visiting. - “Thence we came forth to rebehold the stars”, Divine Comedy - Don’t you think all these advantages sound like almost life-saving benefits of owning a pet? “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”, The Great Gatsby

strategies

Conclusion Writing Don'ts 

Now, when you know what tricks and techniques you should use to create a perfect conclusion, let’s look at some of the things you should not do with our online paper writing service :

  • Starting with some cliché concluding sentence starters. Many students find common phrases like “In conclusion,” “Therefore,” “In summary,” or similar statements to be pretty good conclusion starters. However, though such conclusion sentence starters may work in certain cases – for example, in speeches – they are overused, so it is recommended not to use them in writing to introduce your conclusion.
  • Putting the first mention of your thesis statement in the conclusion – it has to be presented in your introduction first.
  • Providing new arguments, subtopics, or ideas in the conclusion paragraph.
  • Including a slightly changed or unchanged thesis statement.
  • Providing arguments and evidence that belong in the body of the work.
  • Writing too long, hard to read, or confusing sentences.

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Conclusion Paragraph Outline

The total number of sentences in your final paragraph may vary depending on the number of points you discussed in your essay, as well as on the overall word count of your paper. However, the overall conclusion paragraph outline will remain the same and consists of the following elements:

conclusion ouline

  • A conclusion starter:

The first part of your paragraph should drive readers back to your thesis statement. Thus, if you were wondering how to start a conclusion, the best way to do it is by rephrasing your thesis statement.

  • Summary of the body paragraphs:

Right after revisiting your thesis, you should include several sentences that wrap up the key highlights and points from your body paragraphs. This part of your conclusion can consist of 2-3 sentences—depending on the number of arguments you’ve made. If necessary, you can also explain to the readers how your main points fit together.

  • A concluding sentence:

Finally, you should end your paragraph with a last, powerful sentence that leaves a lasting impression, gives a sense of logical completeness, and connects readers back to the introduction of the paper.

These three key elements make up a perfect essay conclusion. Now, to give you an even better idea of how to create a perfect conclusion, let us give you a sample conclusion paragraph outline with examples from an argumentative essay on the topic of “Every Child Should Own a Pet:

  • Sentence 1: Starter
  • ~ Thesis: "Though taking care of a pet may be a bit challenging for small children. Parents should not restrict their kids from having a pet as it helps them grow into more responsible and compassionate people."
  • ~ Restated thesis for a conclusion: "I can say that taking care of a pet is good for every child."
  • Sentences 2-4: Summary
  • ~ "Studies have shown that pet owners generally have fewer health problems."
  • ~ "Owning a pet teaches a child to be more responsible."
  • ~ "Spending time with a pet reduces stress, feelings of loneliness, and anxiety."
  • Sentence 5: A concluding sentence
  • ~ "Pets can really change a child life for the better, so don't hesitate to endorse your kid's desire to own a pet."

This is a clear example of how you can shape your conclusion paragraph.

How to Conclude Various Types of Essays

Depending on the type of academic essay you are working on, your concluding paragraph's style, tone, and length may vary. In this part of our guide, we will tell you how to end different types of essays and other works.

How to End an Argumentative Essay

Persuasive or argumentative essays always have the single goal of convincing readers of something (an idea, stance, or viewpoint) by appealing to arguments, facts, logic, and even emotions. The conclusion for such an essay has to be persuasive as well. A good trick you can use is to illustrate a real-life scenario that proves your stance or encourages readers to take action. More about persuasive essay outline you can read in our article.

Here are a few more tips for making a perfect conclusion for an argumentative essay:

  • Carefully read the whole essay before you begin;
  • Re-emphasize your ideas;
  • Discuss possible implications;
  • Don’t be afraid to appeal to the reader’s emotions.

How to End a Compare and Contrast Essay

The purpose of a compare and contrast essay is to emphasize the differences or similarities between two or more objects, people, phenomena, etc. Therefore, a logical conclusion should highlight how the reviewed objects are different or similar. Basically, in such a paper, your conclusion should recall all of the key common and distinctive features discussed in the body of your essay and also give readers some food for thought after they finish reading it.

How to Conclude a Descriptive Essay

The key idea of a descriptive essay is to showcase your creativity and writing skills by painting a vivid picture with the help of words. This is one of the most creative types of essays as it requires you to show a story, not tell it. This kind of essay implies using a lot of vivid details. Respectively, the conclusion of such a paper should also use descriptive imagery and, at the same time, sum up the main ideas. A good strategy for ending a descriptive essay would be to begin with a short explanation of why you wrote the essay. Then, you should reflect on how your topic affects you. In the middle of the conclusion, you should cover the most critical moments of the story to smoothly lead the reader into a logical closing statement. The “clincher”, in this case, should be a thought-provoking final sentence that leaves a good and lasting impression on the audience. Do not lead the reader into the essay and then leave them with dwindling memories of it.

How to Conclude an Essay About Yourself

If you find yourself writing an essay about yourself, you need to tell a personal story. As a rule, such essays talk about the author’s experiences, which is why a conclusion should create a feeling of narrative closure. A good strategy is to end your story with a logical finale and the lessons you have learned, while, at the same time, linking it to the introductory paragraph and recalling key moments from the story.

How to End an Informative Essay

Unlike other types of papers, informative or expository essays load readers with a lot of information and facts. In this case, “Synthesize, don’t summarize” is the best technique you can use to end your paper. Simply put, instead of recalling all of the major facts, you should approach your conclusion from the “So what?” position by highlighting the significance of the information provided.

How to Conclude a Narrative Essay

In a nutshell, a narrative essay is based on simple storytelling. The purpose of this paper is to share a particular story in detail. Therefore, the conclusion for such a paper should wrap up the story and avoid finishing on an abrupt cliffhanger. It is vital to include the key takeaways and the lessons learned from the story.

How to Write a Conclusion for a Lab Report

Unlike an essay, a lab report is based on an experiment. This type of paper describes the flow of a particular experiment conducted by a student and its conclusion should reflect on the outcomes of this experiment.

In thinking of how to write a conclusion for a lab, here are the key things you should do to get it right:

  • Restate the goals of your experiment
  • Describe the methods you used
  • Include the results of the experiment and analyze the final data
  • End your conclusion with a clear statement on whether or not the experiment was successful (Did you reach the expected results?)

How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper

Writing a paper is probably the hardest task of all, even for experienced dissertation writer . Unlike an essay or even a lab report, a research paper is a much longer piece of work that requires a deeper investigation of the problem. Therefore, a conclusion for such a paper should be even more sophisticated and powerful. If you're feeling difficulty writing an essay, you can buy essay on our service.

How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper

However, given that a research paper is the second most popular kind of academic paper (after an essay), it is important to know how to conclude a research paper. Even if you have not yet been assigned to do this task, be sure that you will face it soon. So, here are the steps you should follow to create a great conclusion for a research paper:

  • Restate the Topic

Start your final paragraph with a quick reminder of what the topic of the piece is about. Keep it one sentence long.

  • Revisit the Thesis

Next, you should remind your readers what your thesis statement was. However, do not just copy and paste it from the introductory clause: paraphrase your thesis so that you deliver the same idea but with different words. Keep your paraphrased thesis narrow, specific, and topic-oriented.

  • Summarise Your Key Ideas

Just like the case of a regular essay’s conclusion, a research paper’s final paragraph should also include a short summary of all of the key points stated in the body sections. We recommend reading the entire body part a few times to define all of your main arguments and ideas.

  • Showcase the Significance of Your Work

In the research paper conclusion, it is vital to highlight the significance of your research problem and state how your solution could be helpful.

  • Make Suggestions for Future Studies

Finally, at the end of your conclusion, you should define how your findings will contribute to the development of its particular field of science. Outline the perspectives of further research and, if necessary, explain what is yet to be discovered on the topic.

Then, end your conclusion with a powerful concluding sentence – it can be a rhetorical question, call to action, or another hook that will help you have a strong impact on the audience.

  • Answer the Right Questions

To create a top-notch research paper conclusion, be sure to answer the following questions:

  • What is the goal of a research paper?
  • What are the possible solutions to the research question(s)?
  • How can your results be implemented in real life? (Is your research paper helpful to the community?)
  • Why is this study important and relevant?

Additionally, here are a few more handy tips to follow:

  • Provide clear examples from real life to help readers better understand the further implementation of the stated solutions;
  • Keep your conclusion fresh, original, and creative.

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So, What Is a Good Closing Sentence? See The Difference

One of the best ways to learn how to write a good conclusion is to look at several professional essay conclusion examples. In this section of our guide, we are going to look at two different final paragraphs shaped on the basis of the same template, but even so, they are very different – where one is weak and the other is strong. Below, we are going to compare them to help you understand the difference between a good and a bad conclusion.

Here is the template we used: College degrees are in decline. The price of receiving an education does not correlate with the quality of the education received. As a result, graduated students face underemployment, and the worth of college degrees appears to be in serious doubt. However, the potential social and economic benefits of educated students balance out the equation.

Strong Conclusion ‍

People either see college as an opportunity or an inconvenience; therefore, a degree can only hold as much value as its owner’s skillset. The underemployment of graduate students puts the worth of college degrees in serious doubt. Yet, with the multitude of benefits that educated students bring to society and the economy, the equation remains in balance. Perhaps the ordinary person should consider college as a wise financial investment, but only if they stay determined to study and do the hard work.

Why is this example good? There are several key points that prove its effectiveness:

  • There is a bold opening statement that encompasses the two contrasting types of students we can see today.
  • There are two sentences that recall the thesis statement and cover the key arguments from the body of the essay.
  • Finally, the last sentence sums up the key message of the essay and leaves readers with something to think about.

Weak Conclusion

In conclusion, with the poor preparation of students in college and the subsequent underemployment after graduation from college, the worth associated with the college degree appears to be in serious doubt. However, these issues alone may not reasonably conclude beyond a doubt that investing in a college degree is a rewarding venture. When the full benefits that come with education are carefully put into consideration and evaluated, college education for children in any country still has good advantages, and society should continue to advocate for a college education. The ordinary person should consider this a wise financial decision that holds rewards in the end. Apart from the monetary gains associated with a college education, society will greatly benefit from students when they finish college. Their minds are going to be expanded, and their reasoning and decision making will be enhanced.

What makes this example bad? Here are a few points to consider:

  • Unlike the first example, this paragraph is long and not specific enough. The author provides plenty of generalized phrases that are not backed up by actual arguments.
  • This piece is hard to read and understand and sentences have a confusing structure. Also, there are lots of repetitions and too many uses of the word “college”.
  • There is no summary of the key benefits.
  • The last two sentences that highlight the value of education contradict with the initial statement.
  • Finally, the last sentence doesn’t offer a strong conclusion and gives no thought to ponder upon.
  • In the body of your essay, you have hopefully already provided your reader(s) with plenty of information. Therefore, it is not wise to present new arguments or ideas in your conclusion.
  • To end your final paragraph right, find a clear and straightforward message that will have the most powerful impact on your audience.
  • Don’t use more than one quote in the final clause of your paper – the information from external sources (including quotes) belongs in the body of a paper.
  • Be authoritative when writing a conclusion. You should sound confident and convincing to leave a good impression. Sentences like “I’m not an expert, but…” will most likely make you seem less knowledgeable and/or credible.

Good Conclusion Examples

Now that we've learned what a conclusion is and how to write one let's take a look at some essay conclusion examples to strengthen our knowledge.

The ending ironically reveals that all was for nothing. (A short explanation of the thematic effect of the book’s end) Tom says that Miss Watson freed Jim in her final will.Jim told Huck that the dead man on the Island was pap. The entire adventure seemingly evaporated into nothingness. (How this effect was manifested into the minds of thereaders).
All in all, international schools hold the key to building a full future that students can achieve. (Thesis statement simplified) They help students develop their own character by learning from their mistakes, without having to face a dreadful penalty for failure. (Thesis statement elaborated)Although some say that kids emerged “spoiled” with this mentality, the results prove the contrary. (Possible counter-arguments are noted)
In conclusion, public workers should be allowed to strike since it will give them a chance to air their grievances. (Thesis statement) Public workers should be allowed to strike when their rights, safety, and regulations are compromised. The workers will get motivated when they strike, and their demands are met.
In summary, studies reveal some similarities in the nutrient contents between the organic and non-organic food substances. (Starts with similarities) However, others have revealed many considerable differences in the amounts of antioxidants as well as other minerals present in organic and non-organic foods. Generally, organic foods have higher levels of antioxidants than non-organic foods and therefore are more important in the prevention of chronic illnesses.
As time went by, my obsession grew into something bigger than art; (‘As time went by’ signals maturation) it grew into a dream of developing myself for the world. (Showing student’s interest of developing himself for the community) It is a dream of not only seeing the world from a different perspective but also changing the perspective of people who see my work. (Showing student’s determination to create moving pieces of art)
In conclusion, it is evident that technology is an integral part of our lives and without it, we become “lost” since we have increasingly become dependent on its use. (Thesis with main point)

You might also be interested in reading nursing essay examples from our service.

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Traditional Academic Essays In Three Parts

Part i: the introduction.

An introduction is usually the first paragraph of your academic essay. If you’re writing a long essay, you might need 2 or 3 paragraphs to introduce your topic to your reader. A good introduction does 2 things:

  • Gets the reader’s attention. You can get a reader’s attention by telling a story, providing a statistic, pointing out something strange or interesting, providing and discussing an interesting quote, etc. Be interesting and find some original angle via which to engage others in your topic.
  • Provides a specific and debatable thesis statement. The thesis statement is usually just one sentence long, but it might be longer—even a whole paragraph—if the essay you’re writing is long. A good thesis statement makes a debatable point, meaning a point someone might disagree with and argue against. It also serves as a roadmap for what you argue in your paper.

Part II: The Body Paragraphs

Body paragraphs help you prove your thesis and move you along a compelling trajectory from your introduction to your conclusion. If your thesis is a simple one, you might not need a lot of body paragraphs to prove it. If it’s more complicated, you’ll need more body paragraphs. An easy way to remember the parts of a body paragraph is to think of them as the MEAT of your essay:

Main Idea. The part of a topic sentence that states the main idea of the body paragraph. All of the sentences in the paragraph connect to it. Keep in mind that main ideas are…

  • like labels. They appear in the first sentence of the paragraph and tell your reader what’s inside the paragraph.
  • arguable. They’re not statements of fact; they’re debatable points that you prove with evidence.
  • focused. Make a specific point in each paragraph and then prove that point.

Evidence. The parts of a paragraph that prove the main idea. You might include different types of evidence in different sentences. Keep in mind that different disciplines have different ideas about what counts as evidence and they adhere to different citation styles. Examples of evidence include…

  • quotations and/or paraphrases from sources.
  • facts , e.g. statistics or findings from studies you’ve conducted.
  • narratives and/or descriptions , e.g. of your own experiences.

Analysis. The parts of a paragraph that explain the evidence. Make sure you tie the evidence you provide back to the paragraph’s main idea. In other words, discuss the evidence.

Transition. The part of a paragraph that helps you move fluidly from the last paragraph. Transitions appear in topic sentences along with main ideas, and they look both backward and forward in order to help you connect your ideas for your reader. Don’t end paragraphs with transitions; start with them.

Keep in mind that MEAT does not occur in that order. The “ T ransition” and the “ M ain Idea” often combine to form the first sentence—the topic sentence—and then paragraphs contain multiple sentences of evidence and analysis. For example, a paragraph might look like this: TM. E. E. A. E. E. A. A.

Part III: The Conclusion

A conclusion is the last paragraph of your essay, or, if you’re writing a really long essay, you might need 2 or 3 paragraphs to conclude. A conclusion typically does one of two things—or, of course, it can do both:

  • Summarizes the argument. Some instructors expect you not to say anything new in your conclusion. They just want you to restate your main points. Especially if you’ve made a long and complicated argument, it’s useful to restate your main points for your reader by the time you’ve gotten to your conclusion. If you opt to do so, keep in mind that you should use different language than you used in your introduction and your body paragraphs. The introduction and conclusion shouldn’t be the same.
  • For example, your argument might be significant to studies of a certain time period .
  • Alternately, it might be significant to a certain geographical region .
  • Alternately still, it might influence how your readers think about the future . You might even opt to speculate about the future and/or call your readers to action in your conclusion.

Handout by Dr. Liliana Naydan. Do not reproduce without permission.

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Conclusion Paragraph for an Essay: Tips for the Perfect Ending

Table of contents

  • 1 Purpose of the Conclusion
  • 2.1 Restate the Thesis
  • 2.2 Synthesize, Don’t Just Summarize
  • 2.3 Use a Thought-Provoking Question
  • 2.4 Potential Future Developments or Research Paths in the Topic
  • 2.5 Use Transitional Phrases
  • 2.6 Close the Loop
  • 3.1 Introducing New Information
  • 3.2 Using Cliches
  • 3.3 Being Too Vague
  • 3.4 Apologizing for Your Viewpoint
  • 3.5 Lack of a Closing Statement or Unsupported Statements
  • 4 Essay Conclusion Example
  • 5 Summing Up Main Ideas
  • 6.1 What should be in the conclusion of an essay?
  • 6.2 Where does the conclusion go in an essay?
  • 6.3 How long should a conclusion paragraph be?

When dealing with any type of essay, sticking to a particular essay structure is essential. This helps you formulate and orchestrate a sleek composition with in-depth research, a new idea, and supporting arguments. Presenting your content as engaging and informative is good, but it will look incomplete without a memorable essay conclusion paragraph. Writing an effective conclusion can be challenging. That’s why we prepared this guide covering the main points on how to write a successful conclusion:

  • We explain the key points of the conclusion goal in an essay;
  • Also, we provide helpful ways to end your paper efficiently and underline points to avoid when writing an easy conclusion.

Let’s move to the main sections of this guide and learn how to write a conclusion for an essay effectively.

Purpose of the Conclusion

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The conclusion is the essay’s final paragraph. It should summarize the key aspects mentioned in the main body paragraphs and repeat the thesis statement from the introductory paragraph of an essay. The main purpose of a conclusion paragraph in an essay can be defined by three points:

  • Reiteration of an Essay’s Main Points

If your research paper includes specific points in body paragraphs, it makes sense to remind readers about them in a conclusion. A main argument or a new insight of your research should be in a closing sentence.

  • End with a Good Final Impression

While the introduction acts as a catchy hook to capture the reader’s interest, a conclusion paragraph is an impressive finalization. Strong essay conclusions must leave them with a strong impression and positive note of what they have just read.

  • Sense of Closure

A conclusion is the last paragraph with the last word of final thoughts. It should be a brief summary consisting of a few sentences where you must mention the central idea and overall argument. Crafting a good conclusion makes your essay complete and lets you get a good assessment from your instructor. That’s why it is a good idea to allow an expert to write your college essay, which regards all essay parts clearly and precisely. So, what are the key points to start a conclusion paragraph? Follow the next section to learn more.

How to Craft an Effective Conclusion Paragraph

Like any other part of an essay, a conclusion might have a particular structure and broader implications. Yet, there is no strict instruction on how to write conclusion in essay. The conclusion content structure can depend on the theme, problem, or argument revealed in an essay at large. It should provide a personal connection to the introduction part of an essay and to its main paragraphs. Also, you shouldn’t overload it with many words and expressions. To come up with a strong conclusion, we outlined several helpful tips to consider.

Restate the Thesis

Make sure to mention the thesis statement in the conclusion paragraph structure. This will remind readers of the main idea of your essay’s message.

Synthesize, Don’t Just Summarize

A conclusion shouldn’t be a plain summary of the previous essay’s part. When analyzing different sources in your work, it is a good idea to merge various perspectives and come up with a unique solution, viewpoint, or approach. This helps introduce a comprehensive understanding of the subject or theory under investigation.

Use a Thought-Provoking Question

Thought-provoking questions are good insights in making a conclusion impressive. Thanks to statements formulated as questions, your essay has a high chance of winning the readers’ engagement. However, we’d like to provide several insights on question types that can provoke readers to contemplate your essay after reading its conclusion. Here they are:

  • Make your question relevant to the essay’s argument or its main topic;
  • Create an open-ended question that doesn’t lead to answers “yes” or “no;”
  • Avoid making a question too broad to keep a reader’s focus on your essay’s theme;
  • Use specific words or phrases like “Imagine if…” or “Consider for a moment…” that might help you lead the readers to reflection;
  • Formulate one but deeply thought-provoking question that might have a better impact than many simple questions;
  • Circumvent questions with direct answers; let readers meditate on what they have just read.
  • End with a Quotation

Another powerful tool in making a conclusion more memorable is implementing quotations. Once you find a quotation that perfectly fits your essay’s topic or argument, it makes sense to use it. Doing this reinforces your key message in an essay and leaves your reader with different thoughts and viewpoints to contemplate.

Suppose you’ve written an essay about perseverance in the face of adversity. You might conclude with:

✏️Example: “As we’ve seen through various examples, resilience and determination can carry individuals through the most challenging times. As Winston Churchill once remarked, ‘Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.’ This sentiment captures the essence of perseverance, reminding us that it’s the journey and our tenacity that truly matter, not just the outcome.”

By incorporating a quotation in this manner, you reinforce your essay’s message while leaving the reader with a memorable thought to ponder.

Potential Future Developments or Research Paths in the Topic

If the main context of your essay requires more research and afterward findings, you should state this in a conclusion. This will add more significance to your work.

Use Transitional Phrases

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Write an essay conclusion with a smooth transition from one point to another. They will help you introduce a summary of your thoughts and arguments in a better way. If you need any  argumentative essay help , feel free to contact our service. We have a professional staff that can provide qualified academic writing assistance.

Close the Loop

Apart from the function of the last part in essay writing, a conclusion plays the role of a closing loop. Each part of the writing should be smoothly connected by creating a loop of statements, arguments, or perspectives. To bring an essence of completeness, a conclusion should finalize the points mentioned in the introductory part of an essay. This approach enables you to bring up a cohesively structured essay with a clear understanding of a starting point and how it is supported to conclude the train of thoughts and arguments.

Once you comply with the tips above, you will indeed create an effective conclusion part of an essay. However, our PapersOwl team provides a few insights about what to avoid when crafting it. These insights are introduced in the next section.

✏️Example:

Introduction: “In the ever-evolving world of technology, many argue that traditional books will soon become obsolete.”

Conclusion: “While the digital age continues to surge forward, the tactile and nostalgic experience of flipping through the pages of a traditional book reminds us of the timeless value they still hold.”

By closing the loop, the essay feels complete, reinforcing its main argument and leaving a lasting impression on the reader.

What to Avoid in a Conclusion Paragraph

Although a conclusion summarizes all the key information from the main body, it should be short and concise. Earlier, we emphasized the crucial ways to conclude an essay. Apart from them, we provide you with five tips on what to avoid in crafting an effective conclusion. Check them below.

Introducing New Information

Never put new information in your conclusion statements. It will only bring more confusion and misunderstanding of your statements.

Using Cliches

To make your concluding paragraph in an essay more attractive, avoid using cliched phrases. Mostly, they are like “To summarize,” “In conclusion,” or “To sum up.”

Being Too Vague

A conclusion is where each sentence should be clear and concise. Avoid wishy-washy things, but be convincing in your concluding thoughts and statements.

Apologizing for Your Viewpoint

Your work is where you present your ability to analyze and synthesize information. You should sound confident in providing statements, arguments, or unique viewpoints. So there is no use in apologizing for this.

Lack of a Closing Statement or Unsupported Statements

Pay attention to how you conclude an essay. Ensure you use supported statements in your last sentence to finalize your main ideas in an essay.

Writing an essay conclusion might seem overwhelming for two reasons. On the one hand, you need to consider valuable insights to introduce a good conclusion for an essay. On the other hand, you should bear in mind things better not to implement in the last paragraph of an essay. To make it easier, request to do my essay on our platform. By doing this, you will receive a quick response to proceed with an essay conclusion template.

Essay Conclusion Example

Looking for a good essay conclusion example? We compose some for you:

✏️Example: “Viable crosses between chimpanzees and people are possible. However, recently, the natural experiment has not been tried too frequently. If such an offspring would ever be produced, then what should their legal status be? In my opinion, the cognitive abilities of chimps make us raise questions related to the boundaries of a being’s community that are subjected to specific ethical considerations; I hope that this can help us expand our perspectives in terms of ethics upward to extraterrestrial organisms (if there are any) and down through the taxa on Earth.”

✏️Example: “I don’t consider the literary meaning of language. Language is a tool for expression and not for hiding emotions and thoughts… It should recognize that the current political chaos is associated with the decomposition of language and that you can probably achieve some improvements, beginning with the verbal end. If you simplify your English, you will be freed from the worst stupidity of Orthodoxy. You wouldn’t speak any of the necessary dialects, and when you make a stupid remark, its stupidity would be obvious even to yourself. The political language aims to make lies seem truthful. You cannot change all this in an instant, but you can at least change your habits, and from time to time, even if one of the mockeries is loud enough, send some worn and useless phrase… to the trash can where it belongs.”

Summing Up Main Ideas

Every part of an essay is important and must be composed for the best. A conclusion is not an exception. The ending point of an essay also plays a significant role in work assessment. So, follow simple instructions and helpful tips on how to write a conclusion paragraph efficiently. We uncovered such insights in this review, and also noticed several hints on what you shouldn’t do to finish an essay. When sticking to all these recommendations, you can end up your essay in the best way.

If you find it difficult to write a conclusion in an essay, you can visit our website and place an order. Our support will help you find the best expert to assist you or provide you with essay conclusion examples. The only thing you will do is trust your essay’s conclusion to a professional and get it properly done according to set deadlines.

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essay conclusion structure

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  • Conclusion Structure: Effective Strategies for Ending College Papers

How to Write a Conclusion Paragraph for an Essay: Structure & Tips

How to Write a Conclusion Paragraph for an Essay: Structure & Tips

  • How to Write a Conclusion Paragraph for an Essay: Structure & Tips

Essay conclusion paragraph outline

Essay conclusion structure:, what to write about in conclusion for an essay, best strategies for writing effective essay conclusions, finally, some advice on how not to end an essay.

Wondering how to structure a conclusion of your essay or research paper to ensure your audience won’t regret they’ve read your piece of writing? Writing a conclusion is an important step when you are working on any written project. A concluding paragraph is your last chance to convince your readers to accept your point of view and make them remember the key ideas. Achieving this goal is not as easy as it may seem and conclusion paragraph structure plays a crucial role in its effectiveness. It’s not enough to restate your thesis statement and just enumerate main points. Read on to learn how to write an effective conclusion that wraps your essay up and closes the discussion in a final sentence without actually closing it off. Think that is homework illegal? Think that writing a good conclusion or an engaging introduction to your paper is too challenging? Our writers will gladly help you solve any writing problem – just ask Homework Helper for assistance.

In an essay conclusion paragraph, you summarize what you’ve written about in your paper. When you’re writing a good conclusion paragraph, you need to think about the main point that you want to get across and be sure it’s included. The number of sentences in your conclusion will depend on how many paragraphs (statements) you have in the essay. A typical essay consists of 5 paragraphs .

So, first thing to come up with - conclusion paragraph outline:

1) A conclusion starter - topic sentence:

  • It’s the sentence that functions as a Fresh paraphrasing / restating the thesis statement of your essay. Therefore, if you wonder how to start a conclusion, rephrase your thesis statement and put it first.

2) Supporting sentences - a summary of the main parts of your essay:

  • Here you’ll have to summarize or wrap up the main points in the body of the essay. You’ll need to come up with 2-3 sentences wrapping up the arguments of your essay. Explain how the ideas fit together.

3) A concluding sentence (closing sentence):

  • It’s a final sentence of your essay that connects back to the introduction providing a sense of closure and connecting readers back to the introduction.

Before creating an outline for this part of your work, look at an example essay structure . So, you will get a better understanding of every part of your work.

  • Sentence 1 - restate the thesis by making the same point with other words (paraphrase).
  • Sentences 2-4 - review your arguments; summarize them by paraphrasing how you proved the thesis.
  • Sentence 5 - connect back to the essay hook and relate your closing statement to the opening one; transit to human nature to impress a reader and give them food for thought.

After - combine all sentences to the improved and expanded essay conclusion. And - here you go! Your conclusion is done! But, what about some "spicy" peculiarities of the whole conclusion "recipes" you don't want to overlook in the end..?

It’s critical to structure any conclusion in a way which ensures it conveys a sense of closure and demonstrates possibilities of the topic. Speaking about essential elements of the conclusion structure that are appropriate for different types of papers, we should mention the following ones:

  • Brief summary of the key points of the text
  • Your personal opinion about the paper’s main idea
  • Concluding statement which includes deduction based on the ideas expressed in the main body
  • Recommendations about future research and some predictions
  • Implications of the work for future studies

These elements are important and should be included when you write longer academic papers, for example, extended analytical essays with rather complex structures, theses or dissertations. But it’s not obligatory to include all the above mentioned elements when you write an argumentative essay or a business plan. These types of papers have a simpler structure and don’t require lengthy conclusions. However, each piece of writing must include an introduction that presents its topic and a final section that wraps everything up and answers the question “so what?” to help readers see why they should care about the content of your paper.

A conclusion structure of an ordinary essay may be simpler and should consist of 3 essential parts:

  • Answer where you restate your thesis statement
  • Concise summary where you summarize main points of your argument
  • Significance where you explain implications of your findings

Wondering what other things an essay conclusion structure may include? Here are some suggestions:

  • Ask a provocative question
  • Call for a certain action
  • Evoke memorable vision
  • Include an interesting quote
  • Use the introduction paragraph as a guide but you should remember that these parts of an essay present information in a different manner and order. Although a conclusion is related to introduction, it presents information in the opposite way so conclusion structure is the opposite of the introduction. When writing a conclusion, you should start with some specific information and finish it with more general information.
  • When writing an answer, you shouldn’t repeat your thesis word for word. Rearrange the thesis, keeping the most important keyword. Use different paraphrasing techniques and rewording strategies.
  • Conclusion is the place where you should show the connections between main points of your paper. Choose the most useful ideas from your body paragraphs and summarize them, keeping relevant keywords. Express your ideas using different sentences. To write all parts logically, do not forget about transition words for college essays .
  • Not all essays end with explaining implications. Short papers (up to 1100 words) don’t have enough space to give detailed descriptions of significance. But if you want your essay to convey a bigger picture, this tactic is very effective.
  • Many people describe an essay as an attempt to “sell” your personal view on a specific issue. A strong essay conclusion should demonstrate that your arguments are really important and relevant for a specific topic.
  • The structure of your conclusion should include a powerful positive statement which must be based on the information presented in the previous parts of your paper. Don’t include any new information in your conclusion.
  • Avoid using such phrases as “to sum it up” or “in conclusion”. These phrases are unnecessary and they sound too unnatural. Your readers are smart enough to understand when your arguments are ending and phrases like those will just irritate them.
  • To make your conclusion more powerful, you can finish your paper with a sentence that has a compound or parallel structure. Such sentences work well at the end of complex discussions, establishing a sense of order or balance.
  • End your conclusion paragraph by restating a phrase or a word used at the beginning of the first paragraph. In this way, you can establish some link between two essential parts of your essay and bring the readers full circle. Returning to a theme of introduction is a great technique.
  • End an essay with a sentence which consists of mainly one-syllable words because using simple language can produce an effect of understated drama.
  • You can create a powerful concluding paragraph if you redefine one of the major terms of the argument. In this way, your essay will sound more original and unique.
  • Don't simply summarize your essay. A brief summary of your argument may be useful, especially if your essay is long - more than ten pages or so. But shorter essays tend not to require a restatement of your main ideas.
  • Avoid phrases like "in conclusion," "to conclude," "in summary," and "to sum up." These phrases can be useful - even welcome - in oral presentations. But readers can see, by the tell-tale compression of the pages, when an essay is about to end. You'll irritate your audience if you belabor the obvious.
  • Resist the urge to apologize. If you've immersed yourself in your subject, you now know a good deal more about it than you can possibly include in a five- or ten- or 20-page essay. As a result, by the time you've finished writing, you may be having some doubts about what you've produced. (And if you haven't immersed yourself in your subject, you may be feeling even more doubtful about your essay as you approach the conclusion.) Repress those doubts. Don't undercut your authority by saying things like, "this is just one approach to the subject; there may be other, better approaches. . ."

Academic writing is an essential part of a higher education so every student must complete lots of papers to earn their degree. That’s why understanding how to properly structure a compelling conclusion and what basic elements to include in it is an important skill that all students have to master. We hope that our easy tips on how to write a strong conclusion will help you successfully complete academic papers on any topic and make a powerful impression on your readers. But if you face difficulties when writing college-level papers, you can easily get qualified help with any assignment on the website of our custom writing service. Spend a few minutes to place an order and our experts will provide you with a good paper with a proper structure which was written according to your instructions. Our writers will help you accomplish your academic goals and become a successful student.

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  • The four main types of essay | Quick guide with examples

The Four Main Types of Essay | Quick Guide with Examples

Published on September 4, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.

An essay is a focused piece of writing designed to inform or persuade. There are many different types of essay, but they are often defined in four categories: argumentative, expository, narrative, and descriptive essays.

Argumentative and expository essays are focused on conveying information and making clear points, while narrative and descriptive essays are about exercising creativity and writing in an interesting way. At university level, argumentative essays are the most common type. 

In high school and college, you will also often have to write textual analysis essays, which test your skills in close reading and interpretation.

Table of contents

Argumentative essays, expository essays, narrative essays, descriptive essays, textual analysis essays, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about types of essays.

An argumentative essay presents an extended, evidence-based argument. It requires a strong thesis statement —a clearly defined stance on your topic. Your aim is to convince the reader of your thesis using evidence (such as quotations ) and analysis.

Argumentative essays test your ability to research and present your own position on a topic. This is the most common type of essay at college level—most papers you write will involve some kind of argumentation.

The essay is divided into an introduction, body, and conclusion:

  • The introduction provides your topic and thesis statement
  • The body presents your evidence and arguments
  • The conclusion summarizes your argument and emphasizes its importance

The example below is a paragraph from the body of an argumentative essay about the effects of the internet on education. Mouse over it to learn more.

A common frustration for teachers is students’ use of Wikipedia as a source in their writing. Its prevalence among students is not exaggerated; a survey found that the vast majority of the students surveyed used Wikipedia (Head & Eisenberg, 2010). An article in The Guardian stresses a common objection to its use: “a reliance on Wikipedia can discourage students from engaging with genuine academic writing” (Coomer, 2013). Teachers are clearly not mistaken in viewing Wikipedia usage as ubiquitous among their students; but the claim that it discourages engagement with academic sources requires further investigation. This point is treated as self-evident by many teachers, but Wikipedia itself explicitly encourages students to look into other sources. Its articles often provide references to academic publications and include warning notes where citations are missing; the site’s own guidelines for research make clear that it should be used as a starting point, emphasizing that users should always “read the references and check whether they really do support what the article says” (“Wikipedia:Researching with Wikipedia,” 2020). Indeed, for many students, Wikipedia is their first encounter with the concepts of citation and referencing. The use of Wikipedia therefore has a positive side that merits deeper consideration than it often receives.

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An expository essay provides a clear, focused explanation of a topic. It doesn’t require an original argument, just a balanced and well-organized view of the topic.

Expository essays test your familiarity with a topic and your ability to organize and convey information. They are commonly assigned at high school or in exam questions at college level.

The introduction of an expository essay states your topic and provides some general background, the body presents the details, and the conclusion summarizes the information presented.

A typical body paragraph from an expository essay about the invention of the printing press is shown below. Mouse over it to learn more.

The invention of the printing press in 1440 changed this situation dramatically. Johannes Gutenberg, who had worked as a goldsmith, used his knowledge of metals in the design of the press. He made his type from an alloy of lead, tin, and antimony, whose durability allowed for the reliable production of high-quality books. This new technology allowed texts to be reproduced and disseminated on a much larger scale than was previously possible. The Gutenberg Bible appeared in the 1450s, and a large number of printing presses sprang up across the continent in the following decades. Gutenberg’s invention rapidly transformed cultural production in Europe; among other things, it would lead to the Protestant Reformation.

A narrative essay is one that tells a story. This is usually a story about a personal experience you had, but it may also be an imaginative exploration of something you have not experienced.

Narrative essays test your ability to build up a narrative in an engaging, well-structured way. They are much more personal and creative than other kinds of academic writing . Writing a personal statement for an application requires the same skills as a narrative essay.

A narrative essay isn’t strictly divided into introduction, body, and conclusion, but it should still begin by setting up the narrative and finish by expressing the point of the story—what you learned from your experience, or why it made an impression on you.

Mouse over the example below, a short narrative essay responding to the prompt “Write about an experience where you learned something about yourself,” to explore its structure.

Since elementary school, I have always favored subjects like science and math over the humanities. My instinct was always to think of these subjects as more solid and serious than classes like English. If there was no right answer, I thought, why bother? But recently I had an experience that taught me my academic interests are more flexible than I had thought: I took my first philosophy class.

Before I entered the classroom, I was skeptical. I waited outside with the other students and wondered what exactly philosophy would involve—I really had no idea. I imagined something pretty abstract: long, stilted conversations pondering the meaning of life. But what I got was something quite different.

A young man in jeans, Mr. Jones—“but you can call me Rob”—was far from the white-haired, buttoned-up old man I had half-expected. And rather than pulling us into pedantic arguments about obscure philosophical points, Rob engaged us on our level. To talk free will, we looked at our own choices. To talk ethics, we looked at dilemmas we had faced ourselves. By the end of class, I’d discovered that questions with no right answer can turn out to be the most interesting ones.

The experience has taught me to look at things a little more “philosophically”—and not just because it was a philosophy class! I learned that if I let go of my preconceptions, I can actually get a lot out of subjects I was previously dismissive of. The class taught me—in more ways than one—to look at things with an open mind.

A descriptive essay provides a detailed sensory description of something. Like narrative essays, they allow you to be more creative than most academic writing, but they are more tightly focused than narrative essays. You might describe a specific place or object, rather than telling a whole story.

Descriptive essays test your ability to use language creatively, making striking word choices to convey a memorable picture of what you’re describing.

A descriptive essay can be quite loosely structured, though it should usually begin by introducing the object of your description and end by drawing an overall picture of it. The important thing is to use careful word choices and figurative language to create an original description of your object.

Mouse over the example below, a response to the prompt “Describe a place you love to spend time in,” to learn more about descriptive essays.

On Sunday afternoons I like to spend my time in the garden behind my house. The garden is narrow but long, a corridor of green extending from the back of the house, and I sit on a lawn chair at the far end to read and relax. I am in my small peaceful paradise: the shade of the tree, the feel of the grass on my feet, the gentle activity of the fish in the pond beside me.

My cat crosses the garden nimbly and leaps onto the fence to survey it from above. From his perch he can watch over his little kingdom and keep an eye on the neighbours. He does this until the barking of next door’s dog scares him from his post and he bolts for the cat flap to govern from the safety of the kitchen.

With that, I am left alone with the fish, whose whole world is the pond by my feet. The fish explore the pond every day as if for the first time, prodding and inspecting every stone. I sometimes feel the same about sitting here in the garden; I know the place better than anyone, but whenever I return I still feel compelled to pay attention to all its details and novelties—a new bird perched in the tree, the growth of the grass, and the movement of the insects it shelters…

Sitting out in the garden, I feel serene. I feel at home. And yet I always feel there is more to discover. The bounds of my garden may be small, but there is a whole world contained within it, and it is one I will never get tired of inhabiting.

Though every essay type tests your writing skills, some essays also test your ability to read carefully and critically. In a textual analysis essay, you don’t just present information on a topic, but closely analyze a text to explain how it achieves certain effects.

Rhetorical analysis

A rhetorical analysis looks at a persuasive text (e.g. a speech, an essay, a political cartoon) in terms of the rhetorical devices it uses, and evaluates their effectiveness.

The goal is not to state whether you agree with the author’s argument but to look at how they have constructed it.

The introduction of a rhetorical analysis presents the text, some background information, and your thesis statement; the body comprises the analysis itself; and the conclusion wraps up your analysis of the text, emphasizing its relevance to broader concerns.

The example below is from a rhetorical analysis of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech . Mouse over it to learn more.

King’s speech is infused with prophetic language throughout. Even before the famous “dream” part of the speech, King’s language consistently strikes a prophetic tone. He refers to the Lincoln Memorial as a “hallowed spot” and speaks of rising “from the dark and desolate valley of segregation” to “make justice a reality for all of God’s children.” The assumption of this prophetic voice constitutes the text’s strongest ethical appeal; after linking himself with political figures like Lincoln and the Founding Fathers, King’s ethos adopts a distinctly religious tone, recalling Biblical prophets and preachers of change from across history. This adds significant force to his words; standing before an audience of hundreds of thousands, he states not just what the future should be, but what it will be: “The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.” This warning is almost apocalyptic in tone, though it concludes with the positive image of the “bright day of justice.” The power of King’s rhetoric thus stems not only from the pathos of his vision of a brighter future, but from the ethos of the prophetic voice he adopts in expressing this vision.

Literary analysis

A literary analysis essay presents a close reading of a work of literature—e.g. a poem or novel—to explore the choices made by the author and how they help to convey the text’s theme. It is not simply a book report or a review, but an in-depth interpretation of the text.

Literary analysis looks at things like setting, characters, themes, and figurative language. The goal is to closely analyze what the author conveys and how.

The introduction of a literary analysis essay presents the text and background, and provides your thesis statement; the body consists of close readings of the text with quotations and analysis in support of your argument; and the conclusion emphasizes what your approach tells us about the text.

Mouse over the example below, the introduction to a literary analysis essay on Frankenstein , to learn more.

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is often read as a crude cautionary tale about the dangers of scientific advancement unrestrained by ethical considerations. In this reading, protagonist Victor Frankenstein is a stable representation of the callous ambition of modern science throughout the novel. This essay, however, argues that far from providing a stable image of the character, Shelley uses shifting narrative perspectives to portray Frankenstein in an increasingly negative light as the novel goes on. While he initially appears to be a naive but sympathetic idealist, after the creature’s narrative Frankenstein begins to resemble—even in his own telling—the thoughtlessly cruel figure the creature represents him as. This essay begins by exploring the positive portrayal of Frankenstein in the first volume, then moves on to the creature’s perception of him, and finally discusses the third volume’s narrative shift toward viewing Frankenstein as the creature views him.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

  • Ad hominem fallacy
  • Post hoc fallacy
  • Appeal to authority fallacy
  • False cause fallacy
  • Sunk cost fallacy

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  • Write a College Essay
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  • College Essay Format & Structure
  • Comparing and Contrasting in an Essay

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At high school and in composition classes at university, you’ll often be told to write a specific type of essay , but you might also just be given prompts.

Look for keywords in these prompts that suggest a certain approach: The word “explain” suggests you should write an expository essay , while the word “describe” implies a descriptive essay . An argumentative essay might be prompted with the word “assess” or “argue.”

The vast majority of essays written at university are some sort of argumentative essay . Almost all academic writing involves building up an argument, though other types of essay might be assigned in composition classes.

Essays can present arguments about all kinds of different topics. For example:

  • In a literary analysis essay, you might make an argument for a specific interpretation of a text
  • In a history essay, you might present an argument for the importance of a particular event
  • In a politics essay, you might argue for the validity of a certain political theory

An argumentative essay tends to be a longer essay involving independent research, and aims to make an original argument about a topic. Its thesis statement makes a contentious claim that must be supported in an objective, evidence-based way.

An expository essay also aims to be objective, but it doesn’t have to make an original argument. Rather, it aims to explain something (e.g., a process or idea) in a clear, concise way. Expository essays are often shorter assignments and rely less on research.

The key difference is that a narrative essay is designed to tell a complete story, while a descriptive essay is meant to convey an intense description of a particular place, object, or concept.

Narrative and descriptive essays both allow you to write more personally and creatively than other kinds of essays , and similar writing skills can apply to both.

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COMMENTS

  1. How to Conclude an Essay

    Learn how to write a strong conclusion for your essay with this interactive example. Follow the steps to tie together your main points, show why your argument matters, and leave a strong impression. Avoid common mistakes and find more examples of essay conclusions.

  2. How to Write a Conclusion for an Essay

    Learn how to write a conclusion for an essay with this guide from Grammarly. Find out what to include, what to avoid, and how to end with a bang. Follow the five key details and avoid common mistakes to write a strong conclusion paragraph that leaves readers with a solution, a call to action, or a powerful insight.

  3. How to Write a Conclusion

    Read this post to learn how to write conclusions. In Part 5 of our Essay Writing Guide, we give step-by-step instructions for writing a Band 6 conclusion!

  4. How to Structure an Essay

    Learn how to structure an essay with different types of organization, such as chronological, compare-and-contrast, problems-methods-solutions, and signposting. Find useful templates and tips for each approach, as well as examples of essay outlines and introductions.

  5. Conclusions

    Highlight the "so what" At the beginning of your paper, you explain to your readers what's at stake—why they should care about the argument you're making. In your conclusion, you can bring readers back to those stakes by reminding them why your argument is important in the first place.

  6. How to write an essay: Conclusion

    A conclusion has three sections. First, repeat the thesis statement. It won't use the exact same words as in your introduction, but it will repeat the point: your overall answer to the question. Then set out your general conclusions, and a short explanation of why they are important.

  7. Conclusions

    Complete. Don't try to bring in new points or end with a whiz bang (!) conclusion or try to solve world hunger in the final sentence of your conclusion. Simplicity is best for a clear, convincing message. The preacher's maxim is one of the most effective formulas to follow for argument papers: Tell what you're going to tell them (introduction).

  8. How to Write a Conclusion (With Tips and Examples)

    How to write a conclusion An effective conclusion is created by following these steps: 1. Restate the thesis An effective conclusion brings the reader back to the main point, reminding the reader of the purpose of the essay. However, avoid repeating the thesis verbatim. Paraphrase your argument slightly while still preserving the primary point. 2.

  9. Conclusions

    A change of style i.e. being more emotional or sentimental than the rest of the essay. Keep it straightforward, explanatory and clear. Overused phrases like: "in conclusion"; "in summary"; "as shown in this essay". Consign these to the rubbish bin! Here are some alternatives, there are many more: The x main points presented here ...

  10. How to write an essay conclusion

    a) A conclusion brings together lots of new ideas to interest the reader. b) A conclusion brings together the ideas already discussed in the essay. c) A conclusion is important because it...

  11. Writing a Research Paper Conclusion

    Step 1: Restate the problem The first task of your conclusion is to remind the reader of your research problem. You will have discussed this problem in depth throughout the body, but now the point is to zoom back out from the details to the bigger picture.

  12. How to Write a Conclusion: Full Writing Guide with Examples

    These three key elements make up a perfect essay conclusion. Now, to give you an even better idea of how to create a perfect conclusion, let us give you a sample conclusion paragraph outline with examples from an argumentative essay on the topic of "Every Child Should Own a Pet: Sentence 1: Starter.

  13. How to Write a Conclusion for an Essay

    Step 3: Form a Personal Connection With the Reader. The final step when writing a conclusion paragraph is to include a small detail about yourself. This information will help you build a more intimate bond with your reader and help them remember you better.

  14. Essay Structure: The 3 Main Parts of an Essay

    Conclusion This structure has stood the test of time for one simple reason: It works. It clearly presents the writer's position, supports that position with relevant examples, and neatly ties their supporting arguments together in a way that makes their position evident. Introduction It all starts here.

  15. Example of a Great Essay

    Published on February 9, 2015 by Shane Bryson . Revised on July 23, 2023 by Shona McCombes. This example guides you through the structure of an essay. It shows how to build an effective introduction, focused paragraphs, clear transitions between ideas, and a strong conclusion.

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  17. Essay Structure

    Essay Structure. Although essays have different topics and purposes, they all share a similar structure. When we refer to essay structure, we mean the way the essay looks on the page and the specific paragraphs used to create that look. If you look at an essay, you will see that it is made up of several paragraphs.

  18. How to Write Essay Conclusion [Tips, Examples and Mistakes to Avoid]

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  19. How to Write an Essay Outline

    Revised on July 23, 2023. An essay outline is a way of planning the structure of your essay before you start writing. It involves writing quick summary sentences or phrases for every point you will cover in each paragraph, giving you a picture of how your argument will unfold. You'll sometimes be asked to submit an essay outline as a separate ...

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  21. How to write a captivating essay conclusion

    The conclusion to an essay is the most purely rhetorical part of the entire piece. By "rhetorical", we mean a conclusion's (and indeed the entire essay's) ability to convince or persuade the reader of certain outlooks or arguments. An essay conclusion needs to use rhetoric to emotionally connect with the reader in some way. And this is ...

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  23. The Four Main Types of Essay

    An essay is a focused piece of writing designed to inform or persuade. There are many different types of essay, but they are often defined in four categories: argumentative, expository, narrative, and descriptive essays. Argumentative and expository essays are focused on conveying information and making clear points, while narrative and ...

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