How to Write Expert Concluding Paragraphs: Format, Outline & Examples
The conclusion is the final part of all essay types – the concluding paragraph is your last opportunity to convince readers that the information you just passed to them is important.
This is a fact: readers are more likely to remember the information in the conclusion more clearly than the body paragraphs and introduction.
So, how then do you write a kick-ass conclusion for your essay? Here is what experts say:
A concluding paragraph should “wind up your paper in a way that makes readers feel that you have tied up loose ends – that you have fulfilled the commitment you made in the opening paragraph”
(The Scott Foresman Handbook for Writers, 251).
As a rule of thumb, the concluding paragraph should tell your readers that you have made all the important points as set out by your thesis.
Concluding paragraph Outline
- Start with a strong topic sentence, preferably one that restates your thesis statement
- Write 2-3 supporting sentences
- Wrap up the main ideas and summarize your essay
- Explain how your main ideas fit together
- Write the Closing sentence
- Final remarks
- Provide a sense of closure.
Use a transitional phrase at the beginning of the concluding paragraph: words like “undoubtedly “and phrases such as “it is evident” or “without a doubt” give the concluding a coherent flow and re-emphasize the tone used in the rest of the paper.
Here is what the Ashford online writing guide says about transitional phrases and words;
Consider using some of the following transition words in the concluding paragraph:
- Above all
- In essence
- In short
- With attention to
- To put it differently
- In brief
- In other words
- That is to say
Concluding Paragraph Format
The typical format of a conclusion can be visualized using a triangle.
Concluding paragraph Do’s and Don’ts
- Persuade your readers
- Summarize the your supporting paragraphs
- Restate your thesis statement- preferably in different words by paraphrasing.
- Explain to you readers why they should agree with your point of view.
- Consider concluding your essay with reference to a reputable source or a quotation that emphasizes your main ideas. A quotation from a famous scientist, for instance, can add validity to the points you are writing about.
- Make recommendations when appropriate: All recommendations must stem from the issues that you’ve discussed in the body paragraphs. A recommendation can also be used as a call for action or change.
- It is okay to place your thesis or recommendations in their larger context. In other words, tell your readers how the main ideas relate to their lives, community, nation etc.
- Don’t repeat your main ideas repeat your introduction or main ideas word to word.
- Don’t restate your thesis statement blatantly.
- Avoid using phrases such as “in summarization,” and “to conclude.” While these phrases are vital in conversations or oral presentations, don’t them in an essay because readers can tell when an essay is about to end.
- Avoid undercutting your authority by using phrases such as “there are better ways. . .” or “the approach recommended in this paper is just one way to solve the problem of . . . ”
- Don’t introduce new ideas or a new argument in the conclusion.