Drafting Conclusions

Many writers found the conclusion the most difficult part of the essay to compose because there’s this expectation that it has to be profound or inspiring. Something magical. But it doesn’t have to be all that.

It should avoid simply restating thesis statement. You don’t want to hear the same sentence again you heard in your introductory paragraph. But it should suggest some ideas or questions that were raised by the preceding text.

The next lesson: Five Part Essay, both lessons are included in Practice Tests.

The following transcript is provided for your convenience.

Maybe your conclusion brings up a different idea that could be elaborated on for a future essay. Or a question that really makes the reader thinks about what they’ve just read.

A good conclusion will remind the reader of thesis, remind them of thesis without restating it, by providing some applications, questions, or possible counterarguments.

So, the writer may tell you how you can use this information in the future. What application does it have for your life? They could pose an interesting question that makes you really think about what you just read, or a counterargument.

Perhaps they say, “Well, maybe I’m not really right after all. Maybe it’s this way.” And then that really throws you for a loop because you’ve just read their whole paper that supports their thesis, and now they’re saying, “Well, maybe not.”

So, that would really leave a lasting impression on you, I think, because you’ve just read this whole paper about one topic, and they’re telling you, “Oh, but maybe it’s this way,” which leaves you open to questioning it, thinking about it, and maybe you want to go do some research yourself after that.

A good conclusion should indicate how the reader should think about this subject in the future. So, maybe it doesn’t change your mind about a particular issue completely, but whenever this issue comes up later, this essay should come to mind.

You should think about, “Oh, I remember I’ve read that one thing in that essay and it really struck home with me, and I remember that now,” or, “Well, I didn’t know about this before, but after reading this essay, I know about this one thing, and it affects the way I feel about the issue.”

The conclusion should be memorable. So, we talked about how it doesn’t have to be super inspiring, but it should be memorable because it’s the final impression that your reader is left with. It’s the last thing they’re going to read before they’re done reading your composition.

So, you want it to be memorable. So, here are three different ways you might do that without making it some awe-inspiring work. Many writers save a fascinating detail, an anecdote or short story, or a quote for the end of their paper.

So, your conclusion could have some fascinating detail. Maybe you saved one thing that you found in your research that you thought was really cool, and it supports your thesis statement really well, and you saved it for the conclusion because you want your reader to remember that detail.

Or maybe you found a little story or thought up a little story that would support your thesis, and you include that.

Or maybe there’s a famous quote out there. Hearing or reading a famous name makes you think, “Oh, they said something that supports their thesis. Oh, let me read that and remember that. Let me think about that again.”

So, these are three tricks that you can put in your bag for helping you compose a successful conclusion. One that will be memorable and leave a final impression on your reader.

When you’re drafting conclusions, don’t stress about making it this magical, inspirational thing. You might succeed. You might get a magical, inspirational conclusion, but not all of them are going to be that flowery. They’re not all going to work out that way. They may just support your thesis statement without restating it, and let the reader know how they should think about this subject in the future.

You want to leave a lasting impression, and three ways to do that would be with a fascinating detail, an anecdote, or a quote, so I’d definitely remember these three tricks to keep in your bag.

Practice tests help you remember. Take this mini-test to solidify your memory.
Mini-test: 5. Drafting Conclusions 

1. The best way to make a conclusion memorable is by …
2. The conclusion should NOT …


The next lesson: Five Part Essay, both lessons are included in Practice Tests.