Dec 28 2021

How to Write a Good Conclusion Paragraph for an Essay

Adela Belin photo Adela Belin Content strategist and writer
Knowledge Cell

Every essay ends with a conclusion paragraph.

Your conclusion is the last words you have on the subject. Ending your essay with a powerful conclusion can help them remember your writing even after they have put your paper down.

Original: SourceMany writers often leave their essays hanging without a concluding paragraph or simply finish it with a lacklustre one-sentence statement, which undermines an otherwise perfect essay.

Just as a powerful essay introduction can immerse readers into your subject and context, your conclusion should be strong enough to leave your readers with an impactful takeaway.

And if you are wondering how? Don’t worry, because we’ve got you covered!

In this guide, we will be talking about the essential steps and tips on how to write a good conclusion paragraph for an essay, starting with what is a good conclusion.

What is a Good Essay Conclusion

A conclusion is the final part of an essay. And it is likely what readers will remember of your work which makes it one of the most important aspects of your paper.

The purpose of having a conclusion is to provide clarity into your topic by summarising the main points of your essay.

It is your last chance to bring together your ideas and convince readers about your argument and make your opinion clear to your readers.

Ideally, a solid conclusion for an essay should contain these characteristics:

1. Connect the main points in your essay

A conclusion shouldn’t just be a repetition of the points in your essay. It should be a summary that ties together your ideas and show how they connect to form the bigger picture.

When writing your conclusion, consider broader issues and make sure to elaborate on the importance of your findings.

A quick tip on wrapping up ideas is that it can be good to use the proper transitions to connect your points and make it smoother for readers to follow your thought process.

2. Show why your argument matters

No matter the nature of your essay, your ending paragraph needs to review your thesis statement and supporting ideas to show why your study is necessary.

Contrary to your introduction where the focus is placed on a specific research problem, your conclusion should focus on the larger implications of your study.

The aim is to fill in the crucial gaps and show precisely why your argument matters.

3. Leave readers with a strong impression

Final impressions are important, almost as important as first impressions. That’s why you need to make sure that your ending statement resonates with your readers.

It doesn’t have to be a grand manifesto, but your conclusion should make readers feel insightful and help them see things in a different light.

4. Give a sense of completeness

Your concluding paragraph is also an opportunity to answer the “so what?” question.

By clarifying the points in the essay and placing the study within a bigger picture, you should be showing how the subject can impact everyone and why they should care.

If you find yourself asking “so what?” when reading your conclusion, this means your ideas have not been fully developed.

Make sure to answer the question and provide the reader with a sense of closure by offering them a solution or insight that can prompt them to consider further.

How to Start an Essay Conclusion Paragraph

Wondering how to write a good conclusion paragraph for an essay? It all comes down to using this conclusion outline or structure.

1. Include a topic sentence

Your conclusion should start with a topic sentence. This is usually done by restating your topic and thesis statement from your introductory paragraph.

Generally, this should make up the first sentence of your conclusion to remind readers about your essay objectives and main argument.

However, be sure to make it concise and contain only the most critical information. Your goal is to return to your overall argument without developing any new ideas.

2. Summarize the main ideas

Next, your conclusion should also sum up all the main ideas in your paper and show how they contribute to the subject matter.

Try to connect each point and talk about their cause and effect or other relevant relationships to show how they add up as a coherent whole.

At this point, you only want to use supporting ideas and facts you have presented throughout the body of your essay.

Here’s a useful video by GreggU on summarizing the main ideas.


3. Refer to your introduction

Another important step on how to write a good conclusion paragraph for an essay is to write with your introductory paragraph in mind. Often, the best conclusions connect the opening and closing paragraphs to come full circle.

For example, you can break down your storytelling and include it in your introduction and conclusion to create a stand out essay.

4. Appeal to the reader’s emotions

Effective conclusions are emotional. Using sensory language and engaging your readers with impactful words can help you create a memorable image in your reader’s mind.

Just like Tom Stoppard once said, “Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little”.

That’s why a quick tip for driving your reader's emotions is to use a powerful or inspiring quote that is relevant to your topic.

5. Provide some insights

Though you may have covered the contributing factors behind the subject matter and reiterated its importance, your conclusion should never stop there.

Leave the readers with a key takeaway or next steps. It can be a solution to the problem at hand, an insightful lesson, or a call to action for change.

Be authentic and avoid writing out an exhaustively detailed or complicated plan involving the government and society.

Instead, relate with your immediate reader and make a personal anecdote or simple start on how each person can directly deal with the issue.

6. End with a closing sentence

In our opinion, the best conclusions are those that read like one. Make sure your final sentence shows that you are bringing closure to the paragraph and essay.

Your last sentence should be the final idea that wraps up your entire work and provide closure to the readers, leaving them with a strong impression of your work.

When it comes to showcasing your closing sentences, a quick writing tip is to use linking words indicative of a conclusion like “therefore” or “for this reason”.

5 Tips for Writing a Conclusion for Essay

Apart from a conclusion outline, here are some writing tips you should keep in mind for an effective ending.

1. Paraphrase and be concise

Concluding paragraphs should be clear and sum up the main points in your paper without sounding redundant.

While you may be referring to your introduction when writing your conclusion, make sure to avoid repeating it word-by-word verbatim.

Paraphrase your topic and thesis statement slightly while preserving your meaning. It may be difficult at first, but you can easily do it once you practice and improve your writing skills.

Additionally, be concise and avoid writing long conclusions.

As a rule of thumb, your conclusion paragraph should never be longer than your introduction, and it shouldn’t take up more than 10% of your whole essay.

2. Avoid new ideas or evidence

Remember, the purpose of your conclusion is to summarise. So, avoid introducing new ideas or evidence in this part of your essay.

If you find yourself making great new arguments or points, you can incorporate them into one of the body paragraphs as well.

When proofreading your essay, double-check if you have mentioned all the primary points in your paper and connect them to your thesis statement.

3. Prevent generic concluding phrases

Beginning the conclusion with phrases like "in conclusion," "to summarise", or "as a closing " can be somewhat redundant.

Original: SourceWhile these may work well in speeches, they are overused and come across as fluff in writing.

Our advice is to take a more direct approach instead and state your conclusion in clear, simple language consistent with the rest of your paper.

4. Avoid inconsistencies

While the conclusion may be a place for you to restate the research problems and arguments persuasively, you want to make sure it reads consistently with the rest of your paper.

That means your synthesis of argument should follow the same order you have previously presented the information and points.

Avoid jumping across different points to ensure your conclusion is organised to make it easier for your readers to follow.

Likewise, you also want to stick to the same tone of voice across the essay.

5. Don’t undermine your argument

If you have done enough research, you likely know a great deal about your topic and the lack thereof in your study.

You may have doubts and understand there are certain limitations yet to address in your paper. But still, avoid using undermining statements that sound uncertain or confused like:

  • There is no clear answer to this problem;
  • There are good and bad sides to the argument;
  • This is just one of many approaches to examining the problem.

Even if your essay has only explored one of many different points of view, you should stand firm with your position and convince readers that your argument is the best one.

The Takeaway

In conclusion, a conclusion paragraph is necessary for every essay. Not only does it wrap things up, but it can also make for a compelling takeaway that your readers will remember.

So make sure to follow the tips and steps we mentioned on how to write a good conclusion paragraph for an essay.

last edit at Jan 13 2022