How to Write a Strong Conclusion Paragraph in an Argumentative Essay
You have been asked to write an argumentative essay and after all the work you put into doing research and writing the introductory and body paragraphs, you are left wondering about what you can write in the conclusion paragraph.
“What do I say that hasn’t been said already,” you wonder.
Well, you aren’t alone. The conclusion paragraph is indeed the section that gets the least attention. By the time people get to the end, they are often confused about how to approach it.
Don’t take writing conclusions lightly because it is the finishing touch that packages your essay properly, letting the reader know that you have given the essay the closure it deserves. Regardless of how strong the arguments raised are, if your conclusion is weak, your essay will be rendered incomplete.Regardless of how strong the arguments raised are, if your conclusion is weak, your essay will be rendered incomplete.
- Everything you Need to Know to Draft a Good Conclusion for an Essay
- How to Write an Impactful Conclusion Paragraph that Leaves a Positive Impression
- Are You Making These Mistakes While Writing a Conclusion Paragraph
Everything you Need to Know to Draft a Good Conclusion for an Essay
So you have stated your thesis, presented background information, introduced evidence, stated your point of view and refuted objections within the argumentative essay. Now, it is time to conclude. Read on as we tell you the do’s and don’ts of writing conclusion paragraphs.
How to Write an Impactful Conclusion Paragraph that Leaves a Positive Impression
A conclusion paragraph is like the final farewell - it needs to be impactful and effective. The way you choose to conclude your essay can make or break the impression you leave on the instructor.
So, here’s a look at 5 tips to help you write a strong conclusion for an argumentative essay.
Read What is Written
Whether or not the essay is written at a stretch, once you are done with the introduction and body paragraphs, it is important to give a thorough reading. This is the time you can assess whether you have left any key points or examples out and make amends.
Once that is done, read it once again in its entirety – this is the first step in planning the concluding paragraph. By going over the rest of the essay, you can make a note of the main points and ensure you reinstate them in the conclusion. Not just that, this exercise also ensures you don’t repeat any statements as is.
Re-emphasize Your Viewpoint
What were the strongest arguments you made in the paper?
Begin the conclusion by reminding the reader of your viewpoint by reinstating the most logical arguments you made in the essay. Use this space to tie loose ends and summarize the main points. The conclusion needs to act as a reminder, stating why your viewpoint matters.
Remember this is your last chance to convince the reader about your chosen argument. That said, don’t get down to summarizing the entire essay. What is important is readdressing your point of view in the most convincing manner.
Discuss Possible Implications
So you have reminded the reader of your argument or the stand you are taking in the essay. Why not push them to think about it?
It’s a good idea to discuss possible implications in the conclusion paragraph of an argumentative essay. What does that include? You can discuss hypothetical situations (along with examples) that can arise if the reader goes with your point of view. Alternatively, you can also get them to ponder about ramifications of going with the opposing point of view.
Either way, the idea is to get them to consider your main argument and derive logical sense out of it.
Appeal to Emotions
Remember the goal of the concluding paragraph needs to be to leave the reader with a memorable final impression and the most effective way to do that is to appeal to their emotions.
Whether it’s urging action, attracting empathy or rousing anger – the idea is to get the reader to agree with your point of view. While the stance needs to be put forth logically, you can certainly make emotional appeals in the last paragraph to get them to agree. In short, you need to appeal to the reader’s head and heart, especially when it comes to writing an argumentative essay.
End with a Question
Some questions are not meant to be answered - they are just used for emphasis and to leave the reader with something to think about.
So yes, you can consider ending with a question and asking a rhetorical question in the conclusion paragraph. This keeps the reader engaged till the last sentence and enhances the recall value of your essay.
Just make sure your questions are relevant to the main point of the argumentative essay and ensure they are crafted in a manner that strengthens your argument or point of view.
Are You Making These Mistakes While Writing a Conclusion Paragraph
Now that you know what you should include in a conclusion paragraph of an argumentative essay, it’s almost important to take note of what you should not include and avoid at all costs.
Here are 6 common mistakes students make while writing a conclusion paragraph.
Present New Information
By the time you reach the conclusion, you should have said it all. If you haven’t, revisit the essay and identify gaps because the concluding paragraph is not the place to introduce new arguments, facts or information.
Doing this weakens the paper and reflects your poor planning. So, don’t confuse the reader and only focus on presenting already mentioned arguments and data in a new way rather than adding more layers to the paper.
Repeat the Thesis Statement
Imagine reading the thesis statement in the introduction and having to read it all over again in the conclusion paragraph. You don’t want your instructor thinking, “Didn’t I just read this statement?”.
Repeating the thesis statement is a complete no-no. You should rewrite it in other words while tying together the main arguments raised but doing a copy-paste job without adding any value will do nothing to the conclusion.
If anything, you should take your thesis statement to the next level and substantiate it such that the reader can make the connection and be convinced about your writing.
Check this video by Jill Jackson on how you can restate your thesis statement in the conclusion
Regardless of how unsure you are of your writing skills or the stance you are taking, don’t ever make the mistake of showing it in your essay. The last thing you want to do is let all that effort go to waste by being apologetic in the last paragraph.
Avoid phrases like “I am not sure but…”, “This is just my opinion..” or “I might be wrong..” and the likes because it makes you seem apologetic and under confident - and that’s certainly not the indication you want to give.
You need to be confident about your point of view and own up to it. It’s the instructor’s job to assess how you have articulated it and justified your stance.
As they say, “Self confidence carries conviction, it makes other people believe in us.” So, go for it - write with utmost conviction!
Start with Overused Phrases
If you are wondering, “How should I start the conclusion paragraph?”, know this that you certainly should not begin with “Finally..”, “Lastly..”, “As stated earlier..”, “In a nutshell…” and similar overused phrases.
Yes, transitions are important. The right transition words make the essay more cohesive and help the reader go from paragraph to another with ease, while retaining the connection between them.
However, when it comes to starting the conclusion paragraph, the reader knows it is the conclusion, you don’t need to spell it out. Hence, you must use transition words that make the flow seem organic and smooth.
Here’s a video by Liz enlisting some transition words or linkers you can use to begin the concluding paragraph
End with a Quote
Integrating quotes in the introduction or body paragraphs is a great way to hook readers or emphasize a point but ending the essay with a quote is not really a good idea.
Why, you ask? That’s because the conclusion needs to be about summing up and using your voice to strengthen your voice. This is not the place to insert an expert’s quote and wash your hands of it.
You want readers to leave thinking about the points and arguments you raised, not what some leader or author had to say about the same topic.
Do a Hurried Job
As the conclusion paragraph is the last step in the writing process, it often gets sidelined. This is especially true when you are writing your essay in the very last minute.
If you don’t give enough time and thought to writing a conclusion because you see it as an insignificant aspect of your essay, you are highly mistaken.
The conclusion is as important as the introduction (if not more) because it is your golden opportunity to reinstate the main points and thesis statement in a concise manner and package it such that it gives a feeling of closure.
Like it or not – your essay is likely to be remembered by the most recent thing the reader has read which happens to be the concluding paragraph. This means that you certainly cannot get lazy while writing this section and let all your efforts go waste.
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