The conclusion to your essay is your final say on everything that precedes it, providing a sense of closure. Planning your conclusion is thus vital if you want to leave a positive impression on your reader. Here we offer six conclusion tips, including three things you should do and three things to avoid.
A Good Conclusion Should…
Our first conclusion tips are about thing you should do, including:
1. Synthesise (Not Summarise)
One mistake people make when writing their conclusion is to simply summarise their research. However, while you should provide a brief summary of your main points, your conclusion must also clarify how these ideas come together to support your main argument.
2. Answer ‘So What?’
A popular strategy for writing a conclusion is to work through your main points, asking yourself ‘so what?’ Answering this question can help you focus on the significance of your arguments, rather than simply restating them.
3. Look to the Future
Another approach to writing a conclusion is to consider what might come next. Consider whether your research has any practical implications or suggests any new avenues of inquiry.
Your Conclusion Shouldn’t…
There are also things you shouldn’t do when writing a conclusion, including:
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1. Be Repetitive
Many people begin their conclusion with a slightly modified version of their thesis statement or introductory paragraph. But your conclusion should be an inference from the ideas that precede it, so simply restating something from earlier in your essay is not going to offer any real insight.
2. Introduce New Ideas
While your conclusion should provide a last word on your research, it’s not the place to introduce new concepts or evidence. If it’s important enough to put in your conclusion, it’s important enough to include in your main essay.
3. Save Your Thesis for a Grand Finale
No matter how big of a Poirot fan you might be, your essay is not a mystery story. The temptation to save your thesis statement until the conclusion, as if it was a twist in the tale rather than the central focus of your argument, is therefore one that should be resisted.
If this post has proved helpful, you might want to check out the rest of the writing tips on our academic blog.