How to Write a Strong Conclusion for Your Essay

Last Updated: 12 May 2021

How to write a great essay conclusion paragraph

For many students, writing a captivating conclusion for an essay is part of the challenge in the essay writing process. Other challenges include choosing an excellent essay topic, writing a thesis statement, starting an essay, and outlining the essay. Luckily, we have shared tips and tricks on overcoming them and writing an essay that stands out. It is now our turn to handle the elephant in the room, we’ve skinned the entire deer, and only the tail remains. Enough with the analogies. We want to teach you how to conclude an essay the right way and get a good grade for it.

Everyone dreams of impressing their instructor or professor, which is a guarantee of getting an A. One strategy of doing so is to write a concluding paragraph. This ultimate guide on conclusion paragraph writing, outlining, examples, and tips are so robust that you can even use it to master how to write a conclusion for your research paper.

For the tips from our top writers, read the next few sections and master the art of crafting essay conclusions like a pro.

What is the conclusion in essay writing?

We must begin by looking at what an essay conclusion is. In simple terms, a conclusion, otherwise known as concluding or closing paragraph, refers to:

 The last paragraph of an essay or any other college paper (term paper, research paper, thesis, statement of purpose, dissertation, report, etc.) summarizes the thesis statement and major arguments in the academic paper in a manner to help the readers understand the gist of the essay or academic paper, and why it matters to them as an audience. The conclusion paragraph delineates the audience from non-audience.

You need to understand how to end an essay because:

Remember: A conclusion is never your chance to introduce new ideas. However, it is your chance to wind up your writing. Mainly, you need to restate your thesis, summarize the main arguments in the body of the essay, and hook your readers to your essay one last time. That’s it!

Outline/Anatomy of a Closing/Concluding Paragraph

Whether you are writing an essay, research paper, or any academic paper, the anatomy of the conclusion remains the same. We’ve covered the appropriate word count for essay conclusions depending on the word count for an essay or academic paper. Nonetheless, as a rule of thumb, your conclusion should be 10% of the entire word count, the same as your introduction. Generally, here is a skeleton of your conclusion:

1. Conclusion Signal or starter

This is the very first sentence in your conclusion paragraph that sets the pace for the paragraph. Here, you should restate the thesis of your essay, not as already in the introduction paragraph. Instead, you should paraphrase or reinvent your thesis statement.

If your thesis read: Children should be protected from violent parents, then the first line of your conclusion or the conclusion signal should read: Violent parents affect kids psychologically, socially, and sometimes spiritually, making it necessary to restrain them from interacting with the kids.

2. Summary of the main arguments

In 2-3 sentences, you should summarize your major arguments in the body of the essay. Then, tie the ideas to your thesis statement and the introduction. Finally, explain the relevance of the arguments to the thesis.

3. Concluding sentence/clincher

This is the last sentence in your essay or any paper, for that matter. It is a fruitful avenue for closure and connecting your readers to the thoughts in the introduction. No new ideas should be included. Sometimes, it can be a reflection of the main ideas.

When thinking of writing a good conclusion, a clincher should be one of the most critical aspects you think of. It should propel your reader to a new view on the subject of discussion in your essay. It should also elicit some emotions that signal closure and end on a positive note so that the audience is fulfilled by reading your paper.

How to effectively end an essay and not fail in three steps

Below are some effective steps you need to undertake to ensure that your conclusion sticks out.

Step 1: Restate your thesis as your conclusion signal

As we shall see later in this article, a conclusion is more effective: you signal to your reader the end of an essay by returning to the main argument. Authentically, this saves you the embarrassment of using the cliché conclusion transition words we have highlighted in the following sections of this guide.

Note that you are not repeating the thesis statement. Instead, you rephrase or reinvent the major argument such that you show its development from the introduction through the body paragraphs.

Step 2: Revisit your major arguments

You then need to remind your audience/reader of the main arguments you have used in your essay.

When doing this, avoid summarizing the body paragraphs. Instead, try to converge your main points to establish a connection with the thesis, body paragraphs, and the introduction in general.

Remember, it is the conclusion that shows how the paragraphs combine to support your thesis.

Step 3: link the conclusion to the topic and thesis

You now need to wrap up your conclusion by showing how it matters to your reader. Create a broader picture of your topic and think about the implications of the arguments in your essay. Examine the applicability of the arguments to multiple contexts, the connection of your arguments to themes or debates, and whether your arguments answer specific questions. You can also check whether the conclusion contributes to understanding the topic and whether it offers prediction or echoes the main points.

It does not matter what topic your essay about or what type your essay is; the conclusion must clearly emphasize your argument and tie it to the real world or your established context. If your essay ends on a high note, decisive sentence, or a clincher, you are guaranteed an excellent grade.

Check out the examples we have given in this guide and perfect your art of conclusion paragraph writing.

Five ways not to end an essay – Never do this!

Even though your conclusion transitions readers from your world to their own world, there are a few things that it is not. You do not need to write your conclusion in a manner that every reader loathes at it. Here are a few things that make an essay conclusion suck!

1. Avoid dwelling on summarizing facts

Even though your conclusion should summarize major arguments in your essay, don’t just summarize your essay. All you need to do is restate your thesis in a reinvented format, pick out the main ideas in the body – as reflected in your opening paragraph, and finish in a high tone.

If you are writing a short essay, you do not necessarily need to restate your supporting arguments. However, the readers will tell that you’ve only copied from the body paragraphs.

2. Don’t fall trap of cliches

Yes, we’ve heard of terms like “In conclusion,” “to conclude,” “in summary,” and “to sum up,” you name it – there are many concluding cliches out there. Even though these phrases work their magic in presentations, introducing your conclusion this way sounds demeaning to an audience. Your readers already know the tell-tale signs that the essay is in its last sections. It is pretty irritating to remind them that your sweet essay is ending. Do not do the obvious; stay different.

3. Do Not Apologize!

It is common to develop an imposter syndrome once you have researched and written an essay. The feeling that you are so overwhelmed with knowledge, yet only part of it features in your essay, should never worry you. If it does, the bug of writing a lousy conclusion automatically gets to you, and that is how you end up spoiling what would otherwise be a great essay. If you have any doubts about what’s in the essay, fight the doubts. Never undercut your authority by suggesting better approaches, demeaning your arguments, or claiming inferiority.

4. Do not introduce new ideas

Although your concluding paragraph should revisit and tie back to your arguments, avoid introducing new arguments, opinions, or ideas. Fresh ideas in your conclusion make you dumb. They tear away the marks awarded on the previous paragraphs and can be the only reason you fail or score average on your essay. You can only reflect on the presented ideas instead of introducing fresh ideas.

5. Do not repeat the thesis

Rehashing your thesis is a concluding strategy that never works all the time. It is the same as beginning your closing paragraph with overused phrases. Avoid repeating what is already in the instruction word-by-word. This only confuses your reader and proves to them that you are not as creative as you’ve displayed in the body paragraphs.

Your conclusion, if done well, should show progression and dynamism that cannot be achieved if you repeat the thesis. A serious audience will spot this, especially if it is a short essay.

Essentially, this is why most students score better in the introduction and body paragraphs but poorly for the conclusion, which earns them poor grades. So if you must eat the cake, ensure you start from the icing to the last layer; that is what good essay writing is about.

Examples and Styles of Concluding Paragraphs

There are different strategies that students can use when writing a conclusion paragraph for a college paper.

1. Stepping up

You can choose to amplify the major point of your essay or equally write the main idea from a different point of view given the context. This strategy effectively helps your readers to have a new point of view on the chosen topic. Furthermore, you get a chance to kit together with the new ideas in your arguments – especially if your reader does not already have your perspective, which creates meaning.

Example: If you are writing about the topic “Should we beat children?” a good conclusion can be:

Thesis statement: Children should not be beaten but instead talked to.

Conclusion example: Physical punishment is a useful and appropriate method of discipline in most cultures (Restated Thesis). Nevertheless, it should only be the last alternative for caring parents. Fundamentally, to build a world with peaceful individuals, peace at home should prevail. In addition, teaching children to be responsible through talking and not yelling could go a long way in helping the world embrace mediation and arbitration as a means of solving conflicts.

In this excellent conclusion example, you can vividly tell that the writer is tying conflict resolution to an issue of child punishment. But, again, bringing the expanded perspective will make your readers marvel at your creativity.

Another example:

Topic: Should dangerous sports be banned

Thesis statement: Dangerous sports should not be banned, but extra safety measures are adopted instead.

Concluding paragraph: Sports of all kinds make a healthier society. Therefore, it is necessary to come up with safety strategies that can mitigate injuries and accidents. Simultaneously, it is imperative to ensure that sports maintain fun, excitement, and challenge.

The above examples demonstrate how to conclude an essay to pass when stepping up your arguments. Let’s now have a look at how you can do so when echoing your essay.

2. Echoing the introduction method

Another common strategy is to paraphrase your entire essay introduction. For instance, you can choose to end your essay with the exact case or context presenting in your introduction to help you better understand the topic. You can leverage this strategy to prove your point too. However, you can’t just repeat what you said in your introduction paragraph. You need to tie in ideas you brought up in your paper to prove that your paper brings a new understanding to your topic. Here is an example:

Introduction:

The covid-19 pandemic has proven, once again, that the internet is beneficial in almost every aspect of society. The occasional pitfalls can be put aside to bring out the value of the internet in its numerous applications in society. From hospitals to businesses and now learning, the internet has enabled people to sail through the worst moments during the pandemic, when physical meetings were limited. It ensures flexibility, timeliness and breaks the geographical barriers altogether. Even with its shortcomings, the internet has proven to be resilient to human society; it is here to stay forever – and instead advance further, which is why focusing on its potential should be a priority.

Conclusion:

The invention of the internet was a historic milestone in society, which is now reaffirmed by the COVID-19 global pandemic. While it could have been a possibility for the world to come to a standstill, the internet offered alternatives to different aspects of life. People would work at home, students would still attend lectures and do exams, courts were operational, and every business operation ran online. While everyone thought the internet would be of little help, even those who resisted it at first, the pandemic revisited the hope that the internet is the future of humankind in terms of solutions.

3. Predictive conclusion strategy

You can also write your conclusion such that it emphasizes the importance of your essay while giving your readers something to digest, well mentally! Some of the common power words to include to have the predictive effect include “In case,” “if,” and “when.”

Example:

Although we need to ensure that animals used for testing new products have minimal suffering, it is arguable that animal testing is necessary and beneficial to humans in numerous ways. If there are any alternatives to animal testing, which prove to be effective as it is, stakeholders should think of transitioning testing to these novel strategies.

4. Challenging your readers

You can wind up your essay by challenging your readers, which helps them redirect the information in the paper and apply it to the issues around them.

Example:

Even though serving as a jury is an exciting experience and not a civic responsibility, people view jury duty as an undertaking that disrupts their personal schedules. Nevertheless, juries are actually an American promise of attaining a just and free society. Therefore, if you have an opportunity of being given jury duty challenges, you should take it as you will be a responsible citizen.

Words to use and not to use when concluding an essay

Transition words are a great conclusion signal, but to avoid irritating your readers and your teacher, please desist from using them.

Here are a few examples of conclusion transitions:

Restating the thesis as your concluding signal works better than the transitions. Sometimes, phrases that directly link to the major arguments or thesis will make a better conclusion. In our experience, writing the transition phrases at the opening sentence of the concluding paragraph irritates some instructors. If yours is still impressed by them, you can chance upon it. However, it is not practical lately. Instead, we group these phrases under clichés

There you go, now let’s wind this up!

To conclude an essay, ensure that you:

To this end, we can all agree that conclusions are the most challenging part of an essay to craft. You need to treat your conclusion as a delicate piece that completes the essay. Its core purpose is comparable to a memorable speech or a presentation that leaves the audience with high emotions.

The meaning and power of an essay conclusion depend on how well it is done. A conclusion is not a repetition of the intro, summary of the body paragraphs, or addition of new facts to an essay. Instead, consider it as a sales pitch for your essay.

A good conclusion paragraph should tie together the main points in the essay, distinguish your main arguments and why they matter, and leave your readers deeply impressed. Finally, note that your essay offers closure and completion of every great argument in the essay and shows an interpretational direction for the audience.