Your conclusion paragraph should begin with a smooth transition from the body of your essay. The first sentence of your paragraph should include clear transition words to signal to your reader that you are beginning to wrap up your essay. Different transition words can have different effects, so be sure to choose a transition word or phrase that clearly communicates that you are closing your essay. Some common examples of conclusion transition words and phrases include:

  • In conclusion,
  • To conclude,
  • Finally,
  • To sum up,
  • As previously stated.

Once you have signalled that you are drawing your essay to a close, you can then restate the primary points of your essay. Depending on the length of your essay, this may be done in a single sentence, or it may require a few sentences. Be concise and clear; you should be able to summarise each main point in a simple phrase that avoids restating each detail and piece of evidence related to the point. Also simply list off the point as a reminder to your audience about what they’ve just read.

Restate your main points

Finally, if you are writing an argumentative essay, you’ll want to clearly restate your main argument in order to leave readers with one final appeal. If you have provided enough evidence along the way, this restatement should make readers feel as if you’ve persuaded them fully.

Call to action

For some expository and argumentative essays, it’s appropriate to end with a call to action as your last sentence. For example, if you’re writing an informative essay about the sea creatures that live in the very deepest parts of the ocean, you may close with a sentence like this: “It’s clear that today’s scientists should continue to observe and document these mysterious creatures, so we may learn more about the life at the bottom of the ocean.” A call to action like this can make your reader feel inspired and informed after reading your essay.

What to avoid

When writing a strong conclusion paragraph, you want to keep it simple. Use a clear transition word or phrase, restate your main points and arguments, and possibly finish with a call to action. Be sure to avoid the following common mistakes:

  • New information. Your conclusion is not the place to introduce anything new. Simply restate and summarise the main points clearly.
  • Personal opinion. Unless you are writing an opinion piece that includes several “I” statements throughout, avoid ending your essay with a sudden “I think…” or “I feel…” If you haven’t been including your personal opinion throughout the essay, then you shouldn’t insert your opinion into the conclusion.
  • Lots of detail. When you restate your main points, don’t worry about restating all the small details that make up your description or evidence. The place for details is in your body paragraphs. The conclusion is simply for summary and a possible call for action or next steps.
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