Tying Up Loose Ends: How to Compose an Effective Conclusion

A strong concluding paragraph usually provides a summary or overview of the paper, but also answers “so what?” or demonstrates the relevancy and importance of the paper’s argument. Good conclusions often call the reader to action or make the reader think.

Types of Concluding Paragraphs

  1. Ending with a Summary – A conclusion may contain a summary of the main points of the essay.
  2. Ending with a Prediction – Some concluding paragraphs may predict future developments related to the topic, such as possible directions for future research.
  3. Ending with a Recommendation – If a problem has been presented in the paper, then the conclusion may contain a potential solution or a rationale for a solution discussed in the paper.
  4. Ending with a Quotation – A quotation drawn from a credible source may reinforce the main points of a paper.

Tips for Writing Strong Conclusions

  • Phrases to avoid in your concluding paragraph:
    • In summary…
    • In conclusion…
    • Finally…
  • Combine types of conclusions, i.e., use a quote with a summary.
  • Restate your thesis in an original way.