It’s your last chance to impress, so avoid repetition! Your essay conclusion should be captivating and compelling.
But it’s not easy to write a first-class conclusion. In fact, the essay conclusion is probably the hardest section to write because there’s a tricky balance to strike…
On the one hand, you should NOT introduce new theories and concepts. But, on the other, you should reframe your arguments from a somewhat ‘new’ perspective.
Confused? Don’t worry, academics from our essay writing service will show you how to write a conclusion for an essay.
What is the purpose of a conclusion?
The essay conclusion has several objectives. On a practical level, it should summarise the key points that were made in the essay. But more than this, it should clearly show how each point contributes to the overall ‘argument’.
The conclusion is also a place to emphasise the relevance of essay material that might have seemed tangential to the reader. In other words, it’s a place to tie up loose ends. And, finally, the essay conclusion should engage the reader and encourage them to react to your arguments.
5 components of a good essay conclusion
To be more specific, an essay conclusion should do the following:
- Revisit the initial essay question
- Summarise (but not repeat) the arguments put forward in the essay
- Offer a slightly new perspective
- Acknowledge the implications of the arguments put forward in the essay
- Leave a lasting impression
When you break it down into 5 steps, it does seem a lot more manageable. Let’s break it down even further and see how to carry out each of these steps.
1. Revisit the essay question
When you begin your conclusion, you should always refer back to the essay question. This will clearly show your tutor that you’ve answered the question.
To keep things simple, you could begin your essay conclusion with the following statement,
Once you’ve re-stated the essay question, it’s time to summarise your arguments…
2. How to summarise your arguments without repeating yourself
As mentioned, the essay conclusion should summarise the key arguments that were made in the essay. However, you should not copy sentences from the essay and paste them into the conclusion. Try this instead,
- Read through your essay and highlight the most important sentence in each paragraph.
- Then, in a new Word document, re-write each highlighted sentence.
- Look for any links between these sentences.
- Finally, summarise all of these sentences into two or three new sentences.
You should be left with a paraphrased summary of your essay that’s both ‘new’ and ‘not new’.
Summarising your ideas (without repeating yourself) is an important skill to have. It shows that you have the confidence and vocabulary to put forward a convincing argument. And confident communicators earn the best grades!
Lacking the confidence to express your ideas? Our academics can help!
3. Offer a slightly new perspective
Once you’ve summarised your key arguments, it’s time to go one step further. Many students miss this step, but that’s a shame because it’s likely to earn you the best grades.
In essence, you should try to offer a slightly renewed perspective or an advanced level of insight. This comes back to what we were saying about including some ‘new’ information in your essay conclusion!
So, let’s say that one of your key arguments is that ‘Amazon is an unsustainable company because it uses large amounts of plastic packaging’.
In your conclusion of an essay, you might take things one step further by saying that ‘Since Amazon is a highly competitive MNC, perhaps this has given managers the confidence to flout consumers’ preferences for sustainable packaging’.
In the second quote, you’re reflecting on the reasons why Amazon might be continuing to use plastic packaging in spite of consumers’ preferences for sustainable packaging. This is a very simple example, but it demonstrates how your concluding remarks should offer a slightly new (and advanced) perspective on the topic at hand.
4. What are the implications of your essay?
In most cases, the essay conclusion should also consider the implications of your argument(s). Based on the argument you have put forward, you might consider:
- Practical applications for professional workers
- Recommendations you’d make for industry professionals
- Areas of study that require further research
If you consider the implications of your argument, you’re essentially telling your tutor that you can ‘see the bigger picture’.
As an example,
5. How to leave a lasting impression!
The final stage of the process is to leave a lasting impression on your reader. As mentioned, you should encourage your reader to engage with and react to your arguments. There are several ways you can do this:
- Incite emotions – anger, joy, sadness, frustration etc.
- Ask the reader a question
- Use idioms* (an idiom is an expression that has a figurative meaning that is different from its literal meaning) – According to Grammarly, idioms can draw your reader in and awaken their senses!
- Use proverbs* – common sayings
*Idioms and proverbs should be used sparingly as they can be considered quite informal.
As an example,
This statement describes a particular emotion (infuriation) that, perhaps, the reader can relate to.
‘Time will tell’ is an idiom, and ‘too little too late’ is a well-known proverb. These phrases help to breathe life into the closing statements.
The hallmarks of a weak essay conclusion
Here are some of the things you should avoid when you write an essay conclusion:
- Introducing new theories or references – Don’t discuss a new theory or concept in the conclusion as this many confuse the reader. The purpose of a conclusion is to sum up your argument in relation to the theories/concepts you’ve discussed in the essay.
- Waffling on – Don’t just waffle on for the sake of increasing the word count. Conclusions should be concise and compelling!
- Sitting on the fence – The strongest essays present two sides of a debate but then choose an allegiance to one side. Avoid sitting on the fence as it suggests you haven’t formed your own opinion on the topic.
- Writing too much/too little – Typically, aim for between 5 and 10% of your total word count. So, if your essay is 2000 words, the essay conclusion should be 100-200 words.
In summary, the conclusion should review the points made in the essay. But avoid repetition! Above all, try to encourage the reader to engage with your arguments. That way, you’re more likely to leave a lasting impression on your reader.