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12 Tips on How to Write an Effective Conclusion for an Essay

When writing an essay or term paper, conclusions are what many students are stuck on. This is very understandable. Out of everything that is taught when writing a paper, it is the conclusion that receives the least direction or guidance. An introduction states the topic you are going to be writing about, the body of your paper is the well, content, but a conclusion. It is not so obvious. However, it can be done, and it can be done well, so here are some tips for writing a good conclusion to an essay.

  1. Mirror the introduction. This is the simplest way to write a conclusion, and is good if you just want to get it done and over with. Just restate your thesis statement, write what you talked about, and reiterate your main points.
  2. Your conclusion is your last chance to leave an impression with the reader, so remember that your conclusion is trying to tie things up and give a sense of closure and completeness.
  3. You can try to emphasize the importance of what you talked about. Your introduction poses a question, the body of your paper is spend answering. Your conclusion can expose why it matters.
  4. Try writing the conclusion first! Conclusions are notoriously hard, but having them out of the way can free you up to worry about the rest of your paper. In addition, that also helps give structure to the rest of the essay- and the conclusion can always be improved after.
  5. Do not just give a summary- after all, your audience just read your paper. Try to bring all the points in your essay together in a coherent whole.
  6. Try to tie the conclusion and introduction together with a narrative- if you are writing a paper casual enough to allow it, starting to tell a personal experience in your introduction, and finishing it in the conclusion is a good way to give your paper cohesion.
  7. Pose a question to your reader. By doing this, you invite the reader to draw their own conclusions and continue to mull over your topic.
  8. Doesn’t angst too much over your conclusion – if you feel stuck, just write it, without going back, to edit until you are done. It doesn't matter if it is good or bad, you can fix it later, but the hardest part of writing may well be getting your start.
  9. Read conclusions from others' essays! This allows you to see what works and what does not.
  10. Your ideas are more than the sum of their parts- goes into detail about the full meaning of your ideas.
  11. Invite your reader to draw their own inferences from your paper, possibly by posing an interesting question, or offering another interpretation of your thoughts.
  12. Finally, edit! Most of the work in writing is in the editing, so you want to review your work to insure quality.
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