Writing a Conclusion

WRITING A CONCLUSION
 
Your conclusion is your chance to have the last word on the subject. The conclusion allows you to have the final say on the issues you have raised in your paper, to summarize your thoughts, to demonstrate the importance of your ideas, and to propel your reader to a new view of the subject. It is also your opportunity to make a good final impression and to end on a positive note.
 
Answer the question “so what?”
Show your readers why this paper was important. Show them that your paper was meaningful and useful.
 
Synthesize, don’t summarize
Don’t simply repeat things that were in your paper. They have read it. Show them how the points you made and the support and examples you used were not random, but fit together.
 
Redirect your readers
Give your reader something to think about, perhaps a way to use your paper in the “real” world. If your introduction went from general to specific, make your conclusion go from specific to general. Think globally.
 
Create a new meaning
You don’t have to give new information to create a new meaning. By demonstrating how your ideas work together, you can create a new picture. Often the sum of the paper is worth more than its parts.
 
Echoing the introduction
Echoing your introduction can be a good strategy if it is meant to bring the reader full-circle. If you begin by describing a scenario, you can end with the same scenario as proof that y our essay was helpful in creating a new understanding.
 
Challenging the reader
By issuing a challenge to your readers, you are helping them to redirect the information in the paper, and they may apply it to their own lives.
 
Looking to the future
Looking to the future can emphasize the importance of your paper or redirect the readers’ thought process. It may help them apply the new information to their lives or see things more globally. Propose a course of action, a solution to an issue, or questions for further study.
 
Posing questions
Posing questions, either to your leaders or in general, may help your readers gain a new perspective on the topic, which they may not have held before reading your conclusion. It may also bring your main ideas together to create a new meaning.
Using insight or quotations
Include a provocative insight or quotation from the research or reading you did for your paper
 
Point to broader implications
For example, if your paper examines the Greensboro sit-ins or another even in the Civil Rights Movement, you could point out its impact on the Civil Rights Movement as a whole. A paper about the style of writer Virginia Woolf could point to her influence on other writers or on l