Conclusion Paragraphs

A conclusion paragraph should echo your main idea and support or summarize your examples without dully restating them.  The following are six ways to approach your conclusion:

The Simple Summary

  • restates the main points of the essay
  • is effective for long essays dealing in unfamiliar concepts
  • BUT… can seem dull in short essays

The Pan to a Larger Landscape Approach

  • demonstrates how the topic has a broad significance
  • reveals the importance of the issue discussed
  • may use an analogy as a tool for expressing significance
  • may tie topic to larger philosophical question, political issue, etc.
  • BUT… the writer must be careful to make the connection to the thesis clear

The Proposal Conclusion

  • asks readers to do something through a call to action
  • is often used in analyses and arguments
  • can also call for further study

The Scenic or Anecdotal Conclusion

  • uses a scene or a brief story to subtly demonstrate the topic’s significance
  • established emotional connection with the reader
  • can be effective in argumentative essays

The Hook and Return

  • returns to the essay’s “hook” or lead-in device
  • reviews a scene or example that grabs the reader’s attention in the beginning and takes it one step further
  • unifies the essay

The Delayed Thesis

  • can be used when the essay takes an exploratory approach, opening with a question or problem, and then deals with a variety of proposals and solutions
  • states the thesis as a discovery
  • is effective for controversial issues because all sides can be examined

Compiled from: The Allyn and Bacon Guide to Writing, John D. Ramage and John Bean, eds.