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Writing Center: Writing Conclusions

A guide to information to help you research and write more effectively.

FAQs About Conclusions

What is the purpose of a conclusion?

The purpose of a conclusion is to summarize what points were made in the paper and leave the readers with a takeaway. 

What should be included in a conclusion? 

A conclusion should restate the thesis statement, explain how the argument of the thesis statement was supported in the paper, and describe the significance of the argument in the thesis statement. 

Tips For Writing Conclusions

  • Try to answer the following questions in your conclusion: 
    • What was the main argument in your paper? 
    • What supporting arguments did you provide? 
    • How did these supporting arguments prove your main argument? 
    • What is the significance of this argument? 
    • Why should the audience care about your argument? 
    • What do you want the audience to learn from your paper?
  • Avoid the following conclusions: 
    • Restatement of thesis: This conclusion simply restates the thesis statement and does not add much more. 
    • Revealed Thesis: This conclusion reveals the thesis of the paper for the first time. Writers usually have this type of conclusion when they only wrote one draft of the essay and did not discover their thesis until the end. 
    • Grab Bag: This conclusion introduces new information in the conclusion that was not previously mentioned in the main body or introduction. 
    • Emotional Appeal: This conclusion makes an appeal to emotions that is not characteristic of the tone of the rest of the paper. 
  • Avoid the following approaches in conclusions: 
    • Beginning with an overused phrase, such as “in conclusion,” or “in summary”
    • Stating the thesis for the first time in the conclusion 
    • Stating the thesis statement without pointing to the evidence supporting it and the significance of the argument 
    • Introducing new ideas in the conclusion 
    • Including new evidence that should have been included in the main body of the paper
    • Restating supporting arguments without showing how these arguments support the thesis statement 

Tentative Structure Of Conclusions

  • Rephrase your thesis statement and remind the reader of your argument 
  • Summarize the points you made to support your thesis statement and the reasons these points support the thesis statement 
  • Explain the significance and broader implications of your argument. Consider: 
    • Why is your argument important? 
    • What do you want the reader to think differently about? 
    • What would you recommend the readers do with the information you gave them? 

Checklist For Conclusions

  • The thesis statement is rephrased 
  • Supporting arguments and points are restated 
  • Explanations are given about how each of the supporting arguments proves and/or supports the thesis statement 
  • Describes the significance and implications of the argument in the thesis statement
  • Answers the question of, “So what?” for the audience
  • Ends with a strong takeaway statement that the audience will remember 
  • Does not contain new information and only includes information that was previously stated in the main body or introduction of the paper

Additional Resources For Conclusions