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a conclusion paragraph should include what

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One of the most common questions we receive at the Writing Center is “what am I supposed to do in my conclusion?” This is a difficult question to answer because there’s no one right answer to what belongs in a conclusion. How you conclude your paper will depend on where you started—and where you traveled. It will also depend on the conventions and expectations of the discipline in which you are writing. For example, while the conclusion to a STEM paper could focus on questions for further study, the conclusion of a literature paper could include a quotation from your central text that can now be understood differently in light of what has been discussed in the paper. You should consult your instructor about expectations for conclusions in a particular discipline.

With that in mind, here are some general guidelines you might find helpful to use as you think about your conclusion.  

Begin with the “what”  

In a short paper—even a research paper—you don’t need to provide an exhaustive summary as part of your conclusion. But you do need to make some kind of transition between your final body paragraph and your concluding paragraph. This may come in the form of a few sentences of summary. Or it may come in the form of a sentence that brings your readers back to your thesis or main idea and reminds your readers where you began and how far you have traveled.

So, for example, in a paper about the relationship between ADHD and rejection sensitivity, Vanessa Roser begins by introducing readers to the fact that researchers have studied the relationship between the two conditions and then provides her explanation of that relationship. Here’s her thesis: “While socialization may indeed be an important factor in RS, I argue that individuals with ADHD may also possess a neurological predisposition to RS that is exacerbated by the differing executive and emotional regulation characteristic of ADHD.”

In her final paragraph, Roser reminds us of where she started by echoing her thesis: “This literature demonstrates that, as with many other conditions, ADHD and RS share a delicately intertwined pattern of neurological similarities that is rooted in the innate biology of an individual’s mind, a connection that cannot be explained in full by the behavioral mediation hypothesis.”  

Highlight the “so what”  

At the beginning of your paper, you explain to your readers what’s at stake—why they should care about the argument you’re making. In your conclusion, you can bring readers back to those stakes by reminding them why your argument is important in the first place. You can also draft a few sentences that put those stakes into a new or broader context.

In the conclusion to her paper about ADHD and RS, Roser echoes the stakes she established in her introduction—that research into connections between ADHD and RS has led to contradictory results, raising questions about the “behavioral mediation hypothesis.”

She writes, “as with many other conditions, ADHD and RS share a delicately intertwined pattern of neurological similarities that is rooted in the innate biology of an individual’s mind, a connection that cannot be explained in full by the behavioral mediation hypothesis.”  

Leave your readers with the “now what”  

After the “what” and the “so what,” you should leave your reader with some final thoughts. If you have written a strong introduction, your readers will know why you have been arguing what you have been arguing—and why they should care. And if you’ve made a good case for your thesis, then your readers should be in a position to see things in a new way, understand new questions, or be ready for something that they weren’t ready for before they read your paper.

In her conclusion, Roser offers two “now what” statements. First, she explains that it is important to recognize that the flawed behavioral mediation hypothesis “seems to place a degree of fault on the individual. It implies that individuals with ADHD must have elicited such frequent or intense rejection by virtue of their inadequate social skills, erasing the possibility that they may simply possess a natural sensitivity to emotion.” She then highlights the broader implications for treatment of people with ADHD, noting that recognizing the actual connection between rejection sensitivity and ADHD “has profound implications for understanding how individuals with ADHD might best be treated in educational settings, by counselors, family, peers, or even society as a whole.”

To find your own “now what” for your essay’s conclusion, try asking yourself these questions:

  • What can my readers now understand, see in a new light, or grapple with that they would not have understood in the same way before reading my paper? Are we a step closer to understanding a larger phenomenon or to understanding why what was at stake is so important?  
  • What questions can I now raise that would not have made sense at the beginning of my paper? Questions for further research? Other ways that this topic could be approached?  
  • Are there other applications for my research? Could my questions be asked about different data in a different context? Could I use my methods to answer a different question?  
  • What action should be taken in light of this argument? What action do I predict will be taken or could lead to a solution?  
  • What larger context might my argument be a part of?  

What to avoid in your conclusion  

  • a complete restatement of all that you have said in your paper.  
  • a substantial counterargument that you do not have space to refute; you should introduce counterarguments before your conclusion.  
  • an apology for what you have not said. If you need to explain the scope of your paper, you should do this sooner—but don’t apologize for what you have not discussed in your paper.  
  • fake transitions like “in conclusion” that are followed by sentences that aren’t actually conclusions. (“In conclusion, I have now demonstrated that my thesis is correct.”)
  • Tips for Reading an Assignment Prompt
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The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Conclusions

What this handout is about.

This handout will explain the functions of conclusions, offer strategies for writing effective ones, help you evaluate conclusions you’ve drafted, and suggest approaches to avoid.

About conclusions

Introductions and conclusions can be difficult to write, but they’re worth investing time in. They can have a significant influence on a reader’s experience of your paper.

Just as your introduction acts as a bridge that transports your readers from their own lives into the “place” of your analysis, your conclusion can provide a bridge to help your readers make the transition back to their daily lives. Such a conclusion will help them see why all your analysis and information should matter to them after they put the paper down.

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 synthesize 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.

Your conclusion can go beyond the confines of the assignment. The conclusion pushes beyond the boundaries of the prompt and allows you to consider broader issues, make new connections, and elaborate on the significance of your findings.

Your conclusion should make your readers glad they read your paper. Your conclusion gives your reader something to take away that will help them see things differently or appreciate your topic in personally relevant ways. It can suggest broader implications that will not only interest your reader, but also enrich your reader’s life in some way. It is your gift to the reader.

Strategies for writing an effective conclusion

One or more of the following strategies may help you write an effective conclusion:

  • Play the “So What” Game. If you’re stuck and feel like your conclusion isn’t saying anything new or interesting, ask a friend to read it with you. Whenever you make a statement from your conclusion, ask the friend to say, “So what?” or “Why should anybody care?” Then ponder that question and answer it. Here’s how it might go: You: Basically, I’m just saying that education was important to Douglass. Friend: So what? You: Well, it was important because it was a key to him feeling like a free and equal citizen. Friend: Why should anybody care? You: That’s important because plantation owners tried to keep slaves from being educated so that they could maintain control. When Douglass obtained an education, he undermined that control personally. You can also use this strategy on your own, asking yourself “So What?” as you develop your ideas or your draft.
  • Return to the theme or themes in the introduction. This strategy brings the reader full circle. For example, if you begin by describing a scenario, you can end with the same scenario as proof that your essay is helpful in creating a new understanding. You may also refer to the introductory paragraph by using key words or parallel concepts and images that you also used in the introduction.
  • Synthesize, don’t summarize. Include a brief summary of the paper’s main points, but don’t simply repeat things that were in your paper. Instead, show your reader how the points you made and the support and examples you used fit together. Pull it all together.
  • Include a provocative insight or quotation from the research or reading you did for your paper.
  • Propose a course of action, a solution to an issue, or questions for further study. This can redirect your reader’s thought process and help her to apply your info and ideas to her own life or to see the broader implications.
  • Point to broader implications. For example, if your paper examines the Greensboro sit-ins or another event 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 later feminists.

Strategies to avoid

  • Beginning with an unnecessary, overused phrase such as “in conclusion,” “in summary,” or “in closing.” Although these phrases can work in speeches, they come across as wooden and trite in writing.
  • Stating the thesis for the very first time in the conclusion.
  • Introducing a new idea or subtopic in your conclusion.
  • Ending with a rephrased thesis statement without any substantive changes.
  • Making sentimental, emotional appeals that are out of character with the rest of an analytical paper.
  • Including evidence (quotations, statistics, etc.) that should be in the body of the paper.

Four kinds of ineffective conclusions

  • The “That’s My Story and I’m Sticking to It” Conclusion. This conclusion just restates the thesis and is usually painfully short. It does not push the ideas forward. People write this kind of conclusion when they can’t think of anything else to say. Example: In conclusion, Frederick Douglass was, as we have seen, a pioneer in American education, proving that education was a major force for social change with regard to slavery.
  • The “Sherlock Holmes” Conclusion. Sometimes writers will state the thesis for the very first time in the conclusion. You might be tempted to use this strategy if you don’t want to give everything away too early in your paper. You may think it would be more dramatic to keep the reader in the dark until the end and then “wow” him with your main idea, as in a Sherlock Holmes mystery. The reader, however, does not expect a mystery, but an analytical discussion of your topic in an academic style, with the main argument (thesis) stated up front. Example: (After a paper that lists numerous incidents from the book but never says what these incidents reveal about Douglass and his views on education): So, as the evidence above demonstrates, Douglass saw education as a way to undermine the slaveholders’ power and also an important step toward freedom.
  • The “America the Beautiful”/”I Am Woman”/”We Shall Overcome” Conclusion. This kind of conclusion usually draws on emotion to make its appeal, but while this emotion and even sentimentality may be very heartfelt, it is usually out of character with the rest of an analytical paper. A more sophisticated commentary, rather than emotional praise, would be a more fitting tribute to the topic. Example: Because of the efforts of fine Americans like Frederick Douglass, countless others have seen the shining beacon of light that is education. His example was a torch that lit the way for others. Frederick Douglass was truly an American hero.
  • The “Grab Bag” Conclusion. This kind of conclusion includes extra information that the writer found or thought of but couldn’t integrate into the main paper. You may find it hard to leave out details that you discovered after hours of research and thought, but adding random facts and bits of evidence at the end of an otherwise-well-organized essay can just create confusion. Example: In addition to being an educational pioneer, Frederick Douglass provides an interesting case study for masculinity in the American South. He also offers historians an interesting glimpse into slave resistance when he confronts Covey, the overseer. His relationships with female relatives reveal the importance of family in the slave community.

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Douglass, Frederick. 1995. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself. New York: Dover.

Hamilton College. n.d. “Conclusions.” Writing Center. Accessed June 14, 2019. https://www.hamilton.edu//academics/centers/writing/writing-resources/conclusions .

Holewa, Randa. 2004. “Strategies for Writing a Conclusion.” LEO: Literacy Education Online. Last updated February 19, 2004. https://leo.stcloudstate.edu/acadwrite/conclude.html.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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This resource outlines the generally accepted structure for introductions, body paragraphs, and conclusions in an academic argument paper. Keep in mind that this resource contains guidelines and not strict rules about organization. Your structure needs to be flexible enough to meet the requirements of your purpose and audience.

Conclusions wrap up what you have been discussing in your paper. After moving from general to specific information in the introduction and body paragraphs, your conclusion should begin pulling back into more general information that restates the main points of your argument. Conclusions may also call for action or overview future possible research. The following outline may help you conclude your paper:

In a general way,

  • Restate your topic and why it is important,
  • Restate your thesis/claim,
  • Address opposing viewpoints and explain why readers should align with your position,
  • Call for action or overview future research possibilities.

Remember that once you accomplish these tasks, unless otherwise directed by your instructor, you are finished. Done. Complete. Don't try to bring in new points or end with a whiz bang(!) conclusion or try to solve world hunger in the final sentence of your conclusion. Simplicity is best for a clear, convincing message.

The preacher's maxim is one of the most effective formulas to follow for argument papers:

Tell what you're going to tell them (introduction).

Tell them (body).

Tell them what you told them (conclusion).

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How to Conclude a Paragraph

Last Updated: December 13, 2023 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Diane Stubbs and by wikiHow staff writer, Danielle Blinka, MA, MPA . Diane Stubbs is a Secondary English Teacher with over 22 years of experience teaching all high school grade levels and AP courses. She specializes in secondary education, classroom management, and educational technology. Diane earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Delaware and a Master of Education from Wesley College. There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 106,986 times.

If you want a body paragraph to be effective, you need to conclude it properly — a closing sentence is as imperative as a conclusion is to an essay or a research paper. Closing or concluding sentences act like a concluding paragraph in an essay and review the points you made in the paragraph. To effectively conclude a paragraph, restate your topic sentence and include what you taught the reader. Tailor the sentence to the type of essay you’re writing, whether it’s a persuasive or compare and contrast essay.

Reviewing Your Paragraph

Step 1 Reread what you’ve written.

  • Focus on what you lay out in the topic sentence.
  • Note your evidence and details.

Step 2 Focus on the main idea.

  • If your topic sentence reads, “Cats may be small, but they’re mighty predators,” then your main idea is that cats are big hunters.
  • Your concluding statement should show how your paragraph supported the idea that cats are big predators. For example, a closing statement might read, “Based on these statistics, cats are predators who hunt frequently and decrease the area bird population.”

Step 3 Summarize your ideas.

  • For example, the closing statement above, “Based on these statistics, cats are predators who hunt frequently and decrease the area bird population,” reminds the reader that the paragraph just provided statistics about how often cats hunt and how they impact the local bird population. These details support the main idea, and the writer has mentioned both.

Drafting a Closing Statement

Step 1 Begin the sentence with a signal word, if desired.

  • Consequently
  • As a result

Step 2 Restate the topic sentence.

  • An example topic sentence might read: “Cats are natural predators because they enjoy hunting and will even hunt for sport.”
  • Your concluding statement for this paragraph might read: “As a result of their continued hunts even after they’re domesticated and provided cat food, cats are proven to be natural predators.”

Step 3 Reassert your point in a persuasive essay.

  • As an example, “The data shows that cats hunt even when they have steady meals, which proves that they are natural hunters.”

Step 4 Focus on the similarities and differences in a compare and contrast essay.

  • For example, “As the data shows, feral cats hunt 140% more than domestic cats.”

Step 5 Show how the facts are related in a cause and effect essay.

  • For example, “Consequently, homes that own cats have fewer birds living in their yards.”

Step 6 Sum up your facts in an informative essay.

  • For example, “In the end, cats hunt out of instinct.”

Step 7 Connect your paragraph details to the topic sentence.

  • For example, “To conclude, feral cats are more dangerous to birds than house cats because they have more hunting opportunities and kill more birds each year on average.” This sentence supports the main idea that feral cats hunt more than house cats and shows how the two details provided in the sentence link back to the topic sentence.

Step 8 Set up the next paragraph.

  • For example, your closing statement could read, “In summation, statistics show that cats who wear bell collars are less of a threat to birds because they kill fewer birds even if they have the same number of hunting opportunities.” This signals to the reader that the writer has finished with one main idea and is moving onto another in a new paragraph.

Avoiding Common Errors

Step 1 Avoid using the words “I” or “my” in your closing statement.

  • You also want to avoid the word “you.” For example, don’t say, “As you can see” in your concluding sentence.
  • There are some exceptions, such as if you’re writing an introductory paragraph or an opinion essay.

Step 2 Stay away from minor details.

  • Reread your concluding statement, then compare it to your paragraph. Do you reference one detail but not another? If it does, rewrite the sentence to address the main points, not the subpoints.

Step 3 Write a statement that serves a purpose.

  • A poor closing statement might read: “As you can see, the evidence suggests that cats like to hunt."
  • A better closing statement could read: “Based on the data, cats look for opportunities to hunt for sport, proving they are natural predators."

Expert Q&A

Diane Stubbs

  • In some cases, the concluding statements in introductions and conclusions may have a slightly different format. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Remember that your goal is to show the reader your ideas. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Focus on your main idea. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

a conclusion paragraph should include what

  • Try to avoid sounding redundant. Thanks Helpful 2 Not Helpful 0
  • Don’t just restate your topic sentence. Show how the details you’ve provided contribute to the main idea. Thanks Helpful 3 Not Helpful 1

You Might Also Like

Write a Paragraph

  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/editing-and-proofreading/
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/paragraphs/
  • ↑ https://openoregon.pressbooks.pub/wrd/chapter/writing-summaries/
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/transitions/
  • ↑ https://lsa.umich.edu/sweetland/undergraduates/writing-guides/how-do-i-write-an-intro--conclusion----body-paragraph.html
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/academic_writing/essay_writing/argumentative_essays.html
  • ↑ https://owl.excelsior.edu/rhetorical-styles/compare-and-contrast-essay/
  • ↑ https://owl.excelsior.edu/rhetorical-styles/cause-and-effect-essay/
  • ↑ https://www.grammarly.com/blog/how-to-write-an-informative-essay/
  • ↑ https://wts.indiana.edu/writing-guides/paragraphs-and-topic-sentences.html
  • ↑ https://libguides.usc.edu/writingguide/conclusion

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a conclusion paragraph should include what

How to Write a Conclusion for an Essay

a conclusion paragraph should include what

By the time you get to the final paragraph of your paper, you have already done so much work on your essay, so all you want to do is to wrap it up as quickly as possible. You’ve already made a stunning introduction, proven your argument, and structured the whole piece as supposed – who cares about making a good conclusion paragraph?

The only thing you need to remember is that the conclusion of an essay is not just the last paragraph of an academic paper where you restate your thesis and key arguments. A concluding paragraph is also your opportunity to have a final impact on your audience. 

Feeling Overwhelmed Writing Your Essay Conclusion?

Simply send us your paper requirements, choose a writer and we’ll get it done fast.

How to write a conclusion paragraph that leaves a lasting impression – In this guide, the team at EssayPro is going to walk you through the process of writing a perfect conclusion step by step. Additionally, we will share valuable tips and tricks to help students of all ages impress their readers at the last moment.

Instead of Intro: What Is a Conclusion?

Before we can move on, let’s take a moment here to define the conclusion itself. According to the standard conclusion definition, it is pretty much the last part of something, its result, or end. However, this term is rather broad and superficial.

When it comes to writing academic papers, a concluding statement refers to an opinion, judgment, suggestion, or position arrived at by logical reasoning (through the arguments provided in the body of the text). Therefore, if you are wondering “what is a good closing sentence like?” – keep on reading.

What Does a Good Conclusion Mean?

Writing a good conclusion for a paper isn’t easy. However, we are going to walk you through this process step by step. Although there are generally no strict rules on how to formulate one, there are some basic principles that everyone should keep in mind. In this section, we will share some core ideas for writing a good conclusion, and, later in the article, we will also provide you with more practical advice and examples.

How to Write a Conclusion for an Essay _ 4 MAJOR OBJECTIVES THAT CONCLUSION MUST ACCOMPLISH

Here are the core goals a good conclusion should complete:

  • “Wrap up” the entire paper;
  • Demonstrate to readers that the author accomplished what he/she set out to do;
  • Show how you the author has proved their thesis statement;
  • Give a sense of completeness and closure on the topic;
  • Leave something extra for your reader to think about;
  • Leave a powerful final impact on a reader.

Another key thing to remember is that you should not introduce any new ideas or arguments to your paper's conclusion. It should only sum up what you have already written, revisit your thesis statement, and end with a powerful final impression.

When considering how to write a conclusion that works, here are the key points to keep in mind:

  • A concluding sentence should only revisit the thesis statement, not restate it;
  • It should summarize the main ideas from the body of the paper;
  • It should demonstrate the significance and relevance of your work;
  • An essay’s conclusion should include a call for action and leave space for further study or development of the topic (if necessary).

How Long Should a Conclusion Be? 

Although there are no strict universal rules regarding the length of an essay’s final clause, both teachers and experienced writers recommend keeping it clear, concise, and straight to the point. There is an unspoken rule that the introduction and conclusion of an academic paper should both be about 10% of the overall paper’s volume. For example, if you were assigned a 1500 word essay, both the introductory and final clauses should be approximately 150 words long (300 together).

Why You Need to Know How to End an Essay:

A conclusion is what drives a paper to its logical end. It also drives the main points of your piece one last time. It is your last opportunity to impact and impress your audience. And, most importantly, it is your chance to demonstrate to readers why your work matters. Simply put, the final paragraph of your essay should answer the last important question a reader will have – “So what?”

If you do a concluding paragraph right, it can give your readers a sense of logical completeness. On the other hand, if you do not make it powerful enough, it can leave them hanging, and diminish the effect of the entire piece.

Strategies to Crafting a Proper Conclusion

Although there are no strict rules for what style to use to write your conclusion, there are several strategies that have been proven to be effective. In the list below, you can find some of the most effective strategies with some good conclusion paragraph examples to help you grasp the idea.

One effective way to emphasize the significance of your essay and give the audience some thought to ponder about is by taking a look into the future. The “When and If” technique is quite powerful when it comes to supporting your points in the essay’s conclusion.

Prediction essay conclusion example: “Taking care of a pet is quite hard, which is the reason why most parents refuse their children’s requests to get a pet. However, the refusal should be the last choice of parents. If we want to inculcate a deep sense of responsibility and organization in our kids, and, at the same time, sprout compassion in them, we must let our children take care of pets.”

Another effective strategy is to link your conclusion to your introductory paragraph. This will create a full-circle narration for your readers, create a better understanding of your topic, and emphasize your key point.

Echo conclusion paragraph example: Introduction: “I believe that all children should grow up with a pet. I still remember the exact day my parents brought my first puppy to our house. This was one of the happiest moments in my life and, at the same time, one of the most life-changing ones. Growing up with a pet taught me a lot, and most importantly, it taught me to be responsible.” Conclusion:. “I remember when I picked up my first puppy and how happy I was at that time. Growing up with a pet, I learned what it means to take care of someone, make sure that he always has water and food, teach him, and constantly keep an eye on my little companion. Having a child grow up with a pet teaches them responsibility and helps them acquire a variety of other life skills like leadership, love, compassion, and empathy. This is why I believe that every kid should grow up with a pet!”

Finally, one more trick that will help you create a flawless conclusion is to amplify your main idea or to present it in another perspective of a larger context. This technique will help your readers to look at the problem discussed from a different angle.

Step-up argumentative essay conclusion example: “Despite the obvious advantages of owning a pet in childhood, I feel that we cannot generalize whether all children should have a pet. Whereas some kids may benefit from such experiences, namely, by becoming more compassionate, organized, and responsible, it really depends on the situation, motivation, and enthusiasm of a particular child for owning a pet.”

What is a clincher in an essay? – The final part of an essay’s conclusion is often referred to as a clincher sentence. According to the clincher definition, it is a final sentence that reinforces the main idea or leaves the audience with an intriguing thought to ponder upon. In a nutshell, the clincher is very similar to the hook you would use in an introductory paragraph. Its core mission is to seize the audience’s attention until the end of the paper. At the same time, this statement is what creates a sense of completeness and helps the author leave a lasting impression on the reader.

Now, since you now know what a clincher is, you are probably wondering how to use one in your own paper. First of all, keep in mind that a good clincher should be intriguing, memorable, smooth, and straightforward.

Generally, there are several different tricks you can use for your clincher statement; it can be:

  • A short, but memorable and attention-grabbing conclusion;
  • A relevant and memorable quote (only if it brings actual value);
  • A call to action;
  • A rhetorical question;
  • An illustrative story or provocative example;
  • A warning against a possibility or suggestion about the consequences of a discussed problem;
  • A joke (however, be careful with this as it may not always be deemed appropriate).

Regardless of the technique you choose, make sure that your clincher is memorable and aligns with your introduction and thesis.

Clincher examples: - While New York may not be the only place with the breathtaking views, it is definitely among my personal to 3… and that’s what definitely makes it worth visiting. - “Thence we came forth to rebehold the stars”, Divine Comedy - Don’t you think all these advantages sound like almost life-saving benefits of owning a pet? “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”, The Great Gatsby

strategies

Conclusion Writing Don'ts 

Now, when you know what tricks and techniques you should use to create a perfect conclusion, let’s look at some of the things you should not do with our online paper writing service :

  • Starting with some cliché concluding sentence starters. Many students find common phrases like “In conclusion,” “Therefore,” “In summary,” or similar statements to be pretty good conclusion starters. However, though such conclusion sentence starters may work in certain cases – for example, in speeches – they are overused, so it is recommended not to use them in writing to introduce your conclusion.
  • Putting the first mention of your thesis statement in the conclusion – it has to be presented in your introduction first.
  • Providing new arguments, subtopics, or ideas in the conclusion paragraph.
  • Including a slightly changed or unchanged thesis statement.
  • Providing arguments and evidence that belong in the body of the work.
  • Writing too long, hard to read, or confusing sentences.

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Conclusion Paragraph Outline

The total number of sentences in your final paragraph may vary depending on the number of points you discussed in your essay, as well as on the overall word count of your paper. However, the overall conclusion paragraph outline will remain the same and consists of the following elements:

conclusion ouline

  • A conclusion starter:

The first part of your paragraph should drive readers back to your thesis statement. Thus, if you were wondering how to start a conclusion, the best way to do it is by rephrasing your thesis statement.

  • Summary of the body paragraphs:

Right after revisiting your thesis, you should include several sentences that wrap up the key highlights and points from your body paragraphs. This part of your conclusion can consist of 2-3 sentences—depending on the number of arguments you’ve made. If necessary, you can also explain to the readers how your main points fit together.

  • A concluding sentence:

Finally, you should end your paragraph with a last, powerful sentence that leaves a lasting impression, gives a sense of logical completeness, and connects readers back to the introduction of the paper.

These three key elements make up a perfect essay conclusion. Now, to give you an even better idea of how to create a perfect conclusion, let us give you a sample conclusion paragraph outline with examples from an argumentative essay on the topic of “Every Child Should Own a Pet:

  • Sentence 1: Starter
  • ~ Thesis: "Though taking care of a pet may be a bit challenging for small children. Parents should not restrict their kids from having a pet as it helps them grow into more responsible and compassionate people."
  • ~ Restated thesis for a conclusion: "I can say that taking care of a pet is good for every child."
  • Sentences 2-4: Summary
  • ~ "Studies have shown that pet owners generally have fewer health problems."
  • ~ "Owning a pet teaches a child to be more responsible."
  • ~ "Spending time with a pet reduces stress, feelings of loneliness, and anxiety."
  • Sentence 5: A concluding sentence
  • ~ "Pets can really change a child life for the better, so don't hesitate to endorse your kid's desire to own a pet."

This is a clear example of how you can shape your conclusion paragraph.

How to Conclude Various Types of Essays

Depending on the type of academic essay you are working on, your concluding paragraph's style, tone, and length may vary. In this part of our guide, we will tell you how to end different types of essays and other works.

How to End an Argumentative Essay

Persuasive or argumentative essays always have the single goal of convincing readers of something (an idea, stance, or viewpoint) by appealing to arguments, facts, logic, and even emotions. The conclusion for such an essay has to be persuasive as well. A good trick you can use is to illustrate a real-life scenario that proves your stance or encourages readers to take action. More about persuasive essay outline you can read in our article.

Here are a few more tips for making a perfect conclusion for an argumentative essay:

  • Carefully read the whole essay before you begin;
  • Re-emphasize your ideas;
  • Discuss possible implications;
  • Don’t be afraid to appeal to the reader’s emotions.

How to End a Compare and Contrast Essay

The purpose of a compare and contrast essay is to emphasize the differences or similarities between two or more objects, people, phenomena, etc. Therefore, a logical conclusion should highlight how the reviewed objects are different or similar. Basically, in such a paper, your conclusion should recall all of the key common and distinctive features discussed in the body of your essay and also give readers some food for thought after they finish reading it.

How to Conclude a Descriptive Essay

The key idea of a descriptive essay is to showcase your creativity and writing skills by painting a vivid picture with the help of words. This is one of the most creative types of essays as it requires you to show a story, not tell it. This kind of essay implies using a lot of vivid details. Respectively, the conclusion of such a paper should also use descriptive imagery and, at the same time, sum up the main ideas. A good strategy for ending a descriptive essay would be to begin with a short explanation of why you wrote the essay. Then, you should reflect on how your topic affects you. In the middle of the conclusion, you should cover the most critical moments of the story to smoothly lead the reader into a logical closing statement. The “clincher”, in this case, should be a thought-provoking final sentence that leaves a good and lasting impression on the audience. Do not lead the reader into the essay and then leave them with dwindling memories of it.

How to Conclude an Essay About Yourself

If you find yourself writing an essay about yourself, you need to tell a personal story. As a rule, such essays talk about the author’s experiences, which is why a conclusion should create a feeling of narrative closure. A good strategy is to end your story with a logical finale and the lessons you have learned, while, at the same time, linking it to the introductory paragraph and recalling key moments from the story.

How to End an Informative Essay

Unlike other types of papers, informative or expository essays load readers with a lot of information and facts. In this case, “Synthesize, don’t summarize” is the best technique you can use to end your paper. Simply put, instead of recalling all of the major facts, you should approach your conclusion from the “So what?” position by highlighting the significance of the information provided.

How to Conclude a Narrative Essay

In a nutshell, a narrative essay is based on simple storytelling. The purpose of this paper is to share a particular story in detail. Therefore, the conclusion for such a paper should wrap up the story and avoid finishing on an abrupt cliffhanger. It is vital to include the key takeaways and the lessons learned from the story.

How to Write a Conclusion for a Lab Report

Unlike an essay, a lab report is based on an experiment. This type of paper describes the flow of a particular experiment conducted by a student and its conclusion should reflect on the outcomes of this experiment.

In thinking of how to write a conclusion for a lab, here are the key things you should do to get it right:

  • Restate the goals of your experiment
  • Describe the methods you used
  • Include the results of the experiment and analyze the final data
  • End your conclusion with a clear statement on whether or not the experiment was successful (Did you reach the expected results?)

How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper

Writing a paper is probably the hardest task of all, even for experienced dissertation writer . Unlike an essay or even a lab report, a research paper is a much longer piece of work that requires a deeper investigation of the problem. Therefore, a conclusion for such a paper should be even more sophisticated and powerful. If you're feeling difficulty writing an essay, you can buy essay on our service.

How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper

However, given that a research paper is the second most popular kind of academic paper (after an essay), it is important to know how to conclude a research paper. Even if you have not yet been assigned to do this task, be sure that you will face it soon. So, here are the steps you should follow to create a great conclusion for a research paper:

  • Restate the Topic

Start your final paragraph with a quick reminder of what the topic of the piece is about. Keep it one sentence long.

  • Revisit the Thesis

Next, you should remind your readers what your thesis statement was. However, do not just copy and paste it from the introductory clause: paraphrase your thesis so that you deliver the same idea but with different words. Keep your paraphrased thesis narrow, specific, and topic-oriented.

  • Summarise Your Key Ideas

Just like the case of a regular essay’s conclusion, a research paper’s final paragraph should also include a short summary of all of the key points stated in the body sections. We recommend reading the entire body part a few times to define all of your main arguments and ideas.

  • Showcase the Significance of Your Work

In the research paper conclusion, it is vital to highlight the significance of your research problem and state how your solution could be helpful.

  • Make Suggestions for Future Studies

Finally, at the end of your conclusion, you should define how your findings will contribute to the development of its particular field of science. Outline the perspectives of further research and, if necessary, explain what is yet to be discovered on the topic.

Then, end your conclusion with a powerful concluding sentence – it can be a rhetorical question, call to action, or another hook that will help you have a strong impact on the audience.

  • Answer the Right Questions

To create a top-notch research paper conclusion, be sure to answer the following questions:

  • What is the goal of a research paper?
  • What are the possible solutions to the research question(s)?
  • How can your results be implemented in real life? (Is your research paper helpful to the community?)
  • Why is this study important and relevant?

Additionally, here are a few more handy tips to follow:

  • Provide clear examples from real life to help readers better understand the further implementation of the stated solutions;
  • Keep your conclusion fresh, original, and creative.

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So, What Is a Good Closing Sentence? See The Difference

One of the best ways to learn how to write a good conclusion is to look at several professional essay conclusion examples. In this section of our guide, we are going to look at two different final paragraphs shaped on the basis of the same template, but even so, they are very different – where one is weak and the other is strong. Below, we are going to compare them to help you understand the difference between a good and a bad conclusion.

Here is the template we used: College degrees are in decline. The price of receiving an education does not correlate with the quality of the education received. As a result, graduated students face underemployment, and the worth of college degrees appears to be in serious doubt. However, the potential social and economic benefits of educated students balance out the equation.

Strong Conclusion ‍

People either see college as an opportunity or an inconvenience; therefore, a degree can only hold as much value as its owner’s skillset. The underemployment of graduate students puts the worth of college degrees in serious doubt. Yet, with the multitude of benefits that educated students bring to society and the economy, the equation remains in balance. Perhaps the ordinary person should consider college as a wise financial investment, but only if they stay determined to study and do the hard work.

Why is this example good? There are several key points that prove its effectiveness:

  • There is a bold opening statement that encompasses the two contrasting types of students we can see today.
  • There are two sentences that recall the thesis statement and cover the key arguments from the body of the essay.
  • Finally, the last sentence sums up the key message of the essay and leaves readers with something to think about.

Weak Conclusion

In conclusion, with the poor preparation of students in college and the subsequent underemployment after graduation from college, the worth associated with the college degree appears to be in serious doubt. However, these issues alone may not reasonably conclude beyond a doubt that investing in a college degree is a rewarding venture. When the full benefits that come with education are carefully put into consideration and evaluated, college education for children in any country still has good advantages, and society should continue to advocate for a college education. The ordinary person should consider this a wise financial decision that holds rewards in the end. Apart from the monetary gains associated with a college education, society will greatly benefit from students when they finish college. Their minds are going to be expanded, and their reasoning and decision making will be enhanced.

What makes this example bad? Here are a few points to consider:

  • Unlike the first example, this paragraph is long and not specific enough. The author provides plenty of generalized phrases that are not backed up by actual arguments.
  • This piece is hard to read and understand and sentences have a confusing structure. Also, there are lots of repetitions and too many uses of the word “college”.
  • There is no summary of the key benefits.
  • The last two sentences that highlight the value of education contradict with the initial statement.
  • Finally, the last sentence doesn’t offer a strong conclusion and gives no thought to ponder upon.
  • In the body of your essay, you have hopefully already provided your reader(s) with plenty of information. Therefore, it is not wise to present new arguments or ideas in your conclusion.
  • To end your final paragraph right, find a clear and straightforward message that will have the most powerful impact on your audience.
  • Don’t use more than one quote in the final clause of your paper – the information from external sources (including quotes) belongs in the body of a paper.
  • Be authoritative when writing a conclusion. You should sound confident and convincing to leave a good impression. Sentences like “I’m not an expert, but…” will most likely make you seem less knowledgeable and/or credible.

Good Conclusion Examples

Now that we've learned what a conclusion is and how to write one let's take a look at some essay conclusion examples to strengthen our knowledge.

The ending ironically reveals that all was for nothing. (A short explanation of the thematic effect of the book’s end) Tom says that Miss Watson freed Jim in her final will.Jim told Huck that the dead man on the Island was pap. The entire adventure seemingly evaporated into nothingness. (How this effect was manifested into the minds of thereaders).
All in all, international schools hold the key to building a full future that students can achieve. (Thesis statement simplified) They help students develop their own character by learning from their mistakes, without having to face a dreadful penalty for failure. (Thesis statement elaborated)Although some say that kids emerged “spoiled” with this mentality, the results prove the contrary. (Possible counter-arguments are noted)
In conclusion, public workers should be allowed to strike since it will give them a chance to air their grievances. (Thesis statement) Public workers should be allowed to strike when their rights, safety, and regulations are compromised. The workers will get motivated when they strike, and their demands are met.
In summary, studies reveal some similarities in the nutrient contents between the organic and non-organic food substances. (Starts with similarities) However, others have revealed many considerable differences in the amounts of antioxidants as well as other minerals present in organic and non-organic foods. Generally, organic foods have higher levels of antioxidants than non-organic foods and therefore are more important in the prevention of chronic illnesses.
As time went by, my obsession grew into something bigger than art; (‘As time went by’ signals maturation) it grew into a dream of developing myself for the world. (Showing student’s interest of developing himself for the community) It is a dream of not only seeing the world from a different perspective but also changing the perspective of people who see my work. (Showing student’s determination to create moving pieces of art)
In conclusion, it is evident that technology is an integral part of our lives and without it, we become “lost” since we have increasingly become dependent on its use. (Thesis with main point)

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Learn about the elements of a successful essay conclusion.

The conclusion is a very important part of your essay. Although it is sometimes treated as a roundup of all of the bits that didn’t fit into the paper earlier, it deserves better treatment than that! It's the last thing the reader will see, so it tends to stick in the reader's memory. It's also a great place to remind the reader exactly why your topic is important. A conclusion is more than just "the last paragraph"—it's a working part of the paper. This is the place to push your reader to think about the consequences of your topic for the wider world or for the reader's own life!

A good conclusion should do a few things:

Restate your thesis

Synthesize or summarize your major points

Make the context of your argument clear

Restating Your Thesis

You've already spent time and energy crafting a solid thesis statement for your introduction, and if you've done your job right, your whole paper focuses on that thesis statement. That's why it's so important to address the thesis in your conclusion! Many writers choose to begin the conclusion by restating the thesis, but you can put your thesis into the conclusion anywhere—the first sentence of the paragraph, the last sentence, or in between. Here are a few tips for rephrasing your thesis:

Remind the reader that you've proven this thesis over the course of your paper. For example, if you're arguing that your readers should get their pets from animal shelters rather than pet stores, you might say, "If you were considering that puppy in the pet-shop window, remember that your purchase will support 'puppy mills' instead of rescuing a needy dog, and consider selecting your new friend at your local animal shelter." This example gives the reader not only the thesis of the paper, but a reminder of the most powerful point in the argument!

Revise the thesis statement so that it reflects the relationship you've developed with the reader during the paper. For example, if you've written a paper that targets parents of young children, you can find a way to phrase your thesis to capitalize on that—maybe by beginning your thesis statement with, "As a parent of a young child…"

Don’t repeat your thesis word for word—make sure that your new statement is an independent, fresh sentence!

Summary or Synthesis

This section of the conclusion might come before the thesis statement or after it. Your conclusion should remind the reader of what your paper actually says! The best conclusion will include a synthesis, not just a summary—instead of a mere list of your major points, the best conclusion will draw those points together and relate them to one another so that your reader can apply the information given in the essay. Here are a couple of ways to do that:

Give a list of the major arguments for your thesis (usually, these are the topic sentences of the parts of your essay).

Explain how these parts are connected. For example, in the animal-shelter essay, you might point out that adopting a shelter dog helps more animals because your adoption fee supports the shelter, which makes your choice more socially responsible.

One of the most important functions of the conclusion is to provide context for your argument. Your reader may finish your essay without a problem and understand your argument without understanding why that argument is important. Your introduction might point out the reason your topic matters, but your conclusion should also tackle this questions. Here are some strategies for making your reader see why the topic is important:

Tell the reader what you want him or her to do. Is your essay a call to action? If so, remind the reader of what he/she should do. If not, remember that asking the reader to think a certain way is an action in itself. (In the above examples, the essay asks the reader to adopt a shelter dog—a specific action.)

Explain why this topic is timely or important. For example, the animal-shelter essay might end with a statistic about the number of pets in shelters waiting for adoption.

Remind the readers of why the topic matters to them personally. For example, it doesn’t matter much if you believe in the mission of animal shelters, if you're not planning to get a dog; however, once you're looking for a dog, it is much more important. The conclusion of this essay might say, "Since you’re in the market for a dog, you have a major decision to make: where to get one." This will remind the reader that the argument is personally important!

Conclusion paragraphs

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Reading Worksheets, Spelling, Grammar, Comprehension, Lesson Plans

How to Write a Conclusion Paragraph

Conclusion paragraphs can be tricky to write, but a clear conclusion can sum up your main points and leave your reader with a clear sense of what to take away from your overall essay. Creating a strong essay means making sure that you have a clear introduction , several body paragraphs, and knowing how to write a conclusion paragraph. Keep reading closely, and you’ll know how to write a conclusion paragraph.   Read on for a step-by-step guide on how to write a conclusion paragraph, and then check out our library of conclusion worksheets to get plenty of practice in how to write a conclusion paragraph.

Choose Smooth Conclusion Transition Words

a conclusion paragraph should include what

Restate Main Points

Another key aspects of how to write a conclusion paragraph is that you signal that you are drawing your essay to a close, so that you can then restate the main points of your essay. Depending on the length of your essay, this may be done in a single sentence, or it may require a few sentences. Be concise and clear; you should be able to summarize each main point in a simple phrase that avoids restating each detail and piece of evidence related to the point. Simply list off the points as a reminder to your audience about what they’ve just read.

Restate Your Argument

Finally, if you’re writing an argumentative essay, a key component of how to write a conclusion paragraph is that you’ll want to clearly restate your main argument in order to leave readers with one final appeal. If you have provided enough evidence along the way, this restatement should make readers feel as if you’ve persuaded them fully.

Call to Action

For some expository and argumentative essays, a key part of how to write a conclusion paragraph involves a call to action as your last sentence. For example, if you’re writing an informative essay about the sea creatures that live in the very deepest parts of the ocean, you may close with a sentence like this: “It’s clear that today’s scientists should continue to observe and document these mysterious creatures, so we may all learn more about life at the bottom of the ocean.” A call to action like this can make your reader feel inspired and informed after reading your essay.

What to Avoid with Conclusion Transitions

When determining how to write a conclusion paragraph, you want to keep it simple. Use a clear transition word or phrase, restate your main points and argument, and possibly finish with a call to action. Be sure to avoid the following missteps:

  • New Information . Your conclusion is not the place to introduce anything new. Simply restate and summarize the main points clearly.
  • Personal Opinion . Unless you are writing an opinion piece that includes several “I” statements throughout, avoid ending your essay with a sudden “I think…” or “I feel…” If you haven’t been including your personal opinion throughout the essay, then you shouldn’t insert your opinion into the conclusion.
  • Lots of Details . When you restate your main points, don’t worry about restating all the small details that make up your description or evidence. The place for details is in your body paragraphs. The conclusion is simply for summary and a possible call for action or next steps.

Check out our printable conclusion paragraph worksheets too!

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Gordon-Conwell Writing Center

  • Understanding Writing Expectations
  • Brainstorming and Writer's Block
  • Outlining for Successful Writing
  • Writing a Strong Introduction
  • Creating a Clear Thesis Statement
  • Developing Body Paragraphs
  • Connecting Ideas with Transitions
  • Choosing the Best Sources
  • Using Sources Effectively
  • Avoiding Plagiarism
  • Paraphrasing without Plagiarizing
  • Addressing Counterarguments

Ending with a Strong Conclusion

  • Using Words Wisely
  • Punctuating Correctly
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Just as we say good-bye to people when ending a conversation, so must a writer conclude his/her written text. A writer should imagine that readers have read the text but have not fully grasped all the ideas. Furthermore, the writer must assume that readers do not necessarily know how to respond to the topic. Therefore, it is a writer’s job to remind readers about his/her main claim and key ideas as well as call readers to action. Failing to do so might mean that readers are left with questions about a text and/or do not respond properly to it.

Summarized Explanation

  • Most multi-paragraph texts require a concluding paragraph. A basic concluding paragraph should include three main parts (restated thesis, summarized key ideas, clincher).

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Detailed Explanation

The following examples are the same ones that appears in the writing guide for Writing a Strong Introduction . 

Color-coding key:

  • Restated Thesis
  • Summarized Key Ideas

Example #1           

          (Introduction)  Meeting someone for the first time without a proper introduction can be awkward. Likewise, a text without an introductory paragraph leaves a lot to be desired. The introduction is the first thing that readers see in a text. For that reason, it ought to engage and inform readers. To accomplish this, writers should begin texts with an introductory paragraph that includes an effective hook, background information, and thesis statement.

          (Body Paragraphs)

  • Why writers should include a hook in an introductory paragraph.
  • Why writers should include background information in an introductory paragraph.
  • Why writers should include a thesis statement in an introductory paragraph.

          (Concluding Paragraph) In conclusion, a thorough three-part introductory paragraph will ensure a strong start to any text. The first element of an introduction, the hook, works to intrigue readers. Then they will be ready to read more of the background information on a topic. And to top things off, the thesis statement indicates the purpose and focus of a text so that readers know what to expect. Therefore, the importance of an introductory paragraph should not be underestimated, and all writers should seek to create truly engaging introductions.

          (Introduction) They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. This adage is true, but not everything is relative. For example, in the world of writing, texts can take many forms, and writers have a lot of creative freedom. That said, there are some basic frameworks that should be employed for most writing forms—for example, the tried-and-true template for an introductory paragraph. Considering this, the previous introductory paragraph is quite effective because it includes a strong hook, background information, and thesis statement.

  • Why the previous introductory paragraph includes a strong hook.
  • Why the previous introductory paragraph includes strong background information.
  • Why the previous introductory paragraph includes a strong thesis statement.

          (Concluding Paragraphs) To sum up, the sample text is a great example of a strong introductory paragraph. As noted previously, its hook is creative and compels readers to keep going. Afterward, they are met with relevant background information followed by a thesis statement that effectively forecasts the writer's position and key ideas. All in all, this introductory paragraph should be saved and referenced frequently for any writer who wants to create successful introductions.

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How to Write a Thesis or Dissertation Conclusion

Published on September 6, 2022 by Tegan George and Shona McCombes. Revised on November 20, 2023.

The conclusion is the very last part of your thesis or dissertation . It should be concise and engaging, leaving your reader with a clear understanding of your main findings, as well as the answer to your research question .

In it, you should:

  • Clearly state the answer to your main research question
  • Summarize and reflect on your research process
  • Make recommendations for future work on your thesis or dissertation topic
  • Show what new knowledge you have contributed to your field
  • Wrap up your thesis or dissertation

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Table of contents

Discussion vs. conclusion, how long should your conclusion be, step 1: answer your research question, step 2: summarize and reflect on your research, step 3: make future recommendations, step 4: emphasize your contributions to your field, step 5: wrap up your thesis or dissertation, full conclusion example, conclusion checklist, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about conclusion sections.

While your conclusion contains similar elements to your discussion section , they are not the same thing.

Your conclusion should be shorter and more general than your discussion. Instead of repeating literature from your literature review , discussing specific research results , or interpreting your data in detail, concentrate on making broad statements that sum up the most important insights of your research.

As a rule of thumb, your conclusion should not introduce new data, interpretations, or arguments.

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Depending on whether you are writing a thesis or dissertation, your length will vary. Generally, a conclusion should make up around 5–7% of your overall word count.

An empirical scientific study will often have a short conclusion, concisely stating the main findings and recommendations for future research. A humanities dissertation topic or systematic review , on the other hand, might require more space to conclude its analysis, tying all the previous sections together in an overall argument.

Your conclusion should begin with the main question that your thesis or dissertation aimed to address. This is your final chance to show that you’ve done what you set out to do, so make sure to formulate a clear, concise answer.

  • Don’t repeat a list of all the results that you already discussed
  • Do synthesize them into a final takeaway that the reader will remember.

An empirical thesis or dissertation conclusion may begin like this:

A case study –based thesis or dissertation conclusion may begin like this:

In the second example, the research aim is not directly restated, but rather added implicitly to the statement. To avoid repeating yourself, it is helpful to reformulate your aims and questions into an overall statement of what you did and how you did it.

Your conclusion is an opportunity to remind your reader why you took the approach you did, what you expected to find, and how well the results matched your expectations.

To avoid repetition , consider writing more reflectively here, rather than just writing a summary of each preceding section. Consider mentioning the effectiveness of your methodology , or perhaps any new questions or unexpected insights that arose in the process.

You can also mention any limitations of your research, but only if you haven’t already included these in the discussion. Don’t dwell on them at length, though—focus on the positives of your work.

  • While x limits the generalizability of the results, this approach provides new insight into y .
  • This research clearly illustrates x , but it also raises the question of y .

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You may already have made a few recommendations for future research in your discussion section, but the conclusion is a good place to elaborate and look ahead, considering the implications of your findings in both theoretical and practical terms.

  • Based on these conclusions, practitioners should consider …
  • To better understand the implications of these results, future studies could address …
  • Further research is needed to determine the causes of/effects of/relationship between …

When making recommendations for further research, be sure not to undermine your own work. Relatedly, while future studies might confirm, build on, or enrich your conclusions, they shouldn’t be required for your argument to feel complete. Your work should stand alone on its own merits.

Just as you should avoid too much self-criticism, you should also avoid exaggerating the applicability of your research. If you’re making recommendations for policy, business, or other practical implementations, it’s generally best to frame them as “shoulds” rather than “musts.” All in all, the purpose of academic research is to inform, explain, and explore—not to demand.

Make sure your reader is left with a strong impression of what your research has contributed to the state of your field.

Some strategies to achieve this include:

  • Returning to your problem statement to explain how your research helps solve the problem
  • Referring back to the literature review and showing how you have addressed a gap in knowledge
  • Discussing how your findings confirm or challenge an existing theory or assumption

Again, avoid simply repeating what you’ve already covered in the discussion in your conclusion. Instead, pick out the most important points and sum them up succinctly, situating your project in a broader context.

The end is near! Once you’ve finished writing your conclusion, it’s time to wrap up your thesis or dissertation with a few final steps:

  • It’s a good idea to write your abstract next, while the research is still fresh in your mind.
  • Next, make sure your reference list is complete and correctly formatted. To speed up the process, you can use our free APA citation generator .
  • Once you’ve added any appendices , you can create a table of contents and title page .
  • Finally, read through the whole document again to make sure your thesis is clearly written and free from language errors. You can proofread it yourself , ask a friend, or consider Scribbr’s proofreading and editing service .

Here is an example of how you can write your conclusion section. Notice how it includes everything mentioned above:

V. Conclusion

The current research aimed to identify acoustic speech characteristics which mark the beginning of an exacerbation in COPD patients.

The central questions for this research were as follows: 1. Which acoustic measures extracted from read speech differ between COPD speakers in stable condition and healthy speakers? 2. In what ways does the speech of COPD patients during an exacerbation differ from speech of COPD patients during stable periods?

All recordings were aligned using a script. Subsequently, they were manually annotated to indicate respiratory actions such as inhaling and exhaling. The recordings of 9 stable COPD patients reading aloud were then compared with the recordings of 5 healthy control subjects reading aloud. The results showed a significant effect of condition on the number of in- and exhalations per syllable, the number of non-linguistic in- and exhalations per syllable, and the ratio of voiced and silence intervals. The number of in- and exhalations per syllable and the number of non-linguistic in- and exhalations per syllable were higher for COPD patients than for healthy controls, which confirmed both hypotheses.

However, the higher ratio of voiced and silence intervals for COPD patients compared to healthy controls was not in line with the hypotheses. This unpredicted result might have been caused by the different reading materials or recording procedures for both groups, or by a difference in reading skills. Moreover, there was a trend regarding the effect of condition on the number of syllables per breath group. The number of syllables per breath group was higher for healthy controls than for COPD patients, which was in line with the hypothesis. There was no effect of condition on pitch, intensity, center of gravity, pitch variability, speaking rate, or articulation rate.

This research has shown that the speech of COPD patients in exacerbation differs from the speech of COPD patients in stable condition. This might have potential for the detection of exacerbations. However, sustained vowels rarely occur in spontaneous speech. Therefore, the last two outcome measures might have greater potential for the detection of beginning exacerbations, but further research on the different outcome measures and their potential for the detection of exacerbations is needed due to the limitations of the current study.

Checklist: Conclusion

I have clearly and concisely answered the main research question .

I have summarized my overall argument or key takeaways.

I have mentioned any important limitations of the research.

I have given relevant recommendations .

I have clearly explained what my research has contributed to my field.

I have  not introduced any new data or arguments.

You've written a great conclusion! Use the other checklists to further improve your dissertation.

If you want to know more about AI for academic writing, AI tools, or research bias, make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

Research bias

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  • Reinforcement learning
  • Supervised vs. unsupervised learning

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In a thesis or dissertation, the discussion is an in-depth exploration of the results, going into detail about the meaning of your findings and citing relevant sources to put them in context.

The conclusion is more shorter and more general: it concisely answers your main research question and makes recommendations based on your overall findings.

While it may be tempting to present new arguments or evidence in your thesis or disseration conclusion , especially if you have a particularly striking argument you’d like to finish your analysis with, you shouldn’t. Theses and dissertations follow a more formal structure than this.

All your findings and arguments should be presented in the body of the text (more specifically in the discussion section and results section .) The conclusion is meant to summarize and reflect on the evidence and arguments you have already presented, not introduce new ones.

For a stronger dissertation conclusion , avoid including:

  • Important evidence or analysis that wasn’t mentioned in the discussion section and results section
  • Generic concluding phrases (e.g. “In conclusion …”)
  • Weak statements that undermine your argument (e.g., “There are good points on both sides of this issue.”)

Your conclusion should leave the reader with a strong, decisive impression of your work.

The conclusion of your thesis or dissertation shouldn’t take up more than 5–7% of your overall word count.

The conclusion of your thesis or dissertation should include the following:

  • A restatement of your research question
  • A summary of your key arguments and/or results
  • A short discussion of the implications of your research

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How to Write a Research Paper Conclusion

Matt Ellis

Wrapping up a paper may seem simple enough, but if you don’t know how to write a research paper conclusion, it can sometimes be the hardest part of the paper-writing process.

In this guide, we share expert advice on how to write a research paper conclusion. We explain what to put (and what not to put) in a research paper conclusion, describe the different types of conclusions, and show you a few different research paper conclusion examples.

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What is a research paper conclusion?

A research paper conclusion should summarize the main points of the paper, help readers contextualize the information, and as the last thing people read, be memorable and leave an impression. The research paper conclusion is the best chance for the author to both reiterate their main points and tie all the information together. All in all, it’s one of the most important parts of writing a research paper .

Research paper conclusions are generally one paragraph long , although more complicated topics may have longer conclusions. Although conclusions don’t normally present new information or data that wasn’t mentioned in the article, they often reframe the issues or offer a new perspective on the topic.

6 elements to include in a research paper conclusion

1 urgency or consequences.

A good conclusion answers the question, Why should the reader care? To connect the information to the reader, point out why your topic should matter to them. What happens if the problem persists, or how can the problem be solved? Feel free to mention common obstacles that feed the problem, implications of the data, or a recommended action for fixing it.

2 Reminder of thesis statement

Research paper conclusions are a great place to revisit your initial thesis statement , a sentence that encapsulates the main topic or problem your paper addresses. Thesis statements are discussed heavily at the beginning of a paper, but they can be even stronger when you reintroduce them at the end, after you’ve presented all your evidence.

3 Recap of main points

Although you don’t want to repeat yourself just for the sake of repetition, a recap of your main points can be helpful to your reader. Think of these as your paper’s “key takeaways,” the parts you want readers to remember. Save the details for the body text and use the conclusion to remind the reader of your strongest supporting evidence before they put your paper down.

4 Parallels to the introduction

The introduction and the conclusion are two sides of the same coin. A useful strategy to consider as you approach writing a research paper conclusion is to follow the same structure or address the same themes as you do in the introduction. For example, if you pose a question in your introduction, you can answer it directly in your conclusion. Keep this in mind when writing your research paper outline so you can properly plan both parts.

5 Limitations of the study

Although this isn’t applicable to every research paper, if you’re writing about actual tests or studies you’ve conducted, there are some ethical requirements for what you put in a research paper conclusion. Specifically, you’re expected to address the limitations of your study; these may include criticisms or flaws in your process that might have affected the results, such as using suboptimal participation groups. It’s best to call these out yourself rather than having a colleague call them out later.

6 Conciseness

Above all, every research paper conclusion should be written with conciseness . In general, conclusions should be short, so keep an eye on your word count as you write and aim to be as succinct as possible. You can expound on your topic in the body of your paper, but the conclusion is more for summarizing and recapping.

5 elements not to include in a research paper conclusion

1 dry summary.

Summarizing may be a crucial part of research paper conclusions, but it’s not the only part. Your conclusion should be more than just a summary; it should shape the way your reader thinks about your topic. Don’t just repeat the facts: Contextualize them for the reader, offer a new perspective, or suggest a step for solving the problem.

2 Generic or clichéd phrasing

Just like our advice for how to write a conclusion for a more general essay, you should also avoid generic or clichéd phrasing in research paper conclusions. Some words or phrases are overused in conclusions to the point of becoming trite. If you want your conclusion to seem fresh and well-written, avoid these phrases:

  • in conclusion
  • in summary or in summation

3 New data or evidence

Conclusions are not the place to introduce new evidence or data, especially if they are significant enough to reframe your entire argument. Hard facts and supporting evidence belong in the body of the paper; when the reader is absorbing this section, they’re still actively learning about the topic. By the conclusion, the reader is almost done forming their opinion. The conclusion is more about retrospection; introducing unexpected information there can frustrate readers just as much as it surprises them.

4 Ignoring negative results

It might be tempting to sugarcoat negative results or ignore them completely, but that will only harm your paper in the end. It’s always best to own up to any shortcomings in your research and admit them overtly. Your transparency not only helps validate your other research, but it also prevents critics from pointing out these same shortcomings in a more damaging way.

5 Ambiguous resolutions

Part of the appeal of research paper conclusions is the closure they bring; they’re supposed to wrap up arguments and clean up any loose ends. If your conclusion is ambiguous, it can give the impression that your research was incomplete, inadequate, or fundamentally flawed. Rather, write your conclusion with direct language and take a firm stance. Even if the data was inconclusive, state definitively that it was inconclusive. This kind of clarity in writing makes you sound both confident and competent.

Types of research paper conclusions with examples

Although there are no formal types of research paper conclusions, in general they tend to fall into the categories of summary , commentary , and new perspective . Bear in mind that these aren’t mutually exclusive—the same research paper conclusion can summarize and present a new perspective at the same time. Consider mixing and matching parts from each to create the unique blend your own paper needs.

Research paper conclusion example: Summary

The most common type of research paper conclusion is the straight summary, which succinctly repeats the key points of the paper. Keep in mind that a conclusion should do more than merely summarize, so be sure to add some lines that offer extra value or insight.

Like all great scientists, Isaac Newton was able to condense his ideas, however complicated, into the simple and brief laws discussed above. Newton’s law of inertia, his law of action/reaction, and his equation of F=ma —along with his law of gravity, also discussed above—combine to form the very foundation of classical mechanics. Without his laws, physics as we know it wouldn’t exist.

Research paper conclusion example: Commentary

The conclusion can be an opportunity for a writer to share their own personal views. This is especially useful in scientific writing, where the body of the paper is reserved for data and facts, and the conclusion is the only section for personal opinion. Just be careful about getting too subjective—this is still a research paper, not a personal essay .

As you can see by the cause-and-effect relationships pointed out above, an attack on journalism in one part of the world is an attack on journalism everywhere. Though the issue might seem distant, it’s actually right on our doorstep. All of us need to start standing up to the powers that censor the truth and defend the brave journalists who risk their lives to deliver it.

Research paper conclusion example: New perspective

Research paper conclusions are the perfect place to offer a new perspective on your topic. After presenting all your evidence and research, you can now draw connections and synthesize the data to create a unifying theory or new angle. The conclusion is the best place to include this, as the reader is already familiar with all the essential details.

You’ll notice that the studies we examined all come to the same conclusion: Remote working increases both production and employee satisfaction. Ultimately, the idea that remote work hinders productivity is a lie. In fact, the research suggests clearly that remote work should be increased, not done away with. If remote work becomes the norm instead of the exception, businesses could actually achieve new heights.

Research paper conclusion FAQs

What is the purpose of a research paper conclusion.

The purpose of a research paper conclusion is to summarize the main points of the paper, help the reader contextualize the information, and leave a lasting impression on the reader.

What should you include in a research paper conclusion?

A research paper conclusion should include a summary of the key points in your paper. Additionally, the conclusion can reframe the research in a way that’s easier for the reader to understand, often by adding urgency or explaining consequences. The conclusion is also used to mention the limitations of your research, such as an inadequate number of participants.

What are the different kinds of research paper conclusions?

Although there are no formal categories of research paper conclusion, in general research paper conclusions tend to fall into the categories of summary, commentary, and new perspective. Bear in mind that these aren’t mutually exclusive—the same research paper conclusion can both summarize the paper and present a new perspective.

a conclusion paragraph should include what

Reference management. Clean and simple.

How to write an excellent thesis conclusion [with examples]

Tips for writing thesis conclusion

Restate the thesis

Review or reiterate key points of your work, explain why your work is relevant, a take-away for the reader, more resources on writing thesis conclusions, frequently asked questions about writing an excellent thesis conclusion, related articles.

At this point in your writing, you have most likely finished your introduction and the body of your thesis, dissertation, or research paper . While this is a reason to celebrate, you should not underestimate the importance of your conclusion. The conclusion is the last thing that your reader will see, so it should be memorable.

A good conclusion will review the key points of the thesis and explain to the reader why the information is relevant, applicable, or related to the world as a whole. Make sure to dedicate enough of your writing time to the conclusion and do not put it off until the very last minute.

This article provides an effective technique for writing a conclusion adapted from Erika Eby’s The College Student's Guide to Writing a Good Research Paper: 101 Easy Tips & Tricks to Make Your Work Stand Out .

While the thesis introduction starts out with broad statements about the topic, and then narrows it down to the thesis statement , a thesis conclusion does the same in the opposite order.

  • Restate the thesis.
  • Review or reiterate key points of your work.
  • Explain why your work is relevant.
  • Include a core take-away message for the reader.

Tip: Don’t just copy and paste your thesis into your conclusion. Restate it in different words.

The best way to start a conclusion is simply by restating the thesis statement. That does not mean just copying and pasting it from the introduction, but putting it into different words.

You will need to change the structure and wording of it to avoid sounding repetitive. Also, be firm in your conclusion just as you were in the introduction. Try to avoid sounding apologetic by using phrases like "This paper has tried to show..."

The conclusion should address all the same parts as the thesis while making it clear that the reader has reached the end. You are telling the reader that your research is finished and what your findings are.

I have argued throughout this work that the point of critical mass for biopolitical immunity occurred during the Romantic period because of that era's unique combination of post-revolutionary politics and innovations in smallpox prevention. In particular, I demonstrated that the French Revolution and the discovery of vaccination in the 1790s triggered a reconsideration of the relationship between bodies and the state.

Tip: Try to reiterate points from your introduction in your thesis conclusion.

The next step is to review the main points of the thesis as a whole. Look back at the body of of your project and make a note of the key ideas. You can reword these ideas the same way you reworded your thesis statement and then incorporate that into the conclusion.

You can also repeat striking quotations or statistics, but do not use more than two. As the conclusion represents your own closing thoughts on the topic , it should mainly consist of your own words.

In addition, conclusions can contain recommendations to the reader or relevant questions that further the thesis. You should ask yourself:

  • What you would ideally like to see your readers do in reaction to your paper?
  • Do you want them to take a certain action or investigate further?
  • Is there a bigger issue that your paper wants to draw attention to?

Also, try to reference your introduction in your conclusion. You have already taken a first step by restating your thesis. Now, check whether there are other key words, phrases or ideas that are mentioned in your introduction that fit into your conclusion. Connecting the introduction to the conclusion in this way will help readers feel satisfied.

I explored how Mary Wollstonecraft, in both her fiction and political writings, envisions an ideal medico-political state, and how other writers like William Wordsworth and Mary Shelley increasingly imagined the body politic literally, as an incorporated political collective made up of bodies whose immunity to political and medical ills was essential to a healthy state.

Tip: Make sure to explain why your thesis is relevant to your field of research.

Although you can encourage readers to question their opinions and reflect on your topic, do not leave loose ends. You should provide a sense of resolution and make sure your conclusion wraps up your argument. Make sure you explain why your thesis is relevant to your field of research and how your research intervenes within, or substantially revises, existing scholarly debates.

This project challenged conventional ideas about the relationship among Romanticism, medicine, and politics by reading the unfolding of Romantic literature and biopolitical immunity as mutual, co-productive processes. In doing so, this thesis revises the ways in which biopolitics has been theorized by insisting on the inherent connections between Romantic literature and the forms of biopower that characterize early modernity.

Tip: If you began your thesis with an anecdote or historical example, you may want to return to that in your conclusion.

End your conclusion with something memorable, such as:

  • a call to action
  • a recommendation
  • a gesture towards future research
  • a brief explanation of how the problem or idea you covered remains relevant

Ultimately, you want readers to feel more informed, or ready to act, as they read your conclusion.

Yet, the Romantic period is only the beginning of modern thought on immunity and biopolitics. Victorian writers, doctors, and politicians upheld the Romantic idea that a "healthy state" was a literal condition that could be achieved by combining politics and medicine, but augmented that idea through legislation and widespread public health measures. While many nineteenth-century efforts to improve citizens' health were successful, the fight against disease ultimately changed course in the twentieth century as global immunological threats such as SARS occupied public consciousness. Indeed, as subsequent public health events make apparent, biopolitical immunity persists as a viable concept for thinking about the relationship between medicine and politics in modernity.

Need more advice? Read our 5 additional tips on how to write a good thesis conclusion.

The conclusion is the last thing that your reader will see, so it should be memorable. To write a great thesis conclusion you should:

The basic content of a conclusion is to review the main points from the paper. This part represents your own closing thoughts on the topic. It should mainly consist of the outcome of the research in your own words.

The length of the conclusion will depend on the length of the whole thesis. Usually, a conclusion should be around 5-7% of the overall word count.

End your conclusion with something memorable, such as a question, warning, or call to action. Depending on the topic, you can also end with a recommendation.

In Open Access: Theses and Dissertations you can find thousands of completed works. Take a look at any of the theses or dissertations for real-life examples of conclusions that were already approved.

a conclusion paragraph should include what

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  • How to Write Discussions and Conclusions

How to Write Discussions and Conclusions

The discussion section contains the results and outcomes of a study. An effective discussion informs readers what can be learned from your experiment and provides context for the results.

What makes an effective discussion?

When you’re ready to write your discussion, you’ve already introduced the purpose of your study and provided an in-depth description of the methodology. The discussion informs readers about the larger implications of your study based on the results. Highlighting these implications while not overstating the findings can be challenging, especially when you’re submitting to a journal that selects articles based on novelty or potential impact. Regardless of what journal you are submitting to, the discussion section always serves the same purpose: concluding what your study results actually mean.

A successful discussion section puts your findings in context. It should include:

  • the results of your research,
  • a discussion of related research, and
  • a comparison between your results and initial hypothesis.

Tip: Not all journals share the same naming conventions.

You can apply the advice in this article to the conclusion, results or discussion sections of your manuscript.

Our Early Career Researcher community tells us that the conclusion is often considered the most difficult aspect of a manuscript to write. To help, this guide provides questions to ask yourself, a basic structure to model your discussion off of and examples from published manuscripts. 

a conclusion paragraph should include what

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Was my hypothesis correct?
  • If my hypothesis is partially correct or entirely different, what can be learned from the results? 
  • How do the conclusions reshape or add onto the existing knowledge in the field? What does previous research say about the topic? 
  • Why are the results important or relevant to your audience? Do they add further evidence to a scientific consensus or disprove prior studies? 
  • How can future research build on these observations? What are the key experiments that must be done? 
  • What is the “take-home” message you want your reader to leave with?

How to structure a discussion

Trying to fit a complete discussion into a single paragraph can add unnecessary stress to the writing process. If possible, you’ll want to give yourself two or three paragraphs to give the reader a comprehensive understanding of your study as a whole. Here’s one way to structure an effective discussion:

a conclusion paragraph should include what

Writing Tips

While the above sections can help you brainstorm and structure your discussion, there are many common mistakes that writers revert to when having difficulties with their paper. Writing a discussion can be a delicate balance between summarizing your results, providing proper context for your research and avoiding introducing new information. Remember that your paper should be both confident and honest about the results! 

What to do

  • Read the journal’s guidelines on the discussion and conclusion sections. If possible, learn about the guidelines before writing the discussion to ensure you’re writing to meet their expectations. 
  • Begin with a clear statement of the principal findings. This will reinforce the main take-away for the reader and set up the rest of the discussion. 
  • Explain why the outcomes of your study are important to the reader. Discuss the implications of your findings realistically based on previous literature, highlighting both the strengths and limitations of the research. 
  • State whether the results prove or disprove your hypothesis. If your hypothesis was disproved, what might be the reasons? 
  • Introduce new or expanded ways to think about the research question. Indicate what next steps can be taken to further pursue any unresolved questions. 
  • If dealing with a contemporary or ongoing problem, such as climate change, discuss possible consequences if the problem is avoided. 
  • Be concise. Adding unnecessary detail can distract from the main findings. 

What not to do

Don’t

  • Rewrite your abstract. Statements with “we investigated” or “we studied” generally do not belong in the discussion. 
  • Include new arguments or evidence not previously discussed. Necessary information and evidence should be introduced in the main body of the paper. 
  • Apologize. Even if your research contains significant limitations, don’t undermine your authority by including statements that doubt your methodology or execution. 
  • Shy away from speaking on limitations or negative results. Including limitations and negative results will give readers a complete understanding of the presented research. Potential limitations include sources of potential bias, threats to internal or external validity, barriers to implementing an intervention and other issues inherent to the study design. 
  • Overstate the importance of your findings. Making grand statements about how a study will fully resolve large questions can lead readers to doubt the success of the research. 

Snippets of Effective Discussions:

Consumer-based actions to reduce plastic pollution in rivers: A multi-criteria decision analysis approach

Identifying reliable indicators of fitness in polar bears

  • How to Write a Great Title
  • How to Write an Abstract
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How To Write A Good Conclusion Paragraph

writing a good conclusion paragraph

The conclusion paragraph is what you end your essay or other paper with. This is where you give your reader a brief recap of what they have just read. Of course, you want to have your paper well-written, and that includes the conclusion paragraph. A good conclusion paragraph is basically the one that solidifies the main point of your writing. Obviously, this means that your main point should be included in your conclusion paragraph. You have probably already written an introduction paragraph that you are particularly fond of. As an option, you can just paraphrase it and make it into your conclusion. But let us go into more detail.

Your introduction paragraph is your main source for writing your conclusion. For example, if your writing begins with something like “For me, there are only three movies that were released in 2016.” Then, your conclusion will have a sentence like “The three movies that made 2016 worthwhile in terms of cinema are Zootopia, Arrival, and The Jungle Book.”

If your paper is longer than a typical essay, just recycling your introduction will not be enough. You will have to return to each section or paragraph and summarize it in your conclusion. For instance, if your writing was about pets, then different sections of your paper are most likely dedicated to different kinds of pets. This is why, it is only logical to mention all kinds of pets in your conclusion: “Cats, dogs, goldfish, and parrots are for different tastes of animals lovers, but they can be equally good pets.”

It is good to end up with something thought-provoking. You can offer the readers to research more on the topic themselves. For example, "Many people remain surprisingly unaware of how larger corporations control the food markets." You can suggest or even encourage other activities – such as, "It is not so hard to make a difference. Just go to the nearest pet nursery and pick the cutest little furball!”

To crown it all, the purpose of a concluding paragraph is to wrap up the concentrated gist of your whole paper. This is how your essay is finalized to leave the readers with a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction when they finish it.

UNDERSTANDING THE DEFINITION OF A CONCLUSION PARAGRAPH

  • The final note on which you leave your reader
  • The concentrate gist of your whole body of writing
  • The proof that you had made the point that you were going to make when you started this writing
  • The demonstration that you have backed up your thesis
  • The closure of the paper’s subject

THE CONCLUDING PARAGRAPH IS BUILT THIS WAY

  • The mirror reflection of your paper’s introduction
  • A general opening line that grows more specific as the reader reads the introduction of your paper;
  • In the concluding paragraph, on the contrary, you move from the specific to the general

THE PLACE OF CONCLUDING PARAGRAPH IN YOUR PAPER:

If we had to draw a scheme of an essay, here is where the conclusion would be:

Introducing paragraph ➔ Thesis statement ←➔ Main body ← Concluding paragraph

WHAT THE CONCLUSION PARAGRAPH DOES:

  • It closes up your essay to leave your reader with everything clear and understood and with no questions left
  • The topic section of your conclusion paragraph is supposed to paraphrase your thesis statement
  • It is to demonstrate that you have fulfilled the task that you have set for yourself
  • Avoid simply replacing the words from your thesis statement with synonyms. This would be an instance of redundancy, which is a mistake
  • The very essence of your thesis statement needs to be brought in a new light
  • The supporting sentences of the concluding paragraph do not bring anything new to the table, they recycle what has already been said If you have caught some inspiration when writing the concluding paragraph, you must remember to restrain yourself from putting new ideas in there. Instead, allocate this new idea its own separate place in the main body, if you can. If this seems impossible, then it should be left out for now – who knows, maybe it can be a basis for another brilliant essay?
  • All the main points should be condensed in the conclusion, nothing should be left out
  • The final sentence of your conclusion paragraph should leave your reader feeling completely fulfilled and satisfied
  • Underline the significance of what you were talking about
  • Give your reader an entirely fresh perspective on the topic
  • Conclude with an optimistic tone
  • Your readers should be left in a good mood upon having read your writing

TIPS FOR BUILDING A POWERFUL CONCLUDING PARAGRAPH

  • Re-read every statement and ask the question – So what? Does it make any difference?
  • Think well about this question before you come up with a reply
  • The point here is that having a pet at home is fun.
  • Well, having fun makes you feel better.
  • Fun is a positive emotion and experiencing it for a prolonged period of time on a regular basis increases your overall satisfaction with life, and – consequently – your productivity at school, work, etc.
  • This closes the logical “loop” for your reader giving them the sense of fulfillment
  • If you started out with a hypothetical course of events, you could restate this by claiming that this is your evidence to solidify your argument and that it speaks in favor of your standpoint.
  • Use key words and phrases from your introduction to building the aforementioned "loop". Parallel images and mirror metaphors are also a good idea.
  • Summing it up does not only suggest repeating what you have already mentioned in the main body of your writing
  • All these main points should be organically connected to the evidence that supports them, and this organic connection has to be revealed in your conclusion paragraph
  • To keep your reader focused, you can drop something provocative – like a quotation that you stumbled upon during your research for this paper
  • Your conclusion should also answer the question, “Now what?” Remember to suggest your reader what they should do with the information they have just obtained. This can be a way to solve an existing problem, a direction for further study, or a combination of the latter and the former
  • For example, a paper about the heritage of Malcolm X should be placed on a background of African American movement as a whole. You should hint on what influenced him and how he influenced the activists that came after him.

Finally, WHAT NOT TO DO:

  • Start off you concluding paragraph with a common introductory phrase that can be avoided, such as "in conclusion…," "to sum it up…," "as we have found out…," "to crown it all…," etc. As good as it may sound in oral speech, it gives the text the unnecessary extra feeling of formality and giver the reader an impression that the essay writer was looking just to add any words for the sake of it.
  • Resort to pathos – an emotional appeal, unless it is in the spirit of the rest of the paper.
  • Introduce new ideas or facts / supporting evidence that you have for some reason not mentioned in the main body of your paper.

The Writing Process: 5 Main Steps

  • The Guide to Writing a Psychology Essay
  • How to Write an Abstract For an Academic Paper
  • How to Write a Process Analysis Essay
  • 35 Rogerian Essay Topics
  • HOW TO CREATE YOUR DISSERTATION OUTLINE

a conclusion paragraph should include what

  • UP Textbook Guide
  • The Writing Process
  • Addressing the Prompt
  • Originality
  • Timed Writing (Expectations)
  • Integrated Writing (Writing Process)
  • Shape and Organization
  • A Shifting Structure
  • Introductions
  • Body Paragraphs

Conclusions

  • Reference Page

Example Essay

  • Timed Writing (Revising)
  • Integrated Writing (TOEFL Task 1)
  • Descriptive Writing
  • Alternative Project: Creative Writing
  • Example Descriptive Writing
  • Skill: Word Choice
  • Sources: Quoting
  • Revise Descriptive Writing
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  • Alternative Project: Formal Emails
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  • Integrated Writing (Audience & Register)
  • Cause-Effect Writing
  • Example Cause-Effect Writing
  • Skill: Unity
  • Sources: Summarizing
  • Revise Cause-Effect Writing
  • Timed Writing (The Prompt)
  • Integrated Writing (Paraphrasing)
  • Alternative Project: Reviews
  • Persuasive Essays
  • Alternative Project: Reflections
  • Example Persuasive Writing
  • Skill: Cohesion
  • Sources: Paraphrasing
  • Revise a Persuasive Essay
  • Timed Writing (Scope & Scale)
  • Integrated Writing (Content)
  • Appendix A: Sentence Variety
  • Simple Sentences
  • Compound Sentences
  • Complex Sentences Part 1
  • Complex Sentences Part 2
  • Compound-Complex Sentences
  • Appendix B: Using Sources
  • Finding Sources
  • In-text Citations
  • More about Reference Pages
  • Translations

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a conclusion paragraph should include what

Your conclusion paragraph should logically conclude your essay, just like your conclusion sentences logically conclude your body paragraphs. The conclusion paragraph should begin by restating your thesis, and then you should broaden back out to a general topic. End with a closing statement.

Restate your thesis

The first sentence of your concluding paragraph should restate your thesis.

Example: Restated thesis

Thesis: Students should learn an extra language because many doors will be open for them in the future, and it is something they can use the rest of their life.

Restated Thesis: In conclution, children should learn a foreign language because it will create many opportunities for them and become an essential tool for their life.

The thesis changed by implying the main points, instead of stating them directly. Even though the words were changed, the overall meaning did not change. Other ways to restate a thesis include reversing the order of the clauses or using different word forms (e.g., adjective to noun: essential > the importance).

How to Paraphrase a Thesis Statement

A restated thesis statement says the ideas from the thesis statement again but in different words. It is a paraphrase of the original thesis statement.

An Effective Paraphrase:

  • explains the most important parts of the original
  • is written in your own words. 
  • keeps the original meaning. 
  • does not merely cut and copy from the original

How to Make a Paraphrase

  • Determine your purpose. 
  • Read or listen to what you will paraphrase
  • Make a list of the main points
  • Write the paraphrase. 
  • Compare the paraphrase to the original 

(Adapted from Stephen, n.d.)

Apply your thesis to general contexts

There are a few options for the supporting sentences of a conclusion paragraph. All of these options build off the main idea from the restated thesis. 

  • This is done by paraphrasing your topic sentences effectively.
  • This polishes off the essay in a refined way. Including the same ideas in the first paragraph and the last paragraph bookends the essay the same way the covers of a book contain a story. 
  • This is usually done with a large scope in mind. How does your idea impact a larger community or the world? What impact will it have in the future?

Give a closing statement

Your concluding statement is very similar to the concluding sentence of a body paragraph except that you will not restate your main idea at the very end of your paper. Your closing statement can be a prediction, suggestion, or opinion.

A conclusion's role in an essay

The primary role, job, of a conclusion in an essay is to finish off the essay in a logical way. Just like if you listened to a song that stopped halfway through if you read an essay without a conclusion, it feels unfinished.

A conclusion is an idea that is reached after someone considers evidence about a topic. All the ideas, details, explanations, and reasonings build up to the conclusion.

Usually, this conclusion is stated in the restated thesis statement. The sentences after the restated thesis statement can either summarize the main reasons that support that conclusion or they can show the impact of that conclusion on the real world. The last sentence, the concluding sentence, should be memorable so that people remember the conclusion from the restated thesis statement. It is like the grand finale in a song that leaves a lasting impression.

All of these pieces build on the ideas from the previous paragraphs, so the reader understands at the end of the essay what the essay was all about, the main idea. 

*Note: Conclusion vs. Concluding

"Conclusion" and "Concluding" are based on the word "Conclude" which has two different dictionary definitions: one about deciding based on evidence and another about ending something.

Conclusion means "something that you decide when you have thought about all the information connected with the situation". 

Concluding means "[coming] to an end; [bringing] something to an end"

Sources for definitions:

  • https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/us/definition/english/conclusion?q=conclusion+  
  • https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/us/definition/english/conclude?q=concluding

Exercise 1: Paraphrasing Practice

Pretend you are writing an essay to answer the prompt below. You have already written your thesis statement. You are now writing the restated thesis statement. To practice your paraphrasing skills, write three versions of the same restated thesis statement on the lines below. A completed example done with a different prompt has been given. 

Prompt: What are the effects of eating a healthy diet?

Thesis: Consuming healthy foods leads to an increase in energy, a higher intake of vitamins and minerals, and better overall physical health.   

Completed Example:

Prompt:  Should schools teach foreign languages?

Thesis:   Schools need to teach different languages because it helps the youth to be better prepared for the future, having more opportunities and developing their skills.

Restated Thesis Versions:

 1. In conclusion, students are benefited in schools that teach a foreign language because they are not only better prepared for future opportunities but also they develop skills. 

2. In closing, the preparation for future opportunities and skill development available to students in schools that teach a foreign language are two of the main reasons schools need to teach foreign languages.

3.  In fine, there are many benefits for students learning a foreign language which is why schools should include these courses.

Exercise 2: Concluding Paragraph Analysis

Read the example student's thesis statement and concluding paragraph. 

  • Does the paragraph appropriately restate the thesis?
  • Does the author apply the main idea to general topics?
  • Does the writer include a closing statement?
  • Do you think this is effective as a concluding paragraph? Why or why not?

Thesis Statement: Even though uniforms can transmit an organized image to people outside of the schools, they do not improve students' performance, do not allow students to express themselves, and are a financial burden to families. 

Conclusion:

       Even though uniforms are beneficial for the school's economy, they can impact in different ways to the students. They do not allow student expressions of creativity or develop critical thinking. Uniforms affect the parent's finances, and they do not improve students' grades in school. Uniforms have potential on students in different countries. 

Exercise 3: Consider the Cohesion

Analyze the conclusion paragraph from the example essay at the end of this chapter:

Consider these questions:

  • Are all the parts of the conclusion paragraph included?
  • How does this conclusion connect with the rest of the essay?
  • What specific language does the author use that you could use in any conclusion?

This content is provided to you freely by BYU Open Learning Network.

Access it online or download it at https://open.byu.edu/up_writing_winter/conclusion_paragraph .

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    Step 1: Return to your thesis To begin your conclusion, signal that the essay is coming to an end by returning to your overall argument. Don't just repeat your thesis statement —instead, try to rephrase your argument in a way that shows how it has been developed since the introduction. Example: Returning to the thesis

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    An effective conclusion paragraph should ultimately suggest to your reader that you've accomplished what you set out to prove. 5 key details for writing a conclusion 1 Restate your thesis As you set out to write your conclusion and end your essay on an insightful note, you'll want to start by restating your thesis.

  3. How to Write a Conclusion (With Tips and Examples)

    1. Restate the thesis An effective conclusion brings the reader back to the main point, reminding the reader of the purpose of the essay. However, avoid repeating the thesis verbatim. Paraphrase your argument slightly while still preserving the primary point. 2. Reiterate supporting points

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    In her final paragraph, Roser reminds us of where she started by echoing her thesis: "This literature demonstrates that, as with many other conditions, ADHD and RS share a delicately intertwined pattern of neurological similarities that is rooted in the innate biology of an individual's mind, a connection that cannot be explained in full by the ...

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    Complete. Don't try to bring in new points or end with a whiz bang (!) conclusion or try to solve world hunger in the final sentence of your conclusion. Simplicity is best for a clear, convincing message. The preacher's maxim is one of the most effective formulas to follow for argument papers: Tell what you're going to tell them (introduction).

  7. How to Conclude a Paragraph: 14 Steps (with Pictures)

    1. Avoid using the words "I" or "my" in your closing statement. Many writers are tempted to conclude their paragraphs using statements that begin with "As I have shown" or "This shows my assertions are correct.". Keep your essay in the formal third-person, which will make your ideas more convincing.

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    The best conclusion will include a synthesis, not just a summary—instead of a mere list of your major points, the best conclusion will draw those points together and relate them to one another so that your reader can apply the information given in the essay. Here are a couple of ways to do that:

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    Last updated: Jun 7, 2021 • 3 min read Conclusions are at the end of nearly every form of writing. A good conclusion paragraph can change a reader's mind when they reach the end of your work, and knowing how to write a thorough, engaging conclusion can make your writing more impactful. Conclusions are at the end of nearly every form of writing.

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    Conclusion paragraphs can be tricky to write, but a clear conclusion can sum up your main points and leave your reader with a clear sense of what to take away from your overall essay. Creating a strong essay means making sure that you have a clear introduction, several body paragraphs, and knowing how to write a conclusion paragraph.

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    End your conclusion with something memorable, such as: a question. a call to action. a recommendation. a gesture towards future research. a brief explanation of how the problem or idea you covered remains relevant. Ultimately, you want readers to feel more informed, or ready to act, as they read your conclusion. Example.

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