- PRO Courses Guides New Tech Help Pro Expert Videos About wikiHow Pro Upgrade Sign In
- EDIT Edit this Article
- EXPLORE Tech Help Pro About Us Random Article Quizzes Request a New Article Community Dashboard This Or That Game Popular Categories Arts and Entertainment Artwork Books Movies Computers and Electronics Computers Phone Skills Technology Hacks Health Men's Health Mental Health Women's Health Relationships Dating Love Relationship Issues Hobbies and Crafts Crafts Drawing Games Education & Communication Communication Skills Personal Development Studying Personal Care and Style Fashion Hair Care Personal Hygiene Youth Personal Care School Stuff Dating All Categories Arts and Entertainment Finance and Business Home and Garden Relationship Quizzes Cars & Other Vehicles Food and Entertaining Personal Care and Style Sports and Fitness Computers and Electronics Health Pets and Animals Travel Education & Communication Hobbies and Crafts Philosophy and Religion Work World Family Life Holidays and Traditions Relationships Youth
- Browse Articles
- Learn Something New
- Quizzes Hot
- This Or That Game New
- Train Your Brain
- Explore More
- Support wikiHow
- About wikiHow
- Log in / Sign up
- Finance and Business
- Legal Matters
- Court Practice and Procedure
How to Write a Closing Argument
Last Updated: January 3, 2021 Approved
This article was co-authored by Srabone Monir, JD . Srabone Monir, Esq., is an Attorney based in New York. She received her JD from the St. John's University School of Law in 2013, and has used her legal training in positions for 32BJ SEIU, the New York Legal Assistance Group, and Disability Rights New York. She is currently a Principal Law Clerk with the New York State Supreme Court. She is also a VA Accredited Attorney as of 2015 and is licensed to practice law in New Jersey and in New York. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article has 11 testimonials from our readers, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 310,165 times.
A closing argument is delivered by an attorney at the end of a trial, after all of the evidence has been presented, witnesses and experts have been questioned, and the theory behind a prosecution or a defense has been given. A closing argument is the last chance an attorney has to address the judge and jury.  X Research source That is why it's so important to write a closing argument that is memorable, factual, and informative.
Preparing to Write a Closing Argument
- Be sure that you have notes about damaging testimony that you were presented with during the trial. This will give you the opportunity to reference that evidence in your closing argument.
- For instance, in a murder case, important details that both sides may want to talk about include the physical evidence that may link the defendant to the murder, whether or not the defendant has an alibi, any problems with the murder investigation, and any motive the defendant may have had to commit the murder.
- For example, if you are the prosecutor during a murder trial, use a picture of the victim when he or she was still alive, a timeline of the defendant's movements around the time of the murder or a word that represents your theory of the case (such as jealousy or greed).
- To ensure that you use visuals aids effectively, choose one or two that you can use throughout the trial, and make sure that whatever visual you use is easily understood by the jury.
- To use a visual aid during your closing argument you may need to get approval from the judge. You must get permission from the judge to show pictures or other types of visual aids that were not admitted into evidence during the trial. However, if the visual aid that you plan to use in your closing argument is an exhibit that was admitted into evidence during the trial, you can use it without approval.
Reviewing Your Case
- The theory of the case is essentially each side's version of what happened, and if the juror's believe one side's theory, that side wins. Because the theory of the case stays the same throughout the trial, the jury should be familiar with each side's theory of the case when closing arguments are given.
- Bring up your theory at the beginning of your closing argument. Try to bring it up during the first 30 seconds of your argument to focus the jury's attention on the theory. Then continue to reference the theory throughout the rest of the argument.
- Be sure to use active, descriptive language and strong transitions between ideas. This will help capture the jury's attention and help them sympathize with your client.
- The prosecution and the defense will necessarily have different views of the facts, so make sure that whichever side you are on, you tell the jury the facts in a way that is favorable to you.
- For example, making an analogy between a murder case and the Cain and Abel story in the Bible may work if the facts are similar because many people have heard the story. On the other hand, analogizing a jealous murder to Shakespeare's Othello will probably not help the jury understand your case, because not too many people read Shakespeare.
- You may also use rhymes and phrases to drive home your argument to the jury. For example, during the famous O.J. Simpson trial, the defense attorney coined the phrase “if the glove doesn't fit you must acquit” to make sure that the jury would not forget an important piece of evidence: the glove.
Attacking the Opposition's Case
- Things that they say or that their witnesses testify to that are not supported by evidence, or
- Things that they say or their witnesses testify to that you can refute with your own evidence.
- For example, you could point out that your opponent is paying their expert witness to testify, and therefore that testimony is not as credible because it is essentially exchanged for money.
- You could also point out that other witnesses may have a stake in the outcome of the case. For instance, if a defendant's mother testifies that he was with her at the time the crime was committed, you could point out that as his mother she does not want him to go to jail, and therefore she could be lying.
- It is also likely that a witness on the other side made some sort of inadvertent comment during testimony that is not helpful, and may even be harmful, to the other side's case. Point this out during your closing.
- However, in a criminal case, you may not make any comments about the defendant choosing not to testify in his own defense. Such comments violate the fifth amendment prohibition against self-incrimination, and making statements such as “he didn't testify because he's guilty” and similar ones is grounds for a mistrial.
Concluding Your Closing Arguments
- However, make sure that you do not argue improperly by appealing to the jurors prejudices against a certain group of people. For example, it is improper to make an argument for a high award of damages based on the wealth of the individual or corporation that is being sued. It is additionally improper to ask the jury to base their verdict on characteristics of the defendant or victim such as race or sex.
- Some examples include talking about a juror's duty to uphold the law and dispense justice, or talking about how letting a defendant go free would put him or her back on the streets to commit more crimes.
- For instance, the prosecutor could say to the jury that “the verdict in this case does more than decide just this case. The verdict is a message to the community that you will not tolerate crime and those who commit crimes.”
Video . by using this service, some information may be shared with youtube..
- Remember to be organized. The jury will need to see the story from start to finish. Keep the argument chronological so the jury does not get confused or misunderstand your case. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- Closing rebuttals are available for prosecutors in criminal cases. This can be used if something new and unexpected is brought up by the defense in their closing argument. To do a rebuttal, ask the court to reserve a minute or two of your time at the start of your argument. Failure to save time will result in the court not allowing you to do a rebuttal. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- This article offers legal information, not legal advice. For legal advice, contact a licensed attorney. Thanks Helpful 3 Not Helpful 2
You Might Also Like
- ↑ http://www.law.indiana.edu/instruction/tanford/web/reference/09close.pdf
- ↑ http://www.uscourts.gov/educational-resources/get-informed/federal-court-resources/closing-arguments.aspx
- Thomas A. Mauet: Trial Techniques, Ninth Edition.
About This Article
To write a closing argument, start with your theory of the crime, which you should try to bring up within the first 30 seconds of your closing argument. Then, review your evidence by taking the jury step-by-step through the facts of the case from your side's perspective. You should also point out flaws and discrepancies in the other side's argument to help discredit them. Finally, conclude your closing argument by appealing to the jury's emotions and making a strong final statement. To learn how to outline your closing argument, scroll down! Did this summary help you? Yes No
- Send fan mail to authors
Reader Success Stories
Sep 2, 2021
Did this article help you?
Dec 14, 2016
Mar 29, 2022
Sep 6, 2016
Apr 18, 2016
- Do Not Sell or Share My Info
- Not Selling Info
Don’t miss out! Sign up for
- Get Involved
- Membership & Benefits
- New Lawyers
- CLE Calendar
- On Demand CLE
- CLE Committee
- Court Opinions
- Member Directory
- My CLE Report
- Resource Hub
- MN Find a Lawyer
- Finding Legal Help
- Forms and Resources
- High School Mock Trial
- Bar Foundation
- What We Stand For
- Awards & Recognition
- Related Organizations
- Privacy Notice
Short, sweet, and specific: Effective openings and closings in oral argument
By Kyle R. Kroll
The first impression is the last impression.” It’s a familiar phrase and one that underscores the importance of oral argument. Briefing is usually the first opportunity to make an impression, but appearing before judges in person is often more influential. The opening volley of your oral argument is crucial. But the last impression can be just as important as the first. As the saying goes, “You never win at oral argument, but you certainly can lose.” Your closing lines are therefore mission-critical as well.
What are the hallmarks of a strong opening and closing in oral argument? Most scholarship about oral advocacy focuses on the middle of the argument—the substance. And there is little advice regarding how to make a powerful and persuasive beginning and end.
To address this information gap, this article surveys just some of the great oral advocates from Minnesota and elsewhere. A review of openings and closings from these greats reveals three key insights: keep it short, sweet, and specific.
Openings: Theme and roadmap—briefly
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg led with the following piece of advice in remarking on advocacy: “Be brief, be pointed.” 1 For openings, this typically means beginning with a thematic statement and a roadmap of your main points. 2
The thematic statement should remind the court of the nature of the case and reiterate your client’s story. And the roadmap should introduce no more than three key points you wish to make. As one practitioner put it: “Write out an introduction that, from the very first sentence, captures the panel’s attention, frames the appeal and the issues, and presents a compelling narrative why your client should prevail….” 3 It’s important that the theme not overshadow the roadmap, however. 4 Although some scholars suggest completing the roadmap in 30 seconds—because sometimes that’s as much time as you will have before an interruption 5 —anything up to 60 seconds should suffice.
Take, for example, this effective opener in Romag Fasteners, Inc. v. Fossil , Inc. , from one of the most prolific appellate attorneys in U.S. Supreme Court history, 6 Lisa S. Blatt:
The Lanham Act authorizes courts to remedy trademark violations by awarding infringers profits subject to the principles of equity. The question presented here is whether this phrase, “principles of equity,” requires trademark owners to prove willfulness as an absolute precondition to profit awards. The answer is no for three reasons: First, the phrase “principles of equity” signifies a multifactor analysis where no one factor is controlling. Second, the statutory text and structure supersede any settled willfulness requirement. And, third, there was no such settled background willfulness requirement. 7
To avoid an interruption and ensure you make your key points, consider former U.S. Solicitor General Paul D. Clement’s succinct opening in United States Forest Service v. Cowpasture River Preservation Association :
Respondents’ effort to convert all of the land traversed by a Park Service-administered trail into lands in the National Park Service fails for reasons of text, context, and consequences. 8
Clement’s very short roadmap identifies three key points (text, context, and consequences), while promoting the narrative that the respondent is trying to convert private into public land.
Sometimes it is best to focus the inquiry on the single most dispositive and pressing issue, just as future Chief Judge John R. Tunheim (District of Minnesota) did in Growe v. Emison :
Redistricting is a power and responsibility that is reserved to the states in the first instance. This case presents the Court with an opportunity to illuminate that important principle and clarify the apparent confusion in the lower federal courts. I intend to direct my argument this morning to the abstention issue: Did the federal court err by refusing to abstain to an ongoing state judicial proceeding? And the case presents perhaps one of the most stark examples of what can go wrong when there are jurisdictional disputes in the redistricting process. 9
Nicole A. Saharsky (a University of Minnesota Law School graduate and also one of the most prolific attorneys to argue in front of the U.S. Supreme Court) 10 offered a shorter and sweeter opener on a key issue in DePierre v. United States :
Whether you call it freebase, coca paste or crack, it’s the same thing chemically. It is cocaine base, it is smokeable, it has the same effects on the user; and Congress did not limit the statute to one form of cocaine basis. This court should not do it, either. 11
Aaron Van Oort focused the Court in on a dispositive issue after opening with a strong thematic point and summarizing the compelling facts:
This case tests and exceeds the very outermost limits of what a person may be insured against under Nebraska law. In 2006, Commander David Kofoed of the Douglas County CSI unit committed the reprehensible act of planting false blood evidence against two innocent men in a murder investigation. For this criminal misconduct he was both convicted of a class four felony and it resulted in the civil judgments that are underlying this proceeding. In this appeal, the plaintiffs are arguing on his behalf—Commander Kofoed—that he has insurance coverage for the damages arising out of his wrongdoing, even for the punitive damages that were awarded against him. That’s incorrect under Nebraska law because Nebraska affirmatively forbids its political subdivisions like Douglas County, his employer, from paying civil judgments that arise out of criminal wrongdoing, whether they do it through insurance or otherwise. 12
In each of these examples, the advocate’s winning opening was short, sweet, and specific. The openings usually include one or more thematic sentences. Theme appeals to ethics and morality, while the roadmap that introduces the key points appeals to logic. These advocates strive not only to show the court that their positions are right, but also that their clients are in the right . Sometimes the advocates focus on one key issue, but where there is more than one, they often use signposts (“first,” “second,” “third”) to provide verbal organization in their roadmap. The opening roadmaps are short, even though they often paint a clear picture with salient facts or legal principles. Notice also the use of vivid and concrete language—the “sweet” part of the opening that often grabs attention. Further, the openings either implicitly or explicitly call for the court to make a certain holding (reverse, remand, etc.). Short, sweet, and specific.
Closings: Make a compelling point, and tell the court what you want
Closings should also be short, sweet, and specific. Admittedly, advocates often have little—or no—time for a planned closing. Questions that arise during oral argument regularly fill up that space, and the lawyer runs out of time, only to offer a short “Thank you” at the end. But when time permits, the greats include closings that are short, sweet, and specific.
For example, in Weinberger v. Wiesenfeld , future Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg offered this concise and compelling closing:
In sum, appellee respectfully requests that the judgment below be affirmed, thereby establishing that under this nation’s fundamental law, the woman worker’s national social insurance is no less valuable to her family than is the social insurance of the working man. 13
Justice Ginsburg’s closing is a model of short, sweet, and specific. She concisely boils down the issue on appeal to a clear ultimatum. She asks for specific relief: that the judgment be affirmed. The Court agreed.
Appeals to bedrock principles—a version of “sweet”—are common among the greats. Eric J. Magnuson, in Padden Law Firm, PLLC v. Bridget Trice, appealed to core principles of client autonomy and choice:
Mr. Padden got the case in the door, he got some lawyers to handle it, and then he disappeared. And at the end of the day, he wants to get his full 30 percent contract because, if you read their brief, a contract is a contract. It’s not when it comes to attorneys’ fees. Not under Minnesota law. Judge Montgomery did the right thing by honoring the client’s wishes. This was a decision by Bridgett Trice and Quincy Adams, that they wanted the lawyers who really got them their recovery to be appropriately rewarded. They have the right as clients to do that, and if you’re going to worry about public policy, the public policy should be in recognizing the client’s interests and protecting those interests. Thank you. 14
Like openings, the best closings share short, sweet, and specific qualities. Effective closings don’t belabor points, but instead reiterate the key points in simple and motivational terms. Prolific advocates inject personal style into their delivery. They include strong themes and narratives that appeal to ethics, morality, and justice. And they implicitly or explicitly ask the court to take a certain action, leaving little room for ambiguity.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to success in oral argument. But these winning examples provide useful guidance to practitioners. Keeping openings and closings brief, compelling, and on-point are key ingredients in making a lasting and persuasive impression.
KYLE R. KROLL is an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota Law School and an attorney at Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A. in Minneapolis, where he practices business litigation at both the trial and appellate levels. The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone, and not of any other person or organization.
The author expresses special thanks to Miriam Solomon for her research assistance and contributions to this article.
1 Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Remarks on Appellate Advocacy, 50 S.C.L.R. 567, 571 (1999).
2 See Stephanie A. Vaughan, Experiential Learning, Moving Forward in Teaching Oral Advocacy Skills by Looking Back at the Origins of Rhetoric, 59 S. Tex. L.R. 121 (2017); Sylvia H. Walbolt, Openings in Appellate Oral Arguments, Carlton Fields (3/22/2019). https://www.carltonfields.com/insights/publications/2019/openings-in-appellate-oral-arguments
3 George W. Hicks, Jr. Oral Argument: A Guide to Preparation and Delivery for the First-Timer, KIRKLAND & ELLIS (8/16/2019). h ttps://www.kirkland.com/publications/article/2019/08/oral-argument_a-guide-to-preparation-and-delivery
4 Emily R. Bodtke, Arguing at the Appellate Level, Bench & Bar of Minn., April 2017, at 35 (“[I]t is far better to use the limited time available to explain why the law supports a desired outcome, rather than pontificate about the wrongs committed against a client.”).
5 See Hicks, Jr., supra.
6 See Marlene Trestman, Women Advocates Before the Supreme Court , The Supreme Court Historical Society (5/21/2021). https://supremecourthistory.org/women-advocates-beforethe-supreme-court/
7 Romag Fasteners, Inc. v. Fossil, Inc., Oyez, https://www.oyez.org/cases/2019/18-1233 (last visited 8/26/2021). For more information about this case, in which Ms. Blatt faced off against Mr. Katyal, see Kyle R. Kroll, Lanham Act Disgorgement Just Go More Complicated, Bench & Bar of Minn. (Dec. 2020), https://www.mnbar.org/resources/publications/bench-bar/columns/2020/12/01/lanham-act-disgorgement-just-got-more-complicated.
8 United states Forest Service v. Cowpasture River Preservation Association, Oyez, https://www.oyez.org/cases/2019/18-1584 (last visited 8/26/2021).
9 Growe v. Emison, Oyez , https://www.oyez.org/cases/1992/91-1420 (last visited 8/26/2021).
10 See Tresman, supra.
11 DePierre v. United States , Oyez, https://www.oyez.org/cases/2010/09-1533 (last visited 8/26/2021).
12 Sampson v. Lambert, Nos. 17-1104, 17-1106, 17-1114, 17-1117 (8th Cir. 2018), http://media-oa.ca8.uscourts.gov/OAaudio/2018/2/171104.MP3
13 Weinberger v. Wiesenfeld , Oyez, https://www.oyez.org/cases/1974/73-1892 (last visited 8/26/2021).
14 Padden Law Firm, PLLC v. Trice , Nos. 18-2451, 18-2576 (8th Cir. 2019) . http://media-oa.ca8.uscourts.gov/OAaudio/2019/10/182451.MP3
KYLE R. KROLL is an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota Law School and an attorney at Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A. in Minneapolis, where he practices business litigation at both the trial and appellate levels. The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone, and not of any other person or organization.
The author expresses special thanks to Miriam Solomon for her research assistance and contributions to this article.
- Print Edition
- Classified Ads
- Writers' Guidelines
- December 2023
- November 2023
- October 2023
- September 2023
- August 2023
- May/June 2023
- January/February 2023
- December 2022
- November 2022
- October 2022
- September 2022
- August 2022
- May/June 2022
- January / February 2022
Minnesota State Bar Association | 600 Nicollet Mall Suite 380, Minneapolis, MN 55402 | 612-333-1183 | 800-882-6722 | [email protected] Hennepin County Bar Association | 600 Nicollet Mall Suite 390, Minneapolis, MN 55402 | 612-752-6600 | [email protected] Ramsey County Bar Association | 332 Minnesota Street Suite 2550, St. Paul, MN, 55101 | 651-222-0846 | [email protected]
Skip to main navigation
- Email Updates
- Federal Court Finder
Guide to Writing Closing Arguments
Purpose : To persuade the jurors to adopt your view of the significance of the evidence and your view of the case. Attorneys are free to argue the merits of their case: “As we know from Witness A’s compelling testimony, Event X occurred, which clearly establishes who should be held responsible in this case.”
To the jurors: You have seen and heard the factual evidence in this case. I would like to review with you the key evidence presented today.
1. Factual Evidence
How it supports your case
2. Factual Evidence
How it supports your case
3. Factual Evidence
Comments on the credibility of witnesses:
How do the puzzle pieces of evidence and testimony fit into a compelling whole? This is your narrative of what happened.
Bottom Line: Why should the jurors decide in favor of your client?
DISCLAIMER: These resources are created by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts for educational purposes only. They may not reflect the current state of the law, and are not intended to provide legal advice, guidance on litigation, or commentary on any pending case or legislation.
You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.
How to Draft a Persuasive Closing Argument in Five Easy Steps
Overwhelmed by the task of writing a persuasive closing argument here's how to draft a persuasive closing argument in five easy steps..
There are very few times when practicing law feels like artistry; closing argument is one of them. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the task — here’s how to draft a persuasive closing argument in five easy steps.
By Kimberly A. Quach, Family Lawyer
Drafting A Persuasive Closing Argument
This Hot Tip is designed to help with the task of drafting a closing argument in five easy steps. It is hardly a panacea for good preparation, but it can help to allow the lawyer’s nonjudgmental, brainstorming juices flow rather than slow the process of drafting when perfectionism looms.
The Five Easy Steps
The five easy steps to drafting a persuasive closing argument are based on the premise that closing argument is drafted, in part, while trial is going on rather than after the trial. Certainly, one cannot draft a good closing argument until the end of the case, but why not brainstorm about ideas for closing as you listen to the case? Pull out your highlighters, colleagues, as you are listening to opening statements and testimony so that you can easily refer to what you found compelling as you listen to the case. Then, when you finally have the opportunity to draft your closing argument, you can collect all of these bits and pieces and quickly incorporate them into your argument.
Lest I get ahead of myself, though, the steps in drafting your closing argument should include at least the following:
- Listen to the Case Carefully. Listen to the witnesses, the evidence presented, and the Court and opposing counsel with the theme of your case repeating like a well-memorized mantra. Also, look for the Big Mistake made by the opposing client.
- Highlight Supporting Information for Future Reference. Highlight any testimony, and comments by the Court that support your theme in the case, as well as your perception of the Big Mistake made by the opposing client.
- Identify Two or Three Main Points in the Case. Identify two or, at most, three main points relevant to the Court’s consideration.
- Fit the Supporting Information into Your Outline. Take all of the highlighted information that you thought was helpful and place it into the outline that you have created.
- Create a Catchy Introduction That Summarizes Your Assessment of the Case. After you have created an outline, complete with supporting information, craft a pithy, catchy introduction with which to start your closing.
Listen To The Case Carefully
It is important to establish a theme to your case in your opening statement, which is beyond the scope of this Hot Tip, so I will not address how to develop that theme. Your task, as you listen to the case, is to listen for how your theme plays through the evidence. Is it being supported? Does the theme need to be modified? If so, what additional evidence should be submitted to support the modified theme? How do you plan to pitch the justification for the modified theme to the Court in closing?
It is also important to see how the opposing client’s theme plays through the evidence. Has he made promises that were not kept during the case? Has he introduced testimony or evidence that contradicts his theme? A Big Mistake is the part of a case in which the opposing client submits testimony or evidence that substantially undercuts his initial assessment of the case. Listen to the case carefully to identify that Big Mistake. At some point in the middle of your closing, make sure to identify the opposing client’s Big Mistake to undercut the opposing case. It is best to do so in the middle of the case so that the court does not view this technique as unnecessarily negative or overzealous.
Highlight Supporting Information For Future Reference
There is no reason to artificially compartmentalize tasks as a trial advocate. Being a good trial lawyer is a lot like flying an airplane on instruments — one has several critical functions to negotiate simultaneously, and it is perfectly fine (perhaps even expected) to multitask. So that listening to the evidence for closing argument does not become overly burdensome, I suggest you simply use one color of highlighter to identify the information you feel might be valuable for your closing. If you highlight the important tidbits, you will be more likely to stop worrying about remembering them later. (Those lawyers that are highlighter-happy might use another color for cross-examination.)
Remember that there are several sources of information for your closing. The judge may make preliminary comments on the record or in chambers that you wish to address in closing. Your client or an expert might have used a clever phrase to describe a feature of the case. In one of my recent trials, the expert said the father was “consistently inconsistent‚” in his positions during a custody study, a statement I found particularly helpful in my closing. And do not forget exhibits as a source of closing argument materials, which should be identified by exhibit number in your closing so the Court has a clear outline of why you are making your arguments. The judge may not prepare a ruling for several days after the trial, so specific references to exhibits and testimony will be helpful to refresh her recollection. Even more important, use of exhibit numbers and specific references to testimony will vest your argument with an air of credibility, making the Court more secure in its willingness to trust your perceptions of the case.
Identify Two Or Three Main Points In The Case
The Court can process only so much information. After reviewing all of your highlighted information in a very summary fashion, try to think of two or three main ideas that summarize the evidence and testimony. This should be the hardest part of drafting your argument, so do not be hard on yourself if it takes a little time. A cohesive structure for your argument is the very foundation of what makes it compelling and easy for the Court to digest completely, with all of its nuances.
Fit The Supporting Information Into Your Outline
- You can state, “All of the lay witnesses agreed that the Mother was the child’s primary caretaker, including . . .“ and list the witnesses’ names.
- The wife’s spending habits, as summarized in the year-end VISA and American Express Statements (Exhibits 31 and 32), show that she spent at least $3,000 a month after taxes.
If a witness provides a good anecdote about the evidence, place it in the outline. At this point, do not be judgmental about what you include. Just list it all.
If you are like me, the closing argument you have drafted is about an hour long. If your judge does not have this level of patience, now is the time to start cutting out detail that you feel is not essential to the argument, or to summarize the detail more briefly. Your choice about what to omit from your closing argument should be based, in part, upon how the judge responded to the evidence. If she was annoyed by one particularly uneventful turn in the evidence, it is a good bet you can safely omit that discussion from your closing. If your judge was careful not to reveal her leanings, put your best argument together. Know that you may need to adapt if the judge appears to wince at your approach during closing.
Create a Catchy Introduction That Summarizes Your Assessment of the Case
Your argument is drafted. You breathe a sigh of relief. But now, according to communications experts, you need a catchy introduction. This introduction will grab the Court’s attention and give you the momentum to deliver your closing with an appropriate level of enthusiasm. It should complement your theme. Perhaps you will quote a witness, or read from an exhibit, or provide an analogy for the way in which your client or the opposing client is approaching the case. Whatever it is, make it simple. Your goal is to have the Court repeat your introduction and theme in her ruling.
Drafting a closing argument is hardly brain surgery, but sometimes we treat it that way because we want it to be excellent. This Hot Tip hopefully provides some ways to help the lawyer quickly draft a compelling closing argument by treating it like a brainstorming exercise, rather than like Chagall’s irreversible splotch of oil paint on a clean canvas. There are very few times when practicing law feels like artistry; closing argument is one of them. Be creative, and be credible by preparing for closing argument throughout the trial.
The Assisted Opening Statement Show the judge why your case is worthwhile.
Development and Introduction of Exhibits Almost anything can be an exhibit, if it will advance the cause and lead to proof of the case.
Kimberly Quach is a member of the Oregon and Washington bars. She practiced commercial litigation and family law in Seattle and Portland before moving to Singapore in 2000 and becoming general counsel to NMG Financial Services Consulting.
About the Author
Diana Shepherd, CDFA®
Diana Shepherd has over 30 years of experience as a marketing, branding, SEO, copywriting, editing, and publishing expert. As Content Director for Family Lawyer Magazine, Divorce Magazine , and Divorce Marketing Group , she oversees all corporate content development and frequently creates SEO-friendly videos, podcasts, and copy for family law and financial firms. The Co-Founder of Divorce Magazine and Divorce Marketing Group, Diana is an award-winning editor, published author, and a nationally recognized expert on divorce, remarriage, finance, and stepfamily issues. She has written hundreds of articles geared towards both family law professionals and divorcing people, and she has both performed and taught on-page SEO for 20+ years. Diana spent eight years as the Marketing Director for the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts® (IDFA®), and she has been a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® since 2006. While at IDFA, she wrote, designed, and published The IDFA Marketing Guide , and she also created seminars for CDFA professionals to present to family lawyers (approved for CLE), as well as to separated and divorcing individuals. She has represented both DMG and IDFA at industry conferences and events across North America, and she has given marketing as well as divorce financial seminars at many of those conferences.
Leave a Reply Cancel Reply
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
How to Write a Good Closing Argument
How to Write an Essay With a Thesis Statement
When it comes to mock trials or debates in class, even good arguments can fall flat without a strong closing statement. Closing statements wrap up a trial's or debate's argument by making connections between the evidence and the claim or the verdict the lawyer wants the jury to reach.
How to Write a Good Closing Statement
To write a closing argument, look back at your opening statement. In a trial, an opening statement is a lawyer’s first chance to outline the facts of a case. Good opening statements are limited to just the introductory facts and should not attempt to sway the jury or audience with persuasive language. Instead, good opening statements outline what is to come in the rest of the trial and tell the jury what to expect.
If you have already written good opening statements, odds are, you already have an effective closing argument outline. Review your opening statement and compare it with the facts and evidence introduced during the case. While good closing statements simply outline what is to come in a mock trial, the best closing statements take those ideas a step further by explaining how they support the case. Use succinct language to clearly lay out how each piece of evidence backs up your main point. In planning, it may help to use if-then statements to establish causality in your reasoning. To help you in composing the most effective end to your speech, utilize a closing argument outline like the one below.
Closing Argument Outline
Restate your claim: What is the main idea of your argument?
Remind your audience of the evidence. Explain how each piece of evidence justifies your claim. How does the evidence show that your argument is true?
How does all of the evidence fit together to explain the puzzle of the case?
Finally, address why the jurors, judge or audience members should find the case in your favor. Try to sum up your reasoning in one short, well-formed sentence.
Closing Argument Example
In conclusion, it is clear that the butler murdered the maid, because he left a trail of evidence from the kitchen into the study.
Investigators found numerous muddy footprints leading into the study. All of these footprints were identical in pattern to the butler’s favorite loafers. These loafers are uncommon because they must be made special in Italy for the butler’s size 16 feet.
Given the muddy trail left by the butler and the argument between the butler and the maid that could be heard throughout the house, it is clear the butler did it.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, due to the preponderance of evidence, I ask you to find in favor of the butler’s guilt.
How to write a rebuttal speech.
How to Make an Opening Statement for a Mock Trial
How to Outline a Case for Legal Studies
How to Write an Outline for a Narrative Speech
How to Write the Conclusion for a Persuasive Essay
How to Write a Controlling Idea Essay
The Parts of an Argument
- United States Courts: Differences Between Opening Statements & Closing Arguments
- United States Courts: Guide to Writing Closing Arguments
- College Vine: How to Write Mock Trial Opening and Closing Statements
- American Bar Association: Closing Arguments: 10 Keys to a Powerful Summation
- Advanced Trial Handbook Index: Closing Arguments Discussed
- Bartleby.com: Bartlett's Familiar Quotations
Rebecca Renner is a teacher and college professor from Florida. She loves teaching about literature, and she writes about books for Book Riot, Real Simple, Electric Literature and more.
Have a language expert improve your writing
Run a free plagiarism check in 10 minutes, generate accurate citations for free.
- Knowledge Base
- How to conclude an essay | Interactive example
How to Conclude an Essay | Interactive Example
Published on January 24, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on July 23, 2023.
The conclusion is the final paragraph of your essay . A strong conclusion aims to:
- Tie together the essay’s main points
- Show why your argument matters
- Leave the reader with a strong impression
Your conclusion should give a sense of closure and completion to your argument, but also show what new questions or possibilities it has opened up.
This conclusion is taken from our annotated essay example , which discusses the history of the Braille system. Hover over each part to see why it’s effective.
Braille paved the way for dramatic cultural changes in the way blind people were treated and the opportunities available to them. Louis Braille’s innovation was to reimagine existing reading systems from a blind perspective, and the success of this invention required sighted teachers to adapt to their students’ reality instead of the other way around. In this sense, Braille helped drive broader social changes in the status of blindness. New accessibility tools provide practical advantages to those who need them, but they can also change the perspectives and attitudes of those who do not.
Table of contents
Step 1: return to your thesis, step 2: review your main points, step 3: show why it matters, what shouldn’t go in the conclusion, more examples of essay conclusions, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about writing an essay conclusion.
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.
Receive feedback on language, structure, and formatting
Professional editors proofread and edit your paper by focusing on:
- Academic style
- Vague sentences
- Style consistency
See an example
Next, remind the reader of the main points that you used to support your argument.
Avoid simply summarizing each paragraph or repeating each point in order; try to bring your points together in a way that makes the connections between them clear. The conclusion is your final chance to show how all the paragraphs of your essay add up to a coherent whole.
To wrap up your conclusion, zoom out to a broader view of the topic and consider the implications of your argument. For example:
- Does it contribute a new understanding of your topic?
- Does it raise new questions for future study?
- Does it lead to practical suggestions or predictions?
- Can it be applied to different contexts?
- Can it be connected to a broader debate or theme?
Whatever your essay is about, the conclusion should aim to emphasize the significance of your argument, whether that’s within your academic subject or in the wider world.
Try to end with a strong, decisive sentence, leaving the reader with a lingering sense of interest in your topic.
The easiest way to improve your conclusion is to eliminate these common mistakes.
Don’t include new evidence
Any evidence or analysis that is essential to supporting your thesis statement should appear in the main body of the essay.
The conclusion might include minor pieces of new information—for example, a sentence or two discussing broader implications, or a quotation that nicely summarizes your central point. But it shouldn’t introduce any major new sources or ideas that need further explanation to understand.
Don’t use “concluding phrases”
Avoid using obvious stock phrases to tell the reader what you’re doing:
- “In conclusion…”
- “To sum up…”
These phrases aren’t forbidden, but they can make your writing sound weak. By returning to your main argument, it will quickly become clear that you are concluding the essay—you shouldn’t have to spell it out.
Don’t undermine your argument
Avoid using apologetic phrases that sound uncertain or confused:
- “This is just one approach among many.”
- “There are good arguments on both sides of this issue.”
- “There is no clear answer to this problem.”
Even if your essay has explored different points of view, your own position should be clear. There may be many possible approaches to the topic, but you want to leave the reader convinced that yours is the best one!
Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.
- Literary analysis
This conclusion is taken from an argumentative essay about the internet’s impact on education. It acknowledges the opposing arguments while taking a clear, decisive position.
The internet has had a major positive impact on the world of education; occasional pitfalls aside, its value is evident in numerous applications. The future of teaching lies in the possibilities the internet opens up for communication, research, and interactivity. As the popularity of distance learning shows, students value the flexibility and accessibility offered by digital education, and educators should fully embrace these advantages. The internet’s dangers, real and imaginary, have been documented exhaustively by skeptics, but the internet is here to stay; it is time to focus seriously on its potential for good.
This conclusion is taken from a short expository essay that explains the invention of the printing press and its effects on European society. It focuses on giving a clear, concise overview of what was covered in the essay.
The invention of the printing press was important not only in terms of its immediate cultural and economic effects, but also in terms of its major impact on politics and religion across Europe. In the century following the invention of the printing press, the relatively stationary intellectual atmosphere of the Middle Ages gave way to the social upheavals of the Reformation and the Renaissance. A single technological innovation had contributed to the total reshaping of the continent.
This conclusion is taken from a literary analysis essay about Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein . It summarizes what the essay’s analysis achieved and emphasizes its originality.
By tracing the depiction of Frankenstein through the novel’s three volumes, I have demonstrated how the narrative structure shifts our perception of the character. While the Frankenstein of the first volume is depicted as having innocent intentions, the second and third volumes—first in the creature’s accusatory voice, and then in his own voice—increasingly undermine him, causing him to appear alternately ridiculous and vindictive. Far from the one-dimensional villain he is often taken to be, the character of Frankenstein is compelling because of the dynamic narrative frame in which he is placed. In this frame, Frankenstein’s narrative self-presentation responds to the images of him we see from others’ perspectives. This conclusion sheds new light on the novel, foregrounding Shelley’s unique layering of narrative perspectives and its importance for the depiction of character.
If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!
- Ad hominem fallacy
- Post hoc fallacy
- Appeal to authority fallacy
- False cause fallacy
- Sunk cost fallacy
- Choosing Essay Topic
- Write a College Essay
- Write a Diversity Essay
- College Essay Format & Structure
- Comparing and Contrasting in an Essay
- Grammar Checker
- Paraphrasing Tool
- Text Summarizer
- AI Detector
- Plagiarism Checker
- Citation Generator
Your essay’s conclusion should contain:
- A rephrased version of your overall thesis
- A brief review of the key points you made in the main body
- An indication of why your argument matters
The conclusion may also reflect on the broader implications of your argument, showing how your ideas could applied to other contexts or debates.
For a stronger conclusion paragraph, avoid including:
- Important evidence or analysis that wasn’t mentioned in the main body
- 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 paragraph of an essay is usually shorter than the introduction . As a rule, it shouldn’t take up more than 10–15% of the text.
Cite this Scribbr article
If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.
McCombes, S. (2023, July 23). How to Conclude an Essay | Interactive Example. Scribbr. Retrieved December 26, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/academic-essay/conclusion/
Is this article helpful?
Other students also liked, how to write an essay introduction | 4 steps & examples, how to write a thesis statement | 4 steps & examples, example of a great essay | explanations, tips & tricks, what is your plagiarism score.
Five Considerations for an Effective Closing Argument
By Hon. Robert Trentacosta
Closing Argument is the trial’s denouement . To be successful, it must be satisfying and persuasive to the jury. However, often, too often, it becomes a liability due to poor planning or execution. Your Closing Argument needs to be engaging, goal-oriented, honest, and delivered with passion and verve. To assist you, I offer the following five considerations in planning and delivering your Closing Argument:
1. Your Case Theme and Theory Must Be Featured and Amplified in Closing Argument.
Stay on message. You crafted your case theme with care. For example, “This is a case about the most basic human instinct – survival.” Your case theory factually expounds on this theme: “Bill Williams [defendant] did kill Sam Booth. But only after Williams was attacked by the larger, drunken Booth who was in a jealous rage because he wrongly believed Williams was having an affair with his wife. Booth tried to kill Bill Williams. Williams was entitled to defend himself. He did exactly what the law allows him to do.”
You introduced your case theme/theory to the jury in Opening Statement. Make sure your Closing Argument is symmetrical and complimentary to your Opening Statement . If you are inconsistent, the jurors will be confused and mistrustful. Do not risk damage to your credibility with the jurors. Your believability is your most valuable asset.
Closing argument is not a regurgitation of the facts. You must curate the facts . Select and organize the facts so there is a concentration on the critical issues in your case. Do not give equal time to the minor or inconsequential facts as that will dilute your argument. Once you have selected the important facts, argue the facts consistently with your case theme/theory.
3. Closing Argument is a Performance with Consequences. You Must Deliver.
Do not read your Closing Argument . Step out from behind the podium and engage the jurors. Deliver your Closing Argument with confidence and conviction. Illustrate your Closing Argument with admitted exhibits such as video, photographs, diagrams, drawings, charts and other writings. Project the exhibits on the courtroom viewing screen so they are easily seen by all the jurors. Use highlighting to draw attention to significant portions of a document. Explain to the jurors the significance of what they are viewing. A winning Closing argument is an interesting, convincing story told to an audience waiting to be captivated.
4. No One Likes a Liar. Be Scrupulously Accurate with the Facts and Law.
No self-inflicted wounds. Do not let passion interfere with your duty to be truthful. If you argue facts not admitted into evidence, you will draw an objection from opposing counsel, a potential admonition from the judge, and a loss of credibility with the jury.
As to the law, the judge will have pre-instructed the jury in the law that applies to your case before Closing Argument. Any legal argument you make must be consistent with the judge’s instructions to the jury. However, simplify the law for the jurors. Focus on the elements of the crime, cause of action or defense and home in on the critical key phrase or word in the jury instructions that will decide the case.
If you are listening to your opposition’s argument, make sure that he or she is accurate with the facts and the law. Also, be aware that some attorneys use illustrative aids that are not admitted into evidence during Closing Argument. Often, these aids are props to illustrate a legal point, such as the burden of proof. [For example, you may see a drawing of the scales of justice with weights on one side to illustrate proof beyond a reasonable doubt]. Be discerning. Make sure that these props accurately reflect the law and are consistent with the judge’s instructions to the jury. If they are not, you must object, and if sustained, seek a curative instruction from the judge to the jurors to ignore the prop.
5. End with a Clear “Ask.”
Ask for what you want. The jurors have just endured a long recitation of jury instructions from the judge and (usually) extended arguments from counsel. They are being inundated with law and facts. Make their job simpler. Tell them exactly what you would like them to do. Review the Jury Verdict form with them to clear up any confusion. Your job is to make the complicated simple and understandable. The jurors will be grateful for the help.
Leave a Comment Cancel Reply
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.
Join Our Mailing List
Join our mailing list to receive trial advocacy tips and be the first to know when program registration opens.
How to Write a Conclusion for an Argumentative Essay: All Tips
Table of contents
- 1 What to Write in the Conclusion for an Argumentative Essay
- 2.1 Know how to structure your paper
- 3 How to Start the Conclusion of an Essay?
- 4.1 Example 1
- 4.2 Example 2
- 4.3 Example 3
- 4.4 Examples 4, 5
- 5 How to Finish an Argumentative Project Conclusion Paragraph
Want to write a perfect conclusion for your paper but don’t know how? Everyone has been there, and it’s never easy. It is the final part of your writing, so by the time you reach it, you have no energy and can’t focus.
Still, the conclusion part is crucial for the success of every paper. You have to give the final answer to the audience by restating your thesis and noting your claims and findings. If you think you can’t write one, you’d better buy an argumentative essay online and solve your problems.
In this article, you will find everything you need to know about a conclusion to an argumentative essay and how to write it.
What to Write in the Conclusion for an Argumentative Essay
To write a conclusion argumentative essay, you first need to recall all the key points of your writing. The college argumentative essay outline you have written can significantly assist you in this. After you have noted these points, you should restate your rephrased thesis and findings.
Except for those basic points, knowing how to conclude an argumentative essay also requires a few more things:
The first thing to pay attention to is your tone of writing. Make sure it is authoritative yet calm and informative. This way, you will assure readers that your work is essential for the case.
Next is your first sentence. How you start your conclusion does matter. You need to state what you did and why. That will remind the readers once again about what they have read.
After you write it, you will need to point out the key findings of your writing. You must note the important evidence you have written about in your paper. Keep it brief and connect them to your text conclusion.
The last step is to finish the conclusion of your argumentative essay in a meaningful way. Ensure a positive final sentence to make the reader reflect on your work and make them act.
Thus, writing a conclusion for an argumentative essay is a complex process. It can be not easy to come up with a good conclusion on your own, so don’t hesitate to seek essay assistance if you need it. Once again, no matter what kind of conclusion you write, it is crucial to have a good one. That goes even for argumentative essays, where you can write everything straight as it is. You can be assertive and direct without considering whether the reader will like your argument. Still, you must keep a good transition between the sections and stick to the basic structure and rules.
Author Note: Make sure not to present any new arguments or claims in the conclusion. This section of your paper is your final opinion. Writing further details, ideas, or irrelevant findings can ruin the text.
How to Format the Conclusion of an Argumentative Essay?
To format a conclusion, you have to follow a well-established standard. The best argumentative essay conclusion example includes a “lead” (opening statement). Then point out one vital factor from your paragraph. Usually, one point per paragraph, no more, or it will get too bulky. Finally, add an appropriate finale that will serve as a smooth exit of the whole paper, the final sentence.
By using the standard format, you will have an easier time when you have to write an argumentative essay conclusion. You can focus on the facts and tailor them to appeal to readers. That will re-convince them about your point for the case.
Here we can add that the final sentence should not always be smooth and friendly. When your conclusion tone is assertive, write the final part of the finale as a call to action—an attempt to affect the reader and make them want to research. To find out more about the matter or even take a stand with their own opinion.
Know how to structure your paper
- 12-point Times New Roman
- 0″ between paragraphs
- 1″ margin all around
- double-spaced (275 words/page) / single-spaced (550 words/page)
- 0.5″ first line of a paragraph
Knowing the exact way to structure a conclusion in an argumentative essay is crucial. Someone may say that it is not important. But this is one of the first things people pay attention to. So, you have to format the paper and its main points properly. In any assignment, the style of the text adheres to strict requirements. Usually, you can find them by asking your professor or checking the educational institution’s website.
In that sense, you must stick to proper formatting when writing a perfect argumentative essay . To get the best grade, you have to use the recommended formatting style , which can be APA, AP, or other. So remember, following the proper structure and formatting can make the critical points of your work stand out. As a result, your paper will look better, and your paper results will score higher.
Writing a perfect conclusion for your paper can be difficult, especially when you have no energy and can’t focus. Fortunately, PapersOwl.com is here to help. Our experienced writers can provide you with an excellent conclusion for your paper so that you can confidently submit it.
How to Start the Conclusion of an Essay?
A conclusion to an argumentative essay must go through various steps. The foremost will be the entry sentence. Then, restate your main idea and critical points from your writing. You can add a question or two, but it depends on the flow of your text. Note how it reads and make sure everything sounds smooth, and the transition is flawless.
Note: You should check your outline for significant findings or arguments. Do that before starting with the first sentence of your conclusion. Make sure not to miss important facts or add new ones by mistake.
Essay Conclusion Examples
If you are still trying to figure out what your conclusion should look like, check below. We have prepared how-to-end argumentative essay examples . These can give you an idea about the structure and format of your paper’s final point.
In this particular sample, the case is about global warming. So, the essay’s conclusion has to give a compelling reason why the reader and the public should act and prevent the issue. You must remember that what you write depends on the type of paper and should be unique.
“Throughout our text, we pointed out findings about the impact of global warming. Nature cannot sustain itself in the ever-changing climate. The ice caps melt, and the shorelines deteriorate, thus causing the extinction of both flora and fauna. Due to the persisting crisis, we must take action and use the best methods to protect the future of our planet.”
Some papers involve public policies and morals. In such cases, you must write in a tone that will feel morally right but will support and justify your arguments. Usually, you write such papers when your topic is pointing towards persuasion. Below, you can see an argumentative essay conclusion example for such texts.
“As time goes on, technology has changed how we, as a society, receive and use information. Media’s influence has been increasing throughout the social applications we use daily. The said impacts public opinion, as we can see from the participants in our study group. Most have stated that their primary information source is social media. These media get large funds from private entities to filter your content. This way, you see their ideas and become part of their audience. If you like your news free of filtering and want truthful information, you must act now and ensure your rights.”
- Free unlimited checks
- All common file formats
- Accurate results
- Intuitive interface
At one point or another, you will get an assignment to help with your career objectives. Usually, it is connected to your writing as you have to research specific matters. For example, bring out your point of view and make conclusions. You can quickly implement such tasks in essays like the argumentative one. Thus, you have to be ready to write a conclusion of an argumentative essay that can fit well and is decisive.
“Often, when you get the opportunity to launch a new business, you must grab it. Plan business meetings, solve the x, y, and z obstacles, and speed up the process. Business is about profit, producing more revenue, and creating an easily manageable structure. If you choose to act on a different undertaking, there will be risks a or b, which can lead to overstepping the estimated budgets.”
Examples 4, 5
As seen, the conclusion of an argumentative essay can depend on your moral choices. In other cases, on a figure of speech and even sensitivity towards an issue. So, some good argumentative essay topics need an emotional appeal to the reader.
Good conclusion paragraph examples for an argumentative essay can be about any topic. They can be something like whether abortion is a fundamental right for women. In such essay cases, your moral perspective plays a considerable role. But, no matter your point, it is crucial to state your ideas without offending anyone else.
“The right to give birth or not is fundamental for women. They must have it ensured. Otherwise, they have no control or option in their social relationships. The analysis showcases how an unwanted pregnancy can influence and determine the life of a young woman and her child. So without guaranteed rights, women are forced to use dangerous methods to retake ownership of their body, and that must change.” “Life is not a choice given by someone. It is a fundamental right guaranteed by the law. In that sense, denying an unborn child’s right to life is identical to denying any other person’s rights. Furthermore, studies have long proven that life begins with its inception. Therefore, carrying out policies of pro-choice is like murder. With that in mind, saving the unborn by speaking out for them is like giving their rights a voice.”
How to Finish an Argumentative Project Conclusion Paragraph
How to end an argumentative essay? The answer is a strong finishing line. The final sentence is what will leave a deep impression on your reader. Usually, we finish it smoothly in a cordial tone. It must be in a way that will make the reader think about the case or take some action. In other cases, the call to action is intense. It could be smoother, but its main goal is to influence the audience to contemplate and act.
Taking into consideration the importance of the last sentence, you must write it correctly. Remember that its point is to move the reader, but at the same time to explain why. It should look like, “ If we don’t do it now, we won’t be able to act in the future. ” If your sentence cuts the flow of the whole text, it will not appeal to your reader. If you are having trouble crafting the perfect conclusion for your argumentative essay, you can always pay for essay help from a professional writer to get the job done right.
Now you understand how to write a conclusion for an argumentative essay, but remember to catch up on the whole paper flow and finish it in the same tone. Use the call to action sentence and exit your essay smoothly while giving the readers ideas and making them think about the case. If you can’t, please check our argumentative essay writing services , which can easily tackle the task. Note that by getting it done by a professional, you can learn from examples. Besides, the text can get done in a few hours.
Readers also enjoyed
WHY WAIT? PLACE AN ORDER RIGHT NOW!
Just fill out the form, press the button, and have no worries!
How To End a Debate: Learn to Conclude and Make a Closing Statement
How To End a Debate (Closing Statement): A debate speech is a well-written argument that seeks to refute an opponent’s claim while elaborating on your own. Debating may help you improve your critical thinking abilities, teamwork abilities, public speaking abilities, and persuasive abilities. Arguing with someone and winning may also be enjoyable. Some debates enable you to question your opponents while they are speaking.
You must wait for your turn to speak in other forms. Depending on the debate’s format, each debate is separated into several speeches. Simply review the debate rules ahead of time and practice debating in that format. When finishing your debate speech, you have the opportunity to reiterate your most important points, conclude your arguments, give the judges something to think about, and ultimately deliver a logical conclusion.
Recommended: How to Start a Debate Introduction
Table of Contents
Components Of Debate
a. Introductory Statements : Opening remarks are crucial to a successful discussion because they allow both sides – those in favor of a position and those opposed to it – to capture the attention of the audience. The positive side, also referred to as the side that supports the topic or circumstance, is always the first to make a comment.
Opening statements in structured talks have a limited time for both the positive and negative sides to express their cases. The opening words establish the tone for the dialogue and should include the viewpoint, claim, or notion you wish to defend as well as a brief summary of your supporting evidence.
Following the opening speeches, each party delivers its arguments in further depth, using statistical data, examples, and expert opinions to back up its claims. Once again, the positive side makes their case first.
2. Rebuttals: After both sides have clearly identified and explained their points, each side has the chance to indicate why they feel the other side’s arguments are weak or incorrect – this is known as the “ rebuttal .” The opposing party is the first to respond.
You may begin your response by saying, “ My opponent’s statements are incorrect for various reasons .” “ My study demonstrates that my opponent’s opinions lack credibility ,” for example.
Following each side’s rebuttal, and depending on the moderator or judge’s format for the debate, each side may be given another opportunity to offer a rebuttal – properly known as a “ second rebuttal .” During the rebuttal, neither side is permitted to offer fresh evidence to bolster its argument.
Also see: How to speak in public without fear
3. Sessions for Questions and Answers: Some debates include a question-and-answer session in which each side queries the other party. According to the International Debate Education Association, the objective of cross-examination is to explain your opponents’ arguments, push them to commit to a definite viewpoint on unclear matters, bring out any fallacies or flaws in their arguments, and examine deficiencies in their evidence.
Cross-examination usually occurs after each party has presented its arguments but before the rebuttal stage. Inquire with your teacher or the debate host about when and whether a question-and-answer session will take place.
“ May you perhaps restate and explain your initial argument? ” you could begin your cross-examination. “ Could you perhaps clarify where you obtained the statistical data to support your findings? ”
A Q&A session’s purpose is to guarantee that both parties fully comprehend the opposition’s arguments so that they can formulate and explain their best defense.
Also see: Famous Scientists and their Discoveries in the field
4. Statements of Closure: Closing speeches allow each side to summarize their significant arguments and highlight their most relevant issues. They also allow you to draw attention to your opponent’s flaws in front of the judges.
They have the benefit of making their closing arguments first. The goal is to persuade your audience that you have solid evidence to back up your statements and that your opponent’s ideas are inadequate. To make a lasting impact, conclude with an intriguing example of an eye-catching analogy. Include any negative consequences of your argument not being taken seriously or accepted.
Recommended: Important things to consider before starting a business
Interesting Ways to End a Debate
1. Use of quotation : If you have a quotation that wraps up your final argument or provides closure to your case, use it. Check your notes to ensure that you have addressed all of your opponent’s arguments and that you have concluded your case.
If you discover an unaddressed argument by your opponent, address it before concluding your speech.
2. Explain the most important points: An overview for your judges describes the most important points in your case. This can be accomplished by restating each of your main points or by making a general statement about your case.
For example, if you are arguing for basic human rights over national interests, you may want to make a quick general statement about the importance of human rights and society’s responsibility to prioritize them.
While your speech addressed this general statement with more specific information, the general statement shows your judges that you understand your issue and are concerned about your overall case.
Also see: How to become a better singer fast
3. Sing Song Ending: Request that the audience repeats a phrase from your speech that you used multiple times. Assume your slogan is “ Together, we can win. ” You keep repeating that sentence.
Then, right before you finish, you remark, “I know that all of you are brilliant, and all of you are determined.” I know none of us can accomplish it alone, but (pause) together (pause) we can (pause until the audience responds.)
4. Use specific vocal inflections: Use certain vocal inflections to indicate that you are nearing the end of your speech. While giving a summary of your case and explaining the holes in your opponent’s argument, move your notes away from you and gaze straight at the judges.
Speak slower than you did throughout your real speech, exploiting the difference in speed to make your final comments stay in the minds of your assessors. As you make your closing remarks, practice your final inflection, dropping your voice and slowing your words.
Recommended: How to become a successful lawyer: 10 Qualities you need
5. Third Party Close: The Third-Party close elevates the usage of a quote. Make use of a quotation in the context of your message.
Use the idea of that quotation to frame your conclusion so that it functions as a launching pad to elevate your message high enough for the audience to completely comprehend it.
6. Inform your judges on how to vote : Inform your judges on how to vote. Make a simple statement like, “ After reviewing the information about this topic, you must vote to affirm the topic. ” Continue by elaborating on the specific flaw in your opponent’s argument.
“ Our opponents today failed to contend with our most important point, about the value of human rights and their essential place in a virtuous society, ” for example. Be specific about which points your opponents did not address and emphasize the significance of these issues.
Also see: Causes, Effects and Solutions to low self-esteem
7. Connect the primary points to the core message: It is critical to plan out the primary concepts you will discuss at the start of your presentation. An audience that is unaware of the stages of the journey you are going to take them on will be less relaxed than one that is aware of what is to come.
At the end of your presentation, go through everything you’ve discussed, but don’t just list the many concepts you developed; illustrate how they are linked and how they support your primary thesis.
8. Thank the audience: After you’ve completed presenting the substance, the easiest approach to close a speech is to say, “ thank you .” This has the advantage of being understood by everybody.
It’s an excellent technique for anyone to indicate to the crowd that it’s time to applaud and then go.
Also see: Tips on how to improve your emotional intelligence
Your closing words should make it clear that your debate presentation is coming to an end. The audience should be able to read it and respond quickly. As previously stated, saying “ thank you ” is a good way to conclude. If there is no acclaim, stand tall and wait. Don’t wiggle, and don’t even bother to mumble, ‘ And that just about covers it .’ Thank you very much.
Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka, ACMC, is a lawyer and a certified mediator/conciliator in Nigeria. He is also a developer with knowledge in various programming languages. Samuel is determined to leverage his skills in technology, SEO, and legal practice to revolutionize the legal profession worldwide by creating web and mobile applications that simplify legal research. Sam is also passionate about educating and providing valuable information to people.
- Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
- Click to print (Opens in new window)
- Click to email a link to a friend (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)
1 thought on “How To End a Debate: Learn to Conclude and Make a Closing Statement”
Like what quotation can I use to end a debate
Leave a Comment Cancel Reply
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.
Notify me of follow-up comments by email.
Notify me of new posts by email.
- Successful Closing Argument Strategies
by Allsitelawfirm | Mar 13, 2017 | Uncategorized | 0 comments
Want your closing argument to impactful and memorable? This article provides recommendations and tactics for a successful closing argument.
What Should be Included in the Closing Argument?
Use Technology . If you don’t know how to operate the court room projector/monitor, or how to use your lap top in the court room, go spend a few hours and learn those mechanics. We live in a technology driven, instant gratification society that expects you to present information and evidence in an informative and quasi-entertainment manner. Most Americans can’t spend ten minutes without checking Facebook or Twitter. Do you think these same people are going to listen to your boring tirade for forty-five minutes.
Make it Memorable . Begin and end with emotion. Jurors often remember the first and last things that they heard. Your beginning and ending sentences/phrases should be memorable. Appeal to the emotions of the jury, if the case warrants an emotional response. End the summation with strong closing remarks.
Reference the Facts and all Inferences Related to the Facts . It doesn’t get more basic than arguing the facts that came into evidence during the course of the trial. Go through the evidence received through the witnesses and the documents. Focus on the facts that help your position. Focus on your star witness and the segment of testimony that makes your case. You should also focus on the deductions and inferences that the jury should take from the evidence. Stay within the evidentiary boundaries and do not argue facts outside of the record.
Reference Specific Evidence . You should review key pieces of evidence. Include documents, photographs, expert testimony, and witness testimony. You can’t review everything that a witness said. Be careful not to repeat all of the chronological events of the trial. Hit the testimony highlights and the “smoking gun” phrases that establish your case. Consider quoting the testimony during closing argument with a pull quote (displayed on a projector/monitor ). If you have a great document, put it on screen and point out the important language to the jury. Many people are visual learners and the jury will likely respond better if they can make a visual connection to the evidence. Finally, if certain exhibits were admitted into evidence that help prove your case, tell the jurors that they have a right to examine the exhibits during their deliberations.
Expose the Credibility of the Witnesses . Often, the jurors will form opinions about the credibility of each witness that testified at the trial. As an advocate, you should help them along with their subjective opinions. Do not waste this opportunity to point out any bias, prejudice, interestedness, rudeness, or unreasonableness displayed by each witness. Be careful not to provide your opinion about the credibility of a witness. Any criticism or glorification of a witness should be based on the facts and the evidence.
Continue with the Theme of the Case . Discuss the continuing theme of the case. The theme began during voir dire. For instance, assume the case theme is: “This is a case about how Paul Payne refuses to honor his obligations.” The closing argument should focus on how the defendant continually breached the contract and lied to the plaintiff. Discuss the theme and remind the jury how the theme was established during opening statement and how the theme proceeded throughout the course of the trial.
Continue to Educate the Jury . This is your last chance for the jury to adopt your theory/view/position as their own. During deliberations, you want the jury to argue their beliefs, which are in essence, your beliefs.
Walk Through the Jury Charge . It is best to walk the jurors through the Jury Charge. Ask the jurors to place the Jury Charge in front of them. If the jurors do not have the Jury Charge in front of them, use a projector/monitor to display the Jury Charge during closing argument. Address each question and provide an answer to each and every question in the Jury Charge.
Things to Avoid . There are a few areas that you should avoid during closing argument, as follows:
- Don’t Bore the Jury . Use technology and be persuasive. Be creative and entertaining. Focus on a style that is not boring.
- Don’t Embellish the Evidence . Overstating the evidence and/or lying about the evidence presented can put you in a bad spot. Stick to the evidence that was admitted by the court.
- Don’t be Unprepared . Write your closing argument before trial. Modify your outline as the trial progresses. Don’t wing it at the last second. Don’t read from a script. Practice your closing argument before trial starts. Closing argument is not the time for the first rehearsal. Practice to performance
Length and Style Tactics.
Time Limits . I have been in different trials where the judge gives each side the following: (1) 20 minutes to “sum up” the case; (2) so many minutes per day of testimony; (3) an agreed amount of time between the parties; and (4) an unlimited amount of time. The court will likely take the following factors into consideration regarding the time limits for closing argument: (1) the number of witnesses, (2) the length of the trial, (3) the evidence presented at the trial, (4) the complexity of the testimony and evidence, (5) the length of the jury charge, (6) the complexity of the issues, and (7) the amount of damages. It is best to find out before trial how much time you will receive for closing argument.
Other Restrictions . Does the court limit: (1) the style of the closing, (2) the location of delivery of the closing (lectern, counsel table, proximity to the jury box), or (3) use of demonstrative aids and exhibits? It is best to find out before trial what type of restrictions will be applicable to closing argument.
Stylistic Considerations . Creativity is key. Think about using literature, novels, speeches, music, movies, theatre, and television as a basis for style. Be energetic. Communicate your belief in the theme of the case. Tell the story. Project trust, competence, humanity, and comfort. Which rhetorical devices should be used? How much body langue should be used? What volume level should be used? Fast or slow delivery? Think about pronunciation and articulation. At the end of the day, you must settle on a style that is comfortable and appropriate for the theme of the case.
Have the jurors answer the question in their own minds . Present the facts in a certain manner that allows the jurors to take ownership of the conclusions that they reach regarding the evidence. It is effective when the jurors can answer the question in their own minds.
Technology . How much technology should be used? Is the closing too tech heavy? Are too many exhibits, pull quotes, and pictures being used? Think objectively about the use of technology.
Use of Pace and Voice Inflection to Emphasize Key Elements.
Lower your voice . Try lowering your voice to a point where the jurors have to listen closely to what you are saying. Not too soft that they cannot hear you, but not too loud, as if from a megaphone. This style can be very dramatic and persuasive when used in moderation.
Pause . Try pausing after making a good point to dramatically underscore a specific point or theme. Ask a rhetorical question, let the question sink in, and then wait three to four seconds before you answer the question. It is important for the jurors to reach their own answers. Thus, you will agree with the answers of the jurors after you provide your answer. Moreover, a brief pause can also be used to evoke the undivided attention of the jurors before making a specific point.
Group Rhetoric . Don’t over use the words “I” or “You.” Argue the summation as if you are a member of the jury. Rather than saying, “ You know what Paul Payne said about that contract,” say “ We know what Paul Payne said about that contract.” Rather than saying, “ I saw the way Tom Thief rolled his eyes during that question,” say “ We saw the way Tom Thief rolled his eyes during that question.” Using words like “We” and “Us” empowers the jury and allows you to make yourself a part of their group. However, don’t overuse “We” and “Us” to the point of grammatical absurdity.
Phraseology . Common phrases may help drive home an important point or connect the jurors to your theme. You can surf the web for American phrases, biblical phrases and philosophical phrases to use during closing argument. For instance, using the phrase “Does that make sense?” allows you to put testimony and/or evidence in a certain light wherein you can allow the jurors to either reject or accept such testimony or evidence. Also, using phrases like “Don’t you know” and “Don’t you think” allow you to comment on opposing counsel’s failure to prove a particular element or present a piece of evidence. “Don’t you think you would have been shown the email if it actually existed?”
Addressing the Weak Points of the Case.
Don’t ignore the negative facts! Bad facts are likely to come to light at trial. You must embrace the bad facts and address the weaknesses of the case. Be prepared to explain the bad facts, which will: (1) defuse the arguments of opposing counsel, and (2) provide additional support for the credibility of your theme. Tell the jury why your client wins, even though negative facts and issues have come to light.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for legal advice. Specific questions and circumstances regarding the issues addressed in this article should be individually discussed with legal counsel.
Adams, Lynch & Loftin, P.C.
- Seven Steps Toward a Successful Real Estate Closing
- You Need A Will
- The Superintendent Evaluation
- Path to Employment after Retirement and Financial Exigency
- Side Hustles
- Power Players
- Young Success
- Save and Invest
- Become Debt-Free
- Land the Job
- Closing the Gap
- Science of Success
- Pop Culture and Media
- Psychology and Relationships
- Health and Wellness
- Real Estate
- Most Popular
- Success People with 'poor speech etiquette' always use these 7 'rude' phrases
- Success Here's the No. 1 way to respond to passive aggressive behavior, says Harvard psychology expert
- Get Ahead Don't make this No. 1 work email mistake, says workplace therapist
- Success If you use any of these 9 phrases, you have 'better etiquette skills' than most: Public speaking expert
- Success I study people with high emotional intelligence for a living—8 things they never do when talking to others
Avoid these 4 phrases that can escalate an argument—here's what to say instead
You won't always see eye-to-eye with everyone, especially when you're angry , but you can avoid being argumentative and making conversations more intense.
Matt Abrahams is a lecturer of strategic communication at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business and author of ″ Think Faster, Talk Smarter: How to Speak Successfully When You're Put on the Spot .″
To avoid appearing argumentative in a discussion, Abrahams says, you must first be aware of the signs.
"There's lots of signs of argumentativeness," including cues, like leaning in or speaking with a certain tone, he says. But one of the main indications that you're being argumentative is the use of accusatory language, says Abrahams.
DON'T MISS: Harvard happiness expert: The No. 1 thing to avoid to achieve a ‘real sense of satisfaction’
Here are a few phrases that you should avoid to prevent starting a heated argument.
Avoid these 4 phrases to prevent an argument
"Anything that's very definitive or direct can come off as argumentative," Abrahams says. "Those are things that really imply somebody is entering into a conflict."
Some phrases that you should avoid during disagreements are:
- "You always..."
- "I can't believe..."
- "This is because you..."
- "You're not listening to me..." or "You never listen..."
'Paraphrase and connect'
Instead of using argumentative language, focus on "paraphrasing and connecting," Abrahams suggests. "If I can demonstrate that I've heard what you're saying, and I'm adding to it or expanding it, I think that's really important," he says.
For example, if you're having a conversation about politics, acknowledge that you hear the other person's point of view even if you don't agree with it, then assert your own point in a respectful manner, Abrahams says. This will at least indicate to the other person that you're listening to them, he adds, which is very important.
At work and in our personal lives, "we need to expect that there will be times when we are in conflict, when we have to assert our point of view in a sensitive way," he notes.
It's best to expect disagreements, remind yourself that other people's opinions aren't wrong or don't indicate that they have something against you and appreciate differences of opinion, Abrahams says.
Aim to use phrases like:
- "I really hear you..."
- "I'm trying to understand..."
- "I can imagine from your perspective this is..."
And if you anticipate a disagreement or difficult conversation, plan ahead, he says, and approach them with three things in mind:
- It's about the issue, not the people. Focus on the topic, not the person.
- Be present-oriented. Try not to bring up past arguments or jump ahead to potential outcomes in the future.
- See it as a problem to be solved, not a battle to be won.
DON'T MISS: Want to be smarter and more successful with your money, work & life? Sign up for our new newsletter!
Get CNBC's free Warren Buffett Guide to Investing , which distills the billionaire's No. 1 best piece of advice for regular investors, do's and don'ts, and three key investing principles into a clear and simple guidebook.