Friday, January 19th, 2018


Purpose                                  Content

THE PURPOSE OF A CONCLUSION is to tie together, or integrate the various issues, research, etc., covered in the body of the paper, and to make comments upon the meaning of all of it. This includes noting any implications resulting from your discussion of the topic, as well as recommendations, forecasting future trends, and the need for further research. 

The conclusion should:
  • be a logical ending to what has been previously been discussed. It must pull together all of the parts of your argument and refer the reader back to the focus you have outlined in your introduction and to the central topic. This gives your essay a sense of unity.
  • never contain any new information.
  • usually be only a paragraph in length, but in an extended essay (3000+ words) it may be better to have two or three paragraphs to pull together the different parts of the essay.
  • add to the overall quality and impact of the essay. This is your final statement about this topic; thus it can make a great impact on the reader.

The conclusion should not:

  • just ‘sum up’
  • end with a long quotation
  • focus merely on a minor point in your argument
  • introduce new material

The conclusion may include:

  • a summary of the arguments presented in the body and how these relate to the essay question
  • a restatement of the main point of view presented in the introduction in response to the topic
  • the implications of this view or what might happen as a result.

Use a simple structure
Begin with a sentence that refers to the main subject that was discussed in the body in the essay. Make sure that this sentence also links to the preceding paragraph, or uses words such as ‘In conclusion’ to signal that these are your final words on the subject.

Then, you may give a brief summary of your argument and identify the main reasons/causes/factors that relate to the question you have been asked to address. If there are two or more parts to the question, be sure to include responses to each part in your conclusion.

Finally, it is a good idea to add a sentence or two to reinforce the thesis statement which was used in your introduction. This shows the reader that you have done what you said you would do and gives a sense of unity the essay.

Additional elements that may be added include recommendations for future action and speculations on future trends. Generally, although a short pithy quote can sometimes be used to spice up your conclusion, the conclusion should be in your own words. Try to avoid direct quotations, or references to other sources.

Summary of structure

  • Link to previous paragraph: ‘In conclusion…’
  • Brief summary
  • Identify main reasons/causes/factors
  • Reinforce the thesis statement (see Introductions)
  • Recommendations/speculation on future action