4 Steps to Make a Conclusion

A good conclusion summarizes the main points of a paper and leaves the reader with a lasting impression. A conclusion is naturally the last part of a paper, and thus is the last thing a reader usually sees. If you’re writing a paper for a school assignment, a good conclusion increases the likelihood of a higher grade. When making a conclusion, complete each step to avoid an underwhelming or confusing conclusion.

Read Over Your Paper

  • Before writing your conclusion, read over your paper again, focusing especially on the introduction. Look at the thesis and ask yourself what your paper aimed to prove. In the body of your paper, look at the points you mentioned as evidence for your thesis. Your conclusion should draw on these and restate your thesis in a new way. Don’t just restate everything you already said in the same way you said them before. Instead, synthesize your evidence to form a more specific thesis than the one you had in the introduction.

Eliminate New Information

  • Your conclusion shouldn’t just repeat everything you said before, but it also shouldn’t introduce completely new information. For example, if your paper is about the value of school sports and, in the body paragraphs, discusses only football and basketball, don’t discuss volleyball in the conclusion because that’s completely new information. Your conclusion should build on what you wrote before, but not take readers down a completely new path.

Call to Action

  • Every paper you write is likely calling the reader to do something: change the way she thinks, motivate her to stand up for a particular cause, sympathize with a person or event or take an interest in a particular topic. The conclusion is the last chance to motivate a reader to take action on what your paper discussed. Be specific in what you want the reader to do; for example, “Donating money to disaster relief helps rebuild communities destroyed by natural disasters.”

Memorable Final Sentence

  • The last sentence leaves your reader with a memorable final thought. The last sentence should motivate the reader to continue thinking about your paper, even though he is done reading it. For a paper on depression, “Depression is a huge problem in our world” is a dull closing to a paper. However, something like “If we don’t continue to fund depression research, more than 50 percent of adults will suffer from this disease without a cure in sight,” leaves readers with a powerful thought.


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