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How to end an essay

Published on January 24, 2019 by Shona McCombes. Revised on December 6, 2021.

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.

Essay conclusion example

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

  1. Return to your thesis
  2. Review your main points
  3. Show why it matters
  4. What shouldn’t go in the conclusion?
  5. More examples of essay conclusions
  6. Frequently asked questions about writing an essay conclusion

Step 1: Return to your thesis

To begin your conclusion, signal that the essay is coming to an end by returning to your overall argument.

Don’t just repeat your thesis statement—instead, try to rephrase your argument in a way that shows how it has been developed since the introduction.

Example: Returning to the thesis Braille paved the way for dramatic cultural changes in the way blind people were treated and the opportunities available to them.

Step 2: Review your main points

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.

Example: Reviewing the main points 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.

February 12, 2021 by Prasanna

How To End An Essay: What is an essay conclusion? The last paragraph of an essay or any other college paper is the conclusion of the essay. It summarizes the thesis, and the arguments stated in the write-up. A conclusion paragraph is what the readers are left with. A strong conclusion paragraph aims at tying together the main points of the essay.

A conclusion paragraph wraps up the entire essay demonstrating to its readers that the essay has accomplished what it set out to do. It also shows the readers how the thesis statement has been proved, giving the readers a sense of closure on the topic. A well-written conclusion shows the readers what new possibilities and questions have opened up.

How to Write a Conclusion for an Essay?

When writing a conclusion paragraph, one summarizes what they have written in the paper. When framing a good conclusion paragraph, one must think about the main point that was included in the write-up and be sure to include it. Here are some points to remember on how to write a conclusion.

  • Use the introductory paragraph as a guide, but don’t copy: The introductory paragraph can be a guide that one can follow. However, the conclusion must not be a repeat of the introduction. Making it completely similar to the introductory paragraph will just be repeating of words and those defeats the purpose of writing a conclusion.
  • It’s not the place to add new content or make new arguments: The essay conclusion shouldn’t merely be a summary or a recap of what has been written down in the essay’s main body part. It is also the place where the arguments of the essay are reflected upon rather than starting the introduction of anything new.
  • Leave the readers with something that they can think about: Suggest the readers learn more about the topic that will want them the look more into the issue. Sometimes authors use the element of mystery to keep their readers hooked to the topic. Often an unanswered question arises curiosity in the minds of the readers.

Steps for Writing a Conclusion Paragraph

The following steps have been listed to make the process of framing a well-written conclusion easier.

  • Step 1 – State that the write-up is coming to an end: When you reach the conclusion of the essay signal that the piece of writing has come to an end in the beginning of the conclusion, this will help wrap up the contents of your writing.
  • Step 2 – Return to the thesis: Don’t just repeat the thesis statement. Instead, try and rephrase the argument in such a way that showcases how it has been developed and dealt with since the introduction.
  • Step – 3: Review the main points: Remind the readers about the main points that have been used for supporting the argument. Avoid merely summarizing the entire paragraph or repeating each point in order. Try and bring all the points together in a way that makes the connections between them clear. The conclusion of the essay is the final chance to show how each paragraph of the essay adds up to a coherent whole.
  • Step 4 – Show why the topic matters: In order to wrap up the conclusion, focus on a broader view of the topic and consider the implications of the arguments. Such as:
    • Does it contribute to a new understanding of the topic?
    • Does it lead to predictions or practical suggestions?
    • Does it raise any further questions for future study?
    • Can it be associated with a broader theme or debate?
    • Can it be applied to different contexts?

Whatever the essay is about the conclusion must emphasize the essay’s argument, whether that is within the academic subject or in the wider world. Try concluding with a strong, decisive sentence that leaves the readers with a lingering sense of interest in the topic.

What Shouldn’t be included in a Conclusion?

Now that we have covered what should be included in the conclusion, it is also necessary to learn about the things that should not be included in a conclusion. The most effective and easy way of improving the conclusion of an essay is by eliminating the following common mistakes.

Don’t undermine the argument: Refrain from using apologetic phrases that sound confused and uncertain such as:

  • There are more arguments on each side of this issue.
  • This write-up is just one approach among many more.
  • This problem has no clear answer.

Even if different points of view have been explored in the essay, one should be clear and specific about their position. The topic might have many other possible approaches, but one must want to leave the readers convinced their one is the best.

Don’t include new evidence

Any evidence or analysis that is essential for supporting the thesis statement must be mentioned in the main body of the essay. The body is meant for discussing in detail about the topic.

The conclusion may include minor pieces of new information – such as a sentence or two discussing the broader implications or any quotation which nicely summarizes the central point. However, it should not introduce any significant new ideas or sources that will need further explanation for understanding.

  • Avoid using ‘concluding phrases’

Don’t use the apparent stock phrases to the readers what is coming.

  • ‘To sum up…’
  • ‘In conclusion…’
  • ‘Coming to a conclusion…’

These phrases haven’t been forbidden. However, it is suggested to avoid them as they make the writ up sound weaker. It will quickly make it clear that the essay is being concluded by returning to the main argument. It doesn’t need to be spelled out.

Don’t state the thesis statement for the first time.

The thesis statement is the building block of the essay. The conclusion is not the place where it should be stated for the first time. The thesis statement must be mentioned in the introduction paragraph itself, and there should be evidence supporting the thesis statement discussed in detail in the main body.

The thesis statement can be restated differently in the conclusion showcasing how the entire write-up has dealt with it.

How to end an essay

Parents, does your student need assistance with writing a concluding paragraph? Our teachers can help. Sign up for either our Middle School Essay Writing or High School Essay Writing course for 1-on-1 guidance.

How to Write A Conclusion

In a conclusion paragraph, you summarize what you’ve written about in your paper. When you’re writing a good conclusion paragraph, you need to think about the main point that you want to get across and be sure it’s included. If you’ve already written a fabulous introductory paragraph, you can write something similar with different wording. Here are some points to remember:

  • Use your introductory paragraph as a guide. You may have started by saying, “There are three classes at school that I absolutely can’t wait to go to every day.” You can start your conclusion by saying, “Gym, Math, and Art are the three classes I try to never miss.”
  • If it’s a longer paper, a good place to start is by looking at what each paragraph was about. For example, if you write a paper about zoo animals, each paragraph would probably be about one particular animal. In your conclusion, you should briefly mention each animal again. “Zoo animals like polar bears, lions, and giraffes are amazing creatures.”
  • Leave your readers with something to think about. Suggest that they learn more with a sentence like, “We have a lot to learn about global warming.” You can also give them something to do after reading your paper. For example, “It’s easy to make your own popsicles. Grab some orange juice and give it a try!”

Summary: How to Make a Good Conclusion Paragraph

Remember that it’s important to wrap up your writing by summarizing the main idea for your readers. This brings your writing to a smooth close and creates a well-written piece of work.

They tend to be the most emotional, the most dramatic, the most inspiring, and the most thought provoking. Simultaneously, they are the most difficult, the most challenging, and the most dreaded. What am I talking about? Beginnings and endings.

We are all familiar with the scene: a sobbing mother stands outside her son’s kindergarten classroom as the youngster scampers off to his first day of school. Fast forward several years and the same mother is sobbing over his last day of school. Why? Because beginnings and endings are hard!

How to end an essay

The First and The Last

Just as a child’s first day of school and last day of school are memorable, your first paragraph and your last paragraph need to be noteworthy. Here are some tips to make your academic writing more successful.

The First

The first paragraph of your essay could be the most important. You need to find a creative “hook” to grab – and keep – your readers’ attention. Otherwise, there is very little chance they will proceed.

In The New Writer’s Handbook: A Practical Anthology of Best Advice for Your Craft and Career, author Brandi Reissenweber commented:

“Your reader is not a penniless and weary traveler who will be happy to take any bed you can offer. They are discerning, with plenty of money for a night’s sleep and if you show them something uninspired, they’re off to the next inn. You have to work to get them to stay with you.”

How can you keep readers from going to the next inn? Here are three examples of quality essay hooks:

Use an Introduction that Exposes the Author

This technique allows the author to be vulnerable, making the readers feel they are getting an inside glimpse at the writers feelings and emotions. This all-access pass gives readers something they couldn’t get anywhere else.

“I cried at work today. I couldn’t help it. My boss was going on and on about an error I made in one of his precious reports. Before I could stop it, my chin began to quiver. I bit down – hard – on my lip to try to stem the tide. However, that just seemed to make things worse.”

Use an Introduction that Infuses Humor

Before you can begin writing your essay, you must determine who your audience is. Once you are focused on who you are writing for, you can find a way to connect with them. Get inside their heads. Meet their needs. Relate to what they are going through. Embrace those feelings and put a humors spin on it.

“Before I had children, I was the perfect mother.”

Use an Introduction that Asks a Question

Used effectively, a question can make readers beg for more. Spark their curiosity and you’ve almost created a guarantee they’ll make it to the end of your essay. Just make sure the question relates to the overall theme of the story. Otherwise, readers will feel duped.

“Last week, I learned the secret to parenting. The last ten years of my life would have been so different if only I had known this one piece of information! It changed my life. Do you want to know the secret?”

The Last

If the first paragraph of your essay is the most important, the conclusion is the second most important. You want your readers to leave with a feeling of closure. You don’t want any loose ends. The conclusion needs to develop naturally from the essay; it can’t be an afterthought.

How can you leave readers feeling satisfied?

End with a Startling Statement

You don’t want to use anything too radical in the conclusion. After all, if the information was that important, you should have featured it prominently earlier in the piece. However, leaving them with something to think about can be good.

“A recent study showed that women are more sensitive to a key stress hormone. Just a tiny amount can send their emotions into overdrive. Meanwhile, men seem immune to this chemical. I think today’s incident proved that nicely.”

End with the Beginning

Bring your essay full circle. While your introduction and conclusion shouldn’t be interchangeable, they could be similar. Book-end your essay with the same thought.

“Now you know the secret to parenting, what will you do with the information? Will you share this life-changing information with others or will you keep it to yourself?”

End with a Summary

This is probably the most textbook answer to your problems. At the very least, it could be Speech Writing 101: tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you told them. While this standby method will get you by in a pinch, don’t rely on it too often. It’s…well…boring.

“In this article, we focused on one of the most difficult tasks in writing. Composing an introduction and conclusion for an essay can be quite challenging. However, you always want to write an opening paragraph that will hook the readers and a closing paragraph that will wrap up all your lose ends.”

See? That was boring, right? Wouldn’t you rather I said…

Did you find this article useful? Would you like us to cover some specific topic in writing? Tell us in comments.

Writing Effective Conclusions
(printable version here)

A conclusion provides a thoughtful end to a piece of writing; unfortunately, many conclusions in college-level papers are little more than summaries of what has already been said.

Here are a few tips to make conclusions more interesting. You may wish to check with your professor about specific recommendations in your field of study; many fields have specific formats for conclusions and other parts of essays, research reports, and experiments. The points below are most applicable to papers in the humanities:

Avoid :

  • Ending with a rephrased thesis statement that contains no substantive changes.
  • Introducing a new idea or subtopic (although you may end with a provocative question; see below).
  • Focusing on a minor point in the essay.
  • Concluding with a sentence tacked on to your final point.
  • Apologizing for your view by saying such things as “I may not be an expert” or “At least this is my opinion.”
  • Attempting to make up for an incomplete structure. (If you say you will discuss four books and only attempt a complete discussion of two books, do not try to cover the remaining texts in a concluding paragraph. In such a situation, it’s best to limit your paper to topics you can realistically cover.)

Conclude an essay with one or more of the following:

  • Include a brief summary of the paper’s main points.
  • Ask a provocative question.
  • Use a quotation.
  • Evoke a vivid image.
  • Call for some sort of action.
  • End with a warning.
  • Universalize (compare to other situations).
  • Suggest results or consequences.

Try to refer to the introductory paragraph, either with key words or parallel concepts and images.

Your conclusion paragraph should begin with a smooth transition from the body of your essay. The first sentence of your paragraph should include clear transition words to signal to your reader that you are beginning to wrap up your essay. Different transition words can have different effects, so be sure to choose a transition word or phrase that clearly communicates that you are closing your essay. Some common examples of conclusion transition words and phrases include:

  • In conclusion,
  • To conclude,
  • Finally,
  • To sum up,
  • As previously stated.

Once you have signalled that you are drawing your essay to a close, you can then restate the primary points of your essay. Depending on the length of your essay, this may be done in a single sentence, or it may require a few sentences. Be concise and clear; you should be able to summarise each main point in a simple phrase that avoids restating each detail and piece of evidence related to the point. Also simply list off the point as a reminder to your audience about what they’ve just read.

Restate your main points

Finally, if you are writing an argumentative essay, you’ll want to clearly restate your main argument in order to leave readers with one final appeal. If you have provided enough evidence along the way, this restatement should make readers feel as if you’ve persuaded them fully.

Call to action

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

What to avoid

When writing a strong conclusion paragraph, you want to keep it simple. Use a clear transition word or phrase, restate your main points and arguments, and possibly finish with a call to action. Be sure to avoid the following common mistakes:

  • New information. Your conclusion is not the place to introduce anything new. Simply restate and summarise the main points clearly.
  • Personal opinion. Unless you are writing an opinion piece that includes several “I” statements throughout, avoid ending your essay with a sudden “I think…” or “I feel…” If you haven’t been including your personal opinion throughout the essay, then you shouldn’t insert your opinion into the conclusion.
  • Lots of detail. When you restate your main points, don’t worry about restating all the small details that make up your description or evidence. The place for details is in your body paragraphs. The conclusion is simply for summary and a possible call for action or next steps.
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A proper introduction is key to winning the reader’s attention. However, the way you conclude an essay is crucial too. When you get to the end of your writing, you get one last chance to convince your audience and produce an impression that will make the reader think about your paper even after finishing it.

“OK, but how exactly should I write a conclusion for my essay?” The answer is, “It depends.”

There are various essay types and many ways in which you can approach your closing paragraph. However, there’s one common thing — your conclusion should provide the reader with a sense of closure and completeness. Believe it or not, you can do that without sealing off the discussion entirely. Below, we’ll tell you about the most common ways you can end a paper, and we’ll show you a few examples of conclusions to illustrate our point.

How Do I End an Essay Then?

At a high-school or university level, you won’t get off by just summarizing your essay body paragraphs. Although it’s sometimes seen as a summary of your main points, it’s much more than that. Do you know what the serial position effect is? In essence, it implies that we remember the first and the last items from a list better than those in the middle. The theory of primacy and recency provides a similar statement: our brain pays the second closest attention to the last thing it perceives. So, your final paragraph is what will stick in your reader’s memory, along with the first one. It’s the best place to bring out the importance of your topic and the strength of your arguments.

In order to write a conclusion and end an essay, you should:

  1. Rephrase your thesis statement and central points;
  2. (Optional) Refer to opposite views;
  3. Use one of the techniques below for your closing sentence.

Note: When writing your conclusion, you can go from more specific details to a broader context.

How do I paraphrase my thesis statement?

Paraphrasing means using different words to say the same thing. Look at the samples below to learn how you can do it.

Original:

The use of technology and screen tune can be positive for children as it allows them to excel academically by experiencing the expanding definitions of classrooms and literacy as a whole, improving low-performing developmental skills, and supplementing in-class education for more academically-advanced students.

Paraphrased:

By using technology and screen time, you can provide a comprehensive and positive educational experience for children and adolescents. Technology facilitates in-class learning, enhances underperforming developmental skills, and allows children to succeed in their studies by embracing the broadening definition of a classroom environment and overall education.

Start with a rephrased thesis statement. It’s a great way to take the reader back to the heart of your essay. Then, summarize the main points from your body paragraphs. And, if there are no other standpoints to review, move to step three, which is described in detail further in this article. Also, you can put your restated thesis at the very beginning or later. You can start with an opening sentence first, for instance. The one rule you must keep in mind is that you shouldn’t repeat your thesis statement letter for letter.

Note: Synthesize the main points of your essay. That means you don’t just list them one after another but explain their impact and how they are correlated.

You can experiment with how you place these parts, so there isn’t a fixed order for them to follow.

Next, provide some additional context for the reader. It’s the third and the last point on our list. You can choose from several options: underscore the weight of your argument, ask more questions, encourage action, compare, or quote someone authoritative in your field. Many strategies exist, but what you pick depends mainly on your topic.

A strong essay conclusion goes beyond recapping. Now, let’s dive deeper and explore how you can finish your paper and what you shouldn’t do.

Narrative essays often read like stories. As a result, conclusion techniques such as a summary paragraph or paraphrasing the first paragraph will probably fall short. The writer must strike the right emotional note, one that evokes meaning and helps the reader to understand why the subject of your essay matters to you, which is what really makes it worth reading. While other essays teach us about issues and events, narrative essays illuminate the human condition.

Step 1

Project time forward to end a narrative essay. If the narrative took place ten years ago, you might write the conclusion from the perspective of someone who understands more now than you did then. Or you might write from the perspective of someone who is as baffled as ever.

If you take the perspective of one who now understands, be careful not to write a paragraph that sounds as if you are telling the reader what the moral of the story is. If possible, use sensory impressions to connote meaning rather than explain meaning. “Today I live in New York City. I didn’t make time to visit my mother near the end of her life, so she died lonely” explains. But this creates meaning without explaining: “Today I live in New York City. I still remember my mother frantically waving goodbye, both empty hands flailing the air, on the day I left her for the last time.”

Step 2

Lead the reader into the conclusion with a final scene in real time as an alternative to projecting time forward. Describe a specific physical action or a final verbal exchange or a combination of those.

Step 3

Avoid telling the reader how to feel. The conclusion of a narrative essay should resonate, not dictate. If you think of a movie about a character who overcomes adversity and emerges in triumph at the end of the narrative, you will notice that nowhere does the screenplay writer or director tell the reader to feel happy at the end. Instead the characters enact the end in a setting; we watch them, and thus we are transported to happiness. The end of a narrative essay can work in the same manner.

Step 4

Include personal reflection in the conclusion, but avoid the temptation to explain everything. It’s not necessary to answer all the questions a reader might have. Like fiction, a narrative essay may imply meaning rather than prescribe solutions. It’s a sturdy genre that can work from metaphor, symbol and lyric language as well as describe and analyze.

  • St. Cloud University Write Place: Narrative Essays
  • Santa Barbara City College CLRC Writing Center: Structure of a Personal Narrative Essay

Cat Reynolds has written professionally since 1990. She has worked in academe (teaching and administration), real estate and has owned a private tutoring business. She is also a poet and recipient of the Discover/The Nation Award. Her work can be found in literary publications and on various blogs. Reynolds holds a Master of Arts in writing and literature from Purdue University.

List of other ways to say in conclusion in English with ESL picture. Learn these synonyms for “in conclusion” to improve your vocabulary and fluency in English.

Desserts are delicious, they are the perfect way to end a great meal. After reading a long piece of writing, so is a good conclusion. Don’t believe me? You’ve probably read a piece of writing at some point and found yourself a little confused or left with some questions, only to find the ending paragraph/s most likely starting with ‘in conclusion’ to clear it all up for you. This is especially important in professional and academic writing.

So, if you’re interested in taking your writing to the next step, then keep on reading!

Table of Contents

In Conclusion

What Is ‘In Conclusion’?

As you may already know, a conclusion is located at the end of a piece of writing. Its purpose is to evaluate everything that has been included in the writing before it, leaving the readers clear on what they just read, answering any questions that they may have developed while reading your writing.

If you’ve read a conclusion, then it may have started with ‘in conclusion’. This is just a way the writer can transition from the writing to the conclusion, while letting the readers know. However, there are many other ways to transition to your conclusion.

When to Use ‘In Conclusion’?

Although ‘in conclusion’ is a great way to begin your conclusion, it all depends on how you want to approach your conclusion.

For example, if your goal is to clearly indicate to the audience that you’re about to transition to your last words, then ‘in conclusion’ is perfect. However, several writers claim that ‘in conclusion’ is best used when you are presenting a piece of writing in an oral presentation, as in writing it can be seen as an unnecessary term.

If you’re writing for a professional or academic purpose, then you may want to find a better way to start your conclusion. However, if your piece of writing isn’t meant to come across as formal, then ‘in conclusion’ is perfectly fine.

How to use ‘in conclusion’?

‘In conclusion’ is best used when you are starting your very last words in your piece of writing, as well as, concluding what you have said throughout. Here is an example of how you can use the concluding term ‘in conclusion’:

In conclusion, including a conclusion in your writing proves to state your ideas to your reader in a much better way, as you are making sure that your audience is left understanding exactly what they’ve read, as well as, possibly reminding them of anything they may have missed while reading your piece of writing.

In Conclusion Synonym

Other Ways to Say In Conclusion

List of 50 synonyms for in conclusion in English. They also are known as conclusion transition words and phrases which are used to sum up what has bee n previously stated in writing.

  • In summary,…
  • After all is said and done.
  • All in all,…
  • All things considered,…
  • As a result,…
  • As a final observation,…
  • At the end of the day…
  • Briefly to conclude…
  • Bringing up rear,…
  • By and large,…
  • Considering all of these,…
  • Everything considered,…
  • Finally, it may be concluded…
  • Finally/ Lastly,…
  • In a nutshell…
  • In brief,…
  • In closing,…
  • In concluding,…
  • In consolidation,…
  • In ending this,…
  • In essence,…
  • In review,…
  • In short,…
  • In sum,…
  • In the end,…
  • In the final analysis…
  • It is concluded that…
  • It’s apparent that through…
  • Last but not least…
  • On a final note…
  • On the whole,…
  • Overall, it may be said…
  • Overall,…
  • Summing up,…
  • Taking everything into account,…
  • Taking this into account,…
  • The research papers in the main…
  • To briefly paraphrase…
  • To come to the point…
  • To conclude,…
  • To end things off…
  • To make the long story short…
  • To put it all together…
  • To put it bluntly…
  • To sum up,…
  • To summarise the above…
  • To summarise,…
  • To wrap it all up,…
  • Ultimately.

Learn more with a useful list of transition words in English.

Here are the 15 best alternatives ‘in conclusion’ to begin/transition to your conclusion:

  1. In summary…
  2. To sum up…
  3. On the whole…
  4. Overall, it may be said…
  5. To conclude…
  6. All things considered…
  7. Finally…
  8. Taking everything into account…
  9. To put it all together…
  10. Ultimately…
  11. To briefly paraphrase…
  12. Everything considered…
  13. In closing…
  14. Last but not least…
  15. It is concluded that…

In Conclusion Synonyms with Examples

Learn many other ways to say in conclusion with example sentences.

  • In summary, it is difficult for this writer to recommend this book.
  • All in all, it has been a great success.
  • All things considered, your article is of great value.
  • As a result, services have been drastically reduced.
  • At the end of the day, he’ll still have to make his own decision.
  • By and large, the new arrangements have worked well.
  • Lastly, the course trains students to think logically.
  • In a nutshell, the owners thought they knew best.
  • In brief, the meeting was a disaster.
  • In concluding, he promised to go to prison rather than pay his fine.
  • In essence, formal systems and procedures depend on local knowledge.
  • In short, we must be prepared.
  • In sum, we need to cut costs.
  • In the end, a draw was a fair result.
  • In the final analysis, the project was a failure.
  • Last but not least, it will definitely benefit the citizens.
  • On the whole, I’m in favour of the proposal.
  • To conclude , I’d like to express my thanks to my family.
  • To sum up, there are two main ways of tackling the problem.
  • To summarise, this is a clever approach to a common problem.
  • Ultimately, you’ll have to make the decision yourself.

How to end an essay

Jul 18, 2018 · 5 min read

How to end an essay

I find it easy to start a piece. I sit down and write. I’m not saying any beginning will do, I usually cut the first few sentences or even paragraphs. But once I get the hang of it, I can keep writing until… Until I run out of steam. I’m standing in the middle of an uninteresting meadow. I can’t end my journey here, it will disappoint my readers. So I gave myself an assignment: find 7 ways to finish a piece.

You can use it man y ways. The most obvious (and most challenging) approach is you take your piece and write all 7 endings for it. Then you have a large variety to choose from. Or you choose the 3 types that fit your writing the best, you write only those and pick one. Or it gives you some orientation, it narrows down the infinite space of choices to a manageable size. This can be so comforting that you simply write a single ending and be happy with it.

See? It’s easy to start. Now let’s get to the meat.

1. Catapult ending. You can finish it sharp, abruptly. Consider the whole piece as a rising action, as if in a car chasing scene that starts slowly. A guy walks on the street and notices someone following him. He starts to walk faster; looks back, his shadow is still there. He gets into a taxi. The other guy jumps into another taxi. The drivers want to keep their driving license, they stop at the red light. But one of the guys offers an extra buck to the driver and threatens him with a gun. The poor man steers the wheel to go into a one-way street from the opposite direction. The pace is becoming faster, our heart pounds faster. Then the guy in the first car pushes a button behind his left ear and he suddenly disappears into another dimension or a helicopter appears out of the nowhere with ten soldiers armed to the teeth. Find an abrupt ending even if the writing hasn’t been a car chase. Pretend it is.

2. Repeat with a variation. Repeat the beginning in a modified form. This is what composers do and it’s frequent in other forms of sequential art. This is the good old formula of A-B-A’ where A’ is a variation on A. We recognize it’s quite similar to it and we also notice the differences. It is A that integrated the entire B that happened since it started as an A. I could finish this very piece by saying, “I find it easy to start a piece and now I find it easy to finish it.”

3. Listen to the wind chime. You listen to the sound as it slowly dies away. You can’t tell when was the moment you last heard a sound, you just realize you can’t hear it anymore. Make the reader have the same feeling when they read your piece. Imagine you spill a glass of water and you follow it on the ground. It flows on floor tiles in the kitchen, the stream becomes thinner, it spreads into many directions, you follow only one of the stream. It flows down the stairs, it loses some of its content by every step. It reaches the ground in the garden and the water is soaked up in the rich brown soil. Fade-out.

4. Takeaway. Give a piece of advice, directly or indirectly. Make the reader feel they got richer by reading your piece. You told stories, you shared your thoughts, now here’s the conclusion. If the impatient readers don’t want to spend hours reading you piece, you can summarize it in a single paragraph. It will be not the same as reading the whole piece, we both know that. You’ll need the journey to appreciate the few snapshots taken during it, the snapshots by themselves don’t tell much. But having a few snapshots help you understand the whole journey better. This is when it clicks. You collect pieces of a puzzle, you spend hours assembling them, you concentrate on the individual pieces how they fit together. The end is when you put the last piece into place, stand up, and look at it from a distance so you can see the whole picture.

5. Don’t finish, polish. Another way to finish it is to not finish it. Take it as is, polish it a bit so the sharp edges won’t hurt the reader. Then leave. Life is full of imperfect endings. It has even ends you didn’t think would be the end of a story. You walk your friend to the airport, hug her, wave goodbye. Not a big deal, you’ll see her again in a week. But something happens and you won’t see her again. That scene at the airport becomes the end of a story. Just remember to polish it. This is what we do to our memories too.

6. Missing keystone. Think about the whole. What’s the center of gravity of your whole piece? What’s the gist? Now what are the sentences that are missing to convey that meaning? If you’re writing about fatherly love and the father hasn’t hugged his daughter yet, this is the time to do that. This is the last paragraph, you won’t have time later, you can’t postpone until the stars have a more favorable constellation. This is not the same as having a conclusion. This is more like building an arch of delicately carved stone blocks, then putting in the keystone. You look at the whole realize there’s one piece missing without which the whole construction would collapse. What is your building? What’s the keystone that will keep it all together?

7. Special treatment. Your piece is special. It has a special taste and shape. You can use some premeditated ending, you can use a cookie-cutter. It doesn’t take much effort, it’s only a matter of selecting form a small number of options. But if you feel into your piece, you smell it, you touch its hidden parts, you can sense what special ending it requires. A special ending invented only for your piece but it may become so pertinent that other writers will pick it up and use in their writing.

Break the chain. Look what I did in the previous point. I promised you to give 7 ways to end a piece but I cheated. I gave you only 6 and told you to come up with a 7th yourself. I followed a rhythm. The points 1 to 6 were the same in the sense they all gave you a specific advice. The 7th broke the chain, it’s still an advice but it leaves a lot more to the reader. You were not aware of this aspect until the last part which makes you realize the pattern by breaking it. You knew what to expect, what will follow — then bang. Now I’m dong it again. You expected to have 7 ways and I just gave you an 8th.

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by j9robinson | Sep 16, 2013

How to end an essay

How to Conclude Your College Admissions Essays

Here’s an excerpt from my ebook guide on how to write a college application essay using a narrative, storytelling style. I pulled this from my chapter on writing conclusions. Some students find ending their essays a snap, others get a bit lost at the end and veer off track. What you want in your conclusion is to give your reader a sense of completion, and leave on a broad, forward-thinking note.

(These tips will make the most sense if you followed my loose formula for writing a personal essay, where you start with an anecdote to show your reader what you are talking about, and then go on to explain its significance in the rest of the essay. You can get a sense of this formula by reading my Jumpstart Guide post. If you want a step-by-step guide to this process, buy my instant ebook Escape Essay Hell! for about ten dollars either here or over at Amazon.)

THE FOLLOWING IS EXCERPTED FROM CHAPTER NINE OF ESCAPE ESSAY HELL! (plus some):

Like all conclusions, you are basically wrapping up your story, summing up your main point(s) and ending on a broad, upbeat note. You can mix it up however you want, but here are some surefire ways to making it a memorable wrap:

Bring Your Essay Full Circle

Find a way to link back to that original anecdote you started with (in this example, the writer wrote about how his short stature didn’t keep him from pursuing the high jump. He started his essay with an anecdote about him jumping at a high-pressure meet.). Bring the reader up to date to the present. For instance, with the high jumper, here’s how he could let us know where he is with that sport now: “I’m not sure if I will continue high jumping in college, and it’s not a sport you can pick up and play anywhere.

So there’s a chance I may never catapult myself over a pole again in the near future. But I will never forget that moment of exhilaration as I cleared that bar during our big meet. Everyone raced up and gave me high fives and big hugs. What I will always remember is that feeling of rising above all the opinions of other people who thought I was just another short guy. …”

Here are some other examples of linking back to the introduction or beginning anecdote. Notice how each one brings the reader up to date with what and how you are doing in regards to the story, moment or experience you shared in your essay.

Most of your essay was telling about something that happened in the past, and now in your conclusion you have brought them into the present by linking to your beginning–which poises you to mention your future aspirations in the last sentence or two:

  • If you started by describing a time you got stuck in a tree because of a tangled rope, bring that experience up to date in the conclusion: “I haven’t climbed many trees lately, but I still love practicing tying knots. And recently, my knots have helped me solve more problems than create them…”
  • If you started by describing a poignant moment with someone you lost or who was battling illness, you could bring the reader up to speed by talking about how you are doing now: “I still think about my dad more times than I can count during the day, and I miss him with all my heart, but that raw, aching grief is starting to calm down a bit….
  • If you started with an anecdote (mini-story) about a time a fellow water polo player avoided you, apparently because your enormous size made him assume you were a mean guy, link back to that moment and tell us how things are going for you today: “When I walk into a room full of strangers, I will always spot that kid who looks at me with a hint of fear. And that might never change. I will always tower over most of my friends, and I actually enjoy trying to make others comfortable. But I’m a big guy, and I have learned how to also be a big person…”

In your conclusion, you can also re-state your main point in a fresh way, and touch on your core quality and what you learned if possible: “At this point, I almost believe that if I’m determined enough, I just might grow another inch or two.” (Humor never hurts in these essays; it often shows you don’t take yourself too seriously.)

End by touching on how you intend to use the life lesson from your essay in your future plans, to meet goals or dreams. Look ahead. Share your big ideas: “If nothing else, I’m eager to find out exactly how high I can go with my dream of finding a career in the world of chemistry or engineering.

HOT TIP: It’s always a good idea to try to end with a little “kicker” sentence—if it works and doesn’t sound too corny. Don’t be afraid to be idealistic and declare your dreams or goals. Or you can try a play on words. If you aren’t sure your “kicker” works or not, have a friend or parent give you some feedback. “One thing for sure, I know I won’t come up short.” Hmmm. Does that work or is it too corny?

By Cite This For Me

Conclusions aren’t easy—but they’re very important. And contrary to popular belief, they’re not simply a place to restate what you’ve said before in the same way. They’re an opportunity to cast all the arguments you’ve made in a new light.

Conclusions give you a chance to summarize and organize your main points, reminding the reader how effectively you’ve proven your thesis. It’s also your final opportunity to make a lasting impression on your reader.

Simple conclusion formula

  • Proper, relevant restatement of thesis statement and strongest evidence
  • Relevant final thought

As an example, let’s create a conclusion following our two-step process.

Let’s say your thesis statement is:

College athletes should not be paid because many receive compensation in the form of scholarships and benefit from more visibility to potential professional recruiters.

Now we’ll follow our formula to write an effective conclusion.

Restatement of thesis and strongest evidence

The first step in writing our conclusion is to restate the thesis statement.

It’s important not to simply copy your thesis statement word for word. You can also briefly include evidence or other points that were mentioned in your paper.

You could write something like:

College athletes don’t need financial compensation because they receive numerous benefits including scholarships, additional experience and coaching, and exposure to professional teams.

This sentence reminds the reader of our original thesis statement without copying it exactly.

At this point, you could also synthesize 1-2 of the strongest pieces of supporting evidence already mentioned in your essay, such as:

With four years of tuition costing up to hundreds of thousands and salaries in potential professional sports careers averaging millions, these benefits already amount to significant compensation.

Notice that we didn’t start with a transition like, “In conclusion,” or, “In summary.” These transitions aren’t necessary and are often overused.

Relevant final thought

You want to end your conclusion with a strong final thought. It should provide your reader with closure and give your essay a memorable or thought-provoking ending.

The last sentence of your conclusion can point to broader implications, like the impact the topic of your essay has had on history, society, or culture.

Another good rule of thumb is to allow your final sentence to answer the question, “So what?” Your reader has spent time reading your paper, but why does any of this matter? Why should your reader—or anyone else—care?

For our sample conclusion, for example, you could write:

Providing still more compensation to college athletes would send the message that they are employees, not students. If we don’t want education to be sidelined, college athletes should not be paid.

This concluding sentence answers the, “So what?” question by explaining the potential repercussions of paying college athletes. It gives the reader a reason to be more invested in your essay and ideas.

Quotes

Some of the most powerful words in your paper may have been written or said by someone else. Selecting a quote from a well known public figure or an expert in the field of your topic allows you to finish strong with a credible source.

Example quote ending:

“The case for recycling is strong. The bottom line is clear. Recycling requires a trivial amount of our time. Recycling saves money and reduces pollution. Recycling creates more jobs than landfilling or incineration. And a largely ignored but very important consideration, recycling reduces our need to dump our garbage in someone else’s backyard.” – David Morris, co-founder of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance

If you have a bibliography, add a citation for your quote source. It doesn’t matter if it is in MLA format or another style, it’s a good practice to always create citations for information you’ve used.

Questions

Ending your paper with a smart and relevant question allows your readers to think for themselves and make your topic their own. The best type of question leads your reader to the same conclusion you have presented in your paper.

Example question ending:

Recycling reduces pollution, saves energy and makes us feel good about ourselves; why wouldn’t we make it a part of our everyday lives?

Call to Action

Most popular in advertising, a call to action asks your reader to execute a specific task after reading your paper. A call to action can contain phrases like: Think about it, See for yourself, Consider, Try, or Remember.

Example call to action ending:

Now that you have read about the benefits of recycling, consider the awesome impact it could have on your local community.

Prediction

Prediction statements often begin with the words “when” or “if.” In this type of ending, the writer makes an educated guess based on the factual information presented in the paper.

Example prediction ending:

If recycling is adopted by all major cities, we can expect its benefits to spread to smaller cities and towns. That means a significant reduction in landfill use, less pollution and more job creation across the entire country.

Zoom Out

A perspective change can help you end your paper in a way that is creative and interesting. One method is to zoom out and present your subject in a greater context. This ending allows you to take your reader beyond the specifics and provide a more global understanding of your topic. When working with this type of ending, be sure that your statement remains on subject and does not present entirely new information.

Example zoom out ending:

Recycling is more than a solution for waste management. Treating our environment with respect and protecting our natural resources will benefit our society for generations to come.

Putting it all together

The conclusion reads:

College athletes don’t need financial compensation because they receive numerous benefits including scholarships, additional experience and coaching, and exposure to professional teams. With four years of tuition costing up to hundreds of thousands and salaries in potential professional sports careers averaging millions, these benefits already amount to significant compensation. Providing still more compensation to college athletes would send the message that they are employees, not students. If we don’t want education to be sidelined, college athletes should not be paid.

To create effective conclusions of your own, remember to follow these guidelines:

  • Don’t feel the need to start with overused transitions such as, “In conclusion,” or, “In summary.”
  • Restate your thesis statement in a new way.
  • You can also restate 1-2 of your strongest pieces of supporting evidence.
  • Don’t mention anything in your conclusion that wasn’t mentioned in the body of your essay.
  • End with a strong final thought, preferably one that answers the question, “So what?”

By following these simple steps, you’ll craft a conclusion that leaves a powerful final impression on your readers.

How to end an essay

Ending an essay can be difficult if you don’t know how to write a conclusion. Suppose you find it hard to close an essay. You can do two things. Buy an essay: some websites can help you finish your writing and improve the process. Or you can choose to learn to write a conclusion paragraph. Both options are great, and we will show you how to conclude an essay in this article.

A conclusion paragraph summarizes what you wrote about in your paper. When you write a good conclusion, you need to think about three things:

  1. The main point of your essay
  2. The details that describe your main point
  3. How to leave the reader thinking

Tip 1 – Understand the conclusion’s purpose and format

To write a good conclusion, you need to understand its structure. The conclusion is the opposite of the introduction. The introduction presents a brief overview of your paper. You should state what you will talk about in the introduction. A conclusion, however, states what you have talked about. You wrap up all the details in a tidy package and make them center stage for your reader.

When you make the package, include the following:

  • Ending topic sentence
  • A paraphrased thesis statement
  • A sense of closing for your reader

Since you need to include the above points, the length of the conclusion will depend on the points made in your paper. If you have three ideas, you need to paraphrase them in your conclusion.

The first sentence restates your thesis. Make the same point in different words. The second, third, and fourth sentences should review arguments made in the paper. Summarize the points made in the body and explain how you proved them.

The last sentence needs to be a hook. Connect all the information you presented with a human touch. Using the example thesis, “Cats are better pets than dogs, ” let’s look at this in detail.”

Conclusion Sentence 1

Cats make the best pets in the world.

The topic sentence paraphrases what your paper is about. All the points in your body paragraphs show the reader that you think cats are the best pets.

Conclusion sentences 2, 3 and 4

Cats are more independent. It is harder to gain a cat’s trust, so you know they love you truly. They are much cleaner because they groom themselves. Cats use a litter box, so you don’t need to clean up after them or take them for a walk.

Each of these sentences reinforces your main points. Each point can be outlined in detail in paragraphs two, three, and four. If you cannot turn each of these into a paragraph, they are not good sentences for your conclusion. Now is the time to be brief and finish the last sentence of the conclusion with a hook.

Last sentence in your conclusion

To sum up, make the best choice for a pet by getting a cat.

Every sentence reinforces the points you could make about owning a cat. It tells the reader why a cat is better than a dog and closes with a hard hook to convince them to get a cat. The transition words “to sum up” tells the reader you are closing, so there is no doubt you’re at the end of the paper. The above is a good finish for an essay, now let’s see bad essay endings.

Tip 2 – Avoid new, overused, and oversimplified information

When writing a conclusion, you should avoid overused statements that add no value to the reader. In speeches, you can use words like:

  • In summary
  • My speech talked about
  • The data shows
  • In conclusion

If you use this to conclude, the reader will be bored, and you won’t make a lasting impression. Many people state their thesis in the conclusion. When you do that, the reader will be confused because your paper should build up to a finish that reinforces the thesis. Avoid introducing new ideas in your conclusion. Since our example is about cats being better pets, don’t say:

“Cats are prettier than dogs.”

This sentence only gives the reader new information and should have a paragraph in the body of your essay. Don’t make the conclusion too short like the example above. People can tell when you have nothing else to say.

Your reader expects that your conclusion is strong. In academic settings and for literature, include an analytical finish to your work. If the reader is left thinking, you know the conclusion is effective. A conclusion is easy if you follow simple steps.

Tip 3 – Have strong body paragraphs

If you follow these rules, writing a conclusion is easy:

  1. Clearly state your points in the body paragraphs.
  2. Keep each point to one paragraph and give details to expand on it.
  3. Paraphrase the topic sentence of your body paragraphs.

Since the conclusion is a restatement of your points, it will be easier to write if you research and know your topic well. If it’s difficult to write your conclusion, then your paper is not written well. Revisit the body paragraphs and see how you can clarify and expand your points. The reader should know your points without guessing.

The idea of writing a conclusion can confuse people, but it’s not the conclusion that’s difficult. The most difficult aspect of writing an essay is research. In the body paragraphs, you are using your research to build your case. You need to focus on the information presented because it makes your conclusion easy to write.

How to end an essay

Conclusions are easy

The conclusion is the time to tie up your thoughts and provoke the reader to do more research. When you do this, your writing is successful. Read your conclusion and simplify the sentences used. When you simplify, you save the reader time, and they will want to read more.

A good conclusion allows the reader to skim over the body and understand the main idea of your essay. If your reader cannot understand your points from your conclusion, write it again. It needs to encompass your ideas clearly and briefly in a way that leaves their questions answered. Follow these tips, and you will write an amazing conclusion. An amazing conclusion improves readability and interest.

Important Guidelines To End an Essay

Important Guidelines To End an Essay: Have you ever wondered how you can end an essay? For most students, it’s the most challenging part of essay writing. Therefore, they find it more challenging. In this article, we will show you some important guidelines to end an essay.

What is an Essay Ending?

Essay ending is the last paragraph of your essay or any other college pager. And it summarizes the theory and arguments. It also helps readers see why your essay should matter to them.

Why You Need to Know How to Conclude an Essay

A conclusion provides a finished look at your essay. It also drives the main points of your essay one last time. It’s the opportunity to impress and give readers an understanding of why your paper matters. In other words, your essay ending:

  • Gives the reader something to think about after they finish reading your essay.
  • Also, it gives accuracy to your paper. Therefore, ending it on a positive note would be a good practice.
  • It’s also not about introducing new ideas but gathering your writing. So the goal is to restate the theory, summarize the essay’s body, and leave the audience with a final impression.

Important Aspects to Remember

Before looking at the important guidelines to end an essay, note.

  • A strong essay conclusion restates, not rewrites your theory from the introduction.
  • A strong essay ending also consists of three sentences minimum.
  • It also concludes thoughts, not presents new ideas.

Some Important Guidelines to End an Essay Examples

Below are some important guidelines to end an essay examples:

Example 1

Essay ending 1 — Why John didn’t deserve Mary on “Friends”

Viewers always expected John and Mary to reunite at the end of the series, the fact remains that John didn’t deserve Mary as a partner.

As we saw in the beginning of the series, John was unfaithful to Mary when they had been dating for over a year, and he didn’t want to admit he’s wrong when they tried to get back together after their initial breakup.

John was an extremely jealous and demanding partner, yelling at Mary in front of all of their friends on several occasions.

Lastly, and most egregiously, John had a terrible reaction when Mary told him she was pregnant after Jane and Chandler’s wedding, making him an undesirable romantic partner for her.

This ending is clear after viewing the show for over 10 years after the final episode aired and having a collectively better understanding of women’s rights and domestic abuse in relationships.

Example 2

Essay ending 2 — Should students be allowed to have cell phones in nursery school?

At the end, it’s easy to see why allowing a nursery school child to have a cell phone would be convenient for after-school pickups or arranging playdates with friends, there is too much evidence to show that it’s not a good idea.

Kids already have a lot of access to media (on average over seven hours per day) and it is the parent’s duty to monitor their media access, which is always difficult if the child has a personal cell phone access.

Cyber bullying is also going to be a risk when your child has unlimited access to a smartphone. Apparently, nursery school-aged children are not mature enough to handle the responsibility of a smartphone, and the borrowing of a parent’s cell phone should be highly monitored to ensure safe and healthy usage.

Example 3

Essay conclusion 3 — Should music with curse words be allowed at school dances?

Languages can be powerful and sometimes harmful, but approval of language is one of the worst things we can do as a society.

I believe that the content of the song is more important than a few curse words. For instance, if a song’s content is designed to intimidate, provoke or make someone feel inferior, then I believe that is more dangerous than a few impolite words in a chorus.

College Life and Writing Tips

How to end an essay

How to end an essay

One of the most important questions when it comes to writing is how to end an essay. You should remember that conclusion is the last chance to persuade readers into accepting your point of view. It has an extreme value to the entire essay, and a proper conclusion can make a massive difference in readers’ minds. Below I will show you how to write outstanding conclusions and also reveal which elements you must avoid.

Examples of how to end an essay

There are countless ways to end an essay, but just a few of them are actually accepted by professional writers, and they can assist you in achieving a better response from the readers. The first and the most common way is to use a quotation. Don’t forget that it must be used from your primary or secondary course, and the objective is to link the quote to your objective.

The second way to end an essay is to link the conclusion with a wide picture. For instance, if you are writing about the history of newspapers, you can link it with a modern newspaper. The sole purpose here is to use a conclusion to provide a bigger picture about the essay.

An interesting way to end an essay is to redefine one of your statements. It should be relevant to the content, and it must engage the readers to that level that they will wonder about all the possibilities. It is a rare conclusion, but it should be taken into consideration.

The bottom line here is that conclusion should end content but leave the possibility for a reader to still think about the topic. This explanation is actually known as ‘’ending the content without actually concluding it’’. In other words, a conclusion should be used to complete an essay, but at the same time, it should leave countless possibilities related to the main idea.

Which types of the conclusion should you definitely avoid?

We explained to you the possible examples of conclusion for how to end an essay. Now we will help you by revealing which types of conclusion you should avoid.

The first type that must be avoided is when the writer summarizes the content. It is useful on 10 pages or more essays, but it is a mistake that should be avoided on a short essay.
Do not use in conclusion or similar terms. They are designed to be used for oral purposes. When you write an essay, a reader can literally see the end of the content, so there is no need to add these words. There is no need to add that regardless of the length of an essay, this type of conclusion should be avoided.

Never apologize for your opinion or attitude. Some writers will apologize at the end of an essay because they have changed the idea while writing. If you want to know how to end an essay properly, avoid apologies. They are useless and irrelevant.

Your first draft will help you work out:

  • the structure and framework of your essay
  • how you will answer the question
  • which evidence and examples you will use
  • how your argument will be logically structured.

Your first draft will not be your final essay; think of it as raw material you will refine through editing and redrafting. Once you have a draft, you can work on writing well.

Structure

Structure your essay in the most effective way to communicate your ideas and answer the question.

All essays should include the following structure.

How to end an essay

Essay paragraphs

A paragraph is a related group of sentences that develops one main idea. Each paragraph in the body of the essay should contain:

  • a topic sentence that states the main or controlling idea
  • supporting sentences to explain and develop the point you’re making
  • evidence from your reading or an example from the subject area that supports your point
  • analysis of the implication/significance/impact of the evidence finished off with a critical conclusion you have drawn from the evidence
  • a concluding sentence that restates your point, analyses the evidence, or acts as a transition to the next paragraph.

See The Learning Centre guide Paraphrasing, summarising and quoting

Tips for effective writing

  • Start writing early —the earlier the better. Starting cuts down on anxiety, beats procrastination, and gives you time to develop your ideas.
  • Keep the essay question in mind. Don’t lose track of the question or task. Keep a copy in front of you as you draft, edit and work out your argument.
  • Don’t try to write an essay from beginning to end, especially not in a single sitting. Begin with what you are ready to write—a plan, a few sentences or bullet points. Start with the body and work paragraph by paragraph.
  • Write the introduction and conclusion after the body. Once you know what your essay is about, then write the introduction and conclusion.
  • Use ‘signpost’ words in your writing. Transition signals can help the reader follow the order and flow of your ideas.
  • Integrate your evidence carefully. Introduce quotations and paraphrases with introductory phrases.
  • Revise your first draft extensively. Make sure the entire essay flows and that the paragraphs are in a logical order.
  • Put the essay aside for a few days. This allows you to consider your essay and edit it with a fresh eye.

See The Learning Centre guides to Introducing quotations and paraphrases and Transition signals

Introduction

Almost all students will at some time be expected to write an essay, or some other kind of argument, e.g. a review or discussion section, in a longer piece of writing. In English, an essay is a piece of argumentative writing several paragraphs long written about one topic, usually based on your reading. The aim of the essay should be deduced strictly from the wording of the title or question (See Academic Writing: Understanding the Question), and needs to be defined at the beginning. The purpose of an essay is for you to say something for yourself using the ideas of the subject, for you to present ideas you have learned in your own way. The emphasis should be on working with other people’s ideas, rather than reproducing their words, but your own voice should show clearly. The ideas and people that you refer to need to made explicit by a system of referencing.

According to Linda Flower (1990, p. v), “students are reading to create a text of their own, trying to integrate information from sources with ideas of their own, and attempting to do so under the guidance of a purpose.”

Organisation

Your essay should have the following sections:

1. Preliminaries Title page
2. Main text Introduction
Main body
Conclusion
3. End matter References

1. Preliminaries

Before you start the main part of your essay or assignment, there should be a title page. The title page should contain information to enable your lecturer and departmental office or other reader to identify exactly what the piece of work is. It should include your name and course; the title of the assignment and any references; the lecturer it is for etc. Check with your department for clear information.

2. Main text

English essays are linear:

– they start at the beginning and finish at the end, with every part contributing to the main line of argument, without digressions or repetition. Writers are responsible for making their line of argument clear and presenting it in an orderly fashion so that the reader can follow. Each paragraph discusses one major point and each paragraph should lead directly to the next. The paragraphs are tied together with an introduction and a conclusion.

The main text of the essay has three main parts:

  1. An introduction
  2. A main body
  3. A conclusion

I. The introduction.

The introduction consists of two parts:

    1. It should include a few general statements about the subject to provide a background to your essay and to attract the reader’s attention. It should try to explain why you are writing the essay. It may include a definition of terms in the context of the essay, etc.
    2. It should also include a statement of the specific subdivisions of the topic and/or indication of how the topic is going to be tackled in order to specifically address the question.

It should introduce the central idea or the main purpose of the writing.

II. The main body.

The main body consists of one or more paragraphs of ideas and arguments. Each paragraph develops a subdivision of the topic. The paragraphs of the essay contain the main ideas and arguments of the essay together with illustrations or examples. The paragraphs are linked in order to connect the ideas. The purpose of the essay must be made clear and the reader must be able to follow its development.

III. The conclusion.

The conclusion includes the writer’s final points.

    1. It should recall the issues raised in the introduction and draw together the points made in the main body
    2. and explain the overall significance of the conclusions. What general points can be drawn from the essay as a whole?

It should clearly signal to the reader that the essay is finished and leave a clear impression that the purpose of the essay has been achieved.

General Statement
Organisation Statement

A. Introductory Sentence
Point 1
Point 2
Point 3
.
Concluding Sentence

B. Introductory Sentence
Point 1
Point 2
Point 3
.
Concluding Sentence

C. Introductory Sentence
Point 1
Point 2
Point 3
.
Concluding Sentence

Recall issues in introduction;
draw together main points;
final comment.

3. End Matter

At the end of the essay, there should be a list of references. This should give full information about the materials that you have used in the assignment. See Writing a list of references for more information on the reference list.

Ways of organising essays.

Essays are organised differently according to their purpose. Essays can be divided into the following main types.

On 14 September, the Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Świtalski, announced the winners of the nationwide non-academicessay competition “Where does Europe end?”. He presented prizes to the winner Meri Telunts and runner-up Artur Barseghyan. Telunts received an Armtab and Barseghyan got the opportunity to participate in an Erasmus+ training course in an EU member state. The competition was open from 31 May to 9 July for young people aged 17-35. The aim was to hear young people’s visions of EU-Armenia relations and their influence on Armenian youth. 74 essays were submitted, of which 12 were shortlisted. The jury was composed of representatives of the EU Delegation to Armenia, the Armenian Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Euroclubs Project, Armenian Progressive Youth, the European Youth Parliament Armenia and Young European Ambassadors.

How to end an essay

18-year-old Meri Telunts is a financier in the making. She has involved in many EU programmes implemented in Armenia: ‘When I read the title of the essay competition, I already knew what I was going to write because that idea has always been with me. The main idea is that Europe is not limited to its physical limits – it is a bigger a system of values. I think I am a bearer of these values’.

2-year-old Artur Barseghyan is a philosopher and psychologist, and is very interested in EU-Armenian relations: ‘I made comparisons about the attitudes of the Armenian diaspora towards EU-Armenia relations. For example, the Armenian community in Russia considers Armenia as part of the Caucasus; however, in European countries, the Armenian Diaspora is convinced that Armenia is an integral part of Europe. I am very glad that I won second prize and was provided with this opportunity. I would like to go to a French-speaking country to develop French as it is a language I already know’.

Take a catnap . . . but only for 15 minutes. Photograph: Image Source/Alamy

Take a catnap . . . but only for 15 minutes. Photograph: Image Source/Alamy

I f those trips down to the demos in Westminster have left you behind schedule for your end-of-term assignment, you may well be forced to write in the small hours this week. Here’s how to pull it off safely and successfully.

12am: Get as far away from your bed as possible

Before you begin, avoid warmth and soft furnishings. Propped up on pillows in the glow of a laptop may feel like savvy ergonomics, but your keyboard will start to look pillow-like by midnight, and 418 pages of the word “gf64444444444444444444” will detract from the force of your argument. You could try the kitchen. Or Krakow. But your industrially lit 24-hour campus library should do the trick.

12:25am: Take a catnap

Thomas Edison used to catnap through the night with a steel ball in his hand. As he relaxed and the ball dropped, he would wake up, usually with fresh ideas. “Caffeine and a short nap make a very effective combination,” says Jim Horne, director of the Loughborough Sleep Research Centre. “Have the coffee first. This takes about 20 minutes to work, so take a 15-minute nap. Use an alarm to wake up and avoid deep sleep kicking in. Do this twice throughout the night.”

12.56am: Reduce your internet options

Temporarily block Twitter, Spotify, Group Hug, YouTube, 4od and anything else that distracts you. Constantly updating your word count on Facebook may feel like fun, but to everyone else you’ll look like you’re constantly updating your word count on Facebook.

1-3am: Now write your essay. No, really

You’ve widened your margins, subtly enlarged your font and filled your bibliography with references of such profound obscurity that no one will notice you’re missing 3,000 words. It’s time to brainstorm, outline, carve words, followed by more words, into that milk-white oblivion that taunts you. Speed-read articles. Key-word Google Books. Remember texts you love and draw comparisons. Reword. Expound. Invent. Neologise. Get excited. Find a problem you can relish and keep writing. While others flit from point to point, your impassioned and meticulous analysis of a single contention is music to a marker’s eyes.

3-5am: Get lost in your analysis, your characters, your world Write like you’re trying to convince the most stubborn grammarian about truth, or heartless alien invaders about love. Don’t overload with examples – be creative with the ones you have. Detail will save your life, but don’t waste time perfecting sentences – get the bulk down first and clean up later. “The progress of any writer,” said Ted Hughes, “is marked by those moments when he manages to outwit his own inner police system.” Outwit your own inner police system. Expect progress. Ted says so.

5:01am: Don’t cheat

It’s about now that websites such as easyessay.co.uk will start to look tempting. And you may sleep easier knowing that a dubiously accredited Italian yoga instructor is writing about Joyce instead of you. But the guilt will keep you up between now and results day. And you’ll toss and turn the night before graduation, job interviews, promotions, dinner parties, children’s birthdays, family funerals . . . you get the idea.

5.17am: Don’t die

Sounds obvious, but dying at your computer is definitely trending. And however uncool it may seem to “pass on” during a five-day stint at World of Warcraft, it will be much more embarrassing to die explaining perspectivism to no one in particular. So be careful. Stay hydrated. Blink occasionally. And keep writing.

5.45am: Eat something simple

“There are no foods that are particularly good at promoting alertness,” says Horne. “But avoid heavy and fatty meals in the small hours. Avoid very sugary drinks that don’t contain caffeine, too. Sugar is not very effective in combating sleepiness.” Fun fact: an apple provides you with more energy than a cup of coffee. Now stick the kettle on.

5.46am: Delight in being a piece of living research

If you happen to be “fatigue resistant” you should now be enjoying the enhanced concentration, creative upwelling and euphoric oneness that sleep deprivation can bring. If not, try talking yourself into it. “Conversation keeps you awake,” says Horne. “So talk to a friend or even to yourself – no one will hear you.”

6am: Console yourself with lists of writers who stuck it out

Robert Frost was acquainted with the night. Dumas, Kafka, Dickens, Coleridge, Sartre, Poe and Breton night-walked and trance-wrote their way to literary distinction. John and Paul wrote A Hard Day’s Night in the small hours. Herman the Recluse, atoning for broken monastic vows, is said to have written the Codex Gigas on 320 sheets of calfskin during a single night in 1229. True, he’d sold his soul to the Devil, but you’re missing out on a live Twitter feed, so it’s swings and roundabouts.

7am: Remember – art is never finished, only abandoned

Once you accept there’s no more you can do, print it off and get to the submissions office quick. Horne: “You’re not fit to drive if you’ve had less than five hours sleep, so don’t risk it. Grab some exercise.” Pop it in with the breeziness that comes from being top of your marker’s pile. Back home, unblock Facebook and start buffering The Inbetweeners. And then sleep. Get as near to your bed as you can. Euphoric oneness doesn’t come close.

Matt Shoard teaches creative writing at the University of Kent.

The End of Certainty

Scott Morrison and Pandemic Politics

Epidemics are mirrors. What has COVID-19 revealed about Australia, and about Scott Morrison and his government? In this gripping essay, Katharine Murphy goes behind the scenes to tell the story of the response to the crisis. Drawing on interviews with Morrison, Brendan Murphy, Josh Frydenberg, Sally McManus and other players, she traces how the key health and economic decisions were taken.

Her account is twinned with a portrait of the prime minister. She explores his blend of pragmatism and faith, and shows how a leader characterised by secrecy and fierce certainty learnt to compromise and reach out – with notable exceptions.

Now, as the nation turns inwards and unemployment rises, our faith in government is about to be tested anew. What does “We’re all in this together” truly mean? Will Morrison snap back to Liberal hardman, or will he redefine centre-right politics in this country?

“Morrison’s a partisan, blue team to the core, but his political philosophy is hard to pin down, because it is predominantly trouble-shooting. By instinct, Morrison is a power player and a populist, not a philosopher; a repairer of walls, not a writer of manifestos … [his] conservatism is extreme pragmatism in defence of what he regards as the core of the nation.” Katharine Murphy, The End of Certainty

Correspondence discussing Quarterly Essay 79, The End of Certainty:

How to end an essay

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Katharine Murphy has worked in Canberra’s parliamentary press gallery since 1996 for the Australian Financial Review, The Australian and The Age, before joining Guardian Australia, where she is political editor. She won the Paul Lyneham Award for Excellence in Press Gallery Journalism in 2008 and has been a Walkley Award finalist twice. She was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Canberra in 2019. She is a director of the National Press Club and the author of On Disruption.

How to end an essay

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How to end an essay

How to end an essay

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In school, one of things which have always put students under a lot of tension and pressure is literary composition. Writing essays is a dreaded thing and particularly among the lazy students as well as those who are not well endowed with this skill and those students who prefer fun to academic duties. Students have duty or responsibility of ensuring that their papers can be well discerned by teachers and this should always come down to writing eligibly and simply. In composing a piece of paper on anything, there are three major factors which a student should always take into consideration and they include the introduction of your paper, the body text and the conclusion. Each of these sections has some basic requirements. Literary experts and professionals advice that a paper should not stop but have a good ending for this is the only way to resolve issues you have been writing about.

Well, depending on the nature of your essay, conclusion will always vary significantly. Visual analysis essays can be the easiest to write about yet they can also prove a great hurdle to students who don’t take them seriously. At the very least, you must first understand what they and this means you should check on this company for great explanations and strategies for writing the same. In this post, we veer off the definition a bit and take a leap into how best you can do a visual analysis essay, so read on for more details.

Recapturing main ideas

Well, when all is said and done, one would always want to remind an audience or readers what has been talked of so far. This should be the same case when you are finished with writing a literary visual analysis. You want to capture the main issues discussed and perhaps elevate your readers to a new level of understanding. Recapturing is another term for re-echoing what has been written in a way that it serves a reminder on issues one may have forgotten.

A short, precise and powerful conclusion

It is said that a good story ends. It does not stop. On this premise, winding up your writing with a very sweet but powerful ending is a sure way to ensure its retention value in the minds of readers is unmatched.

Touch on the main theme

Another great way to end a visual analysis essay is by talking about the main theme. This is the central issue in your paper and it should be done with clarity and precision.

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How to end an essay

Concluding a narrative essay can be a challenge for experienced and beginning writers alike. Writers often fall into the trap of tying the narrative up too neatly, telling the readers what they are supposed to take away from their story instead of letting the reader come to their own conclusions. Study a few essays from some of the great writers and notice how they conclude their stories. Often the ending to their narratives is left ambiguous; the reader isn’t exactly sure how everything will turn out. The reader should be left with a sense of closure, without being told how or what to feel.

Conclude with an Image

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Show, don’t tell”? Showing an image puts a visual in the reader’s mind, an effective way to conclude without telling too much. Showing an image prevents you from telling your feelings, which, in most cases, you want to avoid. In the essay “Buckeye,” Scott Russell Sanders uses the image of a grazing deer to conclude his narrative:

. . . within a few paces of a grazing deer, close enough to see the delicate lips, the twitching nostrils, the glossy, fathomless eyes.

This lyrical conclusion comes from “Bathing,” as writer Kathryn Winograd shows the last moments of her bath:

The wind sings through the window like a siren, and the steam floats from my skin like milk.

Conclude in the Action

Show yourself in action. Move. Do something, anything, to avoid telling the reader how happy, or sad, or hopeful you are in the end. Look at something, and walk away, as Edward Hoagland does in “The Courage of Turtles”:

But since, short of diving in after him, there was nothing I could do, I walked away.

Or look at something, and become mesmerized. A chapter from the classic memoir, Stop Time by Frank Conroy, “Yo-Yo Going Down, a Mad Squirrel Coming Up,” shows a young Conroy as he watches a girl through a window:

That same night, hidden in the greenery under the window, I watched a naked girl let down her long red hair.

Conclude with Dialogue

Dialogue can be tricky to conclude with, but can work if it avoids a message or moral. You’ll only want to use this concluding technique if it has been maintained in the narrative; you probably don’t want to throw in spoken word if we haven’t heard anyone speak up until that point.

David Sedaris, in his essay, “Cyclops,” ends with the voice of his father, who is the main character in this essay:

“I don’t know where you got it from, but in the end, it’s going to kill you.”

The following brief reply, taken from Jo Ann Beard’s “The Fourth State of Matter,” shows an image, followed by unquoted dialogue. Beard uses italics instead:

Around my neck is the stone he brought me from Poland. I hold it out. Like this? I ask. Shards of fly wings, suspended in amber.
Exactly, he says.

Another example below comes again from Scott Russell Sanders, this from “Cloud Crossing,” as his toddler son babbles:

“Moon,” he is piping from the back seat, “moon, moon!”

Conclude by Reflecting

When used well, reflection is a great way to convey feelings without telling the reader how you felt – or how they should feel. Reflection offers the writer’s thoughts about what is happening or has happened. Reflection can include thoughts about the moment or thoughts looking back, about the experience. Reflection can add clarity, as we see the writer thinking through the experience. This concluding moment is from James Baldwin’s, “Notes of a Native Son”:

. . . I wished that he had been beside me so that I could have searched his face for the answers which only the future would give me now.

Bret Lott, in his short essay, “Brothers,” reflects on childhood memories of his family, taking him into the present with his own two sons:

What I believe is this: That pinch was entry into our childhood; my arm around him, our smiling, is the proof of us two surfacing, alive but not unscathed.
And here are my own two boys, already embarked.

In Conclusion

When writing your own conclusion, think about what you want your readers to take away from your story. Then think about how best you can show it. You seldom can go wrong with images. Dialogue is a great way to let a character have the last word. Ending with reflection, sharing thoughts or feelings, works when a bit more needs to be said. Think about what feeling, emotion, or question you want to leave your readers with, the take-away, then choose the type of conclusion that best suits the narrative. It’s not unusual to actually write the conclusion first, and it often serves as a road map to get the narrative where it needs to go. Taking time to carefully craft a conclusion can make or break your narrative.

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How to end an essay

As difficult as it is to begin a personal narrative essay, wrapping it up can be even more challenging. Writers often fall into the trap of tying the narrative up too neatly, telling the readers what they are supposed to take away from their story instead of letting the reader come to their own conclusions. Study a few essays from some of the great writers and notice how they conclude their stories. Often the ending to their narratives is left ambiguous; the reader isn’t exactly sure how everything will turn out; however, the reader should be left with a sense of closure.

Below are some strategies you might use to come to a satisfying conclusion in your own stories. All are final lines from some popular essays.

End with an Image

When nature essayist Scott Russell Sanders was in Omaha to talk to writing students, he said one of the most common problems for beginning writers when crafting a narrative essay is conclusions. He said his advice is always the same: if in doubt, end on an image. It’s foolproof. Showing an image prevents you from telling your feelings. In the essay “Buckeye,” Scott Russell Sanders uses the image of a grazing deer to conclude his narrative:

. . . within a few paces of a grazing deer, close enough to see the delicate lips, the twitching nostrils, the glossy, fathomless eyes.

This lyrical conclusion comes from “Bathing,” as writer Kathryn Winograd shows the last moments of her bath:

The wind sings through the window like a siren, and the steam floats from my skin like milk.

End with Action

Show yourself in action. Move. Do something, anything, to avoid telling the reader how happy, or sad, or hopeful you are in the end. Look at something, and walk away, as Edward Hoagland does in “The Courage of Turtles”:

But since, short of diving in after him, there was nothing I could do, I walked away.

Or look at something, and become mesmerized. A chapter from the classic memoir, Stop Time by Frank Conroy, “Yo-Yo Going Down, a Mad Squirrel Coming Up,” shows a young Conroy as he watches a girl through a window:

That same night, hidden in the greenery under the window, I watched a naked girl let down her long red hair.


End with Dialogue

Dialogue can be tricky to conclude with, but can work if it avoids a message or moral. You’ll only want to use this concluding technique if it has been maintained in the narrative; you probably don’t want to throw in spoken word if we haven’t heard anyone speak up until that point.

David Sedaris, in his essay, “Cyclops,” ends with the voice of his father, who is the main character in this essay:

“I don’t know where you got it from, but in the end, it’s going to kill you.”

The following brief reply, taken from Jo Ann Beard’s “The Fourth State of Matter,” shows an image, followed by unquoted dialogue. Beard uses italics instead:

Around my neck is the stone he brought me from Poland. I hold it out. Like this? I ask. Shards of fly wings, suspended in amber.
Exactly, he says.

Another example below comes again from Scott Russell Sanders, this from “Cloud Crossing,” as his toddler son babbles:

“Moon,” he is piping from the back seat, “moon, moon!”


End with Reflection

When used well, reflection is a great way to convey feelings without telling the reader how you felt – or how they should feel. Reflection offers the writer’s thoughts about what is happening or has happened. Reflection can include thoughts about the moment or thoughts looking back, about the experience. Reflection can add clarity, as we see the writer thinking through the experience. This concluding moment is from James Baldwin’s “Notes of a Native Son”:

. . . I wished that he had been beside me so that I could have searched his face for the answers which only the future would give me now.

Bret Lott, in his short essay, “Brothers,” reflects on childhood memories of his family, taking him into the present with his own two sons:

What I believe is this: That pinch was entry into our childhood; my arm around him, our smiling, is the proof of us two surfacing, alive but not unscathed.
And here are my own two boys, already embarked.


When writing your own conclusion, think about what you want your readers to take away from your story. Then think about how best you can show it. Ending with reflection may work great for one story, but not another. Concluding with dialogue may sound forced. You seldom can go wrong with images. Think about what feeling, emotion, or question you want to leave your readers with, the take-away, then pick the type of conclusion that best suits the piece. If you’ve done your job showing the event or experience throughout the narrative, the conclusion will come naturally.

by David · Published December 3, 2018 · Updated March 24, 2021

How to end an essayYou are so close to the end. Your hard work of studying, finding scholarships and applying to them is almost completely behind you. At this point, you may have written most of your scholarship essay.

(If you’re still struggling to start, head over here first ) when you realize, you don’t know how to end a scholarship essay. Well, no fears! We are here with some great tips for writing an awesome conclusion that will help you win the scholarship of your dreams.

How To Write the Conclusion

Your conclusion needs to give the judges the last impression of who you are. It should leave them remembering you.

Your conclusion should do these three things:

  • Wrap up your story by summing up your main points
  • Clarify your thesis in a new and fresh way
  • Answer the question: Why is all this important?

It is important that you wrap up the highlights of your essay, without diving into the details. Because you have already How to end an essaydone that throughout your essay. Don’t copy and paste earlier parts of your essay.

This is where you need to answer, why does all this matter to you? What are your hopes for the future? Where do you see yourself in a few years? This is the place to share them. Find a way to connect to your original story that you started your essay with.

A conclusion is a good place for you to explain how the scholarship will help you reach your goals. Share how you plan to use the life lesson from your essay in your future plans, to meet goals or dreams.

Remember, up until now your essay was about your past. The conclusion is your chance to bring the judge back to your present and talk about the future.

For example, if you started your essay by sharing a specific experience… You can conclude the essay by explaining how that experience will impact you in the future.

How to end an essayLet’s say that you opened your essay by sharing that you got lost in the woods one time. Your conclusion would be a great place to bring that story back and connect it with the now. You might say “I haven’t gotten lost in the woods lately but I still get a thrill every time I go explore unknown territories. This thrill has led me all over the world.”

Scholarship committees have thousands of students to choose from. They want to make sure that the students they choose will get the most out of winning the scholarships.

Ideas On How to End a Scholarship Essay

  • End the conclusion with dialogue- this could be words of admiration from a character in the story such as a mentor, parents, or teacher.
  • Action- Leave the essay open-ended so that the reader thinks about you. For example, “I put on my jacket and stepped outside confidently.”
  • End the conclusion with a description: “The sun began to peak out from the clouds, sending rays of orange and red throughout the sky, warming my face and brightening up the world.”

How to end an essayJust like the introduction should draw in the judges, your conclusion needs to leave a lasting impression.

Finally, don’t forget to revise your paper as well as have family or a teacher also revise it. Revision is necessary to a successful paper. Make sure that you have not left any questions unanswered in your essay. If so, your conclusion is a good place to answer those questions.

Conclusion Example:

Well, I can’t promise that I’m going to find a cure for cancer or the AIDS virus, but, I know one thing is true. The way my eyes would brighten up when we sang that song is the same way they brighten up when I think about my future. While I may not find the cure for fatal illnesses, I know that my passion for the field will defeat any hurdle that stands in my way and that I am going to do everything to be the best doctor that I can be.

David

How to end an essay

David Tabachnikov is the CEO of ScholarshipOwl. Formerly at Waze and Google, David is an experienced CTO/R&D manager with over 10 years of experience of leading tech teams. David fervently believes that students should have greater access to education, and is passionate about using technology to help them achieve that goal.