How to Write a Conclusion (With Examples and Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated July 1, 2022 | Published May 17, 2021

Updated July 1, 2022

Published May 17, 2021

A conclusion is one of the most important sections of an essay or paper because it gives the writer an additional opportunity to reiterate their main argument. A conclusion should communicate effectively with the reader and be concise and to the point. Conclusions should also identify all of the major points made in the report. In this article, we'll explain how to write a conclusion, list the different types of conclusions, detail what to include and what to avoid, give an outline you can use in your next essay and provide some examples of both effective and ineffective conclusions.

When to use a conclusion

As the name might suggest, a conclusion should be at the end of your paper or essay. Include a conclusion when you are writing an essay, report or article that proposes or explores an idea, issue or event.

A conclusion is an effective way to summarize an article's core points, first introduced in the thesis statement. A thesis statement provides the structure and motivation for an entire paper so that every paragraph links back to the main idea. A thesis answers the "why" of a paper, article or essay. On the other hand, a conclusion clarifies the point of the essay and offers the reader a solution or insight into the subject matter.

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How to write a conclusion

To write an effective conclusion, there are several steps to take. Below are the most productive ways to help make your conclusion stand out:

  1. Restate the thesis: To make your conclusion effective, you should bring the reader back to the main point to remind the reader of the purpose of the essay. It's important to avoid repeating the thesis verbatim. Instead, paraphrase your argument slightly while still preserving the primary point.

  2. Reiterate your supporting points: The conclusion should restate your thesis and reiterate the points you made to support it throughout the paper. Avoid repeating the arguments that were made in the body of the article, and instead summarize the ideas.

  3. Make a connection between your opening and closing statements: It is often effective to return to the introduction's theme to give the reader a strong sense of conclusion. You can accomplish this by using similar concepts, returning to an original scenario or including the same imagery.

  4. Provide some insight: Your conclusion should leave the reader with a solution, an insight, questions for further study or a call to action. Be sure to articulate the implications of your argument and explain why they should care. You'll want to answer these types of questions here and leave your audience with something to think about. Alternatively, the conclusion should help the reader find closure to the paper. If your point is to prove an argument or add insight to a particular subject, summarize those points to ensure your statement is clear.

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Types of conclusions

There are different kinds of conclusions that you can use to end your paper or essay, but all of them serve one of these three primary functions:

  1. Summarization: Use this style when writing about technical subjects with a clinical tone, like surveys and reports. Because this type of conclusion paraphrases the major ideas of an essay, it can be used in longer pieces where readers will need a reminder of the essay's main points. The conclusion should avoid reflexive references or subjective ideas (like "in my opinion" or "I feel").

  2. Editorialization: This is effective when writing essays about a controversial topic, a personal anecdote or an appeal to persuade the reader. The editorialization style will often incorporate the writer's commentary about the subject matter and expresses their personal perspective on the issue. This type of conclusion will use a conversational tone to draw attention to concerns, interpretations, personal beliefs, politics or feelings on the subject.

  3. Externalization: Use this type of conclusion in essays that approach a particular issue that is a part of a much more complex subject. An externalized conclusion provides a transition into a related but separate topic to further develop the discussion.

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What to avoid

When writing a conclusion for your paper, there are things that you should not do. Here are a few things to avoid when writing your conclusion:

  • Avoid introducing the thesis, new ideas or evidence for the first time. If you make new points in your conclusion, try to incorporate them into one of the essay's body paragraphs instead.

  • Make sure you are using a tone that is consistent with the rest of the paper. Whether you have been using informal slang or technical jargon in your paper, be sure to mirror that in the conclusion.

  • Beginning the conclusion with phrases like "in closing," "in summary," or "in conclusion" is redundant and unnecessary; avoid using them.

  • It is also important to save the conclusion for reiterating your key points. You have a limited amount of space to make a final impact on your reader, so focus on summarizing the large ideas from the rest of the paper.

Tips for writing a conclusion

A conclusion's job is to reiterate the arguments and thesis of the essay. It provides a sense of closure and suggests that you have accomplished the goal of the piece. Here are some key aspects to include in your conclusion to ensure its effectiveness:

  • Finish the essay with positive language.

  • Be sure to articulate the importance of the topic and your ideas.

  • Give the reader a sense of closure.

  • Make sure to summarize your main arguments.

  • Rephrase your thesis to reinforce your main idea.

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How to structure a conclusion

The best way to write a conclusion is to follow an outline to ensure that you hit the important aspects and cover what you need. Here are the basic parts of a conclusion:

1. Topic sentence

A topic sentence is where you repeat your thesis statement. Make sure it is rephrased to avoid redundancy, but it is still a compelling and well-written sentence.

  • The topic sentence should make an impact and catch the reader's attention.

2. Supporting sentences

  • Paraphrase the major points and arguments that you made throughout the paper. Depending on the length of the paper, this should be roughly three or four major points.

  • Explain the significance of the ideas and how they all connect. The major arguments should not be written in a list format or read as such. Make sure it flows nicely.

3. Closing sentence

  • A closing sentence is where you connect to a point, image or anecdote made in the introductory paragraph.

  • The closing sentence is your final word on the subject and gives the reader a sense of closure. While the first sentence of your paper should hook the reader, this last sentence should encapsulate the discovery, argument or points made in the paper.

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Conclusion example

To help provide you with some clarity, here is an example of an effective conclusion paragraph:

"Social media is the most cost-effective way for companies to grow their brand. This was evident over the past five years of study, while Alton Ltd., Dragos, Ethos Co., and FinancialGains all saw significant growth and broader brand awareness after using social media to advertise their products. Additionally, using digital platforms for advertising allows a company to quickly pivot their messaging if they find the original concepts are not working for their intended audience. Companies should be putting a larger portion of their marketing budget aside for upcoming brand awareness or promotional campaigns."

This is a good example of a conclusion paragraph because it touches on all of the major points of the report in a concise manner. It provides the reason behind the statement with quick arguments as to why. The paragraph starts with a strong statement that was proven throughout the article. This particular conclusion paragraph also briefly mentions some of the research done to help prove the argument. Additionally, the paragraph concludes with an action item and the next step statement for the reader.

Related: How to Write a Conclusion for a Research Paper (And Example)

Ways to improve a conclusion

To understand how to write a good conclusion paragraph, you will also need to understand what a bad one looks like. This is an example of an ineffective conclusion:

"In conclusion, social media is the best form of advertising and marketing for a company because they are popular platforms and many people use them."

Here are some ways to improve this example:

  • This example is far too short. An effective conclusion will be a full paragraph that details the argument's supporting points.

  • Though there are two supporting points, they are vague. An effective conclusion should cite concrete details that have been referenced or used already in the paper.

  • Beginning a conclusion with a phrase like "in conclusion" is unneeded. A good conclusion will jump right into the arguments and use the limited space efficiently.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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