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How To Write Effective Conclusions: Importance and Elements

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  • 0:29 Restate Your Main Points
  • 1:25 Add Some Interesting Stuff
  • 2:07 Acknowledge Your Opposition
  • 2:28 Clever Tips
  • 3:59 Make It Universal
  • 4:29 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Cathy Wilson

Cathy Wilson has taught college literature and composition, junior-high and high-school English, and secondary art. She has a master's degree in American Literature.

Follow this easy method to write a wonderful conclusion to your paper. Here you will find everything you need, including some most excellent writing tips!

Establishing a Convincing Conclusion

Jamie is trying to convince his parents to let him go on a long backpacking trip. They're not sure he's old enough to go, and he has presented his list of examples of how responsible he really is. 'And if you let me go,' he says finally, 'I promise I will do the dishes for an entire week.' Jamie's been using the very same techniques that you use when you write a good conclusion for your paper.

Restate Your Main Points

At the beginning of your paper, in your introduction, you wrote a great thesis statement that contained your main points. In your conclusion, you will restate those main points, but don't just copy and paste them. See if you can restate your thesis in an interesting, fresh way.

How can you do this?

  • Well, use different words. If one of Jamie's main points is that he is responsible, he could restate the idea by mentioning that he is trustworthy.
  • Use a different order. This can be especially powerful if you want to end on a point that will clinch your argument. In Jamie's case, he tried hard to offer his parents a deal they couldn't refuse: a week's worth of dish duty!
  • Split up the points. You don't need to write all the thesis statement points all at once. You can write them with some interesting material in between.

Add Some Interesting Stuff

What kind of material could you use?

  • Add an anecdote. You may already know that an anecdote is a very, very short story. Sometimes a short, wonderful story can move your reader better than anything else. In Jamie's case, he could retell the story of how well he behaved during their last family camping trip.
  • Add a couple of examples. Sometimes, you've got to the play the 'everybody's doing it' card. If Jamie can point out that some of his most mature friends are going on the backpacking trip, this may finally convince his parents to agree.

Acknowledge Your Opposition

Acknowledge your opposition; even though your conclusion is meant to strongly convince your reader to accept your points, you can come across as a real authority if you are willing to mention a few points from your opposition. This shows that you understand the complexity of the issues and therefore sets you up as a good expert on the topic.

Clever Tips

Here are a few clever tips you can use to convince your reader in your conclusion. Of course, you don't want to use all of them! Choose a couple that will fit just right with your conclusion.

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