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Concluding Statements: Supporting Your Argument

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  • 0:01 Persuasive Essay
  • 0:32 Conclusion
  • 1:59 Consequences
  • 2:47 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Natalie Boyd

Natalie is a teacher and holds an MA in English Education and is in progress on her PhD in psychology.

Many writers spend so much time on the body of their essay that the conclusion seems overwhelming. In this lesson, we'll break down the last paragraph of a persuasive essay and look at what needs to be included.

Persuasive Essay

Sally's writing a persuasive essay to try to convince the mayor of her town that he should charge his tax on sodas so that people will buy them less often. She's introduced her topic and offered reasons and evidence in the letter so that the mayor will be persuaded. But now it's time to wrap up her essay and she's not sure how to do it. What should she say now? She's spent so much time on the rest of the essay that it seems overwhelming to try to write the ending.

To help Sally out, let's look at the things that she should include to finish her persuasive essay.

Conclusion

By now, Sally has already established the purpose of the essay and what position she's taking. She's also provided all sorts of evidence and reasons, like saying that sodas are bad for people's health and that taxes on cigarettes have been successful at lowering smoking rates.

In the beginning of the last paragraph, Sally will want to provide a conclusion sentence, or a sentence that restates the main idea of the essay. In her case, she might want to say something like, 'I believe that our city should charge a tax on soft drinks.'

Next, Sally will want to summarize the main points that she's already presented to support her position. She could, for example, write a sentence or two about how sodas can negatively affect an individual's health and that putting a tax on them could reduce the amount of soda people drink, therefore reducing the number of health problems residents encounter.

When restating the points that support her position, Sally will want to make sure that she keeps it brief. One or two sentences is enough; she doesn't have to go into great detail because she's just summing up what she's already discussed.

The other thing Sally will want to make sure she does is to summarize only what she's already discussed in her essay. This is not a good time to add new ideas, reasons, or evidence. Instead, she should keep it to restating the main points she's already made. That way, her reader will be able to remember and fully understand her argument.

Consequences

Sally's written her essay and now she's begun her last paragraph, too. She's provided her conclusion and summed up the reasons and evidence that she's already discussed. Is that it? Is she finished?

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