What is a Conclusion Sentence? - Example & Overview

Instructor: Ben Nickol
This lesson will study the function of a conclusion sentence within the broader function of a body paragraph. In particular, the lesson will look at how the conclusion sentence ties the paragraph together and reaffirms the author's argument.

Context

Before arriving at its conclusion sentence, a body paragraph must first build the argument it is advancing. To do this well, it needs to follow certain steps. First, the paragraph must have a topic sentence where the author makes the claim that the paragraph will go on to support. Next, the paragraph must provide evidence that supports that claim. After the evidence, the author must engage in analysis that explains the point she's making and establishes its importance. Only then, at the end of the paragraph, can there be a conclusion sentence. Typically, the conclusion sentence is a restating of the topic sentence.

Purpose

While simple, the conclusion sentence accomplishes two important tasks. First, it ties together the paragraph. A broad amount of information can be covered in a body paragraph, and by restating the topic sentence at the paragraph's conclusion, the author gathers all those 'threads' into one comprehensible bundle. Second, and most importantly, the conclusion sentence reaffirms the author's argument. By the end of the paragraph, the reader has been presented with the author's reasons (evidence and analysis) for believing what she believes. By restating her argument in light of those reasons, she compels the reader to agree with her.

(Note: to accomplish these two tasks, the conclusion sentence must focus only on the information presented in the paragraph leading up to it. With that in mind, the conclusion sentence shouldn't introduce new information or attempt to transition to the paragraph to follow.)

Example

Because of the quality of their coaching staff, the Ohio State Buckeyes will make it to next year's NCAA Football National Championship. According to footballstastics.net, the Buckeyes' staff has more combined wins than any other coaching staff in America. An experienced staff is important. When games are on the line, the players need coaches who can remain calm and make good decisions. An inexperienced staff often will get caught up in the excitement and overlook critical details, which will lead to a loss. An experienced coach will allow himself to breathe, think, and call the play that will win the game. The Buckeye coaching staff have this vital experience, and so they will win enough games to make it to the National Championship.

The conclusion sentence in this paragraph (the sentence in bold) is doing its job because it accomplishes the two tasks discussed in the previous section. First, it ties the paragraph together. A great deal of ground has been covered in this paragraph, and by restating the topic sentence the author reminds the reader what this was all about and signals that the paragraph has come full circle and achieved a neat closure.

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