Writing a Conclusion for a Narrative Essay

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  • 0:00 The Narrative Essay
  • 0:40 The Conclusion
  • 1:17 Summarize Main Ideas
  • 2:21 Reflection
  • 3:22 Provide Closure
  • 4:21 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Angela Janovsky

Angela has taught middle and high school English, Social Studies, and Science for seven years. She has a bachelor's degree in psychology and has earned her teaching license.

Ever write an essay, but have no idea how to end it? Writing a conclusion does not need to be a stressful task. This lesson outlines several methods for writing a conclusion for a narrative essay.

The Narrative Essay

Just mentioning the word 'essay' usually sends students into pangs of panic or despair. Creating a lengthy, well-thought-out piece of writing is no easy task. However, nothing can be more frustrating than writing the whole essay and then struggling with the conclusion.

Imagine you're writing a narrative essay, which is one that tells the story of a personal experience. You have decided to write about your first day of high school. Sure, the actual story will be easy to explain, but how do you end that story in a meaningful way? The rest of this lesson describes how to write a conclusion for a narrative essay.

The Conclusion

Before discussing the strategies to use for a conclusion, let's make sure you have all the other necessary elements. If you're already at the conclusion, you should have a clear introduction, or opening paragraph that presents the topic of the writing. Then you wrote the body, which has all your supporting details and ideas. Never end your essay with the body. Always include a conclusion, which concludes or ends the text.

So how do you write a conclusion for a narrative essay? Once the body is written, what else is there to say? To write a meaningful conclusion, think about the following advice.

Summarize Main Ideas

One of the most common methods for concluding a narrative essay is to write a summary, which includes brief statements of the main points. For a narrative, this does not mean you rewrite the whole story throughout the essay. This would be redundant and deflect from your message. Instead, remind readers of a few of the important events and insights from the essay.

Let's say you really did write a narrative essay describing your first day of high school. To summarize in your conclusion, restate some of the things you learned because of what happened that day. Here's an example of a few sentences you could use.

Overall, this was a very stressful but educational day in my life. I will never forget the anxiety of losing my schedule and how lost I felt wandering the huge building (especially thanks to the prankster seniors). On the other hand, I would never trade this day for anything, as I learned I could deal with problems. It also didn't hurt having friends to help me through.

In these few sentences, you get a sense of how that first day of school went, but also the insight gained from the experience.

Reflection

If a summary doesn't quite flow with the rest of your essay, you may instead decide to reflect on the story as a whole. A reflection involves thinking deeply about the narrative and giving it thorough consideration.

Think of a reflection as similar to the insight included in a summary, but in a more extreme manner. If you're reflecting on the whole narrative, you need to go into greater depth than just mentioning you learned to solve problems. To take it further, describe what you resolved to do, or come to a conclusion about a major life philosophy. Here are a few sentences that would do that for the sample narrative.

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