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How to Write a Good Conclusion

The conclusion to a paper is always determined by the paper itself and its audience and purpose. There is no single conclusion form that will fit all papers; however, helpful tips and strategies that often work well are listed below.

Some commonly-used conclusions:

· Restatement of your thesis
· Restatement of supporting points
· Predictions or recommendations about your proposals or arguments.
· Solutions to the problems you’ve raised
· A quotation that supports your ideas
· A reference to an anecdote or story that appeared in your introduction.

Other ideas:

Introduce a new perspective (perhaps a wide-angle) on your topic. Here are a few possibilities.

· apply your ideas to the reader’s life
· speculate about the future
· suggest action readers can take
· show probable consequences if action is not taken
· introduce a question for further thought
· evaluate or reflect on what you've written
· speculate on the larger implications of your topic
· end with a quote, an anecdote, or an allusion to history or fiction

More tips:

Tie your ending in with your opening:
· If you started with an anecdote, return to it
· If you started with a description or with details, repeat or elaborate on some of these.

Not all essays need a separate conclusion; sometimes your last point can be a strong one to end on. Consider this if:
· in argumentation, you want to end with your key argument
· in a narrative essay, you want to end with the climax or the discovery you've been building toward.

Don't just stop because you ran out of things to say!! Save some good stuff for your ending.
Don't merely summarize
Don't start the paragraph with "to sum up," or "in conclusion."
Don't introduce an entirely new idea that calls for further development.
Don't apologize or weaken your essay with qualifications.

-- Adapted from handout by Instructor Rudolph, Chabot College

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