Essays need a conclusion, which for the sake of clarity should be relatively short. It is generally best not to include new ideas or new material in your concluding comments, particularly since many people think that a conclusion should be a summary of the prior arguments. You may, however, point to alternative conclusions or arguments, or briefly suggest areas of interest that have not been dealt with directly by the essay. People often get the wrong idea about conclusions and believe that this is the place to state firm convictions, and that a conclusion has to make a stand and come down on the side of one argument or another. This can be the case but it is not necessarily so. If an essay title comes in the form of a question, for example: , and you cannot decide, do not think that this is a problem. It is as much a sign of intelligence to state that you cannot decide as it is to sift through the evidence and decide one way or the other. Think about why you cannot decide. Perhaps the evidence is conflicting. Perhaps the literary text and its use of imagery is ambiguous, or even contradictory, as is often the case. If you cannot decide, then say so, outlining why you cannot decide. Alternatively, you may partly agree or partly disagree with the statements or questions raised by the title, or by questions raised directly in responding to the title. If so, say so. A forced conclusion to an essay can be as bad as the essay having no concluding remarks at all.
The two professors that were interviewed commented in agreement with the rarity of the latter format, and often find it difficult to mark. In these cases it is sometimes strenuous for the professor to determine whether the student is arguing his or her own points or using others’ and claiming them as their own. Overall, though, the teachers emphasized the point that there are various ways to incorporate one’s personal voice and analysis, and that the strategies can be as diverse and personal as one’s actual voice. Both, however, did mention that the inclusion of one’s personal thoughts, and voice in the conclusion to an essay often proves rather effective, but it should not be the only place in one’s essay where the voice shines through.
The conclusion to an essay is rather like a formal social farewell
In order to sharpen your argument skills, it's necessary to play your own worst enemy. Developing a counter-argument helps you to analyze issues from all sides to ensure your position can withstand even the strongest of criticism. N.C.
(University of Washington - Bothell)
Do you ever hear the word "draft" and cringe with disbelief at the length? Do you often ask why people go through the trouble of writing a first draft when it seems like they could just as easily write a final in one go? If so then maybe it's time to take a look at what exactly writing those first, second, and third drafts really means and the reasons behind why so many people seem to write multiple drafts. R.W.
The conclusion to an essay is arguably one of the most important parts of a scholarly paper. A conclusion provides one last chance for you to prove the point that you are trying to convey to an audience. This site provides specific ideas for how to end a paper and also offers tips regarding what not to do when writing a conclusion. C.B.
(University of Washington Bothell)
No matter what step of the writing process you find yourself stuck in, the University of Washington is here to help. It details each step of the process, highlighting which aspects of writing to focus on, whether it be developing an argument in the first draft or refining the flow of information for the final draft. J.C
(University of North Carolina)
Introductions getting you down? The University of North Carolina is here to lift you back up. . This website not only gives strategies on how to write this first and most daunting paragraph but also gives different styles of introductions. For your reading pleasure, each style is even ranked for effectiveness and accompanied by an example. Don't let the introduction blues defeat you! Conquer it instead with this wonderful resource. J.C
(University of Canberra)
Introductions lay out the plan for your paper, so it is essential that they engage the readers and focus them in on what is being said. Here is a source that describes and shows what a good introduction should be through explanations of content, structure, and style. J.D