A conclusion is usually the last paragraph of an essay. It’s as important as the introduction and the body paragraphs because it reinforces the essay’s topic and purpose. Think of a conclusion as a cool down after a rigorous workout. You can’t abruptly end an intense workout, but rather, you must lightly stretch to let your muscles rest and recover properly. The same idea applies to your conclusion. You can’t suddenly stop writing in the middle of your essay, so this paragraph gradually brings your paper to a close. Below are some tips to help you conclude your essay on a high note.

Breakdown of Conclusions

The conclusion is your last chance to reflect on the importance of what you have written. You may want to refer to your introduction for ideas because the two paragraphs tend to mirror each other. Often, a conclusion has three parts. Many writers like to repeat their argument in the conclusion’s first sentence. Afterwards, they consider the larger significance of their topic, explaining what they have learned and sharing it with their audience. The last sentence brings everything together, concluding the essay with one final takeaway.

Topic Sentence

Many writers rephrase the key aspects of their thesis statement in the topic sentence of the conclusion. The goal is to remind the audience of the essay’s overall argument.

Reflective sentences

It’s best to reflect on the larger significance of your topic in at least two sentences. This is where you get to explain what you have learned and share your newfound knowledge with your audience. You also want to comment on why your topic is important without analyzing it further.

Final sentence

The final sentence brings your essay to a close. You can sum up the major points of your essay into one last takeaway, leaving your audience with something to think about.

Example Conclusion and Discussion

The literary elements of imagery, characters, and conflict within “The Fall of the House of Usher” allow Edgar Allan Poe to explore the gothic concept that suffering can be handed down from parent to child. The fears of the parents become the fears of the children. When keeping a secret becomes an obsession, the urgency spreads like a disease, infecting all in the family and even their environment. Isolation from the world spawns a toxic mixture of resentment and codependency, which is a terrible price to pay for a preserved reputation. When a solution becomes a punishment, the entire family will crumble and fall.

The topic sentence (located in the first sentence) rephrases the major parts of a typical thesis statement, the topic, purpose, and organization.

The reflective sentences (the second, third, and fourth sentences) explain what was learned and share this information with the audience. Notice that each reflective sentence comments on the topic’s larger significance, leading up to one final takeaway.

The final sentence (the fifth sentence) brings the essay’s main points together to make one last observation about the topic, giving the audience some food for thought.

What to Remember When Writing a Conclusion

Paragraph Length

Similar to an introduction, the conclusion is usually shorter than a body paragraph. Typically, the minimum paragraph length for a college-level essay is five to seven sentences. Remember, a conclusion is only meant to wrap up your essay, so it doesn’t need to be very long.

Paragraph Content

A conclusion should not bring up any new ideas; it’s a place for you to finalize your thoughts and remind your readers of your essay’s topic and purpose.

The conclusion is an opportunity to leave a strong, lasting impression on your audience. In some ways, it’s similar to closing a door while also opening a window. You close the door on your topic, wrapping up your final thoughts on the matter. However, at the same time, you open a window, allowing your audience to look at your topic from a new perspective and leaving them with something to think about long after they have finished reading your paper.

Page last updated July 6, 2023.