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Academic Writing Guide: What Goes in a Conclusion Paragraph?

Learning how to write effective essays will help you go a long way in your schooling. Just about every subject on the planet will require some type of writing on your part. So it’s important you learn how to write great essays early on. One of the most important components of a good essay is a good conclusion. Here are a few things you should know about what goes in a conclusion paragraph:

The first sentence of your conclusion.

The first sentence of your conclusion should signal to the reader that you’ve completed your argument as presented in your body paragraphs and that you will now show how your entire argument works. There’s no right or wrong way to start this sentence. You may want to start with a simple “In conclusion,” until you are confident in your writing to begin in another way. No matter what you choose be sure the language in this first sentence sets the tone that you’ve reached the end of your argument.

Summarizing your main points.

The following sentences should restate your main points using different words than those you used in your body paragraphs. You don’t want to give off the idea that you are introducing a new argument, but your reader will appreciate that you have taken the time to express your thoughts differently, rather than simply repeating what you have already said. It’s generally a good idea to present your arguments in the same order you presented them in the paper, so your reader can easily find an extended argument if he or she chooses to review.

Synthesizing your arguments.

After you have summarized your main points you should make sure you synthesize these points and show your reader how all the pieces of evidence you used work together to support your thesis. Don’t assume your reader will be able to make the connection on his or her own. It’s a good idea to clearly and concisely show them what it is you have accomplished in your writing.

Your final thought.

The last sentence in your conclusion should do two things: 1) it should signal that your essay has reached its end and 2) it should leave your reader with a provoking thought by which your writing will be remembered. There are several ways to accomplish this – asking a question or having a call to action are among a couple. No matter what you choose be sure you take some time and re-read this last sentence. It will be what the reader will remember you most by.


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