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Tips for Writing a Great Conclusion to Your Essays

Have you any recollection of learning to write fine-paragraph essays when you were in high school? You probably thought these assignments seemed relatively easy. All that was required was for you to write an introductory paragraph, a few body paragraphs to present your main ideas or points, and bring your assignment to an end with a strong conclusion. With standard five-paragraph essay writing, you would have been required to list three key points in the introductory paragraph and re-state these in the essay conclusion. Looking back, all of this can seem a bit tedious and outdated when you become a college student.

Although it is important to use your essay’s introduction to let your readers know what your paper is about and how it will develop, just reiterating the same ideas or points again at the end can make essay conclusions seem repetitive. Indeed, this practice can make an essay seem as if it is not really going anywhere. By the time you get to college level, there is a great deal more expected than merely answering questions or sharing your opinions. You will be expected to engage your readers, develop new material for discussion, and generally keep the content dynamic.

The most effective way of ensuring your college essay conclusion does not cause your paper to come to a grinding halt is by keeping one question in mind during the writing process. That question amounts to “so what?” This means you have discussed all the main points you can think of about your topic, but why is it important? Is there any reason why your readers should care?

Does your opinion or your argument(s) add anything new to the sum of existing knowledge in the eyes of your tutors, fellow students or even to experienced subject matter experts? Writing good essays at college level is about building a credible reputation. The best way to do this is to show you are up-to-date with current thinking in your subject matter and that you have something new to contribute.

If you want an example to better understand how the question “why does it matter” works in practice, let us say your essay is based on the book Twilight and you are discussing the relationship between Bella and Edward. Instead of just listing the reasons why you think theirs is an abusive rather than a healthy relationship and restating these points in your concluding paragraph, ask yourself why it matters. You may even want to build a whole discussion on how young girls can be detrimentally affected by role models like Bella. Your musings would lead your readers to wonder about these adverse effects and possibly make them think about the suitability of other child role models in contemporary fiction. This is an example of what makes good essay conclusions.

Once you have answered the “why does it matter” question in your essay conclusion, you will be making everything in your essay more relevant and your work will have more long-term value.