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College Study Guidelines on How to Write a Conclusion for an Essay

When you write the conclusion to your essay you are giving yourself the opportunity to wrap up your essay in a nice hand delivered package to your reader. You should be able to remind your reader of all your major points, the reasons why he or she read your work and why your work was important. It’s a great idea to restate your central argument and make connections between all of your major points in support of your argument. Writing a great conclusion takes practice, but with the right level of commitment you should be able to write great conclusions that earn your essays the top grades you deserve.

Here are some things you should try to avoid entirely when writing a college-level essay:

Don’t finish your essay with a sentimental flourish.

Your body paragraphs will explore a topic and present your argument in detail. It’s good to restate these points briefly in your conclusion, but you should never try to make your argument into anything more than it is. For instance, let’s say you are discussing world hunger; you shouldn’t make a claim that says that if people would donate a few dollars a day that world hunger would cease to exist. This isn’t true and is attempting to play on your readers’ emotions. Stay away from sentimentality.

Never bring up new ideas in your conclusion

Don’t allow for a new observation, thought, or idea creep into your conclusion. If a sentence doesn’t fit within the structure of your essay, don’t put it in. Your statement might be a seed for a great essay later on, but don’t bother with it here. The last thing you want in your conclusion is to have your reader’s mind wander off in another direction. You should ask either a friend or classmate to read your essay and look for anything that is left unresolved or confusion.

Don’t apologize for your claims.

Never minimize the strength of your argument by writing phrases that hint that your finding are only your opinion. First of all, your readers know this. Second, you attract attention to shortcomings your paper may have by suggesting that you aren’t confident enough in what you are writing. As soon as you make a claim you should stand by it. Be assertive and straightforward. This will help convince your readers that you have proved your argument without doubt and set you up as an authoritative figure.

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