The Conclusion

The concluding section of an academic paper usually features a summary conclusion paragraph that summarizes the important points raised in the body of the essay. No details are provided in a summary conclusion paragraph; usually there is no more than a sentence or two for each important point of the essay. For some disciplines, the concluding section also includes a brief discussion of the implications of the points made in the essay.

Points to consider when writing a conclusion:

  • Review the body of the drafted essay and identify the most important points to include in a summary conclusion.
  • Consider the order of the sentences that you produce for the conclusion. Re-order these as necessary to lead yourself clearly and naturally through the most important points of the essay. Do all of these points seem relevant? Is anything missing?
  • Use the summary conclusion you draft to review, and perhaps reorder, the paragraphs in the body of your draft. You want to make the summary conclusion a good representation of the body of your discussion. The body should contain the detailed version of the journey to your conclusions. Move back and forth between the body and the summary conclusion recursively until they are clearly well aligned.
  • Draft a second section of your conclusion in which you offer the implications that follow from your summary conclusion. Here, you can ponder, offer recommendations, examine consequences, point to larger issues and offer informed opinion.