From Gerald R. Lucas
📝 English Composition Writing FAQ 11011102📖

Nailing the Conclusion: Leave a Lasting Impression

Conclusions are often the last impression that readers have of your essay, so it’s essential to make them count. A well-crafted conclusion can leave a lasting impact on your audience and reinforce your thesis statement in their minds. However, many students struggle with writing conclusions, either ending their essays abruptly or repeating information that has already been stated.

The conclusion is the final paragraph or section of an essay that summarizes the main points made in the essay and provides a closing statement or message to the reader. The purpose of the conclusion is to bring the essay to a satisfying close and leave a lasting impression on the reader. Consider these strategies in composing your conclusion:

  • Restate the thesis statement: Summarize the main points of the essay and restate the thesis statement in a way that emphasizes its importance and relevance. While a bit boring, this strategy is sometimes an effective way to close as part of another strategy. This strategy is more effective in public speaking.
  • Offer a new perspective: Provide a fresh perspective or insight that goes beyond what has already been discussed in the essay.
  • Use a memorable quotation: End with a quote that relates to the topic and leaves a lasting impression on the reader. That said, try to make the last your own, rather than someone else’s.
  • Make a call to action: Encourage the reader to take action or think more deeply about the topic.
  • End with a rhetorical question: Ask a question that leaves the reader thinking about the topic and its implications.
  • Use imagery or metaphor: Use a powerful image or metaphor that ties the essay’s themes together and leaves a lasting impression.
  • Connect to a larger context: Place the essay’s topic in a broader context, such as a societal issue, historical event, or personal experience. In other words, your essay’s topic likely narrowed and nuanced a subject, so the conclusion can broaden your focus into a more general perspective.

In some cases, it can be effective to broaden the discussion in the conclusion by considering the broader implications or relevance of the topic beyond the scope of the essay. This can be particularly effective in persuasive or argumentative essays, where the writer is trying to convince the reader to take a particular action or adopt a certain perspective. However, in other types of essays, such as informative or analytical essays, the focus may be more narrowly defined and it may not be necessary or appropriate to extend the discussion beyond the scope of the essay.

Ultimately, the writer should consider the purpose and audience of the essay when deciding whether to broaden the discussion in the conclusion. The conclusion should always leave the reader with a clear understanding of the writer’s message or argument, and provide a sense of closure to the essay.

Be wary of approaches that weaken your conclusion. Firstly, avoid introducing new information or arguments in the conclusion. This can confuse the reader and weaken the overall impact of the essay. Avoid using clichéd phrases or repeating the thesis statement verbatim. Instead, try to use the conclusion as an opportunity to reiterate the main points of the essay in a fresh and interesting way. Finally, avoid ending the essay abruptly without providing a sense of closure or a final thought for the reader. The conclusion should provide a sense of resolution and leave the reader with a lasting impression.

The ultimate goal of the conclusion is to be memorable and leave a lasting impact on the reader. Avoid simply summarizing the essay’s main points, and instead, use the conclusion as an opportunity to bring new insights and perspectives to the topic.


Written: 2002, 2022; Revised: 02-8-2024; Version: Beta 0.7 💬