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University Writing Center

COM 14: Writing Conclusions

Dynamic PDFWriting Conclusions

The conclusion gives your readers a final impression on your topic and ideas. An effective conclusion can summarize the main points of the essay, point to broader implications of the topic, make a recommendation about the topic, share outlooks for the future, or circle back to a story or example used in your introduction. Overall, the conclusion should provide closure for your reader.

 Developing a Conclusion for Your Project

There are many ways to write an effective conclusion. Use the following questions to guide you. Jot notes directly in the space below or annotate your paper as you go. Keep in mind not all questions will apply to your specific paper. When in doubt, refer to the assignment sheet or prompt provided by your professor.

  1. What are the main points I made in my essay? Read over your paper and underline/highlight all the main points. Then, try summarizing your main points here. (If you’d like to map out your main points in a visual way, try working through the UWC’s “Visual Organizer”)
  2. What are the broader effects or implications of my topic?
  3. What do I want my readers to do after reading my essay? What recommendations do I have for my readers? (This is sometimes called the “call to action.”)
  4. How might my topic change in the future? What further research should be done on the topic?
  5. What do I want my readers to continue to think about after reading my paper?
  6. How can I tie my conclusion back to a story or example in my introduction?

Traps to Avoid When Writing Conclusions

  • Avoid repeating your thesis statement word for word. You can summarize your main points but refrain from restating the thesis verbatim.
  • Do not use your conclusion to introduce any brand-new ideas you have not discussed in the paper.
  • If it is an argumentative or persuasive essay, do not change your position or stance.

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