Writing advice: how to format conclusion section of an essay
The conclusion portion of your essay is more than a summation. While its purpose is in part to summarize the information that was included in your paper it is also designed to work in conjunction with the introduction part of your paper to frame the body.
Conclusion Tip #1: The conclusion should not just copy the introduction. Many students make the mistake of just rewriting or rewording their conclusion and using that as the introduction. But this is not correct. Instead you need to cover the same information that was included in your paper in a new way and remind the reader of everything they read. Remember that the introduction contains a map as to where the reader will go but it does not include the details or the evidence. The conclusion does. The conclusion reminds the reader of where they went and also recaps the details and evidence that were found during the trip.
Conclusion Tip #2: Don’t force yourself to write the conclusion last. The conclusion might come at the end of your paper but that does not mean you have to write it last. If you have your body completed or an outline with all of the pertinent facts you can use that alone to craft the conclusion. In fact it might make it easier to draft a conclusion based on the main points from an outline because you won’t be worried about all of the rhetoric you used to expound upon the ideas and will instead be faced with just the basics.
Conclusion Tip #3: The conclusion for your essay should be roughly ten percent of the total length of the paper. So if you have a paper that is five paragraphs then the conclusion should of course be the final paragraph. If your paper is ten pages then your conclusion should be the length of a single page. You do not need to adhere to this strictly. You can always make it a bit longer or a bit shorter to fit your essay but it is a good rule of thumb.
Conclusion Tip#4: Try and leave your readers with a thought provoking question or startling fact. Make sure that when they finish reading your paper they are away of how it relates to the bigger picture and why it is relevant in that particular field.
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