The conclusion of an essay may be the toughest section to write. Think about it; you're really tired at this point. It's probably the night before your paper is due and you just want to be done. So, the temptation is there to simply rush through it, and hope that your teacher is exhausted once she gets to your paper and doesn't bother to read it fully.
But the conclusion is probably the most important part of the paper. It ties everything together up nicely in the end. Not writing a good conclusion would be like if we never found out if Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy got together or if we never knew what that monster was in the Upside Down in "Stranger Things." Though not every ending has to be 100% conclusive (in fact, most endings never are—think the movie Inception), it does have to have a well-thought out conclusion.
So, how do you write a good conclusion? What are the key components of a solid conclusion? What does a thorough and effective conclusion look like?
Read on for more information about our conclusion on conclusions.
What are the key components of a good conclusion?
Remember that thesis statement which you wrote in the first or second paragraph of your essay? You know, the one where you stated a claim about something? You argued something about a topic and you used the body paragraphs to prove your thesis statement through all of the research that you've performed.
Now that you've fully explained the research and the support for your thesis statement throughout the body of the paper, it's time to come back to that original idea in the conclusion. The conclusion basically asks us to do a few things:
- Restate the main idea of the paper (why you wrote this entire long piece to begin with).
- Summarize all the key points you made throughout the body of the paper (things that proved your thesis statement).
- Write about why this paper and topic are important, and leave the reader with ideas for additional research or maybe some questions that didn't get answered. The idea is that you want to leave the reader with a long-lasting impression. This is your opportunity to really drive your point home and to use some really interesting language.
Okay, so now that we have a game plan of how we need to write a good conclusion and what components consists of, let's look at a few examples of some sample essay conclusions.
Essay conclusion 1 — Why Ross didn't deserve Rachel on "Friends"
Although viewers always expected Ross and Rachel to reunite at the end of the series, the fact remains that Ross didn't deserve Rachel as a partner. As we saw in the beginning of the series, Ross was unfaithful to Rachel when they had been dating for over a year, and he didn't want to admit his wrongdoing when they tried to get back together after their initial breakup. Additionally, Ross was an extremely jealous and demanding partner, yelling at Rachel in front of all of their friends on several occasions. Finally, and most egregiously, Ross had a terrible reaction when Rachel told Ross she was pregnant after Monica and Chandler's wedding, making him an undesirable romantic partner for her, or any other character on the show for that matter. This conclusion is especially apparent after viewing the show more than 10 years after the final episode aired and having a collectively better understanding of women's rights and domestic abuse in relationships.
Essay conclusion 2 — Should students be allowed to have cell phones in elementary school?
In conclusion, although it's easy to see why allowing an elementary school child to have a cell phone would be convenient for after-school pickups or arranging playdates with friends, there is too much evidence to show that it's generally not a good idea. Children already have a lot of access to media (on average over seven hours per day) and it is the parent's responsibility to monitor their media access, which is more difficult if the child has exclusive cell phone access. Cyber bullying, which is increasingly becoming a problem, is also going to be a risk when your child has unlimited access to a smart phone. Clearly, elementary school-aged children are not emotionally mature enough to handle the responsibility of a smart phone, and the borrowing of a parent's cell phone should be highly monitored to ensure safe and healthful usage.
Essay conclusion 3 — Should sexual education be taught in public schools?
It's clear that sexual education is completely vital to the public-school curriculum. Not only does this lead to a better understanding of human development and human sexuality, but awareness and sex education also reduce the rates of teen pregnancy. Studies have shown that comprehensive sexual education increases the age of when teens have sex for the first time. Learning about contraception and how to use contraception correctly ultimately leads to lower rates of STDs. Lastly, comprehensive sex education also teaches students about consensual sex, and will hopefully lead to healthier sexual relationships and lower rates of sexual assault in the future. Not only should sex education be taught in public schools, but it should be mandatory for all public-school systems.
Essay conclusion 4 — What are the biggest challenges for women in the workplace?
Women have outnumbered men on the payroll in nonfarm jobs since 2010, but even with a majority of females in the office, there are still huge challenges for them at work. One of the biggest issues, which has been widely covered and debated on, is the fact that women still earn less of a wage for the same job as their male counterparts. Now that women are the breadwinners of many families, this is stunting economic growth and opportunity for their children. Additionally, women are less likely to be in charge at work. With less than 6% of Fortune 500 companies with a female CEO, women have a steeper hill to climb at the very top echelon of jobs. With a more level playing field, women's opportunities will increase and the workforce will ultimately be more inviting for all.
Essay conclusion 5 — You're having dinner with your favorite author. What happens? Describe the scene.
Harper Lee puts down her cup of coffee on the table, quietly scanning the room for an exit.
I'm nervous, wondering what to say to end this surreal evening.
"Thank you so much for meeting with me. I know that you're a very private person, and I can't tell you how much this means to me."
She smiles slightly at me and waves at the waiter for the check, which he brings promptly.
Essay conclusion 6 — Should music with curse words be allowed at school dances?
Language can be powerful and sometimes even harmful, but censorship of language is one of the worst things we can do as a society. I believe that the content of the song is more important than a few curse words. If a song's content is designed to provoke, intimidate, or make someone feel inferior, then I believe that is more harmful than a few impolite words in a chorus.
Essay conclusion 7 — What is something that should be taught in school that isn't?
Financial literacy is one of the most important things a person needs to understand as a fully functional adult. It's crucial for someone to be able to know how to purchase a car, open a bank account, invest in a 401k plan, and pay back his or her student debt all while being able to balance paying rent and saving money. Financial literacy should be taught to students while they are still in high school so that they can feel prepared to go out on their own and make a positive contribution to society.
Essay conclusion 8 — Is an increased dependence on technology good for society?
Technology surely isn't going anywhere. If anything, we will become more and more dependent on the capabilities of our smartphones and other devices in the future. However, we have to make sure that this dependence on technology isn't making us lazier or less curious about the world around us. With more knowledge available than ever before with today's technology, people are less discerning about what kind of materials they read and whether or not those materials are factual. People are also less likely to make a personal connection with someone while they're out in the world, which can increase levels of depression, anxiety, and stress. Ultimately, we have to learn how to co-exist with technology in a way that is both healthful and constructive.
Essay conclusion 9 — Should schools start later in the morning?
There are some clear benefits to starting school later in the morning for K-12 students such as better academic performance and improved sleeping schedules. Although it might take a bit of rearranging schedules for parents to take their kids to school later on in the day, it's more important that students perform better academically than for the drop-off to be convenient for the parents on their way to work. To combat this, increased bus routes and crossing guards should be implemented so that parents who have to get to work at a certain time can be assured that their kids are making it to school safely.
Essay conclusion 10 — How do video games affect children and teenagers?
Video games have been an integral part of childhood and adolescence for a few decades now, but the effects on aggression levels and exposure to violence may make us take pause on how much exposure parents should let their kids have to these games. The video game industry is growing exponentially, and as the technology and video quality increase so does the ability to separate virtual reality from reality. Games with violent content are known to cause aggressive and sometimes even violent behavior in teens. Many video games, first-person shooter games in particular, have violent content. When the player is rewarded for violent behavior in the game, it reinforces the subtle idea that violence is acceptable and can be used in real life. With busy schedules and easy access to so much media, it's difficult for parents to be able to oversee everything that their children are exposed to. Video game designers should be held accountable for the violent content in their games, and a push should be made for more parental oversight and rules on video game usage.
In conclusion of conclusions
Conclusions are really just about wrapping things up. You want to be as succinct as possible, you want to reiterate the points you've already made throughout the essay, and you want to be compelling. With a little bit of practice and revision, you should be able to get the process down in no time. And if you need help with revising your conclusion or any other part of your paper, be sure to seek out the advice of a trusted teacher or a writing center, or hire one of our professional editors to give you a second opinion on your paper.