An informative essay, also known as an expository essay, contains factual information based on detailed research. However, a successful essay should also give your readers a fresh perspective on a subject -- a well-thought-out conclusion helps you to do this more effectively. Rather than simply summarizing what you've already said, your conclusion should leave a lasting impression. You can do this by adding new information or insights that back up the information you've already presented, or ending your essay on a surprising or provocative note that gives your reader more food for thought.
Echo your introduction. This adds an elegant touch, bringing your essay full circle and creating a sense of cohesion in your reader's mind. If, for example, you begin an informative essay about a famous poet's birthplace with a detailed description of the ivy-covered cottage where he grew up, you would end it by giving your reader a fresh perspective on the original scene. You could say something like: "As night fell and the last tourists headed for home, a stray cat nestled against the sheltering ivy and I couldn't help but muse on the irony that this particular poet loved cats but loathed uninvited human guests."
Challenge your readers. End your essay on a provocative note to engage your reader's attention. An essay about the effects of global warming might, for example, conclude with a quotation from an environmental expert about how people need to stop being complacent about the earth's resources and adopt a more environmentally friendly lifestyle.
Focus on the future. Point your reader toward long-term implications of your essay's findings. An essay about falling educational standards might end by discussing briefly the personal and economic implications for future generations.
Pose a question. A pertinent question encourages readers to explore your essay's key themes from a different angle and possibly conduct further research. An essay about social networking, for example, could ask whether online relationships bring people together or promote social alienation. Include two quotes that express opposing viewpoints to balance the essay and let the reader make up his own mind.
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