An essay starts with an introduction, is supported with evidence (which is presented in the body of the essay) and concludes with a final perspective about the topic explored within the essay. To write an effective conclusion, you must first understand the purpose of the final paragraph(s) in an essay. A conclusion is not simply a "bookend" to a paper. It is a final confirmation that the ideas presented within the essay are worth exploring and that the essay as a whole is beneficial to the reader’s compression of the topic and/or thesis.

Underscore the original thesis statement, which will appear in the introduction and be examined in the body of the essay. To avoid summarizing information that has already been presented in the essay, pose a question or offer a final perspective on the topic.

Bring the reader full circle. According to St. Cloud State University, the most effective way to do this is to introduce a scenario in the introduction and then conclude the essay with the same scenario as confirmation that your essay was beneficial in building a new understanding.

Demonstrate how the points you’ve made in the essay fit together with the conclusion. Take a global perspective, so you can redirect your reader to a larger, more substantial understanding.

Show how your ideas fuse together to offer new meaning. Create a picture that helps your reader see that your essay was meaningful and useful.

Challenge the reader to examine his own life or look to the future. Cite examples that the reader can relate to in his own life (or town or city) or implore him to imagine a world wherein a certain reality is prevalent. For example, if you are arguing for civil rights for all, ask the reader to imagine a world wherein her children are denied access to education and health care because of their race, gender or sexual orientation.

Tip

  • Have an editor fact check and edit your essay.

Tip

  • A good conclusion will not summarize or recycle ideas that have already been presented in an essay.