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Help for Writing a Closing Paragraph: How Do I Sum Up Ideas?

by Jake Shore, Demand Media

    When you’re writing a successful college essay there are several essential elements to include, and the closing paragraph is one that not only re-examines your central argument but leaves a final, lasting impression on your reader. It’s important that your closing paragraph not only fits in line with the body and introduction of your essay, but sums up your ideas in an efficient and effective way. By examining the fundamental attributes of a successful closing paragraph it becomes clear how to construct one.

    Topic

    Even though your reader developed an understanding of your essay’s topic by the time they reach the closing paragraph, re-state your topic in your conclusion and reiterate why your topic is important. For example, if your essay focuses on the dangers of chemically engineered food, reiterate in your conclusion how chemically engineered food negatively affects the human body. By reiterating the topic and highlighting its significance, your reader will understand the importance of your paper before its completion.

    Main Points

    While the body of your essay is reserved for explaining and defending your main points and most important claims, a successful closing paragraph revisits the most important points. Be careful to synthesize while writing your closing paragraph instead of summarizing. Do not repeat anything that you’ve already written in the body of your essay, but do explain how your most important claims are justified by examples and evidence. Highlight connections and justifications that haven’t been covered.

    Thesis

    Your thesis and central argument is the driving force behind your entire paper and must be re-addressed in your closing paragraph. Despite this, do not arrange your thesis in the conclusion in the same way you do in the introduction. Remember, your reader has read your claims, their justifications and several pieces of external evidence. Since your reader has a developed understanding of what you’re trying to prove, they should read a slightly adjusted and more developed version of your original thesis statement.

    Opposing Viewpoints

    A successful conclusion addresses the opposing viewpoints to your central argument. For example, if your contention is that television is a predominantly negative force in the developmental stages of maturity, address the opposing view and why it is reasonable for a person to believe otherwise. Couple this with reasoning behind your viewpoint. This establishes that you are aware of opposing viewpoints, which earns trust in your reader and allows them to make an informed decision about what you’re presenting in your essay.

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    About the Author

    Jake Shore has been writing for more than seven years, specializing in education, music, art, conceptual physics and literature. He also teaches creative writing and literature at Wagner College. His work has been published by MTV's Hollywood Crush website, Fiction365.com, "Calico Tiger" and "The Pitkin Review." Shore earned his Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Goddard College.

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